Change Lives

Change Lives

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A Magic Moment.....

Today I witnessed a little bit of magic that makes me so proud that I can't really put into words how much it means, or what it feels like to witness.

Brin, Topaz and Axel all arrived at the back end of last year with huge stories and reputations for one reason or another. They have all progressed so much, Brin and Topaz share a kennel, but I've had a feeling for a long time that Axel would match their energy levels. Today we put that to the test.


These dogs have suffered so much before coming to us. Brin and Topaz were actually hours from being destroyed. Whilst Axel want far from being starved to death. Maybe reasing those words and then looking above will give you an indication of the pride and love for these guys.....


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Resurrection Axel T Shirts Available For A Short Time.....

A new year and a new T Shirt to help show your support for SHAK and Axel in his fight to gain full health and to finally start living his life.....

This T Shirt will only be available for a limited time so be sure to order yours quickly from the link below:

https://shak.teemill.co.uk/product/resurrection-1192/


Friday, 13 January 2017

A Big Step For Axel.....

Whilst 2016 was a huge year I think it's fair to say that Axel's story was one that will stick in the memory for a long time.

Today me and Rich decided it was time to up his game.....

The two dogs in this video with him are Star and Bruce.  Star was booked into the vets to be destroyed for being uncontrollable. Bruce was tied to a tree on wasteland at the age of 8, discarded like an empty McDonald's bag. Both live with me and my family now, and are so amazing I showing dogs the way that despite being written off by others, there isn't enough money in the world to put a price on now much they mean t me.

A few tellings off and Axel got it, manners are very important,  but Rich and I were very lucky to witness magic this morning.....


Snow Time.....

It's nearly a week since I last posted a picture of Ember, but despite looking a bit concerned in this photo, the other dogs quickly showed her how much you can enjoy the snow this morning.....


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Today's Northumberland Gazette.....

Another great piece in today's Northumberland Gazette.....


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Ember Relaxing At Her Local.....

Just really had to share this photo of Ember in her local tonight. This dog is battling against whatever it is, but despite being left in such a horrendous state she simply adores being around people. I'm so very proud of her.


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

We're Only Three Days In.....

In my last post I did say that I felt in 2017 that we would need you more than ever. Today is the 3rd of January and already today we have two new arrivals and a dog that was due to be destroyed at a vets this afternoon is hopefully still alive and due to come to us later this week. Can you see why we need your support so much?

I think the most disturbing side of all this is the way these dogs have found their way to us. I mentioned also in the last post, a dog that had been tied to the gates of a church on Christmas day, yes that's right a church on Christmas day, today he came to us as no owner had come forward.  He is such a playful, energetic dog. There is no way he deserved to spend his Christmas abandoned and then in kennels. I also said that it is the kind of story line that Disney would write if they were doing a story about a stray dog. I can't get that thought out of my head, except it's for real.....

This handsome boy was tied to a church gate on Christmas day. 


Then we also have little Dolly who was left in a garden along with another dog. They fought as you'd expect for two dogs left to fend for themselves, so she has been to the vets and now has to start her life all over. Microchip details tell us she is only two.....

Little Dolly, abandoned at Christmas. 

So already three days into the year we are under immense pressure, but what else can we do. We refuse to give up on them.  Already Christmas seems such a long time ago.

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Time To Reflect And Look Forward.....

So tonight we see the end of 2016. A year that saw us hit the 10 year mark as well as making and losing some amazing friends.

I think it's fair to say that it has without doubt been the toughest of those 10 years,  and whilst there were times I thought we weren't going to make it, we have,  and I'm very proud of that achievement and of the people that got us there.

It never stops of course, and already I have two dogs stacked up and waiting to come to us, one was tied to a church gate on Christmas day!  Something Disney would write in one of their films, and they'd probably give it a happy ending. Time will tell.

There has been so many big stories this year,  so many tears of pain and joy, and as we move into 2017 there is a little glimmer of hope.

Ember's lymph node biopsy results have come back,  and the good news is that they show she isn't suffering from lymphoma! They are however 'reactive' so her body is fighting something, we just need to try and locate what. I have her back at the vets next week for more tests.

Your support this year has grown remarkably,  the incredible kindness shown this Christmas is testament to that, but I can't help and feel that in 2017 we're going to have to rely on you even more as the world of rescue just gets more and more difficult. Being right at the cutting edge of life and death means it isn't going to get any easier for us, I really hope you can support us through it.

