EPIc Dog Tales & Purple Day® for Canine Epilepsy

Mar 25, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Books & Tales, Pets

by Dorothy Wills-Raftery

In honor of Purple Day® for Epilepsy–March 26–please see details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy and a link to purchase the book, a must-have book for your dog care library. A portion of proceeds from sales of the book is donated for Canine Epilepsy research.purple day

Your dog suddenly goes into a seizure. What do you do? Do you call the vet? Is there something you can do to help? Are the blindness and confusion normal after a seizure? Can dogs with Canine Epilepsy live a normal life? What medications are available? Are there support groups and resources for families with epileptic dogs (Epi-dogs) to turn to? What triggers a seizure? These and many other questions suddenly flash across the minds of a pet parent who is suddenly faced with the scary experience of watching their dog have a seizure. EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy is a unique comprehensive book that contains the answers to these questions and many others in order to help those who find themselves on this sometimes frightening journey called Canine Epilepsy have a resource to guide them, and to let them know they are not alone.

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Gibson cover dog on EPIc Dog Tales

EPIc Dog Tales was inspired by my own personal journey with my Epi-dog, a beautiful wooly Siberian Husky named Gibson. This book is my heart’s project and is presented in a beautiful, large, full-color coffee table style that features stories and photos of 124 inspiring dogs from across the globe that have lived/are living with Canine Epilepsy. Through the retelling of these families’ touching personal journeys with their amazing warrior dogs, we learn much about living, caring, and loving a dog with a seizure disorder, and how these amazing dogs do not let seizures get in their way of living life to the fullest. These inspirational dogs show us that with a little special care and a lot of love, dogs can–and DO–live full happy lives.

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Gibson with EPIc Dog Tales Book

Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), Professor of Neurology, North Carolina State University says of the book, “In EPIc Dog Tales, Dorothy Wills-Raftery has done a masterful job of compiling the stories of over 100 dogs, as told by their families and caregivers. The dogs in the book represent numerous breeds from all different walks of life. They are working dogs, service dogs, competitors and companions, from all around the world. However, all of the dogs share the common trait of being affected by Epilepsy. Each story provides details of the dog’s battle with Epilepsy – and in doing so, these stories provide valuable information on how the disorder can affect dogs differently, and how treatment must be individualized. More importantly, each story provides insight on how the dog lived life despite Epilepsy…stories included in the book serve to demonstrate the resilience of dogs, revealing that they can continue to do the things that bring them pleasure while living with Epilepsy, and remind us of the strength of the human animal bond.”

The book also contains a valuable library of online resources and information compiled all into one “library” so if someone finds themself faced with questions about living with a dog who has seizures, they will not feel alone and they will have a “go to” resource for information to help guide them.

“All of the Epi-dogs showcased in this book are inspirational, and their caregivers deserve credit for providing them with a rich life,” states Dr. Muñana. “The resources on Canine Epilepsy included at the end of the book should prove valuable for the caregiver of any epileptic dog – particularly those who have a pet recently diagnosed with the disorder. Overall, this book provides a wealth of information on Canine Epilepsy – from facts about the disease to practical tips on managing the disorder. It also highlights the strong support group that has formed among families whose lives have been touched by Canine Epilepsy. This book is a must read for anyone who has cared for a pet with Epilepsy, but any animal lover will enjoy the heartwarming tales included in the book…. The book goes a long way toward supporting families with epileptic dogs and raising awareness of Canine Epilepsy.”

Susan Sehi-Smith of New Mexico, founder of Paws to People: Bridges to Cures, a non-profit organization that is committed to furthering translational studies research in catastrophic diseases to save the lives of humans and pets, and whose dog “The Mighty Quinn” is featured in the book, adds, “There are collections of dog stories in abundance, but very few are songs of such courage, sharing, and inspiration as EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy. These stories touch the heart in their depth and hope. More than just incredible moments of companion animal and human guardian sharing adversity together, these stories serve as a reminder of just how closely our fates are intertwined.” Continues Sehi-Smith. “Not everyone is aware that both dogs and humans suffer from seizure disorders and many of the symptoms, medical issues, and complexities are the same. The author, Dorothy Wills-Raftery, is a leader in the advocacy of Canine Epilepsy awareness, has carefully, lovingly, and creatively managed to capture the challenges and triumphs in a way that bridges species to positively highlight that Epi-dogs can lead full, active, fulfilling lives…just like their human counterparts.”

