Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Pet First Aid Month

Chloe with the contents of our First Aid "basket."
April has been quite the busy month! It is, among other notable events, National Pet First Aid Month. Even though today is the last day of April, it' never too late to think about pet First Aid and pet First Aid kits.

In October we discussed knowing CPR for your pet. If you haven't taken a class, this would be a great time to look into it. Check out the American Red Cross website for more information.

We have had a large First Aid "basket" for several years after Gibson had seizures. We also have a cool little white First Aid kit compliments of our furpals, Cooper & Lola, who had a drawing earlier in the year. We have them both stocked with an instant cold pack, paper towels, Rescue Remedy, pheromone calming spray, thermometer, a diary with notations of past seizures and medicine dosages, emergency vet, veterinarian hospital, and animal poison control numbers. During the spring and summer, we also keep an eye dropper and liquid Benadryl handy in case of bee stings and allergic reactions. (Always check for dosage amounts with your vet). Additional First Aid kit items should include bandages, tweezers (for splinter and tick removal), stethoscope, alcohol swabs, Chlorox wipes (to wipe down accidents) and a mini to-go kit for car trips and hiking. For a list of other items to have in your pet's First Aid Kit, check out the American Veterinary Medical Association's list. 

In the event of a natural disaster, do you have an escape plan for you and your pet? Check out the complete Pet & Disaster Safety Guide.

Other key things to remember every day as a precaution, is to have your pets microchipped, and have pet ID tags on their collars with a contact phone number and any medical alerts for the dog.

If you don't have an ice pack handy, a bag of frozen veggies will do, as Chloe models. Whatever you can get can help your pet in case of an emergency.

Here are a few videos from the American Red Cross talking about important pet First Aid Kit items and also some tips on somethings we need to keep an eye out for, especially during the hotter times of the year - dehydration and heat exhaustion. Even though the temps only were in the mid-80s here recently, the humidity was high and it did a quick jump from the 50s to the 80s in one day - a very drastic temperature change that can seriously affect dogs. Recently, my big wooly boy had a touch of heat exhaustion for two days, complete with vomiting and lethargy. He is doing well now, but not until after I stayed with him for a 24-hour watch, with him on a cooler bed in the A/C and my spritzing him with water all night (and placing some bags of frozen veggies under his neck). And it's not even summer yet and he wasn't exerting himself, and we have lots of shade and cool drinking water always available. So, beware of sudden temperature spikes where our pets don't have the chance to adjust to the difference in degrees.(Also, in the video, note what type of dog they have on display - a Sibe!)

Have a happy and safe weekend!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

What a glorious time of year - everything is fresh and growing; a time of rebirth and renewal. We here at the FiveSibes home wish you all a wonderful Easter Sunday.

It's been pretty exciting here as the Easter Husky came! And much to the Sibe kids' joy, left them colorful ice cream cone squeaky toys. They even had a fun little egg hunt where bits of homemade Pumpkin Pie Bone and Bunny biscuits I made for them were in with the colored eggs.


Things sure are hoppin' for the they are as the Easter Huskies performing a little holiday they would like to share with all of you! Feel free to howl and dance along!

Just as a reminder, some safety tips for us all to keep in mind while celebrating this holiday. After the baskets have been found and the egg hunt is over, while dinner is being prepared and guests are arriving, please keep an eye out for the following dangers:
  • Keep pets behind gates, doors, or in kennels as guest arrive & depart so pets don't pull a Houdini and escape
  • Easter plants and flowers, i.e. lillies
  • Easter basket grass (better yet, don't use it; use crumpled up tissue paper) 
  • Easter basket toys
  • Chocolate (and be careful where those chocolate eggs were hidden so none are left behind after the hunt)
  • Sugar-free candy, gum, cakes, etc. containing xylitol
  • Sugary desserts, candy, gum, cakes, and jellybeans
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty gravies and foods
  • Chicken bones and small meat bones
  • Onions and garlic
Also, put guests coats and purses in a room away from your pets in case visitors have something inside they could get at. And, if your pets are excitable, put them in a quiet room or in their kennel so the noise and visitors don't overwhelm them.

