Monday, March 26, 2018

Presenting #Paws4Purple on Purple Day®!

It's March 26th - and that means it is Purple Day® for Epilepsy Awareness, and here at the FiveSibes, I highlight awareness for Canine Epilepsy and the dogs who live with it (Epi-dogs). I'd also like to say "Welcome!" to our 4th Annual FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong Purple Day for Epilepsy Blog Hop! I'm so pleased to announce that two other amazing Canine Epilepsy advocates have returned to co-host with me: Kimberley Matchem and her Epi-warrior "Rolo" of Confessions of a Rescue Mom, and Jeanaann Barnaby and her Epi-warrior "Olivia" of Knotty Toys for Good Dogs. Please be sure to pop by their blogs for more info on Canine Epilepsy. I know it's a long post - but it's our annual one, and so important with lots of info, so bookmark us and come back if you need to take a break! 

Be sure to read on to learn about our exciting news about the debut of our partnership program-- #Paws4Purple program!

Here's a HUGE hint about the exciting news...

Check out the very cool bookmarks!

And our new flyers...

To download the digital versions, please visit #Paws4Purple on the Purple Day Every Day website HERE.
To ORDER hard copies of the bookmarks and flyers (share with your vet, ER clinic, shelters, rescues, dog wardens, groomers, pet supply stores, police and fire departments, and even schools, Email annmarie(at)akfus(dot)org!

What are these and what does this mean? I became an official Purple Day Ambassador in 2012, and am *so* excited and proud to announce a new partnership with The Anita Kaufmann Foundation (AKF) Purple Day Every Day for our new FiveSibes™ #LiveGibStrong #Paws4Purple Program! 

What is The Anita Kaufmann Foundation? The AKF was established in 2004, and is also the global sponsor of Purple Day and the Purple Day Every Day initiative. Their mission is, "To educate the public not to fear epilepsy or brain trauma." They have developed many educational programs, of which I am so proud #Paws4Purple is now part of, to help others learn about about humans--and now also canines--who live with seizures.

Who was Anita Kaufmann?
Anita Kaufmann was just a 14-year-old girl when she was thrown from a horse, suffered a head injury and was in a coma for four days and remained in the hospital for many months. Seemingly recovered, she went on to finish school and college, graduating magna cum laude. She went on to law school and earned her law degree, went on to practice and eventually had her own legal search firm. Then one day it all changed. States AKF, "Anita experienced one of her first seizures while taking a well-earned vacation and was asked to leave the vacation spa where she was staying. At that moment, Anita decided to establish a foundation to help others avoid the discrimination she had suffered. Anita wanted the world to know that most people with Epilepsy can be successful and lead normal lives with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan." And the same is exactly true for dogs, and pets (cats, horses, and rabbits can also have Epilepsy). 
I had the pleasure of working together and meeting two great
Debra Josephs & Ann Marie Bezuyen
and immense epilepsy advocates, the AKF Executive Director Debra Josephs (who had been best friends with Anita since third grade) and the Director of Special Projects and Purple Day Coordinator Ann Marie Bezuyen to develop and create a Canine Epilepsy informational program for people across the globe to have, #Paws4Purple was born! States Debra, "Our goal is to make the world epilepsy-friendly. Take a look at the many programs we offer to support persons with epilepsy and their families and please join us in making our goal a reality." #Paws4Purple is hashtag I had been using as part of my #LiveGibStrong awareness campaign, and am now proud to say it is the official title of this joint partnership program! The AKF also featured our #Paws4Purple in a display for Purple Day® for Epilepsy Awareness Around the World at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida on March 25th. I may not have yet have been to Disney, but as of yesterday, my FiveSibes have (in a matter of speaking)! The big event closed with the purple lighting of the Spaceship Earth at Epcot!

Dr. Rugg with Gibson & portrait.
I also want to give a heartfelt "thank you" to Dr. Arnold Rugg, medical director of Kingston Animal Hospital, PC, my go-to expert for all of his and his caring staff's amazing care of Gibson, and for his valuable input and for always sharing his expertise on Canine Epilepsy and seizures with me. (You can listen to my episode of "The Sibe Vibe" featuring Dr. Rugg HERE).

