Change Lives

Change Lives

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year To You.....

I spent the last afternoon of 2011 at the Seaside with a dog that has made such a huge impression in such a short time. Your all aware of Dudley's story, but its amazing the interest this handsome boy gets wherever he goes. He made a lot of new friends this afternoon both canine and human, and as the year grows to a close I feel honoured that I've shared some of it with him.

To all our friends, helpers and supporters, thank you and Happy New Year.

From Shabby's Mam & Dad.....

Mr Wylie, I have a complaint!

When we agreed to "forever foster" Shabby we were lead to believe we were taking on a skinny little old lady lurcher. Following treatment for a nasty case of mange it now seems we have a tubby little lurcher puppy! I thought having brought up a Labrador I knew all about doggy excitement but this little girl takes the biscuit:-)

From a scabby looking underweight elderly looking dog who would no doubt have been put to sleep had she not been lucky enough to be picked up by you, we have a thriving young dog who has made our home hers. She may not be the most beautiful dog but she's all ours and we thank you for giving her and so many other dogs a last chance.

Today's Journal.....


A VETERAN charity volunteer has pledged to continue his vital fundraising work in 2012 ... despite problems caused by moving his makeshift cafe to a new location.

Dedicated Derek Hepple, 70, says takings have dipped and he is faced with increased logistical problems since switching his homemade catering operation from the driveway of his home to a public car park across the road, on the Northumberland coastline.

The former police officer raised more than £10,000 for dog rescue charity SHAK by selling hot drinks and scones every Sunday from two caravans parked on the driveway of his home in Marine Drive, Seaton Sluice.

But a year ago he was cut back to just two Sundays a month by council bosses following complaints from his next-door neighbour about the scale of his fundraising activities.

The decision – which only gave him temporary permission for another 12 months – resulted in less money for SHAK and worries that he could be stopped altogether.

Later a new compromise was reached under which Derek was allowed to resume running the cafe every Sunday and Bank Holiday, but had to move it to the nearby car park.

The new arrangement has now been running for 10 weeks and he admits that business has been slow – with weekly takings of between £110 and £140 compared with the £250 he was making for the charity from his driveway.

Yesterday Derek said: “I used to have the two caravans on my drive, which passers-by couldn’t miss, but now I only have one caravan in the car park, and I’m behind a bit of a hill.

“It was horrendously quiet when I first moved over, but that is also to do with the time of year.

“Every Sunday I have to tow the caravan across to the car park, open the barrier and physically wheel two portable generators over and power them up. It is a lot more work and hassle than it used to be. I have had lots of people say they thought I had given up, but I’m still here every Sunday from 7.30am until it gets dark.”

Derek raises funds for Bedlington-based SHAK – Safe Homes and Kindness – which rescues abandoned, mistreated and sick dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep.

He said: “They currently have about 70 dogs to look after so income and funding is needed more than ever.”

Anyone who wants to support SHAK should visit, SHAK


Thursday, 29 December 2011

I'm Not Getting Out.....

This is the face we get when its time to get out. He hates it, and desperately clings onto the toy. Thanks to Trevor at 4Paws Hydro Therapy for doing so much for him.

A Trip Swimming With Dudley.....

Thought you might like to see Dudley putting his health problems behind him and enjoying a swim this afternoon. He loves the water so much, seeing him move so easily without the weight of his body on his limbs brings tears to my eyes.

Christmas Update.....

Christmas has come and gone for another year, and the support we have received has been amazing. Treats, toys and a whole load of food started to arrive a few days before Christmas and is still arriving now. Thanks to everyone who has donated, and also to the people who took the time to arrange the collections. We got a huge amount from both Pets At Home in Cramlington and Hillheads Dog Training Club, Whitley Bay Pet Supplies and the girls from Seaton Lodge Stables. We appreciate every bag or tin, and the support you give by donating to us, so thank you.

I'd also like to my team for giving up they're Christmas to give our dogs a wonderful one. This year I was even forced to take Christmas day off to spend time with my little girl, and the team came up trumps to cover. We do a difficult job, and in the cold bleak winter it becomes even harder. The dedication that's been shown over Christmas has been magnificent, right from the kennel hands to the fundraisers, so on behalf of me and the dogs, thank you all so much.

Speaking of the kennels, work has continued despite the holidays. I'm delighted to say that Suki has continued her recuperation after her cruciate ligament operation, and this week is moving into a full time Forever Foster home to continue her progress.

Dudley appears to be walking better again, but obviously it's taking it day by day. He is such a strong dog, a real fighter and he adored what may of been his first family Christmas, he also saved people buying me slippers as he never moved from on my feet all day.

