Sunday, November 30, 2014

Closing Out November's Epilepsy Awareness Month Featuring My Epi All Star: Gibson ~and~ Epi-Tip #30!

Wooo! We are SO pleased to announce that from our very first #FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness online benefit auction, hosted by AFA - Auctions For Animals, we will be donating $1,277 EACH to the Canine Epilepsy Resources ( Epil-K9 for "Emma's Fund" through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine ~AND~ The Wally Foundation- canine epilepsy (!!! THANK YOU to all who generously donated items, bid on items, and shared news of our auction! And THANK YOU to Kerry Stacey and AFA for partnering up with me and hosting the event! Together we can and DO make a difference in the lives of #Epidogs! #paws4purple #CanineEpilepsy (**Gibson's beautiful custom bandana was one of the auction items made & donated by Laurie B Creates!**)

Well, the month sure has flown by! This is our 30th (and last) daily FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong Epi-Tip in conjunction with November's Epilepsy Awareness Month, and I'd like to dedicate it to my own Husky, Gibson, my Epi All Star! While November may be coming to a close, our campaign to spread the word about Canine Epilepsy continues on! Dogs can - and DO - live full, happy lives with Canine Epilepsy. So spread the word! Education is key, and letting folks know they are not alone is so important! Help is just a keystroke away! 

Gibson and his helpers Harley and Chloe check out the new shipment of Live Gib Strong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness bracelets! If you'd like one, they are just $5, including shipping & handling in the USA (outside of USA, contact me and I'll have it checked for postage fees at the Post Office), with $1 from each sale going to Canine Epilepsy Resources "Emma's Fund" and $1 to The Wally Foundation. Contact us if you are interested, or you can you can purchase via our website at ArcticHouse Publishing or through PayPal to ArcticHousePublishing(at) Be sure to check off that the funds are for friends & family. And then wear your purple with pride!

Still coming ahead in December will be our Purple Pumpkin Project video, and - of course - the release of my new book all about these Epi warrior dogs, so we are not done! Canine Epilepsy Awareness is not just for one month - it's every day of every month. If you missed any of our Epi-Tips or posts, visit past posts for this month to catch up.

 And don't forget - my illustrated children's book is available from our publishing website HERE, and a portion of proceeds from the book benefits Canine Epilepsy Resources "Emma's Fund" through the Epil-K9 Foundation housed at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The book, a three-time "Best in Print" recipient from American Pet Magazine, was just favorably reviewed by Writer's Digest!

Gibson and I would like to thank our furpal and fellow Epi-dog Patchy, the Epileptic Doggy, for this wonderfully thoughtful award! 

And we want to also sincerely thank everyone who has shared our Epi-Tips and our links, videos, and information all month long. We truly appreciate our growing purple army community! Together we will make a difference. We love our Epi-dogs!

And now a around of a-paws for my very own Epi All Star, my inspiration who is such a sweet boy, Gibson. Gib, you are a true inspiration and a proud warrior. Love you, G!

Gibson Les Paul of Mystic Mountain 
 My heart dog.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cory's Story: A Book Review About Canine Epilepsy & Our #LiveGibStrong Epi-Tip #29

My boy Gibson reading about fellow Epi-dog, Cory.
I learned about Cory's Story while writing my own book, EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy. I knew I wanted to read it. Right out of the gate, from the first word, I was hooked. The reader is willingly drawn into the DeMers family and Cory’s World. I laughed and cried and trembled with fear, and laughed again through all the experiences Sandra DeMers shares in such an easy, well-written manner, that I never left my spot in my chair until I turned over the very last page. As an Epi-dog parent, Sandra’s tale of Cory’s experiences I could feel first hand. Cory as a pup had me laughing (without giving it away, you’ll see when you read about Cory and the potato chip bag!) I mean, is there anything more lighthearted than puppy hijinks?!

The presentation of the book is also very nice. It’s small in size and very easy to pop into a purse or backpack to take along to read. I love the hard cover, too. Inside, Sandra includes black and white photos of Cory from puppyhood to adulthood, including ones from vacation, playing with her son, and just all around cute shots where you find yourself just wanting to meet and play with this wonderful Yellow Labrador Retriever!

The book is also a testimony to Marion Mitchell who, in 1996, was initially one of the first people to join the original Canine Epilepsy Resources Epil-K9 list, then took it over and soon after became busy with the Canine Epilepsy Resources, where she is the co-owner and site manager ( Marion's late Dalmatian “Emma” was the original face of Canine Epilepsy and the namesake for the Epil-K9 Foundation “Emma’s Seizure Fund” through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Sandra credits Marion and Emma with opening the door to information on Canine Epilepsy, including good nutrition for Epi-dogs that Sandra followed with great success for Cory. To see just how successful, well, I’ll let you read the book to find out! It also brings full circle the reason why I keep on supporting the Canine Epilepsy Resources with our #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign. It is such a valuable resource with a large library of information and resources for the Epi-dog parent, and a very supportive and informative network on the Epil-K9 list, as well as the relationship with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Neurology department.

