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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America! A Patriotic Pets Parade, Facts, Tips & a Summer GIVEAWAY!

Here in the United States, it is the Fourth of July ~ Independence Day ~ America's Birthday! And with its arrival, is summer in all of its glory! The season that marks a time to kick back and relax, go swimming, sunning, and spend lazy days lounging about, daydreaming, and chasing fireflies.

Here's some interesting July 4th facts from the

Of course, as with any holiday, with all the excitement, visitors coming and going, barbeques and picnics, hot weather, and fireworks, it's always important to remember some safety tips to ensure that everyone, including our pets, have a happy and safe Independence Day. Here's our FiveSibes tips once again, just as a reminder!

The ASPCA also shares it care and concern for pets with the important following graphic as a friendly reminder to watch out for hidden dangers during this celebratory holiday season:

Have you downloaded the ASPCA's mobile app yet? If not, you can download it HERE.

We are pleased to announce that we've teamed up once again with the ASPCA to bring you these important hot weather and holiday health tips. Now, you can win two fabulous gifts compliments of the ASPCA! A (p)awesome ASPCA  Emergency Ready Pet First Aid Kit (valued at $29.95) that comes pre-packed in a durable zippered bag with organized compartments, and includes: 1 Scissors, 1 Tweezers, 2 Exam-quality vinyl gloves, 1 1" x 5 yd. first-aid tape roll, 12 Antiseptic cleansing wipes, 6 Antibiotic ointment packs, 10 9" x 2" Gauze dressing pads, 4 3" x 3" Gauze dressing pads, 1 5" x 9" Trauma pad, 1 2" x 5 yd. Wrap bandage, 2 2" x 4½yd. Conforming gauze roll bandage, 1 Eye Pad, 1 Triangular Bandage, 1 Eye wash, 1 Hydrogen peroxide, and 1 Instruction guide that includes treatments for medical emergencies.
~AND~ the second prize is a very cool Subaru Roll-Up Picnic Blanket (valued at $11.95 ) so you and your pet can have a fun time outdoors! This polyester fleece 47"x52" blanket folds and rolls into flap with handle and hook-and-loop closure.

The first two randomly selected winners from our Rafflecopter below will be our winners with the first name selected winning the First Aid Kit, and the second name will be the winner of the picnic blanket! 

So fabulous! We thank the ASPCA for this great giveaway and for all the wonderful things they do to help animals in need. The deadline to the Giveaway is 12:00 AM EST on July 12th, so be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post before then!

Our FiveSibes showing their patriotic spirit!

Along with get-togethers with family and friends, swimming, and barbeques, what's the Fourth of July without a parade and fireworks?! The following video of "Patriotic Pets on Parade" from 2011 many of you may remember, and it will always be one of my favorites. It's so good to see all the beautiful faces and to remember our furangel friends here, too...they will always be remembered! With all the beautiful pets decked out in their patriotic finest...and those smiles...just brilliant! And of course, (safe) fireworks! Such a fun video for a fun holiday! We hope it brings a smile to each of you, too!


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Friday, July 3, 2015

Flashing Fourth Fun on a Flashback Friday

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July ~ America's Birthday! And for our FiveSibes Flashback Friday, we're featuring this fun video short of our alpha queen Harley from last year showing her true American spirit! To view our holiday safety tips, visit HERE. And we hope all our furpals and family members have a fun and safe Independence Day!

Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-hosts, Love is being owned by a Husky, each Friday. We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our blog hop each week! If you don't catch it on Friday, you can link up any time during the week! To catch our past Flashbacks, just enter "Flashback Friday" in the search box! We hope you'll come join us!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

