Change Lives

Change Lives

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

New Dates Added To The Events Page.....

If you'd like to support our work, please come along to some of our fundraising events. Bring your small change or play the tombola..... Look at the posts below.....Your support really can Change Lives.

Our Events.....

The Beautiful Luna Arrives In A Horrific State.....

I told you earlier it had been hectic here, and there are still more stories to share, but this is Luna, a beautiful girl we managed to save last week. Picked up as a stray, she came to us after a trip to the vets. None of us are shocked anymore when we receive a dog in this condition, but as I let the photo's say it all, I do ask you why oh why do you let a dog get in this state this day and age?

The Search Begins For Finlays Forever Home.....

An update from Sheena on Finlay, who was neutered today, as we start the search for a Forever Foster home for him. If you are interested in offering Finlay a home then please contact

Finlay the emaciated lurcher arrived at SHAK at the start of New Year 2014 and he was in a dreadful condition. He came home to us to enjoy some tlc, warm surroundings, regular meals and to give him time to recover from neglect (he slept for the first three days!).

 We realised very quickly what a special boy Finlay is - he has settled in without any issue with our four dogs. He is about two years old, very sweet natured and loves being petted. Finlay loves going for walks and going out in the car. He can be nervous when meeting people at first but he soon makes friends.

At home he has a den (crate) which he will take himself to if ever he feels insecure - we think he has had a few hidings from whoever had him before. He hasn't damaged anything in the house and has been left for up to 4hrs at a time. At first we shut him in his crate if we had to leave him but soon realised there was no need. 

The only negative thing we have found is he will steal food given the opportunity (not unusual in a previously starved dog or a Lurcher!).

 Ideally Finlay would be best suited to a home that already has a dog or more as he does love doggie company. He currently lives with a cat but will on occasion chase so it would depend on the character of the cat. Finlay hasn't met any children whilst being with us so therefore we will not rehome him with any. He sometimes pulls when on lead but not all the time and walks past dogs without issue.

 We cannot understand why such a wonderful dog has been so badly treated - he will be a fantastic dog as he wants to please. He is very much loved by us and really no bother - he will be a huge miss.

Is It Spring Yet?....

I love these pictures of Lennox and his little sister Nima that I got on a rare dry and sunny day.....
Is it Spring yet?

I think so..... Ok, I'll come out then.

The Inspiration That Is Ava.....

I love this photo of Ava that I took last week, despite the fact that it shows her age. She is still a bit up and down after being ill, but I guess at her age that you have to take the good days with the bad. We love her dearly, and she is being so brave, a true inspiration to us all.

And Layla Goes Home.....

And speaking of Rottweiler girls, I am delighted to say that Layla has found a Foster home whilst we wait for the right time for her surgery. We have to wait a few months after her season then we can have her speyed and start removing all her lumps and bumps. The incredible thing is that Layla now lives with our very own Fletch and his sister, and having seen it first hand it is great to see her socialising with these two.

I will of course keep you updated on her story as she settles and gets her life and health back.

Lexi Looking Fine.....

I have also received these wonderful photo's of one of our old girls looking really happy. Lexi was very stressed with us, and its great to see her so happy.

Little Patches.....

Crazy season is definitely upon us (more to follow over the next week or so) and unbelievably this handsome little guy was 30 minutes away from being destroyed when I got the phone call and was able to save him.

Patches is now with our great friend Alexa, and I know that she is looking for a home that will not let Patches get the upper hand. If you are interested in offering a home PLEASE CONTACT ALEXA ON 01665 676677 or

And Now For Some Good News.....

You may remember the nervous wreck of a Rottweiler Cross, Teddy, that I also collected as a stray last summer. Well I think that this email from Geoff really does show what can be done.

Just to let you know Super Ted passed both his bronze and silver Good Citizens Award today.
Very proud of this lovely SHAK lad and he has enjoyed following in Harvey's pawsteps
 -especially the celebration Steak Dinner!

Very proud of Teddy and the work his Dad has done!

And It's 5 Years For Bruno.....

The 17th of February also saw the 5th anniversary of the first ever SHAK dog we lost. I will never forget Bruno, and the complicated tale that came with him.....

