Change Lives

Change Lives

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Two Years On For Nina.....

Yesterday turned into quite a manic day, of which I'm sure you'll read about on here at some point. However it didn't stop me having a few special moments to remember a special girl that we lost two years previously. Nina was very much my dog at the kennels,there was a love there from the very first morning she was with us after she'd burst out of her kennel during the night. A love that is still there now.....


"Words can't describe how we're all feeling today, as we discovered the beautiful Nina had passed away in her sleep. She looked peaceful, but it shard to believe that she has gone. Nina was a brave girl, you'll remember she survived a massive pyometra in the summer, so if there was anything sinister happening she never let on.

Used and abused before coming to us, she was another Daddy's girl who would deliberately misbehave so I'd go and carry her home to her kennel. She helped so many dogs in her time with us, and shared kennels with George, Wilf and right to the end with Bobby. In fact in the 6 weeks or so she lived with him, Bobby was the happiest I've ever seen. Below are her playing with Jetta who was due to be destroyed for being dog aggressive.

 We're all going to miss her, perhaps me more than most, and we'll all never forget her that's for sure. Nina had been badly abused, but allowed us into her life and with it came love and trust..... from both sides.

Sky, Brookes, Dusty and now Nina all in two weeks. I think my heart is beyond repair.

Here's how we will all remember an amazing dog, and an amazing friend."









Thursday, 22 January 2015

If I Stare Long Enough.....

I love these photos I took of Doyle today just as the sun was  beginning to sink. Having spent a while barking at the boomer ball telling it to get out of the tyre, he went for the silent stare routine..... that didn't work either!

Spinning Plates.....

So the last 24 hours in the life of dog rescue..... One Staffordshire Bull Terrier booked into be destroyed at the vets, one American Bulldogs booked into the vets to be destroyed and a stray Akita.....

Managed to get all 3 safe, now just need to work out where to put them. I think the term is spinning plates.....

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Guess What Ben Got For Christmas.....

I love the look on the dogs faces on some of these.....

I think it's clear to guess what Ben's favourite Christmas present was..... his selfie stick!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Could Of Been So Different.....

It's amazing how times of adversity make you appreciate what you have.  After the emotional rollercoaster of Saturday and the Lurcher we lost, I've been thinking a lot about Haden our three legged Lurcher that has epilepsy.  He too was a stray that was dumped, and quickly started fitting when in our care. What if he hadn't been found in time like the boy on Saturday? 

It simply doesn't bare thinking about, but today when I saw him curled up on the settee with his sister Star, who was dumped in the same area and completely emaciated I couldn't help but give them both a cuddle.....

Star Left, Haden Right.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Never Forget You Dusty.....

With everything else going on yesterday I didn't get a chance to post this, but I certainly didn't forget that it was two years on Friday since we lost Dusty as anyone who listened to the SHAK Radio Show on Thursday will vouch.

I miss him, and will never forget what he brought to me and the lives of my family. Here's his story.....

"I guess when your down, you really are down, and after the sad news of losing Sky last Thursday, then the personal loss of my own little Staffy Brookes on Friday, today I lost the most perfect pet and happiest dog I've ever had the privilege to share my life with.

Dusty was perfect in every way to me. He had horrendous health problems when I picked him up as a stray, including rotten ears and testicular cancer, and he fought them all to be with us.

Neve was with me when I picked him up, she was only 4 at the time, and I think his finder could see the concern in my eyes when I saw the state he was in. "What will happen to him now?" She asked but before I could answer "he's coming to live with us" Neve said, and that's exactly what he did.

Dusty was a brave, brave boy. Everyone loved him, and today was the first day I didn't see his tail wag. He lived with me for almost two years, way more than I expected, but it seems like he was mine forever. I miss you so much, thanks for letting me share your life."






We Did All We Could Do.....

Really sad news this morning as I had to make the decision last night to let the Lurcher go. At 22.48 I received a  call from the vet who was very concerned about how unresponsive the dog was. He had stopped fitting due to the medication he had received, and had been lying just paddling his legs with his eyes flickering back and forth. However that had come to a stop too and the described him as "apart from breathing he's not there."

I asked him what he would do if this was a dog that belonged to a family and was much loved..... he said he would let it go.

I guess we'll never know what was wrong with him, blood tests didn't show up any toxic substances.  Maybe he'd been lying in the woods fitting for days before he was found and two much damage had been caused to the brain. All we do know is his central nervous system was shut down and he was in a horrendous state.

I'd like to thank everyone who tried to save him. The people who found him, John who did his very best to get him safe and to Moorview Vets and the Animal Welfare section of Northumberland County Council for being so understanding and putting the dogs welfare above everything else.  We did all we could do.....

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Please Pray For This Boy.....

We had an urgent call out today, and I have to compliment my out of hours guy John for doing all he could to try and save this boys life.

This young Lurcher was found in woodland this afternoon, unresponsive and fitting at very regular intervals. The kind people who found him looked after him until John rushed him to a vets as it was clear he desperately needed assistance.  On the way there he had two more fits in John's car, and things were looking really bad.

On arrival at the vets (who will remain nameless for obvious reasons) the vet prepared a quote for nearly £900 before they would commence treatment.  We have to remember this dog is a stray with no owner, none of us could afford to pay that.

A few frantic phone calls later, Moorview Vets once again came up trumps. Understanding the urgency of the situation,  they urged us to bring the dog to them. It was the only chance of survival.....
He has received medication to try and control the seizures. It is suspected he is either suffering from a series of epileptic fits or that he has been poisoned.  We do not know whether he will make it through the night. I have had to authorise that he be put to sleep on vets advice if his condition doesn't improve in the immediate future. He could suffer severe brain damage or worse depending on the cause.

