Change Lives

Change Lives

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Haden Enjoying The Sun.....

I love this picture of Haden enjoying the sunshine last night. He's such a brave boy. Not only coping with the disability of 3 legs but also managing with epilepsy.....

Monday, 22 August 2016

There Is a Light.....

Just going through my phone to post the picture of Nancy below,  I stumbled across this picture that I took last winter, and words from one of my favourite ever songs just seemed to fit.

It's not even a week since we lost Laser, but not having him here hurts.  The van isn't the same without him in it, my day isn't the same without him in it.....

It's Been a Tough Couple Of Weeks.....

Looks like all the upheaval of the last few weeks have finally caught up with little Nancy.....

We are still desperately trying to find her a Forever home and a bed she can officially call her own. If yoyr interested in knowing more please contact 

Friday, 19 August 2016

One Hell Of A Week.....

Thank you to everyone who has passed on messages of condolences for the two magnificent boys we have lost this week. I sit here tonight with the very first SHAK dog I ever took home, Star, recovering from an operation to her jaw to remove a low grade cancerous tumour it just brings home how special our time with these wonderful individuals is. The house is very empty without Laser, he had his own room, and it just doesn't feel the same.

I picked Star up as a stray years ago. Left to die in the garden of a deserted house, weighing 12kg's, she has a whole different story to tell a different time. Tonight we're just pleased to have her home.

Little Silky Star who tonight is recovering from having a cancerous tumour removed from her jaw.

Speaking of girls coming home, I have to say that Nancy has been an absolute superstar in her first week with us. As you can see from the photographs, she has had a ball just finding her feet and making new friends.

Little Nancy with the two Stars!

I'm delighted to say we have more than covered her vets bill thanks to your generosity, and the extra has all been paid off our horrendous vets bill. Thank you.

All that's left now is to find her a permanent home..... You can come and meet her at Warkworth Show tomorrow or for more information email

It has been one hell of a week, with so many highs and lows. On a personal level I really appreciate your support.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Two Brave Boys Who Came Together And Left Together.....

It has been a really tearful 24 hours, as we've had to say goodbye to two very very brave boys.

Laser and Murphy arrived together years ago having been used by their previous owner as 'deterrants.' I received the phone call when they were facing the vets needle, and even though their arrival was 24 hours after the scrapyard twins Bodie and Doyle, I knew we were the only ones who could help them.

(L-R Laser, Murphy, Butch and Kane)
When they arrived they were a real handful. Laser did the barking, Murphy sorted out the trouble afterwards. A real double act, and I always had this thing in my mind of George and Lenny, the characters from 'Of Mice and Men.' If you've read the book you will know what I mean.....

Over the years they mellowed, and turned into two sweet boys who loved going out with various other dogs, and were one of the first pairs any new volunteers met. Such was their change in behaviour.

Old age began to catch them up, especially Laser, and when he need an operation to cure chronic arthritis in one of his hips he came home to me and my family to recuperate. He never left us.....
The handsome Murphy with his Roman nose.
Murphy had to wait longer for his chance, but at the turn of this year a wonderful opportunity arose with Lesley and he packed his bags to travel south and begin his new life in the big wide world. He did us all proud.

Laser enjoying the sunset.
Living with Laser for two and a half years was a privilege, and as CDRM joined the arthritis his health deteriorated. He continued to have a real zest for life though, and despite his disability came to work with me every day. In fact to be honest he went pretty much everywhere with me and his new soul mate Star. He loved the kids, and loved keeping an eye on things. He loved his life.

After losing him this morning Rachel told me that I'd been his carer, looking after him like I would a grandad. That's probably a really good way to describe our relationship, and now he isn't here I'm left with a huge hole.....

The craziest thing is that Murphy too lost his fight against old age just yesterday. Hundreds of miles apart, but reunited in a better place within 24 hours. Two very special boys back together running free. As Lesley put it "It would make you believe in stuff we don't understand" very fitting for two brave soldiers who made us believe in the unbelievable.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Enjoying Her New Start.....

I thought I'd give you a little update on Nancy..... She was picked up from the vets, very kindly, by some very special SHAK friends on Friday morning. Despite having two mammary tumours removed and being speyed she was still in fine singing fettle and sang all the way to the kennels to meet me.

After a hard days graft, from the team as Nancy had spent most of the day taking a well earned rest in my van, it was decided a quick beer was in order at the Shoulder Of Mutton on the way home. Seemed only right that the lady of the moment should pop in and I have to say that the management, staff and customers really took her to their hearts.....

