Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 23 April 2018

Duke Shines At The Seaside.....

Duke arrived with us a stray last year, frightened and grumbly. It was one of our Out of Hours team that picked him up and although it was never confirmed there was mention of somebody who owned a dog committing suicide in the area he was found. We will never know if Duke was connected, but he was wearing a harness with a tag on it when he was found. It simply said Duke, no address or contact number.....

Fast forward a bit and Duke still continues to mumble at times and I think it's fair to say he's kept himself to himself since he arrived.

A couple of weeks ago he had a little health scare and I was kindly given the task of getting him to the vets. Grumbling as I muzzled him, I thought I was going to be in for a real adventure. However like so many other times, Duke was the exact opposite and seeing him getting a hug from the vet nurse was just great to see.

So when Brad and Amy offered to take another dog home for a couple of nights, I had an idea.....

Amy takes the story further.....

After Dukes experience at the Vet we knew we had to give him a chance to find out the real Duke in a home environment. We were definitely apprehensive about taking him for a few nights holiday but he soon made sure that wasn’t the case and left us at ease.

Duke was an absolute pleasure to have with us, a completely different dog from the Duke we knew from the kennels. Craving attention, enjoying our company and numerous bum scratches! Duke is pretty stubborn and likes to do things on his terms (typical male) however with the right approach and time given to Duke he’s happy to try things your way.

Seeing Duke in a different light is absolutely lovely yet sad at the same time as kennel life just isn’t for him yet he’s still here living at SHAK. Duke needs someone to give him a chance and I’m determined to help find someone for him. There’s someone for everyone and you could help give Duke that chance he has so longed for..











So we are now all determined to find this gorgeous boy a home. We will never know if the story he potentially was a part of is true, but if it is it is the least he deserves.

If you'd like more information on how you can help Duke then please email foreverfoster@shak.org.uk 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Amazing Progress From Marley.....

Just thought I'd share with you a little snippet of Marley on his walk in the sunshine. I've also added the video of the day he arrived.....



Amazing Progress in just over a month, we are all so proud of him!

A Date For Your Diary.....

A really good day planned at HQ.....


Friday, 13 April 2018

Two Lives Saved.....

It's almost ironic after releasing the statement earlier in the week that we have spent the majority of our time saving the lives of two dogs that just shows how important it is that we are there when needed.

Both of these cases were facing destruction, not a threat or an attempt to try and convince us to take them. Both of these dogs had a date to meet their maker confirmed. If either had lost their lives it would have been an absolute crime.

We have a reputation for taking big, aggressive dogs and we certainly have our fair share of large breeds with issues, but I think that the fact these two were so close to being murdered will shock you.....


Nelly (as we've called her) was in a local pound. Describe as so aggressive that she wouldn't let anyone get her out of her kennel.....


This photo was taken less than 24 hours after we saved her. Does it look like she should have lost her life?

Then just a couple of days later I received a call from a local vets as a Collie/Terrier cross was there to be destroyed having bitten his owner. He is 15....


Both of these dogs will be fine with us now and the search is already under way to find them both a rescue place with one of our trusted partners. We were there when they really needed us, they were so close to being gone..... That is why we have the policy we have.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A Statement From SHAK.....

One of the drawbacks of gaining followers through Facebook, the press and other forms of media is the demand for our expertise is growing beyond a level that is manageable or even acceptable. We are a victim of our own success and with constantly running with around 70 dogs in our care, being such a small charity we are always stretched beyond our limit.

Therefore I think it is important for me to explain exactly where we get our dogs from and who we will deal with. For the past 12 years we have dealt very closely with vets taking destruction cases, local councils taking strays and a few recognised partnered charities that we have built up strong relationships with. Today this is still the case.

As I mentioned space and resources are very short resulting us being unable to take dogs from members of the public and due to time we are ubable to deal with the publuc in any way. Likewise we are not looking to extend our pool of partnered charities or organisations, so can not take dogs from groups we have never worked with before.

