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Friday, August 29, 2014

When the Sun is Shining on a Flashback Friday!




Wow! The saying "time flies" sure does apply here with our FiveSibes Flashback Friday's! Looking back, the last time I posted one was eight months ago in December, four days before Gibson, my Epi-Husky who also suffers from weak hind end issues (as a result of his Epi-meds), slipped and fell on a patch of snow-covered ice Christmas Eve and went lame and scared not only me, but himself this time as well. He was in pain. His fighting spirit lost. His spark gone (story HERE). At the time, I needed to step back away from blogging to help my boy rehabilitate, which was a tough and uncertain road for him. He began a slow, long process of healing via Conservative Care with a stability leg brace, lift harness, bed rest, meds, vitamin supplements, massage, and in-home laser treatments. Gibson's rehabilitation has been a slow process, but as days turned into weeks, his fighting spirit and spark returned. With every positive step he took, he reveled in his praise from me. You could see it in his eyes, his step, his personality. We are now finally back to him being able to take very brief walks without a brace and, just recently, the lift harness! A huge step in progress! His legs are stiff and his knees are becoming arthritic, and they won't ever be back to how they once were when he was 3 (he's 8 now), but with continued in-home laser therapy and short rehab walks, vitamin therapy, rest, and lots of love, he is holding his own and not in pain. So today's Flashback, our 40th, is in honor of my warrior boy, Gibson. The above photo is of him a few months after his accident, nose to the sun and showing me such inner strength, determination, and love of life even in the face of adversity. The quote fit perfectly, I felt, not just for Gibson, but myself as well. Through the spirit of our canine companions, we can learn so much, such as even in the darkest days, when the sun shines upon us, inner strength can indeed be found. The love I have for my boy is immeasurable.
May he continue to always, in body and spirit, Live Gib Strong.



We sure hope you will join us once again in our weekly strolls down Memory Lane with our FiveSibes Flashback Friday Blog Hops! Grab our badge, leave us a comment (so everyone can follow you back, too, instead of Linkys) and show us your favorite Flashback!

To catch up on past Flashback Fridays, visit us here: 


Flashback Friday #39: Of Christmas Past
Flashback Friday #38: Gibson's Epi-Tip #22
Flashback Friday  #37: Too Cool For His Shades

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tropical Traditions Brand Coconut Oil: A FiveSibes Product Review

 Harley loves this coconut oil!

I love coconut...coconuts, coconut flavored coffee, coconut dipped in dark chocolate, coconut macaroons, hard-shelled chocolate coconut candy, coconut milk, and flaked coconut, but would I like coconut oil that I have heard so much about? (See my earlier blog post about the uses and benefits of coconut oil HERE). So I decided to give it a test run. But I did not want just any coconut oil. I wanted virgin coconut oil and one that was organic. I had heard about Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil and thought I'd give it a try. I received a sample and have used it a few different ways for myself and for my Siberian Huskies, including using it in  their food. Well, it's a huge hit! When I add it to Harley, Gibson, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit's food, not only do they enjoy their meal, there is a whole lot of bowl licking going on!

Why Tropical Traditions? Here's some other important facts about Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil that really appeals to me:
  • Non-GMO
  • No hydrogenation or trans fats
  • No chemical solvents used in processing
  • High MCTs/Lauric Acid
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Scent and taste of coconuts
  • Made from fresh coconuts
  • No refining
  • Hand-made, not machine-made
  • Small batches - family producers
  • Wet-milling, highest levels of anti-oxidants

FREE with order!
An added bonus from Tropical Traditions is for every first-time purchases by using our links on this blog post, they will send you a FREE gift, their book Virgin Coconut Oil: How It Has Changed People's Lives and How It Can Change Yours! This book is packed with testimonies and solid research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how people can incorporate coconut into their own diet.



Is There a Difference Between Coconut Oils and Where Can You Buy Tropical Traditions Organic Virgin Coconut Oil?  
 