You will truly fall in love with every dog you meet in this book, and yes, you will need a box of tissues handy as you read it! A book that should be on the shelves of every pet parent, it has been named “Best in Print” 2015 and 2016 by American Pet Magazine and named one of the “Top Dog Books 2015” by Talent Hounds. A portion of the proceeds from each book is donated by the author via FiveSibes™ #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness Campaign to support the Canine Epilepsy Resources/ Epil-K9 Foundation’s “Emma’s Seizure Fund” through the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine for Canine Epilepsy research.

purpleSunday, March 26, is Purple Day® for Epilepsy. Purple Day was created in 2008 by 9-year-old Cassidy Megan as a result of her own struggles with Epilepsy. The Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia came on board in 2008, and in 2009, the New York-based Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia joined forces to launch Purple Day internationally. Purple Day is a day to encourage others to wear purple in support of those living with Epilepsy, to dispel any fears about Epilepsy, and to let them know they are not alone. For more info on Purple Day, visit www.PurpleDay.org and www.PurpleDayEveryDay.org.

To enter to win a copy EPIc Dog Tales, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “dog,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 1, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Books are available through ArcticHouse Publishing online store and Amazon.com (look for ArcticHouse Publishing as the seller).

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have adblocker on you may not see the link:

Check out more pet stories and articles in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to an animal rescue.

Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an author, photojournalist, and host of “The Sibe Vibe” on Dog Works Radio. She has been writing and published in a variety of publications since she was a teen, and spent her career as an award-winning photojournalist and editor in the educational arena for 14 years. In 2010, she began writing about Siberian Huskies, and was named “Best in Print” author for 2015 by American Pet Magazine, awarded Hudson Valley Magazine’s ‘Best Author 2015,’ and is a 2015 Dog Writers Association of America three-time “Excellence” nominee. Her journey with her own Epi-dog, Gibson, was her inspiration behind her books What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy, and is the face of the #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign. Dorothy is an official Purple Day® Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation~Canine Epilepsy. Her five Siberian Huskies are the inspiration for her globally top-ranked Siberian Husky website, the FiveSibes™ blog.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases.

57 Comments

  1. This book sounds very touching. I’ll keep kleenex close by for sure. Thanks for the review & chance to win it. nschwenkner (at) gmail (dot) com

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  2. What a wonderful story and a beautiful photo of the writer’s dog. I don’t know anything about epilepsy in dogs but I think the book is a great way to bring awareness to this disorder.
    scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

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  3. I enjoy books with dogs and I’ll for sure keep some Kleenex handy! Thank you

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    • There are so many wonderful stories in this book about some pretty amazing dogs. Good luck in the drawing!

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  4. As an upright of a recently adopted puppy mill survivor who developed epilepsy shortly after her rescue, I am committed to spreading awareness of this terrible disease and learning all I can about how to best help her enjoy life. If anything Elsa has taught me that little ‘Ninjas’ like her deserve so much including treatment to living a full, happy and loving life. Thank you for all your efforts to provide awareness on this powerful cause. ?

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    • You are most welcome. They truly are “Ninja” warriors. My Gibson taught me so very much and we had such a loving, special bond. If you ever would like more info or chat about Elsa, please feel free to contact me. Good luck in the drawing!

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  5. Epilepsy in dogs can be terrifying.. Two of our service dogs developed seizures. Stitch is now 14 and doing well with treatment. Skittles, unfortunately, succumbed to a severe reaction to one of the medications used to treat canine seizures. I can envision all of the stories represented in this book.

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    • I am so sorry about Skittles. 🙁 I’m very happy to hear Stitch is doing well! My Gibson did go many years (7) seizure free on medication & supplements, but did live with weak hind issues and bouts of vomiting from the meds. They are truly amazing dogs. Good luck in the drawing!

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  6. What a sweet way to spread the word about canine epilepsy.. I love the the book focuses on the positive, on stories of dogs who overcame, who endured, and who lived awesome, fulfilling lives despite their disease. How inspiring!

