Wednesday, May 29, 2013

♥ Happy Birthday, Hu-Dad! ♥

Wooooo! Today is a special day!

We're so excited!!! Is he home yet?

Woo...did you remember the gift?
 Yes, I'm all wrapped!

Oh, Chloe, you're silly! You were supposed to 
wrap up a gift, not be the gift!

Woooo! He's coming! Light the cake, Hu-Mom!
Happy Birthday, Hu-Dad. We love wooo!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day: Honoring Our Human and K9 Veterans and Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Wolf and all of us here at FiveSibes salute all our veterans.

This is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, and we'd like to share this beautiful tribute to the Military Working Dogs and their Handlers: 

Since World War I, canines have played a large part in history. Known as "war dogs," these courageous canines, accompanied by their handlers, have bravely assisted our soldiers in so many ways; from tracking to bomb sniffing. For more interesting facts, videos, documentaries, stamp project information, and much more on the war dogs, visit the United States War Dog Association's website.  

War Dog Ambassador "Buck"
Since we are all about the Siberian Husky, did you know that they were one of the original seven breeds of dogs used as a War Dog during World War II? And beautiful "Buck," while not a War Dog himself, he served as the U.S. War Dog Ambassador journeying thousands of miles with his handler, Vietnam veteran Johnny Mayo, speaking to others about the War Dog. 

Our Harley with the book Buck's Heroes
Buck was Ambassador until he journeyed North of the Rainbow Bridge in 2006. You can read more about Buck in a beautiful book called Buck's Heroe's written by Mayo, a great read for the holiday.
To view a beautiful musical K9 Wall of Honor slideshow of Military Work Dogs, please visit HERE, and be sure to turn up your speakers.

And since Memorial Day Weekend is the big kick-off to the summer season, I like to take a few minutes each year to post some tips to keep our pets safe during the summer holiday season. Please:

  • Keep pets in a separate room or kennel while guest are arriving and leaving to avoid any escapes and to help quell any anxieties.
  • Keep collar and tags on in case they get spooked or sneak off. Be sure microchip info is up-to-date!
  • Keep a leash nearby for emergency roundups.
  • Keep lit candles and lighters out of their reach.
  • Keep them away from hot/flaming BBQ grilles.
  • Do not use pesticides where your pets will be.
  • Watch out for poisonous yard plants.
  • Keep access to swimming pools limited so the furkids can not accidentally fall in. Have an access ladder or float available in case they do.
  • Keep backyard gates closed and locked. 
  •  Keep a watchful out for foods and beverages that are harmful, i.e. alcohol, chocolate, onions, grapes, certain nuts, chicken bones, caffeinated drinks (including that iced tea and iced coffee!), garlic, and salt. And ladies, watch those purses! Gum with xylitol, pain relievers, and medications are toxic to dogs! For a full list of harmful foods, visit the ASPCA website.
  • Keep your vet, after hours clinic, and poison control numbers posted near your phone and in your cell phone. 
  • If you are traveling, please be sure to safely restrain your pet either with a pet seat belt or crate. And NEVER leave a pet in a hot car, even if the windows are cracked. If you see a dog in a hot car, report it immediately and get the pet help! (According to, even if it is an 82°F day, inside a car the temperature can be a deadly 109°F !)

This Memorial Day post is dedicated to a very special veteran, my late Dad, TSGT Earl Larry Wills, who served with the U.S. Army's "Big Red One" First Infantry, and his second tour with the Rainbow Division, 16th Infantry. This photo was taken of him during WWII on base with two of his furpals. His compassion for, and love of, dogs is just part of his legacy.

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.

Another beautiful video tribute:

From all of us here at the FiveSibes family to your family, 
have a safe and memorable Memorial Day.

To all our human and K-9 veterans,
THANK YOU  for your service to our country!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: The Birth of "Tico Nugget Bites" to Benefit Special Needs Husky Puppy

The FiveSibes and I are so very excited to make this wonderful announcement! We are so pleased to announce the "birth" of the newest treats - Tico Nugget Bites - a healthy homemade biscuit from the fabulous Vermont bakers at House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits who hail from the Edelweiss Bakery & Cafe family!