Yes! There is a difference! States Tropical Traditions, "Virgin coconut oils are the least processed, and they should retain some scent and flavor, as they are not steam deodorized. There are two main types of Virgin Coconut Oils found in the market today: handcrafted traditional virgin coconut oil, and mass produced machine-made coconut oil." The Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is "handmade, not machine made." Click on the jar here to learn all about the differences in coconut oil!

 

 To check out more info and/or buy your own bottle of Virgin Coconut Oil, 16, 32 oz, or the gallon pail click on the jar!



***SALE***
50% Off on the Golden Label Gallon Pail 
Sale Ends Thursday, September 4th! 
Click on jar above to order!

 Prepping the FiveSibes' kibble omelette with Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil!

This coconut oil has such a smooth consistency, it feels very velvety to the touch, and when using it for cooking, it has a wonderfully, delicious light coconut aroma. It's super easy to incorporate into cooking, too. I love whipping up Sunday omelettes for my Sibes using it, and I even dab a bit onto my Huskies food other days of the week.  


Gibson eagerly waits as I whip up an omelette 
with the coconut oil! To view our FiveSibes Canine Cooking Corner's "Cuckoo-for-Coconut Veggie Kibble Omelette," click HERE!



What is Virgin Coconut Oil? 
 

 Click here on this image to get all the info!
 









 Woo! The FiveSibes give Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil a 
4-Paws Up Rating! 



Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

As with any new addition to your dog's diet, always discuss with your veterinarian first.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We're Cuckoo for Coconut Oil: The Benefits, Plus Featuring A FiveSibes Canine Cooking Corner Recipe!

" I love coconut oil," says Harley.
Yes, we are cuckoo for coconut oil here! We love it so much, we are sharing one of our favorite omelette recipes using coconut oil later on in this post!
 
What do I like about coconut oil? It's a healthy choice ~ one that has many benefits not only for your own hu-family, but it is a great addition to your dog's diet as well. What's so great about adding coconut oil to your pet care? Ah, let me count the ways! To quote DOGS NATURALLY MAGAZINE, the possible benefits include: 

SKIN CONDITIONS*:


  • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
  • Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
  • Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites, and stings

DIGESTION*:


  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
  • Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  • Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing

iMMUNE SYSTEM, METABOLIC FUNCTION & BONE HEALTH*:


  • Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
  • Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
  • Helps prevent or control diabetes
  • Helps reduce weight, increases energy
  • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems 
*Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine 

HERE is also another great article from WHOLE DOG JOURNAL that covers the topic of the benefits of using coconut oil for our pets.

“Not only coconut oil is good for your canine, fresh and dried coconut are excellent sources of dietary fiber.”  
~Ken Schlegel & Ralf La Belle, Owners/Bakers,  
House Woof All Natural Dog Biscuits


-->
Ken Schlegel and Ralf La Belle of House Woof  All Natural Dog Biscuits (formerly House Wolf K9 Dog Biscuits), a branch of the Edelweiss Bakery located in Vermont, also sings the praises of adding coconut oil to a canine’s diet and healthcare. “Not only coconut oil is good for your canine, fresh and dried coconut are excellent sources of dietary fiber.” They do caution to watch the amount of coconut oil given to start. As with introducing anything new, always start off in small increments “while the body adjusts.” Schlegel and La Belle also suggest other coconut themed treats for dogs. “They will also enjoy coconut chips, cream, and spread, just be sure they are ALL natural and contain no preservatives in them.”



"The great thing about someone who is trying to clean up their own or their pet's diet by incorporating organic coconut oil, is that it works down to the cellular level and has a positive effect on overall body health. Benefits seen could include weight loss, improved fungal and candida issues, improved skin disorders such as sunburn, eczema, psoriasis, etc., and improved gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis."
~Carrie Andress, .M.S., L.Ac.


 Chloe and Harley greet acupuncturist and nutritional counselor Carrie Andress with some Sibe kisses.