We are Sending Heartfelt Condolences to the Rockin da Huskies Family

Graphic Source: Rockin da Huskies
Hearing the devastating news that the Twete Family of Rockin' da Huskies, Rockin' da Moots, Rockin' da Rescue, Rockin da Shirts, suffered a devastating loss this past weekend when their beautiful daughter/sister, Cat Twete, was killed in an auto accident, it was just unimaginable. Rockin da Huskies has been iconic in the rescue and northern breed world, and so many of us have at least one (or many) Rockin shirt, decal, or product in our closet. They have so generously helped many rescues, auctions, and causes, including our own FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Fundraiser this past November. While we do not know them personally, but rather through our social media Husky "neighborhood," we all, through our love of dogs, do feel very connected to each other in our community, and we feel the loss of one of its members. It just breaks my heart to know the pain this family is going through and we can only send out our heartfelt condolences and prayers to them on their deep, tragic loss. This beautiful girl was also a young mom, leaving behind a three-month-old son. Just heartbreaking. All of us here at the FiveSibes family are sending out woos of love, prayers, comfort, and heartfelt hugs to the Twete family. Heaven has certainly gained a beautiful young angel...may she rest in peace.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Merry Meme Monday Brings Safety Tips for Safe Independence Day Celebrations

 Lots of celebrations have already begun, including many fireworks. Here's a few of our FiveSibes tips to help your pet have a safe and enjoyable July 4th!

With a little planning, the fun and festive holiday can be an enjoyable one for everyone in the family, including our pets!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gibson, My #HeroPet

On my Monday blog post, I talked about "Max," the movie. And in my post, I mentioned that Warner Bros. wanted to know  why we believe our dog to be a #HeroPet. Pets can be heroes for many different reasons. K9 Soldiers. Police. Search and Rescue. Therapy. Seizure Alert Dogs. Advocacy. My wooly Siberian Husky boy, Gibson, is a #HeroPet to me. He is the face of Canine Epilepsy awareness, an Epi-dog (canine epileptic), and he is a warrior, bravely living his life to the fullest even with special needs. He never lets set backs keep him down for long. And if his story inspires others to either adopt a dog with epilepsy or help give them the resources and emotional support for their own journey with an Epi-dog, then it's a job well done!

As many of you who have followed my blog for awhile know, Gibson and my journey began back in 2009, shortly after his third birthday. He had a grand mal seizure that scared me to the core. I walked in on him stiff, not breathing, foam oozing at his mouth, and his eyes glazed over. I thought I had lost my beautiful boy. While I was on the phone with the emergency hospital, he came to! I felt it was nothing short of a miracle. A month later, he went into cluster seizures, and in between his fourth and fifth seizure, we managed to get him to our after hours emergency vet, where the vet on-call, thankfully, broke his clusters with an IV of medication. He was then transferred to our regular vet hospital the next morning, where they ran all types of bloodwork and tests, ruling out any underlying illness or neurological issue, and diagnosed him with idiopathic Epilepsy, meaning no known cause. Could it be genetic? Possibly. Could it have been triggered by some food, treat, or environmental issue? Possibly. But to avoid any more seizures, he was put on Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide, and has been on it ever since. 

Over the years, Gibson experienced side effects from the medications, mainly a weak hind end that leaves him unable to walk at times. He also had severe ataxia and again I feared I was losing him when the pharmaceutical company changed capsule formulation without notifying the vet or public that caused a Bromide Toxicity, making him very ill. Thankfully, my vet immediate detoxed Gibson, and after a few days he was back to himself.

As a result of his weak hind end, Gibson has torn two CCLs for which I treated with Conservative Care Management. Surgery was not a first option since he is an Epi-dog. So with the use of a leg brace, lift harness, laser therapy, massage, Reiki, and vitamin supplements, Gibson once again was able to walk on his own. Then he had a fall on ice last winter that left him lame. His weakened hind end and weak knee from the torn CCL now had arthritis and he just couldn't move. Thankfully, after much rest, rehab at home, and again the same Conservative Care Management therapies, Gibson is back on his feet. Although I assist him with a lift harness to help take pressure off his knees while doing his business, he can get around the house now on his own. Many of these posts you can read by putting "Gibson," "Canine Epilepsy," and "CCL" or "ACL" in the search box at the top of this blog.

