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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

He's Coming Home...

Oh, how miss this beautiful boy. Two weeks today since I last held him, kissed his velvety nose, received his precious Gibbie kisses, and looked into those soulful blue eyes (with the one parti-eye that always made him look as though he was winking!). Today, Gibson's ashes are ready, and when we have our first beautiful gentle snowfall, he will become part of our land, the wind, and the snow, the home he loved, for always. Love you forever, my sweet Gibbie. My warrior. My K9 hero.


"I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Tell the world I'm coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits...
I'm coming home, I'm coming home
Tell the world that I'm coming
I'm back where I belong..."
~Skylar Grey

 #LiveGibStrongForever

Friday, December 25, 2015

Of Christmas Past...A Visit from Santa


We're sharing a fond look back to Christmas‬ past of 2012, when all FiveSibes‬ had a surprise visit from Santa‬! How excited they were! Gibson bestowed his famous Gibbie kisses on the jolly ol' elf! What a wonderful, magical Christmas that was! My...how time flies...

From all of us here at the FiveSibes, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas, full of love and special memories.



"Life is only traveled once; today's moment becomes tomorrow's memory. Enjoy every moment..." ~Unknown

 

 

Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-host, Love is being owned by a Husky, each Friday. We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each week! If you don't catch it on Friday, you can link up any time during the week! To catch our past Flashbacks, just enter "Flashback Friday" in the search box. We hope you'll come join us!

We are hopping on The Pet Parade Sleigh today, too!





   

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice ~ Lighting A Candle for FurAngel Gibson and Other Siberians North, of the Rainbow Bridge


I light a candle on this Winter Solstice, in memory of my sweet, beautiful snow dog boy, Gibson. The love of his life, Harley, joined us for the lighting.





And in memory of all the northern breed dogs and furpals who, with Gibson, are wooing and dancing among the Northern Lights tonight. Forever in our hearts.

Thank you to Lisa Schaldemose for this beautiful graphic. Looks like my angel Gib.

Thank you, Little Miss Suri & Hu-Daddy Carl for this beautiful tribute to Gibson.


Thank you, Jenna of Owned by a Husky, for this beautiful graphic of Gib.

Thank you to Sanni Heinrich of the Snowdog Appreciation Group for this beautiful tribute to Gibson.


Thank you to Epilepsy Education and Support  for this beautiful tribute to Gibson.


Thank you Lisa Harms for this great design of our photo of Gibbie.


Many thanks to artist Cameo Anderson for this sweet doodle of our angel Gibson.



Please be sure to visit the Sibernet Siberian Husky Memorial Page HERE . We celebrate the lives of our new FurAngel Gibson and all fellow Siberians who have earned their wings and are now North of the Rainbow Bridge. We also thank our friends over at Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida and the Husky Mom at Siberian Husky Rescue of Florida for his beautiful tribute on their Memorial Page.




Gibson, you are so loved and so missed. 
Run free, sweet boy. Run free.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Goodbye Gibson ~ I'll Love You, Forever



It is with a broken heart that I now share that my beautiful, strong Epidog, "Gibson," has earned his angel wings. Epilepsy did NOT define him, nor did it take him from this earth. He was a strong, brave, and inspirational boy who did not let challenges stop him from loving life. Each health challenge he met head on, trust me that I would be by his side, and he conquered each one. And at the end, Gibson beat the "seizure monster." His epilepsy was managed by medications and supplements, and Gibson was seizure free for almost 7 years! Bravo, Gibson!


Today, while in surgery, it was discovered that Gibson's tumor had metastasized. It was not just in the spleen. It was all over, including an orange-sized tumor in his liver. Gibson was gently and peacefully let go as the heavenly angels came to escort him North of the Rainbow Bridge. I know my mother who just passed away on November 15, now has him wrapped safely in her loving arms. She was with us the day we welcomed him home as a four-month old puppy (see photo above), and now she is welcoming him home to Heaven. 





video

The above video (may not play on all devices) is of the Harley, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit wooing their goodbyes to Gibson as he left for surgery this morning. If you listen, you can hear them in the background. After he passed, they broke out in howls once again, to help guide him on his way.