I, personally, am a huge proponent for using and/or incorporating holistic and natural ways of healing in combination with traditional medical/veterinary care, all depending on what it is that I and my Huskies need. So, how did I, personally, start thinking about using coconut oil? Well, first let me start by saying that my  own personal acupuncturist and nutritional counselor, Carrie Andress, M.S., L.Ac. of ANDRESS ACUPUNCTURE, who has been recommending the use of coconut oil for more than 15 years and she says has seen the benefits in both humans and canines. 

Carrie Andress, M.S., L.Ac.
 "A lot of people in today's society have compromised immune systems due to toxins that could be from what is in the air and water; and/or toxins that get built up in the body from stress and food choices. Many people are also on acidic diets, which is detrimental to the body as a whole. We need to amp up more on greens, veggies, fruits (and a great way is by making green smoothies) seeds, and fermented foods products (probiotics), such as coconut kefir and coconut yogurt, as well as grain-like seeds such as quinoa and millet. Benefits of using coconut oil can be used for inflammatory problems, gut issues, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc)." Carrie also touts the benefits of coconut oil for canines. "The great thing about someone who is trying to clean up their own or their pet's diet by incorporating organic coconut oil, is that it works down to cellular level and has a positive effect on overall body health. Benefits seen would could include weight loss, improved fungal and candida issues, improved skin disorders, such as sunburn, eezma, psoriasis, etc., and gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis." 

As with any new change in a pet's diet and healthcare plan, please always consult your veterinarian first to be sure that what you want to start your dog on does not interfere with any other medications, health concerns, or treatments.

Recently, our alpha queen, Harley, began having new, frequent bouts of bloody raspberry diarrhea. Quite scary. As emergencies always seem to happen after vet hours, as a journalist and pet mom, I took to the Internet and researched possibilities of what it could be, with all info pointing to something called Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). I immediately stopped her food intake (she already wasn't really eating) and started her on the bland diet I'm sure we all are pretty familiar; boiled rice with boiled chicken or beef, and I add in a little pure pumpkin puree (which also helps with healthy colon and hydration), and small amounts of organic yogurt. After a few days on this, she bounced back, only to have two more bouts within a couple weeks of each other. Once, okay maybe something fluky triggered it. But twice, three times? No, that's not fluky. That's when alarm bells are going off full throttle. A stool sample came back negative for parasites. Further testing showed that (thankfully) she did not have something as extreme as HGE, but our vet confirmed that she she was indeed experiencing some type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She was placed on some medication and special gastrointestinal health kibble, prescribed by my vet. I gradually replaced her regular kibble to the GI health one, still adding home-cooked chicken, rice, and pumpkin. I also began researching other natural additives to help heal her lower intestines, which led me to...coconut oil. 

In addition to potentially helping her gastrointestinal issues, Harley
also has arthritis and a slight rotating tear to her CCL (from all her years of spinning in circles trying to catch her tail), I learned that coconut oil can also help aid in those areas as well. Talk about a  trifecta win! With two other Sibes having ligament, CCL issues, and growing arthritis issues (and knowing at the very least they would have even healthier coats than they already do), I decided to give organic virgin coconut oil a try with all of my FiveSibes. And so, I began my journey with coconut oil for my Sibes. 

And just how is Harley now, you ask? She has had another round of severe irritable bowel symptoms on the heels of going on a needed medication. I have taken her off the meds for now and put her back on gentle food and coconut oil. Two days later, her bowels have returned to normal once again. Yay! I will gradually add her medication back in once her tummy has healed. In the meantime, she is getting a little coconut oil in with her food and quite frankly, for Harley, the improvement was obvious. Not to mention that the sweet smelling coconut also encourages even my pickiest of eaters to nibble at their food!

Don't forget to stop back over here tomorrow to check out our review of an organic virgin coconut oil that we love!
 
