Change Lives

Change Lives

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Always In My Heart.....

Yesterday was a date that will always be with me, as it marked not only the first anniversary of losing my big pal Smokey, but also the third year without Scooby..... The dog that changed this charity and my life forever.

I don't think I can say anything else to what I said last year,other than that their memories are always in my head, but what they taught me will always run through my heart.

This time last year.....


October the 18th is a day etched into my head already, as two years ago I lost Scooby, the dog that changed SHAK forever. Today that imprint in my head got deeper as my worst fears were confirmed and I had to do the right thing and let Smokey go.

After the beach on Tuesday I took Smokey to the vets as he had a large lump on his back leg that had got dramatically bigger. I knew it wasn't good, and the look on Emily's face said it all. An appointment was made for X Rays today, and thus began the horrific countdown of doing everything with the dog that had become my side kick for the last time.

Today's results were worse case scenario. A massive bone tumour was feeding off Smokey's body and there were signs of possible secondary tumours appearing other places. I had to put my personal needs to one side and do what was best for him.

Smokey had been with us for the best part of four years, the last month I have gotten to know him better than I thought I already did. He was tough, stubborn but oh so brave. If I had half the spirit he had, then maybe I wouldn't feel so broken inside right now.

Today SHAK lost a legend, like so many before him, Smokey summed up everything this charity stands for and fights against. Personally I have lost a dog that became so close to me, not having him hurts, but more importantly I've lost a dog that I am honoured to of let me get so close. We all loved him, and my family loved having him with us, I'd like to think that Smokey felt we were lucky to have him!



Smokey saying goodbye to his friends at the kennels yesterday with a game of football.

Relaxing last night around the fire outside.


Sweet Dreams big man.....

Our goodbye this morning.  Fighting back tears and wanting time to stand still.


Losing the big man was even more ironic as it came on the second anniversary of losing the dog that made taking in dogs like Smokey possible. A lot has been said about Scooby, and I think his nickname of Lord Scooby says it all, but if he hadn't of come into my life snarling and biting me in the process, Smokey, Miko and all the others would never of made it to SHAK and ultimately home with me. I still think about you Scooby, and miss you being here. Thank you x



His Lordship who I owe so much.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Wonder That Is Hugo.....

I think everyone who has met Hugo will understand how amazing this photograph is. There's one thing missing.....his muzzle. Hugo isn't aggressive, he simply has an unhealthy obsession with biting the lead that makes handling a 45kg dog very difficult. 

Unfortunately Hugo has been in the wars lately and needed a Cruciate Ligament operation, however in a funny kind of way that has been a big benefit to him as he has had to get used to going to the vets and in and out of my van on quite a regular basis. This in turn has lead to me doing a lot of work re the lead and that muzzle!

Last week after a check up, Hugo came and spent the night with us. It was so great to see him relaxed, and from the moment he left the kennels to go to the vets, to the moment I put him back the following day, the muzzle was never out of my pocket, even during the vet examination.

I love this huge guy, and one day would love to see him settled in a home, but in the meantime he has proved that he can do it, so we have to keep giving him a helping hand.



Bandit Needs Your Help.....

Another dog who had a stay over at our house for a little while after a vets trip was Bandit. I think it's fair to say that Bandit has found life in rescue difficult. He was very fearful, confused and insecure which meant we didn't get to see the best of him when he arrived.

Soon afterwards (and on another Saturday) Bandit started passing blood in his urine. I rushed him straight to the vets, and I'm delighted to say that antibiotics once again worked their magic. However, we decided he could stay with us for a while to try and help him settle and I think it goes without saying that he won us over.




Back in kennels Bandit has improved, but I can't help feeling he deserves a home to call his own. He is such a worrier, and would need a very understanding and experienced home, but if you think you may be able to offer him what he so desperately needs then please get in touch.....
foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

Missie's Story.....

What seems like a long time ago in the summer, we received a dog that weighed less than any other we've ever had in. At just 12kg, Missie was 0.2kg lighter than Hope was on arrival, and I'm sure you can all remember the horror photos of her, well this is how Missie looked when she arrived:







The difference between the two was that Missie was very young. She didn't appear as frail as Hope, but her strength was very soon to run out.

One Saturday a few days after she'd arrived, Missie hit rock bottom and I had to rush her to the vets. She wasn't eating and has sickness and diarrhoea. I was extremely worried, and feared the worst, but remarkably with medication to rehydrate her and antibiotics, she made a dramatic recovery. After giving us all such a scare she came home with us to recuperate..... Her life was about to begin.

Taken during a BBQ at our house!
Whilst staying with us, Missie learnt how to play and made great friends with the other dogs. She showed her mischievous side and was often the instigator in all the games. She especially seemed to like pestering the boys, and as her confidence grew so did her weight.