The rest of the FiveSibes pack woooed to him when he left to go to surgery, and they just finished wooing to him now. Please remember him always and his brave fight against Canine Epilepsy. And always remember - #LiveGibStrong in everything you do, because he did. Right up until the end. He proves that dogs can ~and DO~ live full, happy lives with Canine Epilepsy. I will be offline for awhile as I am so heartbroken and so miss my brave, beautiful, special wooly boy. But when I come back, I will continue our #LiveGibStrong Canine Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, with his brave spirit beside me. 

Last night, Gibson was at home peaceful with our family and the FiveSibes pack. He enjoyed a few early Christmas toys, and although he was weak, he did enjoy a few bites of treats along with his ice chips. We here at FiveSibes wish you all blessings of the holiday season. Hug your pups and family a bit tighter this holiday season in the name of Gibson and my Mom, for they both loved life. Gibson was a very happy Husky and had a wonderful summer and autumn, frolicking, swimming, singing, playing, and this past month he even jumped back up on the couch and chair to gaze out our front window. Something he hadn't been able to do for quite some time as he was rehabbing his legs from a fall and from his hind end weakness. While he was in very bad shape at the ER, through the help of my vet, he rebounded to be happy and perky for his final days. He went out very peacefully as a proud, happy Siberian Husky.

I will always remember how he loved to give Gibbie kisses; go for walks and car rides; how he did his special Gibbie hip-hop dance; how happy he always was every single day; how he loved his girl Harley and his siblings, the Pupsters; how he loved to woo "love you" and "ice cream;" how he loved to give me his big, heavy, beautiful polar bear paw; how his namesake treats - the House Woof "Gibbie Snacks," pizza crust, and ice cream were his all-time favorite treats; how much he loved the snow; how beautiful and velvety his nose was; and how soulful and understanding his beautiful blue eyes were. 


Gibson - I will love you for eternity, my sweet boy. 

I thank my amazing, caring, loving, and very special team of veterinarians and vet techs - all of whom Gibson loved dearly and bestowed his famous Gibbie kisses on right up until the end.

Thank you so much to all of you for being with us through this final journey of Gib's. What a wonderful caring canine community we are part of. Your prayers, hopes, wishes of healing light, and supportive words have really help to get us through this time. Through tears, I have read so many of them to Gibson. We are so blessed to know he was wrapped in so much love from across the world as he left for his journey North. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We will always be the FiveSibes, with FurAngel Gibson by our side, always and forever. 


 #LiveGibStrong Forever



"I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night..."
~Excerpt by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

*More Prayers for Gibson* ~ An Update

Gibson's first Christmas 2015 season photo with Clarice.
The past few days has been such a rollercoaster of emotions. Gibson made it through the night at the ER, just barely, and was transferred to our vet hospital in the morning, where they had him on heavy doses of antibiotics and IV fluids. 

Gib at ER
My brave boy began to rebound. His fever dropped from nearly 107 at ER to 103.3.

The first two days were touch and go. I've brought him home at night to be with the family, and the days he has been in our vet hospital on the IV fluids. 





 


Over the weekend, our vet tech tech came to check up on him and administer fluids and his meds. His fever continued to drop. Blood tests confirm no more bleeding or bacteria in his belly. Small baby steps in the positive direction. 


Last night he began drinking water on his own, had no fever, and could even manage to stand up, although extremely weak after not eating (and he is still not eating on his own. He will take special food via syringe and just moved to spoon, but only a small amount). 


Last night was his most comfortable yet, with no fever, no
panting, and he was very comfy. And his girl, Harley, stayed right by his side. I got a plenty of Gibbie kisses. And in return, kissed that velvety nose of his. The velvetiest nose I've ever felt!

 The mystery has been what caused the internal bleeding and bacteria? He was so bad off at the ER that I held him in my arms wondering if this was time for his final journey, then somehow, he mustered up the courage and opened his eyes to look at me and I knew it wasn't yet. We would continue fighting this unknown monster.


