Friday, May 28, 2010

Honoring Veterans and War Dogs

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it is time to take a moment to thank all of our veterans - past and present; here and gone; human and canine; for their great sacrifices. 

Since World War I, canines have played a large part in history. Known as "war dogs," these courageous canines, accompanied by their handlers, have bravely assisted our soldiers in so many ways; from tracking to bomb sniffing. For more interesting facts, videos, documentaries, stamp project information, and much more on the war dogs, visit the United States War Dog Association's website at Canines also played a large part in the 9/11 rescue operation. A wonderful tribute book, accompanied by some awesome photographs, of America's search and rescue dogs is Dog Heroes of September 11th. 

To our veterans and veteran war dogs, we say "Thank you!" for all you've done.

Pictured above ready to celebrate Memorial Day is "Wolf," our two-year-old white Siberian Husky pack member. From "Wolf" and all of us here at FiveSibes, both Husky and Hu-family members, we wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day.

For our Hu-Soldiers: “Saving their land that fettered lay and sad, Themselves in dust of darkness these men clad: Seeing the praise they won for valor high, For his dear land a man may dare to die." ~Unknown.

For our War Dogs: "To all war dogs and their handlers past, present, and future; your deeds and sacrifices will always be remembered. Fidele nos praeeo." ~U.S. War Dogs Association

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rub-a-dub-dub, two-Huskies-in-a-tub...part 3!

So, we are finally done with spring grooming...all FiveSibes have now been blown, de-shedded (partially), shampooed, brushed, trimmed, and made beautiful! Our groomer came to the house and made a "spa day" for Chloe and Harley (only someone forgot to tell them "spa day" is a good thing. They weren't too happy getting bathed and brushed). Of course, with the temps soaring well up into the humid 90's, all they wanted to do is climb into their dirty mud holes, go swimming, and then climb back into their dirty mud holes. However, I have foiled their plan as they've been inside in the A/C for about two days straight, and tomorrow will be the same. So, I am still happily basking in the glory of having five clean, sweet-smelling, fluffy least for a few days! 

While the groomer was busy blowing out their coats, the air swirled with "snow," a/k/a flying, floating Sibe fur! We gathered up as much as we could and are saving it until the Sibes finish shedding for the summer. Then, we will package it up and send on down to help in our small way to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf. Are your Sibes shedding yet?

Even though I am glad my Sibes are clean, that does not say much for the house. Since it's too hot and humid for them to be outside playing and running and doing all things Husky, they have pulled out every toy they own and rather ambitiously mauled them all. I have stuffed animal guts sprawled from one end of the house to the other. Here Bandit sits amongst "HER" stolen goods. It's pretty safe to say that the Sibes fought the toys, and the toys lost! Until next time...stay cool!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rub-a-dub-dub, two-Huskies-in-the-tub!

Our wonderful groomer came to the house yesterday to beautify two more of the FiveSibes. What a great job he did, as usual! My baby boy finally looks like his moniker - White Wolf - now he truly is white! However, he did not really like being in the tub...alot of scuttling sounded from there as he tried to make his escape! But alas, in the end, he realized all the fuss was just adding to his handsomeness, and ever since he and his sister Bandit were shampooed, groomed, and de-shedded, they have been strutting around knowing full-well just how beautiful they look! Now, it just can't rain or my white baby and his trusty mud-puddle lovin' sidekick sister will be Muddy Monsters once again!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Made in the Shade at "Husky Beach"

When we (Hu-family members) hear the word "beach," what pops into mind are visions of warm white sands glistening in the sunlight reaching into deep sparkling, turquoise blue waters all surrounded by palm trees dancing in the gently blowing breeze. And maybe there is even a tropical fruity drink waiting for us.  :-)  For our Sibes, "beach" conjures up a much different scene. Sure, there may be some tree leaves blowing in a breeze, and sure, there may be a body of water to cool off in (i.e. kiddie pool or pond or sprinkler), but no there is no warm sand for the Sibes. Our Sibes' version of "Husky Beach" - as pictured here - consists of Sibe-made deeply dug holes that contain cool damp dirt that can fit a body in - well, five bodies at our homestead! While I'm sure their idea of a nice tropical drink is nothing more than fresh cold water (with some crushed ice, please), they are quite content to spend their time shade-bathing under the giant Maple that protects their precious holes. So, go call your Sibe baby, and let's hit the Husky Beach (just bring along a towel to wipe off the dirt)! Oh, and sunscreen is not needed here!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring is Pet Awareness Time

Happy Mother's Day to all the fine Moms out there, both Hu- and Sibe Moms alike. Hope today was a fun, relaxing day for all!

Spring is a busy time for pets and pet parents. May is not only Pet Cancer Awareness Month, but the first week of May also recognizes National Pet Awareness. As part of being a Sibe (or any pet) parent, it is our responsibility to have fun, but to also be in tune with them as a parent; to know when they are feeling good and are healthy, as well as being able to detect from their actions when there may be something wrong. Sometimes the latter is easy, sometimes not so much. The key is awareness, and knowing our Sibes and their dispositions and body language. My personal opinion is if something does not seem right with your Sibes, don't wait. Naturally, it can be costly to run to the vet for every small thing, but it is our responsibility - the same as with our own Hu-children - to know when it is time to seek professional help. Keep them under a watchful eye, give a full body check for ticks, lumps, bumps, bites, bruises, cuts, etc. Don't forget to check the eyes, personal areas, paws, and be sure not to overlook ears, teeth, and gums. Are they lethargic? Grumpy? Snarly? Scared? Were they eating any grasses, plants, trees, or mushrooms? Were there any critters in the yard? Is there any change in appetite? 

