Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday, Monday...

Our Bandit all ready for work.

A "must" for every Siberian Husky desk. A handy squeak toy for those bored moments at work.

Happy Monday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wolf is Home from Surgery!

Wolf is home! He is still groggy and is sleeping soundly next to me right now with his leg all bandaged up nicely. The growth was a very strange one. After he was shaved, it turned out there was another good size lump under the skin that was developing that we didn't even know about as it couldn't be seen or felt under all the fur. Good news is, our vet was able to remove the cluster and the secondary lump and some surrounding skin in its entirety as opposed to cauterizing them and risking possible regrowth. The original fear was since it was on the elbow, there wasn't much give room, but my vet was able to stitch up the wound nicely and he will stay bandaged until this Saturday when I bring him back for a follow-up. Since he's been home, he's been dozing on and off, a little whimpering, and a little tipsy. He is drinking lots of water (with a few little upchucks), but doesn't have an appetite yet, but all in good time.

Warning: Unpleasant Photos

This is what his growths looked liked before being shaved for surgery. All that was visible and evident to the touch was this cluster group of papillomas that had grown in size and had multiplied in number.
This is a picture of his growths given to me by my vet, which shows a good view of what we were dealing with. You are looking at his elbow joint, the same as above, only shaved pre-surgery and really shows the lump under the growths very clearly. I chose to share this photo as an educational and informational tool, so if anyone ever sees anything remotely similar to the first photo, they can check with their vet right away. 

I can honestly say I am so glad I decided to have them removed. Otherwise, I would not have known about the hidden lump. I'm glad I chose to bring him in for a follow-up visit when I detected some change from last summer when I first discovered a much smaller cluster of papillomas. I am very relieved that my vet was able to remove it all.

I am very fortunate to have a wonderful veterinarian, veterinarian hospital, and veterinarian team who truly care about our Sibes and give them all the very best care possible.

Wolf's homecoming was indeed a happy one (although a little spacey for Wolf who is still under the influence!) 
Gibson was happy to see his little bro!
Getting kisses from Harley!

Chloe cried when her sibling came home!

Bandit was so happy, she was a blur!
Now, it's on to the road to recovery. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all your support, wonderful thoughts, and prayers for Wolf...they really made a difference!  

And, if he was awake, I know he'd be wooing his thanks to you all, too!

 Sweet dreams and heal quickly, my sweet boy. ❤

Today is Wolf's Surgery Day

"I'm ready to go to the hospital, Mom."
Today my boy Wolf went in for surgery. I just came back a short while ago from dropping him off at the vet's. Watching him as he sauntered down the hallway toward the pre-surgery area, my heart swelled with pride for my baby boy. Wolf, although he along with his two siblings Chloe and Bandit, turned four in January, he is the baby of the bunch. So I know he was being strong and brave as he headed down the hallway. As he crossed through the door and out of sight, the tears flowed and I had to jet out of there and take a few moments to have a good cry in car. I know he is in excellent hands. I know he is safe. We have a wonderful veterinarian team and hospital. I always say that if I ever relocate, I'll have to figure out a way to move the hospital and all of the staff in it!  Still...I will worry, worry, worry all day about my boy, about how his surgery is going, if they can remove them all, what the biopsy results will be, how much his pain he will be in, how quickly he will heal, and how soon will he forget I left him there, my perpetually happy boy. It's tough being a mom. I also know so many of you fellow pet parents know this exact feeling.

So, why is Wolf having surgery? Wolf has had some papillomas growing on his left elbow since last summer. They started off as a small cluster of growths - similar to a miniature head of cauliflower. I had them checked and our vet took a biopsy of them and, thankfully, they were benign. I just needed to keep an eye on them for any kind of change or if they bothered him, which they haven't. And they still don't. However...