For some more fun pics, check out these pups as they donned Easter bonnets and their Sunday best dress for the annual Haute Dog Easter Parade in California (our fave is Goldilocks around 1:46!)

"That was fun, but we're pooped! Time for a nap!"

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today is the Worldwide Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of the Slain 100 Sled Dogs. Wear Red and Hug a Husky

Bandit is wearing red in memory of the 100 sled dogs.

Today is a day of remembrance for the 100 sled dogs that senselessly lost their lives. On this date, a peaceful worldwide Candlelight Walk will be taking place in 100 cities - one for each slain sled dog - across the globe in their memory.

Organized in Canada to honor those sled dogs on what is the anniversary date of their deaths, and to also bring awareness to animal cruelty in the hopes of joining the world together to bring forth change.

While out and about, dog owners are encouraged to attach a red ribbon to their dogs' collars in support of the memory of the Whistler 100 sled dogs, and to also help raise awareness of animal cruelty.

The Red Ribbon Campaign for the Whistler 100
is an awareness movement, that, according to their Facebook page, "... supports change in animal cruelty laws  everywhere. Based in British Columbia, Canada, where the recent animal welfare movement spurred by the April 2010 slaughter of 100 sled dogs has influenced members of government to step forward and initiate changes to the province's outdated and inadequate animal cruelty laws. Hoping that British Columbia's action will set the standard for animal welfare in the rest of Canada and ultimately, the world. The recent events in British Columbia prove that yes, people, we CAN make a difference if we bark and howl loud enough."
During the vigil in North Vancouver, Canada, red carnations will be placed into the water in memory of the sled dogs. If you can not attend one of the vigils, please take a moment to light a candle in memory of these 100 dogs: 

The young artist of this portrait sent this to the Vigil cause as a donation, and she was inspired to create it saying that she "imagined the spirit of the dogs overlooking the mountains."

As we light our candles, let us all join together to end animal cruelty. Together, we must get the word out that help is always within reach, if asked. Awareness is the key, and we are the educators. We are a worldwide network and help is just a keystroke, Email, or text away. And finally, if you see an act of animal cruelty, report it. The animals have trust, but they don't have a voice, so we must be worthy of that trust and become their voice.

Rest in peace and and may your spirits keep running free over the Rainbow Bridge, sweet Huskies.

Finest Companions
by Curtis Surovy
Adventuring up blue ice mountains
panting dogs conquer the frozen slope
where frigid air like thorns in the lungs doubles you.
With whistle signal sled travelers halt,
dismount and approach the humble beasts,
bare fingers course through frozen fur's sharp edges.
Their prideful stature spent, these finest companions
now compliant with loose tongues flapping, bellies grounded
blow out exhaustion with every breath
until standing again the hounds bark readiness
to descend, tails wagging. 

Footnote: As I discovered from our furpals the Cybersibes, today is also Hug a Husky Day. While everyday is one here, what better time than today to give an extra hug to our furbabies, one for each of the 100 slain sled dogs. I'm sure they all will feel them up in Heaven, where they are running free beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Earth Day: What's Your Dog's Carbon Pawprint?

Be good to the Earth, it's good to us!
Today as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, let's all help our planet by thinking "green" and reminding others to do the same. We have been thinking about our own carbon footprints for many years, but have you thought about your pet's? Here are some very simple things to do (in no particular order) to help our dog's "think green," by helping to maintain and reduce their carbon "pawprints":
  • Recycle pet food containers instead of throwing them in with the trash.
  • Use chemical-free household cleaners (we should be anyway for the safety of our pet)
  • Use biodegradeable "doggy-do" bags
  • Recycle old dog beds and blankets. Stich 'em up, give 'em a wash, and donate to shelters.
  • Walk your dog whenever possible instead going by car 
  • Use recycle shopping bags when going grocery shopping for your pet supplies and food

    "Today, on Earth Day, celebrate the earth and also celebrate 
    our dogs and our cats who keep us linked with that special energy that is so creative, so supportive, so nurturing and so aesthetic!" -- Dr. Deva Khalsa 

    So, now I'm turning off my cell phone and closing my laptop for awhile and heading outside for some down-to-earth fun with my Sibe kids. 

