So excited to be hosting our 6th #LiveGibStrong Purple Day® for Epilepsy Blog Hop, once again along with my two amazing co-hosts, Jeanaann Barnaby of Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and Kimberley Matchem of Rescue Dog-Mom Confessions! So let's talk purple!
What's Purple Day All About?
If you have not already seen my Purple Day video, please take a few minutes to watch it, learn about how an amazing young girl named Cassidy Megan founded Purple Day, and how dogs across the globe joined Gibson and my FiveSibes in showing their support for Epi-dogs by "going purple!"
Why Do I Advocate for Epi-dogs? Gibson.
Chances are, if you have followed us here at FiveSibes, you know that my Gibson was diagnosed shortly after his third birthday with idiopathic epilepsy, and ever since, he and I have advocated for dogs with epilepsy to spread the word that dogs can--and DO--live full happy lives with Canine Epilepsy.
Through our advocacy, I've shared not only mine and Gibson's journey, but facts and important information on caring for a dog with seizures. Back when had his first seizure in 2009, I was stunned, scared, and had no idea what had just happened. Seeing him stiff and frothing, chilled me as I thought I had just lost my beautiful boy. To watch him come out of the seizure and stumble his way toward me (he experienced temporary blindness, which is not unusual after a seizure), as he followed my voice, after being so still, was nothing short of a miracle. I went from crying tears of horror to tears of joy in just a few short minutes!
There was not a lot of information available back then, and many veterinarians unfamiliar with epilepsy at the time would suggest euthanasia. (Not mine, I was fortunate to have an amazing team, well-versed in seizures, who became my go-to experts for help throughout Gibson's life).
The Internet was just a baby, not at all like it is today. MySpace was the social media gem at the time, so I posted a note about my dog having a seizure, and a wonderful gal--whom I am friends with to this very day--wrote me and shared her experience with her dog, and talked to me about medications and dosages, so I had a grasp when I spoke to my own vet. She was amazing! (Laurie, that's you!) I then began to keep Gibson's journal on MySpace, and connect with others. Of course, being a career journalist, I researched everything I could get my hands on, spoke with veterinarian experts, holistic practitioners, other hu-parents of dogs with epilepsy, and joined Canine Epilepsy support groups. I made myself an expert for my boy's sake, so I could give him the best care and life possible.
This is a video slideshow show from my Purple Day booth at Kingston Animal Hospital with not only Gibson's lead vet, Dr. Arnold Rugg, but also some of the amazing staff and even the Easter Bunny!
Gibson was a beautiful dog who lived a happy life, and he brought me so much happiness. He was truly my heart dog. And together, we sailed the sometimes rough seas called epilepsy, and he inspired me in so many ways, including creating #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness, authoring two books on the topic and many articles, videos, and podcasts, all to help others and to let folks know, while it is so scary to watch a beloved pet have a seizure, know you are not alone! Help is just a keyboard click away!
Gibson's and My Message
I want to let folks know if they find themselves suddenly caring for a dog with epilepsy, to not be afraid, that there are many informational resources available to help, and we're here to help point them in the right direction because dogs with epilepsy do not need to be euthanized, can be adopted, and do love life as much as a dog without epilepsy. Dogs with epilepsy can be sled dogs, dock diving dogs, hiking partners, therapy work dogs, family dogs, and more--basically, my Epidog can do whatever your dog can do!
We had a very special visitor one day, a beautiful gal named Frankie who also has epilepsy, came with her mom and spent some time with Gibson and my FiveSibes. What wonderful day we had!
Get Our #Paws4Purple FREE Educational Info!
In 2018, I proudly partnered with the Purple Day global non-profit sponsor The Anita Kaufmann Foundation (now Purple Day® Every Day, presented by The Anita Kaufmann Foundation). You can read my post all about that HERE.
Through this educational initiative, you can request FREE* hard copies of any of my bookmarks, flyers, or my pride and joy - Cooling Down An Epi-Dog: Where Do I Put The Ice Pack? informational art poster! The beautiful rendition of Gibson was created by the talented artist, Cameo Anderson, and all my info has been vetted by Dr. Arnold Rugg. These handouts are great to share with:
What's New for Us?
This year, I was honored to be asked to have a booth at the 3-day 2021 Purple Day® Around the World Virtual Epilepsy Education Conference! With the pandemic, this is a fabulous way to still hold a conference, meet and hear other advocates, experts, and success stories. If you registered for the event, I hope you stopped by our FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong booth for some info! Kudos to the team who organized this fabulous event!
#GoPurple Every Day
So on this Purple Day, Wolfie and I will #GoPurple to honor Gibson and all dogs who live, and have lived, life with epilepsy. We hope you will #GoPurple in support of dogs and humans with epilepsy. Whether you dress you and/or your pet in purple, draw a purple picture, tint a photo with a purple filter, whip up a batch of purple cupcakes, tie your shoes with purple laces, whatever creative way you can think of to show your support, because as in the words of the amazing founder, Cassidy Megan, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven, and "started Purple Day to raise awareness for people with epilepsy and to let them know that they aren’t alone. At Purple Day, we want to educate people about what to do and what not to do when they see someone having any type of seizure."
Let's take that message and share it, along with purple, every day.
You are not alone.
It's time to grab our badge (you'll have to screenshot it), post it on your blog, share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, whatever social media platform you prefer, and link up to our Blog Hop below so your link and photo can be included. Then be sure to hop all around to see what everyone is sharing! There will be lots of great info, photos, and fun! And...the link is open all week to join in!
Screenshot Our Badge & Link to FiveSibes.blogspot.com!
Feel free to use hashtags on your posts.