Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Husky Howl-o-Ween on a Flashback Friday to the Wild, Wild West!

Happy Howl-o-ween! We hope you'll have lots of fun and treats (and no tricks, unless it's the furkids playing them on the humans)! Our Flashback Friday post today is a little different - it's a combination of old and new, as well as a little play on words for fun. We are kicking today's post off with a "flashback" to the late 1800s out along the dusty Western trail. But first, a little back story. I am a big fan of Hell on Wheels, and if you have Twitter, you can catch me (@FiveSibesMom) every Saturday Tweeting live during the show, which airs 9 - 10 PM EST on AMC. The show served as my initial inspiration for this year's FiveSibes' costumes. So, why all the excitement about a Western theme? I'm a retired cowgirl! I'm the daughter of a cowboy - my dad in his youth, before enlisting in the Army, moved out to Montana, where he joined the CCCs (Civilian Conservation Corps), put electric/telephone poles in up the mountainside, and broke in wild mules. I always found this fascinating! I have a fabulous photo of him as a handsome young man with his black cowboy hat on, strumming a guitar while perched on a log. Priceless. Now I was born a city gal (New York) and when my father moved us upstate to the country when I was in my early teens, he sparked my love of horses and all things Western. One of the first things he did when we built our home, was get three horses, one for him, one for my mom, and one for me. He taught me to ride Western and how to respect horses, and all animals. He would sing Western songs to me, and to this day, I love hearing them. I love spaghetti Westerns, especially starring Clint Eastwood (for me, he was the epitome of the cowboy...okay, I admit it, I had a huge fangirl crush on him all through my teens!) While I no longer have horses (I like to say I traded horses for Huskies), I am ever the nostalgic, and do still have my saddle, bridle, chaps, as well as my Stetson and my Dad's, and yes - spurs.

As a professional photographer, I love shooting creative scenes. And while I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the PhotoShop generation (my true love and training was developing special photo effects using the enlarger and chemicals in a dark room), I will admit I am enjoying the filters and effects photo editing now offers. Since I couldn't bring the Huskies to an old house, through this type of process, I was able to bring the old house to the Huskies and give it all that "step back into the West" popular type photo you can pose for while on vacation! That spooky house in the background I photographed while driving through a rural town. It just reminded me of a building right smack out of a Western. It served as the perfect backdrop to my concept of the Wild West Sibes. So, without further delay, let me introduce you to our FiveSibes Gang (in true, no-filter portraits) and their stories...

 How the West Was Won by Five Siberian Huskies...

Meet Saloon Madam Harley. Simply put, this alpha girl IS the boss!
The petite little queen of the town is afraid of no one, dog or human. Years ago, after retiring from acting in New York, Madam Harley caught the eye of the Marshall. He was smitten from the moment he rode into town and their blue eyes met. Harley runs the town's Saloon with four beautifully manicured iron paws, keeps the drinks and kibble flowing for all who visit, and always warms the heart of Gentleman Gib.

Next up is the town's Marshall, Gentleman Gib. He is just head over tails over Miss Harley (and her purple feather boa) and it was love at first bark for him. He will do anything to be by her side and vowed to protect her from all the dangers lurking out in the untamed lands, from disorderly saloon patrons to the bandits who ride into town wanting more than a cool drink of water and some kibble. Gib appears to be laid back, but he is confident, strong, and quick on the draw when the need arises.

Prairie Girl Chloe is just the most innocent of youngins. She is naive and sweet, but smart enough to know that staying close to the tough, smart Madam Harley and her gentleman furfriend Marshall Gib would keep her protected along the Northern Trail. When she settles into Huskytown, she is going to be the town puppies' new school teacher.

Wild West Wolf and Badlands Bandit are like the Siberian Husky version of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...with a little Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid thrown in! Bandit is just that...she's a thief with smile that can melt anyone's heart. But, if there's a toy in town, she will find it and steal it. And don't even think about trying to sneak in and retrieve it...this bandita has eyes in the back of her head and is super fast on the paws!

There isn't a poker game in town that Wild West Wolf isn't playing and can't win. He owns the cards. He owns the chips. He owns the whole entire Husky Hotel! And if you even think about trying to cheat, he will stare at you with his cool blue eyes until you just throw your paws up in the air and fold! This brother-sister duo makes an unbarkable team! But, they better stay a paw or two ahead of Marshall Gib if they want to run free and not wind up behind bars.

To say the Sibes and I had a blast is a huge understatement! They loved all the props and, of course, the rewards for being such wonderful models! This is by far, one of my favorite photoshoots!

Here our resident couple, Harley and Gibson, in outtake photos...

