Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pet Poison Awareness

"Hey, Mom, is our yard all safe for us to play in?"

March is Poison Awareness Month, with the third week being Poison Awareness Week (Happy 50th Anniversary to the Poison Prevention Week Council!) While this is the end of the month, Poison Awareness is something we all need to be vigilant about every single day of every month throughout the entire year. 
So let's use this annual reminder to double-check our pets' surroundings and keep them safe and healthy.

First and foremost, keep your vet's, veterinarian emergency hospital's, and poison control numbers up-to-date and readily posted by our landline phones and in our cell phones. And...Pet Poison Helpline now also has a "Pet Poison Help" iPhone app for just 99 cents!

With Easter just around the corner, please keep children's Easter baskets that are filled with yummy things for kids high up out of reach of the family pets. Chocolate, little plastic toys, button batteries in talking books, and basket grass are just a few things that can be harmful if ingested by your dog and cause a fun-filled day to turn into a medical emergency for your pet.

Please, always contact your  veterinarian in case of an emergency.
"How long does a safety check take?"
When conducting inspections, don't forget to take walks around the areas of your house, garage, yards, decks, porches, etc., wherever your pets may roam. In the warmer weather, hazards could include broken glass, bug and rodent repellents, fertilizers, bee nests, burning candles, hot BBQ grills, alcohol, plants, shrubs, antifreeze, pool chemicals, certain foods (see video & A-Z list of Pet Poisons below), medications, children's toys, balloons, household cleaning products, button batteries, and more. For more info, please visit Pet Poison Helpline/Animal Control Center's website, the ASPCA Poison Control Center, and the American Veterinarian Medical Assoication. For an A-Z list of Pet Poisons, visit VetSTREET.

Please take a few minutes to check out this very important video on Household Hazards from the ASPCA:

And ladies...don't forget your purses! Many dangers can be hidden inside our pocketbooks if left open or near where our dogs can get into it. It's critical to remember to keep our bags zipped up and well out of reach of our pets. Here is a great video from Veterinary Pet Insurance and Pet Poison Helpline going over the dangers that could be lurking in purses, including that seemingly innocent pack of sugarless gum:

Dangers could also be lurking in pants and coat pockets, so don't forget to empty out those pockets as well. Sometimes gum and hard candy (especially sugarless with Xylitol), medicine, cough drops, coins (choking hazard) are left in our clothes, which are then draped over furniture or tossed aside and either pets get into them, or the items could fall on the floor, where they can easily pick it up. 

...let's all all err on the side of caution...

Since we do not know for certain if foods or treats for our pets have been contaminated, let's all all err on the side of caution and be sure to wash hands thoroughly before and after handling of pet foods and treats to be sure no bacteria is spread to pet or human. According to
  • Before and after handling pet foods and treats, wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot running water and soap. (Tip: Sing “Happy Birthday” twice to time yourself.)
  • After petting, touching, handling, or feeding your pet, and especially after contact with feces, wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  • Wash hands before preparing your own food and before eating.
This is also a good time to check your pet's First Aid Kit to be sure it is complete and up-to-date. Visit the AMVA for a First Aid Kit checklist.

"Wooooo! Safe Yard. Check. Let's play!!!"
Being vigilant is not just for the month of March, it's an everyday necessity. A few minutes to review our pet's surrounding could inevitably safe their life and ensure that everyone has a safe and happy spring and summer.

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If you haven't already, please hop on over to some of these other wonderful blogs, and be sure to tell them the FiveSibes™ sent you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today is PURPLE DAY - Show Your Support for Epilepsy Awareness

Today is an important day - it's Purple Day - a day to spread awareness for Epilepsy for humans and canines. As many of you know, this is a cause near and dear to my heart as my six-year-old wooly Siberian Husky, Gibson, was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy when he just turned three. 

I have just been received exciting news from the Purple Day Partnership Executive, Michelle Caplan, than I have been named "Purple Day Ambassador" in my city and will be listing the FiveSibes™ blog in the media contacts! Gibson and I are very excited and proud to be part of Purple Day! We are joining paws with Team Epilepsy to continue our campaign of awareness and thank all you who have supported Gibson, our book and Blog Book Tour, Canine Epilepsy Resources, and I every step of the way! Our hope is that one day, there will be a cure! Until then, it is important to share awareness and stay connected to offer each other support and information. Please be sure to search "K-9 Epilepsy" to read other blog posts about this topic. And once again, here is the link to our Epi-furpals from across the globe as we join together in support of Canine Epilepsy Awareness.

Show Us Your Purple!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sibe Shadow Walking

Here's our boy Wolf keeping good company with his shadow!

Me and My Shadow

"...Like the wallpaper sticks to the wall
Like the seashore clings to the sea
Like you'll never get rid of your shadow'll never get rid of me

Let all the others fight and fuss

Whatever happens, we've got us.

Me and my shadow

We're closer than pages that stick in a book
We're closer than ripples that play in a brook
Strolling down the avenue..."
~D. Dreyer, A. Jolson, B. Rose; Recorded by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. 1962

And to keep the shadowy fun going, here's a little "Winnie the Pooh" video featuring non other than Piglet and his shadow...and check out Eeyore...if our Gibson could talk, this would so be his voice! 

Happy Shadow Shot Sunday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All Aboard! Today Our Blog Book Tour Makes Two Stops!

Gibson is so happy his book is helping others!
Today, we are so excited to bring you to our next two stops on our FiveSibes™ Tale: What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy Book Release Blog Tour! First stop is the Don't Mess With My TuTu: Two Doggy Divas Journey Through Life. We are so honored to be part of their "Thorsday," which is held in honor of the late Thor, a "gentledog giant" (you can read all about him in the blog)...what a sweet way to pay tribute to a furpal and we are happy to be part of his special weekly day.
We are also so happy to be part of Gretchen and Sissy's mama's blog - our second stop is over at Chan Knits, where she also talks about how Canine Epilepsy has touched their lives.
Gretchen, today's Book Tour hostess!
We had so much fun answering their questions and are so pleased they joined us in spreading awareness of Canine Epilepsy. A special "woo" and "thank you" goes out to Gretchen, who is such a sweet and cute host! Please be sure to stop over to both blogs and take some time to visit and read their stories and say "woo" to Gretchen, Sissy, and their Mama and if you're new to them, tell them the FiveSibesMom sent you!

It is Gibson's and my goal to unite Epi-dog parents worldwide and to let Hu-families know that while Canine Epilepsy is indeed very scary, there are many resources and supports available. I know when Gibson first began seizing, I was scared and I felt alone. When I turned to social networking, I met a wonderful gal who reached out and talked me through Canine Epilepsy and what to expect as she is a an Epi-dog mom also. I treasured her knowledge, support, and insight. I always knew I wanted to pay that forward. We have a wonderful community of pet parents here, and the support and care is so amazing. I am truly proud to be part of it and thank today's hosts and everyone who has hosted and meet us along our Blog Book Tour.
I believe education is key. The more we know, the better we are equipped to help our devoted canine companions. I also hope that by educating children, through a fun, lively book, we will eliminate some of the fear and even teach a few valuable and helpful pointers so if they ever see their pet, or even a friend, or family member having a seizure, that they will not be as frightened. 
I find Canine Epilepsy Resources, a great online resource and information center for Epi-dog parents. That's why a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to this great non-profit organization so they can continue with their resources, information, and support to Epi-dog parents worldwide.

Thank you (with many woos, too!) to Gretchen, Sissy, and their Mama, Chan for hosting us today!

Other stops and wonderful sites along the way who are featuring  What's Wrong With Gibson? that you may like to visit, include:



If you would like to host us as part of the book tour, please feel free to contact us at FiveSibes(at)gmail(dot)com. We'd love to have you join in and help spread the word about K-9 Epilepsy Awareness. If you would like to purchase a copy of What's Wrong With Gibson? you can do so by visiting ArcticHouse Publishing.  A percentage of proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Canine Epilepsy Resources Center to aid them in their continued work of providing valuable information and resources to Epi-dog parents worldwide.
I know I have posted this video we produced last year of Canine furplas from across the globe who have Canine Epilepsy before, but I'd like to repeat it again as a way of honoring all dogs in their fight against Canine Epilepsy. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Today, March 20th, marks the first day of spring, and Gibson is enjoying a nice run, welcoming in the spring season...which, translated for our Sibe kids, this is pretty much how the warmer days' schedule goes:

Breakfast Time.
Play Time.
Pool Time.
Naps in the Air Conditioned House.
Snack Time.
Snuggle Time.
Pool Time.
Early Morning Run Time.
Pool Time.
Snack Time.
Naps in the Air Conditioned House.
Snuggle Time.
Late Evening Walks.
Dinner Time.
Pool Time.
Play Time.
Snuggle and TV Time.
Bed Time in the Air Conditioned House.

