Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Shedding Sibe Tale

"Woo! It's hard work blowing our coats, isn't Gibson?" Wolf says. "Mom did a good job brushing us."

"That is just from you, little bro," replies Gibson.

"Hey, boys, tomorrow is Spa Day and you all will be getting your coats blown out, bathed, and nails clipped. How great is that?! Wait...why are you all going into the house? Was it something I said??!"

* * *

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Morning Breaks on a Shadow Shot Sunday

Our boy Wolf greets the morning as he kissed by the sun.

Morning Has Broken
by Eleanor Farjeon
"Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing
Fresh from the Word!
 Sweet the rain's new fall
Sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass
 Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning!
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation
Praise every morning
God's recreation
Of the new day!"

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, June 22, 2012

Did You Take Your Dog to Work Today?

Bandit managing my home office.

What can make Friday, the end to a work week for most, even better? Why bringing our furpals with us, of course! How many of you were able to bring your dog to work today? We'd love to hear all about it! Whether you work in an office, out on the road, or from a home office, having our canine companions with us makes the day much brighter!

• TYDTWDay was first celebrated in 1999.
• It was created by PSI to celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage their adoptions.
• It encourages employers to experience the joy of pets in the workplace and support their local pet community.
• It is an annual event and is always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day.
• It accommodates cat lovers and others who cannot participate on TYDTWDay. The entire week leading up to the Day, June 18 – 22, is Take Your Pet To Work Week™.

And did you know there was an official TYDTWDay song? It is going to be a chart-barker for sure!

Gibson, my assistant editor, proofing new book text.

According to TYDTWDay, here are seven top tips for making the experience an enjoyable one for all, especially our pets:

1) "Do an office check."

Be sure it is okay with your employer/boss that you bring your best four-legged friend to the office. Also check that no one has allergies to dogs.

2) "Puppy-proof your work space."

Check the areas your dog will be in for anything toxic or poisonous and remove them safely out of their reach.

3) "Bathe and groom your dog before its office debut."

Only bring a vetted, healthy, and friendly dog to the office.

4) "Prepare a doggie bag."

"Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant (just in case). If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind," suggests TYDTWDay.

5) "Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully."

And be sure to know where your pet can make his "nature calls."

6) "Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog."

Great tip! Some folks may be anxious or afraid of dogs. As the TYDTWDay says, "Dog lovers will make themselves known. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs."

7) Have an exit strategy.

Even though it should be a fun day for all two-legged and four-legged folks, it is always good to have an escape, er, exit plan for your pet.

For some more great tips on preparing to bring your dog to your workplace, and lots of other great info (including a photo contest), be sure to check out the TYDTWDay website.

And for some helpful safety tips on bringing your dog to work, check out the site.

Remember, it's never to early to plan for next year!

Hopefully, everyone had a fun-filled day like we did here. Bandit was our office manager for the day and she made sure everything went smoothly in our home office. Gibson had the text pages for my new FiveSibes book to proof. And Wolf did a much-needed coffee run for me. Harley was here, too, and as our alpha queen she is a stay-at-home mom and she worked by keeping a vigilant eye on our convalescing Chloe. I just love the Siberian Husky breed...they are truly working dogs in every sense of the term!

Thanks, Wolf, for doing the coffee run!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ode to Hu-Dad; A Father's Day Tribute

Strolling with Gibson.
What Makes a Dad?
Chloe's Champion.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad
~Author Unknown

For the Love of Chloe

"I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say ‘I love you’." 
 ~William Shakespeare

Our journey with Chloe as she heads down the path of healing from her recent double Bilateral Cruciate Imbrication surgery is an incredible one. Watching my daughter care for her so tenderly warms my heart, as she is such a good mommy to Chloe. Chloe and my daughter share a special bond and watching it through these trying times is...simply put...amazing.

During this journey, as many of you who have gone through traumas with your furbabies can relate to, it is a roller coaster of emotions that have filled us, especially fear. First absolute fear when Chloe first screamed in pain when her legs went lame. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not knowing what happened to her. Fear of not knowing what her future held. 

