To round up November's (Canine) Epilepsy Awareness Month, I'd like to highlight my very special and amazing boy, Gibson. He is the continued inspiration and namesake of my #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, where we help share information, resources, links, and fundraisers to promote education about the positive and realistic side to living with a dog who has been diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy. Gibson and I have traveled this journey. We live it. He lives with it. I have written about his journey and will continue to do in the hopes of helping others who may now find themselves on the same journey. We are here to say - Epi-dogs are amazing! Is it easy...no! Is it scary? It sure can be. Is it worth it? Definitely yes!
Gibson has taught me so many things over the years. First, there's love, trust, and a bond so deep and connected, words can not truly describe it. I've had dozens of dogs throughout my life and loved each and every one and thought each and every one was/is very special. And there's Gibson. He is amazing. I've said this a million times, he is a deep soul. He has shown me through this journey what trust and determination is. He is a warrior. We have faced many challenges - from the onset of the seizures, to extreme weight gain from the meds, to side effects to the meds - especially weakness in hind end and lameness. He has shown me that determination, work, and trust brings strength. Strength of the body. Strength of the mind. Strength of the heart. Strength of the soul.
I've seen Gibson at his strongest, his weakest, and I've seen him work hard for the better part of two years wearing his leg braces, being in a lift harness, and receiving laser treatments to help him regain his mobility.
Through it all, he has made me a stronger person. Being
diagnosed several years ago with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, there are days that pain and fatigue beg me to just sleep or rest. But Gibson is my inspiration to get up and fight my through it. Together, he and I heal each other. And it's a beautiful relationship. He is my shining star. My canine hero. And today, it's all about my boy Gib!
His journey began almost seven years ago. You can read about those initial days from excerpts from his journal that I shared back in 2010 for Epilepsy Awareness Month in the hopes of helping others HERE.
A little more update a year later HERE and some Epi-tips and a video of Epi-dogs from across the world.
In 2012, I feared I was losing him again when the pharma-ceutical company suddenly and without any notice changed his Potassium Bromide capsule compound that sent him into sudden and severe ataxia. Talk about scared! Thanks to getting him to the vet quickly, who immediately detoxed him, we were able to get through the crisis...alebeit very shaken.
You can read about the Bromide Toxicity HERE, and while we hope to help educate others, we pray you never have to experience it with your dog.
Visit his distance Reiki treatment post HERE.
On and off over the years, Gibson has been faced with setbacks as a result of his meds, and then he had a fall on the ice and went lame. Again, we attacked full steam ahead with Conservative Care (under the direction of his vet team, we opted to treat Gibson via this method as with his being an Epi-dog, the least amount of surgeries, the better to avoid break-through seizures, and I was very positive going in using as much holistic measures to help heal him as I could).
We treated him by using medications (at first), then natural supplements, laser therapy, massage, leg stability braces, and a lift harness for the better part of two years (he had a second fall that set him back, and then a torn ACL that we also treated via Conservative Care). Each little show of strength made my heart soar.
Seeing the lift harness hanging up by the back door actually makes me smile as I think about how far he's come. And then...it happened. Gibson ran like the happy Husky he is! Oh, joy!!! See here in this video (may not show up on all devices):
I'm well aware that every 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 as a side effect to the meds, it just warms my heart to see him being a happy, carefree Husky! And I'll be right by his side to be sure he stays that way. And if he stumbles or falls, I'll be there again to 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 forever #LiveGibStrong.
He is my inspiration.
He is my canine hero.
He is my heart dog.
He is my Gibson.
Now...let's eat! I mean, what kind of dog blog would we be if we didn't highlight t-r-e-a-t-s?!
We're thrilled to have worked with House Woof Dog Biscuits in Vermont 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 and 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 through House Woof's online store, they will DONATE $1 to The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy (TWF). TWF offers possible financial assistance to parents/rescues/fosters of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy for much-needed medications. I've been a volunteer case manager with the TWF for a few years and have met some amazing Epi-dog parents who I am now friends with as a result! TWC does wonderful work and I'm proud to be affiliated with them and to have House Woof donate a portion of their "Gibbie Snacks" sales to TWF!