Thank you again for all you have done and myself and everyone at SHAK (2 & 4 legged) wish you a Happy New Year. I'll leave you with some pictures of Axel who has won the hearts of so many, and words that just seemed to fit! See you on the other side.







Friday, 30 December 2016

Winter Sun 2.....

And here's Zoro catching the last rays before a beautiful sunset.....

(Facebookviewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.)




Winter Sun.....

Just a couple of pictures of one of our very special girls Holly enjoying the winter sun on our walk yesterday .....

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos. )




Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Making More Friends.....

Just a little update on our very special boy Axel..... as you can see he has now made even more friends with Mel and David.

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos. )




Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas.....

I've been writing our Christmas message in my head all day, and to be honest it wasn't coming on that well. Then tonight Ember joined me for a quick pint in the local on the way home, where she made a huge impression!

This year has been hard, we've lost so many but gained so many new friends. Ember is just one, but as she bravely battles against whatever it is she's up against, I thought the picture of a dog nobody wanted enjoying the comfort of her local pub on Christmas Eve surrounded by people who instantly fell in love with her said it all.....

Merry Christmas x


Sunday, 18 December 2016

And A Lazy Sunday Night.....

And after a very busy weekend, a crazy week in fact, what better place to be than next to the fire.....


Ember's Easy Sunday Morning.....

This isn't the most interesting video I've ever posted, but anyone who was involved in everything with Ember last week will know exactly how special this video is.....

I love the shot where Star gives her a little kiss to make sure she's alright.....


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Incredible Support......

I just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who travelled from all over to support our 'Santa's Helpers' day today. It was so great to speak to you all, and in the 10 years I've been doing this I've never seen so much generousity.....

Special thanks to everyone who also manned very successful stalls at Pets at home and Alnwick market in the freezing cold. It was just a fantastic day of support.

Here's Ember checking out all of your kind donations.....


Friday, 16 December 2016

Has Axel Been To The Gym?....

Had a few people ask me how our boy Axel is doing,  well this photo looks a little out of proportion, but it shows brilliantly just how much he's filling out.....


Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Trip To The Seaside.....

I had a little time between vets appointments today so thought I'd take Ember to see the sea. She was very inquisitive,  and stuck like glue to her new pals Star and Bruce.....





Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.....

Ember Comes Home.....

It's amazing how some of these dogs get into people's hearts, so I'd like to thank everyone who has prayed for Ember over the last couple of days. The latest on this beautiful girls story is that I picked her up last night after her CT scan, and enjoyed some glorious cuddles.

You will have to excuse my lack of depth when describing the results ad my medical knowledge isn't fantastic,  but I will try my best. The scan didn't show up anything immediately obvious, and certainly not the horrendously large tumour I think we were all fearing. However whilst that is good news it doesn't quite get her out of the woods. Her lymph glands are still reactive, every single one of them.  That in itself raises huge alarm bells and points at Lymphoma, but in theory the lymph nodes could also be fighting infection, and she does have several areas of bad skin throughout her body. However, that too could indicate a form of lymphoma that can force fur loss..... you can begin to see the dilemma.....

There also doesn't seem to be any blockage of the exit of the stomach, so maybe her body has been so starved of food that that is why she has had issues functioning normally?

The lump on her nose, she also has another on her head and some between her toes, is definitely of bone material. Now whether they are tumours or unnatural bone growth we can't really tell. With both these and the lymph nodes the only way to tell for sure would be surgery and biopsy taken from all of them. I don't think it's fair when she's I'm such poor condition to put her through all that just yet.

So, we've decided to start her on a course of antibiotics that will treat any skin infections and see where she goes from here. It's a long shot that all of this could be down to neglect,  too be honest I'm just pleased to see her again. I really thought there was no coming back.

Moorview Vets have been amazing as always, and have done all they can to help us and her. However, as I'm sure you know,  CT scans aren't cheap and at present her bill currently stands at £700. So close to Christmas we desperately need your help with this. You can donate via PayPal to shak@shak.org.uk or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB.

I know this can be a really difficult time of year to find any spare money, but we had to give Ember the best. Her life depended on it.....

Ember enjoying a wander around the garden after the vets last night.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Not Great News.....


It's not the greatest news I'm afraid regarding Ember. I took her to the vets this morning where she once again was incredible.  I can't believe how much love this girl has to give, and even when the nurse left the room to go and get a lead, she 'nosed' open the door and followed her. She just wants to be with you and get close.  I don't know if that's because it's something she's used too or something she's never had.....

