Sunday, November 5, 2017

#30DaysForEpiNovember: Day 5 is Strength; Unveiling the New #LiveGibStrong Logo

Today we are talking about "strength." And to me...that word is synonymous with Gibson. In honor of my strong, brave, beautiful angel Epi warrior, I am proud to unveil our new #LiveGibStrong logo! You may have started to see it on a few of my Canine Epilepsy Awareness posts, and you will see it on my new website, that I will be unveiling this month. While this logo had been designed a few years ago, prior to Gib's journeying to north of the Rainbow Bridge, the time just was not right to unveil it. Today, I feel it in my heart and soul that it's the perfect time. The logo, which is based on the Gibson cartoon character from my FiveSibes Tale books, depicts Gibson being "Gib Strong," meaning that dogs with Canine Epilepsy are true warriors, they do not give up, they enjoy their days in between seizures, and may they live strong.

With November being National Epilepsy Awareness Month, I am also joining Kimberley Matchem and Epi-dog "Rolo" from Confessions of a Rescue Mom blog who is hosting a #30DaysForEpiNovember photo challenge to bring awareness to #CanineEpilepsy and getting folks to talk about it. As part of the challenge (as you can see from her list below), each day that coincides with the days of the month, we post a photo on social media - Facebook (FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews) and Instagram (@FiveSibesMom) that depicts the topic. Also be sure to follow Confessions of a Rescue Mom on Facebook to see Rolo's pics! Today is Day 5 and it is Strength. And that is what our FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness logo is about and we hope that it brings hope and inspiration to families and caretakers of Epi-dogs worldwide. 


Another depiction of Gibson's amazing strength is a video I created of him at one of his strongest moments post-rehabilitation.

Wow. This is still so difficult to write about. Especially going back and reading my entries before and during Gibson's sudden illness in December 2015. But, for him, I will now be strong and so I may retell his story in the hopes that it will encourage and inspire others...

It was on November 30, 2015, and unbeknownst to me, it was exactly 16 days before Gibson passed away during surgery for hemangiosarcoma and a bleeding spleen, that I had posted the following video that depicted just how strong my Epi-warrior was. As many of my readers and FiveSibes fans know, Gibson experienced a weak hind and bouts of lethargy and ataxia as a result of his anti-seizure medications. He was on a maintenance program of alternative therapies that consisted of cold laser treatments (see photo at left of Gib receiving an in-home treatment from one of his vet techs), massage, and walks where I assisted him with a lift harness. On November 30, I was able to let him walk free and he ran up our ramp so proudly! My heart soared. The following is the excerpt from that blog post:

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:


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.


Today, my furangel Gibson is still my inspiration, always my canine superhero.

To read more of this special post about my Epi All-Star, visit HERE.

"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't."
~Rikki Rogers 

 To read about Gibson and 123 other amazing Epi-Dogs from across the world, check out my book, EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy. A portion of sales is donated to the Epil-K9 Foundation for research trials and projects through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Companion Animal Epilepsy program. 

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  1. What an inspiring post! Thank you.
    [P.S. love your new logo!]

  2. If there was anything that Gibson was, it was strong. Your writing proves, the video shows it, and I mean just look at him run up that ramp!

    He was a special boy. I miss him for you.

    Take care of yourself and those Sibes. I know his anniversary is coming up and I will be thinking of you. <3

  3. The logo is totally wonderful!!!