Book Reviews & Testimonials
“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.
The book tells the stories of these dogs and their lives with seizures.
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, highlighting that dogs can, and do, lead full lives with the disease. Photos of the dog and a quote that portrays the essence of that dog’s life accompany every story; it is features such as these that help capture the emotion in the stories. The 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. All of the Epi-dogs showcased in this book are inspirational, and their caregivers deserve credit for providing them with a rich life.
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.
In the book’s foreword, the author expresses the hope that the book will be “a source of valuable information and inspiration for others, as well as a special tribute to these amazing dogs.” She has done an admirable job of developing a book that fulfills these goals in a captivating, easy to read manner. The book goes a long way toward supporting families with epileptic dogs and raising awareness of Canine Epilepsy.”
~Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Professor of Neurology
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
“A beautifully done book (EPIc Dog Tales) by an award-winning author. Stories about 120 dogs from around the world that have been stricken with epilepsy and their human companions. There is joy when, with the aid of their veterinary clinicians, an anti-seizure drug is found that works; also sorrow when the monster known as Canine Epilepsy claims another life. Often this sadness gives birth to a foundation or fund to help researchers in the quest for an answer/cure/genetic marker. This attractive book is also a great source of information web sites for Epi-dog owners, and would be a fine addition for clinic waiting rooms. My loss was an English setter.”
~ Willard Moore
Molly’s Seizure Studies Fund
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
“Dorothy Wills-Raftery has long been a champion of dogs with epilepsy. This magnificent book represents the culmination of her work collecting stories of dogs with epilepsy from around the world. The final result is beautiful and will touch the heart of any dog lover.
Each two-page spread has photos of an Epi-dog along with words about the life of the dog. Canine epilepsy is, tragically, quite common and there is as yet no marker to determine genetic predisposition to seizures, nor any guaranteed treatment for them.
While some owners and their dogs will struggle, sometimes in vain, to fight the disease, others manage to survive and prosper. Treatment is typically via trial and error and the drugs can have devastating side effects.
I strongly recommend this book to anybody whose life has been touched by the companionship of a dog. Epilepsy itself is secondary to the words and photos which tell stories of our human/dog bond.”
~Mango Momma’s Book & Movie Reviews Blog
“There are collections of dog stories in abundance but very few are songs of such courage, sharing, and inspiration as EPIc Dog Tales. 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. 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, 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. My Mighty Quinn, an Epi-dog and so much more.
~ Susan Sehi-Smith
Founder of Paws to People: Bridges to Cures &
White Dog Diary Blog
New Mexico, USA
“When you discover your fur-baby dog has epilepsy, you don't know where to turn. We found that the first seizure was so scary (and unexpected), and honestly, every one afterward is terrifying. But Dorothy Wills-Raftery's book, EPIc Dog Tales, helps you understand your dear puppy and you are not alone, that there is help, and their lives can be quite normal outside those times when the seizures strike. Your dog, just like our precious Malachi, does not have to be defined by seizures. And in some ways, these frightening times help you get closer to your baby and learn from them. Story after story, by parents of these Epi Dogs, help you see a way of hope. A resource anyone facing Canine Epilepsy should read and have in their library.”
~ James R. Suthard & Epi-dog, “Malachi”
“This (EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy) is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Reading all of these stories has made it really hit home how serious epilepsy can be. One of the most common themes, however, is how much everyone loves their babies and what they would do for them. It is a battle that must be fought. We are not alone in this battle.”
~Laurie Dansby & Epi-dog, “Max”
“It is enlightening to read a book about so many different people and dogs who are all experiencing much of the same. Real life stories and lovely photos in this beautifully created coffee table book that will be cherished for years to come. You won't regret owning EPIc Dog Tales.”
~ Shelley Vogt & Epi-dog, “Solo”
“Aptly subtitled Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy, this oversized book features a collection of short but very touching first-person stories about dogs of all breeds, and their owners from destinations around the world, who have come to grips with this disease. The alphabetized stories candidly discuss the triggers of how this disease and its seizures may manifest itself, how it can be treated, and most importantly, that the ailment, while serious, is controllable and far from a death sentence. The various stories relate successes and failures, and their spans in time; but each extended experience is rich with love between the dog and his/her owner. In some of the case histories, the dog is the ‘writer.’ The highly educational book enables one to learn about various medications and drugs and their respective values and drawbacks. Medical, dietary and holistic treatments are discussed separately or in combination. Each profile has endearing photos of the involved dog, and perhaps several dogs, as well as pet owners. The approach of the pet owners, who come from different walks of life, is uniformly the same: helping the dog to live out his/her life, which they often do. The comprehensive resource section offers a fine rundown of organizations and related links, components to have in a canine first aid kit and tips how to use these elements, types of therapies, and a handy glossary.”
