Change Lives

Change Lives

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Eleven Days On.....

You'll remember the big male American Bulldog (we still need to give him a name) that arrived not long ago.....

You'll also hopefully remember his first step into the outdoor world with us the very next day.....

Well here he is today, just 11 days later.....

Amazing progress from an amazing boy.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ignore The Ignorance And Don't Be Breedist.....

It's a busy time for Freya, as she popped down to see the vet at the weekend for medication to clear up a spot of wet eczema. We thought she deserved a little break afterwards, so she's been here on holiday.  Freya has been brilliant, taking everything in her stride, and I think she is enjoying seeing the sunset and the countryside.

She has been in kennels a lot longer than she should of been, I guess if she hadn't had the misfortune of being born an American Bulldog she would of been snapped up by now. Truth is that she is a wonderful friendly and playful girl, who despite her obvious mistreatment earlier in life, is so trusting of people. True testament to what a fantastic breed she belongs too.....

So if you can 'ignore the ignorance' and your not 'breedist' and feel you could offer Freya the home to call her own she so much deserves, then get in touch.....

Buddy's Story.....

mentioned the amazing little dog that is Buddy a couple of weeks back, well having got sick of me not getting my backside in gear and pulling his story together, Melissa has decided to do her own video..... and a great job she's done too.

Buddy was collected by our Out of Hours team, emaciated, wobbly on his back end and bloated from scavenging off the streets. On the way to the vets he was sick..... kebab and pizza!

Mel and David fell in love with him and took him home. After trips to the vets and eventually a MRI scan it was discovered he was most likely born with a kink in his spine putting pressure on his spinal cord. After much thought it was decided surgery was his only option to have a normal pain free life. The tops of three vertebrae were taken off to relive the pressure on his spinal cord.

 I'm delighted to say that once again Moorview Vets were superb, and the operation has been a huge success.

As you can see Buddy's quality of life has had a dramatic up turn, and now he lives and runs like any dog can, and he has a family that adores him.....

 All that said though, they say that actions are better than words, so thanks to Melissa, heres..... Buddy's Story:

Goodbye To The Wonderful Kayla.....

Saturday was another really sad day, as we had to say goodbye to another very special and wonderful girl.

Kayla was covered in huge lumps when she turned up at our door as a stray. She had a huge one around her back end and it was clear to see that she'd been dumped.....

But Kayla's luck had just changed for the better, and when Jenna, Sarah and Lewis offered her a home to recover in after her surgery, she never looked back. That temporary arrangement became permanent after Kayla had won a huge place in their hearts with her never say die attitude and spirit. She was already a great dog, but with a family of her own she blossomed and even adjusted to when Blade went to stay without much fuss.

I will never forget Kayla being the perfect ambassador for SHAK at a fundraiser at the Blue Bell, introducing herself to everybody at every table..... that had food!

Recently Kayla had slowed right down, and x rays last week confirmed our worst fears. A huge bone tumour had settled itself in her hip. It was so large there was nothing that could be done.

So after a week of dining out and take aways followed by ice cream, Kayla's family had to be brave themselves and let her go. I will always be grateful to them for giving her a chance when she needed it most. For giving her a life..... that was all Kayla needed.

She is missed, and loves. God bless her.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

We Lose Another Very Special Boy.....

We are all trying to get to terms with another very traumatic and sad 24 hours. I received a call whilst travelling to Scotland and a rare day trip to say that Benson had collapsed and was in a bad way. A very supportive and understanding Rachel agreed that there was nothing else to do but turn around and rush back to get him to the vets. It was a long road back.

Benson's story in itself is a very sad one. Found by the body of his owner who had committed suicide using his lead, Benson was understandably stressed and fearful. I still have the paperwork from the Police stating "property to be rehomed or destroyed." It took Benson a long time to get over those events and I guess it was even years before the real Benson started to shine through.

