Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Newsy Tuesday's FiveSibes Book Nook Review: Indomitable Spirit by Jewel Mathieson

You know how much we love books here! Besides being an author, I'm an avid reader since, well birth! And when a good canine book comes along, I love to share it! Today, we are reviewing Jewel Mathieson's second book featuring her beautiful colored pencil medium style of artwork of beautiful snow dogs! Jewel is a very talented self-taught artist hailing from New Zealand, and I am honored and thrilled that she chose my Gibson to be one of the amazing dogs featured in her second book, Indomitable Spirit.

DISCLOSURE Please note that this is not a paid book review. While I did receive a copy of Jewel's book, Jewel had invited my Gibson to be part of her book, and I was given the option of purchasing the beautiful original artwork of my Gibson that was featured in the book, which I did purchase. I am not a paid affiliate of Blurb. All thoughts, reviews, and comments about the book and Jewel's artwork are solely my own.

"Woo! There's my brother Gibson!"
Books are works of love. They do not happen over night. This I know from experience! It may take years to go from an idea or concept to completed book in hand. Whether you get published via a publishing house or choose to self-publish, getting to the point of being published is no speedy, easy task. But then again, labor of loves should not be! Let's flashback to February of 2013, when Jewel and I first talked about her second  book, Indomitable Spirit. I had fallen in love with her beautiful artwork in her first book, Born to Run, which, of course, also highlights beautiful sled dogs. I did an in-depth artist interview with her upon its release back in March 2013 that you can read HERE, including more about how she started as an artist and her support of rescues across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

"I'm busy looking at the pretty pictures!"
When Jewel first began her model search for the dogs for her new book, she had previously taken notice of my wooly FiveSibes Siberian Husky boys--Gibson and his younger brother Wolf--and she was interested in including one of them in her new book concept. After sending her a few favorite photographs, Jewel selected Gibson's captivating photograph because of his wooly beauty and how different he looked from other snow dogs. And to be honest, Gibson, with all of his challenges of living life with Canine Epilepsy and the side effects of his medications, he truly encompassed that "indomitable spirit" Jewel was looking for. And I was so thrilled! I could hardly wait for this book to come out. She knew it would take several years, as Jewel actually hand-creates the individual pieces of artwork of each dog she includes in her book, and there are 49 portraits in this book! Upon completion, Indomitable Spirit is every bit as beautiful as its predecessor, Born to Run. But, of course, it's my favorite of the two because it features my Gibson (among 48 other stunning snow dogs)! I cannot think of any higher honor than to have one of my Huskies included in this book. 

"As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art." 
~Jewel Mathieson

"Woo! Love this book!"
With the turning of each page of Jewel's art book, it is like having a private art show in hand! Each dog is so beautiful, so exquisitely drawn, they almost seem to be able to come to life right off the pages! What a treasure for any Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, sled dog, snow dog, and northern breed dog lover to own.

I am proud to now have both of Jewel's books in my library!

Recently, I had the opportunity to virtually sit down with Jewel and talk about her latest project, Indomitable Spirit, that I want to share with you!

FiveSibesMom (FSM):  What made you decide to do a follow up to Born to Run?

Jewel Mathieson (JM): I was inspired by a photo of Joe Henderson's Malamute team. They had paused from breaking trail in chest-high snow during an expedition in the Arctic. It was such a strong illustration of what these dogs were bred to do and how they absolutely loved being in their element. Misunderstanding can create controversy and sadly a lot of people seem to misunderstand the Northern Breeds and exactly what it is they require. These dogs were bred to work, bred to be stimulated, and bred for cold conditions. They can't be put in the same box as many modern-day family pets who lead relatively sedentary lives and like to cozy up in front of the fire at night. Sometimes people can forget the history and the purpose, so I wanted to bring it to light through my drawings and show these dogs as they were meant to be.

FSM: Tell us about what your title means to you and what it says about these dogs.

JM: It was the spirit of the dogs that really inspired me to create this book. That is what I wanted to capture and share with the world. Their strength, resilience, unwavering determination, and the way that they can not only survive, but thrive in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. I hope that my title conveys that message.

FSM: What is it about sled dogs and Northern Breed dogs (and Spitz) that you came to meet through that chance meeting with the gal from the sled dog club that draws you to them as an artist?

JM: My love of Northern Breeds was formed long ago, well before I was introduced to sled dog racing. I talk about this in depth in my book, but a lot of my passion began with our Finnish Spitz, Tiia. She wasn't like other dogs. There was such a deep understanding and intelligence, and also a distinct stubbornness that set her apart from the rest. I soon came to realize that this was a trait of the Northern Breeds. As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art.

FSM:  What was it about my Gibson that inspired you to want to draw him?

JM: Gibson has some of the most soulful eyes I have ever seen. He is definitely a Husky that I felt instantly drawn to and felt a sense of quiet strength, wisdom, and gentleness about him. He was a very special man.

Gibson - (L) My Photo Portrait & (R) Jewel's Artwork

FSM: This had to be a long labor of love. Any idea how many hours of drawing went into this?

