Monday, February 8, 2016

International #EpilepsyDay: #LiveGibStrong

Today is International Epilepsy Day. A joint initiative by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), Epilepsy Day is a global event takes place on the second Monday of February each year to highlight Epilepsy and those who live with it and their families. Here at FiveSibes, where we highlight Canine Epilepsy, we are choosing to celebrate the #yesIcan theme and our continual message of our #LiveGibStrong campaign - that dogs can~and DO~live happy, full lives with Canine Epilepsy. As many of you know, my Epi-dog (epileptic dog) and K9 Epilepsy Ambassador, Gibson, was diagnosed at age three and he so loved life! While we managed to keep him seizure-free for seven years, he did battle plenty of side effects of medications, but slayed each battle as the true warrior he was. Holistic treatments and supplements, combined with his Epilepsy medications, helped him every step of the way. He loved to talk. He loved to run. He loved to play. He loved the snow. He loved to dance his special Gibbie hip-hop dance. He loved me. He loved his packmates. He loved life!

Gibson, my Epi-dog, loved life.

This is my first Epilepsy awareness post that I've written without him by my side. It's not easy. It's actually downright difficult and sad because he was always my champion. I could reach over and rub his velvety nose or pet his beautiful wooly fur as I wrote. Gibson was my heart dog and my canine superhero. I was blindsided when he suddenly fell ill, and devastated when I lost him shortly before Christmas...from a sneaky,  hiding cancer. But, then I look at his videos taken the days before he had to leave...and he was so healthy and happy and seizure free! And it reminds me of that great Gibson zest for life. And I smile. I know he is by my side always. And his message will continue on, to offer hope to other Epi-dog families finding themselves on this journey so well-travelled by me and my boy these past seven years.

We want folks who begin this journey to know they are not alone. There is support. There are so many wonderful and caring people who are also on this journey who can share their experiences. There are many resources available for information, assistance, and networking with others about Canine Epilepsy. And, we are always happy to help! Just drop us an Email at FiveSibesLiveGibStrong(at)gmail(dot)com.

And, I'm thrilled to announce that I will be launching our new website soon, a project I have been working on for a long time, that will include an extensive section for Canine Epilepsy information, links, and shared resources. There is also a great resource section I compiled over the years in the back of my EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy book available through ArcticHouse Publishing and Amazon (a portion of books sales are donated to Canine Epilepsy Resources/Epil-K9 Foundation "Emma's Fund" house at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine).

I also want to remind folks that House Woof Dog Biscuits formulated a special wholesome treat specifically created for the canine epileptic and named "Gibbie Snacks" after my boy. House Woof donates $1 per bag of Gibbie Snacks sold to The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy (TWF). TWF offers possible financial assistance for much-needed Epi-medications to families of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Canine Epilepsy.

So, today, on International Epilepsy Day, we hope our message rings out loud and clear that a diagnosis of Canine Epilepsy is not the end. For Gibson and me, it was actually a beginning...of a truly beautiful, bonding, and close relationship based on trust. I learned so much from him about pushing through illness, seeing the joy all around, no matter what, and loving those who love us.

Bracelets available at ArcticHouse Publishing

With my courageous, beautiful, brave boy's spirit always by my side, we want everyone to remember to #LiveGibStrong by doing what he loved to do: 
Enjoy each day. 
Woo to the moon. 
Let snow gently fall on your face. 
Nuzzle a loved one. 
Give big Gibbie kisses to family and friends. 
And do the Gibbie hip-hop dance across the floor with a big, happy Husky smile! 

He had so much fight in him...he fought the seizure monster...and won! He had such zest and amazing spirit. This video was shot just two weeks before he journeyed to the Rainbow Bridge from cancer.  He was fight strong. He lived happy and Gib Strong.

on #EpilepsyDay and Always.


  1. Epilepsy must be so very tough on a dog, and certainly for the dog's humans. It's good to know you're expanding your site info via a new website to include many more resources.

    Thanks for all your hard work in raising awareness -- I bet Gibson is smiling down on you =)

    1. Thank you so much, Mary. I write this through tears and smiles for my boy. We hope to continue to help others to know they are not alone. Gibson was an amazing dog - Epidogs are amazing dogs!

  2. I know how hard both you and Gibson worked to end and fought to overcome epilepsy. Thanks for your dedication to the cause! We miss you Gibson!

    1. Thank you so much. I so miss my big G. I know he's right by my side as I carry the torch for him for Canine Epilepsy awareness. #LiveGibStrong!

  3. We are so proud of all you do to battle the evil disease, you all rock!

  4. Thanks, Brian! We hope one day there is a cure!