Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter! Here Comes the Easter FiveSibes!

Here comes the Siberian Cotton Tails, wooing down the Bunny Trail...

We just loved all the wonderful furpals from around the World who joined us in last year's Easter Parade of Pets, that we just had to share again this year! You may even recognize a few beautiful furry faces!

And as you get ready to have some fun this Easter Sunday, just as a reminder, here's a repeat of some safety tips for us all to keep in mind while celebrating this holiday to ensure it's a happy one for all. 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. Keep their collars and tags on, just in case they slip out a door. And please, be sure your microchip information is accurate!

We'd also like to thank everyone for tuning in each month to listen to our chat about Siberian  Huskies and all things canine on my "The Sibe Vibe" radio show on Dog Works Radio

Before we go, we will leave you with this blast from the past  ~ our silly Sibes doing the Easter Bunny Hop! 
Have a Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Tasty Tuesday! The FiveSibes Taste Test House Wolf K-9 Biscuits and We're Hosting A Tasty Giveaway for Sibe Rescues!

No one gets between Wolf & his House Wolf biscuits!

Recently, we discovered the House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits. These are healthy homemade dog treats made in Vermont, USA. They are baked by the owners of the Edelweiss Bakery and Cafe, and were inspired by the family's three Siberian Huskies, "Sasha," "Dakota," and "Kayak" to make their own biscuits. 

They state, "We were concerned about what they didn't need in their diets so we researched a more holistic approach to their feeding.  The Wolf came to mind and being our K-9 friends are not to far removed from the Wolf, we research on how they lived and ate in the wild.  Our three didn't need artificial food colorings, preservatives and starches and syrups (sweeteners) nor did they need Humectant and Plasticizer so their biscuits and treats maintained dampness and flexibility.  This is where we developed a biscuit for the three of them that had a much more healthier approach."

Woo! We smell...treats!!!!
First, let me just say that the second the package of biscuits arrived from the bakery, my Sibe kids were all over it! Then when I removed the bags of biscuits from the box, all I can say is they were so excited they were wooing and pawing at the bags. One of my Sibes managed to get one bag opened within seconds and immediately chowed down a biscuit and came back wooing for more. After reading the ingredients, it's no wonder - it's a Husky's dream menu! 

"Mail for us and we can eat it!!!"

According to their website, House Wolf states, "We only use the best of ingredients that are all natural and organic. Honey, Molasses, Apples, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Salmon, Chicken. Organic Brown Rice Flour, Oatmeal and Garbanzo Flour, Soy Flour, All Natural Peanut Butter, and will be adding other ingredient products as we develop our biscuits. NO SALT, EVER ADDED." No wonder the Sibes go wild over these treats! And the best part? It's made by USA bakers, so with all the recent pet food and treat recalls, and the scares of treats being made in China, it's nice to have a hometown baking family of Sibe lovers making the treats. And if you want to whip up your own homemade treats, as many of us do, House Wolf is pretty awesome about sharing great recipes, many of them gluten-free for the delicate canine stomach. And you know what else is pretty cool? They share some of their recipes on their House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits Facebook page, as well as on our FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook page. (We are an open community page, so even if you don't have a Facebook account, you can come visit our page and read all the recipes, info, Sibe photos, and videos there).

Here's one example of the scrumptious recipes from the kitchen of those fabulous Vermont House Wolf 
K-9 Dog Biscuits bakers!

I can't say which was my FiveSibes' favorite, but I can say that we are already down one bag and half way through another! I even use a meat mallet to smash them up and sprinkle over their morning yogurt and kibble and when I do, their breakfast dishes are cleaned!

I had planned on videotaping them longer than the following clip because words just can't describe just how excited they get...except steadying a video camera in one hand, hanging on to the much desired biscuits in another, and holding off five very happy and enthusiastic Huskies was a bit too steep of a task, even for me! So, here is a snippet of what I managed to get, but it's enough to see there are no bored noses here!

Chloe, Gibson, and Bandit just can't get enough!

Yes, you can see the excitement in their eyes for these biscuits! They now even know the sound of the cellophane bag and start wooing, dancing, and waiting for their snack!

One other note: With Gibson being an Epi-Husky, it's extremely important that his food and treats do not contain salt (one of his Epi-meds is Potassium Bromide) and are natural. All dogs should not have salt or artificial ingredients, but it's extra important to those who have medical issues. House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits are a perfect choice.