Bruno came to us all the way from Southampton, looking for a new start due to no fault of his own. He had a history of a poorly stomach, but that was put down to a food allergy, and we tried to combat it with various specialist diets, although it turned out to be something a lot worse. On February 17th 2009 we had to give up the fight, and let him move on to a better place. Bruno gave us so many ups and downs in the time we had him. He was such a loving, yet grumpy big guy. I for one don’t regret trying to help him, and right to the end, he was a gentleman and a calming influence on the other dogs. Below is brief description of his illness, written by former volunteer Sharon Ness who was with him right to the end. Run free Bruno, God bless you.
“His blood tests showed a significantly low level of protein which the vets say was obvious given his emaciated state. The scan showed nothing and they felt an x ray would yield no valuable information as they could feel the whole of his intestines when examining him. Several of the vets reviewed him, his results and his history during the time they had cared for him. The consensus of opinion was that it was inflammatory bowel disease as debilitating as cancer, if not that then a diffuse lymphoma causing multiple small tumours throughout the bowel. Definite diagnosis would have required surgery to take biopsies but this was something that they felt was too much for him to cope with in his very poor state of health. Basically his immune system was attacking his own gut and causing an absorption problem and profuse diarrhoea. It would be untreatable and progressively worsening. The vets felt that they could not offer any interventions and the best thing for Bruno was to be put to sleep. The whole illness would have occurred regardless of where he was living and was not contributed to by "kennel stress". Bruno very quietly and peacefully was put to sleep 4pm this afternoon while I cradled his head and told him to go off and have a great run after some free at Rainbow Bridge little man xxxxxx”

We Lose Two Very Special Boys.....

Things have been pretty hectic lately, hence the lack of activity on here. I will try to recap as much and as accurately as I can.

On Friday 14th SHAK lost two of its boys that had moved onto other things.

Little Vinny very sadly passed away after a sudden illness. He was a dog that Melissa instantly fell in love with after I'd picked him up as a stray, and it didn't take her long to sweet talk her parents into taking him home. His departure from this world was sudden, and he's left a family broken, but I think the poem Melissa has chosen to remember him says it all:

"They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again."

Run free lil man, love you handsome 
Vinny with his best pal Jack.

And a very proud Mam.

And with his big sister.

It was a day or two later that I also learnt that another old boy Jackson (formerly Sebastian) had lost his fight. Having lost a leg to cancer, the disease had spread to his lungs. I picked this guy up a couple of times as a stray, and I'm so pleased that he had a family that loved him so much in the end. The world has lost two amazing dogs.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Ava Has Us Worried.....

It has been a tough week or so for Ava, as what appears to of been a horrible virus took hold and wiped her out. I know that Ava is getting on in years, and having just had some nasty lumps taken off a few weeks ago I know that time is against us. But my heart really was sunk with this episode, as she lost all her appetite and ability to stand as well as chronic diarrhoea. However, antibiotics seemed  to be slowly pulling her round, and I'm delighted to say that she has found her appetite again, which in turn is making her stronger.

I took this photo just the other morning, before I took her to the vets. Even in the snow and being so poorly, she still looks gorgeous to me.

Say Hello To Ryder.....

Another dog that arrived the same day as Layla with his own signs of mistreatment, was Ryder. Covered in bite marks, he had a trip to the vets before he came to us, and the antibiotics seemed to have worked on this chilled out boy.

Obviously he is still under assessment, but he appears sociable and well mannered. Just another Lurcher that has served his purpose and been kicked out.

Positive News For Layla.....

I'm delighted to say that Layla's results have come back positive, with the big lump being diagnosed as a benign leionyona between her bladder and her uterus. 

So the plan now is to wait 5 or 6 weeks till her season is well and truly passed, and then spey her and remove the mass at the same time. The lump on her spleen didn't produce any results (which I believe is good news) so the vet will have a good look into that too during her operation and if necessary remove the spleen. Remember chest x rays didn't show any secondary tumours.