JM: It certainly was a labor of love! The book took nearly five years to complete! I finished 46 hand-drawn portraits for the book and each portrait can take up to four-five-six weeks each to finish, so that's a lot of hours! It would be many thousands of hours by the time it was all completed.

FSM: What is your hope the message is for the book?

JMI hope it reminds people of where these beautiful breeds began and why we fell in love with them. That spirit and strength that aided them in surviving such harsh conditions is still with them today.

Meet Jewel and two furfriends...

Jewel working in her studio...

A gift certificate for Jewel's book is a great idea for an Easter basket or Birthday present for your favorite dog, book, and art lover! Want to know how long it takes to make your order and ship? Check HERE.

This book is so beautiful! 
We here at FiveSibes 
give it a Top Dog review and a...

To obtain your copy, in a choice of hardcover or soft, please visit Jewel's bookstore on Blurb HERE.  The book will be printed to order (which Jewel says helps keep the cost of the book down for buyers)!  Below, is Blurb's current coupon that is valid until March 22, 2018! If you miss it, no worries! Jewel says to keep checking back HERE to keep a watchful eye out for periodic Blurb specials for a percentage off your book order!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Feelin' a Wee Bit Siber-ish on Flashback Friday!

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Feelin' a wee bit Siber-ish at our house with this blast from the past favorite collage of our FiveMcSibes wearin' of the green!

And of course, we all know Siberian Huskies are quite the silly characters, so here's another blast from the St. Paddy's past with our silly FiveMcSibes! Sláinte!
(Now, if only I could find that JibJab video!)

"May joy and peace surround you, 
contentment latch your door, 
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore!"
~An Irish Blessing

Woo! I's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! What a great way to remember those early days, and a fun way to kick off the weekend! Happy Friday!

We are also joining our blogger friends in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at: Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Birthday Fit for a FiveSibes Queen!

Woo! Today is our beautiful alpha queen Harley's 13th Birthday! Wow! It seems like just yesterday she was a wee pup of 7 weeks old when we drove an hour away in a pouring rain storm to pick up what was our family's first Siberian Husky. My daughter had wanted a Husky pup for a long time, since she was a kid! But I always said when she grew up and knew how to care for a dog, I would get her one. We already had our senior dog, Chelsey, a beautiful German Shepherd and Akita mix we had adopted from our local SPCA when my daughter was very young. They grew up together and were best buds. Once I was confident she could care for her own, we brought Harley into our family. Little did we know then, that flash forward - we would add four more Huskies to our family and they would become the incredible FiveSibes! 

Harley has always been the alpha. The leader of the pack family. When we brought Gibson home at four months of age, she was a year and a half, he fell head over fluffy tail for her and Harley was the love of his life, and he was her fluffy playmate and best friend. When we brought not one or two, but three puppies home at the same time (!) Harley took all three under wing and became their surrogate momma. Always up for a never-ending game of Fetch, or spinning at high speed after her tail (which she has managed to catch a few times!), Harley has smarts and attitude to spare! Although she can show her "Snarley Harley" at times (something she learned from our old gal Chelsey), she is a loyal girl to both our humans and the pups. She rules with an iron paw, and even at 13 with bouts of arthritis in  her one leg, she can still chase that tail, tear up a bed, or do a darn pretty good Husky jig! Deaf for over a year now, she communicates wonderfully, keenly listening and watching for hand signals. To see her, one would never know! She is just an amazing girl. It's hard for me to believe that she is a senior dog! In my mind -- and hers -- she is still an energetic pup! May she always be that way!

I sure hope we are blessed with many more years together. There is only one Queen Harley, and we do love her so.

Now...it's Party Time!!!

Harley, enjoying her gift, a toy snow cone! Thirteen? "Snow Way!" 

What are the FiveSibes waiting for? Why, birthday cake, of course!

Birthday girl gets the first licks!

Time for the whole gang to join in and enjoy Harley's ice cream cake!

Shhh...the Queen and her subjects are pooped from partying!

Yesterday, was Flashback Friday, and we are featuring our  Flashback photo of our beautiful Birthday Girl, Harley, as a puppy when she first joined our family! So love her intense puppy mask!

Even though it's Saturday, it's Flashback Friday here all week! Have a pic of your pet(s) early days? Gotcha Day? Birthday? Share it with us and join in our weekly stroll down Memory Lane by grabbing our badge and linking up any time during the week! And be sure to pop over and visit other blogger's as well! 

Grab Our Badge!

We are also joining in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at:Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Where's the Bacon on a Merry Meme Monday?

Rot-ohhh! Don't mess with this handsome pup's bacon! "Apollo" is the beautiful Siberian Husky of Brad Johnson, 
and we just love the caption submitted by 
Dee Kay and selected by our 
We sure hope someone saved Apollo 
a strip of delicious bacon!

Here's How ALL of Our Pet Friends 
Can Join in the Fun 
(even if your pet is not a Husky!):

To read more about our Merry Meme Fun Caption Contest, check out this post HERE!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Fangirling "Frozen" on a Flashback Friday!