~Stealin' a Kiss~

Our actual Flashback Friday pics are from last year when we carved pumpkins, and I chose to do a Husky (naturally!) and our Chloe girl braved all the glowing eyes to check it out (I think she just smelled pumpkin and she loves food)!  Now, if you'd like to get some pretty (p)awesome Husky pumpkin stencils, like ours below, visit the Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue's page HERE.

PS - remember to keep all your pets out of harm's way on Halloween. Keep them safely confined in another room, on a leash with you, or in their kennels. The ringing of the door bell, the people, and the calling of "Trick or Treat," flashlights, can all be very spooky to pets. Keep an eye on the safety of outdoor cats, especially if it is a black cat...incidents involving black cats go up at Halloween. Keep all candies and chocolates and flickering candles well out of their reach. Be safe. Be cautious. Have fun!

Be sure to join us and our co-host, Love is Being Owned By a Husky, and hop along to visit some of these other sites, as well as the blog sponsors. So many great places to visit!

And, of course, since it's Howl-o-ween, we are also participating in Heart Like A Dog blog's "Barks 'N Bytes" hop, too! Be sure to pop over and visit them and see all the cool stuff they have to give away! Lots of treats - no tricks! And tell them the FiveSibes of the Wild West sent you over! Woooo!

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PS #2: Don't forget about sending in your pet's photo in support of Canine Epilepsy for our new #LiveGibStrong slideshow video we will be sharing with the Epilepsy Foundation in support of their Purple Pumpkin Porject. So take those pumpkins and paint or glue some purple on them, pose your pets, and get snapping some pics! For full details visit our post HERE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From Feral to Family...Happy National Cat Day!

Our sweet Binx was a starving, feral cat who was wandering the neighborhood. This beautiful tuxedo kitten was afraid of everyone and everything. Then he met my daughter. Binx has now been adopted into our family, has been vetted, neutered, and is a real love bug. Gibson and Wolf love to watch Binx slink across the yard and stalk them. Binx loves to walk the fence in the backyard and meow to torment the Huskies! He will also sit by the family room window and rub and meow as Chloe and Bandit sit on the loveseat and watch...and watch...and watch! Harley, she will cautiously keep an eye on Binx, but so far, Binx knows just how far he can go!

Binx was originally brought to our doorstep by our furangel, Smokie, who also was abandoned and starving until she strolled across our lawn and met my daughter. After a can of salmon and lots of petting, Smokie decided she liked our family and would allow us to include her. Smokie was with us for five wonderful years. She brought home Binx one day, and the two of them would play, fight, and sleep together. Sadly, we lost our Smokie when she was hit by a car two years ago. We miss her to this day. And sometimes, we can see some of Smokie's habits in Binx, the little starving kitten she brought home three years ago. We commissioned a portrait of angel Smokie and Binx beautifully done by artist Cameo Anderson (bottom right picture in above collage) to remember our two dear copycats who were always together.

Binx has gone from that frightened, very wild young cat (and our vet did expressively state to be very careful around a wild cat) to a beautiful, silly, loveable character who, while he still does not like to be picked up, loves to rub on legs, jump on laps and into open car windows to make himself at home on  your lap or just happy to stroll around the car. He also loves to give kisses. He will let you put him in a crate to transport to the vet (but you better do it quick since he hates being picked up!) All as a result of hours and hours of love, pets, treats, and reassurance from his new mommy, my daughter. So the next time you see a feral cat in the neighborhood, he could just turn out to be a love bug like Binx.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Back Time is This Weekend! Some Health & Safety Tips for Pets Prior to Turning Back Those Clocks!

This Sunday, clocks in many areas back one hour from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time at 2 AM. So don't be surprised if your furbaby gets you up an hour early starting Monday! Although our mechanical clocks say it's one time, their internal clocks will say another until it all evens out after a few days! So much for an extra hour of sleep!

Each year, I  like to recap some helpful safety tips we should do as pet parents, before we turn back the clocks:

If your pets are on specifically timed medications, i.e. seizure meds (like our boy Gibson), at least for the first day of the new time change, stagger the dosage times. If your pet typically takes his medications at 7 AM and 7 PM, for the first day of DST, give the AM dosage at the new fall-back time of 6:30 (true time would be 7:30, a half hour later than usual), and give the 7 PM dosage at 6:30 (true time would be 7:30). That way, while their internal clock says it's a bit late, their system can adjust to the "new" time and won't be going too long without the meds, thus risk upsetting the internal balance. Getting back on schedule is very quick, but I like to ease my boy in and keep those seizure meds as close to on-time (according to Gibson's clock) as possible. Some pets may need a slower and longer adjustment period, so take a few days prior to the time change to initiate it. Why do this? For an Epi-dog, specifically timed medications is a must. Sometimes even the slightest change can become a trigger.