The House Wolf Tico Nugget Bites are named after a very special Siberian Husky puppy named "Quantico" - "Tico" for short and he is in care of a foster family through Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue. Tico came into Tails of the Tundra's care with a challenging congenital disorder, Spinal Nephroblastoma. He just finished receiving radiation therapy after surgery removed 80% of the tumor pressing against his spinal cord. With the relief of the pressure, mobility of his hind legs is improving! We are all hoping and praying for this beautiful boy to heal and have a shot at a long, healthy, happy life. 

Our thanks go out to the wonderful folks at Tails of the Tundra and Tico's foster family for working so hard to give this beautiful boy the best care possible in order to have that chance. You can read his progress, see the photos and watch the videos by visiting "Tico's Story" on their website and also HERE on Tails of the Tundra's Facebook page. Just wait until you see the joy and strong spirit of this handsome Husky puppy!

We are so excited about the birth of Tico Nugget
Bites, and the fabulous bakers at House Wolf will be donating 75 cents for each bag purchased at $10.75 per bag from their website store to Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue. Now, how cool is that?! When ordering, just look for this photo of Tico on the House Wolf website store and let them know FiveSibes sent you and that you want Tico's treats to benefit the TOTTSHR! These delicious treats are made of oatmeal, buckwheat flour, flaxseed flour, apples, carrots, bananas, and spring water. So if your dog has issues with wheat glutens, this is a healthy choice that is filled with flavor.

House Wolf makes the best treats...our FiveSibes literally go wild over them! They are filled with wholesome ingredients...and House Wolf never, ever adds salt. And that's important - for all dogs, but especially for Epi-dogs such as my Gibson, who are meds such as Potassium Bromide and must watch the amount of salt that is in foods and treats. I feel really good about my Sibes eating these healthy treats that are made by a family of bakers and right here in the U.S.A. Inspired to make homemade dog treats by their own Siberian Huskies Sahsa, Dakota, and Kayak, they felt they wanted to take a "more holistic approach to their feeding. The Wolf came to mind and being our K-9 friends are not too far removed from the Wolf, we researched on how they lived and ate in the wild. Our three didn't need artificial food colorings, preservatives, and starches and syrups (sweetners), 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." 

Today, their most recent Siberian Husky rescue,
beautiful Keysha, helps out with all aspects of quality control - and she really enjoys her job! Now what dog wouldn't want that job?!

We are so pleased and proud to be part of this great endeavor and sincerely thank Ralph La Belle and Ken Schlegel, owners of Edelweiss Bakery and Cafe and House Wolf K-9 Dog Biscuits for their dedication and devotion to donating to Huskies in need, such as Tico, and for developing this very special treat for a very special Husky pup. You guys rock! 

And here's a little upcoming promo - House Wolf will
be our August 11th guest on our Dog Works Radio show, "The Sibe Vibe," where they will be talking about their love of baking, Siberian Huskies, and their support of Husky well as sharing with us their philosophies on cooking healthy treats and even sharing some yummy recipes for canine companions! We'll also be having a treat giveaway drawing! So we hope you'll tune in at 1 PM EST and join us for an hour of deliciousness!

Thanks to our Tasty Tuesday hosts Sugar, the Golden Retriever  and Kol's Notes! Please be sure to visit their blogs and the others on the blog hop for some tasty recipes and tips!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thoughtul Thursday: Reflecting on the Kindness of Others

Artist Kat with Gibson and his artistic likeness.
It's hard to believe, and it does sound very clichéd, but time sure does fly by. It seems life gets so busy at times caring for our families and furkids, jobs, school, ailing and rehabilitating furkids, our own health issues, and so many of life's commitments, while we intended to do something, we sometimes carry it around in our mind until we have the actual time to put it into practice. Such is the case of today's blog. While I am late in posting this, the timing of such a story is never ending. And since it's May...a time of renewal and holidays such as Mother's Day, May Day, Memorial Day, graduations, weddings, and all things pertaining to celebrations and gifts, it actually is a perfect time to talk about about a gift that was so thoughtful and meaningful, I needed to share the story behind it and thought, no time like the present to do so!