Gibson is such a fighter and embraces life with such zest and love, no matter what comes his way. He's had more issue than is fair for any one dog to have, but is always a warrior and gives it his all. He listens to me and works right with me to make himself strong...Gib Strong.

Cover Dog Gibson.
He has inspired me to write about his journey both in this blog and in my two books, the illustrated children's FiveSibes Tale, What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy written in a non frightening way to help children understand seizures, and even give some real tips on how to help; and most recently my 264-page EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living and Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy that tells the personal stories of Gibson plus 123 other dogs from across the world who have Canine Epilepsy, and includes a vast resource section to help families who are on this journey (both available through our publisher site ArcticHouse Publishing). You can find blog posts here, including his journal from the early days, by entering "Gibson," and "Canine Epilepsy" in the search box.

A percentage of proceeds from both books will benefit the Canine Epilepsy Resources ( Epil-K9 Foundation's "Emma's Seizure Fund" through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Neurology Department.

1 of 30 daily Epi-Tips
Through our #LiveGibStrong K9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, we partner up to help raise awareness about Canine Epilepsy and funds for Canine Epilepsy organizations, such as Canine Epilepsy Resources "Emma's Seizure Fund" and The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy. We hosted our very first auction last year, raising $2,554 ($1,277 each). I've also had numerous articles on Gibson and Canine Epilepsy published in The Sled Dogger Magazine, Dog Writers Association of America's Ruff Drafts, and American Pet Magazine. Every November, we post "Live Gib Strong" Epi-Tips, one a day for 30 days. And in March, we do another awareness campaign for international Purple Day® for Epilepsy, for which we have been ambassadors for almost five years. We also highlight special shows with Canine Epilepsy experts on our FiveSibes "The Sibe Vibe" Dog Works Radio show.

It is my goal, that along with Gibson, to bring information and hope to other Epi-dog families so they know they are not alone in their journey. It can be frightening, but even with seizures, dogs can and do live happy, full lives. 

Gibson is the inspiration and namesake behind the House Woof Dog Biscuits of Vermont formulating a wholesome, Epi-dog friendly treat (no wheat, no salt, no rosemary, no preservatives) called "Gibbie Snacks." The bakery donates $1 from every bag of Gibbie Snacks purchased to The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy, who offer possible financial assistance to parents/fosters/rescues of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy. 

When someone writes me and tells me that through reading Gibson's stories, or seeing his photos and updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+, we helped them and their Epi-dogs, it really warms my heart! Maybe they tried a new medication or laser therapy or changed a food to avoid a possible ingredient trigger. Maybe they found a resource I recommended that Gibson and discovered to be very helpful. It is my hope that Gibson and I can continue together for a long time to come to help others know that dogs with seizures deserve a chance at life. And the love and happiness they give us back is what makes it all worthwhile. 

Gibson's bravery, love, understanding, zest for life, and perseverance inspires me so, and together we offer hope and support to other Epi-dog families so they know they are not alone. That is what makes him my amazing, beautiful, and very special #HeroPet.
If you could help us get the word out about Gibson being a #HeroPet, please share this post's URL on your social media and use the hashtags: #MaxMovie #HeroPet, #LiveGibStrong, and #FiveSibes,  we'd appreciate it!


Our Purple Day for Epilepsy Video:

 Our First Awareness Video:

And don't forget to check out the amazing Max, the movie, at a theater near you!

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's "Take Your Dog To Work Day" ~and~ Flashback Friday!

Bandit loves to help me proof my writing.

Today is Pet Sitters International (PSI) 17th Annual "Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay®)!" Are you and your dog ready? The FiveSibes are all here to take a break from their busy days as a "working class" breed to offer up some helpful tips to keep in mind when bringing your dog to the office for TYDTWDay or any day!

