Change Lives

Change Lives

Friday, 24 April 2015

Max And Jess Blow Our Minds.....

I posted recently about Max, well today he passed all my expectations big style.  Any one who has met Max will know just how amazing seeing him OFF LEAD and UNMUZZLED with another dog is.

Max's problems stem from fear of other dogs, and of course fear aggression is the worst form.   Yet for some reason he feels totally comfortable with Jess (whom I'm extremely grateful too!) And today for the first time since we've had him, and maybe for the first time in his life, Max played with another dog. Truly was an amazing sight.

Likewise I have to say what an incredible dog Jess is. So calm and so balanced. We have a rescue place already secured for her,   we'll miss her (especially Max) but she's already done so much for us whilst she's been here. 

Busy Time For Moby.....

It's been a busy few days for Moby, the stunning Lurcher we got as a stray. Booked in to be neutered today, he's spent a few days with Aunty Sheena and Uncle Roger waiting for the big day. Method to our madness, it was also an opportunity to house and cat test him and I'm delighted to day he passed both tests with flying colours.

Moby has an unusual lump/bag on his throat.  The vets think it may be something to do with a saliva gland, but just to be sure they've sent away a biopsy to check for sure.

I think the overall concensus of this boy, is wow what a boy! And that really is the case. A house friendly, cat friendly Lurcher what more could you want?

If you'd like to be considered in offering Moby a Forever Foster home please email foreverfoster@shak.org.uk for an initial enquiry form.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bobby, Bree, Abbie, Buddy.....

Another four very lucky SHAK dogs are Bobby, Bree, Abbie and Buddy. I think these pictures speak volumes and show just how loved they are with Melissa and David.....

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

And Another Two Special Souls.....

Whilst on the walk with Rohan tonight I also managed to get this picture of Willow and Haden. Such a lovely shot of two dogs with a tortured past..... Willow constantly bred from and almost bald with fleas, Haden dumped with just three legs and epilepsy.

All three are loved now and massive parts of our family.

Willow front, Haden rear.

Worrying Times With Rohan.....

It's been another emotional week with big Rohan going through the mill. He's walking has deteriated of late, and although I hate to admit it his back legs have been a bit shaky.

A trip to the vets last week highlighted our concern and it was decided that a CT scan was probably the best way forward to try and find out exactly what was going on.

The brilliant team at Moorview carried out the scan yesterday, and whilst it's not great news it could of been worse. There doesn't appear to be any tumours on hus spinal cord, which is good,  but there does seem to be several areas of compression up and down his spine. Further investigation points at potentially a degenerative condition causing his problems, something like the dreaded CDRM.

I can't say I'm surprised having been through this several times with the likes of Roman and Dudley,  but I am pleased there's no sinister growths.  Rohan has lived with me and my family for a couple of years now. He came to is in horrendous condition after being left tied to a tree. However it feels likes it's now that he really needs us.....

Fun In The Sun.....

We have a real special little group blossoming with Kai,  Maisie and now Daisy and Moby. All of them are wonderful characters, and the socialisation is great for them all. Especially Daisy.

Moby is having a sleep over at Sheena's for a couple of days, something I'm sure he'll enjoy, but these three still had great fun in the sun without him!

Kai
Maisie
Daisy
Maisie
Kai and Daisy

Oscar Branches Out.....

I love these pics of Oscar that David sent me today.....

The determination Oscar shows with anything, is second to none..... stones, toys, tree branches!

I'm Going To get You
I Will, I Promise
Got You!

Monday, 20 April 2015

And Max Is Making Huge Strides.....

Another boy I've been doing a lot of work with and one I'm very proud of is Max. Another that was written off for being dog aggressive, I've stepped it up with him over the last week or so, and I'm delighted to say it looks like he may of found his first ever doggy friend in Jess.

Max (the Rottweiler) is getting more comfortable around Jess every day, and I'd even go as far today as to say he actually really enjoyed being out with her.

Chico Goes To A Whole New Level.....

I really can't believe little Chico. Every time I think he's gone as far as we'll get him he goes out and surprises me even further.  After some work at the weekend with me, Rachel and Rich it was time for him to show Melissa and David what he'd learnt..... he can now go for a walk with two dogs (Freya and Nelson) including a male, wearing no muzzle and on an ordinary slip lead!