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  7. This book is so inspiring. What a great way to bring awareness to canine epilepsy. I can only imagine how frightening the diagnosis must be at first. It is great to see so many dogs have lived or live well with treatment and care.

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    • Thank you! Yes, it sure can be very frightening…but then it’s so inspiring to see their determination and zest for life. I have learned so much from my Gibson. Good luck in the drawing!

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  8. What an awesome book! While doing online and book research about health conditions is helpful, there is nothing like reading first-hand accounts of others who are/have gone through the same struggle. This will be a great resource to anyone who has a dog with epilepsy!

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    • Thank you! Yes, that is my hope that others will have this as a go-to book so they don’t feel alone and scared, and know there is much out “there” to help guide them on this journey. Good luck in the drawing!

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  9. This sounds like an amazing and inspiring book. You must be proud of all your work and accomplishments. It’s so important to have people like you in the world helping to educate on pet disease and treatments. You go!

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    • Thank you very much, Tonya! I am glad to share my information and my experiences with Gibson and Canine Epilepsy with others and to know it will help them and hopefully not feel alone and scared, as I did when it first happened. Gibson was an amazing dog, so I will continue his message that Epi-dogs can and do live happy lives! Good luck in the drawing!

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  10. I think it’s so fantastic what you guys are doing raising awareness and sharing stories.

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    • Thank you, Jana! If I can help others on the same (sometimes frightening) journey my Gibson and I were on, then I’m happy to share these stories. Good luck in the drawing!

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  11. Great article and as someone who lives with a human with epilepsy, I am very happy to see education for those who have fur kids with seizure disorders.

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    • Thank you, Anita. That means so much, especially from someone else who lives with this every day. I hope your loved one is doing well. Awareness is so important. Good luck in the drawing!

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  12. Very good article and, as someone who lives with a human with epilepsy, I am very happy to see education for folks who have fur kids with seizure disorders.

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  13. This is one illness that scares me having Layla, but am learning so much from your blog and others is helping me understand more, thank you for sharing here and in the book

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    • Ruth, it sure can be scary. I’m so happy to hear my work helps others. I’m here if you ever need any info or if I can be of any assistance. Hugs to Layla! Good luck in the drawing!

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  14. The book sounds amazing, I wish you lots of success with it. Red has had a few seizures over the past couple of years, and they’re terrifying to me when they happen, never mind how scared she gets. Thankfully they last only a few seconds, and she falls right back to sleep, but I know how heart stopping it was for me the first time it happened. It’s great you’re raising awareness and sharing your experiences to help others.

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    • Thank you, Hindy. I’m so glad to hear that Red’s are brief. I hope he never has another, but if he does, may they be just as brief. And you are so right, they are heart-stopping. Give Red a hug from me and good luck in the drawing!

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  15. Very interesting, it is important to bring awareness and this book does just this. Thank you for sharing

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    • Yes, Emily, awareness and education is so key. The more people know about how amazing these Epi-dogs are, the more I hope folks will not be afraid, not drop them off at a shelter, and even consider adopting one! Good luck in the drawing!

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  16. Having important articles like this lets worried pet parents know they are not alone and, believe me, this is so important. Sharing experiences, knowing that often they may be hope, means a lot.

    I know I would weep bucket at the book, I cry over animal books sad or happy tears.

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    • Yes, having that support is so important. Yep, you’ll need a box of tissues handy! Good luck in the drawing!

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  17. Oh I am totally adding this book to my wishlist!
    Gibson is absolutely gorgeous by the way!
    I once had a pup with Epilepsy WAY back in the day and we had to rehome her since we A) knew nothing and B) were low income (just my mother and myself) we just could not care for her properly. I sure hated to let her go but I knew in my heart she needed better care than what we could give.
    Now days we have so much more info – thanks to bloggers likr YOU!

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    • That’s awesome, Joely! Love to hear that! And thank you for the compliment for Gibson! He was such a beauty, inside and out. One of the truly special souls. <3 Yes, not much info was available about seizures in dogs and Canine Epilepsy years ago. And euthanasia was the recommendation many times. But that is so not the case! Thankfully, things are changing and I'm proud my Gibson and I are part of that. Good luck in the drawing!