Then one day I got a phone call from a great family that had already provided a great home for Woody (2) having originally found him in woods and after handing him in as a stray soon came back to get him as they couldn't bare the thought of him not having a home.

I knew instantly that this was Missie's chance and that I had to let her go.

The original meeting went brilliantly, so brilliantly in fact that Missie didn't come home with me. She stayed with her new brother. The bond was instant, as if they'd been meant to be, and she settled into home life as if she had always been there.

I think of her quite a lot, for a while she was with me so much, coming to work every day, but seeing photos of these two looking so content and happy make me smile. What a turn around, and what a dog!





Flloyd Goes Home.....

We had a spate of German Shepherds arrive not so long ago, having not seen any for a very long time. Kash (now Speiler) of course has gone on to a home and is doing exceptionally well. I'm delighted to say that Flloyd too has now found his home, along with another SHAK dog Sheeba and a Jack Russell.

Flloyd was very much a German Shepherd at its worst in kennels, stressed and anxious, yet he has adapted into home life so well. I always had a soft spot for him, and an intensive course of socialisation and stimulation  made such a difference, I'm just relieved that people could see beyond the stress and give him the opportunity to be like this..... Thank you Flloyds new Mam and Dad.







Our Gorgeous Girl Sheeba.

TJ Looking Good.....

It was great to see TJ looking so well and happy an email recently, and I'm delighted that he has found exactly what he was looking for.....

"It's been a year now since my dad drove off with tj in the back of his mini so thought you would like a few pics to see how he is getting on! It's not all been plain sailing with him, but one thing for sure is they are besotted  with each other.  He is definitely a head turner, don't think my dad has ever had so many people stop and talk to him before. He has also put on some weight and looks even more handsome with it! He has just been for a check up at the vets and they are pleased with him too."


TJ with our very own Holly.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Finally, Just A Thought.....


See more SHAK "Pup Art" at our "Finall, Just A Thought Page."

Three Amazing Girls.....

Flossie, Hope and Penny.
I love this photo of Sheena and Roger's three SHAK Foster dogs..... Flossie, Hope and Penny. All three had/have serious issues going on in their lives but all are loved and give so much love back.

I don't have any photographs of Flossie on her arrival, she was too busy trying to bite me! But below is a little reminder of how Hope and Penny came to us.....





Just shows what amazing animals these girls are that they were able to trust again, but also what amazing people Sheena and Roger are. Thank you so much.

If you would like to help dogs like Flossie, Hope and Penny, and believe you have the special qualities needed to offer a home to a dog that has been so badly abused I'd love to hear from you..... email foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

Although Christmas Is Coming.....

Despite posting beach photographs, it is actually getting nearer that time.....






You can order your SHAK Christmas Cards from our on line store.....

The SHAK Shop.....

And please don't forget to order your 2015 SHAK Calendar which is selling at record rates.....





Please remember, that thanks to the wonderful sponsors EVERY PENNY made from the sale of these calendars goes straight to the dogs!

Have the faces of some of the dogs you have helped us save brighten up your day, every day.

To get yours, please follow the link to the SHAK Shop.....


Life's A Beach.....

It's been great to see so many of our dogs enjoy the late summer sun with trips to the seaside. As part of our work with Oliver, Geoff and myself had a great afternoon at the seaside with him, but unfortunately we didn't get any photos. However.....

Here's Misty and Rio enjoying a walk along the water side.....




And Benson also enjoyed a great day out with his favourite person.....

"Benson is an older Rottie who knows what he wants and knows who he likes. It has taken a while but over the last year or so Benson has decided that he quite likes me and the feeling is mutual. As today was such a beautiful day I thought I would take a SHAK dog out to the beach and Benson sprang to mind.

Benson isnt known as being the easiest of dogs to get in a car. Steve was happy for me to try but we didnt think for a second that Benson would get in the car voluntarily and even if he did would he sit or lie quietly. He climbed in the back seat and immediately seemed quite settled so off we went. Benson and I had a lovely time at Boulmer beach for an hour or so. He enjoyed the rock pools and having a paddle. It was wonderful to see him just sniffing the air and looking out to sea. We found a bench to sit and just watch what was going on - he just loved every second. I wondered if he would go back in the car OK - he did with no bother. He was so well behaved - didn't put a paw wrong and even had someone say what a lovely dog - admittedly from a distance".
Thank you Benson.





And big Flloyd also enjoyed getting a nose full of the sea air.....


And of course no trips to the seaside could be completed with out one of the darlings of the kennels..... Little Anja.


Thank you to Serena, Sheena and Rich for making such a difference to the day to day living of these dogs. I really appreciate it so much, but no where near as much as they do.