Sure sounds good to me.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

☘ Happy St. Patty's Day! ☘ Love the Sibe-rish!

The FiveMcSibes!
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 What's St. Patty's Day without some food and drink? Well, the FiveMcSibes are ready for some fun, that's for sure! And to celebrate the "Wearin' o' the Green" day, here's a special recipe for homemade shamrock patties for our furkids to enjoy that look so good, I want one! The recipe is from a reader on, so be sure to stop over to see a great pictorial of this recipe and others:

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St. Patty's Day Patties
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  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups green peas, drained (about two cans)
  • 2 tablespoons water

Wolf is ready to "Sham Rock" and taste test this recipe! So here we go! Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Fry bacon and reserve drippings; cool. Put peas in blender or food processor and blend. Mix blended peas and bacon with drippings; add dry ingredients and mix well. Knead dough and pat out or roll to under 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters to desired shape and place on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool and serve.

 Harley and Gibson  say,
gif animator
"Kiss me, I'm Sibe-rish!"
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Sending a Pawcircle of Hope, Healing & Strength to K

We would like to take a minute to join The Thundering Herd and fellow bloggers and think of our Blogger furpal, K, who received some devastating news about her cancer. Please join us in supporting them by stopping by Romping & Rolling in the Rockies and leaving them some words of support. We are thinking of you, beautiful K, and sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

 Join in the Hop!
Visit other "hoppers" & join in the fun!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Harley's Party in Review and Birthday Book Giveaway Winner Announced!

Our Harley's 7th birthday party was a fun time! There were games, and presents, and of course, fresh ice cream from our local dairy! 

It's so hard to believe that Harley joined our family as a mere eight week old pupster seven years ago! I still remember our hour-long car ride in the pouring rain with my daughter very excited in the back seat waiting to meet her baby. Someone mentioned to me the other day that they did not realize she was "that old." Hmmmm...better not let our girl hear that! She still has so much energy and loves to play rough, run, give attitude, and body slam as much as she did as a young pup!

Our "Queen" and her royal subjects enjoyed her day tremendously and her Royal Huskiness was so happy to share her day with all of you! Thanks for stopping by and visiting us and for all the warm birthday wishes!

We are also very happy to announce the winner of our Birthday Book Giveaway of a personalized copy of my FiveSibes™ Tale, What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy!!!


A drum roll please....

      A few Husky howls please....

And the book winner (via Rafflecopter) is...

Tyler Huskamute!!!

Congratulations! We will be in touch for your doghouse address so we may send you the book!

Thank you for joining us in celebrating our beautiful 
girl's special day!

If you would like to purchase your own copy of What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy illustrated children's book, visit ArcticHouse Publishing. A percentage of proceeds will benefit the non-profit Canine Epilepsy Resources so they may continue to provide Epi-dog parents worldwide the valuable information, resources, and support they do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

K-9 Veterans Day - Let's Take a Moment to Honor our K-9 Heroes

Wolf of the FiveSibes™ Salutes all K-9 Heroes
Today, March 13, marks K9 Veterans Day in honor of our four-legged heroes of the past, present, and future. We salute you. March 13, 1942 marks the official birthday of the United States K9 Corps when more than 10,000 dogs were recruited and went through eight weeks of basic training.

We don't often think of Siberian Huskies as being war dogs. But they were one of the seven breeds of the K-9 Corps. According to, "The K-9 Corps initially accepted over 30 breeds of dogs, but the list was soon narrowed to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Collies, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, and Eskimo dogs....After basic obedience training, they were sent through one of four specialized programs to prepare them for work as sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs. In active combat duty, scout dogs proved especially essential by alerting patrols to the approach of the enemy and preventing surprise attacks."

