Friday, June 15, 2018

K9 Epilepsy FUNdraiser Card Drive & Giveaway!

Our Harley, Chloe, Wolf, and Bandit have their card and donation all ready for Olivia!

Woo! It's party time! Fellow Epi-dog, Olivia Barnaby's 8th Barkday is coming up on June 21st, and to celebrate, Olivia and her hu-mom, Jeanaann are celebrating by hosting a Barkday Card Drive to benefit The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy!!! Send a card with just one dollar (less than a cup of coffee) and you could be changing the life of an Epi-dog somewhere in the world!

Pssst...a little birdie told me that Olivia's Barkday is also Jeanaann's birthday, so double the birthday wishes are being 
sent out to the Barnaby household!

Photo Courtesy of Jeanaann Barnaby~KnottyToysforGoodDogs

As you know, Canine Epilepsy is a cause near and dear to our hearts as my now furangel Gibson was an Epi-dog, just like Olivia! As a matter of fact, thanks to Gibson and Olivia, that is how Jeanaann and I met many years ago. Olivia is also one of the Epi-stars in my book, EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy! It was while I was interviewing Epi-dog families and writing the book, that I "met" Olivia and Jeanaann. I always say I thank my Gibson for bringing me together with so many amazing people and their equally amazing Epi-dogs, like Olivia! 

To hear the stories of how these dogs embrace life, even with seizures, is a true testament to the pure joy of a dog and how they enjoy life to the fullest! Now there are some important lessons in there for us mere humans! I know I sure learned so much from my furangel Gibson, and I am still passionate about, and dedicated to, advocating for these phenomenal dogs that once upon a time were overlooked, surrendered, or (gasp) euthanized. 

Today, I am so happy to hear of the stories of people now adopting dogs with seizures, and it is through education and support programs, such as #LiveGibStrong and #Paws4Purple, and fellow advocates such as Olivia and Jeanaann, and Rick Selwood and The Wally Foundation, that we will hear more and more stories of these Epi-dog survivors and champions. While yes, it is a worry; and yes, it is not always easy; and yes, there is a financial aspect with medications, tests, and vet visits, but the bond and joy you will share with your Epi-dog or any special needs dog is immeasurable. And I know right now there are many of you amazing pet parents out there nodding your heads in unison! Gibson was, and always will be, my heart dog. My spirit animal. My canine hero. 

Who is Olivia Barnaby?

The Barkday Girl - Olivia! Photo courtesy of Jeanaann Barnaby

So let's talk about our beautiful Barkday girl! Olivia, who will be turning 8 on June 21st, was adopted from a shelter by Jeanaann at nine months of age in 2011. Three months after, Olivia had her first seizure (and scared her hu-mom). She was diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy. Olivia is now on three anti-seizure medications, and while she deals with almost daily focal seizures and monthly grand mal seizures, Jeanaann says she is one happy girl! Together, they are fantastic advocates for dogs living with Canine Epilepsy, by sharing not only Olivia's story, but also important information as well as a series of E-books Jeanaann has written and are available through her blog site at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs.  The site also features Jeanaann's hemp chew toys for which she donates a portion of the sales to The Wally Foundation.

What is The Wally Foundation?

"Wally" Selwood
The Wally Foundation (TWF) is a non-profit organization that offers possible financial assistance for much needed anti-seizure medications to families, rescues, and fosters of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy. 
TWF namesake is "Wally", the founder and Executive Director, Rick Selwood's beloved Saint Bernard who had Epilepsy. Selwood says, "Our belief is that no human should have to choose between food on the table, and affording medication or treatments for their epileptic dog.We believe that no family should have to euthanize their beloved dog due to a lack of understanding of the disease, or a lack of resources." Rick says they “will also provide support and information on canine epilepsy, a database of specialists and treatment centers, and how and where to obtain the lowest possible priced medications.”

Party Time!

