Come Visit Our Facebook Page!

Author & FiveSibesMom Dorothy Wills-Raftery is "Best Author" of the Hudson Valley!

Author & FiveSibesMom Dorothy Wills-Raftery is "Best Author" of the Hudson Valley!
'THANK YOU FOR ENJOYING MY BOOKS & ARTICLES!"

Please Scroll Down for Blog Posts


Books Written by FiveSibesMom

Buy Books Here!

This Site (Articles, Photos & Videos) is Copyright Protected. Permission to Reprint Required.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Scanner

FiveSibes Star in Singer Nancy Simmonds' Music Video!

#FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong #LiveGibStrongForever

Scroll Down for Current Blog Posts!


Tune in to our "The Sibe Vibe" Radio Show!

Tune in to our "The Sibe Vibe" Radio Show!
Missed an episode? Catch up online or on iTunes!

All Blog Posts, Photos & Videos Are:

Protected by Copyscape DMCA Takedown Notice Violation Search

Feel free to SHARE our blog link.

Shop PetSmart with FiveSibes!

PetSmart

Like our blog?

Like our blog?
Please Vote for Us! Thank You!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year & Happy Birthday, furangel Gibson! It's been a few weeks since I've last posted and what a roller coaster of a ride it has been. Some of it pretty wonderful, and some tragically sad, which led to my blogging absence during the holiday season. It seems along with our return, the new year, and in keeping with the theme of  "Auld Lang Syne," it is very appropriate that we return today on a Flashback Friday and on what would have been Gibson's 11th Birthday, with a recap of our holiday, and a tribute to family members no longer with us.


With Gibson always in our thoughts, the rest of the FiveSibes patiently awaited Santa Paws' arrival on Christmas! They also have been adjusting to having a newborn baby in the house (see my 4Knines article on "How to Prepare Your Dogs for a Newborn Baby")! It has been a fun and exciting time for all here.




I have been so in love with my new grandson, Cody, enjoying spending time together, and celebrating his first holiday season! What a special time of year, and even more so with a precious, beautiful little baby boy! He is such a joy and we are so blessed to have him!



Then the roller coaster spun out of control when, tragically, on December 21st, my nephew, Matthew, passed away suddenly at the young age of 33. He had just moved back to our area and he had arranged with my daughter to come over to meet his new little baby cousin and have dinner with us, when we received the horrible call that while he had been out looking for his missing dog, he suddenly passed away. To say the world suddenly spun off its axis is a total understatement. As the holiday season was in full glory all around us, this handsome, young man was with us no more. No more smiles, no more laughs, no more holidays for him. With his sister and friends coming in from out of town and Christmas in four days, he would not be laid to rest until after the holiday. So while we were enjoying the high of having our beautiful new grandson here for Christmas, we also hit the low of losing Matthew. His services were held after Christmas, and we all tried to hold on to that infectious smile of his, knowing he would not be happy that we were all sad. He would be so happy to know his dog was found at the shelter and is now living forever with his father and family. Matthew would want us to remember how he embraced life, and always smile brightly when we think of him.

Then it was New Year's and time to once again celebrate and enjoy Cody's first New Year with us and spend time with family who had traveled from out of town to ring in the new year with us. 



We did celebrate in the blessing of this new beautiful baby in our family, as well as being together. New Year's Day was a double-treat as it also marked Cody's one-month Birthday! We celebrated with my making my Mom's recipe for her traditional New Year's Day dinner of Sauerbrauten and potato balls, which helped keep her near and share in the memories of holidays past.


Throughout the season, our missing loved ones were never far from our thoughts...dear Matthew this year, and my beloved mother and Gibson last year at this time. It has indeed been an emotional roller coaster ride for over a year now, especially the tail end of 2015 and 2016, and the beginning of 2017. It is taking a little bit, both emotionally and mentally, to get back in the groove, but I know it is a process and it will happen all in its own time. Always remember to enjoy life's small moments, for they do indeed become cherished memories. 


Since we missed celebrating the holidays here on our blog, I'd like to wish a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all our readers. May 2017 be a healthy, prosperous, and very Happy New Year for all of us and our families.