In the meantime please pray for him tonight. He is believed to be only a year or so old. His life has not even begun.....

(Warning video shows the dog just coming out of a fit.)

As well as John, a big thank you to Moorview Vets and Animal Welfare at Northumberland County Council for doing all they can to save this dogs life.



Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Day Out For Sally.....

When taking Nelson down to the vets today for a bandage change I thought it would be a good idea to take Sally for a little run out in the van.

I think she enjoyed the travelling but after Nelson was done I thought I'd push her just that little bit further and step it up a gear by taking her out into the big wide world.....

We ended up at a busy retail park where she behaved impeccably. People, cars and the general hustle bustle really didn't phase her, even the sight of a Marks and Spencer food hall didn't put her off her stride as she chose to go to the toilet right outside!

However I think if you ask Sally to name her favourite bit of the day, I think it would be an easy one to answer..... Her visit to Pets At Home!


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Introducing Sasha And Ellie.....

This is the wonderful Sasha (lighter of the two) and Ellie who came to us just before Christmas after being made homeless.  It is reported that Sasha and Ellie are mother and daughter and 14 and 12 respectively.

Obviously having to begin a new life in a kennel environment is difficult for any dog,  but I really feel for these two having to start all over again at their ages.

We are looking for a very experienced home for these two, as like us all old age means they are a little set in their ways, but please don't under estimate their zest for life. Having been together forever obviously  we will not separate as Ellie is very dependant on Sasha.

If you feel you could help these two see out their days in comfort then please get in touch via email.....

foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

Enjoying The Simple Things With Otto.....

I enjoyed a walk with one of SHAK's longest serving residents, Otto this morning.  Otto is a dog so frightened of the outside world that it would simply be too much to expect him to cope. Even the sight of a gate, never mind the thought of going through it, terrifies him.....

Today though the sun came out after the blizzards and we enjoyed the simple things, like the country views.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Gentle Ben And The Change Lives £5,000 Challenge Update.....


The little red Staffy on the left of this photo is Ben, the shivering, nervous wreck that featured in one of the promotional videos for the Change Lives £5,000 Challenge. As you can see, with the help of Misty and a few other dogs, he has really settled and come out of that quivering shell. You can see his videos below.

I think the progress he has made considering he was less than an hour from being destroyed is a sure testament to the work we do, and why we really need you to get behind this appeal and allow us as a charity to keep going.....

Launched on the 9th of December we set ourselves a target of raising £5,000 by the end of February. Money that would help us get through a very difficult winter period. Having just completed the first month on the appeal I am delighted to announce that the running total so far is.....

On the Everyclick page (you can donate via the link below): £2,939. On top of that wonderful total though we have also been receiving cheque and cash donations directly, as much as £1,374 has come in that way meaning our grand total so far is £4,313

I knew we had wonderful support, but I never dreamt when I set up the appeal that we would get so far so quickly.....Thank you all so much. You have really helped make a difference to the life of Ben and so many other dogs, in fact you have simply helped save their lives.....

Of course we still need to raise a lot to reach our £5,000 total..... You can donate below:

http://www.everyclick.com/shakchangelives



And Max Is Making Friends.....

Another who is benefiting from a bit of company is Max. Max (pictured below on the left and my right with Roxy) came to us with a history of being horrendous with other dogs, and although we are still encouraging him to relax and enjoy a ladies company he is certainly getting better.

Looking Happier.....

It's really great to see this little girl making friends and looking happy. If you scroll a few posts down you'll see the state of her when she arrived. We have rescue spaces for both these two once room is available, but already romance is blossoming.....

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Two Years For Two Very Special Staffies.....

This weekend is the second anniversary of SHAK losing two little dogs with BIG personalities. Two years ago yesterday Serena had to say goodbye to little Sky and then just 24 hours my little girl Neve had to say goodbye to the little stray that she had taken is as her own, Brookes.

I know from speaking to Serena this week that she often thinks of Sky and has recently had a beautiful plaque made for the garden. Little Brookes left a big hole and a big impression on a little girl and all the family.....

"In a sad 12 hours SHAK had to say goodbye to two of its oldies and leave Serena and myself with broken hearts. Sky and Brookes were both gorgeous old Staffordshire Bull Terriers that I picked up as strays, both reduced me to tears when I collected them as they clearly had serious health issues. Sky was snapped up by Serena within hours of arriving, whilst Brookes..... well he never made it past my front door.

After 10 months with Serena, old age seemed to catch up with Sky and last night she was let go to a place better than this. Serena had nursed her so patiently and lovingly in that time, I know how hard she is finding her not being there.
Sky Looking Cool.
Brookes was such a character, my daughter loved him instantly and at the tender age of 6 adopted her first dog! He was also very brave, and eventually his battle with cancer took him from us this morning.
Brookes and his Mammy.
Both these dogs had been abandoned by the people who were supposed to love them, both have left this world with people absolutely heart broken. Their breed would of made it even more difficult to find them homes, and I am extremely grateful to Serena for helping Sky and to Neve for helping me hang onto an amazing little man. Brookes came to live with me within 24 hours of Miko's arrival. I have lost them both now, but I will never lose the memories of such amazing dogs. Run free brave girl and boy."



Thursday, 8 January 2015

Mia And Murphy And Winter Sun.....

Looks like Mia and Murphy really enjoyed the sunshine this morning with Melissa.....