A lot of our readers have asked for us to share some of our FiveSibes recipes, so here is one of our Canine Cooking Corner house omelettes using coconut oil called, "FiveSibes Cuckoo-for-Coconut Veggie Kibble Omelette." 






So, yes, we are certainly cuckoo for coconut oil here! And, as always, just another reminder that when introducing something new into your dog's diet or healthcare plan, please always check with your veterinarian first.

Bon(e) Appetit!  



We are joining in the "Tasty Tuesday" Blog Hop hosted by Sugar, the Golden Retriever, and Kol's Notes. Please be sure to pop by and visit these other wonderful blogs for recipes, tips, and all things tasty (for pets and humans)!





Happy National Dog Day!


FiveSibes here at the keypad...Woo-hoo! We have our own howliday! Even though we so lucky that every day here is Dog Day! We hope some folks will visit a local shelter or rescue and give a little lovin' to some dogs who are waiting for their forever families!
So tell us, what fun things are you doing today? Swimming? Sleeping? Hiking? Playing? Eating Treats? Whatever you do today with your humans, have a howlin' good time!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Holistic Pet Care: Massage & Reiki for What Ails Your Pet & "Get Your Dog Healthy With Natural Treats" Giveaway

Today is quite an exciting day! As you may have read in our post this past Wednesday, today we are celebrating the second anniversary of our Dog Works Radio show "The Sibe Vibe!" I am  so thrilled that you all have been such faithful fans and enjoy tuning in each month to listen to the many amazing and informative guests we've featured over the past two years. We wouldn't be celebrating this wonderful milestone if it weren't for our listeners and our guests, so huge, heartfelt "Woos" and "Thank Yous" go out to each and every one of you for making "The Sibe Vibe" such a success and highly-listened to broadcast! 

http://dogworksradio.com/

And a "Thank You" also goes out to my talented and wonderful co-host and producer, Robert Forto. I'm so proud the FiveSibes and I are part of the Dog Works Radio family and we can share this amazing two-year anniversary milestone with him and his radio network!

August also marks the month to highlight holistic treatments for our pet as August 30th is National Holistic Pet Day. And, in conjunction with this event, I'm so pleased to present our guest on today's show ~ small animal massage and Reiki practitioner Marta Banat of Vancouver, British Columbia who operates the All Paws Massage. Marta is also the author of A Husky Life blog, and a fellow Epi-Husky parent, having first become interested in massage treatments when her own Siberian Husky, "Rocco," was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy. 

Rocco getting a massage treatment from Marta

http://allpawsmassage.ca/

Marta says she first learned about the benefits of massage and energy work while searching for holistic approaches to manage her dog’s Epilepsy. Rocco's improvement through this type of treatment inspired Marta to train at NorthWest School of Animal Massage and open her own practice to help other pet parents.


Rocco, SpokesHusky for Hu-Mom's All Paws Massage!
  
Marta says Rocco is "a sweet, happy-go-lucky boy who loves adventures." He came to her at 11 months with a number of health problems. At three years old he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy, but she notes, the diagnosis did not dampen his love of life. Through careful management and holistic approaches, they were able to get seizures under control. She is happy to report that it has been six months and counting since his last seizure! And Rocco loves life…his favorite activities are swimming, hiking, and road trips. He is also one of the featured stars in my upcoming book on Canine Epilepsy titled EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy through ArcticHousePublishing this fall.
 

If you missed tuning in to this episode live today, now worries! You can listen in any time to this episode here:


New Pets Internet Radio with Dog Works Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio with Dog Works Radio Shows on BlogTalkRadio


GIVEAWAY UPDATE:
Congrats to our randomly selected giveaway winners!
**************
"Gibbie Snacks" ~ Lillian M.
"Apple Crisp Stix" ~ Molly P.
"Paw-Nut Butters" ~ Jeanette D.
**************
Please Email us your "doghouse" addy so we can send you your treats & awareness bracelet. We'd love pics of your furbaby with their prizes to share, too! Congrats!

housewoofdogbiscuits.com
Also as part of our “The Sibe Vibe” special 2nd Anniversary show, and in conjunction with Holistic Pet Day, we are featuring a special “Get Your Dog Healthy With Natural Treats” Giveaway sponsored by House Woof Natural Dog Treats located in Vermont.  You can check out their online store and the history of their naturally Vermont-baked treats HERE.