And since it is Gibson's birthday and Flashback Friday, we are kicking off the new year with this special video of Gibson from 2 years ago, on what was his 9th birthday! Oh, what fun times we had and how the ice cream cake was the highlight of his day! Happy Birthday my sweet boy. Hope you are having a fun day filled with snow zoomies and lots of friends, North of the Rainbow Bridge. Miss you for always.


    



 The FiveSibes celebrating Gibson's 9th Birthday on January 6, 2015
 
Let us never forget family and friends who are gone, and all the times gone by..

"For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne."
~Robert Burns




 
Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-host, 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!
 




Friday, December 16, 2016

Dear Gibson, A Letter From Hu-Mom, With Love



Dear Gibson, 
A year ago today, you physically left me and your #FiveSibes family to become a furangel. God must have needed a very special Husky because he called you north of the Rainbow Bridge, my sweet Gibson. I love you and miss you every single moment...you are forever in my heart and with your spirit walking by my side, we will continue inspiring others to love an #Epidog, and to help all dogs in need. Enjoy the forever snow, my sweet Gibbie. 
~Love you for always, 
Hu-Mom  


This is a very special Flashback Friday as it is also the first anniversary of  my dear, sweet, fluffy boy Gibson’s journey to north of The Rainbow Bridge. It’s so surreal to me that a whole year has passed and my boy is no longer physically here by my side. Gibson was my heart dog. My fluffy buddy boy. My spirit guide. My Epi-dog champion. My inspiration. He has truly left a huge polar bear pawprint of his on my heart for eternity.


I wanted to do a memorial video about him…but, honestly, my heart isn’t ready yet. It still hurts very deeply to not have him here. His deep, soulful eyes, his understanding everything I ever said to him, asked of him. We had such a connection. While I do share photos of him and memories and have continued our advocacy for awareness for dogs with Canine Epilepsy, to go through his lifetime of photos from when he first came home with me at four months up until his passing shortly before Christmas last year, just 21 days before his 10th birthday is still just too painful. I will—one day…



But in the mean time, because of how much he inspired others with his journey with Canine Epilepsy, instead, today I’m celebrating his life and my thankfulness for having the honor of being his hu-mom.  While he was a special needs dog, he was such a special dog to me.



In his name, our #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness
campaign is still going strong, bringing information, education, and hope to others who  share their lives with Epi-dogs. In honor of Gibson's life, I've been thrilled to be working with artist Camero Anderson on a very special project in his name to hopefully help others with Epi-dogs that I am very excited to be unveiling soon! So stay tuned!

I’m so thankful to all the publishers, media, fellow bloggers, family, and friends who continue to share our story and help inspire someone to care for an Epi-dog, give an Epi-dog a home, and to not fear a dog who has seizures. It is my hope that one day there will be a cure for epilepsy, and that all Epi-dogs may #LiveGibStrong.

Instead of a memorial video, I'd like to remember Gibson doing what he did best...loving life!

He could always be found alongside his true love, Harley.

 
A week before he earned his silver harness, Gibson had been feeling the best he had in quite a while. He had injured his already weak hind end (a side effect of the epilepsy medications) when he slipped the year before on ice hidden under snow. We had been slowly rehabbing all year and documented his healing. This video I had created and my heart still fills with such pride and happiness to see him running once again. There was no stopping this incredible boy!




And, wow, could that boy dance! 



He did a stint in politics (and had a great platform)!


 Oh, and how he loved his Gibbie Snacks, named after him and formulated for the Epi-dog by House Woof!



And bravely face and fought all the challenges that came his way in true, inspirational Gibbie form!




And today...Gibson sent me a gift...a sign he is indeed right by my side...today, while feeding the other FiveSibes their breakfast, he once again appeared in rays of rainbow light! This happened one other time, on his 10th birthday, the first one after he made his final journey north just 21 days earlier. I quickly snapped this photo, as the rainbows appeared right where his little bro, Wolf, was standing! My Gibbie, my special heart dog, showing we will be connected for always.