Each Veterans and Memorial Day, I like to talk about a very special war dog, a Siberian Husky named Buck, who was the U.S. War Dogs Ambassador. Buck crossed the Rainbow Bridge on  March 23, 2006. You can read more about Buck in the beautiful book, Buck's Heroes, written by his handler and Vietnam War veteran Johnny Mayo.

“The capability they (Military Working Dogs) bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine. By all measures of performance their yield outperforms any asset we have in our inventory. Our Army (and military) would be remiss if we failed to invest more in this incredibly valuable resource.” - GENERAL DAVID H. PETRAEUS, USA

For more information on the U.S. War Dogs, visit the United States War Dogs Association. 

To read more about the heroic Dogs of 9/11, and see photos of them bravely at work, check out the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) article.

Canines proudly carry out their roles as war dogs, search and rescue canines, K-9 military and domestic police dogs, and therapy dogs, and so many other important roles in our lives. They are dedicated and devoted and ask nothing in return.

To all our K-9 Heroes - We Salute You.

The Soldier Dog  
by Joe Ferra 

I was trained to use my eyes to
watch and protect you from harm.
My ears to alert you of impending
danger like an alarm.
My keen sense of smell to detect
an enemy close at bay.
Yes I was a soldier who gave my life
so you could fight another day.
So remember me as time goes by
This soldier dog so true.
For I had only one life to give
and I gave that life to you.

Newsy Tuesday: The Howl Heard Around the World. Whister 100 Sled Dogs - From a Tribute to a Cause

Wolf joins in the worldwide "Howl."

April 23. 

A very important date.

It is the anniversary date of the vigil for the slain Whistler 100 sled dogs. Whenever we hear of them, our hearts break and tears fill our eyes. Last year, I, along with the rest of the world, heard the news reports about the shocking slaughter of a reported 100 healthy, hard-working, innocent sled dogs in British Columbia that came to light. Not only were they slaughtered, but some who were badly wounded were allegedly chased down and murdered in front of the other dogs just waiting for their turn to be killed. Last February, in a blog post titled, We Must Never Lose Our Humanity, I wrote about this horrific story and tried to understand how this could have happened. I still do not understand.

The old adage says "Out of something bad, something good always comes." While nothing can erase the abominable visions I have in my own head of these dogs,..and while it chills me to think of what they must have been thinking or feeling as it was is very difficult to believe any good could come from that particular bad.

But it can. And it has. 

Please view and share this powerful video produced by Lisa Schaldermose, where she states, "From a tribute to a cause."

Thanks to the joining of people all around the globe, the Whistler 100 dogs and their fates have sparked people to do something to bring awareness to animal cruelty, not just in Canada, but across the world. Petitions have been signed. Walks have been organized. A movement for change to protect animals is in the making.

On last April 23, 2011, I joined others and wrote about the worldwide candlelight vigil in remembrance of the slain 100 sled dogs, which was organized in Canada and held in 100 cities across the globe - to symbolize the 100 slain dogs - to join the world of animal advocates together to bring awareness to animal cruelty and to initiate change.

 We can not change what happened, but we can make a change happen.

Fast forward one year...and mark your calendars! On April 23, proclaimed "Animal Abuse Prevention Day" by the mayor of the Regional Municipality of Buffalo Wood in Alberta, let us all answer "the call to action" by spreading awareness of animal cruelty in memory of the Whistler 100 so their deaths that shocked an entire world, will not be in vain. Organize or participate in a walk. Write a letter for legislative change. Have your dog wear a red ribbon or collar. Light a candle. Write a blog post. Comment on Facebook. Send a message on Twitter. Share Lisa's video. Let's all be part of "The Howl Heard Around the World" so  something like this will never happen again. 

And... let's also continue to remind folks that help is indeed just a keystroke away in this world of social networking and virtual pet communities. No one should ever feel alone, or that they have no other choice but to destroy a dog...there is always a choice. There are always folks, rescues, and agencies waiting to help. They just need to be asked. We can not change what happened, but we can make a change happen. We can support each other and always remind folks that there is another way.

May the beautiful Whistler 100 Angeldogs know they all meant something. They will never be forgotten. They will forever stand for something positive. They, in their tragic deaths, have initiated change on a global scale. 

