Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 23 November 2015

Your Chance To Learn How To Be Part Of Our Team.....

Just a reminder that if anybody is interested in learning more about applying to be a SHAK Volunteer we are holding an open morning tomorrow morning at SHAK HQ,  Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB from 10.30am till 12.

It's an excellent opportunity for anybody thinking about wanting to get involved to come and see the full picture of what we do and the dogs they can help.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Our First Event..... And The Next.....

I'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who braved appalling conditions to the open night at SHAK HQ a great evening and a great start to a major project that will have such a positive influence on not only the charity, but everyone who comes through the doors.

I arrived early to set up, and all of a sudden turned around and the place was full..... After all the hardwork put in by so many people over the last few weeks it really was great to see. By the time the evenings proceedings started with the premiere of the new promotional video which is below, there was very limited standing room only, and it was great to have such an audience for not only myself but for our special guest Leigh Smyth of Essential For Equilibrium.

"Good night at the Shak HQ launch. fab facilities in alnwick and lots of exciting things to come. A fabulous charity doing a fabulous job !"

"Open night at SHAK HQ was a great success. A good turn out on such an awful night. Lots of more exciting & new things to come."

"The place is looking great!! And excited about the future. The talks were great and the turn out was pretty good :) fingers crossed for 2016 "

"Excellent turnout for such a wet evening. You must be so proud of all that you are achieving."

"Thank you so much for inviting me to a most enjoyable and friendly evening last night at the new SHAK's HQ. Good luck with your new premises and all the best."

A special thank you too for the people who have believed in me from day one that this could work, and for supporting me by not only giving their support, their time and expertise, but also contributing financially to make the open night as special as it was. I couldn't of done it without you all.

And Now Onto The Next Event.....

However we can't rest there.... and I'm delighted to announce that the next event at HQ is next Tuesday at 10.30am. It's the first of our..... ‘Join The Team’ An opportunity to learn more about being a SHAK volunteer sessions, and is an opportunity for anybody that at is interested in applying to become a SHAK Volunteer to come along and see exactly what it is all about.

So if you have ever considered being part of the team or just would like more information about what the positions we are currently looking to fill entail then please RSVP to book your place.

SHAK HQ. Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE66 1HB

Friday, 13 November 2015

Great News For Misty.....

I'm delighted to say that I've just spoke to the vets re Misty's histology report and the results of the mass taken along with her spleen have come back benign,so surgery should be curative.

Fantastic news for a great little dog. It means we can now try and push forward with finding her forever home.  As you can see she is getting comfy here and making friends.....

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Please Pray For Misty.....

It has been a worrying week after Melissa and David found a lump on Misty last Sunday. Misty has always been a 'chunky' dog but over the last couple of weeks we'd all noticed that despite being on a constant diet she seemed to of gained a bit more weight. Occasional lethargic spells also didn't send out great signals, and a vet check was paramount in my schedule.

I took her on Thursday, and it really was a case of good news and bad news. The good news was that the lump found was nothing more than a fatty lump. A biopsy proved that. However her weight gain and lethargy it was suspected was down to something more sinister. She stayed in over night, and later that evening a scan confirmed what was feared..... a huge mass on her spleen. Chest X Rays didn't show any obvious signs of any cancer spreading, so Friday morning I was faced with the difficult task of deciding what to do. Having spoken to a couple of vets we went for removing the spleen. Again during surgery there was no clear signs that there was cancer elsewhere. The spleen has been sent away for tests, we have to pray that the tumour was benign. 

Where go from here for Misty really depends on those test results. If there is no cancer then hopefully we have caught it early enough and she has a happy life ahead of her. If there is cancer and it has spread then we have to spoil her the best we can for all the time we have left together. Either way we are trying to find her a foster home. She is currently at our house, and has been absolutely brilliant with all the other dogs. I will get some photo's if it ever stops raining.....

