One sure is a lonely number. When you have spent a portion of your lifetime with five, fun-loving, crazy, rambunctious, howling Siberian Huskies who loved being together every day, you know somewhere in the back of your mind that having five all around the same age--three of them littermates, so three who are the same age--one day down the road, heartbreak was waiting; times five. We are now at four angels, with just one Pupster left, Wolfgang. Dear, sweet, beta-to-the-max Wolfie. Losing Bandit, a definite alpha and boss girl, so suddenly has left our dear sweet baby boy a mess. Being the last Husky standing sucks for him. While I stepped up going for walks and getting in lots of extra hugs and chats, I am not his sister Bandit. I am not his other sister Chloe. I am not his "momma" Harley, and I am not his big bro Gibson. And Wolfie misses snuggling with his pack family. Since September of last year, it has been just him and Bandit. They made the move with us and adjusted so well. They enjoyed exploring our new area together, meeting the new neighbors and their children and dogs. We've had good times just sitting around our backyard campfires together. Eating together. Playing together. And them two sleeping together.
Now Wolfie is alone. And I am FiveSibesMom of one.
Wolfie has suffered from anxiety issues since he was a young Husky. He came out of surgery for a torn CCL, and the medications made him so loopy, he was never quite the same after for him. That is when he started with crate anxiety, severe separation anxiety, and in later years, a form of Sundowners he has to this day. Over the years, and with the help mostly of his furry mates, he thankfully overcame the separation anxiety. We ditched the crates for all of them (all of them except Wolf loved their crates) and they had their own bedroom to snuggle together in, so that was no longer a worry. But, now in the wake of Bandit's passing, anything can or has made his anxiety come back and come back hard, on top of grieving. And, yes, he is grieving. Dogs most certainly do grieve. I saw it with Harley when Gibson passed, and although they missed Chloe when she passed, they still each other for comfort. But now that it is just one, it is tough for my very sensitive boy...heartbreaking, and just plain sucks.
Wolfie is a lover. He loves his family, especially the toddlers! He adores my grandson; they are best buds! And he loves to woooo to him and my one-year-old granddaughter, who woos back to him! Wolfie loves people to pet him and he loves to see other dogs, but will never ever tug, pull, or try to rip my arm off. He has such wonderful social manners. My pupster is now an old man, I guess. I mean he will turning 13 in a few days! So, he and I are well matched; we both are now seniors and walk at a very leisurely pace. While I am so thankful he is here with me, this birthday will be so bittersweet for his siblings will not be part of the celebration. Oh, all the fun times we had celebrating the Pupsters' birthday together. But, as with life, changes comes and we adjust; we must, while always being thankful for what we had.
Losing Bandit so suddenly was definitely a shock. Back in May she had surgery to remove a huge growth in her mouth and her recovery went so well. She was our healthy dog. A feisty, smart, survivor. Having her suddenly taken from us from a sneaky, crappy, rotten bleeding spleen tumor, hemangiosarcoma, was a shock. The same rotten cancer that stole Gibson from us five years ago. I know I am not alone in losing a beloved dog or two to this horrid disease, and it seems so many of our dogs are taken down by it. I can only hope that one day there will exist a way of detecting it early, and saving them. For Bandit, she did not suffer like Gibson did. She went out in true Bandit style, enjoying the snow, and then having family hold her as she peacefully went to sleep. It all still makes me cry.
So many of you have checked in on us to see how Wolf has been doing, and we are so thankful to you for that. It's so heartwarming to hear and read all the amazing letters, posts, and comments of support at our loss once again, and for the genuine care and concern for Wolf. It's now been almost three months since our dear Bandit suddenly left us and I believe that finally Wolfie's grief is lifting. He is adjusting to being the only dog. While there is sadness, there is also a perk...he gets all of the attention and twice (or four times total) the amount of kisses from me. It may sound strange, but we have "talks" - mainly I'm talking and he is listening, and occasionally woos back. When I am out, the hello I get upon my return is equivalent to fireworks on the Fourth of July - he is very verbal and so excited that I am home! (I absolutely love it! Not everyone in my house shares that love of a Husky's vocalness, but his momma appreciates it and welcomes it)!
Wolfie having his "woo" back is big. My FiveSibes were big wooeers...breaking out in howls many times a day, with one caveat--Harley had to be the first to start. The Pupsters would all stand by her and give a little woo or a bark (yes, Huskies can bark, they just don't care to!) until Harley started them off in singing. So when we lost both Chloe and Harley last summer, Wolfie lost his woo. So did Bandit, actually, but she always was on the quiet side. So, Wolf wooing is huge! And my heart swells when he does.
Losing healthy Bandit so suddenly really worried me so I had our vet come and give Wolf a good once over to be sure he was grieving, and not having something sneaking up on him. Thankfully, he seems okay. But, at almost 13, I am aware that is for now. He has had anxiety issues and gastrointestinal issues his whole life, and is going through some bad anxiety and IBS right now as a matter of fact. So sometimes I have to really figure out what is going on with him. The vet will be doing follow-up bloodwork just to check on his liver issues again (he is on meds, and his sister Chloe passed suddenly from acute liver disease that didn't even show up in her annual physical). I know my "pupster" is really in his golden years and has some increasing mental and physical health issues, but I just pray I have him healthy for a long time to come.
So, we are okay, Wolfgang and I. Sort of. All things considering. We are enjoying each other's company and our new routine now is pretty down pat. And, we are taking it day by day. Dogs really are resilient. Way more so than humans, I think. They grieve like us (and if anyone ever says they don't, they don't know what they are talking about). They need us, and they trust us to help them move through it and forward. So we can not ever let them down. And then suddenly, they perk up, move on, and enjoy the life ahead. Such a valuable lesson for us humans. As long at the dawn breaks, we have many blessings to count and be grateful for. Somehow, in their infinite and quiet wisdom, dogs know this.