Baring in mind he was due to be destroyed 3 weeks ago for being dog aggressive I think the smiles on Mels and David's face said it all. In fact,  I'm not sure who had the biggest smile..... the humans or the dogs.

The Official Launch..... Now Sign Up.....

(Haden in my arms, middle far right.)
It was a great pleasure for myself, Joan and Haden to be invited to the launch of the 25th Anniversary of the Great North Dog Walk last week. We met the Mayor of South Shields, had tea in the Town Hall, and talked to some representatives of the other great charities that have been chosen as this years beneficiaries.

It's such a special year for the walk, as its the 25th Anniversary, and we're very proud to be involved.

The launch was covered by the South Shields Gazette:

GREAT North Dog Walk boss Tony Carlisle is aiming to set tails wagging in a milestone year for the charity extravaganza.

The annual attraction is celebrating its 25th anniversary in June, and Mr Carlisle is aiming for a record-breaking 25,000 four-legged friends to join in the party.

The countdown to the silver anniversary dog walk got under way at South Shields Town Hall yesterday.

South Tyneside Mayor Coun Fay Cunningham joined a host of sponsors to give the civic seal of approval at the launch day for the walk, which takes place on Sunday, June 7, on The Leas in South Shields.

The silver success will be a part of a memorable summer for dad-of-four Tony as he is set to tie the knot with long-term partner Nicola Greenan in August.

In honour of the 25th anniversary of the event, which has raised millions of pounds for good causes, 25 charities will be supported on the day.

As well as a host of animal charities, funds will be raised for good causes such as St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow and the Northumbria Blood Bikes team.

Mr Carlisle said: “We want as many people as possible to sign up for this great day out that brings together dog lovers from all over the North East.

“What better way of walking the dog on a Sunday than to be among so many other dogs and their owners, and to raise money for charity as well?

“The best present to mark our 25th anniversary would be to beat our record attendance from last year and get 25,000 people doing the Great North Dog Walk.

“Last year, we had 24,542 dogs, and I am confident that we can beat that this year and get more than 25,000.”

The former Harton Technology College teacher is delighted to mark 25 years after starting with just 13 dogs for company back in 1990.

Mr Carlisle added: “It’s something I never thought we would achieve.

“I am glad Coun Cunningham is here as South Tyneside Mayor, as she has been supporting the walk from the very start.”

Coun Cunningham said: “I am just so delighted to be here to support Tony in the 25th year of the dog walk.

“It is an absolutely wonderful event and is one of the biggest events of the year in South Tyneside, up there with the Great North Run.”



Of course being invited to be part of this fantastic event is just the start..... WE NOW NEED YOUR HELP!

Please sign up for the event and do the walk for SHAK. Its a great day out, and of course every penny you raise through sponsorship helps us save even more "Dogs On Death Row."

To receive your sponsorship form and your entry number please email fundraising@shak.org.uk or send a large SAE envelope to SHAK c/o 17 Kirklands, Burradon NE23 7LE (Please note that this is a postal address only and has no connection to the kennels or dogs.)

We are so proud to be invited to this event, and really want to help Tony reach his target of 25,000 dogs. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A Shining Star.....

I know that there's a lot of photos of Star on here,  but this beautiful dog never ceases  to amaze me. I got this photo of her after a long shift at the kennels on Friday, where again she'd helped other dogs. Such a far cry from when she herself arrived.....
Star was booked in at a vets for destruction. Other resc
ues had refused her because of her behavioural issues.  We really were her last hope.  She had a chronic ear infection which must of been so painful..... apart from getting a lead on her it took me two months before I could even touch her!

Now she is my shadow and has helped so many others. All the patience has paid of, and now we have such a connection. I'm so proud to be with her, and so pleased I picked up that phone call.

Run Free Big Morgan.....

I had some very sad news on Wednesday as I found out that one of our big old boys Morgan (who we rehomed 6 years ago) had passed away after losing his battle with bone cancer.  I'll always remember Morgan,  he was so frightened when he arrived, but I know just how happy he was in the 6 years that he was with his family. All that being said, I think it best if they tell his story.....



"He was out playing in garden two weeks ago came indoors limping we got him into Robson Prescot Vets  that afternoon they gave some anti inflammatory pain killers thinking he may have been over playful and twisted his wrist. after no improvement over 3 days took him back they gave a stronger medicine pain relief yet still no improvement at end course.

