Happy 🌈 Sweet 16 to My Heart Dog, Gibson: Ambassadog for Canine Epilepsy Awareness
Gibson was the face that launched a K9 Epilepsy Awareness movement that proved dogs with Canine Epilepsy (Epi-dogs) could~and do~live full, happy lives no matter how long we are lucky to have them. We can learn so many lessons from our dog, especially Epi-dogs. Gibson, with all his health issues, embraced life like no other dog I knew. He was truly the happiest dog on earth. He had such a zest for life. No matter what challenge he was faced with as a result of his epilepsy, he just loved life.
My Gibson was truly a rock star. His 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 Woof and later after they shuttered their doors, he was the face of Gib Nibs through Sassy’s Goodies, with donations from both benefitting Canine Epilepsy foundations. Gib inspired me to author two books and dozens of articles on Canine Epilepsy, and launch our #LiveGibStrong K9 Epilepsy Awareness educational campaign, and in 2018 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 by checking out my FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K9 Epilepsy Online Library & Resources Center page right here on my blog!
Gibson was not only my heart dog, he was my spirit guide.We were so connected. So many things had happened that it left professionals wondering! You may be asking "Like what?" One example is when I was going to have surgery for a serious growth and Gib had his vet checkup prior so I could be sure all was good with his blood levels (being an Epi, he had monitoring check-ups every five months). I had discovered a lump in the *exact same place* as mine that had not been there before. I had my vet check and he was diagnosed with the same thing! So, we discussed surgery dates, and decided to wait until after I recuperated from mine so I could care for him. Fast forward to after my recovery, and I could no longer feel his lump. I brought him to the vet for full check, and the lump was gone! No trace of it. Not ever again! We both were cleared. Had Gibson taken on my health issue with me and somehow on some spiritual level, absorbed my infection? I certainly believe so. God does indeed work in mysterious ways, and Gibson coming into my life was definitely meant to be. It was miraculous indeed. Even my vet said he had never seen anything like that before, but he didn't doubt my connection.This was not a one a done incident either. My Gib and I were so part of each other. Some may thing that sounds corny, but if you have loved a pet wholeheartedly, and one with special needs, you know what I mean. After all...what is dog spelled backwards? To me, that is no coincidence.
To think that today he would be Sweet 16 is just beyond belief. (And his seventh birthday at the Bridge). In reality, I know he would not be here today as he was a large dog, weighing in at 98 pounds at best, and tipping the scale at 120 with weight gain as a side effect of his meds, and he had health issues. I worked with him for two years and did get his weight back down to his "svelte" 98! I was pretty proud of that! Gibson loved to snuggle with his true love, our Harley. And if you've been a reader of my blog, you know how he fell in love with her the moment his puppy self met her (and she body slammed him Husky-style that he flipped head over fuzzy tail--quite literally--into the pool, and he was her for life! Wherever Harley was, Gibson was. I always called them my "married couple!" So on this Sweet 16 Birthday, I know he is giving some kisses! (Gibson loved to kiss Harley, me, the female vet and vet techs, he was such a Romeo!)
In the end, the seizure monster lost his battle! But, that sneaky bastard called hemangiosarcoma is what took my beautiful wooly boy's vivacious life just a few weeks before his 10th birthday. Gibson lived those last seven years of his life seizure free, and for that, I am so thankful and proud. I worked hard researching all I could on Canine Epilepsy and treatments, including holistic ones. Together with his team of amazing vets at Kingston Animal Hospital, namely Drs. Arnold Rugg and Beth Alden, we changed his diet, his supplements, and they were always open to new therapies I learned about...and together we helped him live a full life within those all-too-short almost 10 years.
Happy Sweet 16 Birthday, my dear Gibbie. Wolf is there now, too, to celebrate you, his big fluffy brother. Take care of him, Gib. You know how he is such a baby. And love to all my FiveSibes there. I saw some flurries as I'm typing this, so I know all my beloved FiveSibes are up there having your wonderful Husky zoomies and kicking up so much snow, it is floating down here to me.
Pawprints Left By You
"You no longer greet me as I walk through the door,
you're not there to make me smile,
to make me laugh any more,
life seems quiet without you,
you were far more than a pet,
you were family member, a friend,
a loving soul I will never forget."