Also we now have a couple of potential foster homes lined up for Layla (a plan A and a plan B) so whilst there is still a long way to go, she will have a home to call her own whilst she completes that journey.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The First "Change Lives" Appeal Reaches Target After Just 10 Days.....

I'm delighted to say that the first ever "Change Lives" appeal has reached its target in a little over ten days. We had 28 days to raise the £450 we needed to pay for Laser's operation. One again your support and generosity has been amazing.

On behalf of Laser and everyone at SHAK, THANK YOU!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Oscar Has A Plan.....

I know that some dogs like sticks, and Oscar in particular likes to have a toy with him, but I really do think he took it to the extreme on a walk with me, Kai, Star and David the other day!
"Hang On David, I Have A Plan....."

"Nearly Got It!"

"Yup, Got It!"

"Damn, Where Do I Start This Time?"

The Change In Henry.....

Can you remember this terrified, emaciated dog when he arrived.....

Well, I'm delighted to say that this is Henry today at the incredible weight of 38.6kg!

Laser Doing Well, As Is His Change Lives Appeal.....

Another one doing well and making friends both human and canine is Laser. He is putting more weight on that leg every day, and is just desperate to make friends with all my other dogs.

Also going well is the "Change Lives" appeal to raise the money to cover the cost of his operation. We needed to raise £450 with in 28 days, and since the last post on Monday we have had another great response. All in all the total now stands at £337 meaning we need one last push to raise the final £113.

Thank you to everyone who has donated, you support means so much, please if you can spare even a pound then please donate via the following methods:

Send a cheque (payable to SHAK) to Wildwood Cottage, 3a Stead Lane, Bedlington NE22 5LT, make a donation via PayPal to the email address (marking all donations the Laser Appeal) or call Moorview Vets directly on 0191 256 6990 (please tell them it is for Laser from SHAK) or hand in your donation to the SHAK stall at one of the events on the Events Page.

Thank you again and in advance, this operation really will change Laser's life.
Laser Standing On All Fours The Other Morning.

Update On Layla.....

Just a quick update on Layla, who is winning friends everywhere she goes. The scans today found two masses internally, we need to wait biopsy results before deciding the best way forward. Whilst this may sound doom and gloom, they could be benign so we have to stay positive. One positive note was that chest x-rays didn't appear to show any secondary tumours if of course that is what the original masses are.

In the meantime Layla really is a wonderfully friendly girl and with surgery looming we are looking for a foster home (permanent or temporary) to give her somewhere to get through all this. If you believe you could help her and are up for the emotional challenge that may lie ahead, then please contact

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Layla Arrives And Wins Hearts.....

As so often happens in this job, one goes and another arrives. In this case two goes and two arrive. As Bobby left the building we were quickly greeted by yet another..... Rottweiler. And in Layla we have a true sweetheart.
As always though, these dogs come with a story to tell, and whilst we never hear the full extent of them, I think Layla's overall body condition shows the reason she may of been dumped. She has clearly been used to breed, and a veterinary examination on Monday did cause enough concern that I have taken her there today for scans to see exactly what the the huge mass in her private area is. I will update you tomorrow once i know, but the more time I spend with this beautiful girl, the more my heart melts for her. We're all praying for you Layla.....

Bobby And Bree Go Home.....

I have some amazing news as David sent me these photographs of Bobby and Bree settling into their new home with Melissa and David. This is incredible for so many reasons, but also shows the fantastic amount of work that Melissa and David have put in on two dogs with very different stories.

Bree is terrified, she will run at every opportunity, but in Melissa she found a true friend and in Bobby a nice boyfriend to show her the ropes. The fact she trusts these too and David never ceases to amaze, as she still doesn't trust the vast majority of people, including me!

Bobby is a real stalwart, he has been with us since way before the move to The Rescue Place, his fear coupled with his breed made it difficult for him to find home. Until now.

David and Melissa have worked so hard, but you know what..... Bree and Bobby have worked so much harder. They prove it can be done, and that in itself means a great deal.
Bobby and Bree.

Bree Stretches Out.

As Does Bobby.

"Where You Going Dad?"

Another SHAK Girl, Auntie Sheeba Pays A Visit.