Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 31 March 2014

Fantastic News For Toni And Pepper.....

Some good news to though, as I'm delighted to say two long termers have also gone into a new Forever Foster home. It takes very special people to invite new desperate dogs into there home when the pain they are feeling is still so raw after losing one. In Dawn and Terry we have the best..... and so now do Toni and Pepper.

Having done a fantastic job with King, Toni and Pepper are now benefiting from the kindness that Terry and Dawn love to share, and how great is it to see these pictures compared to when they came in.....

Little Bobby.....

Not long after Penny's arrival, little Bobby found his way to The Rescue Place having also been found on the streets. His microchip tells us that he is 15 (yes 15!) although his owners have simply disappeared.

Bobby is wobbly on his backend, and on arrival his white fur was more yellow coloured with a distinctive smell! It was pretty obvious very early on that kennels was no place for this old gentleman to stay.....
A massive thank you to Joan and Mike (and Lacy), who on top of everything else they do for SHAK have kindly given Bobby somewhere to call home whilst we have a look at him physically. As you can see though he is settling in just fine.....

Friday he is going to the vets with Penny for a look over, today he had a more glamorous trip as he nipped to Bella's Groomers at Forest Hall. Thanks to Lucy for donating his makeover, I'm sure you'd all agree he's scrubbed up pretty well!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Penny Left In Such A State.....

This have been very busy of late, as you will soon see on here, but tonight let me introduce you to a very special girl. Penny came to us a stray just over a week ago. She was found very local to us in Northumberland, after wandering onto a couples out house to seek shelter and to sleep for the night.

As you can see Penny has a huge mammary tumour, the size of a grapefruit, and at least another 4 or 5. Her teeth are rotten, whilst all her senses (eyesight, hearing and smelling) appear to be not quite as good as they once were. All in all she is in a pretty terrible way, and the hardest bit to understand is why as she is such a wonderful girl.

Maybe she is an ex working dog who has been discarded? The rural location in which she was found would back that up, but the matted fur and skin condition underneath would also suggest she has lived outside.

Penny has already had a check up at the vets, where it was found that her chest was a bit "raspy" which in turns gives us great cause for concern in case any cancers have made their way to her chest. Friday I am taking her back for an X Ray just to be sure, then I guess results dependant I have to make a decision. If the chest X Rays show the all clear then its full steam ahead in terms of speying her and a full mammary strip to remove the tumours. If the worst news is confirmed then she will need somewhere to see out her days being loved. Such a shocking state for such a wonderful girl to be in.....

Monday, 24 March 2014

A Tribute Fit For A King.....

Speaking of special people that gave a very special dog a home when they really needed, I recieved this lovely poem from Dawn about the great big bear King that they lost recently. His final few months were just perfect, as is this very fitting tribute to a wonderful dog. Thank you for this and all you did for him Dawn and Terry.


You were magnificent, 
Gentle and strong;
We had you for 4 months
And then you were gone.

It was time to go
And now you are gone,
You can run pain free
All the day long

We loved you so much,
And you loved us too;
We still feel you with us
In all that we do.

We cannot forget you.
How special you were.
You will still be near us
Year after year.

DCookson - 20140321

Memories Of Two SHAK Legends.....

The weekend has marked a couple of sad dates for two remarkable SHAK Legends.

Friday marked the 5th anniversary since we lost Roman. A brave, brave boy who taught us all so much. roman gave me the knowledge, strength and confidence to take on dogs such as Dudley, and I think the fact he spent his final days with a family that loved him dearly despite all his illnesses was great motivation to keep going as well as the perfect ending. Here's his old story taken from our old forum when he died:

"Roman came to us on Saturday 27th December 2008 in a shocking state. He was completely emaciated, very weak and very wobbly. His condition was so bad that I had to carry him from the van that had transported him all the way from Sheffield. Despite clearly being neglected beyond belief, he was a very affectionate boy. After two months of love and good food, Roman was very settled within himself, although he was still not gaining weight, however he had certainly found his zest for life. His CDRM appeared to be stabilising, and on the 21st February 2009 probably the best thing that had ever happened to Roman happened….. he went to a foster home!

His new family were wonderful, he had a beautiful German Shepherd girlfriend that he played with for hours, and a Mam and Dad who loved him dearly.

In the month that he was there, Roman showed what a wonderful character he was, and was such a gentlemen with his girlfriend. He adored his dad so much, and just seeing him living a normal life was a miracle when you remembered the dog that was just waiting to fade away when he arrived.

Despite the fact illness got the better of his back end in the end, this is by no way a sad end to a story. In my eyes it is a happy ending. The fact that we were able to help a dog that didn’t want to live anymore, and that he left behind so many people and another dog who loved him so much. It shows what can be achieved if people are prepared to work and put the effort in, and how worthwhile it all can be when you see a dog as happy as Roman was at the end. I always knew he would break our hearts, but in fact he filled them with joy, and gave the whole charity the emphasis to go down the road of helping the dogs that need it the most."
Roman when he arrived.

Roman at home.
Saturday was another special day, as it was 3 years since we had to say goodbye to another special boy that was so brave. Chance had been through double cruciate ligament operation, but his body was riddled with arthritis so badly that the strain from not being able to put weight on his back legs seriously affected the front ones. He had a great time with us, and made some lifelong friends, having been booked into be destroyed we gave him a "chance" and he was worth every minute..... Here's what I wrote the day he died:

"As expected we had to say good bye this morning to a brave brave soldier that has won the hearts of us all. Chance has now moved onto a better place where I am sure he'll be running riot and having fun.