I feel this story encompasses the whole message of how dogs can - and do - live happy lives even with a seizure disorder. Writes Sandra, “Dogs have a wonderful blessing of living in the present moment and enjoying  what it is. They don’t fret about what happened a few moments ago, nor do they worry about what might be tomorrow.” Such true words. Now, if only us Epi-parents and Epi-guardians could do that! So many times we are still a wreck long after a seizure or side effect occurs, and our dogs are already back to living life. It’s good to be a dog!

“Dogs have a wonderful blessing of living in the present moment and enjoying  what it is. They don’t fret about what happened a few moments ago, nor do they worry about what might be tomorrow.” ~Sandra DeMers

What is really neat about this book is that it not only is it a true-life story, and it covers an important and serious topic like Canine Epilepsy, but really is a great read. Not only does Sandra welcome you right into her family and life from page one, but you learn right along with her about seizures, the emotional rollercoaster ride it can be, and what research Epi-parents will review and learn in order to find the best possible treatments - both traditional and alternative - for their dogs. Tears will stream down your cheeks when they stream down Sandra's. You will laugh at her puppy stories, and your heart will swell with love at the dedication, love, and care she gives to her furbaby.

There’s another quote in the book that I found to be so relatable, I was actually talking out loud to the invisible Sandra in my living room when she wrote, “I found…that I had actually established an incredibly strong psychic bond with Cory; I could see that he understood how much I wanted to help him.” Amen! Yes! I feel the exact same way about my connection with Gibson each time he has had a setback with his weak hind end issues due to the Epi medications. I feel such a deep bond, this understanding that goes way beyond words. Actually, words are not even necessary. There really does exist a very special bond between hu-parent and Epi-dog.

My favorite chapter has to be “The Elk and the The Coyotes.” The
"So good I can't put it down!"
only thing I will tell you is that it ends way different than any scene playing out in my head! You’ll need to read the book, but I promise you, you’ll giggle here the most.
This book is very well written. It’s smooth and moves along at a quick pace that leaves you eager to turn the page. Sandra does a really easy transition from Cory having a seizure to the some wonderful “flashback” stories that really fill in who Cory the dog is. It is extremely relatable. I loved this book, and through the written words, have come to love Cory and really like his mom.

 We here at the FiveSibes give this book a top dog four-out-of-four paws rating! I highly recommend this book be on your gift giving list – a great stocking stuffer, or gift for not just Epi-dog folks, but for veterinarians, vet techs, the groomer, trainer, homeopathic practitioner, all your dog loving friends, coworkers, and family, and for folks who just really enjoy reading a really good book.

To order Cory's Story, and read more about Cory and Canine Epilepsy, visit their website at, and be sure to tell Sandra FiveSibes sent you over!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Meet the Frenzied Fox Artist on a Black Flashback Friday! Reigndogs! Shopping! GIVEAWAY! It's All Here!

It's #Flashback Friday here at the FiveSibes and since today basically kicks off the Christmas season, what better time to revisit on Memory Lane than that of a Christmas past?! Here's our "originals" - reindogs Gibson and his gal Harley looking all festive in front of the tree circa 2007 when they were both just pups of one and two! Gibson seems to be really enjoying his reindog ways, but Harley, as you can tell by her expression, thought it was all just a bit too silly for a Sibe to endure! She was a good girl and endured she did for this great moment frozen in time!

What better day to offer a giveaway than Black Friday? And we have a really cool one! Love Huskies? Love sending holiday cards? Check out these beautiful cards created by artist Maria Montreuil, a/k/a "Mrs. Fox," of The Frenzied Fox Artwork

 GIVEAWAY~Husky Art Greeting Cards!

These are beautiful 5x7 full color cards with plain envelopes...and the best part? She has given us a set of 12 to raffle off to one lucky winner! So, if you did not win the set she so kindly donated to our recent FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness online benefit auction, you have another chance to get these (p)awesome cards! Just be sure to enter the drawing via the Rafflecopter below at the end of this post for a chance to win these adorable holiday Husky greeting cards!

But first, the part I always enjoy the most, meeting the very talented and personable artist behind all the fantastic artwork, Maria "Mrs. Fox" Montreuil of The Frenzied Fox Artwork!

FiveSibesMom (FSM): How did you know you wanted to be an artist?  
The Frenzied Fox (TFF): Art has been a passion of mine ever since I was very small. I believe my mom told me when I could first hold a pencil--maybe 2 or 3, I started drawing and at that age I was so much I critic of my work I quit for a year! Can't say I remember that, but my mom does!