The OP PACK at
Back in December, during the heighth of the Christmas gift giving season, I featured a new pet artist, Kathleen Burger a/k/a "Kat" of Kat N' Kanine (who also works for our fabulous veterinary hospital, the Kingston Animal Hospital), surprised me with a beautiful portrait of my Gibson she painted on the side of one of our vet's buildings that they were renovating. (Click HERE for full story). I was so touched by her thoughtfulness of painting such a wonderful likeness of my Gibson to become part of the vet's property. I brought Gibson over and shot photos of him with Kat and KAH owner and one of our vets, Dr. Arnold Rugg, in front of the outdoor portrait for a December blog post. As a special treat, Kat offered to do a complimentary portrait as a  prize for a giveaway I had conducted through Rafflecopter, which Blogger pals The OP Pack of the Chronicles of Woos blog won in the random drawing.

All sounds just wonderful and full of seasonal cheer, right? gets even better!

After notifying the OP Pack that they won the random drawing...they in turn did something remarkable and very caring...they paid their win forward by gifting the prize to another Blogger family - The Portuguese Water Blog (PWB) family, who the OP Pack family felt could certainly use it more because at that time, they had sadly just lost two of their furbabies - their beloved Samba and Sky - and the OP Pack wanted to bring them some cheer during what was a very sad time for them. The OP Pack Hu-Mom sent an Email to a very surprised PWB Hu-Mom telling of the regifting. You can read thhis story shared by the PWB Hu-Mom by visiting their blog post HERE.

Soon after contacting Kat, the PWB Hu-Mom couldn't
Kat's portrait of Samba and Sky.
decide which of her two beloved babies to have painted and left the choice up to Kat. And here is where the story gets even better still...Kat surprised her with a beautiful portrait of both dogs!

I still get chills thinking of the chain of events that created this tale of human compassion and kindness no matter which angle you are looking at. In a world where we too often hear sad and heartbreaking stories, it was so nice to be part of one that was so uplifting and kind. While it's so difficult to lose a beloved furpal, let alone two, by the thoughtful actions of others, hopefully it brought some comfort and a little cheer to someone at a time when they really needed it.

I know Kat, the artist personally, and she is an extremely talented and kind gal! The portrait is beautiful. And I know the OP Pack Hu-Mom, like many of you, through our wonderful "town" of Bloggerville. This giveaway will always hold a special place in my heart because it was done in the true spirit of giving. So during this spring season of gift giving, celebrations, and rebirth - when it gets hectic and you are feeling pressured because you simply can't find the right outfit or gift or fret about the time it will take to attend one of your upcoming events, let's remember this story of not one, but several human beings reaching out to bring some joy to another...for no other reason than they simply wanted to from the very goodness of their hearts.

As I stated in my original blog post about the drawing, perhaps author Harold Kushner did indeed say it best, “When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.”

Yes, I believe this is exactly how it ought to feel.  


Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother's Day Tribute ~ And Remembering Smokie

We wish to wish and woo a very Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there...both canine and human! We hope today is a very special day for you all and filled with love, hugs, and treats! I'd also like to wish my own Mom a wonderful day and a happy day to our pack family's surrogate momma, Harley, who took all three Pupsters under her wing when they were mere puppies as if they were her own! And today, five years later, still relishes in the "momma" role as their parent, mentor, teacher, and boss!