Friendships and romances are still blossoming at the kennels, and big Hugo is the latest to show an interest in the girlies.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Boxing Day.....

Just a quick reminder that Derek is open at Seaton Sluice on Boxing Day for coffees and hot drinks. Open from 7.30 at Fountainhead Car Park, till it gets dark, so why not walk the Christmas Dinner off on the beach and then grab a brew.

Merry Christmas

SHAK Christmas Raffle.....

Heres the results of the SHAK Christmas raffle. Thanks to everyone who bought and sold tickets, to everyone who donated prizes, and to Joan who ran the whole thing! Thanks to all your efforts a whopping £1,000 was raised.


One hours Flying Lesson donated by J Denning of Ceramic Tiling

Ticket no 2024               Winner Les C.o Northern ...Vin Capstaff

Driving Lessons Donated by 1st Auto Skill

Ticket no 1293               Winner John T

Weekend in Log Cabin Donated by Bliss in the Sticks

Ticket no 1010               Winner Gary Hardington

Flight in a Microlight Donated by Ed McCallum.Skyline Loft Conversions

Ticket no 0952              Winner J Coxon

Runners up

Ticket no 0929              Melonie Wood

  "      2096              Catherine Stodart

  "      0247              Sheila Rankin

  "      1775              Sarah Coleman

  "      0547              R Willis

  "      1079              Ian G

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Turn For The Worse.....

After a couple of days being lame on one of his front legs, I took Dudley to the Vets this morning, and I'm afraid it isn't good news. It would appear that the Arthritis and Neurological condition is now starting to effect the font leg with all the sores on, and the out come has just taken a turn for the worse. We have agreed to give him some extra medication and see if there is any improvement, however I know I must begin to face up to the fact that I am going to lose a dog that has taught me so much. Dudley leaves an impression every where he goes. He is so brave and lovable, this world is so cruel at times. I love him so much, but have to do the best thing for him. In the meantime he is getting pampered more than you could ever begin to believe.

Thank You To Chris And Avanta.....

I'd just like to say thank you to Chris Page and Avanta for choosing us as a beneficiary of the company's generosity. Congratulations to Chris for winning his award at the annual awards ceremony, and thanks to Avanta for making part of his price a cash donation to us. Merry Christmas.

Suki Doing Well.....

I saw Suki when I was at the vets this morning, and she is looking good. Here is another update from Kelly:

"Suki is starting to really come in to her character now and getting a bit cheeky :) she is doing very well on her leg and even wanted to play this morning. she definitely enjoys home comforts.

will keep you updated
Kelly x"

Update On Our Slimline Holly (Formerly Coco).....

I'm sure you can all remember Coco (who is now called Holly) the chocolate Labrador who came to us grossly overweight having been booked in to get destroyed. Well here's some photos and and an update from her new Mam and Dad:

"Thought we'd give you a little update on Holly..

She's settling in well, loving all her walks and sniffing out new things.
We've managed to get nearly 7.0kgs off her since we took her home.. i don't
think she's that upset about not getting that extra sandwich any more!!!

Her paws are slowly healing too, think we've even got a few tufts of fur
growing through!

The pics were taken at the weekend at Tynemouth.. she's even managing a
little run now!! we've not mastered fetch with her yet, but we're working
on that one!!"

Monday, 19 December 2011

A New Start For Roxy.....

After spending some time in foster with Uncle Geoff and her pal Harvey I'm delighted to say Roxy has moved onto a full time home of her own.Roxy is a special girl who deserves so much more out of life. Here's some pictures of her at her new Mam and Dads office. Thanks so much to Lesley and Geoff for making this happen.

Suki Update.....

Update on Suki:

"just a quickie to let you know that suki is making herself at home !! i have a bit of a shadow though and she doesnt want to let me out of her sight and even has to sleep next to my side of the bed !!! kelly x"

Friday, 16 December 2011

SHAK Supporters 200 Club Draw.....

Today saw the first ever SHAK Supporters 200 Club draw. We've had a good response to our brand new venture, however as yet we haven't sold all 200 numbers. It was decided to continue with the draw, and the "blanks" go under the guise of SHAK with any winnings remaining with the charity, meaning entrants had the same chance of winning as if all the numbers were sold. Typically the results of this months draw came out as below:

1st Prize = 118 - SHAK
2nd Prize = 12 - SHAK
3rd Prize = 99 - SHAK

Anyone looking to purchase any of the remaining numbers can do so by downloading and posting a form from the "You Can Help" page on this website.