Then comes determination. No matter what...Chloe would be healed. There was absolutely no other alternative to the situation. As a family we discussed that if we did not get an answer we liked, we would continue on until we did. Then fear crept back in while we were waiting for a diagnosis, and fear pounded even stronger when we were sent to an orthopedic surgeon as she lost use of both hind legs and was in obvious heartbreaking pain.

Then relief flooded in when advised there was a surgery for her condition. Then fear visited once again when she was in surgery. Then relief tangoed back in with a positive post-surgical report, with a side dish of anxiety that kept close company with fear throughout the whole process. We wondered, "Would she be okay?" "Would she walk again?" "Was she in pain?"

 So many questions. So much fear. And a whole lot of faith.

And then the tears of joy came when we saw her "walk" a few steps several days after surgery to greet us...managing a wag of the tail and a kiss for her mommy, my daughter. Tears stung my eyes at the mere sight of our beautiful girl that day, so brave...with everything she had been through...the joy and love that shone in her shaky, shaved, and scarred body shone through like a bright beacon of love. After she was home for a few days, we we cleared by the surgeon to allow her to walk with the aide of a sling on a flat, rug-covered floor. Seeing the determination in her face was...spellbinding. Our little girl is a true fighter.

"None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”  
~ Paulo Coelho

Watching Chloe each day is amazing. To watch her adjust to her situation and trust us as we lead her down her path of recovery is something that impresses me every day. I am so proud of her. She watches my daughter's every move and she knows...absolutely knows...she is loved, safe, and cared for. We talk to her and explain everything during each step. And I hear many conversations between her and my daughter - and yes, Chloe is very vocal! And how welcoming to hear that voice once again. Our house was too quiet, even our other Sibes were strangely quiet while she was at the hospital. Now that she is back home, they "woo" and howl to each other occasionally from one side of the house to the other, staying in contact with each other while separated. 

Each day Chloe is becoming a little bit stronger, both physically and emotionally. She is still heavily sedated, but Chloe knows she is on the road to recovery. She knows her routine. She knows she has to stay in her crate, but has accepted it. She visits with her pack family briefly each day during her nature calls, and knows they are waiting for her to heal. When Chloe sees my husband, her "Atlas" if you will, you can see it in her face that she has confidence in him carrying her through the house and into the yard and back. He is a true champion.

As each minute turns into another day past, Chloe is gradually growing stronger. She wiggles her tail at the end of her shaved body every time my daughter is with her. They now share some quiet snuggle time outside of the crate, which reaffirms the love between them. Then, satisfied, she hobbles back into her crate to have her E-collar put back on and then settles down on her bed with her toys, and somehow manages to get her favorite one tucked inside the E-collar close to her face! She takes her meds like a trooper, and then rests to lullaby music, cartoons on the television, or the sound of my daughter's voice softly speaking to her as they fall asleep together, each keeping a constant watch on the other.

Chloe is so courageous and I find that inspirational. Watching her I realize once again, just how much we can learn from our canine companions and just how truly amazing they are, no matter what they are faced with, they adjust to it and face it head on. Something we can all learn from.

My heart swells with pride when I see my daughter with Chloe. I am so proud of her and how she is caring for her. It's been a big challenge that both girls have risen far above and in a way, they are taking care of each other. They have complete faith and trust in each other and now work together as a single unit toward healing. Love. Trust. Compassion. Care. What better life lessons are there than that? 

Through all of this, we also feel very fortunate to have the support of all of you. The notes, comments, wishes, prayers, meditations, cards, and gifts have been so comforting and we know Chloe feels the love and healing light being sent her way. Thank you for all your continued support. It really does mean the world to us.

The road to recovery is not a short one for Chloe and our family, but one well worth traveled. For the love of Chloe, and all of our Sibes, this road is one they can rest assured that we will always travel together with them...with trust, faith, and love.  ❤

And speaking of is a very special day. We wish the FiveSibes' awesome Hu-Dad, and all of your Hu-Dads, a very special and Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy American Flag Day!

Let our banner wave proudly, Wolf.

Help the FiveSibes™ Take Over New York City!