So what does this all mean? The mission of my FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness and educational  campaign is also to bring information and hope to those who are caregivers to dogs with Canine Epilepsy. Through this wonderful and important partnership with the AKF, we can now reach others through their organization on a wider scale to help Epi-dogs across the globe. Through the #Paws4Purple program, there are digital downloads of the flyer and bookmarks, that includes items to include in a Epi First Aid Kit. If you are a vet office, emergency clinic, rescue, shelters, dog control office, training center, and even human schools and would like a set of beautiful hard copy bookmarks and flyers, they are yours for free! A great educational tool to have on hand to hand out to folks and students for a better understanding of what to do should their dog have a seizure. (Although not necessary, a donation to the AKF is always welcome to help defray the costs of printing and shipping).

"(Let's) really spread the word that canines with Epilepsy have every expectation of having a wonderful life and can and be a fabulous loving pet.” 
~Ann Marie Bezuyen, Director of Special Programs & Purple Day Coordinator, The Anita Kaufmann Foundation

The key to awareness is conversation. Let's talk about epilepsy - all forms, and not just one one day, but every day. Our thoughts align with Cassidy Megan's - the founder of Purple Day. Cassidy said she started Purple Day because "I wanted people around the world to come together and teach others about epilepsy." 

What is Purple Day? Check out my past video that explains it all, the amazing young girl who founded it, and some beautiful Epi-dogs and their friends from across the globe who went purple in support of Canine Epilepsy awareness! 

Keep Reading to See Our Slideshow Below from our Purple Day Awareness Booth!

Why do I advocate for Canine Epilepsy? As many of you know from following my blog and FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook page, since my Siberian Husky, Gibson, was diagnosed in 2009 shortly after he turned three years old, I have shared our journey and Gibson's tribulations and trials of living with Epilepsy for over seven years, until he journeyed north of the Rainbow Bridge NOT from Canine Epilepsy, but rather suddenly due to hemangiosarcoma. 

In Gibson's name, I continue on advocating for dogs with seizures through my FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign because I believed so much in him and his determination, will, and zest for life. I champion for these  Epi-dogs because they truly are amazing dogs, full of love and life, and they bring so much happiness to ours! With some special care and lots of love, they, too, can live full, happy lives with Canine Epilepsy. A sad fact is not too long ago, dogs that had seizures were mostly euthanized. So is not the case today! When a dog has a seizure, it is one of the most frightening things to witness. It is scary, and frustrating at times because it is such an unknown - from trying to determine what triggered the seizures to setting up a regimented medication schedule, and never knowing if or when the next seizure may come. It can be overwhelming, and for those who are first experiencing this journey, it can feel very lonely and uncertain. It is from going through this with my Gibson, and having someone reach out to me, that I wanted to pay it forward and be sure to let others know there are many resources and information available. I wanted others to know they are not alone in this journey, and that there is so much hope for these Epi-dogs to have loving, cared-for lives. 

"Our goal is to make the world epilepsy friendly. Take a look at the many programs we offer...and please join us in making our goal a reality." 
~Debra Josephs, Executive Director, The Anita Kaufmann Foundation

If you, or someone you know, would like a package of beautiful hard copy flyers and bookmarks to share with a local rescue, shelter, veterinarian office, vet emergency clinic, dog show personnel, dog park visitors, and anyone else who would like to have them to handout, just drop The Anita Kaufmann Foundation a line HERE, or drop an Email to AnnMarie(at)akfus(dot)org, and simply request the #Paws4Purple materials!

Tune In...

I had the pleasure of having Ann Marie as the March Purple Day guest on my show, "The Sibe Vibe," where we chatted all about #Paws4Purple, the AKF, and Purple Day!

Tune in HERE any time to listen!

(Also available on iTunes under the Dog Works Radio family of shows. Be sure to follow for all the shows).