To participate in Olivia's 8th Barkday Card Drive, simply mail a ONE DOLLAR ($1) donation (or more if you like) in a card wishing Olivia a Happy Barkday! Send cards via snail mail to:

Olivia Barnaby
c/o Knotty Toys for Good Dogs
P.O. Box 125, Coe Hill, ON.
K0L 1P0, Canada

If you prefer to do it online, you can send your donation to Olivia's Card Drive via PayPal to and include 
some Happy Barkday wishes for Olivia. That's it! 
Now get those cards and donations ready to send!

Goodie Package Giveaway!

Oh, wait, silly us! There's more! I mean, what's a Barkday party without goodie bags, right? Hu-mom Jeanaann is on it! For every card with a donation (snail mail or digital donation), that person's name will go into a random drawing for a pretty (p)awesome "Goodie Bag!" So what are all the goodies? Check it out here:

Stay Tuned...

On Sunday, June 17th, a special episode of "The Sibe Vibe" on Dog Works Radio aired! Tune in to hear me chat with Jeanaann all about Olivia's Barkday Card Drive Fundraiser HERE

Since it's our FiveSibes Flashback Friday Blog Hop, it's just so fitting that today's photos from Memory Lane are of my beloved Gibson, who I made this journey on the path of Canine Epilepsy with, and who I would do it with all over again. And Gibbie, well, he never met a party or ice cream cake he didn't like! And how they all love to eat their cakes together! Love you for always, my sweet G-man.

Join us each week for a fun and memorable stroll down Memory Lane in our FiveSibes Flashback Friday Blog Hop! The list is open all week, so if you are busy on Friday, you can come back and still link up! Be sure to visit the "hoppers" blogs, too, for some great fun and photos. What a wonderful way to remember those younger days--whether it is a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, or decades ago! Show us your pet's pics and come hop along!

Click here to...

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Memories of Yesteryear: Happy Huskies Feeling Carefree on a FiveSibes Flashback Friday

Woo is right! So happy it is Friday! We apologize for our brief absence as this past week was indeed an emotionally heavy one of sorting through stored boxes of my mother's and my husband's father's things, both of whom passed away recently - my mom two years ago and my father-in-law just this past October (and today would have been his 90th birthday). For me, it was impossible to go through my mother's things before now. She was my first and lifelong best friend, an amazing mother and grandmother to my daughter, my confidante, my support system, my cheerleader, and my therapist. Accepting she is physically gone, has been, well, too painful. Now, however, it is starting to become a familiar warm feeling to see her handwriting, and even that of my father (who has been passed 44 years now) on cards, letters, and photos that were saved amongst her personal items. I let the familiar scripts and memories of my younger days wash over me, and instead of feeling the pain of loss, I tried to focus on all the amazing and happy memories that made up my early childhood. Many of which in my early years consisted of visiting the seashore every weekend over the summer during school break with my mother, maternal grandmother, cousins, and aunt. Looking at the old photos does not sadden me now, but rather fills me with a warm contentment--to know that I was fortunate enough to have those wonderful, loving times. Now, trying not to be sad, well, that is not an easy task. However, trying hard to shift out of sadness, I am left with feeling a bit closer to my family I have now lost to time, and try to embrace all of it into my present and future. But boy, I sure do miss those carefree days of childhood when loss was only something we related to missing toys. 

That innocence of youth...the same as my fun and carefree FiveSibes Flashback Friday photos to many years ago, when my Huskies ran wildly and carefree to their heart's content on the big side of our yard. I can remember so clearly opening our deck gate and the Fab Five all charging down the stairs in a single file, hitting the grass at a full run, as they dispersed across the yard, hopping over each other and running with the wind in their fur--always together--one pack of Huskies moving as a whole. As when I was a child and fondly recall those visits to the beach, I also remember a special visit with my boy, Wolf, to our local beach. I recall the thrill and nervousness of his careful dipping of his paws into the water for the first time and how he hesitated at the waves coming up on the shore, flowing cool water over his paws! 
Wolf's first visit to the beach.