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there."
  ~Robert Browning

Happy Mother's Day!
Today also marks one year since our dear, sweet honorary Husky cat Smokie suddenly crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Before she left us, she brought us a starving little feral kitten we named Binx. In a way, she was his mother, bringing him to safety and love. He is a real charmer and has grown into a happy, healthy, vetted boy! Every time we see him roll in the sun, he reminds us of Smokie and how they played together and mirrored each other's actions. Smokie, we miss you every day. Bask in the warm sunlight, our sweet angel.

We will never forget you.
 A replay of our video remembrance:


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

'Tis the Season For A Husky Hot Tub!

The weather is perfect for going in the hot tub - Husky style! When the gentle breezes are blowing, and the mercury is rising, what better place to cool off than in a freshly dug hole in the earth under the shade of a big maple tree?! Grab a bone and come join Bandit and the FiveSibes in their newest "hot tub!" Woooooo!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's Cinco de Mayo!

I loved the pics from last year's celebration, that I thought (especially since Gibson and Harley are still recuperating from their CCL injuries) I would share them once again while wishing everyone a fun and "paw"some day filled with partying and yummy treats! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Woo!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Flashback Friday #29: Puppy Originals

"Time flies, but the memories collected along the way can never be replaced." ~Ashley Tisdale

With most of my photography today being shot digitally, I love coming across actual's like a sudden surprise that takes me back to when the moment was frozen in time on film. A moment I can hold in my hand and gaze upon as it drifts me back in time. While I do love the digital technology of today, there is just something about the feel and smell of a photograph. About the same way I feel about newspapers - reading them online can be such a convenience, but this old-school photojournalist still loves the feel and snap to an actual newspaper! This photo flashes back to when Gibson and Harley (our two "Originals" as I like to refer to them, the leaders of our FiveSibes pack family) where just pups. Gibson, who was about six months old here, was even smaller than Harley, who was just a year-and-a-half old pup herself! My how times have Gibson, my big wooly boy, weighs in at a newly svelte 97 pounds (down 19 pounds from two years ago!) while Harley skims the scales at 48 pounds! 

Pictured here, they had just finished being groomed and were sporting new bandanas and having fun playing in our now emptied kitchen nook. Yes, when they were pups, we emptied all our furniture out of the nook and let them have it to play in! We left behind one kitchen chair so our Queen Harley could practice her throne stance high above! Our nook has since been restored back to a human room, but they and the Pupsters still favor that room and love to sleep under the benches now like their own secret Sibe caves! It's so hard to believe these photos are from over six years ago...where does the time go?!

Happy FiveSibes™ Flashback Friday!

Grab our badge and join in! Share your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #FlashbackFriday photo and mention the FiveSibes with a link back to here and leave us comment so we can come visit your Flashback, too! To catch up on past Flashback Fridays, visit us here: 

Flashback Friday #22: A Tale of a Prince and His Perch 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Of Injuries, Rehab, and Healing of Huskies

Love is...sharing rehab together!
'Tis the season for rehabbing Huskies here...I haven't done an update in quite some time, so I thought I'd bring everyone up to speed on what's happening here.

As you recall, Chloe, who was just four years old, had double bilateral cruciate imbrication surgery last summer. She, I am happy to report, is progressing nicely! Where she had no ability to stand or walk after collapsing from a simple jump up on the bed only to discover she had shredded both hind CCLs and mensiscuses (deemed most likely from a genetic problem as she was from an irresponsible breeder). While there is a hitch to her gait now, she now can jump up on furniture, counter surf (which we discourage, however, seeing her stand up on the counter for the first time in almost a year was just wonderful! So I reached for my camera to capture it!), run with her with siblings, and even kick up dirt with her hind legs! Oh happy days!

Gibson also tore his CCL while playing in the snow this past winter and since he's an Epi-dog, the vet and I selected to treat him with Conservative Care rather than put him under surgery. So he's been in a WoundWear A-Trac Stability Brace Harness (he wore it 24/7 for five weeks, then he wore it for just rehab walks, and now, he wears it on longer walks.  Next month, he will be completely brace free!) and receiving K-Laser USA treatments, strict rest, and a daily dose of a natural anti-inflammatory. He, too, is getting stronger and improving each day. His pep is back and he wants to run, but of course, he is not allowed to yet! He does try to do his Gibbie Hip-Hop dance while on leash though! 

