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!
Here's a HUGE hint about the exciting news...
And our new flyers...
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!
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|
|Dr. Rugg with Gibson & portrait.|
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.”
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.
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!
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.
Articles & Books...
Check out my article at 4Knines.com 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!
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!