Sunday, September 29, 2019

A Siberific National Coffee Day!


So my kind of day ~ coffee with my Huskies! Anyone who knows me, knows I love (and need) my coffee and love my I will always take my coffee with some Siberian Huskies! Enjoy!

"A cup of gourmet coffee 
shared with a friend 
is happiness tasted 
and time well spent." 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Our Harley is Back Home, Forever

"Where we love is home - home that our feet 
may leave, but not our hearts." 
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Our beloved Harley, alpha queen of our #FiveSibes is now back home for eternal rest, alongside Gibson and Chloe. Somehow, it seems fitting that she came home today...on my birthday. Harley loved car rides, so my daughter and I gave her one final long car ride home while reminiscing our lives with her.

Heartfelt thanks to someone very special to us, her amazing vet Dr. Beth Alden at Kingston Animal Hospital for her care of Harley over the many years, for always being there, and for Harley's final peaceful at-home end of life care. 


Much appreciation also to Dutchess County SPCA and Faithful Companion Memorial Services for her respectful after life care. 

Love you forever, Har-Har girl. 
It's been a wonderful, blessed, amazing, loving, and fun-filled 14-and-a-half years...but still, never enough time. You were our first Husky, our spunky stunning beauty. We miss you Harley momma. Rest easy now, and give a nuzzle to my beloved wooly boy Gibson and one to sweet pupster Chloe. We miss you all. 

Love,  #ForeverFiveSibes Mom

Other Related Blog Posts:

Dear Readers and FiveSibes Fans: 
We will still be on a blogging break and will pop in to share a story or two, but mainly will be with Wolf and Bandit to continue helping them as they help me grieve and transition to being a furfamily of just two...while in our hearts we will be #ForeverFiveSibes. We will be back in due time on a more continual basis and will once again feature our blog hops, but until then, we thank you you for all your continued love and support.

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Spiritual Sign From the Rainbow Bridge

FiveSibes Harley doing what she 
loved best, snow zoomies!
Do you believe the special human-canine bond can be so deep, that the connection lasts even when our beloved pets have journeyed to the Rainbow Bridge? Do you believe they are capable of sending us signs?

I absolutely do.

Today, is the first day of Autumn, the start of my FiveSibes favorite time of year when the cooler temps arrive followed by zoomies in the crunchy leaves with snowy days not too far behind. Today also marks 10 days since our beautiful beloved momma girl, Harley, earned her furangel wings. In her memorial tribute post, I mentioned that our girl did indeed send us a sign on the day she crossed over. And in true Harley style, she really did. Or, at least I believe she did. 

Sometimes the signs sent by our pets are obvious. Others more obscure. Sometimes we are so full of grief, our eyes are closed to those very brief moments where a message can be sent, but never to be seen. And sometimes we are so fortunate to catch their signs, momentarily chasing our grief to fill our hearts with our pet's love one final time from afar.

A few hours after our beloved alpha queen Harley made her journey, I was just hanging out on the back deck with Wolf and Bandit to help them through their grief. Wolf has anxiety, and was still grieving the loss of Chloe. Here we are two months later, and his "momma" is I put my aching grief aside as best as I could (my sobbing was not helping him) as I knew he would need extra extra love and reassurances to help him with his grief.  Bandit, she is a tough girl and seems to ride the wave of loss differently, quietly, and almost undetected. But my Wolfgang is a sensitive boy. He always has been. In both cases, Wolf never left his sister's or his pack momma's side. 

"You may have left my life, but you will never 
leave my heart." ~Anonymous

So, sitting out on the deck, Harley's favorite spot, I was just hanging with the Pupsters Wolf and Bandit, and I started thinking about signs. I wondered if we'd get one from Harley. I thought about how her and I communicated, especially after she went deaf a few years back. There is a deep, special, and trusting bond between a human and their beloved pet as they start having special needs. After my mother passed, I received a very clear and personal message. A month later, I lost my wooly boy Gibson, and he sent us a definitive sign on his birthday three weeks after he passed, and we've heard Chloe's unique pawprints in the kitchen (her favorite room)! So, as I watched the sky overhead,  I wondered if Harley would let us know she was happy being set free of her earthly pain...did she get to the Bridge? Did she reunite with Gibson and Chloe? I so wish she would send some immediate sign as I struggled so much with the decision to let her go...