Many thanks to my very sweet and thoughtful daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson for this very beautiful and thoughtful bouquet in honor of my sweet, fluffy Gibson.



The Flashback Friday Blog Hop is brought to you by us - the FiveSibes!  We welcome our co-host Love is being Owned by a Husky! We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each Friday! 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.  Come join us! We'd love to see your pets' Flashback pics! Just grab our badge below:


 


We are also joining in the Pet Parade, hosted by Rascal & Rocco, Bionic Basil,, Owned by a Husky, and Barking from the Bayou! Be sure to visit them and their hoppers! 

 





















Friday, December 9, 2016

Fond Memories of Christmas Past on a #FiveSibes Flashback Friday!


Christmastime has always been a favorite, special, and fun time of year for my family; from my childhood home to the present. The FiveSibes have always added so much happiness and laughter to our lives, and they have enjoyed Christmas just as much as we have! I am so thankful for all the memories. In this video from Christmas 2013, my boys Gibson and Wolf kept me company while wrapping presents under the tree. And, as you can see, Wolf the forever sleepyhead was busy snoozing while big brother Gibson was my silly Elf, "helping" me wrap!  They always pick up on the excitement as THE day draws near...enjoying the decorating, getting and sending cards, and eating doggie treats while we baked. And to this day, laying under the tree and gazing at the twinkling lights is still a favorite past time of theirs...and one I love to watch as it reminds of all the love, peace, warmth, and joy this season is really about.



"We'll cherish those moments 
for the rest of our lives." 
~Pam Beery





The Flashback Friday Blog Hop is brought to you by us - the FiveSibes!  We welcome our co-host Love is being Owned by a Husky! We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each Friday! 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.  Come join us! We'd love to see your pets' Flashback pics! Just grab our badge below:
 










We are also joining in the Pet Parade, hosted by Rascal & Rocco, Bionic Basil,, Owned by a Husky, and Barking from the Bayou! Be sure to visit them and their hoppers!






Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thanking a Friend on a Wordless Wednesday


I was so moved by the thoughtfulness of fellow BlogPaws member and blogger Bryn Nowell of A Dog Walks Into A Bar  for contacting me over the summer asking to create something special in memory of my sweet Gibson, who will be celebrating his first anniversary North of the Rainbow Bridge on December 16th  After sending her one of my favorite portraits of Gibson I had taken, Bryn surprised me with this beautiful painted replica on canvas. I just love it so. Many woos of appreciation and heartfelt thanks go out to this wonderful gal who really brightened up my days! Pictured here with the portrait of Gibson are his younger brother Wolf and the love of Gib's life, his girl Harley. 
Oh, how I miss my sweet boy, not only during the holiday season, but every single day of the year. He will always, always remain with me in spirit, walking by my side in our continued advocacy for Epi-dogs and Canine Epilepsy Awareness. #LiveGibStrongForever

Thank you, Bryn. You certainly touched my heart. 

 💙




Friday, December 2, 2016

Wrapping Up K9 Epilepsy Awareness Month With Feature Article in Fidose of Reality ~and~ Special Book Giveaway!


Happy Flashback Friday! And what a Friday it is! First, we've been away this week as my daughter went into the hospital on Tuesday to be induced, and yesterday gave birth to a happy, healthy boy -  my first grandchild, and the FiveSibes hu-brother!


November was Epilepsy Awareness Month, and although it's now in our rear view mirror, and the holidays are fast approaching, let's always keep awareness for dogs with seizures going! I'd like to give a big "Thank You" to Carol Bryant for taking the time to interview me and discuss Canine Epilepsy that is highlighted in this fantastic article on her website Fidose of Reality. Please take the time to read this important piece and share with everyone you know and in your groups to help spread the word that with a little special care and lots of love, dogs with Canine Epilepsy can, and DO, live happy full lives.

As part of my #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, and in honor of my furangel Gibson, there is a special  *Giveaway* set of my EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories of Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life with Canine Epilepsy ($49.95 value) ~AND~ a #LiveGibStrong Awareness Bracelet to one lucky USA winner! Please visit Fidose of Reality's website HERE to read the article and enter the giveaway! You may enter until December 16, the one-year anniversary of my sweet boy's crossing over to The Rainbow Bridge.