In an excerpt from the episode, Ann Marie offers valuable suggestions for the #Paws4Purple materials: "It’s really, really important for people to know what to do in case the dog has a seizure. You want to be informed and you want people who come in contact with your puppy to know exactly what to do as well. I would imagine there’s a million ways and a million uses for this very important info and I’m hoping that FiveSibes readers and listeners will send me messages and ask to have packets sent to them to give to their veterinarians, and possibly give us ideas about who else in the community should know a little bit about Canine Epilepsy, you just never know who may benefit, possibly the police and fire departments. (Let's) really spread the word that canines with Epilepsy have every expectation of having a wonderful life and can and be a fabulous loving pet.” 

Join in! Please be sure to check out our co-hosted Purple Day for Epilepsy 2018 #Pets4PurpleDay online event HERE, too! Share your links and Purple Day photos and stories, as well as see other folks' posts! Human, canine, equine, feline, and leporine, etc., all are welcome! Be sure to bookmark the page, so you can come back to reference it after Purple Day has passed! 

Even the Easter Bunny wore purple!

For Purple Day this year, I hosted an informational booth at our vet's office where the new #Paws4Purple bookmarks and flyers were given out, along with complimentary samples of Sassy's Goodies new "Gib Nibs" treats (specially made with the Epi-dog's diet in mind) and purple pawprint "pupcakes" that were a big hit! To read more about the February 2018 debut of Gib Nibs, named after my Gibson, and to hear our episode of "The Sibe Vibe" with Nanette, please read my post HERE. Sassy's Goodies donates a portion of sales from Gib Nibs to The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy (TWF). TWF offers possible financial assistance for medications to families, fosters, and rescues of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Epilepsy. The event was a success, and even the Easter Bunny stopped by! Now how cool is that?!

Here is a slideshow highlighting the event: 

A little note about a special elderly pup named "Paris" we met at the event who you will see in the slideshow. This pretty girl came in to take her journey to the Rainbow Bridge, and while she waited, we had the opportunity and honor to sit with her, get to know her a bit, and I even received a little kiss from sweet Paris. Her hu-dad let me give her a pupcake to enjoy, and take their photos, before our time together came to a close. This sweet girl left us with tears in our eyes, and her pawprint on our hearts. Run free, sweet Paris. I hope you find my Gibson! I am glad our paths crossed and I was able to meet you.

Remembering Gibson, the Husky who started a revolution. At the end of the event, I stopped over to visit my boy Gibson's portrait painted on the side of the vet clinic's outbuilding by a talented local artist, Kat. I think Gib would be proud of how the day turned out and that he is still helping other Epi-dogs.

Many thanks to my very dear and best friend, Linda Mae Brownell, for being the event photographer!

Articles & Books...

Check out my article at HERE for helpful ideas on how you can "go purple" and some ideas on legit places where to donate.

Also check out my article in Kings River Life Magazine HERE

Affiliate links notice: The following are Amazon affiliate links to my books on Canine Epilepsy, meaning we can earn a small amount from the sales of my books through Amazon. Please note that with all purchases of these books, a portion will be donated to Epil-K9 Foundation's Emma's Seizure Fund through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Companion Animal Epilepsy Research Laboratory.

PLEASE NOTE: The ONLY way to purchase a "NEW" book is through our publishing house - ArcticHouse Publishing. Any other listing is not a new book and not from us, but rather a previously purchased one. We are the only publishers of this book, and the only way to secure a brand new book. So please, use our links here or at ArcticHouse Publishing only!

Beyond Books...

$2 from every #LiveGibStrong awareness bracelet benefits The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy to assist families, rescues & fosters with possible financial aid for medication for dogs diagnosed with idiopathic Epilepsy. Can be purchased through our publishing website's store at ArcticHouse Publishing.

I want to personally thank everyone for sharing our FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness, and for joining us in this very important and close-to-my heart Purple Day Blog Hop. You can link up all week! Please be sure to "hop" around and visit my co-hosts' and all the bloggers' pages today and read their stories, see their pics, and say "hi!" Don something purple and dress your pet in purple, and when asked "Why are you wearing purple?" - you start a conversation about Epilepsy awareness and share our resources. Together, we can show the world that humans and pets with Epilepsy are pretty amazing. Thank you!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Puppy Day on a Flashback Friday!