FSM: Your business name is The Frenzied Fox – is there a meaning behind the name?  
TFF: Yes, my husband and I are fond of foxes so I designed cartoon "characters" of us as foxes. I knew I wanted my business name to have fox in it somehow and when I look at my life and how crazy it is, Frenzied sounded like the PERFECT word. It definitely fits--I often have several art projects going on all at once on top of everything else!

 Frenzied Fox Husky Fabric Tree Topper

FSM:What types of mediums do you work in?
TFF: This might sound crazy but I like to dabble in it ALL!  For drawing I usually work digitally with Photoshop and my tablet, but I LOVE real media too--acrylic, sometimes oil paints, watercolor, pen and ink, pencils, pastels... and I've also done works in clay, needle felting, needle punching, and cloth! I use different medias based on what feel I am looking for or the style, having the freedom to use different things keeps art interesting and fun!

FSM: Among your beautiful works, you have Siberian Husky Christmas cards (pictured above) and you also designed a Husky Birthday card, a fabric Husky tree topper, and  a sweet logo design for a Husky rescue. What is it that you enjoy best about a Husky project?  
TFF: Well, Dorothy, I don't have any Huskies YET, but I would like to add one to our crazy family sometime in the future! I have always loved this breed--I believe I still have a drawing I did of one back in 5th grade, ha-ha! I love them because they are so good with all people, kids included, have a wild spirit to them, and they are such a beautiful breed. I know they can be a challenge, which is why I am doing all I can to thoroughly research them now!  As for what I enjoy best about a Husky project, I think it's trying to capture their spirit and personality in my art. Art is the most fun when you can put your heART into it!

Frenzied Fox Husky Birthday Greeting Card

FSM: You have furbabies – tell us a little about them. 
TFF: Yes, I have five currently. I have a four-year-old Golden Retriever, who I adopted from someone when he was about two--he is a goof ball and is a certified therapy dog. We visit the local nursing home usually twice a month. I am also going to try to work with my library to start a Paws For Reading program in the spring where elementary school kids can brush up their reading skills with him! I also have two shelter cats, Nova and Tinuviel (you can tell we are Lord of the Rings fans), and two rabbits--Pipkin and Tribble. Pipkin I adopted shortly after I graduated from high school and he is almost nine now! Tribble I rescued from a busy road a year ago. I'm aware that having these small animals means when I adopt a Siberian Husky of my own (would like to take in a rescue someday) I will need to find one that is cat friendly!  

FSM: You live in New York with your husband and son, is that correct?  
TFF: Yes I do- not in the city though, but rather the country side. I have to admit, when I first moved out here  it seemed a bit of a hick town compared to where I am from (big suburb off of St. Paul, Minnesota) but I absolutely LOVE it!  I actually have two sons now--my youngest was born in September! :)

FSM: What inspires your art? 
TFF: Primarily animals. I know sometimes people want me to move out my "comfort zone" and try new things, which I do, but animals are, and probably always will be my main subjects. It's always been the most natural for me to draw.

FSM: How long to create a commissioned work?  
TFF: Wow, that can vary a lot.  Usually the minimum is two to
three hours, but that depends on style and complexity. A very realistic painting could be probably 10 to 20 hours possibly, but since I don't do it in one sitting (or even two or three most of the time), I am not sure.

FSM: Do you do custom artwork?  
TFF: I do! I love taking commissions! Since it's the holiday season, I've been working on several tree toppers and hand appliqué wool Husky pillows, but I also do a lot of pet portraits--some realistic, some almost "Disney" style in a way.

FSM: What do you need to create a custom piece – photos?  
TFF: Yes, photos are a must, the clearer the better! If someone doesn't want me to do a direct-like-the-photo drawing, I need several shots and possibly several angles. Another REALLY important thing for me is to hear about the dog's personality. I don't like my art to look lifeless, and knowing something about them helps me to feel their heart as it were, making it easier for me to capture their spirit!

FSM: Tell us something about yourself that may surprise us! 
TFF: I guess unless you know me personally, a lot of people don't know I'm the oldest of eight kids! When I first moved out of my family's house the silence was so loud, I always had to keep music playing in the background!

FSM: What project(s) are you working on now?  
TFF: A LOT. We call unfinished projects UFO's around here--UnFinished Objects--and I always have some of those. Some of my current projects are two realistic dog oil portraits, a dog tree topper, three Husky wool pillows, a Christmas chicken card design for my mother-in-law, and a huge Santa riding a crow decoration. Once in a while, I have to really pace myself and tell people no, but I hate to do that.

FSM: What would be your dream project?  
TFF: Ever since I was a kid I wanted to illustrate children's books. It is VERY hard to get into that field though. I'm in the process of doing some character design of two dogs, a Golden and Husky, so that my husband can write stories for our kids and I will illustrate them. Though not official, it's still fun.