Once at my vet hospital, who love and know him so well, he began to rebound. My vet quite literally saved his life.
The rebound, so welcome. Made  my heart soar.



 However, his rebound, is a temporary one.

Today, a specialist came in to do a second ultrasound...and there news is not good. Gibson has a tumor that periodically is bleeding. The tumor is on his spleen. There is also a "lump" that can be seen, but diagnosed, on his liver. He is also now showing signs of anemia. On the positive side, his chest X-rays show no sign of tumors, so "it" has not spread. Our prayers are that the lump on the liver is just that, some weird lump and in no way connected to the tumor. The spleen with the tumor can be removed in surgery...if...IF...it hasn't spread to the liver. If it has spread, I will have to set Gibson on his journey...which I can not even fathom. I can't lose my boy. I must stay strong and continue our fight and hope and pray it has not spread to the liver.

The choice now is surgery vs. no surgery. He is an Epi-dog. He had severe arthritis in his knees. He has weak hind issues. The ironic part is that after rehabbing from his lameness, he has had the very best summer being alert, even running about the yard, howling, hanging with his love and the rest of the FiveSibes pack, doing his famous Gibbie "hip-hop" dance, and just being a very happy, loving Husky. My last post of November was all about Gib and how he still has a lot of fight left in him.

So how can one day he be wooing at me and slamming me with his big, beautiful polar bear paw, gazing at me with his beautiful soulful blue eyes, hoping all around...and later that same day be on a stretcher, a very sick boy? No surgery only means the condition will worsen at some point...and to see him go through what he just did again, I can't do.

I know I am not the only one to be at this crossroads, but I know we all feel at the time we find ourselves here, that we are the only ones. It's a lonely and scary place to be. Gibson has beat so many odds. He is my warrior boy. And he again  must face a big monster. This time it is not epilepsy, but a sneaky, nasty tumor.

I pray the next time I write, it will be to say that Gibson continues to "LiveGibStrong" and is recuperating from surgery. I pray we will have this Christmas and others to come to celebrate together. 

If we could all join in - human hands and our dogs' paws - in a pawcircle of prayer, hope, and strength that Gibson will once again weather this storm...and that God may guide the hands of those his care is entrusted in. 

May Gibson continue to #LiveGibStrong here, in the now, with me and his family.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers, comforting words, and wishes for healing for my big, beautiful boy. You've all touched our hearts immensely and we thank you for your caring and support.

"Hope is the thing
with feathers
That perches in
the soul
And sings the tune
without the words
And never stops
at all." 
~Emily Dickinson




Friday, December 11, 2015

Prayers for Gibson, Please

While today was supposed to be our FiveSibes Flashback Friday post, we had an emergency here today with Gibson. He was his perky chipper self all day today, even prancing around the back yard, just being a happy Husky! After dinner, he was out lounging on the deck with his Sibesmates, and suddenly took ill this evening. He was lethargic, wouldn't move, and spacey. At first, I suspected a seizure and he was in post-ictal, but he had none of the typical signs.  We rushed him over to the ER hospital. He has spiked a high fever of 106 and they are having a hard time getting to come down. It ranges between 104.7 and 106. He is wrapped in cool blankets, on an ice pad, fan on, IV of fluids, and they are starting antibiotics and fa ever reducer medication. Tomorrow (actually today in about three hours) he will be transferred to our veterinarian hospital and a discussion on exploratory surgery will be had. After many tests, Xrays, sonograms, the ER vet believes it is not Epilepsy related, but rather he tore something as all the tests show bacteria inside cells where there shouldn't be any bacteria. They also drew out blood from his belly. After five hours with him by his side in the ER, they are admitting him and I am now back home, worried, restless, missing him...I pray there is no phone call from now (4 AM) until 7, when I can come get him to transfer him as a call would be he took a turn for the worse. His body is fighting the bacteria, but the big question is where is it coming from? A tear? A rupture? Where? How? Can it be fixed? The ER nurse is concerned with sepsis. 

I'm a wreck.

