Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 31 August 2015

Coming Soon.....

Incredible to believe that it's that time again, but coming to our on line shop very soon, the 2016 SHAK Calendar.....

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sandy And Her New Brother.....

I thought everyone would like to see how Sandy (new start, new name) is enjoying her first day with her new brother (our very own Tigger!)

If you look at the previous couple of posts it's unbelievable to think how much her life has turned around within 48 hours.

Sandy just 48 hours ago.

On her way home.
Playtime with Tigger!
It's been a whirlwind 48 hours!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Still Looking For Help.....

We are still looking for that special couple of people to join our team. If you would like to learn about dogs and help them to overcome their issues the SHAK way then drop us an email on

(Please note that only applicants that can meet the time commitment we need will be considered and due to our time restrictions not all applications will receive a return email. Thank you.)

Great Day At Warkworth Show.....

As the dust settles on what has been a very traumatic and eventful 6 days, I've managed to reflect tonight on what a great day I had on Saturday at the Warkworth Show. Invited along by our good friend Emily Renton from Moorview Vets to help her judge the dog classes, I had a great time meeting some wonderful dogs and owners!

You can see some of the fun on the Northumberland Gazette website at.....

Warkworth Show 2015 Linda Bell with Lacey who won the geriatric class. Picture by Jane Coltman

The finalists of the "Dog The Judges Would Like To Take Home" category including winner Rafferty the Lurcher.
I'd like to thank the organisers for a great day and inviting us along, everyone who took part and donated to us on the day, all the girls from Moorview who gave up their day off to host the event, and finally a special thank you to Emily for arranging the whole thing!

An Update On The Lurcher..... (WARNING MORE GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Our guest tonight.
As promised here is an update on the little Lurcher from this morning. Surgery went very well and tonight she is staying with us before moving onto her new Foster Home in the morning.

A couple of text messages from a vet nurse probably sums her operation up better than I ever could.....

"Just coming round from GA, chest and abdo xrays fine. Had a lateral right neck wound which was 2cm from her jugular vein, her left lateral neck wound was less than a cm in depth from her trachea and chest cavity, the wound on her back was literally bordering her spinal chord! She has been a very very lucky dog!

They're clean cuts though, no grazes and minimal brusing unlikely to be a RTA I think shes
tore herself or someones done it to her, no evidence of dog bites the wounds are too deep"

Wounds clean up and ready for surgery.

The wound on her back goes very deep and has caused a lot of muscle damage way beyond the initial visible wound.

You can see how close this wound was to her jugular!
So the plot thickens, and finally at 10 months old this girl has the chance to begin her life. I'd like to say a couple of thank you's to the people that have made that possible..... Northumberland Council Animal Welfare Team, the whole crew at St Clair's Vets, and of course her new Foster Mam and Dad.

The Flame Reignites..... (WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES)

If ever there was a time I needed something to keep the fire burning inside me it's right now. I just can't  seem to shake the huge sense of loss and being cheated since losing Rohan and Molly. Two wonderful dogs who were taken far to soon and when they had just found happiness.

Life does go on though, and a phone call yesterday afternoon reignited that spark. Reignited it in a big way.

This beautiful girl was found in a pool of blood at a local beauty spot yesterday, too weak to stand she had to be carried on a stretcher. First suspicions were that her wounds were from gun shots,  or even from being beaten with a blunt instrument.  At the very least they are tear wounds from running through fences.....

Last night one of the vet nurses very kindly took her home.Today she is getting x rays to find out for sure. Through a microchip her owner has been located and claims she had run away from him. He has signed her over. What he could reveal was that she is 10 months old,  and that he was her 4th owner.

A few phonecalls last night and some wonderful kind hearts means that she now has a foster home to go to straight from the vets,  and possibly for the first time witness love and TLC whilst she recovers.

In the meantime I'll let the photos do the talking.....

Sunday, 23 August 2015

And We Lose Another.....

I can't believe that after writing such sad news on Thursday that I am here doing it again today. Yesterday I received a phone call to say that little Molly had lost her battle against illness and left behind a heart broken family that loved her so much.