Harley joins in for some nom...nom...nommmmms...

House Wolf also does many fundraising events, too, to help out homeless pets. "We donate to Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue of New England, Texas Husky Rescue, and Free Spirit Siberian Husky Rescue, and have made a biscuit in each of their namesakes. Every time someone orders their particular biscuit, we donate $1.00 to their rescue." House Wolf also holds yard sales and raffles and have donated the proceeds to shelters and rescues." 

* Special  Giveaway! *

For Siberian Husky Rescues 
Enter Now! *

We are also very excited to announce a House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits Giveaway! Wooo! This giveaway is just for our furpals living in non-profit Siberian Husky rescues. So, if you volunteer or are a member or friend of a Siberian Husky non-profit rescue, be sure to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway and next Tuesday we will announce one lucky random rescue winner who will receive this scrumptious trio assortment of House Wolf's fabulous (and very addicting) biscuits! The prize assortment pack is a howling good one! House Wolf has put together one bag of Peanut Butter Apple (blend made for Texas Husky Rescue), one bag of Call of the Wild (blend made for Free Spirit Siberian Husky Rescue), and Carrot Oatmeal, Paw-nut Butter Growlnola Bark Bars & Fish Sticks (blend made for Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue). Can you say "yum?!"

One lucky Siberian Husky Rescue 
will win these! Enter below! 
Next Tuesday we will announce the one random lucky Husky rescue winner! A big round of a-paws to House Wolf for this great prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits gets a firm - and very enthusiastic  - Four Paws Up!

When you order from House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits, or visit their Facebook page, let them know the FiveSibes sent you!

"Wooo...more, please?"

Thanks to Tasty Tuesday's hosts Sugar the Golden Retriever and Kol's Notes! Please be sure to visit their blogs, as well as the others listed below for lots of tasty recipes and food tips!

It's Purple Day!

Have your dogs gone purple?

Today is a very special day. It’s Purple Day. A day to spread awareness of Epilepsy by wearing the color purple. Last year, I was made a Purple Day Ambassador for life, and as such, as many of you know, I have made it my mission to spread the word about Canine Epilepsy. My boy, Gibson, diagnosed as an Epi-dog four years ago when he turned three, has been my inspiration to shine light on these amazing warrior dogs and how they do not stop living life just because they have seizures or Canine Epilepsy. Once, the recommended treatment for dogs with seizures was euthanasia. Not so anymore. There are many possible treatments to try ranging from medical to holistic and dietary, and/or a combination of both. With some special care and a lot of love, Epi-dogs can and do live full happy lives, for however long those lives may be.

How Did Purple Day Start?

According to, “Purple Day was founded in 2008, by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada, with the help of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia (EANS). Cassidy chose the color purple after the international color for epilepsy, lavender. Cassidy created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy's goal is to get people talking about Epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia came on board in 2008 to help develop Cassidy's idea, which is now known as the Purple Day for Epilepsy campaign.”

As many of you already know, I have been carrying the torch for many years for Canine Epilepsy awareness. My children’s book, What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy was, of course, based on Gibson and a way to let children know that if they see a dog with a seizure, or even a loved one or friend, to not be afraid. There are tips in the book to help a child feel helpful and learn that there are a few ways that they can help their pet. 

"Thank you for liking my book!"

This past  November during National Epilepsy Month I launched the “Live Gib Strong” K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign to hopefully really spread the word about seizures and our pets and how they can still live their lives even with this uncertain monster. So many fellow Epi-parents have joined me in my crusade, and I have made some very special and dear friends along the way. We all love our furkids and just because they have Canine Epilepsy does not mean that they don’t deserve the very same, if not more, love back than what they so loyally and devotedly give us. We love our Epi-dogs. And they love us.

“We want to show people that their dogs can live a normal life and be active with their condition and that Canine Epilepsy shouldn’t be considered a handicap that eliminates them from activities.” 
~Brenda Halverson, Hu-Mom of "Riley," a Dock Dog of Team Riley Bear. 

For new readers to my blog, you can put “Canine Epilepsy” in the search box at the top left hand of this blog and it will pull up past stories with photos, videos, and information about Gibson and his journey with Canine Epilepsy.

For new Epi-dog parents, please don’t fret. Yes, it is VERY scary. Seeing Gibson seize for the first time was one of THE most frightening experiences of my life. It’s something that is emblazoned in my heart forever. Is it easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Absolutely, without a doubt, yes!