Unfortunately, they have grown in mass and have multiplied, even having some grow on top of others, and a yellowish scaliness has appeared on the tops of some of the growths. After bringing him back in for a recent follow-up, together with our vet, we deiced that he would go in and have them removed, mostly via cauterization as they are on his elbow, a very precarious place as the joint is constantly in a state of flexing and bending. While under, he will take a closer look at some of the larger ones and decide then if they should be removed surgically. Preventative care is what we are doing be sure they don't turn into something more serious down the line and, at the very least, to prevent them from getting torn off during play, etc. and possibly getting infected. Still, I am the nervous mother. He's my baby boy. I keep going over in my head, "why am I doing this?" And then reminding myself it's better to have them taken care of now in their early stages, then later when they could possibly be something more serious.

Still, I worry. 

Flashback 24 hours ago:

 "Surgery? Tomorrow? Me?"

Harley, the pack momma, gave Wolf some nose pokes and kisses. "I'm a little scared," woos Wolf.
  "Don't be Wolf," offers Harley. "You'll be fine."

"I can't wait for my surgery to be over and to be back home on my bed with my family."

 The big brother pep talk. Gibson giving Wolf some 
reassuring woos before bedtime. "Love woo, Bro."

So, today, while I fluff his beds (one in my living room and one next to my bed) and get some of his favorite toys ready for his return home, he will never stray far from my thoughts. I thank everyone for all the kind thoughts, prayers, and for "hanging out in the waiting room" with me!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In the Shadows of a Tree on Earth Day

The FiveSibes™ LOVE the Earth! And it's a double shot Shadow Shot Sunday here! First was Wolf's Shadow Shot posted earlier today, and now it's an Earth Day Shadow Shot featuring four of our Sibes relaxing in the yard in one of their favorite spots in the Earth under the shadows of the tree branches, not yet bloomed.

"Friendship is a sheltering tree." 
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

And in a tribute to our planet, here's a great trailer for a region that is home to the Siberian Husky, the Arctic. Enjoy!

Let's all do something good for our planet today and everyday!

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Wolf in the Shadows; Wolf in the Light

My favorite Easter shot of Wolf, "Guardian of the Colored Eggs"

In the Shadow, In the Light

             I promise you, for all my life

            I'll be Always on your side

            In the shadow, in the light.

            I'll follow you, wherever life goes

            But I'll always be aside

            In the shadow, in the light...

            Caravan of life

            By day and by night

            Every tile's a part of life

            If it's shadow, or if it's light

            I promise you, even when the tide is high

            I'll be always on your side

            In the shadow, in the light

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Howling in Memory of the Whistler 100 Huskies

The FiveSibes™ are joining  in The Howl Heard Around the World in memory of the Whistler 100 Huskies. Pictured at right, our Harley leads our pack in The Howl today, which marks the beginning of a three-day virtual vigil anniversary (see THE HOWL HEARD ROUND THE ROUND THE WORLD Remembering the Whistler 100 Facebook Event Page). For those not familiar with the Whistler 100, you can visit my post from March The Howl Heard Around the World. Whister 100 Sled Dogs - From a Tribute to a Cause and also visit last year's Candlelight Vigil post.

Let us all take a few minutes to honor these angel sled dogs, light a candle, and remember their lives and how in the wake of their senseless slaughter, a world joined together and demanded change so there will hopefully never be a repeat of the horrific fate those sled dogs faced. As I stated in my blog when this story first broke, the only way we can truly pay homage to them is to always remember our humanity. In the face of adversity, there is always another way. A humane way. The human way. If we lose site of that, then what is left?

Run free beyond the Rainbow Bridge, Whister 100. You will never be forgotten.