You can help us get our Huskies get to Manhattan! Well, actually, my photographs of them! My photography portfolio has been entered into the 
Self: A Creative Competition 
and we are very excited! But, we need your help to get our portfolio considered. All you have to do to help "judge" our work is visit this link - COLLECT MY PORTFOLIO - and  you can sign in with OR without Facebook. When you see the above portfolio, up at the top simply click the "Collect Me" button...and that's it! Well, that's all you have to do to vote for us, but you can share the link and ask your friends to, also! (Hint-hint!) You only have to "collect" my portfolio once to judge it, and the last date to vote is June 20.

Here is my Artist Statement:  

I am a photojournalist, author, blogger, and parent to one daughter and five Siberian Huskies. I have been a photographer and animal lover for almost my whole life! Through my photos, I love to not only tell stories, but capture a mood; a moment in the life of my Huskies (known as the FiveSibes™), one of which was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy in 2009. Their innocence, devotion, and essence of happiness is so pure and amazing to witness each day. They have added so much joy and dimension to our lives, and photographing them is pure enjoyment for me and my way of eternally honoring them and their breed, while also promoting and supporting Canine Epilepsy Awareness. It is my hope that when people look at my photographs, they will smile and think, "Wow, life is beautiful."

 Thanks so much for your support and helping me and my FiveSibes take over New York City (in pictures)! I hope to share my photographs and help to promote and educate folks on the wonderful breed of Siberian Husky, as well as spread the word about Canine Epilepsy Awareness...and what better place than in the Big Apple?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Newsy Tuesday: Welcome Home, Chloe!

Our sweet Chloe is home from the hospital and is settling in. She is pretty heavily sedated & resting to allow time to heal. Chloe had double Bilateral Cruciate Imbrication as she tore both her CCLs (ACLs), blew both meniscuses. The surgeon said her cruciates were a mess, but he felt the surgery went very well. Chloe is young, just four, and the best guess is she either was born with weakened knees or after a spill, it became weaker and she started relying on her good leg, thereby weakening that one too and it was just a matter of time before they just snapped.

When we first arrived home from the hospital, she received such a happy warm "wooo" welcome from our other Sibes! They are very happy to have her back home, although our alpha queen Harley, the Pupsters surrogate momma, has been frantic and very anxious. We can see how she worries about Chloe and just wants to be sure she is okay.

 "Wooo!  Chloe is home!"

 "We missed you so much!" Says Bandit with a kiss for Sis.
For the most part, Chloe is pretty sedated. At times, she will wake up frantic and thrash her E-collar around in an attempt to get it off. Then she settles back down as the meds kick in. She will need to be kept in her confined area and wear an E-collar for the next eight weeks. Hu-Dad carries her out for her "nature" calls, and she is assisted with the help of a sling. On the 20th, Chloe will go back to the surgeon to have her staples removed from both legs. So each day home now is another day of healing.

In the meantime, Hu-Dad made a ramp to make a step-free access to the yard for Chloe when she is able to start walking again. (We have a high ranch house, so steps in and out everywhere! Talk about a good campaign for a low-style ranch house!) Here we are introducing the rest of our Sibes to the ramp and teaching them how to walk on it. Bandit now loves it - she thinks it a playground!

I'd like to give our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our wonderful surgeon and our vet and his team for taking such wonderful care of Chloe every step of the way. And thank you, all our wonderful and caring friends from Blogville for all your good wishes & prayers! So proud to be part of this community! And so very happy to have our Chloe baby home! 

 ❤ We love you, Cozy Buttons! ❤

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Surgery Update on Chloe

Chloe Update: My daughter just received a call from the surgeon and Chloe is out of surgery and just went into recovery. Her knees were really bad. In addition to the torn ACLs (CCLs in dogs) in both legs, she had both meniscuses blown, and her cruciates were torn. Our poor baby girl. They will have a full progress report for us tomorrow. Lots of calls in to check on her will be happening today. Will post more when she is back home. Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for all your wonderful thoughts, prayers, comments, and support! I know our Chloe is feeling all the love!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quick Update on Chloe