All these carefree times were so beautiful to watch and equally beautiful to recall. I have to sigh as how the scene so quickly changes in the lifespan of a dog. Gibson has now moved on to the Rainbow Bridge. Our Harley is now our "golden" deaf alpha queen at age 13, and the "Pupsters" are newbie seniors at age 10. The wild carefree young days of running has now quieted down to periodic bursts of Husky play intertwined with spurts of energetic yard exploration, but mainly are now spent in hours of posing and snoozing on their deck beds. I just learned today that a friend's "pup" who was in the vet hospital at the same time as our Pupsters for spaying/neutering back when they all were truly puppies, has just passed from the same type of cancer that stole Gibson from us. We all paused to realize that the very short span of a beloved pet is a decade of our own lives. All we can do is embrace the moments that make up the memories, and enjoy each one as it happens, while hoping for many more to come.

The following is a poem I wrote many years ago that was a favorite of my grandmother's. I thought it was a perfect time to share an excerpt from it here for our memories of yesteryear are all about family, including our beloved pets. I hope you enjoy it!

"Memories of Yesteryear"
by Dorothy Wills-Raftery

"Memories of yesteryear
Come flooding back to me.
Of teddy bears and dancing dolls
And dreams of what to be.
Weekends spent on the boardwalk
At all of our favorite beaches,
Taking chances on all of those games
While enjoying fresh drinks and peaches...
Those were the days of carefree times
When we weren't afraid to have fun.
Now those days have long since passed
And our visits to the boardwalk are none.
But the joy and love will always be felt
In those memories we hold dear,
Because those were the times we spent together
In our days of yesteryear."

You're Invited!

Do you have some photos that "flashback" to an earlier time in your pet's life--from a day ago? A year ago? A decade ago? Decades ago? Maybe a photo from when you dog was a puppy, or you cat was adopted? Maybe your horse or bird or bunny captured on film in a precious moment for you? Then this is the Blog Hop to join! We are open for the week, so if you get busy, as we know life happens, you have all week to link up and share your photos and posts from Memory Lane! So, come join us in a fun and special way to end the week and kick off the weekend!

And join us!

We are also joining our blogger friends in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at: Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

Click Below to go...

Friday, May 25, 2018

A #MemorialDay Weekend #FlashbackFriday Visit Down Memory Lane

It's here! While Memorial Day Weekend unofficially kicks off the summer season here, it is also important to remember why we celebrate, as my flashback poster above featuring Wolf depicts.

Thank You, Heroes...

Remembering our K9 Heroes...

Honor Your Veteran, Share A Memory

Share a Remembrance | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS: Honor the fallen: Share your memories of a friend or loved one on the National Memorial Day Concert's Wall of Remembrance.

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”- ~James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

Thank you to all our veterans - male, female, and K9 - who gave the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to enjoy the freedoms we can enjoy.

This holiday weekend is also a time to get together with family and friends, gather for picnics and barbeques, open up swimming pools, and get yards into summer shape. This second flashback photo dates back over three years ago and is of my now furangel Gibson supervising the opening and readying of our pool! Ahh...I'm ready to go in, how about you?!

Please be sure to take extra care to keep beloved pets safe while enjoying some early summer fun. This third flashback photo is from several years ago of our Harley as a cover dog model for American Pet Magazine, along with some of our FiveSibes holiday safety tips:

Pin Me!

Light a candle for a fallen veteran, 
human and K9, 
say "thank you" to a living veteran, 
and have a safe and happy 
holiday weekend with your family!

Woo! It's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! What a great way to remember those early days, and a fun way to kick off the weekend! JOIN US! Maybe you even have a pic from Memorial Days past with your pets to share!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#FiveSibes Donned Red Noses to Help End Child Poverty

Our FiveSibes award-winning awareness poster from 2017.

In three years, Red Nose Day has "raised over $100 million and changed the lives of over 8 million children in American and around the world." 

Together, we can be the change for children in need by joining together to reach Red Nose Day's goal to "end child poverty--one nose at a time." Here, at FiveSibes, our Huskies are joining us humans in spreading the word and mission. We hope you will, too!

For more info on how you can help "End Child Poverty" by donating, fundraising, holding informative events, and to check out what the celebrities are doing to help, visit the official Red Nose Day website HERE. We hope our amazing pet-loving community joins together to help our human children to live with joy and love, and to one day never know what poverty is.

The Greatest Love of All

"I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier."
~Songwriters: Linda Creed / Michael Masser