This is a blog hop. Please be sure to visit the our hosts (the first three blogs) as well as the other wonderful blogs joining today's hop.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Today is Blog the Change for Animals. Our Topic: Canine Epilepsy Awareness

Blog the Change

Be the Change for Animals' Blog the Change for Animals happens quarterly, and today is one of these important dates! Many of you know my six-year-old wooly Siberian Husky, Gibson, is an Epi-dog. He was diagnosed, and has been treated, for Canine Epilepsy since he turned three. This was my first introduction to a seizure disorder, and as any Epi-dog parent can attest, it is indeed a very scary thing to witness. I've shared my experiences and journal entries from those first few heart-stopping episodes before I learned all I could about what it was that was affecting my beautiful boy. I have a wonderful team of veterinarians who truly care about my boy and finding the best treatment for him with the least effects. For Gibson, so far, his treatments are what I call "successful." Each day that turns over into a week then into a month, then into six months, then a year that he can remain seizure-free is a true blessing. And I take it day by day. There is no guarantee that a dog that is being successfully treated with medication won't have another seizure. They can. Some do. I pray Gibson never has another one.

I have met so many wonderful people through my journey with Gibson who have pets of their own who have Canine Epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Together, we are all trying to give our pets the best lives we can in spite of the big elephant in the room. We all worry about long-term affects of medications. We all worry about the immediate effects and damage that can be caused by no meds. We always worry if the choices we are making are the right ones. Is there a better remedy? I, myself, have done vast research and made several changes in Gibson's diet and environment, eliminating anything possibly toxic: wheat gluten, artificial ingredients, chemicals, preservatives, etc. I do a combination of medical and holistic remedies for him. I keep a very vigilant eye on him (and a baby monitor by his bed) so I can be alerted of any changes in his behavior or signs of trouble. While it has been over three years since his diagnosis, I am always on guard: hoping for the best, fearing the worst. My one vet gave me the best advice, "Let him live his life." Simple words. Hard to do! I hovered over Gibson in the early days; not letting him run too much with his family, not letting him get overstimulated or stressed out. I still control the stressors as best as I can, but I finally have let go enough to let him be himself. He is a happy boy. And that makes me happy! I know I am doing the very best for him, and I pray that is enough.

Canine Epilepsy Resources Website

Through this journey, Gibson has inspired me to promote Canine Epilepsy Awareness and discover an excellent resource: Canine Epilepsy Resources. He has become a SpokesHusky in my awareness campaign. Together, we meet new Epi-dog parents, and some Epi-humans too! We have joined Team Epilepsy, and have been made Purple Day Ambassadors for the cause. 

He moved me to produce a slideshow video and write an illustrated children's book called What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy, where a portion of the proceeds will benefit the non-profit Canine Epilepsy Resources center, an excellent resource center out there ready to help. They can connect Epi-dog parents to each other via their Epil-K List. They have resources, connections, and information that are so valuable. 

Bottom line: We are not alone. 

One reader wrote that years ago the solution to having a dog with epilepsy was to euthanize them. We have indeed come along way since then. The key is education. If you have a pet who has seizures, there are so many options for care out there. There are people and resources to help. It no longer always means a death sentence for every dog who is stricken with seizures. Talk to your vet. Connect with other Epi-dog parents via social networking and the Canine Epilepsy Resources Epil-K list. 

Hero Poster Art by Cameo Anderson
Many of you may remember a beautiful little Siberian Husky puppy, "Hero," who was left at a shelter a couple days after Christmas and their best guess was it was a present for someone, only when they discovered he had seizures, he was dumped. Alley's Rescued Angels Siberian Husky Rescue in California rescued the pup, and along with Siberian Nation and an entire caring pet community, a Chip-In was set up and monies raised to give the puppy a fighting chance against Canine Epilepsy. Cameo Anderson, an artist, did a Hero poster where funds were donated to Hero's care. He wound up having a needed brain surgery to relieve some fluid, which the little fighter came through, but sadly succumbed to other complications. His story does not end there, however. This little pup brought together a worldwide caring pet community and he will forever serve as a beacon of hope and awareness of puppies with seizures and Canine Epilepsy.