Quite frankly, I was thinking that I wouldn't see anything at that particular moment, but I glanced up at the bright blue sky to see clouds passing over head. Suddenly, this one particular cloud passed above us and really stood out that I could not take my eyes away...and then I had to do a double, no triple take. Could it be...? I blinked my eyes to be sure I was seeing clearly, and not just conjuring up the image in my mind...tell me, dear readers, what do you see?? You see it, right??

From the Husky head, to the running legs, to the floofy tail...this cloud screams not just "Husky," but Harley. The shape, the running excitement, the smile, the floofy tail...all our Harley. Stunned, I realized the clouds were starting to shift in the late summer breeze, so I quickly pulled my cell phone out of my back pocket to capture the image. Just to be sure I was not making myself see things, I texted the photo to my aunt and uncle, who I asked... "What do you see?" and they immediately told me they saw what I believed I saw! My aunt said "Husky" and my uncle said "Harley." Check out our photo of Harley smiling and running in the snow up top of the post, and then look at the cloud image...

Do  you see it?!

Could it be our Harley?! Maybe, just maybe, it was indeed Harley, our precious first Husky, the alpha queen and "momma" dog...passing overhead for one last goodbye before running the skies to meet Gibson and Chloe at the Rainbow Bridge. I believe it was her sending a sign on the very day she made her journey to North of the Rainbow Bridge...a brief glance at her energy's light and her spirit soaring overhead, running across the skies over her home, over those who love her and will miss her forever...

And then there's the heart that some of my very sharp-eyed FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook page readers have seen, right in the middle of the Harley outline, brighter white than the rest of the cloud. I was so taken aback by her likeness, that I never even spotted the heart with in her cloud until it was pointed out to me. 

Now, what if I did not look up when I did? I would have missed it. Without getting too metaphysical, in my opinion and based on experiences from my dear mother and my beloved Gibson, signs are sent, but sometimes maybe only for a whisper of a second and we have to be aware or look for them, or we might totally miss them. I think that the thin veil of time and space between the two worlds allows for only a limited time for our loved ones to make contact, whenever it happens, and sometimes, just sometimes, we are lucky enough to catch their messages.

So tell me, do you believe? 

Many thanks to the ever-thoughtful Ann of Zoolatry 
for this Harley Forever graphic.

Dear Readers and FiveSibes Fans: We will still be on a blogging break and will pop in to share a story or two, but mainly will be with Wolf and Bandit to continue helping them as they help me grieve and transition to being a furfamily of just two...while in our hearts we will be #ForeverFiveSibes. We will be back in due time on a more continual basis and will once again feature our blog hops, but until then, we thank you you for all your continued 
love and support.

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 old, 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! She could body slam you from a run like a pro football player! 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 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 momma 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 thought one of our dogs were injured because the howl sounded like a wounded 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, well, her!

She also starred in, along with all of our FiveSibes, 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, and was consuming her once beautiful furry back. Thankfully, it was a superficial issue, and to my knowledge, caused her no additional pain.

Even so, she was--and always will be--
stunningly 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 a slight CCL tear that healed with Conservative Care Management, an injured dew claw removal, and 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, massage, and sometimes I believe sheer determination to have her well.

"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--physically sickening--but I believe it should always be about the dog. While Gibson and Chloe were acute cases, and heartbreaking, but the decisions were necessary, under advisement of the vet out of critical emergencies, Harley's was a bit different. Old Man Time had indeed caught up to her. We had to make the decision set her soul and spirit free, and as any pet parent can attest, it is one of the most difficult decisions a pet parent has to make. Was it too soon? If I wait, would it be too late? Would tomorrow bring worse pain or a heart attack, stroke, respiratory distress, or seizures?

“One day we will again see our animals 
in the eternity of Christ.” 
~Pope Paul VI
So, the gut-wrenching decision was finally made (three calls to our vet, two postponements on my part, and hell of a lot of tears). Under the care 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 oh-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 I try to take comfort from that.

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.

Back to FiveSibes Blog Home Page

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.