Just popping in quick for a little update on Chloe. This is a video of the Sibes calling out to Chloe this morning before leaving and her answering them back from another room. They sure miss their little sis. She is at the surgeon's and is in critical condition as she not only tore both ACLs, but also blew out one meniscus that they have to rebuild. They are putting her in for surgery tomorrow for both legs and she is scheduled to come home Saturday. A huge heartfelt "Thank You" goes out to all of you for your wonderful support, kind words & prayers, Emails, and very helpful information. I have been reading all your wonderful comments via my phone and it just is so wonderful and means so much to us. Thank you!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Paw Circle of Healing for Sweet Chloe

Chloe, sedated and crying with her new stuffie.
We have had a traumatic event happen here yesterday...our sweet Chloe went to jump up on the bed on Sunday and suddenly started yelping out in pain. She dropped to the floor and could not move her hind legs and has been crying non-stop ever since. At 3AM we carried her into our emergency vet hospital, where they gave her two shots -  one for pain and one for inflammation. They then examined her and suspected hip displaysia. They allowed us to take her home (by now it was 4:30 and our vet opened up at 7) and we laid her on her bed and let the pain meds work until she cried herself to sleep. At 7AM, she woke up literally screaming. We brought her right in to our vet who suspected, not hip issues, but rather torn ACLs, and the X-rays confirmed she has bilateral tears in both legs and recommended an orthopedic surgeon. Chloe has an appointment this Wednesday at 10 AM. She is crying and it is heartbreaking. It's very hard to stay positive when she is crying so much and our heart breaks at her sweet little innocent face as her eyes plead for help. The light is that I've heard from a number of folks on the FiveSibes Facebook Page whose furbabies required this same surgery and said while it was very difficult in the beginning as we have to keep her very still (and away from the rest of the furfamily), it was worth it as their dogs recuperated and were back to being almost new within several months of the surgery, including running and jumping back up on the sofa. Such inspirational news to hear and we are hanging onto the until we see the orthopedic surgeon. She is not able to put weight on either hind foot, so we will find out what his recommendation is. It's a frightening time. The rest of our Sibes are howling to her often, with her howling back from my daughter's room. Our alpha queen, Harley, the surrogate mother of the pack, spent the night pacing and worrying.

The last thing that happened before she jumped up to meet her fate, was me putting some ointment on a rash she was being treated for and saying, "Up on the bed, Chloe!" so the ointment would dry and her momma, my daughter, could keep a close eye to be sure she didn't lick off the ointment. And Chloe, in her bright-eyed trusting manner, listened, only to experience the worse pain of her life, followed by all this trauma. I understand from the vet that this was in the making...that her rash could've been her biting at the joint from the growing pain. That this could be a genetic disorder. Still...I feel awful, as though she thinks I caused her pain. In the long run, if this was going to happen anyway, I am very glad I was right there and it wasn't while she was going up or down the stairs or while she was running in the yard with the others. Still...she looks up with her bright blue eyes pleading for help. I pray the orthopedic vet will have positive news for us.

Prayers and positive vibes are most welcome! I will be taking a break for a bit from blogging until after we see the ortho and get our girl through the surgery and back home to recover. I know it will be a long road, but she is young and we pray in a year from now this will just be a distant memory in her mind. Right now, she really needs us and my daughter really needs me. My heart breaks for her since she just lost her cat Smokie, and now her baby Chloe is in such distress.

Please join us in a pawcircle of healing for our "Cozy Girl."  Thank you for all your kindness and support. I look forward to returning back to Blogville at a later date and bearing good recovery news about our baby Chloe.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunny Sibe Shadow Shot Sunday

After a few days of scorching hot weather, 
followed by several days of rain, our Bandit girl 
 is soaking up some sun in the cool breeze out on the deck!  A little sun, a little music...Enjoy!

☼  ☼ 

Soaking Up the Sun
sung by Alyssa Bernal

"...We'll be soaking up the sun
I'm in it for the long run, you and me together
Whispering in my ear, 
saying that you'll be right here 
Tell me again and again cause
I'll never get tired of hearing it's forever!"

Shadow Shot Sunday 2