Three lucky listeners will each receive one bag of either their “Vermont Apple Crisp Stix,” “Pawnut-Butters,” or “Gibbie Snacks” formulated for the Canine Epileptic and named after my very own Epi-Husky Gibson of the FiveSibes. 
As an added treat, I will be including a purple “Live Gib Strong” K-9 Epilepsy Awareness bracelet to each prize. 

***To be eligible to enter the random Giveaway, just follow the Rafflecopter directions below, which will end at 12 AM on August 26th. Just listen for the answer to the Rafflecopter's mandatory question on today's "The Sibe Vibe" episode that you can comment either on this blog post OR on our pinned post on our FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook page! So be sure to listen in carefully! Good luck, enjoy the show, and thanks for joining us for this amazing milestone celebration!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 23, 2014

FiveSibes Family TV Time!


Wooo! We love Saturday nights! Family TV time! We are huge Western fans (Hu-Mom is a former Western equestrian and daughter of a cowboy who broke in wild mules in Montana!) 


We love the "Hell on Wheels" TV series on AMC.  Smart writing. Great storyline. Awesome scenery. Fine acting. A super fast hour of TV.


Now...Harley wants to know..."Where's the snacks?"



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Our Second Anniversary of "The Sibe Vibe" Radio Show! We're Talking Holistic Pet Care and a Healthy Treat Giveaway to Celebrate!


Woooooooo! We are so excited here at the FiveSibes homestead! This Sunday marks the second Anniversary of our "The Sibe Vibe" show on Dog Works Radio! It's been an incredible two years filled with amazing guests and lots of Siberian Husky and canine chat! 


To celebrate, we'll be chatting with guest MARTA BANAT, a Small Animal Massage and Reiki Practitioner, Founder of All Paws Massage in Vancouver, British Columbia, and mom to beautiful Epi-Husky "Rocco!"  Marta started her journey with holistic approaches to pet care after her Rocco was diagnosed with Epilepsy. She will be talking to us all about the benefits of holistic massage and Reiki treatments for a variety of canine issues. A don't-miss show for sure!


 
House Woof Treat Prizes

 We will also be celebrating with a "Get Your Dog Healthy With  Natural Treats" GIVEAWAY, compliments of those fabulously (p)awesome bakers at House Woof Dog Biscuits! Not one, not two, but THREE  (3) lucky listeners will each receive one bag of either "Gibbie Snacks," "Vermont Apple Crisp Stix" or "Paw-Nut Butters," baked by House Woof in Vermont, and a "Live Gib Strong" K9 Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet from us here at FiveSibes. So please be sure to join us for our special anniversary show for an hour of great conversation, important information, and listen in to how you can enter to win our fabulous Anniversary Giveaway! 
"Live Gib Strong" K9 Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet Prize


Tune in to find out how to win our Giveaway (which you can enter from the time the show airs until 12 AM on August 26th) and to listen to a great show on SUNDAY, AUGUST 24TH at 1 PM EST by following this link:  


 If you miss the show live, we will be posting the permalink a little later on so you can catch the recorded version, but in order to be eligible to win the treats, you'll have to listen ifor the hint on how to enter the giveaway that will be open just until 12 AM on August 26! So mark your calendars...and join us for an hour of fabulous talk all about holistic pet care and how massage and Reiki can help your pet, as well details on how you can have a chance to win a bag of House Woof healthy dog treats! 

Wooo! Talk to you all on Sunday on our second anniversary episode of "The Sibe Vibe!"