And...since it's Flashback Friday, here's  my beautiful, silly, inspirational wooly Epi-boy, Gibson, from two Christmases ago posing with the book he inspired when it came fresh off the printing presses! And below, doing what he loved to do best ~ living life!




  
The Flashback Friday Blog Hop is brought to you by us - the FiveSibes!  We welcome our co-host Love is being Owned by a Husky! We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each Friday! 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.  Come join us! We'd love to see your pets' Flashback pics! Just grab our badge below:
 


We are also joining in the Pet Parade, hosted by Rascal & Rocco, Bionic Basil,, Owned by a Husky, and Barking from the Bayou! Be sure to visit them and their hoppers!



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! A Day of Gratitude & Reflection, Family & Friends, Fun & Food!



Thanksgiving Day with the FiveSibes...



 Watching the parade...
"Woo! Will we see Santa Paws?!"


Helping Mom in the kitchen...
"Well someone has to lick up the crumbs!"
 

Dessert Tasting... 

Woo, is that turkey cookie for US???!!!
(Thanks, Sassy's Goodies!)


 Still waiting on baby hu-brother...


A little Nanny-to-be retail therapy while waiting led to these adorable Husky baby outfits!

Six days past due date! What will come first, the baby or the turkey?!




Guess Mr. Turkey won!
(for today)



Of Thanksgiving past: Harley, Chloe & Gibson eyeing the stuffing!
 


Badge by Ann of Zoolatry
Today I am remembering my dear Mom and my sweet furangel Gibson, who I am so thankful I had in my life. Gibson will always hold a very special place in my heart. I sorely miss his presence every single day with his larger-than-life personality, his deep soulfulness, his loving connection to me, and his flare for the comedic. Above is one of my favorite photos from a Thanksgiving several years back when I placed the platter of stuffing on the window sill to cool off. This is the first Thanksgiving he is at the Rainbow Bridge, and may he and my Mom be together and know how much they are forever loved and missed.





I'm so very thankful for so many things. For my family, whom I love dearly. My husband, whose love I can count on and he is always there for me and our family. For my daughter, my very best friend and constant support and confidante. For my first grandson she is carrying, who is due any time now. For my son-in-law for his caring and humor. For my now angel mother, my biggest cheerleader who was so supportive and loving throughout my entire life. My wonderful FiveSibes: Harley, furangel Gibson, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit, who fill our lives with joy and companionship. For our sweet adopted feral kitty Binx. For good health. For the gift of writing. For a creative eye in which to view the beauty of the world in which we live. For having wonderful friends. As many of you know last year was an especially tough year for me, devastating really. I lost my beloved mother on November 15th, then my wooly boy, Gibson, a month later on December 16th. When Gibson suddenly fell ill, Ann of Zoolatry created a special badge as a pawcircle of prayer for him, and when he passed, yet another badge (above) to honor my sweet boy. I still do not even know how she knew, but she's an angel. How do I say "thank  you" to each and every one of you amazing friends in this wonderful placed called Blogville for all the caring thoughts, prayers, comments, and notes you sent to me during and after Gibson earned his wings? I'm still reading them...and they have touched my heart forever so. Thank you, thank you, dear Blogville friends! Wishing you all many blessings and much happiness in the year ahead.


We hope you all had a very wonderful Thanksgiving!



“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” 
~ Harold Kushner



I'm taking Friday off to be with family, so please enjoy our Thanksgiving Day wrap-up post here featuring my Flashback Friday Thanksgiving photo of Harley, Chloe, and Gibson above! And if you are doing some Black Friday holiday shopping, be sure to read my #ShopSmall Saturday post HERE to support small businesses, and see the specials on my books for the readers on your holiday gift list!

  
The Flashback Friday Blog Hop is brought to you by us - the FiveSibes!  We welcome our co-host Love is being Owned by a Husky! We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each Friday! 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.  Come join us! We'd love to see your pets' Flashback pics! Just grab our badge below:
 


 


We are also joining in Dory's Backyard "Thanks Blogville" Blog Hop!