“Seizures are not a death sentence or an end to quality of life. With knowledge and observation of your pet, life can continue to be a wonderful sharing adventure.”

~Sue Smith, Hu-Mom of "Quinn" of the 

As part of my awareness efforts, I support the Canine Epilepsy Resources site. A percentage of proceeds from What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9Epilepsy will, for the life of the book, be donated to the Canine Epilepsy Resources site, which is home to the Epil-K9 list and supports "Emma's Fund," and it is provided by the Epil-K9 Foundation. We also have items in my “Live Gib Strong” K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, including artisan handmade bead awareness bracelets (made to order), silicone awareness bracelets, and T-shirts for sale, with a percentage going to Canine Epilepsy Resources. There is also "Live Gib Strong" Resource Booklet I’ve produced to help give information on resources available and testimonials from Epi-parents available. 

I'd like to offer some kudos and sincere appreciation to a few of our supporters. I'd like to thank the vets and staff at Kingston Animal Hospital in New York, who not only do an amazing job with treating and caring for Gibson, but who also has graciously allowed me to place a donation dog house and container of the “Live Gib Strong” bracelets on their counter in their office. To date, they’ve raised $57 for the Canine Epilepsy Resources “Emma’s Fund!”

"Woo, thank you for donating in my name!" 

I also was so touched when recently the White Dog Army recently celebrated “TheMighty Quinn’s” Gotcha Day with a Comment-a-Thon, where for comments left on the post, they would make a donation to the Canine Epilepsy Resources “Emma’s Fund.” At the close of the event, they donated $65!

And…through my “Live Gib Strong” campaign in November, including some sales of the book, I raised $58 for the Canine Epilepsy Resources “Emma’s Fund.” In total – with the support of so many – we will be sending a donation check of $180 to Canine Epilepsy Resources! Woooo!

The “Emma’s Fund” is a memorial fund for beautiful Dalmatian Emma, the furangel of Marion Mitchell of Canine Epilepsy Resources. The Neurology Department at the Veterinary School at North Caroline State University set it up and the fund is used to help the Neurology and Genetics Departments with small projects, research, and pieces of equipment. 

In honor of Purple Day, I’ve produced the following photo slideshow video honoring many fellow Epi-dogs across the breeds and across the globe. Together, we have joined paws and hands to go purple to honor these wonderful, loving, amazing warrior dogs. I hope you enjoy it, and please…share the video link with everyone you know! Together, we can share awareness that Epi-dogs deserve a chance at a happy life.

It is my hope that one day soon, a cure will be found.
Until then…we love our Epi-dogs!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art & Sled Dogs: "Born to Run" Book Review and In-Depth Interview with Author/Pet Portrait Artist Jewel Mathieson

"Woo, Chloe, I'm going to be in Jewel's next book!"

Today’s blog post features a book review on the beautifully illustrated Born to Run and an interview with the talented animal portrait artist and now author, Jewel Mathieson of New Zealand who creates very detailed works of art using the medium of colored pencils. Her works have been featured in books and publications worldwide, and in 2010, she was the recipient of the “Runner Up” Award in the Arts Council Nelson Impressions Art Awards.

Born to Run is filled with beautiful pet portraits by Jewel of real-life dogs. She says she has been “passionate about art for as long as I can remember, with many of my childhood hours spent sketching, drawing and painting. Although I found inspiration in a variety of subjects, I predominantly drew wild animals, and old antiquated architecture but nothing fascinated me more than wolves. When I was seven, this passion extended to Spitz breed dogs when our family adopted a Finnish Spitz puppy who we shared sixteen and a half wonderful years with.” Then in 2010, she turned that passion into her own full-time pet portrait business in New Zealand. Her current work is primarily sled dogs and Spitz breeds.

Wolf checks out the white sled dogs in the book.

Jewel with her furpal, Nika.
Jewel says, “After becoming great friends with the secretary of the Southland Sled Dog Association, I was invited to travel down to Invercargill in 2010 to meet her and her four Siberian Huskies, and also to experience sled dog racing first hand. This amazing and life changing experience opened the door to a whole new direction and influence for my art. I am now associated with several clubs around New Zealand, Australia and America.”

Jewel says what inspires her the most is “the unique personality and character that animals show through their body language and facial expressions. I have spent many hours learning to recognize these subtleties and love capturing these precious moments in my drawings. I want the owners to look at my portraits and really recognize 'their' pet looking back at them.

“Standing in the darkness I could see my breath illuminated in the freezing night air by the flickering headlamps around me. The electrifying sound of howls, yaps and the occasional woo woo sent a shiver up my spine. The sled dog teams were lined up and waiting in anticipation for their turn to run. The immense excitement in the air was infectious.” 
~Jewel Mathieson, Born to Run.

FIVESIBESMOM. You do amazing work in the colored pencil medium…yet I read that you are self-taught. Amazing! No professional training? How did you learn to draw such wonderful likenesses?

JEWEL MATHIESON. Yes I am completely self-taught! I did take art when I was in high school but unfortunately that was during a time when the art world was completely in love with abstract art and realism was frowned upon. So all I have learnt has been from experimentation and lots of practice!

Bandit says, "This one looks a little like me, Mom!"
Although I have tried many different mediums over the years I have fallen in love with colored pencils. They can be quite a difficult medium to master but offer so much versatility in the styles and looks, which can be achieved. They can be heavy and rich like an oil painting or soft and dreamy like a pastel. My favorite characteristic is their ability to be sharpened to a needle point. I always work with my pencils super sharp and quite literally draw in every hair on my bigger pieces. It requires a lot of patience but the effect is well worth it. They are, however, not as forgiving as other mediums so each piece has to be thoughtfully planned and carefully executed. For example you can’t really layer light colors on top of darks like you can with other mediums such as oil paint. The portrait I recently finished of the Akita with his nose covered in snow required me to initially draw in all of the flecks of snow (after I had finished his eyes, that’s always first), and then very carefully draw in the rest of the portrait behind it!

Jewel at work with  Nika.
I dearly love realism and when I draw a picture I don’t just copy a photo, I do all I can to make a portrait even better than the photo. That’s the beauty of art; you can add things in, leave things out, clean things up or make a coat look thicker and fuller. I always try to challenge myself with the pieces I choose to draw. I often pick photos that would be technically difficult to draw but the challenge helps me learn how to tackle different subjects, textures or elements that I am less familiar with. Being able to create a good likeness comes with having a great passion and understanding of my subjects and being able to recognize the subtleties and tiny details that make a dog unique and individual. When the owner sees my portrait I really want them to see “their” dog looking back at them.

FSM. When did you first become interested in art?

JM. I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I spent countless childhood hours drawing and painting. Although I tried many mediums, graphite pencils was my favorite as a child until I discovered colored pencils. I first had my artwork on public display when I was just 15, in a small gift and home-ware shop in Nelson. My materials were always very limited but I did the best with what I could afford at the time. At the age of 17 I moved to Christchurch (the big city!) and managed the Art & Craft department within a large retail chain store. This gave me the perfect opportunity to learn about quality art materials, and also to stock up!

FSM. I read you first started out sketching wolves…how and where did you do this and what attracted you to drawing this species?

JM. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love wolves! Everything about them fascinated me, and still does. They are so beautiful, so intelligent and had such complex and intricate relationships within their own species but also the interactions and relationships they had with humans. I constantly borrowed books about them from the library, which were not only an excellent source of information but were also where my earliest reference material came from. I also hunted for calendars, nature magazines or anything I could get my hands on really. And I absolutely loved watching documentaries on them. We don’t have wolves in New Zealand so this was the only way I could study them. I dream of being able to meet and interact with some in real life one day.
Cover models Suggen & Aleka

FSM. How did you know you wanted to be a professional artist?

JM. I had always dreamed of being a professional artist but was always told that I couldn’t because “it’s not a real job”. I had actually planned on leaving high school and then going to university to study fine art but with the state of the art world at the at the time and their obsession with abstract art, I changed my mind and decided against it. This left me with the realization that I had no idea what else I could do with my life. Nothing else excited me and drove me like art did. In the back of my mind I never gave up on my dream and I made a lot of choices along the way, particularly with my jobs, that still supported my goal. I worked with art supplies and books, took a commission only job with a professional landscape painter just for the experience which taught me heaps about the art world, and even worked in an office supplies store. Each job taught me skills that I could transfer to my own art career. The biggest turning point for me was taking a night course on small business management and realizing that I could actually turn my hobby and dream into a reality. Two months after starting my course I was officially in business.