It's also a great time to remember to check your emergency pet window clings. (You can order a FREE Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA online, which includes a window cling and Poison Control Center
Time to update for Fall.
magnet. You can also check with your own local fire department to see if they have the window clings. When checking your current window cling, is it still afixed to the window? Is it legible? Did the sun fade the info? Are the number of pets and location still accurate? This is critical information for the Fire Department emergency personnel that could save your pet's life in case of a fire.

Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  

Update your pet's emergency first aid kit.    

As with people, this is also the perfect time to review your pet's meds and be sure they are all up-to-date. Toss away any that are expired. (And be careful pets can not get into the disposed meds.) 

Check your supply of cold/snow season items. Be sure you have pet-friendly sidewalk ice dissolvers (not salt), natural paw de-icers (we use a nice oil- and lanolin-based protectant for the Sibes' paws before they go out into the snow and ice to prevent balling in between the paws and on leg and underbelly fur), clean towels for drying them off or removing ice balls from longer fur, and an outdoor dish that can withstand the cold and not freeze up their outdoor source of water. 

Inspect all bedding, crates, blankets, doghouses, etc. to be sure they are all clean, functional, and protective. (Stop by the AKC website and for tips on winterizing for your pets.) 

Pets will seek out shelters when outside. Do a yard/deck check. Be sure all leftover summer pool chemicals, BBQ gas tanks, pesticides, and sharp tools have been put away from their reach. Winter 'tis the season for outdoor hot tubs, so do a check to be sure the chemicals and fragrances are stored out of the pet areas. These areas may be OK where they are located in the summer, but in the winter pets can climb and dig through snow, giving them a different reach. So please, use a critical eye when winterizing their areas. 

Update your home and cell phones with your vet, emergency vet clinic, and Poison Control Center numbers.  Also be sure they are posted by your phone and are accurate.
Twice a year we here in the northeast U.S. change our clocks: once for Daylight Saving Time in the spring and back to Standard Time in the late Autumn. (Not sure if your area has DST to fall back from? Check the world map HERE). These twice-a-year times provide us with a great opportunity to perform the-above mentioned simple, life-saving tasks twice-a-year to ensure that our pets will be safe all year long.

Monday, October 27, 2014

FiveSibes Are "Famous Dogs on Facebook!"

 "It's here! It's here! The Fall issue is here!"

"Woooo! Show us! Show us!"

"I want to see!"

"Wooooooo! That's us!"

"Thank You, American Dog Magazine!" 

And many "thank woos" to all our Facebook, blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and BlogPaws friends, too!  We wouldn't be here without you!

And read about our family in their Winter 2011 issue, too!


Does this mean we can now have a doggie limo with a chaffeur, and lots of treats and fresh water???"

Sorry...Gib. No limo. And I'm still your chaffeur. But I have always have treats! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why is Gibson's Pumpkin Purple?

Halloween is right around the corner and here’s our Gibson with his new purple pumpkin.

A Purple pumpkin? Pumpkins are orange! 

So you may be asking, "Why is Gibson’s pumpkin purple?" 

Do you know why?

"I'm an Epi-Husky, that's why!"
Gibson’s pumpkin is purple because he is an Epi-dog ~ a dog with Canine Epilepsy. And his form of epilepsy is called idiopathic, meaning they could never determine a specific cause for the onset of his seizures. And, purple is the color of epilepsy awareness. 

So, with a little help from Gib and his love, Harley, we are participating in the Purple Pumpkin Project.

What is the Purple Pumpkin Project?

According to (home of Epilepsy Foundation® and Epilepsy Therapy Project), the Purple Pumpkin Project is the brainchild of founder Ron Lamontagne, whose youngest son was diagnosed with epilepsy at age four. “While on a drive through Connecticut one Sunday morning with his family (Ron) was brainstorming ideas on how to spread epilepsy awareness. The local pumpkin patch provided the solution. Since kids would soon be carving and decorating pumpkins, he thought why not make one purple and tell people about epilepsy when asked, ‘Why is your pumpkin purple?’” So in September 2012, Ron launched the Purple Pumpkin Project on Facebook to bring awareness to epilepsy.
"Why is your pumpkin purple?"

On Halloween, October 31, the eve of National Epilepsy Awareness Month, the Purple Pumpkin Project and Epilepsy Foundation of America encourages folks to go out and paint a pumpkin purple, share information about seizures and epilepsy, and join in their online Facebook event (click HERE to join - and be sure to tell them FiveSibes sent you over!)