In Sheena he found a true friend, a person who he could trust, and a person he could call his own on her days at the kennels. Their bond was incredible to watch, and she could do things to him that I wouldn't dream of trying. I think despite our own grief the thoughts of the team are all with her right now.

Yesterday we found Benson lying down, dehydrated and anaemic. He was shaking every time his body breathed, and as soon as I saw him I knew that Melissa and David had done the right thing calling.

We rushed him straight to the vets, and I have to say that the care and attention provided by Moorview even though his arrival was at such short notice was amazing. He was too weak to sedate, but allowed Rachel to show the vets his mouth, he then allowed me to muzzle him. This in turn lead to him being scanned several times and examined all whilst conscious. Quite an achievement if you had ever met him.

The scans showed a fluid leaking in his abdomen, but because he was awake we couldn't get him in the right position to get a good look. At one stage there was four of us trying to get him where he needed to be. I had the sharp end, Rachel the front legs and Mark  the vet the back legs whilst Darren scanned. Still we couldn't get a definite answer.

The plan was for him to stay in over night on fluids to try and get him strong enough to be sedated and fully checked. He was a little brighter in the morning and even had breakfast and a little stroll with a nurse..... then an hour or so later he went to sleep and didn't wake up.

A post em showed the cause, a large and hugely aggressive tumour that had eventually burst, having leaked for so long. There was nothing that we could of done, and the vets thought maybe that his little revival was perhaps relief after the tumour burst before he bled out.

As I said we are all shell shocked. Benson, like Lewis and Hugo was with us for so long and such a big part of our routine, our day and our life. It's so hard to think he's not with us anymore, but we can remember him knowing he got the best when he needed the most, we didn't destroy him like unclaimed property.

Something I'm very proud of..... Benson. The cover star on my book.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Big Guy Braving Outdoors.....

Whilst this video isn't the most exciting I've posted on here, the big American Bulldog that arrived on Friday as a shivering wreck has certainly won the hearts of a lot of people.

I spent a lot of time with him on Friday afternoon, just talking to him and letting him see I wasn't going to hurt him. Saturday morning was the same, and then it was crunch time..... we needed to go out for a walk.

Below is a short film of how it went. Incredible to think this was less than 24 hours since I shot the first video.....

I can't help admitting I'm falling in love with this guy, and with the help of my team do all I can to give him a new start. In case you missed it, here is how he was when he arrived.....

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Now Chico Works With The Others.....

I think this photo is quite amazing..... the dog on the left is a new arrival, the dog on the right is little Chico.

What's so amazing about two dogs being walked together? Well if you search Chico in the search bar at the top left of this page you will see Chico was just hours away from losing his young life for being dog aggressive. 

Today I used him as a stooge dog to test the temperament of another. Incredible turn around for such a brilliant little man.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Today Of All Days I Miss The Dog In Whose Memory I Created This Charity.....

June the 19th is a date that is of paramount importance to this charity, and without June 19th 2006 there wouldn't be a SHAK as you all know it today. That horrible day was the day that I lost my dog to Lymphoma out of the blue, just an ordinary guy running his own business with 1 pet dog that went everywhere with him. That dog was called Shakur (meaning 'thankful to god') or Shak for short.

I don't want to go through the whole twisted paths that brought me to where we as a charity are today, there isn't the time to go through all the good times and bad times, but I do want to say how proud I am of what has been achieved in the memory of a dog that got me through some tough times, and really was my soul mate.

When he died, I swore I would never put myself through that ever again. The loss and pain was too much to bare. Today we have around 70 in our care. Yet I have seen and been present for the last breath of so many dogs since that day and I would be lying if I said it got easier..... It doesn't. Everyone we lose hurts even more.

Today of all days we were asked to help three. Two we saved, one disappeared into the hideous world of not knowing. A change of heart maybe? Or to another vets who are less conscious with the needle? I'll never know. But we saved two (more on one of them later.) I'd like to think Shak would be happy with that return, everyone keeps telling me "you can't save them all." But the day I stop trying to save them all is indeed the day that I myself won't be saved.

