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I have two Assistance Dogs.

That’s not unusual, but it’s also not common, and was based on the recommendation of the Vet due to my multiple chronic illnesses creating a heavy work load for my beautiful first dog. This is a sample of how they change my life, and keep me alive.

A Lifesaving Story

Somewhere just beneath that line where consciousness and unconsciousness meet, I felt nudging and licking. Just awareness. Not enough to rouse me from my stupor. That required energy I didn’t have and the darkness returned. It can feel a welcoming place, when your brain is not fully functioning.

The next thing I could acknowledge was something pushing under my left arm and a weight on my chest. It would push push push, and wait, over and over again, push push wait. Until I was sufficiently conscious to reach for my monitor. My heart rate is 26. I have to move. I have to sit up. But I can’t. I don’t have the energy. The darkness is slipping back.

The warm weight on my chest slides away and I am giving in to the darkness. I am too tired. Four Paws and 29kg land on my chest over and over, interspersed with licks and nudges to my face. She is not giving in, she knows what she has to do.


I am awake. Tired and groggy, but awake. My heart rate is 47. I reach for my guardian.

She is still not satisfied. She knows I must sit up. I must drink some water and deep breathe to raise the oxygen levels.

I struggle upright. She watches, she knows it’s really hard, to not just lie down and go back to sleep. She won’t let me. Only when I pick up the water bottle and monitor, does she relax. I don’t have the energy to get up yet. But I won’t lie down again either. I am ok. She is ok. We are ok.


This night, she only had to do this once. It was a good night. Many many nights, it’s over and over. A few months ago, the remote monitor I was wearing recorded her resuscitating me 17 times. The hospital was incredulous. Without her, I would not have survived that night.


Recently, while in an episode, I woke to my beautiful girl

on my chest again, and wonderfully, my precious boy, was

tugging on my arm. He is ready to work as a team.

This is a snap shot of our journey together. 

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