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
ladies 
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 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!





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!







18 comments:

  1. All your purple is most beautious!

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  2. Today we join in bringing awareness and educational info to all affected by epilepsy. Thank you for hosting! 💜

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    1. Thank you so much for "going purple" with us for support and awareness! 💜

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  3. Thanks to you I know so much more about canine epilepsy! I ha no idea this happened and that there are ways, and means, and knowledge for owners with a dog with this condition.

    Posts that help and advocate for increased knowledge are critical in spreading knowledge to EVERYONE who might need it.

    We'll done and Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Marjorie, and for your support. The more people know about these amazing dogs, and the informational resources available to help them and their families, the better. Thank you for helping to spread the word!

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  4. Thank you so much for teaching me about Purple Day plus including me in your event, I was so honored to be part of it and share wherever possible.

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    1. Thank you for joining us on this important date and for sharing! On behalf of Epi-dogs everywhere, thank you!

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  5. It's amazing how this group of pet bloggers has taught me so much. Thank you for sharing. I really didn't know about it at all until today reading these posts.

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    1. You are most welcome! Maybe one year Montecristo Travels will visit places where pets and their humans have "gone purple" for awareness on March 26!

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  6. You are such a wonderful advocate for your pups! I know your blog is a resource I'll turn to if I ever need information and assistance with a pet with epilepsy.

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    1. I'm happy to be a resource and help others! And thank you for your kind words. :-)

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  7. You've done such a great job of advocating for dogs with epilepsy and educating us. The first time I read about Gibson, it shattered some old stereotypes that I didn't even realize I had about epilepsy. Thank you for helping me understand that epi-dogs can have amazing lives!














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    1. Beth, thank you, and thanks for sharing that with me. It certainly helps to know the advocacy for and writing about Epi-dogs, such as my beloved Gibson, is helping others to learn and understand how amazing these dogs are! So wonderful to hear! You made my night. :-)

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  8. Congratulations on this exciting new partnership and all you have achieved bringing awareness to epilepsy. I didn't even know dogs got it and now, after reading about Gibson over the last few years, I know several friends with epi dogs. Most are living well with it. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks, it is so exciting! The AKF is such a great foundation and hopefully this will expand our advocacy for Epi-dogs worldwide. So glad to hear most are living well with it...as did Gib. That is part of our message, so thank you for sharing!

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  9. Your partnership with AKF is very exciting news! I love the idea of combining your mission for disease education and empowerment with her mission for dispelling myths about epilepsy and standing up against discrimination worldwide. I do believe we will have a genetic marker for at least one breed if not several in the next five years. Once we have one, we will be able to raise awareness and get other breed clubs on board and rally the funding necessary. If I can ever use my platform on Big Dog Mom to help you and AKF in your efforts, please do let me know. Thank you for all you are doing with FiveSibes!! Your work is an inspiration to us all!

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    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie! I appreciate that so much. And thank you for your advocacy and interest. I will certainly call on you!

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