He is tired, he is weak, and he is fighting an uphill journey right now. We have fought many health battles together, me and my Gibson. I pray this is another we can overcome. Needless to say, I am beside myself. My beautiful boy...my heart dog... Any and all prayers and healing light and vibes sent his way are so greatly appreciated.

May my beautiful warrior boy continue his fight, feel my deep love for him, and always #LiveGibStrong.

 My Flashback puppy pic of beautiful Gibson at age four months! I love you, my buddy.


Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-host, Love is being owned by a Husky, each Friday. We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our Blog Hop each week! If you don't catch it on Friday, you can link up any time during the week! To catch our past Flashbacks, just enter "Flashback Friday" in the search box. We hope you'll come join us!



Monday, November 30, 2015

Our Epi All Star - Gibson - Inspiration for #LiveGibStrong - Final EpiTips & a GIVEAWAY!

To round up November's (Canine) Epilepsy Awareness Month, I'd like to highlight my very special and amazing boy, Gibson. He is my continued inspiration and the namesake behind our #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign where we help share information, resources, links, and fundraisers all to promote education about Canine Epilepsy and the positive and realistic side to living with a dog who has seizures and/or has been diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy.

Gibson and I have traveled this journey for nearly seven years together. We live it. He lives with it. I have written about his journey and will continue to do so in the hopes of helping others who may now find themselves on this very same path. We are here to say, Epi-dogs are amazing! And they can and do live full, happy lives. Is it easy? No. Is it expensive? It can be. Is it scary? At times, yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely yes!



So today my Epi All Star is the beautiful Husky who started me on this journey, and has filled my heart with so much love. My boy, Gibson.


Gibson has taught me many things over the years. First, there's love, trust, and a bond so deep and connected, words can not truly or fully describe it. I've had dozens of wonderful dogs throughout my life, and have five amazing ones right now. I loved/love each and every one. I thought each one was/is so special. And then there's Gib. He is amazing. I've said this a million times, he is a deep and "old" soul. He has shown me through our journey what trust, determination, and dependability means. He is a warrior. We have faced many challenges - from the onset of the seizures, to extreme weight gain from the meds, to the many side effects from the medications, including chronic weak hind end issues, lameness, and torn ACL. He has shown me through trust, determination, and hard work, comes strength. Strength of will. Strength of the mind. Strength of body. Strength of the heart. And strength of the soul. 



--> I've seen Gibson at his strongest, at his weakest, and I've seen him work hard the past almost two years with a combination of leg stability braces, sling harness, massage, rest, and laser treatments (below) to help him regain mobility.
--> Through it all, he has made me a stronger person. Being
diagnosed several years ago with debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, there are days that pain and fatigue beg me to go back to bed or simply rest. But Gibson is my inspiration to get up and fight my way through it. My mantra is, "If Gib can do it, so can I!" Together, he and I help heal each other. And it is a beautiful relationship. He is truly my shining star. My canine hero. And so, today, it's all about my boy, Gib!



His journey began almost seven years ago. You can read about those early days HERE, including some raw excerpts from his seizure journal that I shared back in 201o for Canine Epilepsy Awareness Month in the hopes of helping others.  Click HERE to read an update on Gib a year later, along with some Epi-Tips and a video highlighting beautiful Epi-dogs from across the world.


You can read about Gibson's Bromide Toxicity HERE, and while we hope to educate others, we pray no one else ever experiences this with their dogs.



We also tried Reiki to help with his pain and healing. Very interesting, with a strong emphasis on the human-canine bond. Visit my post on Gibson's distance Reiki treatment HERE

Leave no stone unturned.


For my choice of treatment for Gibson, it's a marriage of traditional care and holistic care. And on and off over the years, he has suffered setbacks, and celebrated victories. Most recently, he slipped on ice under snow and with his already weak hind issues...he could not get up. My boy was lame. Me...scared. 

Mr. Love Bug with Dr. A who does house calls for him.

After some tears spilled, I got help and we carried Gibson back inside and once again began Conservative Care (under the direct supervision of his vets, we opted to treat Gibson via this method as with him being an Epi-dog, the least amount of surgeries the better to hopefully avoid any break-through seizures. I was feeling very positive with this course of treatment and using as much holistic measures as possible to hopefully heal him).