23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
“I absolutely loved Getting Healthy with Harley! I also read this book to my daughters, they loved it just as much as I did. To quote a part from the book, Harley says, "I am a fitness queen!" My little girl now runs around the house shouting that she is a fitness queen! This book has a great lesson about health, and the characters are hilarious! And who doesn't want to listen to 5 comical huskies? After all, if there is any pet out there who knows how to stay fit, it's a Sibe! If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you'll be happy to know that a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Save our Siberians Siberspace Fund (SOS-SRF.org). I encourage you to check it out! Getting Healthy With Harley is super cute and great for all ages! (Even adults!)”
Love is being Owned by a Siberian Husky Blog
“(Getting Healthy With Harley) So using animals to make a fun and cute way to relate to kids about healthy living is a great idea. I laughed at how the dogs were living the right life and the cats were fat and lazy. Poor cats! The illustrations are very “old school” and classic. And the author definitely has a great voice and sense of humor. I think that kids may enjoy this one.”
23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
What’s Wrong with Gibson? A FiveSibes Tale: Learning about K-9 Epilepsy and
Getting Healthy with Harley, A FiveSibes Tale: Learning About Health and Fitness written by Dorothy Wills-Raftery…both books are delightful for children or Siberian Husky lovers. The first tells the tale of Gibson, the alpha leader of a family of five Siberian Huskies. When playing in the snow, Gibson falls over, shakes and is unresponsive, causing concern with the other dogs who don’t understand what’s happened to their friend. Harley recognizes a seizure and explains it to the others so they know what’s happened and what to do to help Gibson. This is a great way to explain epilepsy or other ailments to children whether in dogs or humans.
(Getting Healthy With Harley) When Harley gets a clean bill of health at the vet’s office, she’s inspired to get the other Huskies to eat right and exercise too. She’s able to convince Chloe to eat carrot sticks instead of a pupcake and Gibson to swap a cookie for a bone. The dogs find a hoop and a ball, run and play all day. By nighttime, they are tired but feel good and can’t wait for the next day.
The illustrations are spot on with the goofy expressions dogs can get when they are having the best time ever. While the books are thin in size, they’re packed with information adults and children alike can use. Plus, they’d be good books to read to dogs! A portion of the proceeds are donated to Canine Epilepsy Resources or Save Our Siberians.”
Book Reviewer, Kings River Life Magazine
“What’s Wrong With Gibson? covers a topic with which many simply aren’t familiar – K-9 Epilepsy – and it is written in a delightful style that is both entertaining and informative for virtually any age group, from adults to young children. Brava Dorothy, well done indeed!”
Northern Lights Sled Dog Rescue
Great Lakes Region, USA
“Such a remarkable story (What’s Wrong With Gibson?) for all to enjoy. Our local epilepsy association was thrilled with your story. What a lovely way to teach children not just about K9 epilepsy but also to understand and learn that people too can suffer from this. Watching the acceptance of Gibson's husky pack can teach us all a lesson of love and tolerance. A great read for all ages!”
Global Pet Food
As the mom of two epileptic Mastiffs, I was looking for a gift to show my appreciation to my veterinarians. We bought What’s Wrong With Gibson. I LOVE the book! It brings a delicate subject to life with love. A great book to help explain epilepsy to a child and a wonderful gift for anyone living with Canine Epilepsy.”
Fearghas, A Mastiff’s Life With Epilepsy &
Riona, A Mastiff’s Life With Epilepsy Facebook Pages
“If you don’t have your own copy of What’s Wrong with Gibson, get one. Heck, get two and give one to a friend or your vet…”
~Don’t Mess With My TuTu Blog
“One of the scariest illnesses around has to be epilepsy. A nasty disorder that can lurk unknown for months, or years only to appear out of nowhere and scare the bejeezus out of everyone involved. I am blessed to have never experienced this issue in any of my gimpy dogs, but I know a lot of people who do and have.
It is a great honor that I had an opportunity to interview Dorothy Wills-Raftery, author of the FiveSibes blog™ who recently wrote a children's book (What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy) about her Siberian Husky, Gibson, and his battle with epilepsy. If you want to learn about canine epilepsy, want to teach a child about it, and help a worth cause at the same time, please consider ordering your copy!”
~Gimpy Dogs Blog
“After (my) Rocco’s first seizure, I panicked. I had no idea what we were facing and how it will affect our boy’s life. The vet tried to answer all our questions as bets as he could, but I still felt alone and lost. I went searching for answers on the Internet and that’s how I found Gibson from FiveSibes. Gibson is a beautiful, 5-year-old, wooly Siberian Husky, and he has canine epilepsy. Gibson’s mom, Dorothy, was very helpful in answering my questions and pointing me towards many resources and a community of people and pets affected by K-9 epilepsy. I read as much as I could, but still hoped that Rocco’s seizure was an isolated episode and will never happen again. Six weeks later Rocco had his second seizure and I made peace with the fact that he’s an Epi-dog. The more I read about it, I realized that it’s OK, and that he can still live a happy, active and long life. Part of (Dorothy’s) awareness campaign is a children’s book she authored entitled, What’s Wrong With Gibson? In this book, through short, easy to follow stories and beautiful illustrations, children and adults can learn about K-9 Epilepsy. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to support Canine Epilepsy research, information & valuable resources through the Canine Epilepsy Resources Center. I’m very much indebted to Dorothy for pointing me in the right direction and for working so hard to raise awareness about canine epilepsy.”