On examination Sharon thought she felt a mass in her abdomen, bad enough in itself but also meaning we had to have a change of plan. Instead of the facial x ray it meant instead that Ember was taken to the referrals unit and received a abdominal ultra sound scan to see what was going on.... one thing it did reveal was fluid that shouldn't of been there. A sample was taken and it was a clear liquid rather than blood..... that's about as far as my veterinary knowledge flows. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

The biggest worry the scan showed was that despite being fed at 4pm the previous day, Ember still had a stomach full of food. Having just gone through a tumour of the stomach wall with Donnie, I was immediately worried about another one, but I'm assured hers is ok. This then means there could be a blockage of some sort, whether it's a foreign body or something more sinister at this point we don't know.

As always Moorview have been brilliant considering this is 'just a stray'  and are keeping her in overnight on fluids and under observation.  The plan now is to give the very best chance by giving her a full ct scan,  however before she can have an anaesthetic she needs to empty that stomach!

So that's the latest.  Our brave girl is winning hearts everywhere she goes, but her story just keeps getting more and more complicated.  We really need you all to pray that we can get to the bottom of at least some of it.... so she can get home and give out some of that love she is desperate too.

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Journey Starts For Ember.....

So today was a really big day for our Dogue De Bordeux that arrived on Friday, or Ember as I've decided to call her.

As I mentioned in last night's post there is so much going on with her that I really felt that she needed to be seen by our friend at Moorview Vets Emily, and then between us we could come up with a plan to help her.

So this morning I picked Ember up early and we had a nice drive down. She was brilliantly calm in the van and met Star and Henry who shared the journey and the vets appointment, in a very polite and friendly manner.

On our road trip.....
I think it is only natural that you are a little apprehensive when introducing a dog her size to a a vet,  but I needn't of worried as Ember was amazing.  She even rolled on her back so Emily could examine the lump on her snout as her jowls rolled back. It was as if she knew.....

The lump is rock hard, and Emily confirmed my big worries that it looks more like a tumour than an absess. Coupled with the fact all of her lymph nodes are extremely enlarged, early indications seem to point to a cancer of some sort, probably lymphoma.

So today we find ourselves back at the place we all dread but seem to visit regularly right now. This morning I had to make a decision on what the next step should be. After speaking with Emily we both agreed we had to do it properly or not at all, so tomorrow I am taking Ember back down to get the lump x rayed and biopsies taken from her lymph nodes. I guess the results of those tests will show us what we are up against and will decide what happens next.....

In the meantime Ember's journey did start today. She got a new name and made a load of new friends.  I can already tell she is going to be a massive personality it will be a privilege being around.

Tonight she is staying at home with us and as I went to get Henry out of the van for a walk with Bandit and Donnie, Ember surprised me by spritely jumping out of the van and joining the boys. Walking these 4 together in one hand is an experience I will never forget, and a moment I am very proud of. All 4 have been written off with different problems, but tonight they just enjoyed being dogs, how amazingly beautiful is that?


(L-R Donnie, Henry, Bandit and Ember)
(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all of the photos.)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

More On Our New Girl.....

I promised you a little more info on our new girl, and said I'd keep you posted all the way with her story.

She's covered in lumps, one particularly worrying one on the side of her nose. Could be nothing more than an absess from a rotten tooth,  bit I have seen bone tumours start like that in the same place....

She is also very weak on the back end and whilst I wouldn't describe her as wobbly, her gait is far from normal. Pull it all together with the weight loss and mammary tumours, needless to say I'm worried.

Though I am pleased to say that she is eating and taking medication given by the council vets for her bad skin.

I have her booked in at our vets in the morning, where her journey begins. At this point I don't know in which direction we will go, but after such a tough few weeks I'm praying it's the right one.....




(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.)

Friday, 9 December 2016

What Christmas Means To Us.....

I can't say too much on this girl at the moment, but as Christmas approaches I want to share with you step by step this story as it unravels so people can see the truth and what this time of year means to rescues like ourselves.

Found as a stray in Northumberland this is a Dogue De Bordeux..... if you don't know what they should look like Google them. She has arrived with us today not only emaciated but covered with lumps.....




Thursday, 8 December 2016

SHAK Lotto Result.....

Congratulations to William Wake who won the Panto tickets on the SHAK Lotto with the winning number 17!

Thanks to everyone who entered and please keep an eye out for more exciting Lotto's.....