What a wonderful and fun way to welcome in the weekend, but with a Flashback to when my FiveSibes were all puppies! I always love looking back for photos to share on our Flashback Friday, but I had so much fun and lots of memories of precious moments of when my Huskies were pups. Now, if you ask them, and they are all now "seniors," they'd tell you they still are pups! At least at heart, they sure are! Now...where does the time go?! 

"Puppies are the most trusting and joyous creatures on the planet.
Oh, to be more like a puppy."
~Colleen Paige,  Founder of National Puppy Day

For more info on National (now International) Puppy Day, founded by Colleen Paige, visit HERE.

Reminder: March 26 is Purple Day® for Epilepsy Awareness. Be sure to come back and join us in our 4th Annual Blog Hop for K9 & Pet Epilepsy Awareness!

Woo! I's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the entire week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! What a great way to remember those early days, and a fun way to kick off the weekend! Happy Friday!

We are also joining our blogger friends in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at: Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Newsy Tuesday's FiveSibes Book Nook Review: Indomitable Spirit by Jewel Mathieson

You know how much we love books here! Besides being an author, I'm an avid reader since, well birth! And when a good canine book comes along, I love to share it! Today, we are reviewing Jewel Mathieson's second book featuring her beautiful colored pencil medium style of artwork of beautiful snow dogs! Jewel is a very talented self-taught artist hailing from New Zealand, and I am honored and thrilled that she chose my Gibson to be one of the amazing dogs featured in her second book, Indomitable Spirit.

DISCLOSURE Please note that this is not a paid book review. While I did receive a copy of Jewel's book, Jewel had invited my Gibson to be part of her book, and I was given the option of purchasing the beautiful original artwork of my Gibson that was featured in the book, which I did purchase. I am not a paid affiliate of Blurb. All thoughts, reviews, and comments about the book and Jewel's artwork are solely my own.

"Woo! There's my brother Gibson!"
Books are works of love. They do not happen over night. This I know from experience! It may take years to go from an idea or concept to completed book in hand. Whether you get published via a publishing house or choose to self-publish, getting to the point of being published is no speedy, easy task. But then again, labor of loves should not be! Let's flashback to February of 2013, when Jewel and I first talked about her second  book, Indomitable Spirit. I had fallen in love with her beautiful artwork in her first book, Born to Run, which, of course, also highlights beautiful sled dogs. I did an in-depth artist interview with her upon its release back in March 2013 that you can read HERE, including more about how she started as an artist and her support of rescues across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

"I'm busy looking at the pretty pictures!"
When Jewel first began her model search for the dogs for her new book, she had previously taken notice of my wooly FiveSibes Siberian Husky boys--Gibson and his younger brother Wolf--and she was interested in including one of them in her new book concept. After sending her a few favorite photographs, Jewel selected Gibson's captivating photograph because of his wooly beauty and how different he looked from other snow dogs. And to be honest, Gibson, with all of his challenges of living life with Canine Epilepsy and the side effects of his medications, he truly encompassed that "indomitable spirit" Jewel was looking for. And I was so thrilled! I could hardly wait for this book to come out. She knew it would take several years, as Jewel actually hand-creates the individual pieces of artwork of each dog she includes in her book, and there are 46 portraits in this book! Upon completion, Indomitable Spirit is every bit as beautiful as its predecessor, Born to Run. But, of course, it's my favorite of the two because it features my Gibson (among 45 other stunning snow dogs)! I cannot think of any higher honor than to have one of my Huskies included in this book. 

"As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art." 
~Jewel Mathieson

"Woo! Love this book!"
With the turning of each page of Jewel's art book, it is like having a private art show in hand! Each dog is so beautiful, so exquisitely drawn, they almost seem to be able to come to life right off the pages! What a treasure for any Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, sled dog, snow dog, northern breed dog, or dog lover in general to own.