Small Animal Massage and Master Reiki Practitioner &
A Husky Life Blog
Vancouver, British Columbia
“Gibson has a very special message. Gibson has a children's book, written by his mom, Dorothy Wills-Raftery. And it's all about him and a serious condition affecting some dogs (Canine Epilepsy). I think this book would be wonderful to share with any child, to give them a better understanding of our canine friends and a disease that can affect people, as well as our pets. Plus, a percentage of the proceeds are donated to Canine Epilepsy Resources.”
New York, USA
“I have followed Gibson for a long time. I even bought his book (What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy) and read it to my furnephew, Klondike, who has epilepsy. Gibson inspires people by showing us you can still live a great life even with his illness. Keep up the good work, Gibson!”
Northern Exposure Siberian Husky Rescue
New Jersey, USA
What's Wrong With Gibson? written by Dorothy Wills-Raftery…a touching children's book about canine epilepsy, told with love and compassion from the FiveSibes mom herself. The story unfolds in rhyme, sweetly illustrating the FiveSibes pack at play. I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell you that through their seizure experience, they teach us some great information. The story is moving and actually had me choking back tears - I'm a big sap after all. Harley knows just what to do, and shows her pack to act with care and love in supporting big brother, Gibson. I remember watching my first seizure as a vet tech. I can still see that poor Rottweiler's body shaking and tensing, while her head hit the hard floor. We placed a towel under her until it was over, waiting anxiously for the electrical storm in her brain to stop. My heart goes out to all those that suffer from epilepsy and are forced to endure it alongside their kiddos. (Folks) don't have to be scared! Thanks to the FiveSibes, we know how to handle seizures!"
Arwen’s Pack Blog
(We) think this (What’s Wrong With Gibson?) book is wonderful! Not only is it helpful for parents of human children with epilepsy, it’s important for parents of doggies with epilepsy. Reading this book with young children who are struggling with epilepsy, will be able to relate to Gibson, since they both have the same disorder. We highly recommend it!”
~Bailey Be Good Blog
“This book (What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy) is nothing but amazing and I want to share with you how I feel about this book. Having a dog with Canine Epilepsy can sometimes be challenging, especially with explaining to children what it really is and just in case, what you should do. This book does exactly that! It’s a book with just the right amount of wording, adorable photos, and makes learning about Epilepsy fun! Did I mention that this book also donates a percentage of its proceeds to non-profit Canine Epilepsy organizations! This is a great book to add to any children’s bookshelf!”
~Kimberley Matchem & Epi-dog, “Rolo”
Confessions of a Rescue Mom Blog
“The (What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy) cover illustration is nicely balanced, and the interaction of the characters with the title is cute. The reverse picture on the back cover is also fun. The story has a theme….”
22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
“I love all of Dorothy Wills-Raftery’s books! Dorothy has done an excellent job writing Buddy, the Christmas Husky~A True Holiday Miracle, a book about my sweet Buddy that is enjoyable for all ages. It is my hope that Buddy’s book will make people look at special needs dogs with a greater sense of worth. I want someone years from now—after Buddy and I are long gone—to see a dog, or other animal, who is in bad shape, and help them because they remember Buddy’s story. This is an inspirational story for all ages.”
Buddy, the Christmas Husky Facebook Page
“I have been following Buddy’s journey for quite some time. It is very inspiring to see what people do for an animal in need, this continues to inspire me to keep helping at our shelter and encourage others to go and visit shelter & rescues in their communities. After finding FiveSibes on Facebook… I have been intrigued and inspired with everything Dorothy does for animals, including her own! I’m so excited about…(my) exclusive interview about her latest book, Buddy, the Christmas Husky…I hope you enjoy (it) as much as I do!”
Confessions of a Rescue Mom Blog
“This charming book (Buddy, the Christmas Husky~A True Holiday Miracle) is way too short! The saddest part of this story is Buddy's not knowing what a toy was. We'll never know what kind of terrible life he led before Geneva took him home, but it was obviously not a rich or happy life. I'm not a person who cries, ever; but when I read about Buddy's condition when Geneva rescued him, I got tears in my eyes. I can't imagine anyone neglecting an animal that way! My little dog has gone to heaven, but we have three cats who get better care than Buddy ever did. You write well Dorothy. I hope you'll do some more books.”
22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards