Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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 Purpleday.org, “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!


  1. What a great idea! We don't wear much of anything but Mom has on a lavender-colored sweater. Today is our youngest human sister's birthday and guess what, purple has always been her favorite color:)

    You do so much good for canine epilepsy awareness. Kudos to you.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  2. It's a good day to spread awareness and wear purples
    Benny & Lily

  3. Woof! Woof! One reason my dad wore a purple tie today. Hoping for a cure someday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  4. Oh shoot! I wore wine today, and Sissy always wears purple, thankfully. We definitely have our paws crossed for a cure.

  5. Ma wore purples today! I told her I needed a purple collar!! BOL She said maybe next year!!
    It sure is great work you do! Keep spreading the word!

  6. Wish I knew this morning so I could have supported the cause! I hope one day they find a cure!

  7. We are proud to stand with these Warriors in the fight to find answers and a cure. Until then, we will NEVER surrender and will follow our Mighty Quinn's example of living in the moment, riding through the tough times, and believing with all our hearts that one day soon NO creature, dogs, cats, or humans, will suffer or fear an attack.

    Thank you for all you do to raise awareness and more important, understanding. The White Dog Army

  8. Wish I read this earlier but glad I did now. Love all the recognition the cause is now getting!