Friday, September 13, 2019

An End to a Reign: Goodbye Beautiful Harley, Alpha Queen of the FiveSibes

As a gentle late summer breeze blew, our beloved Harley passed peacefully outside at home today in the early afternoon, held by my daughter and I, and wrapped in so much love. Standing nearby their surrogate mother's side were Wolf and Bandit. While our hearts are truly broken again, after just losing our sweet Chloe in June, Harley is free now from pain and running with both Gibson and Chloe, North of the Rainbow Bridge. 

“Dogs’ lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price.” – Dean Koontz
Future FiveSibes Alpha Queen
My daughter and Harley. "They didn’t make a tougher
more badass dog than her. Rest easy girl," my daughter said
and it was so very true. 

Harley was our first Siberian Husky; my daughter's dog, actually. We fell in love with her and, unbeknownst to us at the time, that set us on the path of eventually adding four more Huskies to our family and inspiration behind this very blog. 

Harley was the OG of the FiveSibes. The alpha queen of the FiveSibes Pack. She was "Momma dog" as she mothered the Pupsters Wolf, Bandit, and Chloe as though they were her very own from the moment we brought them home.

Harley was Gibson's true love...from the second we brought him home at four months, and two-year-old Harley knocked him furry butt over tea kettle into the side of the pool, the boy was smitten with her black and white, blue-eyed beauty. From that moment on, they became the "originals;" the "married couple."
The "Originals" ~ Harley and Gibson as puppies!

Always full of sass and spunk, she was an amazing dog. A highly intelligent dog, Harley was not your typical snuggly dog, but this beautiful girl would grace you once in a while with her snuffles (a sniffy-almost-kiss) and oh, how she loved to play "Husky-style" whether with the rest of the pack family, or us humans! Her and I would do our own fun game of "Slide-the-Sibe," where I would split my legs and call out "Come on, Harley, Slide-the-Sibe!" and she would run between my legs and come out the other size in full crazed Husky mode! Fetch was her favorite game of all time, and she could out run, out Fetch, out play all of our other Huskies. 

fivesibes.blogspot.comIn the summer, she loved the pool! As soon as we brought it out to fill up, she was the first pup in the pool and loved to splash, and jump, and run, and paw at the hose. Oh, the laughs we shared, even this summer, at 14 years of age, that girl could splash like a puppy! Always the first pup in and last one out, how she loved her pool time. This year, although a little stiff after the water play, she happily went in and out of the pool all day long, and sounded off her happiness with her low-growls of pleasure. Aside from watching her run in the snow, it was always a joy to watch her splash in her pool and then engage in play with the other Huskies. And these little snippets were of Harley just this summer, at almost 14.5! She rocked being a senior!

"It's impossible to forget a dog that gave you so much to remember." ~Anonymous
"Woo! Where to?!
Harley also loved car rides, especially if it in-cluded a stop for her favorite drive-through treat--vanilla ice cream! 
From the time she was a pup and we brought her home from over an hour away, in the pouring rain, she snuggled up on the back window and went to sleep. She grew to love sitting next to the window, buckled in, and watch as we drove. She was the best passenger dog ever! She accompanied my husband to work many times, with all the folks falling in love with her!

She was a spunky girl! She always chased her floofy tail, and did managed to catch it a few times! She loved to "grrrrrr" with the pups to get them to play, and there was not a bed she didn't like to try and tear up!
Siberian Huskies love to howl, or "woooo" as we Husky-lovers say. Within our FiveSibes pack, the pupsters would always go up to Harley, even after she went deaf, and give a few barks or woos to get her started. They would not group howl unless mama Harley started them off. However, this beautiful girl could not sing. Not a note. As graceful and petite as she was, this girl could not carry a canine note! A neighbor once said she thoughts she was injured because the howl sounded like an injured animal! But Harley woooed proudly...and loudly, and then, and only then, would the rest of the Huskies join in. 

How I miss those Siberian "songs."

Harley, like Gibson, was a star (and knew it!) and accomplished so much! 

From being on national magazine covers like American Pet Magazine and posing with Gibson on the cover of Ruff Drafts... being a model dog for my articles both in magazines and in my blog, to having a book starring her!

She starred, along with all of our FiveSibes, in a music video written all about Siberian Huskies! Rock on, Huskies!

This girl was a queen, and naturally, birthdays were celebrated in royal style!

Last year, at 13, Harley began showing some signs of aging, besides being deaf ever since she had her seizures in 2012, arthritis and stiffness began to settle in her hind legs, and recently, she had a very difficult time sitting down.
Harley and her favorite toy, her blue Peep.