Me and my new little pal.
And a new friend.....
And two more!

Tonight after another hard day resting up Nancy once more came home with me. She has settled so well, has been absolutely sensational with the other dogs, and I have to say that they too have been amazing in accepting Nancy into their home. Obviously we are still looking for a full time home for this wonderful little girl. The one thing I have noticed about her is her need to be settled, too much change clearly makes her life stressful.

If you'd like to enquire to find out more about Nancy then please email

I'd like to say too, a very BIG THANK YOU to our special friends (you know who you are) who picked Nancy up from the vets on Friday and also handed me an envelope containing £250 towards her vets bill. Coupled with what we already had paid off, it means that the total raised so far is £340..... her bill was £390. Such amazing generosity and huge burden lifted! Thank you so much.

If you'd like to contribute to the outstanding balance then you can do by PayPal to or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1HB.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a picture of how Nancy is spending her first Saturday night lump free..... on my favourite chair!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Nancy Has Had Her Operation.....

Some great news tonight..... Nancy has had her operation with both the huge tumour and a smaller one removed. The good news is that her chest X Rays have come back as all clear so hopefully whatever the lumps were hasn't spread.

She's resting at the vets tonight as her operation wasn't till late this afternoon, but once she is fully recovered I'm sure she will feel so much better.

We still have the hard part of finding her a home now, and of course we have her surgery to pay for. If you'd like to help with either you can by the following ways.....

Email for any home enquiries.....

You can donate by sending a cheque (made payable to SHAK) to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB or via PayPal to

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Starts Here For Nancy.....

We have a very welcome guest at home tonight, as little Nancy has come to stay before going to the vets in the morning for chest X Rays and..... well whatever comes after that.

We have no idea what they will find, and what evil is hidden within that huge tumour, but starting with her sleepover tonight her new start begins here.

Regardless of the findings tomorrow this sweet girl will need a foster home URGENTLY. If you would like to give Nancy somewhere to go to recover or to see out her days then please email for an application form.

I'd like to thank everyone who has donated towards her vets fee's too. We do not know how much her total bill will be until we know the extent of her illness, but £90 has been raised already.

You can donate by sending a cheque (made payable to SHAK) to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1HB or via PayPal to

In the meantime I'll leave you with some of Nancy's memories from tonight.....

Nancy and her new pal Star......

Nancy and her new pal on her nose..... McFly!

An old man with a very pretty girl!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Throw It Away.....

Continuing on with the new range of merchandise that really does hit home as to what SHAK is as a charity..... 'Throw It Away' takes inspiration from so many of our dogs that have been discarded like rubbish and written off by people when they need them the most.

Displayed through the faces of Gema and Haden, hopefully this design will make you think about what these dogs go through before finding us.....

Buy yours at:

Thursday, 4 August 2016


We're delighted to announce our partnership with the Animal Welfare Team means we have another FREE MICROCHIPPING event at SHAK HQ next Thursday 11th August 12.30 - 3pm.

Everybody is welcome, and the day is also another great opportunity to drop off any donations you may have and also to learn more about the work we do.

Remember you're dog HAS to be microchipped now..... it's the law.

SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, NE66 1HB. (Down near the castle and next door to George Skipper's Photography shop. 

Nancy Arrives In A Sorry State.....

Just taking a break from a very busy SHAK Boutique to tell you about a special little girl that came to us last week, as she epitomises everything that this charity is about.....

Nancy (as we've called her) arrived as a stray carrying this extra weight. The position of the growth indicates a mammary tumour, and you can't help but presume that is why she was dumped?

Having now served her seven days, the next step is to take a trip down to the vets (who have already seen these photos and confirmed our suspicions) for chest x rays to see if anything has spread to her lungs. We can then decide where we go from there.....

Nancy is such a happy little dog. She has no idea what lies ahead for her, but then that's whats so amazing about the dogs we get with conditions like this..... their zest for life is truly inspirational.

If you would like to donate towards the cost of Nancy's vets treatment then you can do by PayPal ( or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1HB.

Thank You.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Nearly Time.....

Just hours away from the launch of the first SHAK Boutique.....

There's been a lot of work gone into the setting up of this event,  and there's some fantastic bargains to be had.

Open from 9-5 tomorrow,  Friday and Saturday. Be great to see you there!

SHAK Boutique..... Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

This Week is 'SHAK Boutique' Week...

