Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Walk To The Village.....

It was a sensational feeling walking Kye on a normal lead I to the village today. He took everything in his stride, and took it all in. Anyone not familiar with Kye check out the video "Kye's Story" a few posts below.....



Always In Our Hearts.....

Thought I'd share this lovely poem with some photo's of the wonderful Meg. Both sent to me by Lesley, and whilst the words are such a beautiful and fitting tribute, the photo's show just what an amazing little dog Meg was.....







Through To The Final, But REALLY Need Your Support Now.....

Thanks to your fantastic support we have qualified to the last 20 of the Ocean Finance Win The Tin Competition.....

We are up against some very tough competition, so if we want to win the £5,000 we really need the support of you and all your family and friends.

All you have to do is follow the link below and click on the VOTE tab next to us. Tell everyone and ask them to vote..... Help us CHANGE LIVES.

http://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/win-the-tin/

Don't Forget This Friday.....


Monday, 17 November 2014

Wanna Help Us Win £5,000.....

If you want to help SHAK win £5,000 then please nominate us in the competition below.....

http://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/win-the-tin/

Thank you in advance for your support!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

As Promised On SHAK TV..... Kye's Story.....

As promised from the little teaser a couple of weeks ago, here's Kye's Story.....

I guess if anything this video really does show the work we do from start to finish, and also what can be achieved.

You can see more of our videos on SHAK TV.....SHAK IN MOTION:

http://shakinmotion.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sad Times.....

I'm afraid its a really sad update today, as we all begin to come to terms with two pieces of very sad news.

A sudden illness has taken Denbar from the family that loved him so dearly, and the big guy has left a huge hole in a lot of peoples hearts. There was twice in Denbar's life that I stopped him being destroyed. The first time, he was probably just minutes away..... waiting to be called into the room. For him to go on and witness the love and affection that he did was truly amazing and I think the pictures below show this. Thank you to his family for loving him and to those who got him there.




Then on Friday I got the shocking news that Lesley had had to say goodbye to the original SHAK minx, little Meg.It appears she suffered a serious of horrendous fits or seisures out of the blue, and the last one in particulair was quite horrific. She never came around.

Meg was a real spirit, a wonderful little dog that was so sharp. Yet she proved everyone wrong, including me, by finding true love and a home in the outside world with Lesley.

I remember very clearly the day I collected her from Birmingham, the only way I could have her was if I drove there myself to get her. She wasn't trusted to be moved from car to car. She of course found love with Otto 2 and then on to her big brothers and sisters at Lesley's house......

"This is what surprises me most – that this difficult little madam has wormed her way into my heart without me really noticing. She as never meant to be my dog, but she was such a massive presence – so much character in such a little dog that, without her today, the house feels like it`s lost its heartbeat. Not many people were lucky enough to see the great side of her – clever, funny, feisty and with such a huge capacity for pure joy. She was irresistible and I feel so incredibly privileged to
have had her share my home and life for the last year. She shone more brightly with every month that went by and we had so much fun together.  The little dog that nobody wanted is going to be hugely missed – I don`t expect to meet such a wonderful spirit again.

Run free my little Meggles – you were truly loved in the end"






And just to cap it off, it all comes at a time when another dog we've lost was strongly in our thoughts. Saturday was two years to the day since we lost Miko. A dog whose turnaround I class as my own personal greatest achievement, and also the biggest turnaround in the charities history.

Remembering the stories of the likes of Denbar and Meg bring it all back, how much suffering and how so close these dogs came to losing their lives. Miko was a big inspiration in being able to give these dogs a chance.....

Here's what I wrote when he died:

The picture that introduced me to Miko.
Miko became unwell this morning, and at 6am I rushed him to the vets with a suspected stomach torsion. Surgery showed that as well twisting, the stomach had severely ruptured, to the point that it was unrepairable. I had to say goodbye to a dog that had become my best friend over the last couple of months.

Stomach torsions happen in "barrel chested" dogs, there have been several studies but none have come up with a definitive reason for why they happen. It's just life I suppose, but it's a horrible thing and as soon as I saw Miko I knew it was serious.

Miko's last weeks on this earth have been a pleasure for me, him and my other dogs. The turnaround in him from when he arrived 3 and a half years ago is nothing short of amazing, and will give me strength to keep going and give these dogs a chance.