Dogs should be able to lie down and stand up, and for Harley, it was obvious of late that this was becoming a difficult thing to do. Hemp oil (CBD) was a godsend. Since she had gastrointestinal issues where as certain medications made her have bloody stools (almost to the point of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), she could not be put on the traditional pain-relieving medications. Treatibles full-spectrum hemp oil was the magic pill for her...for awhile. Eventually, she had breakthrough pain and the dosage would be increased (several times), which would help to the point of even reducing inflammation in her now-swollen carpals, and while most of the swelling miraculously went down, she was still in growing pain. I also suspected a possible underlying condition with balding along her spine that began last summer. While I suspected Cushings or cancer, her bloodwork, with great relief, always came back A-Ok. Her alopecia was treated with antibiotics, topical medication, coconut oil, and then hemp oil--all to no avail. Thankfully, it was a superficial issue, and caused her no additional pain.

Even so, she was--and always will be--beautiful in my eyes.
Harley, queen of FiveSibes and mother of our Huskies

While she faced several age-onset health challenges, none were actually acute. Thankfully. Harley's amazing fourteen-and-a-half years were blessed with good health. With two adult-onset seizures behind her at age 12 (due to hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism), Harley was pretty amazing and quite healthy for a senior gal. Having gone deaf, she responded excellently to hand signals. Most recently she was stricken with Horner's Syndrome (which I will be writing about in a future post), but over time, recuperated fairly well, once again thanks to hemp oil. 

"Death is the heartache no once can heal.
Memories are keepsakes no one can steal...
Softly the leaves of memory fall, 
gently we gather and cherish them all.
Planted deep in memory's garden
and watered daily with tears:
Memory has a magical way

of keeping loved one near." ~Grieving Poem

Harley bucked Old Man Time, she really did. But then again, in the words of her momma, my daughter, she was "tough" and a "badass!" (And I believe Harley knew it)!

Harley was indeed a badass, a true pack queen and she reigned royally.

Last night, I told her all about the amazing people out here and how they were sending her love, prayers, and power of the paw...and in her infinite wisdom, I do believe she understood and felt all that love.

For me, letting her go was one of the most difficult things to do; gut wrenching, actually. To have to make "that decision" for a family pet is painful, difficult, and for me--sickening--it should always be about the dog. While Gibson and Chloe were acute cases where the decision was necessary out of emergency, Harley's was a bit different. We had to make the decision set her soul free, and as any pet parent can attest, one of the most difficult decisions to make. Was it too soon? If I wait, would it be too late? Would tomorrow bring worse pain or a heart attack, stroke, or seizure?

“One day we will again see our animals 
in the eternity of Christ.” 
~Pope Paul VI
So, gut-wrenching decision finally made (three calls to our vet, two postponements on my part, and hell of a lot of tears), With assistance of our wonderful vet,  Harley left this world as she was held and pet by my daughter and I, with her two remaining pupsters nearby, and wrapped in love in the comfort of her own home with her two favorite toys, her stuffed blue and pink Peeps. She earned her silver harness in manner fitting the beautiful brave warrior queen she was--with respect, dignity, and so much love.  

Tonight was a rare Friday, the 13th full Harvest Moon, and 13 has been a lucky number here, so I like to think since the moon seemed so big and bright,
it is indeed a special occasion as her path was illuminated across  across the heavens to those snowy fields, north of the Rainbow Bridge. In my mind, I called upon Gibson to bring Chloe and meet Harley at the gates to the Rainbow Bridge, and escort her back to the beautiful snowy fields north of there where they could all zoomie together, all on healthy fours, wildly kicking up snow, healthy and happy as a Husky should be. I can see them in my mind's eye, and it is so beautiful. And in true alpha queen Harley style, she sent a sign. But, that is story for the next time.

Goodbye our beautiful girl. 
We will love you and miss you forever.

Your dainty little pawprints will
forever be upon our hearts.

Oh, how I hate goodbyes.

Dear Readers and FiveSibes Fans: We will still be on a blogging break and may pop in to share a story or two, but mainly will be with Wolf and Bandit to help them as they help me transition to being a furfamily of just two...while in our hearts we will be #ForeverFiveSibes.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fit For Our #FiveSibes Alpha Queen: Celebrating Harley's 14½ Birthday

Born on March 10, 2005, our beautiful alpha queen, pupster surrogate momma, and my daughter's and our first Siberian Husky,  turns 14½ today!

You may be wondering why are we celebrating her half birthday? Because, as heartbreaking as it is, we now know she will not be here in March to celebrate her 15th Birthday as I once had hoped.

Heartfelt thanks to Ann at Zoolatry for this beautiful badge.
Thank you all who are sharing it and joining paws for our girl.

