Change Lives

Change Lives

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Very Frightened Bree.....

I got a phonecall just an hour or so after saying goodbye to Bodie, to ask if I could help the dog wardend with a very frightened girl they had just picked up. Bree (as her new best friend Melissa has called her) is petrified, and more so it seems to be of men that her biggest fear originates. We will never know her story I guess, however there are clues such as the bailing cord that was tied round her neck. If you look carefully you can still see a bit around her collar.

Melissa is doing a wonderful job with her, and I know with that nmuch love she will come round. Its just an indication of how bad things are in this country right now that we had such a short time between Bodie leaving for a better place and Bree starting out on her own journey.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Two Years For King Harry.....

It was two years yesterday since we lost another big part of the SHAK story, Harry. Harry was one of the most emaciated dogs that we have ever had, probably only "out done" by Hope. He was so bad we had no idea what kind of dog he was, but to be honest even when he was looking better, he was still "a Harry!"

Just as he was starting to look good, and after a period in a foster home, Harry was hit by Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the Lymph Glands and also took my Shak away that lead to all of this. Having battled back from the brink at least once before, his body couldn't fight this battle and we had to say goodbye.

Harry was an amazing character, anybody that met him will remember that bark, and he had this manner that you just knew he thought he owned the place. He was nicknamed King Harry by foster Dad Mike, and I guess that was about right.

Above is how he was when he left us, below is how he was when he came. I think it is clear to see he enjoyed his time with us, we certainly enjoyed having him.

And this last photograph shows him how I like to remember him..... always after food!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Two Years Since I Lost My Big Pal.....

Today is two years to the day since I lost one of the most important dogs in my life. A dog that taught me any could be brought around. I wrote this the day he died. I cannot express how much I miss him.

"This is has been one of the saddest weeks in SHAK's history. First we had Harry being diagnosed with Lymphoma, today one of the special big boys died in my arms.
Gunnar came to us because nobody else would take him. The fact that he was a security dog meant that nobody wanted anything to do with him. He was discarded, after the idiot that had ruined his life decided he didn't want him anymore. The day he arrived, he wanted to eat everybody. It took 4 of us to carry him in a crate to his kennel, it was like carrying a wild animal.

Over time, Gunnar and I bonded to the extent he was my dog. After that "difficult" start, I got to do everything with him, groom him, walk him, even attend to little ailments and injuries. To everyone else he was scary, to me he was the biggest, cuddliest bear. I lived to help him.

After a couple of days of not being quite right, and appointment was made for him to go to the vets tomorrow. Given his past, getting him there was going to be like a military operation. This morning though I went into his kennel as soon as I got there, and on trying to get him out he collapsed. He was never to walk again.

I rushed him to the emergency vets, where we tried everything. Blood tests revealed his body was shutting down, multiple organ failure the vet called it. She went to get the needle to ease his suffering, but she didn't need it. He died naturally in my arms.

Gunnar gave me so much. Much more than I ever gave him. He died unmuzzled in my arms with vets and nurses trying to save him, just like any normal dog would. A far cry from the crazed beast that arrived that Good Friday. The 18 months we had was perhaps the best months of his life, but he taught me so much and proved so many people wrong. Above are some photos of the good times we had. I am so proud of him, and miss him so much already. Life really won't be the same without him."
In a week we have lost another big boy that taught us all so much, Gunnar has been clear in my thoughts. In fact if Bodie (and Doyle) hadn't come here I wouldn't of had the courage to take on what turned out to be one of my best friends. I miss you Big Gee.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Moss And Koby Right On Our Doorstep.....

Having served their 7 days as strays, I can now show you pictures of two of the latest sorry boys to land at our doors, Moss and Koby. I think I'd best let the photo's do the talking on this one. These dogs were in this state when picked up right on our doorstep. It is reported that a car was chasing Koby trying deliberately to knock him over.

You can rest assured we are working on their health and they have received various treatments. And as you can see from the last picture (thanks Roger and Sheena) they are getting the best treatment possible.


Moss in safe hands at last.

Moss and Koby after a medicated bath at Sheena's house.

Monday, 12 August 2013

We Lose A True Gentleman And A Legend.....

It is a really sad day today as we lost one of true legends that this charity has been lucky enough to spend time with. Bodie came along with his brother Doyle after spending 8 and a half years in a scrapyard. They arrived on a Sunday morning. The bulldozer and a marksmen was booked for the Monday morning.

This morning we found he had passed away in his sleep.

Bodie was a mess and scary on arrival, but he quickly came around. Its a testament to him that when I spoke to people today to tell them he'd gone, at least three volunteers came back with "he was the first SHAK dog I walked." Even more incredibly was that when David came to work he admitted he was scared of German Shepherds. Guess who I made him walk on his second day.....

Bodie has left everyone devastated. Being at the kennels will never be the same without Doyle's sidekick. However, like I told everyone today, we can all be extremely proud of him, and consider ourselves extremely lucky to of spent 3 years with such an amazing, gentle giant. After all before coming to us he'd been left to fend for himself in the snow for 3 weeks, and was less than 24 hours from getting a bullet.

There are so many stories and tales about this big guy and his brother, but for me personally there are two I will never forget. The day they arrived, muzzled, matted and ready to eat me. Stopping just inches from me as they hurled from the transit van that they had travelled in.

Secondly today, as I wheeled his shrouded brother past his kennel, Doyle stopped and sniffed him from head to toe and back again, licking him on the way back up, and crying. He then started playing with his ball again.

Brothers too the end, but life goes on. We all miss you  Bodie, the world is an emptier place without you in it. Thank you for showing us so much.

Bodie the day after he arrived.
Years of oil engrained in his coat.

How we all remember him.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Making New Friends.....

Some more dogs have been out today making new friends. Flint and Murphy enjoyed a walk this afternoon, whilst Star and Cooper even enjoyed a kiss.

Flint is another that has had issues accepting other dogs, but Murphy is rapidly replacing Scooby as the resident stooge dog. Really proud and pleased for them both.


How Big A Dog Can You Fit In A Fiat 500?....

Had to laugh at big Kai on his walk yesterday, as Amy was unloading her little Fiat 500. Kai decided he would climb into the passenger seat and then move all the way to the back! As you can see he filled the boot, but was perfectly happy just sitting there!


Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks.....

Following on from the amazing progress of Smokey walking all the way to the bin and back, he now does it with a pal, Sally! Smokey has been around rescue for years, I was aware of him at least a year and a half before he came to us. I reckon he's about 14 or so now, and has always been termed as dog aggressive. This photo proves that as he has mellowed with age, he has too become interested in the other sex! Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Oscar Looking For Forever Foster.....

Oscar is a very intelligent boy of about 6, who needs a very specialised home. We know quite a lot about his past, and are looking for a very understanding and German Shepherd experienced person to give him a Forever Foster home.

Nothing pleases Oscar than a play session with a ball, or two, or even three (his record is three at once) but other dogs, cats and children just cause him to much stress.

If you would like to be considered for helping this handsome boy then please get in touch via email

Elmo Looking Good.....

I love this picture of Elmo (previously Jake) the Lurcher with his big brother Duke. Emaciated when he came to us, he looks fantastic now, and he's gained some style with that bandanna!

Ava Enjoys A Potter.....

Between rain showers, Ava took time for a little stroll around the fields. Whilst all my other dogs are running wild and having fun, Ava potters about at her own pace. However, she decided to venture a little bit further afield, though I'm sure it was just so she could keep a check on us all. We call her "Granny" and the way she was watching us all looked just like a granny keeping watch over the kids!