FSM. You do so many beautiful Siberian Husky, Malamute, and sled dog portraits, in addition to other breeds and animals. How did you become so interested in the northern breeds and what attracts to you to drawing these dogs?

JM. My mother had always loved northern breeds, especially Samoyeds. When I was 7 my family adopted Tiia, a Finnish Spitz puppy who we were lucky enough to share 16 ½ wonderful years with. She was my first real introduction to northern breeds, and looked so much like a tiny wolf pup when we brought her home. She really forged my love of northern breeds and was a big inspiration for me. I think the close relationship they have with wolves and the intelligent, independent natures they both share really appealed to me, as well as their stunning good looks!

Jewel with Vada from Chugiak Kennels of Nelson
One of my early pet portraits was of a beautiful Alaskan Malamute I had met and photographed called Mia. Her portrait attracted me a lot of commissions from people who had seen it, even before it was finished, and also after I listed it for sale on an online auction site. One of the many people who contacted me through the site was a lovely lady called Aleeya, who is now one of my closest friends. At the time she owned three Siberian Huskies, which unbeknownst to her I was already drawing as a surprise gift at the request of another friend of hers who had also found me through the auction site! Aleeya was the secretary of the Southland Sled Dog Association, and after dozens of emails talking about Huskies and Sled Dog sports she invited Wayne and I down to Invercargill to stay with her, meet her and her Huskies and experience sled dog racing first hand. I was hooked! Seeing the immense joy and excitement the dogs had for racing was overwhelming and very inspiring! During my time at the racing Aleeya introduced me to lots of people and their gorgeous dogs, mostly northern breeds. I came away from there with lots of new friends, several commissions, and the idea firmly in my mind that I wanted to re-create that excitement I had experienced so strongly from the dogs and share it with the world. Two years later I returned to Invercargill with my exhibition Born To Run, which I held on-site at the sled dog racing, right next to the finish line.

Networking through Aleeya, as well as people I have met from other clubs, has allowed me to meet some wonderful people over the past few years, and has led me to specialize in northern breeds and sled dog portraits, although I still enjoy drawing all dog breeds, as well as other animals. Facebook certainly makes networking a lot easier and makes the world feel so much smaller! I absolutely love meeting new people and their gorgeous dogs. 

FSM. Do you have any dogs/pets of your own?

JM. Yes, we have a gorgeous wee Chocolate Labrador/Mastiff/Staffy mix called Nika. We adopted her from a shelter when she was around eight weeks old after her and her three sisters were abandoned when they were around five weeks old. She is such a special girl, my constant companion, and has the biggest personality! She’s always super happy, a little cheeky and far too intelligent for her own good! Everyone who meets her falls in love with her.

FSM. You do much work for non-profit shelters – i.e. donating portraits for fundraising, etc. How and why did you become involved in this type of volunteer work?

JM. Adopting our girl Nika from a shelter was definitely quite eye opening, seeing how many more animals get a second chance at life because of the work they do. Along with the main shelters like the SPCA, there are a lot of smaller, lesser known rescues around which are often run by one single very dedicated person. I also hold breed specific rescues in very high regard and believe they are a very valuable asset in our societies. After meeting lots of people through my art who belong to various clubs I discovered that almost all of the clubs I deal with have a rescue element, or support a rescue relevant to their dogs. I was able to see how dedicated the clubs are to supporting other owners and helping to train, rescue and re-home the breeds that they know so well. The people involved in these breed specific rescues know the dogs inside out and are often better educated and equipped at dealing with their specific needs and making accurate assessments. None of these groups or rescues receives funding and the money often comes out of their own pockets, so I try to do what I can to support various clubs and rescues across New Zealand and more recently in Australia and America too. I have a huge respect to all of the people who dedicate their time and often their own money to helping animals. It is admirable and very inspiring.

FSM. How difficult/easy is it to “get to know” the animal you are drawing via photographs so that you can bring out their individual personality?

JM. It really is all about the eyes. I always start and finish the eyes first before anything else as they truly let you see into the soul of an animal. I can spend an entire day just working on the eyes and if they are not perfect from the start then I will not continue with the portrait and I will re-started it. They really are that important. Once the eyes are finished I know exactly how the rest of the portrait will look. The likeness and glimmer of personality you see in the eyes in my opinion will make or break a portrait.