    Have a Happy Earth Day!

    "We Sibes really dig the Earth!"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Sunny Stroll with a Best Friend on Shadow Shot Sunday

Your Best Friend

by Senator George Vest

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is the dog.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world.
He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey thru the heavens."


Friday, April 15, 2011

National Pet Month's Be the Change: Bringing Awareness to Prevention of Animal Cruelty

Please treat all animals humanely!
April is a busy month in the animal kingdom! While we are celebrating National Pet Month (isn’t every month Pet Month?) it also goes hand-in-hand with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. With so many horrific stories of animal abuse that have been making the headlines lately, I thought today—Blog the Change Day—would be a good time to talk about good pet care and cruelty awareness. While the fact these atrocities are being brought to light, it’s just a sin that they are occurring at all.  

By now, most of us have heard about the story of Patrick, the miracle dog, who was starved to near death and then tossed out with the trash; the story of a so-called animal “activist” who was caught on film beating a dog with a club for allegedly digging holes and also dragged the poor dog around by a paw; the cat who was set on fire while alive; the 100 sled dogs who were “culled,”allegedly due to financial difficulties; the ex-race horses who were being starved due to financial setbacks; the K-9 police dog who was brutally stabbed in the line of duty, and the sad stories just continue on and on, each one more heartbreaking than the other. But what can we do about it? How can we initiate global change?

While we can’t all help every pet in need, what we all can do—as caring human beings—is be aware. If you see an animal in a dangerous situation or being abused, report it. Tell someone. If you can’t speak to the person inflicting the abuse, then report it to someone in an authoritative position who can help both the animal in distress as well as the owner: An animal control officer. A rescue agency. The local humane society. A policeman. A town councilperson. A reporter. A clergy member. Someone. Turning a blind eye because we don’t know what to do will never help these animals or the people who betray them. And abuse come in many shapes and forms—from the obviously starved animals to the visibly sick or injured ones to ones who receive no human interaction or attention.

Not to make any excuses, because in my opinion there is absolutely no excuse that warrants being cruel, but I will acknowledge that sometimes folks may find themselves in over their head and don’t know what to do or who to turn to for help and then react from that stress. They must be made aware that they are not alone. There are always people willing to help better the welfare of animals. I believe awareness is half the solution. If people who own pets find themselves in a bind, they need to know that there options. Starving, neglecting, abandoning, beating, and killing the animals are not options. If someone can no longer afford to feed, shelter, or care for their pet, sometimes just knowing where to turn or who to turn to is help in itself. 

So how do we help spread the word to help prevent animal cruelty? Education is key, and we can all be the educators and animal advocates. Check with your local vet offices, community bulletin boards, even the media to see if you can post a notice listing places and phone numbers folks can call for help, including various rescue groups, the local animal control office, local publications and radio stations, and even online resources for re-homing pets. If you have a social media account such as a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., post links and information there. The more we can all get the word out that there are people and places to help those who feel they have hit a dead end, the better it will be for the animals they can no longer care for.

If we all volunteer a little bit of time to bring awareness of good pet care and cruelty prevention to the forefront, then we may just save the life of an innocent furfriend. Since they can not speak, we need to be their voice. Let’s all “Be the Change for Animals” each and every day.

Blog the Change

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Be Careful of Flower Power

WARNING! That Hyacinth may smell good, but it's TOXIC if ingested by your pet.
In parts of the world, April showers do indeed bring May flowers, and it’s those very same flowers we have to be careful with around our pets.