Through a regiment of medications and/or holistic treatments, you may just find something that works for reducing or stopping seizures in your dog. Sadly, there are some dogs who are struggling with or who have lost their battle with Canine Epilepsy. For those sweet babies, and for those who are still fighting it, and those who will be diagnosed with it - we will all stand "Gib Strong" together until one day they find a cure.

I'd like to close out today's post with my Canine Epilepsy Awareness slideshow video I did last year featuring beautiful canines from across the world who are Epi-dogs...and dedicate it to a Blogger furpal - "Freddie" of Hound Girl blog - who is the last furbaby pictured in the video (3:52). Sadly, Freddie recently lost his battle with the seizure  monsters and Canine Epilepsy. And I'd also like to dedicate it to "Hero," that little Siberian Husky pup who brought together a caring pet community for a common cause - Canine Epilepsy. And to my Gibson - who is my beautiful, brave boy who has taught me so much, not just about Canine Epilepsy, but about love, compassion, care, trust, commitment, and hope. We can be their hope. We can Be the Change by shining the light on Canine Epilepsy Awareness.

For all the Epi-dogs worldwide, this is for you:

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Ultimate Blog Party is Going On! One of the Prizes is a Set of 3 Copies of Our Book!

"Woo, there's a big party going on!"

The Sibes and I are so's party time in the blogosphere! Today kicks off the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party and we are giving away a set of three autographed copies of my FiveSibes™ Tale, What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy to celebrate! There are over 150 prizes, including our books, total in the pool worth $21,000!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Gibson is so excited that his book is part of the Party Prize Pool!
"Woo! You can win 3 copies of my book!"

CLICK HERE for the link to the Ultimate Blog Party prize page containing my book (and many, many more cool prizes)!

The party and fun goes on all week! 
Here's the agenda:

So stop on over and sign up to win my books and then stick around for awhile and have some fun, check out the other prizes, and par-tee!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! Hopping Down the Bunny Trail in an Easter Pet Parade!

Happy Easter!!! In addition to the great significance of what the day truly means, it is also a bright, fun time of year. A time of rebirth and promise. A time of sunshine and family fun. We sure hope everyone's been having a great day! The FiveSibes have been having fun and are very excited to have so many furpals join them in hopping down the Bunny Trail in our fun-filled Easter Pet Parade! What wonderful springtime photos filled with fabulous pets with bunny ears, bonnets, flowers, family, and friends! Each and every parade participant looked absolutely beautiful in all their Easter and spring finery! And every furkid deserves an extra treat for putting up with all those ears, bonnets, and props we trimmed them in! Before the parade begins, here's a photo recap of what Harley, Gibson, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit's day was like...then be sure to call your furkids, grab some leftover Easter treats, and enjoy watching the parade!

The kids were ready for some Easter fun. "Mom, can we start hunting for our basket now?!" woo Gibson, Harley, and Wolf.

Wolf and Bandit check out the colored hard-boiled eggs. They all had a very special Easter breakfast today - their favorite: egg, cheese, and kibble omelet!

Time to find their Easter basket!

Wolf spots it first!

They all dig in to find their treats and toys!

Gibson and Harley spot another treat bag! Gibson liked chewing the feather trim the best!
Harley was excited to find another basket!

Time for some bunny ears! Bandit was not thrilled.

Chloe felt embarrassed.

Gibson was a good sport!

They took their seats in the living room for the big event of the day...

 It's now time to join all our furpals from across the globe as we hop along the Bunny Trail in the Easter Parade:

We hope you enjoyed the parade as much as we did! 
Happy Easter, Everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Send us Your Pets' Easter Pics and Join Our Virtual Easter Parade!

Calling all Blogger pals! We hope you will join us for some springtime fun in our Easter Parade video that will be posted on YouTube, here, on our FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook, and Twitter (@FiveSibesMom)! Send in your pics today (or post to our Facebook wall) and we will see you on the Bunny Trail!