Molly lived with us (and Dolly) for about six months, Neve adored her and she was simply a gorgeous girl. Knowing she is no longer in this world is a very difficult thing to get my head around. In Colin and Dorothy, Molly had the perfect mam and dad who never gave upon her. They did everything they could to keep her comfortable, and I mean everything. All of our thoughts are with them both right now.

A couple of weeks ago I took Neve up to see her in Edinburgh. I took Rohan (Star and Laser to) and these two photographs were taken then. I didn't know at the time that in such a short space of time we'd be trying to accept life without them. Right now that seems like the best road trip ever.....

Rather than repeating myself here is Molly's story since she became ill.....

Thursday saw me take a trip upto Edinburgh to see another dog close to my heart, but one who has been extremely poorly. Everyone knows how much I love Molly (and Dolly) and it has been a very worrying time over the last 4 weeks or so as Molly has been, and still is extremely ill.

It all started when she went to be speyed and the vets found a mass called a Teratoma on her ovaries that was twisting them as it grew. Obviously it needed to be removed. The little one recovered well from her operation, but then a few days later collapsed and started suffering serious muscle spasms.

To cut a long and very distressing story short, Molly was rushed up to the veterinary hospital in Glasgow where weeks of tests still couldn't find the cause. It was so bad at one stage that she could hardly lift her head, and the dreaded question was beginning to be asked. The vets tried everything, and even sent muscle biopsy's to the USA, but eventually a concoction of medication saw a slight improvement and Molly was allowed to go home to help her recuperate.

Her Mam and Dad (and big brother Murphy) have stood by her and provided the best treatment and care any dog could ask for. The mattress on the floor so they could sleep with her shows that has continued now she is home. They love her so much, and have gone through so much, I can't thank them enough for looking after my little girl so well.

Molly too has shown so much spirit and fight to get this far. She wants to be home and with her family, she has waited so long for it. She recognised me as soon as she saw me, and I saw that old spark in her eyes despite struggling to stand up. All we can do now is send her love and positive thoughts to help her recovery, and send some for her Mam and Dad too..... They have been magnificent.

Such a sad tale for a gorgeous dog. She deserved so much more out of life. Here's how we all remember her.....

Molly and Dolly with Neve.
Molly with Dolly the day she arrived in our lives.....

Thursday, 20 August 2015

We Can't Believe He's Gone.....

I guess sometimes things really do come to test you, and on top of trying my best to keep this charity afloat, tonight my family and I have to come to terms with losing a dog that has had such a huge and loving place in our home and our hearts. Rohan had quickly deteriorated over the space of 24 hours, and yesterday I rushed him to the vets as he was unable to hold in urine. Tests showed that that wasn't the case, in fact it was the exact opposite and he was unable to pass water. The wetness we were witnessing was because his bladder was overflowing. He must of been so uncomfortable and in so much discomfort.

A scan showed there was no tumours or stones in the bladder, and both blood and urine tests showed no sign of infection. Good in one way, but so terribly bad in another.....

The lesions on his spinal chord had deteriorated and somehow the pressure they were delivering was effecting his bladder. There was absolutely nothing we could do.

Rohan was an incredible dog. He loved the kids and they loved him. Since arriving at the vets yesterday he had refused to stand up. It was as if he had given up, tonight though as Neve and Grace were leaving him he decided to stand up and walk after them. So sad, but so beautiful. We spent some time with him enjoying the sun, then we had to let him go. He slipped away his head in Rachel's and my arms. He was so tired he simply slept away.

Here's some of our memories of our beautiful big brave boy who battled so hard against CDRM.

I really can't believe that he has gone, and as I type this I'm looking for him lying down by my feet. He was so gentle, so loving. All he ever wanted was to be loved. Below is the post I used to introduce him to you, the state he was in. I don't know how anyone could of treat him like that.

He got that love with us, but gave so much more back. How we are going to cope without him I really don't know.....

This sorry state turned up at The Rescue Place just over a week ago. Emaciated, smelly, matted and his ears so rotten that a vet inspection raised the question of euthanasia. Rohan as we have called him (meaning healing medicine) is no where near time for death, in fact every day he loves life more. He is currently staying with me, and through medication, good food (Geoff''s secret pasta) and plenty of rest, he is getting stronger day by day. Tomorrow he is away for a pamper day, and although I have stripped bags of matted fur from him I know he will look and feel so much better for it. I will keep you updated on his recovery on here.