"Bolt" - the first illustration of Jewel's new book in progress, Indomitable Spirit

I also spend a lot of time studying my subjects before I start drawing them. Having several different photos to look at, especially some less formal photos that show a lot of their personality really helps. I always ask owners to tell me a bit about them and their character. As I work on a portrait I cross-reference various photos throughout the process to ensure I can get the markings and fine details as accurate as I can. By the time I have finished a portrait I really feel like I know my subject very well.

In some cases when a portrait is finished and sent, that’s the end of the communication with my client, but in many cases that is just the beginning. I have made some wonderful friends over the years and still receive photos and updates from lots of animals that I drew many years ago. I have become “Aunty Jewel” to dozens of cats and dogs all over the world, many of whom I have never met, but still feel extremely close to. Whenever something happens, good or bad, I am often one of the first people who they contact.

FSM. In order to do a portrait, you need just a photograph(s)?

JM. Yes, although I would love to have the dogs here in person for cuddling purposes! I try to get a few different photos if possible showing different angles and lots of personality. Even though I predominantly work from just one photo it still helps to be able to cross reference details and markings as I work. Having large clear photos to work from makes a world of difference as my style is highly detailed and I do all I can to make it as accurate as possible. The more I can see in the photo the more I can include in a portrait and the better the likeness will be.

FSM. You recently held a Model Search for new faces for your next book, which I am so happy to announce that my Gibson has been selected to be in…what will that one be called and how did you know you wanted to another book?

JM. While working on my first project Born To Run, I met lots of wonderful people and dogs from all over the world and I was also introduced to a few different northern breeds that I didn’t have any experience with. Seeing these dogs doing what they love best, back in the environments that they were bred for was hugely influential and inspiring. There was one photo in particular that really struck me when I saw it and gave me the idea to work on a second book which looked more at the spirit of these hard working and extraordinary dogs. The photo was of a huge Alaskan Malamute Team taken during an expedition in the Arctic. I am thrilled to say that I have been given permission to draw this photo, which inspired me so much and include it in my new book which I will be calling Indomitable Spirit.

Jewel with "nieces & nephews from Ice Sibes of Invercargill     
It’s the spirit of the dogs that speak to me while I look through the photos, of which I had well over 15,000 submitted with permission to use for my book! Dogs have been domesticated for such a long time now and few are worked and relied on in the arctic regions of the world like they used to be, but their modern day descendants have never lost the strength and determination that their ancestors possessed. My book will look at a variety of breeds from all over the globe. Some of the dogs I will be drawing are still leading the lives of working or racing dogs, while others are much loved companions from more urban environments. The one thing they all have in common is their amazing quiet strength and loyalty and the special bonds that they share with their owners.

JM. My wonderful friend, Dawn, from Connecticut, USA, makes the most exquisite glass charm pendants and key rings from my artwork. These are a great optional extra for people getting portraits drawn, and I also have a large selection of my images, which are available to be made into charms. I can also have charms made from your photos. They can be ordered directly through me by sending me an email.

FSM. When will your new book be out and how will it and Born to Run be available for folks who would love to add it to their own library?

JM. When I initially developed the concept for Indomitable Spirit I planned on drawing 35 portraits for it, but after a lengthy discussion on my Facebook page, I have increased that number to 55. This is making it a bit hard to predict a publish date, but I am aiming for early to mid 2014. I will be posting updates and many of the finished portraits on my Facebook page as I go so anyone interested in following my journey is welcome to join my page Pet Portraits by Jewel Mathieson

In addition to the 27 full color portraits, Jewel’s first book Born to Run also has photos from the exhibition and racing and gives a great insight into how it all came to be. Born To Run can be purchased HERE

FSM. What’s next for Jewel?

JM. Once Indomitable Spirit has been published, I’m hoping to spend the rest of 2014 focusing on my commissions. I’m sure there will be another big project in the works soon after that though. I already have lots of ideas but don’t want to decide on anything yet while I’m still focused on my current project. I will wait and see what inspires me next and where my journey will lead me.

If you’d like to have a portrait done by Jewel, she says that while “some people know exactly what they want and how they want it, but many people have no idea. I’m here to help with all aspects of planning and am always happy to look at people’s photos and to advise them what I think would work best. There is no obligation at all; I love meeting people and especially love seeing photos of their dogs.”

Contact Jewel via Email: Jewel(at) or visit her website HERE.

"Woo! Us FiveSibes give Born to Run a 4-Paws Up Rating! 
We love it!" says Harley.

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