His treatment plan included medications (at first), then I weaned him off pharmaceuticals and had him start on nutraceuticals to help alleviate the pain in his joints and hind end. Supplements, laser therapy, massage, Reiki, leg stability braces, and a lift harness to help reteach him to walk over a period of 18 months. Then he had a setback when he slipped and then tore his CCL. Back to the beginning for rehab.  It was a long, slow road to recovery. Each little sign of strength made my heart soar, and encouraged him to keep going.

It was long days of lifting an almost 100-pound Husky with the aid of the lift harness, to get him down a ramp so he could do his business. He could not place any weight on his legs. The leg braces helped. Then suddenly one day he put some weight on one foot. A huge milestone. Then he put weight on the other foot. Then he walked with me holding him up less. Then one day, the braces came off. His walks around the yard became longer. He began to have some pep in his step. And after almost two years, the lift harness came off and he was able to walk on his own!
Seeing the lift harness hanging idly on a hook by the back door warms my heart as I am astonished at how far he's come. There was a time when I feared he'd never be out of it. But, I was prepared to help him walk for however long he needed me to. And then one day it happened...Gibson ran! Oh happy Husky! Tears streamed down my cheeks that first day! See here in this video (may not show up on all devices) how my boy is a proud fighter:




Best.Day.Ever. 

I'm well aware that each day he feels great is a gift. As any Epi-dog parent can tell you - whether it's the fear of the seizure monster returning, or sudden hind end weakness, or lameness, or other side effects from the meds, it just warms my heart to see him being a happy, carefree Husky! And I will be right be his side to help him stay that way. And should he stumble or fall, I will be there again to help him get back up and support him. Amazing just doesn't seem "wow" enough to describe this boy's zest, will, and determination. He is a true warrior and may he always and forever #LiveGibStrong.
 
 

He is my inspiration.

He is my canine superhero.

He is my Gibson.






Now, let's eat! I mean what kind of dog blog would this be if we didn't highlight t-r-e-a-t-s?!

 We are thrilled to work with  House Woof Dog Biscuits in Vermont, USA, who created "Gibbie Snacks," named after Gibson and based on the diet of an Epi-dog. No preservatives, wheat, sugar, or salt, and made with only fresh or organic ingredients...just perfect for an Epi-dog! We are honored to have Gibson be the namesake and "face" of Gibbie Snacks! Plus, for every bag of Gibbie Snacks purchased on House Woof's online store, they will donate $1 to The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy (TWF).
TWF offers possible financial assistance for medications to parents/fosters/rescues of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy. I've been a volunteer case manager for TWF for a couple years and have met some amazing Epi-dog guardians who I now call friends! TWF does amazing work helping Epi-dog families that I'm proud to be affiliated with them and so thankful to House Woof for donating to them with each sale of Gibbie Snacks!

"Gibbie Snacks" Prize Pack from House Woof

And speaking of Gibbie Snacks...House Woof has generously donate an Epi Gibbie Snacks Gift Pack (say that five times fast!) for our giveaway! The pack consists of Gibbie Snacks and a purple (for epilepsy) Kong® Wubba, and it is open to residents of the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S.Virgin Islands, all where House Woof ships to. Please be sure to follow both FiveSibes and House Woof on social media, just follow the promts in the Rafflecopter. 


***UPDATE***

Congratulations to Lauren M. on Winning the House Woof "Gibbie Snacks" Snack Pack!

And Gibson would like to remind everyone about my Canine Epilepsy books - What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy available through ArcticHouse Publishing.




On a personal note, I'd like to thank you all again for your support, comments, prayers, and condolences on the recent passing of my mother. It was greatly appreciated.
I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight this week's Epi-Tips #27 - #29 (#30 is up top):

  

If you have any questions about seizures or Canine Epilepsy, please feel free to drop me an Email to 
FiveSibesLiveGibStrong(AT)gmail(DOT)com and type "Epilepsy" in the subject bar.