I am proud to now have both of Jewel's books in my library!

Recently, I had the opportunity to virtually sit down with Jewel and talk about her latest project, Indomitable Spirit, that I want to share with you!

FiveSibesMom (FSM):  What made you decide to do a follow up to Born to Run?

Jewel Mathieson (JM): I was inspired by a photo of Joe Henderson's Malamute team. They had paused from breaking trail in chest-high snow during an expedition in the Arctic. It was such a strong illustration of what these dogs were bred to do and how they absolutely loved being in their element. Misunderstanding can create controversy and sadly a lot of people seem to misunderstand the Northern Breeds and exactly what it is they require. These dogs were bred to work, bred to be stimulated, and bred for cold conditions. They can't be put in the same box as many modern-day family pets who lead relatively sedentary lives and like to cozy up in front of the fire at night. Sometimes people can forget the history and the purpose, so I wanted to bring it to light through my drawings and show these dogs as they were meant to be.

FSM: Tell us about what your title means to you and what it says about these dogs.

JM: It was the spirit of the dogs that really inspired me to create this book. That is what I wanted to capture and share with the world. Their strength, resilience, unwavering determination, and the way that they can not only survive, but thrive in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. I hope that my title conveys that message.

FSM: What is it about sled dogs and Northern Breed dogs (and Spitz) that you came to meet through that chance meeting with the gal from the sled dog club that draws you to them as an artist?

JM: My love of Northern Breeds was formed long ago, well before I was introduced to sled dog racing. I talk about this in depth in my book, but a lot of my passion began with our Finnish Spitz, Tiia. She wasn't like other dogs. There was such a deep understanding and intelligence, and also a distinct stubbornness that set her apart from the rest. I soon came to realize that this was a trait of the Northern Breeds. As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art.

FSM:  What was it about my Gibson that inspired you to want to draw him?

JM: Gibson has some of the most soulful eyes I have ever seen. He is definitely a Husky that I felt instantly drawn to and felt a sense of quiet strength, wisdom, and gentleness about him. He was a very special man.

Gibson - (L) My Photo Portrait & (R) Jewel's Artwork

FSM: This had to be a long labor of love. Any idea how many hours of drawing went into this?

JM: It certainly was a labor of love! The book took nearly five years to complete! I finished 46 hand-drawn portraits for the book and each portrait can take up to four-five-six weeks each to finish, so that's a lot of hours! It would be many thousands of hours by the time it was all completed.

FSM: What is your hope the message is for the book?

JMI hope it reminds people of where these beautiful breeds began and why we fell in love with them. That spirit and strength that aided them in surviving such harsh conditions is still with them today.

Meet Jewel and two furfriends...

Jewel working in her studio...

A gift certificate for Jewel's book is a great idea for an Easter basket or Birthday present for your favorite dog, book, and art lover! Want to know how long it takes to make your order and ship? Check HERE.

This book is so beautiful! 
We here at FiveSibes 
give it a Top Dog review and a...

To obtain your copy, in a choice of hardcover or soft, please visit Jewel's bookstore on Blurb HERE.  The book will be printed to order (which Jewel says helps keep the cost of the book down for buyers)!  Below, is Blurb's current coupon that is valid until March 22, 2018! If you miss it, no worries! Jewel says to keep checking back HERE to keep a watchful eye out for periodic Blurb specials for a percentage off your book order!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Feelin' a Wee Bit Siber-ish on Flashback Friday!

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Feelin' a wee bit Siber-ish at our house with this blast from the past favorite collage of our FiveMcSibes wearin' of the green!

And of course, we all know Siberian Huskies are quite the silly characters, so here's another blast from the St. Paddy's past with our silly FiveMcSibes! Sláinte!
(Now, if only I could find that JibJab video!)

"May joy and peace surround you, 
contentment latch your door, 
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore!"
~An Irish Blessing

Woo! I's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! What a great way to remember those early days, and a fun way to kick off the weekend! Happy Friday!

We are also joining our blogger friends in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at: Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!