It is not out of ignorance, but due to concentrating our time on our own dogs that no unsolicited emails, phonecalls or Facebook messages will be returned.

Thank you for understanding and for all of your support.


Friday, 6 April 2018

Mays Dogs Monthly Magazine.....

Just received my copy of Dogs Monthly magazine.....







You'll need to buy a copy to read the full piece 😉

Monday, 26 March 2018

Eden And Ged Welcome Spring.....

It seems as her confidence has grown little Eden has also become camera shy. Every time you get a camera out she hides.....

I'e been trying to catch the excitement of her coming out of her kennel but at the moment this is the best footage I have. She knows exactly when it's her turn and has this beautiful high pitched bark to tell you to hurry up! One day I will be able to record it!

Anyway here she is with Amy and her boyfriend Ged out on a walk in the sunshine. If you look back through the previous videos you will see how amazing this is for both of them. Eden even has time to take some treats.....


Some of the earlier videos.....



Saturday, 24 March 2018

Marley And Me.....

Just had an amazing walk with Marley, as he continues to make huge steps forward.

At first glance this video may look just like a dog going for a walk, but if you remember how Marley was when he came 12 days ago there are two crucial changes here.

First up the protective gear has been stopped. Marley isn't aggressive in any way, and perhaps more importantly the metal lead (which stops he being able to bite through it) has been substituted for an ordinary lead..... I can't emphasise how much of a big step thus is for him.


Friday, 23 March 2018

In The Gazette.....

We have a double story in this weeks Northumberland Gazette.....

Good luck and thank you to Luke and Joshua!!


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Marley Doing Well.....

It' Just a little over a week since big Marley arrived with the huge reputation he lived up too for being unwalkable on the lead. I had an instant soft spot for him, such a noble and handsome boy that has clearly been through something to make him like this.

Rich and myself have put a lot of time and energy into Marley over the last week, and as you can  see from the video below, yesterday Marley and I shared a nice walk in some long-awaited spring sunshine.


Just in case you've orgotten how far he has come, here's day one.....


Monday, 19 March 2018

Worthy Of Such Devotion - The SHAK Story. Pre-Order Your Copy Now.....



About nine months ago I received a letter from a man who had stumbled across my mam fundraising outside Pets At Home. He had been intrigued by the work we do and by the story behind why I founded the charity you all now know as SHAK.

That man was Robert MacGowan, published author of Jessica's Grandad and Hamsters In The Park. We met at HQ for an initial meeting, before months of Costa Coffee and unearthing some memories I'd buried deep inside. Everyone has had an effect on what I stand for now, but more importantly what the charity stands for today.

The result is a book called Worthy Of Such Devotion, excellently written and covering both the life of myself and the charity I created in the memory of my best friend.

The release date is still a couple of weeks away, but we are now offering you the chance to pre-order your copy now.....

As well as being one of the first to read why we are what we are, pre-ordering means your copy will be signed by both Rob and myself! 

To be one of the first, order your now from the SHAKShop:

Order Worthy Of Such Devotion HERE

Thank you in advance, thank you Rob, thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way and thank you Shak for making me do this.






Sunday, 18 March 2018

Nearly Here.....

Nine months work is nearly taking a physical form.....


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Bren's Latest Trick.....

I couldn't help but laugh at Bren's latest trick when out on his walk with Rich and Cooper. If you can remember his story he was going to lose his life for being aggressive.....


Day Two With Marley.....

Day 2 with Marley and we're definately making friends.  One little spell on the way back but again I was able to regain his concentration.....


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Day One For Marley.....

Marley arrived late last night with a reputation of being impossible to get on a lead and to take for a walk. Whilst there is no aggression there towards his handler, his power, size, weight and obsession to grab the lead makes him a pretty daunting task.

This morning it was time to take him out for the first time. The task of getting him on a lead had me nervous, but he was brilliant and for the first few minutes I did wonder what all the fuss was about.

Then we passed another dog and at first he seemed ok. Then it was as if there was a switch turned and his anxiety leaf to..... well see for yourself......


