Change Lives

Change Lives

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Date With Daisy.....

I introduced you to Daisy a little while ago..... a dog that had been written off for aggression issue's and was less than 24 hours away from a vets needle in a pound.

Today the weather was atrocious.  Wet, windy and the kind of day that makes me question why I do this. Surely an office would be a better place to be?

Then I went out with Daisy.....




This beautiful girl has issues, there's no doubting that.  However those issues are man made, and this is backed up by possibly finding out a little bit about her history before she ended up on death row.

I see her as a very special girl, and one that made my job today worth more than the rain could ever spoil.....

(Facebook readers will need to click on the story to see all the photos.)

Monday, 20 February 2017

New Kai 'Graffiti' Tee's......

The sunshine we've seen lately has inspired me to produce somerging both colourful and different with spring hopefully on its way.....

The Kai 'Graffiti' T Shirt is unlike anything I've ever produced before, as individual as the big man himself.  You can order yours here:

https://shak.teemill.co.uk/product/graffiti-t-shirt-1192/


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Where We Are At The Moment.....

I'd like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support during the quiet time on here. My time just seems to disappear at the moment, but everything will be so worth it. The Rescue Place is going through what I can only describe as a 'life changing' redevelopment, which will not only make our job easier but also improve the lives of our dogs beyond my wildest dreams. Coupled with a new exciting venture that I'm hoping will help us find homes or rescue places for some of our dogs we think are ready, then you can maybe begin to imagine how it's so difficult to find the time to sit and write on here.

More on all of the above when the time is right, but however life does continue to go on, and the need for our work is as intensive as ever.  On Tuesday teatime I received a call from a vet who had a dog booked into be destroyed. Despite not having space,  or even premises capable of taking another, we came up with a plan alongside Northumberland County Council Animal Welfare (who were again amazing) and we were able to stop this beautiful girl losing her life. After a couple of assessments from their team and myself and a couple of days in temporary boarding I'm delighted to say that she is moving to abother rescue soon. She was so close to losing it all.....

Another who was facing destruction and the subject of a few frantic phonecards is Daisy. She ended up a shelter where she was showing signs of aggression and dog aggression.  Again the council contacted us as she finished her last day as a stray, and of course I said yes.....

She is currently again in temporary boarding, but today I spent my second day assessing her. It's early days but the first signs are good.....

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


Jenson left and Daisy right. Daisy was due to be destroyed and dog aggressive. 
Daisy and Fagan who is a great stooge dog as he wants to be on his own! 

Ember Update.....

I think it's fair to say Ember stole everyone's hearts when she arrived late last year. Emaciated and in a right mess.....



She came home with us after CT scans and all sorts at the vets, in a desperate bid to find out what was causing her to be so skinny and weak.

I thought I'd share with you some photos I took on her walk this morning.....






Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Big Rescue Has A Sad End.....

In my last post I mentioned that I was working on one of our biggest rescues to date, it's with great sadness today that I have to tell you that despite everything that was done for him, the little guys body wasn't strong enough and we lost him this weekend. Taken fron us before he'd even arrived.

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago about a little crossbreed that had been ploughed into by a car and left for dead in a ditch in Romania.  I know the subject of importing dogs is a controversial one, but now isn't the time to discuss that, my own take is that if a dog needs help and people accept responsibility for life then location shouldn't really matter.

Anyway, little Negrutu was found in the snow and left to die. His legs were frozen together he was so cold, resulting in open sores. However a worse discovery was made when it was found he was paralysed from midway down his back. He was taken to the vets where he was quite happy to accept the use of wheels to get around, but he was very under weight and weak. That was when I was asked to help him.....

Some very kind people donated the money to buy him his own set of custom made wheels and the process began to try and get him to us.

Last week things took a turn for the worst again, as the little man was rushed to the vets again, this time with suspected renal failure. He died this morning.

There was something special about this dog that stole my heart from the minute I saw him. So special it made me think about situations and broaden horizons that I'd never done before. We are full to capacity as normal and won't be venturing into bringing dogs to the UK,  but Negrutu really needed our help.

I'd like to say a special thank you to the people who brought this little guys story to my heart, and did everything they could to get him here. Although he never quite made it to us, I will always think of him as a SHAK dog, and one who certainly showed so much courage in his will to live.....



Monday, 23 January 2017

Please Be Patient.....

I've been inundated with emails of late, many from people kindly looking to join our team. However we also in the process of huge renovations to our kennels, so I'm afraid organising all the building work means I haven't been able to respond to very many. I'm asking for people to be patient and I will get the relevant application forms sent out.

In all of this of course the dogs are at the forefront, making the whole project even more demanding.  It's not even just our dogs, as unfortunately the world of cruelty doesn't seen to stop because we're having building work done. The last few days has seen me embark on perhaps the biggest rescue mission of one poor soul that we've ever launched.....

There will be more on that in good time. However I'll leave you with a little update photo of Bren and Axel today..... true buddies.


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.

Bren, 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, Bren 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. Bren 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.....