So 9 years on, the charity I founded in memory of my best friend continues to help the dogs that nobody else wants. The video below shows one of the arrivals today. He is exactly the kind of dog I set this charity up for. The ones nobody else wants. The fact he arrived today just proves that deep down I must be trying to do something right. The politics, the media frenzies and the huge ego's connected to rescue mean nothing to me, I'm simply trying to give a little back to creatures that gave so much to me in the shape of one.....

I miss you Shak, you changed my life forever. I hope what I set out to achieve in your memory will continue to help so many more just like you.....

Stephen Wylie.

Shakur Wylie 07.03.1999-19.06.2006

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Busy Day For Rohan.....

It's been a busy day for Rohan yesterday, as after doing really well at swimming, it was time for him to try on his new boots!

As cute as he looks, it's really not a great sign that he needs these, he has to wear them to try and protect his feet from becoming scraped and sore from dragging them as he walks. Still in true Rohan fashion he didn't complain just got on and enjoyed his walk.

Anybody who has a German Shepherd with CDRM (or any other dog) will know just how heart breaking the condition is. Seeing such a beautiful big boy struggling is so sad and we are trying to carry on as much as normal. Anyone who saw him at Morpeth Fair on Sunday will testify to that, still we are doing all we can to give him the best of everything despite this horrendous condition.

A Postcard From Blade.....

"Hi, Thought I would drop you a message and tell you how I am doing. I have been diagnosed with a systemic yeast infection (SYI) and my mam's have finally got answers to my skin condition. You can read more about this here:

Everyone keeps saying I look amazing now I have a full coat. Its been tough having this problem but everyone held out hope for a diagnosis and persevered with me and boy, I feel good now. I get fed lots of tasty meats.... I have duck, chicken wings, venison necks, rabbit, ox, oh! The list of yummy things is endless!! I'm not allowed any other foods as my body can't process starches or carbohydrates. I am on some special medication but the lady at the vets is happy for me to be weaned off them soon.

I have started this thing called agility. Its supposed to work my mind and get me to focus on my mam (she squeals alot when I do it so I think I'm doing ok). They keep saying they are proud of me.
 I go out on a long line thingy which lets me go further than normal. It's great! They call me back and give me yummy treats. I'm doing good at too.

So all in all, I'm turning out to be a very good boy. I just needed some extra TLC and understanding to enable me to enjoy my life.
See you soon!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Alnwick Sainsbury's Charity Of The Year. SHAK Needs YOU.....

We are very proud to of been nominated as one of the contestants of Alnwick Sainsbury's Charity of the Year. After presentations last week I am delighted to announce we have gotten through to the final and are one  of 3 charities up for the prestige opportunity to be Sainsbury's Alnwick store charity of the Year.

This though is as far as we can take it, and its now that we need your help. Please vote for SHAK next time your in the Alnwick store, or click on the link below, select Alnwick as the store (by entering the post code NE66 2JH if you don't live locally) and then pick us! Simple.....

Thank you in advance for your wonderful support, winning this really will help us save even more 'Dogs On Death Row'

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A Truly Inspirational Boy.....

And another very special boy that we're all very proud of is Buddy.  I really need to pull the video together so you can appreciate his story fully, but having recovered from spinal surgery after being found emaciated and disabled seeing him in such beautiful photos as these really are truly amazing. 

Thanks again to Melissa and David not only for the photographs but for giving this incredible little man such a fantastic new life. 

Chico And Rocco Having Fun.....

Two boys who are coming along really well and have both had big stories in real life and on here are Chico and Rocco.

You can search their stories on here in the search bar at the top left of this page,  but all I ask of you when you look at them below is to remember that both  Chico (black and white) and Rocco had appointments made with a vets needle.....

Thanks to Melissa and David for the pictures.