I think the most amazing thing was that I was able to get him back and regain his composure, something I'm very proud of. I'm sure once the novelty wears off I will have an even more difficult task, but for now we need to try and keep him responsive. 

Can You Help Our Dogs On Specific Diets.....

It seems like an eternity since all the very generous donations arrives at Christmas and as the winter just seems to be never-ending the cupboards are beginning to get bare with certain things.

Due to various things such as skin conditions and sensitive stomachs we have some dogs that are on specific foods. Due to your enormous generosity we have a great supply of regular dog food, but we are getting short of:

Chappie both tinned and dry food
Hypoallergenic dry food
Fish based food (salmon and potato)

Food can be donated at our various drop off spots including Sainsbury's and Pets at Home in Alnwick, Pets at Home Cramlington, Moorview Vets and the bin at SHAK HQ in Greenwell Road Alnwick.

Thank you so much in advance.

Duke who loves his Chappie!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The 7th March 1999.....

Whilst researching and going back through my memories for a project I hope to be able to announce to you very soon, I found this photograph of Shak and myself. It was taken 19 years ago today and I'd owned him for approximately 3 hours.

That day changed my life forever and provided me with a friend I'll never forget. A friend that really was 'Worthy of Such Devotion.'


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Yoshi Update.....

Yoshi update from Amy...

As you can imagine due to the large amount of snow fall we have faced some challenges over the past few days however as always our amazing team all pulled together and all our dogs are safe, warm and well!

We would all just like to say a massive thank you first of all to everyone who donated funds in order to help Yoshi on his road to recovery. After one very manic week we got some hopeful news at Yoshi's latest appointment with his ophthalmologist. Yoshi's course of antibiotics & eye drops have helped him massively- his eye is now slowly returning back to its original colour and he is his happy old self. It's a possibility that Yoshi has been one of the lucky ones and his uveitis has not developed further into a secondary condition which is great news. We will continue to monitor Yoshi for the time being and keep on top of his medication but so far things are looking positive so again, thank you.

We'd also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed towards his veta bill. The appeal currently stands at £105, but with his medication on going we really do need for you to keep supportimg him.

Here's a photo of Yoshi enjoying (or not) the snow.....


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chronicle Wish Tokens Campaign Results.....

I have to say on behalf of everyone connected to our charity that we are absolutely blown away by the results of this year' Chronicle Wish Tokens Campaign.....

Out of 123 charitable organisations that were part of the campaign, we finished as the highest ranking animal charity in 5th place!! We were only beaten by some huge organisations (congratulations to them all) and our recognition and support from you guys makes us both very proud and thankful.

Thank you all and a special thank you to Joan and Marga who gave up their time to stick 40,940 tokens onto the sheets. I really am lost for words!



Sunday, 25 February 2018

Help Us Help Yoshi.....


I've mentioned on here a few times now about Brad and Amy taking dogs home for a night or 2 of respite and how valuable this is in allowing us to assess how the dog will cope in a home and with the outside world. However whilst I'm sure they are all enjoying every minute, this next lodger came under more difficult circumstances. I'll let Amy take over.....

It has been one busy week for us here at SHAK, vet trips which seem never ending. On Monday it was Yoshi who needed our help. Yoshi has been with us for over a year now and has always had a clean bill of health which is why his illness has come as such a shock to us all.

Yoshi started shaking and his left eye became droopy and enlarged last Monday, we knew something was wrong and got him to the vet immediately, who, after a thorough health check, then sent us as an emergency referral to the main hospital in order for him to see an ophthalmologist.

The expert opinion confirmed Yoshi has developed a condition called Uveitis which can effect his vision and sadly lead to a secondary condition called glaucoma which in turn can lead to blindness. There seems to be no explanation as to why this condition has developed, but it is clear it is very serious.

So with their two days off arranged to start the next day, Yoshi packed his bags and headed to his temporary home with Brad and Amy.






