The night before Christmas Eve (23rd) I had 2 hours warning – to go into Hospital for a sleep test.

My left lung is paralysed and the right lung is packing up as well – and there is the concern that awful things can happen at night.

Well – awful things did happen at night at the hospital – more so than they do at home (at least that I am aware of) and it was at the hospital that I realised that Sisko is the one stopping these bad things from happening – literally.

Ever since I got ill with my lungs (August) he has refused to leave my side – even when I tell him off for coming with me (we have not been able to train since August).

At night because of a right shoulder operation I turn on my left to go to sleep. Immediately I do so – he gets up and places himself rock solid with his back into my shoulder plates and his head on my pillow.  I used to think it was just cuddling.

Now I realise that he is physically stopping me from turning onto my back – and I do have rather nasty turns once I get on my back – on my side those turns are very much lighter – almost at times not very noticeable.

So – young Sisko is a hero in many ways and most of all in a way that cannot be trained – instinctively he is helping me.

I always wondered why he stays there – because I do bump him etc – and when I need to sleep on my other side I am forced to actually wake up – lift myself off the bed and then turn square onto my right shoulder – but there is no room to turn onto my back from there so to move I have to again lift up totally and turn
square onto my left again – and there he is still holding me up.

He does not move until I say "OK move" so that I can get up – then he jumps off the bed – but if I cheat and stay there – he comes right back up.

It was always clear that we were meant to be together – him (until 4 months of age) not being eager to meet others etc until I finally decided maybe I should risk
growing my family and coming to get him sight unseen – my making that decision – him immediately turning into Mr Social – no hint of his aloofness – I would
never have known if I had not been told.

Then we had the time to bond (12 months) – now the illness.  It cannot be cured – if we can finally manage to stop it from getting worse – then I can work on making the best of it.  I have to give up most of my activities – but Sisko extremely surprisingly is adjusting to doing as little or as much as I can cope with.

Sisko is truly a totally fantastic dog in so many different ways.