Here's Gibson on his first walk back to the vet's office (after having over a month of in-home treatments and a month of rehabbing) for a K-LaserUSA treatment on his knee (K-Laser is awesome and is a holistic approach to healing. Gibson has gotten successful treatments for weak hind end issues and in aiding to heal his CCL tear).

A short video clip of his rehab walking in the WoundWear brace that was an amazing help to his healing. The brace helps support his leg, and allowed him to almost immediately put weight on his injured leg. See my original post of this journey by clicking HERE.
Through their protocol with continuous wear, it served as an important part of Gibson's Conservative Care Treatment. He went from not being able to put weight on his right hind leg, to this:

And here's Gibson wishing he could run, but here's a quick clip of him doing some of his Gibbie Hip Hop moves showing how he is getting stronger (and you can't keep a Husky down)!

Harley has joined the ranks of rehabbing Huskies here when after the late March snowstorm, she decided to play Iditarod Husky and run like crazy in circles in deep snow, and she came up lame in one of her hind legs. After undergoing anesthesia and full X-rays to be sure she didn't injure her hips, it concluded she had torn the rotating ligament in her knee. Ouch. She, too, we are treating the Conservative Care method, and at last vet check up, the ligament was starting to strengthen, but she has a ways to go yet on rehabbing. So, Gibson and Harley are sequestered together on our "rehab" side of the deck, separate from the others so they don't engage in Husky play and exacerbate their injuries. Gibson, of course, is thrilled to have her keeping him company as we all know she is his one true love!  Conservative Care treatment is a slow, steady careful process, but definitely a viable one in certain injury cases that you can discuss with your vet.

A little couples' rehab walking!
Love is...sharing a water bed while healing.

Our lovebirds rehabbing together.

 Although with the warmer weather arriving, the cool freshly dug (by the Pupsters) holes are calling to both Gibson and Harley. Gibson will be joining the pack again soon on the other side of the deck and will once again have free roam. I am a nervous mom to first let him go as I worry he will reinjure his knee. He goes to the vet for a follow-up next week, so I'll be anxious to hear how well his healing has come along.

And just yesterday, Wolf decided he did not like a bath anymore, and when our groomer came to the home to give them all a "Spa Day," Wolf whined and thrashed so much, that he came up sore and limping last night. I was pretty worried about him and with all the CCL tears of late, I hoped it was not that. I gave him a limb and paw massage and a natural anti-inflam, as well as lots of rest on his ortho bed, and today he seems to be doing a bit better. My groomer equates to someone who suddenly decided to work out - so he is experiencing some muscle strain. I had my vet ready on speed-dial, but it does indeed seem to be muscle strain from my gymnast Husky boy. He used to be just fine - okay, he was always a howler and whiner when the water touched him (except he loves the pool and hose in the summer!), but this time he was off the chart with his spasmodic tub gymnastic! My groomer, who has  handled our Sibes in our home for years, cut his bath short to avoid serious injury. We're rethinking how to bathe him in the future so not to distress him, so I'm busy looking up in-home doggie walk-in tubs!

Wolf with his new "get well" buddy, Lamb Chop. He's feeling a bit better tonight and, thankfully, his legs are getting stronger.

So it's been a busy triage rehab center here with four of the FiveSibes. I guess, if we look at the number of furkids and the years we went without incident, the law of averages was bound to catch up! Okay, universe, we have now met our fair can move on out to sea now! And feel free to totally skip Bandit!

I do post short tidbits and photos on the Sibe kids, as well as dog food and treat recalls, rescue pups needing a home, and canine news over on our FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K-9 News & Reviews Facebook page, so if you ever want to read our "daily" news, stop on over. You don't have to be a Facebook member to read our page as we keep it on public and open for all to read.

Until next time, stay healthy, our friends!