While spring is the time for sprucing up the yard and planting in the garden, this yearly ritual for some outdoor enthusiasts, it’s good to keep in mind to exercise some caution along with that green thumb.

The pretty azaleas and peonies and hyacinths that line our properties are also extremely toxic if our pets ingest them. And with Easter right around the corner, please beware of friends bearing lilies. Those beautiful spring holiday plants are fatal to cats. For more info, read an article by PetMD on this. Please take a few moments to check out this video with Dr. Justine Lee from Pet Poison Helpline highlighting some of the most poisonous plants to pets:

For a list accompanied by photos of plants toxic to dogs, cats, and horses, click here for the ASPCA website listing. For another list of poisonous plants just for dogs, check out CyberCanine's list. For cats, check out CatWorld's list. In any case of possible ingestion or poisoning, always contact your vet and keep handy the Poison Control Helpline numbers:

Smokie warns, "NO Lilies, fellow kitties!"

And let's not forget about mulch. Last spring, I wrote about the toxic "cocoa mulch" is a video from The Dog Lodge to remind us of this danger lurking in landscapes: 

So, while we all enjoy gazing at the beautiful, aromatic spring flowers, let’s be vigil when we are gardening, walking our pets, letting them loose in the yard, or welcoming plant-bearing friends into our home— those very same plants can pose a very real threat to our beloved fur pals.

Until next time, may you and your furkids enjoy the great outdoors, stay safe, and be happy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

(Blog) Party Time!

Chloe is dressed up and ready to "pawty!"
It's Friday and that means the weekend is almost upon us! For us here at the FiveSibes' home, that means lots of time to play with our furbabies! There are so many ways to "party" on the weekend, and here is a great way for bloggers to have some fun, meet thousands of new online friends and connections, and, ready for this...? Maybe even win some cool prizes! It's the Ultimate Blog Party (UBP)! UBP is hosted annually by the 5 Minutes for Mom blog, so be sure to stop by and see all the cool stuff they have there and be sure to link over to the party "hop" and add your blog's URL to the Linksy's list!
See you at the party!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dream-Filled Sleep on Shadow Shot Sunday

Dream for Me
Dream for me
dear one
while your fast asleep
dream the brightest happiest dream
ever seen for me
dream of your joys and successes
dream of your spoils and messes
dream me a dream
like none ever seen
dream me that dream
for me
dream a dream of peace and light
dream a dream of hope and of right
dream me a dream of these
dream of rainbows and butterflies
dream of sunshine and clear skies
dream the brightest happiest dream ever seen
while your fast asleep
dear one
dream for me.

--Judith Clus

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April Fools' Day!

Woooo-ooo, Gibson's in the foolin' mood!
Today is the first day of April...and along with it comes dreams of spring for many folks (Siberian Huskies are excluded. They always wish for snow!) April 1st is also April Fools' or All Fools' Day...and in the spirit of the day (we're not big on pranks, well, maybe the Hu-Dad is) and the fun-loving mood silly Sibes can get into, we thought we leave you with a few sled dog jokes (compliments of Athropolis) to get you smiling (or rolling your eyes!):

Q: What do sled dogs play with to amuse themselves?
A: Their "Sony Sleigh Station."

Q: Where are sled dogs trained?
A: In the mush-room!

Q: How many hairs are in a sled dog's tail?
A: None. They're all on the outside.

Q: Where should you leave your dog team and sled?
A: At the barking lot!

Q: What do you call a litter of young dogs that have come in out of the snow?
A: Slush puppies!  

Q: What do sled dogs say before telling you a joke?
A: "This one will sleigh you!" 

Bark Out Loud!!!
 * * *

Now, it seems Mother Nature has a keen sense of humor, too. She had the FiveSibe kids all excited at the prediction of 6 to 8 inches of snow, but what they all woke up to was ...