 Morgan being so laid back he never cried or whimpered just kept showing us his sore paw we took him back this morning for to have xray under sedation which revealed a large aggressive bone tumour we took the heart wrenching decision to ease his discomfort.

We can only say he's been a great family pet no trouble at all allways giving cuddles right till his last moment in my arms

REST IN PEACE RUN FREE OUR BIG BOY XXXXXXXX"





Four Years On Since We Lost Keiser.....

Its incredible how time flies, and I can't believe its now 4 years since we lost big Keiser. Another big German Shepherd with an even larger reputation, Keiser had a big influence in the lives of everyone he met. I will never forget him.....



Yesterday was another one of those sad days when it was time to say goodbye to one of the old SHAK "Forever Foster" boys. Keiser arrived with us with a huge reputation as nasty, but despite a more challenging character at times, deep down he was a sweetheart. Keiser found his foster home by lying down in the house where we used to rent kennels and simply refused to leave. That was Keiser, and for all his faults he really was a strong and brave boy. In the time we had him, he beat testicular cancer, a bowel problem and even had a toe removed. However, age and illness catches up with us all in the end, and Keiser seemed to deteriorate severely over the last 2 months or so.

He leaves behind a Mam and Dad who loved him, and a whole load of memories. Thanks for those big man, it was an absolute pleasure to have you as a SHAK dog. Run free now, no more pain. x

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Good To See Tess.....

It's always nice to see old friends and familiar faces, so it really cheered me up to get some photos of Tess.  She's looking great, even if the grey is starting to show (but that happens to all of us!)

Thanks Lynsey for sending me those.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Losing My Nemesis.....

A really sad time today as we had to say goodbye to a dog that was such a big part of this charity and our day to day life. Despite being full of life and playing with his boomer ball yesterday, cancer won it's fight against the very brave Lewis this morning.

Lewis was an enigma, a one off and also my nemesis.  The only dog whose trust I never completely gained, but then his past was so bad that he didn't trust anyone. We worked around that though, and whilst my body carries some scars as a reminder of his fear, I'd like to think that by the end we had a mutual respect.

This morning was very difficult, days like today are never easy, and with Lewis's history it made it even more so. But I have to say my team where incredible despite their hearts being visibly ripped in two. Nobody panicked, nobody lost the plot, everybody stayed focused on what we needed to do for the best for Lewis.  For that both me and him will be eternally grateful.

Lewis as I have said left permanent reminders on my body that now serve like tattoos regarding someone that was close and lost. That's how I like to think of them anyway. In reality they are marks from a dog that was so badly damaged by humans he shut himself off to everyone apart from his cuddly toys and his boomer ball. He warmed to us over the years, and I'd like to think that he trusted us even if just a little by the end. One thing is we didn't give up on him and take the easy option..... that is something I am very proud of.

I remember the first time that I suffered at the hands of his fear, as I drove myself to casualty a Biffy Clyro song came on  the cd. The words were perfect for that moment..... perfect for what had just happened and how our relationship now was.....

"You say "I love you, boy"
I know you lie
I trust you all the same
I don't know why

'Cause when my back is turned
My bruises shine
Our broken fairytale
So hard to hide

I still believe it's you and me 'til the end of time

When we collide we come together
If we don't we'll always be apart
I'll take a bruise; I know you're worth it
When you hit me hit me hard."

All the bruises were certainly worth it, and I guess today was the end of time. And we were together.

I will miss you Lewis.  We will all miss you. I hope now you know how much we loved you.



Friday, 10 April 2015

Chico Proves It Wasn't A Fluke.....

And just to prove yesterday wasn't a fluke, here's Chico with Star..... no muzzle. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Barney's Easter Gift.....

And finally tonight here's big Barney looking even more handsome than ever in his new collar donated by some very special people.....

Chico Does The Full Circle.....

So after all the hard work of the last eight days, these were the pictures we were desperate to see. Little Chico (as we've called him and with the patch on just one side of his face) off lead with another dog, but this time without the muzzle.

It was amazing to see and Abbie was brilliant,  whilst the little guy deserves all the plaudits for being so receptive to his new circumstances.

As I've said last Monday he was due to be destroyed for being dog aggressive. Thanks to Star and Abbie, not only does he have a chance, but friends.....

I'm so proud of the work we've all done with Chico. Shows again just what can be achieved and why we are here.