This Thursday sees the start of another exciting event at SHAK HQ.

'SHAK Boutique' is the brain child of volunteer Jill, and we're extremely grateful for all the hard work that's gone into putting this together:

SHAK Boutique
*4 to 6 August
*From 9am to 5pm each day

*Selling brand new and high quality second hand clothes, shoes, jewellery, toiletries, games, children's toys, hand crafted items, dog      accessories, bric a brac and books.

*Running a coffee shop selling teas, coffees, fruit juice and sweet treats. 

*SHAK official merchandise available. 

*Free entry into a daily Prosecco raffle for every visiting adult.  Sweets for the kids.

*Dog friendly.  Relaxed atmosphere to enjoy a coffee and support a worthy local charity.

I'm planning to be there most of the time so will be great to see/meet you there, and of course it's also a brilliant opportunity for our doors to be open for any donations you maybe wanting to drop in.

SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

New SHAK Stuf!....

I mentioned recently that I was really excited about some new merchandise that I'd been working on. Well, today I can share them with you thanks to our friends at Teemill. So now you can have your own SHAK Tee's, Hoodies, Shopping Bags and even Tea Towels!

Working with Teemill is fantastic for us as it means now the designs are done we have very little to do. You have a look on the SHAK Teemill web shop, order what you want and they handle everything for us...... AND THIS WEEKEND ONLY they are also offering our customers FREE DELIVERY on all orders!

So its a great opportunity to get your hands on the latest SHAK stuff without paying postage. All you need to do is follow the link:


Friday, 29 July 2016

Don't Forget Tomorrow.....

Your chance to find our more about how you could become part of the team.....

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Reasons For Silence.....

Thank you to everyone who has messaged me in some form asking if everything is ok with things being so quiet on here lately.....

The simple answer is that things are just so crazy I haven't had the chance to do a lot of things I'd like too, but that's because the dogs come first.

Truth be known it is very tough at the moment, we need money, we need food, we have a constant stream of dogs needing to be with us. On top of the all of that, the summer and holidays bring their own problems with us having to run constantly short handed, that is why the 'Opportunities to Join Our Team' morning on Saturday the 30th July is so important. We need more of the special people we already have to come forward...... in every area of our work.

I've been working very hard to keep us a float, other people have done their bit on other fronts (and I am extremely grateful to them for it) but the term 'spinning plates' really does fit right now, and that's why things on here have been quiet.

One project that I've been working on all hours is SHAK HQ. As you can see from the SHAK HQ page on this site there's some really exciting dates booked, with more to come hopefully, and there are plans in place to expand how we use the valuable premises we have so keep checking on there for new dates.

I am also working on some exciting new merchandise which I hope to announce soon, some of which are based around our new tag line of  'Not Dead Yet' a preview of which is seen below.....

So in one way its exciting times, but in so many others its very worrying. Those plates won't spin forever..... We really need your help more than ever now.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Opportunities To Join Our Team.....

Having recruited some great new team members since the launch of HQ, the summer holidays means its time to open the door again and hold one of our "Your Chance To Join The Team" sessions. However, this one of Saturday the 30th of July is different, as not only is it an opportunity to come and learn more about being a volunteer at the kennels or on the fundraising team, but it is also an opportunity to learn more about becoming a temporary foster carer.

All the opportunities are exciting in their own way, and also very important parts of keeping SHAK going.....

If you are interested in learning more about any of these positions then why not pop down to SHAK HQ, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, NE66 1HB on Saturday the 30th of July at 10am.

(Please note that these sessions hold no obligation on either side and are designed to give you an insight into the work we do.)


Venturing Onto Ebay.....


As the pressure continues to grow as the sheer volume of dogs needing our help shows no sign of letting up, we are trying new ways to try and raise the funds we need to keep our work going and save lives. One way I have been experimenting with over the past few weeks has been ebay.....

Results have been a bit mixed, but we have made money. I guess it all depends on finding something others want to buy. So as I look to step it up a little I am appealing for you to help by donating things for us to sell. All items must be in good/new and working condition, easy to package and post and not easily broken (when in transit.) This could be designer clothes, jewelery etc.

So if you do have anything that you think could make us money then please email pictures and details to and I can see if we can turn your unwanted items into to sanctuary for our dogs.

Thank you.

(Please note that we cannot accept things we cannot sell, so please don't be offended if your item isn't accepted. The idea behind this project is to try and make money with as little hassle and with using as little time as possible.)