I'm pleased top say that the break seems to have done him good and he is currently on a course of steroid eye drops & some antibiotics to help with the pain at the moment. We are back to see the ophthalmologist tomorrow, so hopefully he too will see an improvement. He has all our support, but we know we have a long road to go down yet.

As you can imagine this is very traumatic for Yoshi but given the circumstances he has been a real superstar. We want to give him the best chance at keeping as much vision as possible and of course will do all we can no matter of cost. We can only do that of course with your help. If you would like to contribute to Yoshi's existing vets bill and ongoing treatment then you can do by the following ways:

Paypal www.paypal.com to shak@shak.org.uk (Please state Yoshi when making a payment)

Or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to:

SHAK HQ
Greenwell Road
Alnwick
Northumberland
NE66 1HB

Thank you in advance for helping us give this beautiful boy the best treatment possible when he needs it the most and also to Brad and Amy for being there for him.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A First Date.....

We'e been doing a little bit of work with Roxy since her weekend away and I'm pleased to say she is working towards a potential home after another successful home trial last weekend.

Her only minor issue seems to be sometimes being a little reactive to passing other dogs on a walk. That is where the work comes in and she is quickly getting the hang of it.

This afternoon I got Dude out for a walk and he gave Roxy a little kiss as he passed her kennel. It gave me an idea.....

They walked together with me on my own perfectly, and I have to say they were both impeccable.  In fact Dude did nothing but kiss her all the way.....




Friday, 16 February 2018

Guv Wants More Of This.....

Another SHAK dog enjoying a well deserved break from the kennels was little Guv.

Guv is a boisterous, energetic bundle of joy who thoroughly enjoyed getting spoilt last weekend, especially loving the attention and long walks.

Little Guv is a typical young lad who loves to play with his toys and get made a fuss of. He spent a lot of his weekend off on the couch enjoying some down time, he truly is a gentle giant.

Guv came to SHAK from another rescue, having spent a lot of time with him the time is right to push forward and try to find Guv his forever family. He needs someone who can give him a lot of attention and love-he certainly has a lot of love to give in return. This beautiful brindle boy deserves his forever home and you could help him on his journey.

For more info contact foreverfoster@shak.org.uk






Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Roxy On Holiday.....

Another SHAK Dog enjoying a break this weekend was Roxy. I'm very grateful to Brad and Amy for giving her this opportunity, and of course it was also an opportunity to sneak a pint!...

Roxy had a well deserved break from the kennels this
weekend, spending her Saturday night in the local pub!

Roxy has been in kennels for over a year now and it was definitely the right time to house assess her and see how she coped outside the world she has not known for a while now. It's fair to say Roxy did absolutely amazing and it broke my heart taking her back to the kennels.

Roxy started off her break by visiting the local pub with a few SHAK regulars, as expected Roxy got a lot of attention from people in the pub, all amazed that she still hasn't found her forever home. The most amazing thing that happened that night for Roxy was meeting a 20 month old little girl who loved her and wanted to give her lots of attention, baring in mind Roxy has been in kennels for over a year we weren't quite sure how Roxy would cope with a little child giving her so much attention- she was outstanding. Roxy was very patient and enjoyed her cuddles, she especially enjoyed taking treats from the little girl.

Roxy did fantastically well and we are ever so proud of her, nothing at all seems to phase this wonderful girl. Roxy enjoyed many long walks, playing tug of war with her toys and loved getting spoilt with cuddles. This girl really deserves her forever home with a loving family.

If you'd like to know more about Roxy then please email foreverfoster@shak.org.uk





Monday, 12 February 2018

Friends.....

Dino has definately found a friend in Bandit in his mini break.....


Sunday, 11 February 2018

Dino And Donnie.....

Rachel took the liberty of filming from the comfort and the warmth of the sitting room as I walked the boys this evening.  She managed to capture this amazing footage of Dino chasing and trying to get Donnie to play.

I keep saying you maybe need to know these boys to know how amazing these videos are, but believe me they are!!!


Working Task Completed!....

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the worming appeal. Job is now done!