In Honor of My Epi-Star, Gibson 💜
As November and (Canine Epilepsy Awareness Month comes to a close, I must highlight my Epi-Star, Gibson. Gibson was not only my heart dog, but he was the poster dog for enjoying life, even with Canine Epilepsy. Diganosed with idiopathic epilepsy shortly after his third birthday back in 2009, he and I embarked upon a journey that brought us to becoming ambassadors for epilepsy awareness. Along the way we met so many amazing people and Epidogs. I am honored to know expert veterinarians in the field, as well as directors of Canine Epilepsy organizations that help Epidogs. Through my journey with Gibson, I learned to take my lead from him as he embraced life with zest. He did not let epilepsy stop him! He was one of the happiest, silliest, most beautiful soulful dogs I have ever known.
Together over the years we have accomplished so much in the name of Canine Epilepsy Awareness, from launching an international #LiveGibStrong awareness campaign, to two multi award-winning books on Canine Epilepsy: What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living and Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; to many articles in national publications; being magazine cover dog; hosting numerous shows on our #FiveSibes "The Sibe Vibe" aired on Dog Works Radio and iTunes; and becoming Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassadors since 2012.
I continued and still continue to carry on his awareness legacy even after he earned his angel wings by participating in promotion of trials by North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Small Companion Epilepsy department (and I was honored to do the opening welcome for their conference); to volunteering with The Wally Foundation as a case manager to help other Epi-dog parents; to partnering with Purple Day® Every Day Presented by The Anita Kaufmann Foundation to author the #Paws4Purple Canine Epilepsy initiative, to developing an important K9 Epilepsy poster with the assistance of a renowned artist and veterinarian.
Why? Because I want to 1) let folks not fear a dog with seizures. They can live happy lives and do what other dogs do and bring us so much love and joy. And 2) To let anyone whose dog suddenly has seizures to know they are not alone.
So, as we prepare for the holiday season, it's important to remember that while we have this month to highlight epilepsy awareness and help educate others about how dogs with epilepsy (Epi-dogs) can~and do~ live happy lives, while also sharing important tips and resources to help those families and guardians of Epidogs, awareness and help is not just one month, but all year long. And we here at FiveSibes, have created in the name of my late Epi-dog, Gibson, the #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Online Resource Library packed with info, vet advice, and links to important resources in the hopes of helping others who find themselves on this journey with their beloved dogs. Please share our online Library filled with info & resources to help others!
Epilepsy, while prone to certain breeds, can affect dogs across the breeds, across the globe. It is key to know that you are not alone in this journey. Help is just a keyboard click away. There are reputable resources to help you understand the disease, tips to help you help your Epi-dog, as well as important information from veterinarians who are experts in this neurological field.
Thank you, Gibbie. I'll love you forever.