As amazing and strong as our queen has been, and how proud I have been of how she still could outrun Pupsters Wolf and Bandit, still splash in her pool like a puppy, tear up a dog bed like there's no tomorrow, and chase her tail until the sun sets, our beloved Husky leader has also been dealing with health issues that we have been treating, but are now slowing her down and, heartbreakingly we are preparing ourselves for her journey, that we as pet parents all dread, to the Rainbow Bridge. 

“Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”
~Agnes Sigh Turnbull

Harley began with some health issues back in March of this year, to which we have successfully treated to date. However, this past month has seen her body betray her, slowly at first, and now we fear the breakthrough pain is becoming too much for her treatment, and before it reaches a level that would be too much for her, it is becoming clear her time with us here is nearing an end. 

Each day has been filled with love, and I won't sugarcoat it, many, many tears. There is an awful squeezing in my chest that is my heart breaking into a billion pieces knowing our days are numbered. Still hurting from the sudden loss of our Chloe this past June, I am once again reeling from the thought of losing Harley. Our beautiful pack queen will be joining her true love Gibson and her "adopted" pupster Chloe, who I know are waiting together for her at the Rainbow Bridge, to guide her and stay with her forever in those forever snowy fields farther north of the Rainbow Bridge, where only Siberians go.

So today, on her "half" birthday...we celebrate her. Her amazing life, her bravery, her momma instincts for three puppies who were not of her blood, and for showing us all about joy, zest, Siberian Husky will, and embracing and loving life as only a dog can. So it's her favorite - vanilla ice cream for all!

This has been a week of memories, smiles, tears, and lots of bacon,
burgers, pizza crust, and ice cream for our queen. Oh, how I wish we had more much more time...but, sadly, we do not. Anything more would be selfish and it would be only for me and my broken heart; I owe her more. She deserves the best. And this gut-wrenching decision has to be about her, and her only. Three different calls to the vet, and two postponements behind me, but I think the time has arrived when we are out of postponements. I do not see a failing dog, as others see, but rather an amazing senior girl whose youthful beauty still shines through in my eyes.

My goodness, where did almost 15 years go? 

So, in honor of Harley's 14½ Birthday, please give your beloved pets an extra hug and kiss, and extra toss of a ball, play her favorite game Fetch in her honor, and say a prayer with wishes that for her that her final journey on this plane she will feel all the love in our hearts and that it will be very peaceful for her, as she leaves to meet Gibson and Chloe, and all the other amazing fur friends we have made over the many years we here at FiveSibes have been part of this amazing blogging and online community.

  In these days leading up until then...she will be wrapped in so much love and tears, along with as much ice cream, bacon, and pizza as her dear queenly heart desires...but, as for me, I am so not ready...not at all.

A Note to our Devoted FiveSibes Readers: We here at FiveSibes will be taking a blogging break to spend time with Harley. Both  of our Blog Hops -- #WaitingWednesday and #FlashbackFriday will be on a hiatus as well. Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Honoring Gibson & Chloe on Pet Memorial Day

Remembering our beloved Gibson and Chloe on National Pet Memorial Day, and every day.

"You came into my life one day, so beautiful and smart, my dear and sweet companion, I loved you from the start. And though I knew the time would come, when we would have to part, you'll never be forgotten, you left paw prints on my heart." ~Unknown

Friday, September 6, 2019

It's All in the Name: Personalized Treats on a #FlashbackFriday!

Bandit thinks giving paw will earn her an extra treat!

Did you ever notice the excitement in your dog's eyes when open the treat jar or bag?! Of course you do! Right?! There is no simpler way to get all my Siberian Huskies (back when we had five, and with our current three) attention than when I have treats! (Okay, maybe their attention might be diverted if a squirrel, possum, bird, or any other small animal dared to cross "their" yard. If you have Huskies, you know what I mean)! But, on a typical day, treats are their favorite...well, treat! In this Flashback Friday photo, we are only stepping back a month or two when their Sassy's Goodies arrived in the mail. A special surprise was when there were some personalized biscuits in the delivery, too! We know how intelligent Sibes are, so naturally they went right to the treat with their name on it! šŸ˜‰ BOL!
Bon(e) Appetit!

PS - our friend Nanette Willis at Sassy's Goodies has been nominated as a Business of the Year and could use some support in the way of votes! If could stop over HERE and vote for Sassy's Goodies (not to be confused with Sassy's Spa, that is another business, but not related), that would be so appreciated! Sassy's is named after their Siberian Husky, and they are a military family who love and support dogs, including police working dogs (and they are also the baker of the (p)awesome fundraiser snack, "Gib Nibs," named after my Gibson. Gib Nibs are all natural treats made with ingredients especially for Epi-dogs! And, Sassy's will donate a portion of sales for Canine Epilepsy awareness to The Wally Foundation!)  