"The cold never bothered me anyway."
~Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle, Frozen

Brrrrr.... so Mother Nature has decided to play a very dirty trick on us! After a typical January of snow and winter temps, came February, when she teased us with some unseasonably warm days. The past several days have been human-heavenly...sunny, lovely spring-like 70°F days, where we joined our FiveSibes in lazily lounging on our deck, dreaming of summer...(well, at least us humans were dreaming of summer. I am sure our Huskies were dreaming of snow)! Then today, we are kicking off March like a lion as we are in the middle of Winter Storm Riley, and apparently a "bombing out" as the weather folks say, for Riley is undergoing a "bombogenesis into a strong Nor'Easter with damaging winds." As I am writing this, I can hear the heavy winds as they are wildly gusting all around our house, eerily moaning out a tune in concert with our outdoor wind chimes that are now spinning and clanging in a frantic concert. Somewhere in the house a window is cracked open and the wind is howling in as the panes rattle. Needless to say...my Huskies are not too happy--in or out. They are bored inside after spending the past few days outdoors for the most part. And with the wind and constant changing between snow, driving sleet and rain, going out also has them feeling unhappy. As a rule, Siberian Huskies do not like to get wet, and with the wind whipping around all the precipitation, they quickly get drenched, and their deck (which is housed under a roof) is completely soaked. So where is a Husky to go get happy? 

This hu-mom insists on their quick return inside from a potty break, for which they seem to pause and ponder. Reluctantly, they look at me before squinting their eyes shut against the wind and rain, as they make their back in from the deck (the whole five feet), acting as if they tapped into some long ago Siberian Husky relative surging on through the deep snow in an Arctic storm. Harley, Wolf, Bandit, and Chloe, push themselves through the pelting rain and sleet (under the covered deck) to begrudgingly come back inside our (warm and dry) house. Sorry, guys, it's just an indoor kind of day.  Apparently, a very long day if you are a Husky.

So, in honor of today's "kitchen sink" storm, our FiveSibes Flashback Friday photo is of our girl Bandit, back in the winter of 2015, when she had a bit of Husky-natured snow dog fun poking around in all the snow and channeling her inner Elsa of Disney's Frozen. 

You're Invited!

Come join in our Friday stroll down Memory Lane for our FiveSibes Flashback Friday Blog Hop featuring photos of your pet from the past! Just grab our badge, and link up (any time during the week) to the Blog Hop and be sure visit others, too, and enjoy their pics from Memory Lane! What a great way to relive those wonderful moments with our pets and kick off the weekend!

We are also joining in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at:Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Celebrating Eight Years of Blogging!

Beautiful portrait of my FiveSibes created for me by the very talented Cameo Anderson.

Woo! Today marks our 8th Blogiversary! It has been such a wonderful eight years of sharing the lives of my FiveSibes, Siberian Huskies Harley, (now furangel) Gibson, and our Pupsters, littermates Wolf, Bandit, and Chloe, as well as seeing us launch our #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awarenenss and educational campaign. Over the years, we have enjoyed bringing you, our dear readers, photos and videos of our FiveSibes shenanigans, sharing the highs of sharing life with five amazing, wonderful Huskies, and the lows--sharing illnesses, injuries, and the losing our beloved Gibson. The sharing of canine news and events, news of my canine books and articles, a salute to canine heroes and highlighting Huskies in need of rescuing, as well as continued updates and information on Canine Epilepsy awareness, sharing laughs through our Merry Monday Memes, and strolling down Memory Lane on our FiveSibes Flashback Friday blog hop, to our "The Sibe Vibe" podcasts on Dog Works Radio, all has all been so important and enjoyable to me. Through this blog, I also created the FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews Facebook page, became an award-winning member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and joined the wonderful BlogPaws group, where we continue to meet and network with other amazing pet parents. 

As a career photojournalist, I began this blog to connect with other pet parents and to expand on learning and sharing our experiences with the Siberian Husky breed and helping others understand the scary and sometimes rough waters known as Canine Epilepsy, and to share the message that these Epi-dogs are amazing dogs who can teach us valuable life lessons, and to let their caregivers know they are not alone when they find themselves faced with their beloved dog having a seizure. 

Through this wonderful "town" known as Blogville, my FiveSibes and I have met some wonderful furfriends and their families, whom we have come to know and are proud to call our friends. We have laughed with each through comments and Emails at the funny times, and shared tears and offer support during the sad times. 

Many heartfelt thanks from my FiveSibes and I to each of you for your eight years of loyal readership and friendship. Blogville is a wonderful community, and we are so proud to be part of it, and hope to be for many more years to come. 

My very first blog post was on February's Pet Dental Health. And in this Flashback Friday blog post, I am sharing a photo of our first Husky and alpha queen who launched it all, Harley, showing off her pearly whites in a photo from five years ago. 

To read my article in Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine, "Flash Your Pet's Pearly Whites" below:

You're Invited!

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, so join in any time)! Just post your pic on your blog, grab our badge from below & 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! (To see past posts, put "Flashback Friday" in our Search bar at top of blog). We hope you'll join us for some Friday fun!

Grab Our Badge!

We are also joining in the Pet Parade! Hop over and check out the hosts' blogs, too, at:Rascal & Rocco, , Bionic Basil, and Barking from the Bayou!