It's time for Wolfie and I to get back to blogging! It may be slow, and it may not be as often as in the past, but we will be back. My heart is still only partially healed, a hurt that I know will never fully go away after losing four of my furbabies and knowing Wolfie has some chronic health issues and is in his golden years, but sharing life - the fantastic and the heartbreak - with FiveSibes, whether five, four, two, or one, has always been a blessing and a real joy for me. And there is much more Wolfie and I can share, even in these strange pandemic times. With loving our dogs and navigating life with Covid, we are truly all in this together to lean on, to cheer on, to cry with, to support, and to hopefully share some joy.
Thank you all for sticking with us, supporting us, and truly being our caring friends. Blogville has always been a wonderful neighborhood, and we are proud to be part of it.
We will restart our #FiveSibes #FlashbackFriday Blog Hop again soon to share fun and memorable times from over the past years. When we do, I sure hope to see you then on the hop!
Always and Forever the FiveSibesMom
Today is a special date—my furangel Gibson’s birthday. I’ve been thinking a lot about of my very special boy, Gibson—my heart dog—on what would be his 15th Birthday (unbelievably his sixth birthday north of the Rainbow Bridge). This amazing dog inspired me, and so many others, with his zest for life, and his determination and grit to overcome so many health obstacles along his journey with Canine Epilepsy. Diagnosed shortly after his third birthday, Gibson never let having #epilepsy keep him down! He enjoyed so many things—he just loved life! He loved spending his days with the rest of our #FiveSibes pack: his true love Harley (who he was smitten with from the moment he came home and met her!), and younger siblings Wolfie, Chloe, and Bandit. He was their big fluffy pillow they loved to all spoon around! Gib also had a great sense of humor! He was truly a beautiful “old soul” and if you’ve followed my blog, my spirit animal for sure.
Gibson’s journey inspired me to do extensive research on Canine Epilepsy and become my own expert in order to help him live the best life possible. I met amazing veterinarian experts and fellow Epi-dog parents along the way, leading me to write two books and many articles and blog posts about him and dogs living with #CanineEpilepsy. He also inspired me to become an ambassador for Purple Day for Epilepsy and The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy, bringing awareness and resources to others who have dogs with epilepsy.
Gibson’s beautiful face starred on national magazine covers, featured in newspaper articles, online blogs, and Ezines. He was the face behind two different dog treats—Gibbie Snacks through House Wolf and later after House Wolf closed, Gib Nibs through Sassy’s Goodies, with donations from both benefitting Canine Epilepsy foundations. Gib inspired me to launch the #LiveGibStrong #K9Epilepsy educational campaign, and most recently the #Paws4Purple campaign with The Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Purple Day Every Day to continue to bring resources, information, and support to Epi-dog caregivers worldwide in his name so that folks know a) a dog with the diagnosis of epilepsy does not need to be euthanized, b) caregivers are not alone, and c) help to maneuver this journey is just a keyboard click away.
Gibson accomplished so much in his almost ten years!
Even after he became a furangel, the work continues in his name. Most recently, his beautiful image created by artist Cameo Anderson, highlights a poster I created with vet consultation, to show how to cool down an Epi-dog before, during, and after a seizure.
In the end, Gibson beat the seizure monster—through all the ups and downs and back ups on his journey, with his care management plan and medication he lived his last seven years seizure free!
He will forever be my spirit guide and my heart dog, that very special dog that comes along and resides within one forevermore.
With November being National Epilepsy Awareness Month (#NEAM) , on this month's episode of my show "The Sibe Vibe" on Dog...
Welcome to the FiveSibes blog! At our home, we are the proud parents to five beautiful, lovable, energetic full-blooded Siberian Huskies whom we fondly refer to as "the kids!" Out of the five, four are siblings, three of them littermates! We also have an "Honorary Husky Cat" who adopted us, and most recently, she brought home another furpal, a feral kitten who has now adopted us, too! These furbabies are truly are a part of our family and we love them so! Through this blog, you will get to meet each one of them and share in a laugh or a cry at their fun-loving, crazy, wacky, and sometimes worrisome antics.
I first began the idea of creating a FiveSibes blog quite awhile ago when one of our Sibes, my wooly boy, Gibson, developed seizures shortly after his third birthday. When I began writing my journal of his medical journey, I had started posting entries on other social media as a way of connecting to others who also experienced the same with their dogs. Through this medium, I was able to connect with some pretty terrific dog-loving folks, both owners of Sibes, as well as other breeds,who I am happy to now call my friends.
My intention for this blog is to write about "a day in the life of" the FiveSibes, bringing thoughts, ideas, photos, tips, and discoveries to the forefront of discussion about the wonderful breed, as well as all things canine with others who share the same passion and love for their furbabies as we do.
We also hope to help spread the word that there are so many abandoned and homeless Sibes out there who could use a loving home. Too many times folks bring home a Husky simply for their beauty, but do not do the research to understand the breed and its needs and then turn the dog into a shelter when they can't/won't care for it anymore. Please visit the Sibe rescues listed on this site if you are considering bringing a Siberian Husky into your home. There are so many beautiful furbabies just waiting for a loving, forever home. Maybe yours could be one!
Let's make this forum a nice, comfy, polite place for everyone to visit--bring along your darling dog (or dogs), pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee, and let's talk canine!
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