November, as  many of you know, is a time when, as many of you know, Gibson and I strive to spread the word about awareness and educate folks about dogs living with Canine Epilepsy and seizure disorders, encourage folks to not be afraid to adopt a dog with seizures, and to hopefully encourage people to learn all they can about seizures so they don't drop the dog off to the nearest (already overcrowded) shelter. Once upon a time, euthanasia was the recommended course of action for dogs with seizures, and that is so NOT the case any more! There are many resources, and much support and information now available to help pet parents navigate the mysterious, and yes scary, waters of having a dog with seizures. My message to you is this: You are not alone.

"Gib - have any treats in that purple pumpkin?"

As part of our ongoing FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9
Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, we have joined the Purple Pumpkin Project to spread the word even more that dogs can ~ and DO ~ live happy, full lives with Canine Epilepsy. We hope you will join in, too, in the effort of spreading awareness about epilepsy, both in humans and canines.

Yes, we want to see your Purple Pumpkin photos! Share your canine companion’s purple pumpkin photos with us and we’ll create a lovely slideshow video that we will post online to support Ron’s Purple Pumpkin Project. Post your pet's purple pumpkin photos, name & state/country on or by Saturday, November 8th on our FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook community page's wall or Email them to us by November 5th at FiveSibesLiveGibStrong(at)gmail(dot)com 
and put “Purple Pumpkin Pics” in the subject line. And don’t forget to share your pics on the Purple Pumpkin Project Facebook page, too!

So when you are sitting down to carve pumpkins this year, why not make one purple and then, when asked, how will you answer the question, “Why is my pumpkin purple?”

"We love pumpkins, especially purple ones."  


We are an:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Frolicking FiveSibes Fun on a Flashback Friday!

It's's February and it's a cold, sunny day as our "originals" Harley and Gibson, ages four and six, are having some Husky fun roughhousing and playing bitey-face. As you can see from this video my daughter shot, Harley has always been the "take command" alpha Husky, while Gibson, totally in love her, enjoys every single moment!

Happy Flashback Friday!

And joining us again this week is our new co-host, those beautiful Sibes and their mom from 
Love is Being Owned by a Husky blog! Be sure to pop by on our Flashback Friday Blog Hop and say "hi" to our co-hosts!

To catch up on past FiveSibes Flashback Fridays, visit our previous posts here: 

Flashback Friday #45: Puppy Kisses
Flashback Friday #41: Husky Hugs!
Flashback Friday #40: When the Sun is Shining
Flashback Friday #39: Of Christmas Past
Flashback Friday #38: Gibson's Epi-Tip #22
Flashback Friday  #37: Too Cool For His Shades

Join our hop with a #FlashbackFriday pic of your own! Post it on your site, then hook up to our link below, and don't forget to include our badge and a link back to ours and our co-host's site. Be sure to visit the hosts & hoppers to check out their fab Flashback photos, too! And show us your pet's flashbacks!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Puppy Kisses on a Flashback Friday!

Who doesn't love puppy breath and puppy kisses?! For today's stroll down Memory Lane, here is a precious flashback to my daughter when she was just a little girl getting sweet kisses from our local SPCA rescue pup, a beautiful German Shepherd/Akita "Chelsey." These two would grow up together and be best friends for life. Chelsey would always watch over and protect my daughter. And when she grew older, her choice play to nap was on my daughter's laundry pile in front of her window in the sun spot!

Flash-forward 13 years, and here's a very grown-up Chelsey getting sweet puppy kisses from our Harley! Chelsey taught baby Harley everything she knew! And to this day, Harley has a few habits that we know she learned directly from her furry teacher!

Awwww...puppy there anything sweeter?!

Happy Flashback Friday!

And joining us again this week is our new co-host, those beautiful Sibes and their mom from Love is Being Owned by a Husky blog!

To catch up on past FiveSibes Flashback Fridays and see what all the fun is about, visit us here: 

Flashback Friday #41: Husky Hugs!
Flashback Friday #40: When the Sun is Shining
Flashback Friday #39: Of Christmas Past
Flashback Friday #38: Gibson's Epi-Tip #22
Flashback Friday  #37: Too Cool For His Shades

Join our hop with a #FlashbackFriday pic of your own! Post it on your site, then hook up to our link below, and don't forget to include our badge and a link back to ours and our co-host's site. Be sure to visit the hosts & hoppers to check out their fab Flashback photos, too! And show us your pet's flashbacks!