While there are many great websites to peruse for symptoms and causes, it can sometimes be overwhelming and daunting. Instinct is usually the best detector. No one knows our pets better than we do. If you feel something is not right, give your vet a call. In some cases, time is critical. This time of year, in the warmer regions, there are many additional things to worry about ranging from bees to snakes to overheating. If the region you live in is hot, be sure to use judgment on when and where to exercise your Sibe. For example, first thing in the AM when it's cool before the sun is up and warm, or later in the evening, when it the air has cooled down. When walking (or jogging), definitely don't stroll near rock walls and overgrown fields where snakes, bees, and other nasties may live. And always, always keep lots of fresh, cool water available. 

With reference to bees, some of our Sibes' favorite past times include chasing the darned buzzing bugs and catching them in their mouths. Ouch! One time in particular, our alpha queen Harley was just a pup when she was busy having fun romping around the yard, when suddenly she began yelping, running in circles, and then finally just sat down, whimpering. Her ears were tipping and she looked...strange. Rushing over to her, my daughter noticed that a swarm of yellow jacket bees were around her...and I do mean a swarm. To make matters worse, she had plopped her little butt down right on top of an in-ground hive. I ran to grab a towel and tossed it to my daughter to wrap around the pup as she grabbed her and ran as fast as I think I've ever seen her run...and yes, there were some very angry bees in tow. Once safely inside, we had to pick live bees out of her undercoat and kill them as quickly as possible. Her eyes swelled shut, her face blew up, and her butt was extremely sore. We were en route to the emergency vet hospital before you could say, "damn bees." Although we were fortunate that she had no serious allergic reaction, the poor baby was so swollen and scared. After a shot of Benadryl and some ice packs, we were sent back on our way and our pup quickly mended. Needless to say, Benadryl is a staple in our house ever since that frightening day five years ago!

While the warmer climate brings out such hidden dangers, it is also a very fun time of year when Sibes can enjoy swimming, romping through sprinklers, attending or competing in dog shows, frolicking in dog parks, feeling the wind in their faces during car rides, and going boating and enjoying ice cream with the Hu-family. The key to fun and safety is to be alert and aware of our pets' surroundings. When off your own property, keep your Sibe on a leash and be sure he/she has up-to-date ID tags on. I typically take a "pet bag" (similar to a baby's diaper bag!) along with me on trips. It contains things such as pet meds, Benadryl, bandages, some Bag Balm (great for rashes, cuts, etc.), antiseptic, kibble, treats, rawhides, toys, water, a collapsible dish, towel, a cooler bed or scarf, and any emergency info, including that of the local vet and emergency clinic. If in a moving vehicle, we use safety belts attached to our pets' collars, but crates are also good to keep our pets safe in case of an accident. 

That's it for now, so let's be alert and aware, and go out and have some great outdoor fun with our furry "kids!" Happy Spring!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let's Help Out! Shedding Pets Can Aid in the Clean-Up of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

I just read this interesting tweet from a contact on Facebook and learned that our pet's fur can be put to good use in helping to clean up the Gulf of Mexico's oil spill. Most Sibes are starting to (if not already in the middle of) blowing their winter coats, and we all know how much fur that is! Most times their shedding fur makes it look as though it is snowing in the middle of warm weather. Let's band together and put that disgarded fur to an excellent use. Click on the link below and it will direct you to how your pet's shedding fur can help out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dog Days of...Spring???

Well, it's not quite the "dog days of summer," which, if you have a Sibe in your family, summer is not really the season of dog days, winter is...but, anyhow, here on the East Coast it's been pretty warm, reaching 90 during the day, and only dropping down to 60 at night. We didn't really have a true spring yet, so the temps do this drastic one-day-it's-40, the-next-it's-90 kind of jump. No gradual temps here. While the warmer weather is nice for the Hu-family, it is always a challenge to keep our Sibe kids cool. Of course for our big wooly Sibe boy, Gibson, we keep an extra eye on him so he doesn't overheat and have a seizure (he is the epileptic and runs way warmer than the other four clocking in at 113 pounds!). He gets one of the cool waterbeds in his kennel; the rest will as we get closer to summer, but since he runs really warm, he gets his a little earlier. His routine includes checking out all the rooms to see if it's cooler on the floor under the fan in the living room, on the floor under the fan in the kitchen, but then usually makes his way down to the much cooler Husky bedroom in the downstairs family room. There he takes a very long nap on his cooler bed in his crate, under a fan! The crate door is left open so he comes and goes as he pleases - usually it pleases him to just stay there until it's absolutely necessary for him to get up and go out!

So for cooling aids for winter-loving Sibes, there are some great cooler beds out there; there are also fans, a/c (yes, ours have their very own a/c in their very own bedroom!), and most recently, out came their pool. Only a few inches of water actually got in before they were in it, splashing, running through the yard, digging in the dirt, then back into the pool. The pups even have their own version of "tag" that includes slip-sliding into and out of the pool, around the yard, and back. The pool is kept out on "their" deck (which just had a roof put on to give them more shade - I kid you not!) and throughout the day they come and go and play and splash and sometimes just stand in it to cool off their paw pads.

Another good "cooling" tip is to keep crushed ice in their fresh water throughout the day. They love chomping on the bits of ice and it helps keep the water cooler longer. 

Does anyone else have any good tips for their Sibes to beat the heat? I'd love to hear them. Until next time, stay happy, healthy, and cool!