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Friday, July 14, 2017

Ode to a Sled Dog: Chance of Ojibwa


 "Chance"
Lead Dog, Ojibwa Kennel
 9/28/04- 7/10/17

 

 Today, my FiveSibes and I are dedicating our blog post to the loss of a great sled dog - the beautiful "Chance," Karen and Dave Hill's amazing lead dog of the Ojibwa Kennel team from Minnesota. You can follow them and their beautiful sled dogs on their Facebook page here. I'm sharing Karen's heartfelt words here in her ode to her special sled dog and about how much this boy meant to her:

"In my early years of mushing I wanted so very much to have a Seppala Siberian in my kennel. Back then, we didn't have social media, so finding a breeder of Sepps wasn't as simple as pushing a button. Around 2002 or 2003, a friend of mine said she planned to breed one of her dogs and asked if I would take a puppy because she wanted to be sure they would go to good homes. I was elated to hear that she would be breeding to a Seppala. Of course I said yes. When the pups were a few weeks old, I went over and chose my baby. She had chosen her keepers, and I chose differently, so in our own minds, we each got our "pick of the litter". My boy was Chance. He was named Ojibwa's Second Chance because 5 years prior, I'd been given a mushing-less prognosis after a serious car accident, only to be hit head-on in a snowstorm and cut out with the Jaws of Life 2 years later. The doctors said I would never live the same lifestyle.
 
This pup represented a new beginning for me, a second chance at the life I loved. While I was very grateful for that second chance, it was fraught with pain, both physical and psychological, and peppered with time off the runners. This sensitive pup came to know me well and his support, patience, and love was almost a palpable thing.
 

He grew to be the epitome of the "old soul" sled dog. He loved me and trusted me like no one ever had before and I valued that so deeply. Truly, in his entire life, he never trusted another person the way he did me. 

This trust was mutual. I knew he'd never take me down the wrong trail. He was never the type of husky to exaggerate pain, as so many are. He was always, every bit stoic and strong. He had wisdom beyond anything I've seen in a human being. 

He was my lead dog. He became an irreplaceable, indescribably trusted and respected soul mate. Chance has earned his silver harness, and at this point it feels like, taken most of me with him. I don't have many pictures of his last days because, knowing it was coming, the anguish in my heart spilled out onto my face and even I can't stand to look at the photos of it. 


Run free, Chance, you have my heart with you. My life is forever better because you were in it." 
~Karen Hill, Musher, Ojibwa Kennel



"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really."
~Agnes Sligh Turnbull


On this Flashback Friday, we are traveling back down Memory Lane to a great run so you can take a ride in Karen's musher's seat with her beloved lead dog, Chance, leading the way. Sit back, and enjoy the beautiful ride.


 "This was one of Chance's best runs. I don't judge that by speed, time, or distance, but by the level of fun and peace we had. This is what makes the heartache worth it. Rest In Peace, Buddy." 
~Karen Hill, Musher, Ojibwa Kennel


Mush on, beautiful Chance, through those beautiful, snowy trails north of the Rainbow Bridge. 




Join Us!!! Do you have a photo from your pet's past that you'd like to share? Come stroll down Memory Lane with us here at FiveSibes and join in our Flashback Friday blog hop (we are open all week)! Just post your pic on your blog, grab our badge from above (yes, that's Gibson & little bro, pupster Wolfie!) & link to our blog, then join the blog hop below so others can come visit and see your flashback photos, too! A fun way to relive past fun times with our pets, present and past, and a great way to kick off a weekend! We hope you'll join us for some Friday fun! (To see past posts, put "Flashback Friday" in our Search bar at top of blog).
 



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Newsy Tuesday: Exciting Writing Award!


In the words of my FiveSibes, "Wooooo!" 


I have been a long-time member of the Dog Writers of America Association (DWAA), and was thrilled to have some of my work recognized! Last year's nominations included my FiveSibes "The Sibe Vibe" Dog Works Radio show on Canine Epilepsy, featuring Dr. Karen Munana and Julie Nettifee of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine; for a photograph of Gibson, and for my humorous  "Vote Gibson!" blog post. 

This year, I was once again so proud to have my work receive nominations for a  photo of Wolf  and for my blog article on my two shelter dogs I adopted from our local SPCA. But, to have received the news that I won the prestigious Maxwell Medallion medal for my blog article, out of 8 other finalists who are all talented writers, I am honored! As a career photojournalist, at the end of the day, it has always been my sincere hope that my stories touch people in a special and unique way. Whether I am writing about dogs, children, or events that are going on around us, if my words can bring joy and a smile to someone, than I have successfully done my job. And for me, I'm truly blessed for my job is also my passion. To have that work recognized, makes me very proud. 




I have to take a moment to thank the DWAA for honoring my work! I also want to say "thank you" to all my readers and listeners for taking the time to read my books, articles, and blog, and for tuning in to my "The Sibe Vibe" radio show. I love the opportunity this affords me to "meet" so many of you, and write and discuss topics we can all relate to. I would also like to thank my FiveSibes, my five amazing Siberian Husky furkids - Harley, furanangel Gibson, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit - who are my inspiration each and every day and are the basis of my canine writing and this very blog. And, to my amazing angel mother, who always supported, enjoyed, and yes, showed off, every piece of my work for the past 40 plus years. I feel her with me every day, and know she would have been very proud of this medal for my work.