Thanks for your support.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Suki Doing Well.....

I'm pleased to say that Suki is recovering well after her operation today. A phonecall tonight confirmed she was quite comfortable, had ate some tea, and had even put a little weight on that back leg when she'd gone out for a toilet walk. I'm pleased I picked her up, and I'm pleased that she'll get the best treatment as she gets her life back on track. Proud of you Suki.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

More Thank You's And Update From The Kennels.....

Another whirlwind week has seen a lot of progress on all fronts, so forgive me if this update seems like a list. First of all some BIG THANK YOU's to the people who make all of this possible.

Last weekend the SHAK Tombola was once again at Pets At Home in Cramlington. Thanks to Joan, Sheila, Angie and Sonia for giving up their weekend to raise another fantastic amount. Also of course, thanks to Ant and his staff, and the customers of P at H for inviting us. Saturday also saw Elaine team up with Jen and Little Pixie Rabbit Rescue for a stall at Cramlington Craft Fair. Thanks to Elaine and thanks to Jen for arranging what sounds like a really fun day. Sunday of course saw Derek brave the elements once again to help us. I'm sure there are a lot better things he could do with his Sunday, yet he still turns out week in week out to raise funds for us. So thank you so much Derek.

The response to our food appeal recently was fantastic, but we always need more. Thanks to Whitley Bay Pet Supplies for another brilliant donation to help us through Christmas.

I've mentioned in the previous post about the support we have from Manchester, and on behalf of me, the SHAK team and the SHAK dogs, a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Kate and Lend Lease for a fantastic donation. The support Kate has given us over the last six months is nothing short of amazing, but thanks to the generosity of Lend Lease and her hard work we are now £1,500 better off to help keep the dogs warm through the winter.

Up at the kennels there has been some great work too. A new romance is blossoming with Honey and Riley becoming a nice couple, and they really do have some fun playing catchy kissy. Things are hectic right now, but I will try and get some photos of them playing soon.

Speaking of fun, its now official. Dudley has a better social life than me. On top of his swimming twice a week (he now refuses to get out of the pool, he loves it that much) today he went for a massage. Thanks to Trevor at 4 Paws Hydro therapy, Duds is improving and using his back legs more, and although we can't cure his condition he is definitely enjoying life. No bigger example than today when he actually fell asleep during his massage. Thanks Rachel for taking time to help him, the snores proved just how much he enjoyed it.

The pretty girl in the picture above is Suki, a lovely Saluki that I picked up as a stray. The picture is of a very nervous and frightened girl, who had a chain around her neck and a terrible limp. After serving her time we took her to the vets yesterday to find she has a ruptured cruciate ligament and needs an operation. Once again, Moorview Vets came up trumps, not only offering her the best treatment available, but by Kerry one of the staff also offering Suki a temporary foster home whilst she recovers. Above and beyond the call of duty, thank you.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Amazing Support. Thank You.....

The support we received last weekend was once again amazing, and I really mean that. I can remember when every penny raised for this charity was pretty much raised by me getting various parts of my body waxed or doing a sponsored something or other, so personally to have the number and events and supporters that did us proud last weekend really does mean alot.

During the day on Saturday it was the Little Snorters Christmas Party. I believe there was some great fancy dress costumes (on the dogs) and a great time was had by all. Thanks once again to Joan and Sheila for taking along the SHAK Tombola and a thank you also to Leah O'Sullivan for both the invite and the donation. The support we are gaining from the "Doggy World" is brilliant, and even more so when its the little dogs helping there less fortunate bigger pals.

Sheila and Joan then moved onto the Blue Bell Pub in Jesmond Vale for the SHAK Christmas Party. Thanks to Nic and all his staff and customers for another fantastic night. It was great to see some familiar faces who'd come along to lend support, even from as far afield as Manchester! Although I think the journey is worth it just to see Snarf the German Shepherd roaming the bar for strokes.

Sunday saw Derek brave the wintry conditions once again to sell hot drinks to cold dog walkers down at Seaton Sluice. This week I think a special mention goes to his wonderful wife Sandra, who despite some personal issues still insisted on making sure Derek had enough delicious scones to sell come the Sunday morning.

On behalf of everyone at SHAK thank you all so much. We have around 70 dogs in our care, and turn others away every day as we simply do not have the room to take them in. We couldn't help the ones that we do without your help. I'm just looking at Dusty, Dudley, JD and Star all curled asleep at my feet as I write this. Four SHAK dogs that found their way to my house. They'd probably be dead if it wasn't for your support. Thank you.