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  18. I’m curious… you seem to use the work seizure and Epilepsy interchangeably. I understand that Epi-dogs have seizures but is is possible to have seizures and not be Epileptic? Is Epilepsy basically just chronic seizures? I’m just curious because I own Dachshunds, and like to learn a lot about them, and seizures are common for the breed. Thanks.

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    • Jessica – Epi-dogs (epileptic dogs a/k/a dogs with Canine Epilepsy) have seizures, but not all dogs with seizures have Canine Epilepsy. Some dogs can have a health issue, or as a result of an injury, or have come in contact with something their bodies deem toxic that results in a seizure. I always recommend with any seizure to visit the vet for bloodwork and tests to rule out any underlying health issue. If the seizures continue, and the tests all come back negative, the dog may then be diagnosed as having Canine Epilepsy, which can be triggered or can be genetic.

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      • PS – Siberian Huskies are also a breed prone to seizures, but then again, many breeds are. And I also wanted to say good luck in the drawing! And I’m here if you ever have any other questions.

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  19. Another book to add to my collection of “must reads” once I retire.

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  20. Congratulations on the book and sharing such important information on epilepsy in dogs. Love Dolly

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  21. Thanks for continuing to raise awareness of this frightening disease. You are an amazing resource for dog parents who wouldn’t know where else to turn for support & information. Sharing!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    • Thank you, Cathy! I am always happy to share info with others and to let them know these dogs are amazing and they are not alone in the journey.

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      • PS – thank you for sharing, I so appreciate that! And good luck in the drawing!

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  22. Congratulations for the book. Really impressive to cover a sickness.

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    • Thank you, Mishu. It’s Gibson and these amazing Epi-dogs who are the impressive one! They sure do teach us a lot! Good luck in the drawing!

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  23. Before I “met” Gibson, I would have never considered adopting a dog with epilepsy. Thanks to all the work you’ve done to create awareness, I realize that epilepsy doesn’t keep a dog from being an amazing companion. It sounds like a wonderful book!

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    • Beth, your words bring tears to my eyes! This is all Gibson and I could hope to hear. If his journey and my work even helps one other Epi-dog, I’m thrilled. Good luck in the drawing!

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  24. Thank you for creating an incredible resource that will help countless people learn more about epilepsy in dogs and to provide answers to their questions. Also, thank you for sharing inspirational stories and photos. You rock!

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    • Thank you, Bryn! Your kind words are so appreciated! I know my sweet Gibson is smiling to know this. <3 Good luck in the drawing!

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  25. What an amazing resource for dog parents going through something so challenging. The awareness can help people see that these dogs are adoptable and can live a happy and eventful life. I can’t wait to curl up with my box of tissues and this book.

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    • Thank you, Diana. It is my hope that this will indeed be a staple on the bookshelves of families with Epidogs (or just part of a standard pet care collection as we never know when or if a seizure will occur) and also in the vet offices for patients to read. If my journey with my beloved Gibson can help another Epi-dog and family, then that makes me very glad. His, plus so many other amazing dogs’ stories are shared here. Sometimes, we just need to know where to go to get information, and that we are not alone. That is what this informational resource book will help with. <3 Good luck in the drawing!

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  26. Thanks for this wonderful post. I grew up with a Springer that had Epilepsy and it was the scariest thing to watch as a child. I always felt so hopeless. The online resources you include in the book are invaluable! Did you hear that a new drug is about to be announced for Epi dogs? I heard this on a live session with Dr. Marty Becker so wanted to pass along.

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    • Thank you very much. There are many new findings and studies that are exciting and filled with promise for the future of dogs with seizure disorders. They also recently discovered a a very important epilepsy gene in dogs…so, I pray one day, sooner rather than later, we can hear those long-awaited words – “We have a cure.” Good luck in the drawing!

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  27. It’s great you’re sharing your knowledge of the disease with others! I imagine seizures are terrifying for people who first see it in their dogs.

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    • Thank you! We hope through sharing, we can help many other families with Epi-dogs navigate these very at-times scary waters. Good luck in the drawing!

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  28. We have a winner!

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