Today's Northumberland Gazette.....

So proud of this article in todays Northumberland Gazette.....


Last Day For Posting.....

Please note tomorrow is the last day for orders of clothing from our online shop www.shakshop.co.uk

Any orders placed after that can't be guaranteed to be posted in time for Christmas.


Don't Forget Skin Deep.....

Just a little reminder about  a night we're all really excited about.....


Tuesday, 6 December 2016




Sorry things have been so manic this week I've had to put this on the back burner and therefore I'm extending it until Thursday night .....

However it also means that you have another 48 hours to have a go. So just to remind you.....

Working on the idea of regular raffles with some fantastic prizes, SHAK Lotto goes like this.....

We announce a prize and a set number of days for you to donate at least £1 via PayPal to shak@shak.org.uk, marking your donation as SHAK Lotto (Please note only entries by PayPal and to this paypal address can be counted).....

Then at the end of the set time I will ask people on our Facebook page to pick a number between 1 and however many entries we have..... the first suggestion is the number of the person who paid PayPal in that position! Easy!

So to get this up and running you have a week starting now to pay at least a pound to win.....

2 Tickets for the Aladdin Panto at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Wednesday the 14th December at 7pm. Fantastic fun for only a pound..... got to be worth a go!

Thanks in advance for your support and good luck!


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Still Growing.....

Here's the latest pictures of our boy Axel. You an see he's looking a lot better, although he still has a way to go.....

(Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos at www.shak.org.uk )



Wednesday, 30 November 2016

One Of the Bravest Girls I Know.....

You may remember a little while I told you the story of Star a Lurcher that we have the pleasure of sharing our home with after she'd been found as a stray and totally emaciated.  She's been part of my family for about 6 years now, but a couple of months ago she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in her bottom jaw.

She initially went through surgery to try and remove the tumour without causing her too much discomfort. Unfortunately the tumour wasn't playing and came back even more aggressively. All we could do for her was to put her back under the knife but this time all the vets could do was remove part of her bottom jaw.

Star has responded to the surgery brilliantly.  She has been so brave. Eating wasn't an issue and she even started pinching the other dogs food.

Then just a short while ago, in the middle of the horrific spell where we had to say goodbye to so many of our wonderful pals, I got a phone call with Star's biopsy reports.  They were a bit of a mixed bag..... the bone had come back clear, but the skin biopsy had shown, despite taking a fair amount, what is medically known as a 'dirty margin.' This meant that right to the edge of the skin that had been taken away, there was cancerous cells. It also meant she had to face the surgeon again.....

Yesterday I took her down to the vets again. They needed to take even more skin away, with the hope that this time all the cancerous cells had been removed.  Knowing what she wants about to go through again broke my heart. I'd say her treatment has been the most difficult to accept that I have ever faced.

Star has been so brave though, and after this cuddle she has enjoyed a second helping of chicken soup and is now snoring in front of the fire..... such an inspiration and a picture of so much strength. I really want you all to pray that this time they have caught it all.....

In all of this Moorview Vets have once again been amazing.  The love Star has received when she has been in has been incredible, you can see that by the reaction she gets when she goes in. However the heartbreaking events of the last few weeks has left an already massive vets bill even bigger. Despite everything that's been done she is the only one who has come out the other side.  Such amazing bravery and desire to live. We are all so proud of her.

We desperately need your help to assist us with the cost of those few weeks. I know it's asking a lot this time of year, but any amount, no matter how small is greatly appreciated.  You can donate via PayPal to shak@shak.org.uk or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB.

Thank you in advance for such fantastic support.


Monday, 28 November 2016

One Week To Play The SHAK Lotto.....



Another exciting launch today is that of the SHAK Lotto.....

Working on the idea of regular raffles with some fantastic prizes, SHAK Lotto goes like this.....

We announce a prize and a set number of days for you to donate at least £1 via PayPal to shak@shak.org.uk, marking your donation as SHAK Lotto (Please note only entries by PayPal and to this paypal address can be counted).....

Then at the end of the set time I will ask people on our Facebook page to pick a number between 1 and however many entries we have..... the first suggestion is the number of the person who paid PayPal in that position! Easy!

So to get this up and running you have a week starting now to pay at least a pound to win.....

2 Tickets for the Aladdin Panto at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Wednesday the 14th December at 7pm. Fantastic fun for only a pound..... got to be worth a go!

Thanks in advance for your support and good luck!