FSM: How can someone contact you? 
TFF: The best way is to send an Email to or to message me on my The Frenzied Fox Artwork Facebook page!  And don't forget to tell her the FiveSibes sent you over!

* * *

One (1) dozen whimsical holiday Husky art  greeting cards!
And if you don't win, you can order them on The Frenzied Fox Artwork Facebook page for 12 for $12, plus shipping AND, according to Maria, 30% of the proceeds goes toward helping several Siberian Husky rescues this holiday season!!! "I want to help as many dogs as I can so my goal is to sell 112 more packages!" she notes! Woo!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Joining us again this week is our 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!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wooo! Happy Thanksgiving! Let's Talk Turkey, Cause For Paws ~And~ Our #Epi-Tip #27!

It's Thanksgiving! And we have so much to be thankful for! I am so thankful for my wonderful family: my husband, my best friend/daughter, my mom (who is 93 years young!), and our five beautiful, silly, loving Siberian Huskies and our feral-turned-baby adopted kitty, Binx. I'm also thankful for all the amazing friends, readers, listeners, and supporters that I've come to know through my FiveSibes!

"Time of the harvest,
time of good living,
Time of remembrance,
time of thanksgiving,
Time to reflect
on the blessings God sends —
wonderful people,
family and friends."
~American Greetings

First, my patient helpers watching as I prepared the stuffing. (Their treat was some cooked low-sodium bacon crumbles in with their breakfast!) 

Then on to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

And we closed out the night watching Fox's Cause for Paws All-Star Dog Spectacular adoption awareness show! If you want to check out the amazing dogs looking for their forever homes, or make a donation, visit  

Wooo...what a great day! (yawn)...
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone....Zzzzz...


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Beautiful Surprise From A Friend; Auction Update, ~and~ Epi-Tip #26

"One person caring about another represents life's greatest value." ~Anonymous

In the middle of this hectic month of November being Epilepsy Awareness Month, where Gibson and I work hard to spread the word about Canine Epilepsy Awareness through our #LiveGibStrong campaign, I received a special surprise. As many of my readers know,  I've been posting a daily Epi-Tip for the 30 days of November, wrapping up my new book about Canine Epilepsy, EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy, and sharing valuable information and resources via articles, social media posts, broadcasts on my "The Sibe Vibe" Dog Works Radio show, and even holding our first online benefit auction. In the middle of all this, I'm rehabbing Gibson from yet another weak hind end issue as a result of his Epi medications. Through all this, I have do admit that I feel a bit guilty that I don't have enough time to visit fellow bloggers and spend some time with friends. But, thankfully, most of my friends, readers, and folks who know me know how important November and Epilepsy Awareness is to me and my inspiration, Gibson. So, in the middle of all the deadlines and late hours, a package arrives for me from a dear friend and fellow Husky mom who writes the Holly and the Huskies blog. She has been a fellow 5-Siber and we "met" because of our Huskies. We fondly refer to our Huskies as "cousins!" When I saw her return address label, I smiled and placed the package on my desk for a few days as a reward, if you will. (I do the same with Christmas packages that arrive early. I save them until Christmas morning!) Oh, yes, I surely was eager to know what was inside...but, I kept it as an inspiration...a reward...that I could open when I finished one of my Epilepsy projects. Tonight, I did complete a project. And I opened the box. Tears filled my eyes as I unwrapped the bubble wrap to reveal the beautiful purple paw ornament above. What a special and thoughtful gift! Purple for Epilepsy Awareness, and a paw for my love of dogs. Also inside, was a lovely note thanking me for our friendship and for the Canine Epilepsy advocate work I do for all our amazing Epi-dogs. See, Holly is also an Epi-dog Mom - to not one, but two Huskies with Canine Epilepsy; beautiful Boo and her sister, Nala, who you will meet below. 

The beautiful purple paw ornament is so special to me, 
and on the eve of Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to say: 
Holly, thank you so very much for your friendship and support. This means the world to me! 

Meet the beautiful Boo & Nala Stoddard, today's Epi All Stars:




Why not pop over to Holly and the Huskies blog and say "woo" to Boo and Nala. And be sure to tell them their "cousins", the FiveSibes sent you!
 Lots of FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness online benefit auction items have been packaged up (see the mountain of boxes above?!) and shipped out already! More are going out on Friday! Gibson checked everything twice, and thanks everyone who donated, placed bids, and shared our info, with a big Husky "Thank woooo!" When you get your item, if you could just go over to  
AFA - Auctions For Animals page and comment under your item(s) so we know, that would be great! Once all payments are in and tallies are done, we'll announce the total donations! Wooo! We're very excited!