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for supporting Sassy's Goodies! I am a happy customer, and appreiciate their joining in our for Canine Epilepsy awareness and fundraising with the creation of Gib Nibs!  Everything I share on my blog I use here at FiveSibes!

Woo-hoo! Harley wants to know if you enter our 7th Anniversary of #FiveSibes "The Sibe Vibe" Show for a custom sew-on patch yet? There's still a little time...(expires tonight!)...visit our post HERE. Good luck! And thanks for helping us celebrate!

You're Invited...

Share your fave pics from Memory Lane from yesteryear or yesterday, grab our badge, link to us, and join in our weekly Flashback Friday Blog Hop! Link open all week!


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

#WaitingWednesday Rescue Spotlight: -Forever Husky

Welcome back to our #WaitingWednesday Blog Hop, where we highlight rescues and feature some of their adoptable dogs and dogs waiting for a foster home! While we here at FiveSibes, focus on Siberian Huskies and northern breeds, the Blog Hop is open to ALL breeds and species, so I hope you will join in and highlight some rescues near and dear to your heart and hop along with us! This week, our featured rescue is Forever Husky! Please be sure to scroll down to see some of their beautiful adoptable Huskies!

Organization Contact Information

Forever Husky
PO Box 2510
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

P: (815) 893-9755
F: (847) 890-6166

Toll Free:
(855) - 4AHUSKY (855-424-8759)

Forever Husky's mission is "To help those that have no support... husky and human alike."

Their Fundamental Principles Are:

R – Rescue the animals that need our support
E – Educate people about the Husky breed
A – Adopt to qualified applicants and be their support
L – Listen to what others have to say; to make educated decisions

"By keeping it REAL we hope to keep Huskies safe, 
in their Forever Home."

Forever Husky, a 501(c)(3) non profit charitable organization started in 2009 by our Founder, Lance Laureys "after seeing the countless number of animals that needed help while not just waiting at the shelter, but at the rescue as well. The limitations of volunteer time and the struggle to generate enough financial support to provide basic care and medical attention to the animals were obstacles that had to be addressed each day. For every dog that was lucky enough to find a home there were two more waiting to take its place. I found myself thinking that there had to be a better way. There had to be a way to save a dog’s life while still providing a quality of life that could be justified by more than the 'better alive in a kennel than not alive at all' mentality."

Number of rescued Huskies in their forever homes - 338!
 37 Huskies saved to date for 2019!

Forever Husky provides:

  • Community Development 
  • Public Education  
  • Rescue, Rehab & Adopt  
  • Owner Surrenders

How Can I Adopt or Foster From 
Forever Husky?

Check out their Adoption Process & Policies at:

Submit an Adoption Application here:

Meet Some of the Beautiful 
Forever Husky  Adoptables!

Be sure to tune in to my show "The Sibe Vibe" to hear Lance Laureys and Julie Lesch talk all about the mission of Forever Husky when they were my guests on this howliday episode!

Tune in any time HERE!

What's This NEW #WaitingWednesday 
Blog Hop All About?

It's about becoming a "village" to help rescues, homeless Huskies, and all abandoned pets of any species in need. It's also to share breed information to help educate folks so they understand the traits, habits, and needs of specific breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, BEFORE they welcome one into their home to ensure the home will be a forever one. Please check out our recent post HERE where I talk all about this new important Blog Hop! 

How You Can Join in Our Weekly "Village" to  Help Homeless Pets...

Write a blog post (or Facebook or Instagram post) highlighting a rescue (you can do a different one each week!) along with some photos of the rescue's adoptable animals (dogs, cats, horses, bunnies--any species) along with a little info on the pet and the rescue's contact information. ***Then grab our badge below and link to our blog, add your post's link to the Linky list, and join in the hop to help homeless animals!***

#WaitingWednesday Blog Hop for Pet Rescue
While we here at FiveSibes randomly select rescues to highlight, if you are with a non-profit rescue of northern breed dogs (and mixes of both), and want to be sure I feature your rescue, please send me your info and some of your adoptables to highlight in an upcoming “Waiting Wednesday” post! Feel free to Email info and photos to FiveSibes(at)gmail(dot)com and put 
“Waiting Wednesday Adoptable” in subject line!


We are also joining in the Pet Parade hosted by Dash Kitten, Bionic Basil & Barking from the Bayou! Pop over and check out the blog posts in the Parade!