People have already started to tell me "at least he was with you in a home at the end, he was lucky to have you" but I see it a totally different way. I was lucky to get to see the real Miko. The Miko that adored my daughter, the Miko that loved to play with the other dogs despite his poor frame, and the Miko that loved to gaze into the fire on a night time.

Miko was incredible and I am going to miss him so much. Maybes a bit like Dudley the bond we shared was close and instant, and the hole he has left behind in my life just as big.




Monday, 3 November 2014

A Bit Of A Teaser.....

Sorry if this is a bit if a teaser, but this photograph will probably only make sense to the people who come to the kennels or were involved in Kye's rescue. Don't worry I am working on a film of his story for SHAK TV, but in the meantime just note, no muzzle or rigid lead.....

Making Friends.....

There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes as usual, and I thought I'd show you the good side of the work we do. At SHAK we believe strongly that dogs are sociable animals, and pairing them up is a big part of our day.

Here's Charlie and Lucy.....


And here is our other Charlie (yes we have 2!) and Bella enjoying their fun in the sun. The likeness of Lucy and Bella is uncanny, but both came from different areas.....


I am delighted to say we are currently working on a new Forever Foster home for Charlie (2, the Labrador) but we would love to see the other three with homes of their own. If you'd like to know more then please contact foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

Trick Or Treat?....

I just have to share with you this picture of Woody and Luna all set for Halloween.....


Seven Years On.....

Saturday marked the seventh anniversary of a me losing a little dog that I really loved and tried my hardest to save. Portia died from cancer, yet was such a happy little soul. She used to come and stay at home with me, and I guess so many have benefited from that now over the years.

I wouldn't swap the time I had with her, she taught me that life is cruel and sometimes your best just isn't enough. How she ended up needing me I'll never know, but I think about her even now.

Bathtime For Fagan.....

Speaking of Sheena and Roger, despite such bad news they still opened their front door to give Fagan a day out and a medicated bath. As you can see, I think he really enjoyed it!



We really would like to see this old boy settled with a bathroom to call his own! If you'd like to find out more on how you could provide this for him then please contact foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

Some Bad News But Happy Times For Penny.....

We've had some bad news regarding a dog that has won the hearts of so many. Penny has developed a cough at times, and given her past medical history (you'll remember the huge mammary tumour) we decided we couldn't take any risks. A CT scan confirmed our worst fears, and it would appear that Penny now has secondary tumours in her lungs. At her age and condition it really doesn't seem fair to put her through anymore, shes been through enough major surgery already, and from experience when their are secondary tumours in such abundance there isn't much that can be done anyway.

So we've all made the decision to just let Penny enjoy the time she has left. Her foster Mam and Dad clearly adore her, and as you can see from this photograph yesterday, shes come a long way from the little dog that was so frantic in a house.....


What You Looking At.....

I love the look of concentration on Floyd's face here..... Apparently there is a Custard Cream just out of sight!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Star Makes A Man Of Oscar.....

Carrying on from his trip to the beach, today was the next step in putting Oscar through his paces! Muzzled at first he got to go out on a play date with my very special girl Star. As you can see things went well, and all though a football still proved to be more interesting to him, Oscar proved that he can be around other dogs and have fun.

What I still find amazing is the fact Star has turned into such a fantastic stooge dog. This is a dog that was booked into a vets to be destroyed because of her aggression issues, of which dog aggression was such a big part. Now she helps so many of our other dogs on a daily basis, I'm so proud of her and how she's turn her life around. A true star indeed. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Two Days Out.....

Was great to see a couple of the SHAK boys enjoying days out this week, As Bandit and Oscar ventured inland and to the coast respectively.

Little Bandit enjoyed the day at Linhope Spout with Rachel, and also a sausage sandwich at our friends "Muddy Boots Cafe." He is such a nice little guy who adores Rachel, and its wonderful to see him enjoying himself like this. Thanks Rachel.




Then on Monday, whilst taking another dog to the vets, I took Oscar along for the ride. He was impeccable in the van, so it seemed only fair that he was aloud to drag me into the sea as a reward much to the delight of my mam who had joined us!



Taking a break from fund raising to spend time with the dogs, Joan and Oscar.
Of course of these handsome boys are looking for their Forever Foster homes to call their own. They need experienced and understanding people to give them more days out like these. If you're interested in providing a Forever Foster home then please check out the Forever Foster page on this website and contact foreverfoster@shak.org.uk

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!