Special thank you to Karen and Mike for giving Chance so much, and they were with him right to the end. Even as he slept away, his tail was wagging, it was as if he knew he'd be without pain soon.

Special thanks to too Andrea and her family for offering him somewhere to go if a miracle happened, and also to Jonathon at Moorview vets for making the morning as dignified as possible. Chance really was such a brave boy, and we can only imagine the pain he must of been going through.

However despite coming to us after biting his owner just three weeks after a double cruciate ligament operation and when a vet was booked to destroy him, it wasn't aggression that cost him his life. We had to let him go purely because his body was breaking up, and that is something that means a lot to us all individually and as a charity.

We were lucky to have shared three months with Chance, he was one special dog. The photos above are of goodbyes this morning. Even in excruciating pain, look how proud he is.

"No one is more proud of you than me big man, enjoy the running. I'll never forget you. X"

Chance catching upon the news!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Star Takes Me For Lunch.....

I had a great afternoon at the Lesbury Autumn Club yesterday, giving a talk and a question and answer session followed by a lovely afternoon tea. I believe my success can be based on the fact that none of the audience fell sleep during it, or so I was told anyway!

Afterwards I took my little pal Star for tea with Neve, and I think you can see from these photographs that she enjoyed herself. It's hard to remember, but almost a year ago Star arrived at SHAK so frightened and aggressive that it took me two months to be able to stroke her. She was brilliant in the pub yesterday, taking everything all in, including the froth of my Lager!

Luna Has A Pamper Day.....

Luna had a "pamper day"  with Sheena today, and below is her report! However, before you read it I think I should maybe remind you of just how bad a state she was in on arrival.....

"I'm sure you will remember the photos of Luna when she first arrived at SHAK and here are some photos of the lovely Luna taken today at our house.

She came and spent the morning with us to have a special spa treatment. As you can see she was very well behaved whilst having her bath and she certainly enjoyed being made a fuss of and also loved being dried with a warm towel. (We put an old towel in the bottom of the bath to prevent her slipping).

Luna didn't put a foot wrong during the four hours we looked after her in our home. She just lay down and relaxed next to our current foster lurcher. We introduced her to the cat who hissed and she immediately turned and walked away (she was on lead as a precaution). Luna travelled well in the car and did her business in the garden. She is a lovely placid very pretty lurcher who deserves to find a family to call her

Wherever she has been before arriving at SHAK no-one knows but she seems a typical laid back lurcher who doesn't ask for much in life. It was a pleasure to have her. It is so sad that many lurchers find themselves discarded. Dogs homes are full of these lovely creatures and SHAK has some very deserving ones still waiting to be chosen."

If you would like to know more about how you can offer Luna a permanent Forever Foster home then please email us at

Thank you Sheena and Roger, and of course our very own Finlay!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Run Free King.....

Just had some very sad news tonight, old age has finally caught up with the magnificent King, and he now runs free of pain.

King was a giant, and a very gentle giant at that. Dumped because his owners "couldn't be bothered with him anymore" he was a SHAK dog for best part of 5 years. After a couple of false dawns he found happiness and lived with a Terry and Dawn, who clearly loved him dearly. It takes a really special person to take on a dog towards the end of their life, and King was lucky enough to find two of the best. Thanks to them and to Lesley who was there for him when he needed it the most.

Run free big man, you were a great example and a wonderful character to have around. We are all very proud of you.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Henry Goes Home!....

This next one is just simply amazing..... as I can tell you that Henry has gone into his new Forever Foster home. Judith and Harry provided Jackson with an amazing home, and on seeing Henry it was love at first sight. Henry took a little winning over, but the powers of liver worked once again!

So in less than 6 months Henry has gone from the most shut dog down I have ever seen to stretching out on the rug. Amazing work Henry. We are all delighted for you.
Henry when he arrived.
Henry at home.

Day Trippers!....

Last Thursday Tye, our 2 and a half year old male Border Collie, was invited out to meet Mandy Bainbridge of Comebyanaway at her beautiful sheep farm 1,000 ft up in the Pennines.

Mandy who is a leading trainer and breeder runs a training school with a wonderful indoor agility arena and 5 acre outdoor paddock.

After a nervous start Tye got to meet Mandy's wonderful red Collie, aptly called Red, who pretty quickly put Tye at his ease and showed him round the farm where he met Chickens, Geese, Sheep and Horses. As we went along Mandy was able to assess Tye who seems at first frightened of new experiences ( except the Chickens and Sheep) but, with the right encouragement and patience showed that he can  learn new things really quickly and ,in the right hands, is capable of becoming a happy and confident lad with a big loving heart and real Collie intelligence.

Tye meets Red.

Tye meets the Hens.
Fagan has also had a busy week, as after a trip to the vets for a check over, Auntie Sheena took him to the seaside! I don't have any photos from this trip, but I hear Fagan quite likes to watch a game of golf!

Holly was another who got her feet vet at the seaside, this time this afternoon. She is such an intelligent girl, and days out like this do her the world of good.....
Thanks to Geoff and Sheena for organising these day trips, from the dogs and me!