Maybe, just maybe, we can do each of those sled dogs - and ourselves as humans - proud, by what we all do from this point on. Maybe now we can put a smile on their sweet angel faces by helping others and working together to ensure that nothing like that ever occurs again. That...I must believe...would make them happy sled dogs once again and restore their faith in us humans, as they race across the great snow-covered fields beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Harley! Come Celebrate & Enter to Win a Signed Copy of our Book!!

Today is a very special is our beautiful alpha queen Harley's 7th Birthday! Harley is our first Siberian Husky and is my daughter's #1 girl! She knows she is the leader of the pack and enjoys "girl talk" time with my daughter and I, just hanging out on the chair or couch and giving us the occasional nod or mouth movement as we discuss everything from the day's events to movies to just how beautiful Harley is (she knows when we say "beautiful!") 

Harley is amazing...even though she was the first Husky to rule our household, she welcomed Gibson in a year later with open paws, and then when the three Pupsters came, she took them all under her wing and became a wonderful surrogate momma to them. She loves her ratty blue Peep stuffed animal and her treasured pink ball, and gets so excited to play Fetch! and Tug-o-War, and loves to "polar bear" and body slam us and the other Sibes while playing! She can run like the wind, and smiles so brightly as she does! She enjoys rides in a car and has even patrolled the highway in a police cruiser! Harley can say more with a look than a person can in a whole sentence. What she has added to our lives, words can not fully describe. We love her so much and will be celebrating today with the rest of our Husky family with toys, games, and of course, the traditional ice cream cake!

We want to thank everyone for helping us celebrate our girl's special day by hosting another drawing for a personalized copy of my FiveSibes Tale where Harley is, of course, one of the main characters in What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy, a children's book illustrated by the talented artist Michelle Littler, whose work can be seen at littletoad on Etsy. Please be sure to complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! The drawing will run from today until midnight on March 14th. We will post the winner's name in a future blog post along with some of Harley's party pictures! Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a video slideshow we hope you will enjoy that highlights some of our favorite photos of our Birthday Girl since she joined our family seven years ago, bringing so much love, joy, entertainment, and devotion to our family! 

♥Happy Birthday, Harley!
Here's to many, many more years of love, fun, excitement, cuddling, playing, talking, singing,
 "polar bearing," and joy! 
We love you so!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mush! The 2012 Iditarod Begins!

There's excitement in the air today as the 2012 Iditarod kicks off! It was as if our kids sensed it in the air...they ran their own race all around our yard kicking up snow (and dirt) zooming left, zooming right, jumping over each other in a great practice play for the great race! In our version, Harley would be our lead dog, challenged (and in the lead for this lap) closely by our alpha wanna-be, Bandit. And wherever Bandit is, Chloe is close behind! Wolf and Gibson were running their own race on the other side of the yard, pausing to jump up and knock snow off the tree branches, stopping to get a good nose full of the fluffy white stuff, before joining the other three in their energetic snow games! I think they were just so excited to have some significant snowfall...even if it is, sadly, starting to melt.

If you are a fan of the Iditarod, there's some interesting places to check out and follow what's happening. For starters, there is the Iditarod: Last Great Race on Earth®, the official site for all things race related. Then, there is a great app I just loaded onto my iPhone - the Iditablog iPhone app where you can  receive info, news, and photos of the race. You can download it for free for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod via Apple's App Store, or by visiting  the - Iditarod News Facebook page, which is also a great source of Iditarod links and news updates.
Dr. Robert Forto, of Team Ineka (prounounced In-Neck-Aye, is a Siberian Husky racing team driven by Forto, who has sights set on the Iditarod in 2013 and training in the United States and Canada since 2009) will be broadcasting podcasts of the race from Dog Works Radio. Be sure to listen in for some great race-side coverage and interviews! Here is the kick-off show with a great interview with writer Alex Stein, who directed the documentary film MUSH: The Movie, which just recently premiered and will eventually be available to purchase. (Be sure to pay close attention to the very special giveaway notice!)

Listen to internet radio with Dog Works Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio

We want to wish all mushers and sled dogs lots of luck and a very safe race! See you at the finish line!