I know I am a tad late in this post (to the tune of several months!), but, I have shared on Facebook, so some of you may have already heard. And, as most of you know...life happens! Between the birth and daily wonder of my first grandchild, health crisis with two family members, several flare-ups of my RA and Fibromyalgia over the past few months, and two Huskies recuperating from infections, my blog's "To Do" list certainly has grown! So, hopefully, I'll start playing catch up! I'm sending a sincere thank you to all of you, dear readers, for hanging in there with me and my FiveSibes, through all the good times, the rough times, and all the times in between!




Friday, July 7, 2017

Puppy Harley Meets Hu-Nanny on a #FiveSibes #FlashbackFriday!



Today's Flashback Friday memory dates 12 years to 2005 when our alpha queen Harley joined our family at seven weeks old! She was a gorgeous blue-eyed beauty with a fierce mask that just stole our hearts! Harley was my daughter's dream dog - a Siberian Husky. Little did we know when we drove home from the city with our new family member, who slept the whole way home in a torrential rain storm, that she would grow up to rule the future family of FiveSibes! Harley would become the instant love of our second Husky, my beautiful fluffy wooly boy, Gibson; and the amazing surrogate momma to our Pupsters Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit. Today, at 12.5 years young - she still is the boss and every bit active as she can be. While she has a slight stiffness in her hind leg from arthritis that occassionaly betrays her youth, plus she is now deaf, she is as bright, and smart, and playful as ever! She is our amazing alpha queen, our Sibe family's first Husky, and the one responsible for my falling head-over-heels in love with the breed! 

In the above photo, puppy Harley is being held by my beautiful, amazing mother, Harley's "Hu-Nanny," who became an angel in November 2015. This week is a bittersweet one for me. It has always been a special week, it's the one that leads up to her birthday. Mom would have been 96 in two days, on July 9th. I always took my summer vacation for her "birthday week," and this being just the second one that she is not here with us for, my mom--a best friend to not only me, but also to my daughter--is heavily in my thoughts. Even though she is always in my heart, I sure do miss her and absolutely loved finding this photo of her and our Harley girl. Oh, how she loved animals - and our baby Harley! It seems only fitting that this week, our Flashback Friday features my dear Mom. Love ya, Momma.

"Memories are timeless treasures of the heart." ~Unknown


Join Us!!! Do you have a photo from your pet's past that you'd like to share? Come stroll down Memory Lane with us here at FiveSibes and join in our Flashback Friday blog hop (we are open all week)! Just post your pic on your blog, grab our badge (yes, that's Gibson & little bro, pupster Wolfie!) & link to our blog, then join the blog hop below so others can come visit and see your flashback photos, too! A fun way to relive past fun times with our pets, present and past, and a great way to kick off a weekend! We hope you'll join us for some Friday fun! (To see past posts, put "Flashback Friday" in our Search bar at top of blog).

Grab Our Badge!
 
 
 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Feeling Patriotic on a Flashback Friday!




This week I've been busy getting ready for family from Long Island who are coming up to visit for the Fourth of July holiday for the week. I'm so excited about having them here and having a house full of laughter, food, and kids playing and splashing in the pool! The FiveSibes love to hang out with with my nephews and the cousins, so it will be a whirlwind holiday here! Looking back over the pics and videos of my FiveSibes, I just had to share this favorite of mine. Our alpha girl, Harley, really got into the spirit a few years back and, to my surprise, let me put these flashing patriotic glasses on her, and she left them on! I think she actually enjoyed wearing them! I hope you enjoyed this visit down our Memory Lane, and that you all have a very safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Do you have any plans for America's Birthday with your furkids? We'd love to hear about them!


Join Us!!! Do you have a photo from  your pet's past that you'd like to share? Come stroll down Memory Lane with us here at FiveSibes and join in our Flashback Friday blog hop (we are open all week)! Just post your pic on your blog, grab our badge (yes, that's Gibson & little bro, pupster Wolfie!) & link to our blog, then join the blog hop below so others can come visit and see your flashback photos, too! A fun way to relive past fun times with our pets, present and past, and a great way to kick off a weekend! We hope you'll join us for some Friday fun! (To see past posts, put "Flashback Friday" in our Search bar at top of blog).



 
 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Pomp & Circumstance on a #FiveSibes Flashback Friday!


Since this is graduation weekend for many school districts, I thought it fitting to pay homage by flashing back 11 years to a celebratory Friday in June of 2006 when my daughter graduated and my six-month-old puppy Gibson (pre-wooly coat) was enjoying all the pomp and partying! What a wonderful day!

I would like to take a moment to congratulate all the graduates who are getting ready for the next exciting leg of their lives and send along best wishes for much success! 

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." 
~Eleanor Roosevelt





Join Us!!! Do you have a photo from  your pet's past that you'd like to share? Come stroll down Memory Lane with us here at FiveSibes and join in our Flashback Friday blog hop (we are open all week)! Just post your pic on your blog, grab our badge (yes, that's Gibson & little bro, pupster Wolfie!) & link to our blog, then join the blog hop below so others can come visit and see your flashback photos, too! A fun way to relive past fun times with our pets, present and past, and a great way to kick off a weekend! We hope you'll join us for some Friday fun! (To see past posts, put "Flashback Friday" in our Search bar at top of blog).