    Pre-Arrange Approval. Check with your boss that it’s okay to bring your dog to the office.
    Co-Worker Allergies? Check to see if any co-workers are allergic to dogs and if they are okay with your dog in the office for the day.
    Safety First. Prior to TYDTWD, be sure to puppy-proof your workspace. Be sure the area your dog will be in is free of anything poisonous, toxic, or unsafe.
    Spa Day Before Work Day: Be sure to give your dogs a nice bath and grooming before them bringing to the office.
     A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog: Please be sure your dog is in good health and up-to-date with being vetted.
     A Human’s Best Friend.  Please only bring dogs that are social, friendly, and not afraid of noise and people. You don’t want to traumatize your furry friend.
    Say Yes! to Doggie Bags! Be sure to bring along treats & lunch for your dog!
    Who Loves A Drink? Water and bowl a must-have!
    Wanna Play? Have dog’s favorite toys to keep him happily busy!
    Crates are Great! Consider bringing your dog’s crate along for a safe, happy place for her to rest.
    Who’s Your Daddy or Mommy? Collar with tags a must!
    Microchips Ahoy! Check that your dog’s microchip info  is up to date on registration & at vet’s office.
    Leash, Please! Always walk your dog on a leash to keep him safe in a new place.
    When Nature Calls… Be sure to bring eco-friendly doggie “do” bags for potty breaks and pet-safe disinfectant in case of oopsies.
    Back-Up Plan. Just in case your furkid gets anxious and needs to go home, have an exit plan worked out, whether a family member or friend for pick him, or prior approval from your boss to leave.
    It’s All Good! Most of all, make it a fun and enjoyable experience for all!

Gibson is a great inspiration and assistant editor!

Your Boss Still Not Convinced? Download the PSI free Action Kit HERE to help! Loaded with lots of stories of previous TYDTWDay, what other companies are doing, helpful hints, preparing a press release, and so much more to help prepare for next year's TYDTWDay!’s some important facts from PSI about the benefits of participating in Take Your Dog To Work Day®:

"According to a 2008 national poll of working Americans 18 and older by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 17% reported their company permits pets at work. In 2012, the group reported in a separate study that workers surveyed brought their dogs with them to work 22 times in 2012, compared with 17 times in 2008.

"According to a 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study, employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. Studies have also shown that dogs at work help increase interaction between co-workers and increase employee satisfaction."

Thanks for the coffee, Harley!  You're a great assistant!


*55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment.
*50 million believe having pets in the workplace helps co-workers get along better.
*38 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment.
*37 million believe having pets in the workplace helps improve  relationships between managers and their employees.
*Source: 2006 American Pet Products Association Survey

Sounds good to me! How about you?

Harley helps with PR!
I'm very fortunate that all my FiveSibes are with me for TYDTWDay as I now work from home. And they sure are great "working breed" dogs and Mommy's little helpers whether they are the subjects of my stories, help me edit one of my articles or books, assist with promotions, eagerly taste test a treat recipe for this blog, model for an upcoming product or movie review, or are just ready to help me have a snack and a Husky love break! But if I was still working in an office out in the field, I think this is such a great concept, I would definitely be spearheading a campaign! After all, our pets make us so happy, and part of working out of the home is worrying about them during the day, or missing them. So just think how much more productive folks could be if their pets were right there with them at work! Now for a few more "working" shots of my very helpful Sibes!

Wolf really digs his job as Soil Expert and Excavator!

Chloe and Bandit love being taste testers!

Gibson is proud of being a product and Canine Epilepsy Ambassador!

Chloe helps out with inventory control of my published books!


Learn more HERE!

All this work wore out Wolf! Time for a nap!

Here's to a fun day at the office with your dog!

Want to read more of my article in American Pet Magazine's check out Volume 2/Issue 2 below and flip to page 45!

Our Flashback Friday photos are of Bandit from 2013 Take Your Dog to Work Day (see top photo). Below, she is making a conference call on my cell phone and going over edits with me on one of my books!

"Woo. May I put you on hold while I check that fact?"

Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-hosts, Love is being owned by a Husky, each Friday. We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our blog hop each week! If you don't catch it on Friday, you can link up any time during the week! To catch our past Flashbacks, just enter "Flashback Friday" in the search box! We hope you'll come join us!