If you like your oldies and you'd like to offer Misty a place to see out her days no matter what she faces then please make contact via email to Likewise we now have another huge vets bill that we just didn't need right now. Misty is worth every penny of course, but we desperately need help to pay. If you'd like to contribute towards the cost of giving her the best chance then please do via paypal or call Moorview Vets direct on 0191 2566990 and say you'd like to donate towards Misty on the SHAK account.

Thank you.

Time Marches On But The Memories Don't Fade.....

We have lost so many this year, that it seems a lot longer than a year yesterday since Lesley had to say goodbye to the original SHAK minx, little Meg.....

A year ago.....

It appears she suffered a serious of horrendous fits or seisures out of the blue, and the last one in particulair was quite horrific. She never came around.

Meg was a real spirit, a wonderful little dog that was so sharp. Yet she proved everyone wrong, including me, by finding true love and a home in the outside world with Lesley.

I remember very clearly the day I collected her from Birmingham, the only way I could have her was if I drove there myself to get her. She wasn't trusted to be moved from car to car. She of course found love with Otto 2 and then on to her big brothers and sisters at Lesley's house......

"This is what surprises me most – that this difficult little madam has wormed her way into my heart without me really noticing. She as never meant to be my dog, but she was such a massive presence – so much character in such a little dog that, without her today, the house feels like it`s lost its heartbeat. Not many people were lucky enough to see the great side of her – clever, funny, feisty and with such a huge capacity for pure joy. She was irresistible and I feel so incredibly privileged to
have had her share my home and life for the last year. She shone more brightly with every month that went by and we had so much fun together.  The little dog that nobody wanted is going to be hugely missed – I don`t expect to meet such a wonderful spirit again.

Run free my little Meggles – you were truly loved in the end"

And just to cap it off, it all comes at a time when another dog we've lost was strongly in our thoughts. today it is three years to the day since we lost Miko. A dog whose turnaround I class as my own personal greatest achievement, and also the biggest turnaround in the charities history.

Remembering the stories of the likes of Denbar and Meg bring it all back, how much suffering and how so close these dogs came to losing their lives. Miko was a big inspiration in being able to give these dogs a chance.....

Here's what I wrote when he died:

The picture that introduced me to Miko.
Miko became unwell this morning, and at 6am I rushed him to the vets with a suspected stomach torsion. Surgery showed that as well twisting, the stomach had severely ruptured, to the point that it was unrepairable. I had to say goodbye to a dog that had become my best friend over the last couple of months.

Stomach torsions happen in "barrel chested" dogs, there have been several studies but none have come up with a definitive reason for why they happen. It's just life I suppose, but it's a horrible thing and as soon as I saw Miko I knew it was serious.

Miko's last weeks on this earth have been a pleasure for me, him and my other dogs. The turnaround in him from when he arrived 3 and a half years ago is nothing short of amazing, and will give me strength to keep going and give these dogs a chance.

People have already started to tell me "at least he was with you in a home at the end, he was lucky to have you" but I see it a totally different way. I was lucky to get to see the real Miko. The Miko that adored my daughter, the Miko that loved to play with the other dogs despite his poor frame, and the Miko that loved to gaze into the fire on a night time.

Miko was incredible and I am going to miss him so much. Maybes a bit like Dudley the bond we shared was close and instant, and the hole he has left behind in my life just as big.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Come Step Inside.....

The response since announcing SHAK HQ has been brilliant, and I’d like to thank everyone for sharing the vision and showing support. It really is exciting watching the calendar fill up with dates, and I think we’re all in for some really good days/evenings as well as expanding our knowledge that will help both ourselves and our dogs.

There is a full list of events that are booked so far further down the page, but there’s one in
particular that I need to mention that gets the ball rolling.....

Tuesday the 17th of November is your opportunity to come inside SHAK HQ and see what it’s all about. Doors open from 6.45pm with the night beginning at 7, you are welcome to come and have a look around, listen to our plans  for the future, meet some of the team and also meet the very special guest for the evening, Leigh Smyth from Essential For Equilibrium.

We will all be on hand and available to answer your questions with a glass of bubbly to celebrate  the first meeting at our new headquarters, so please mark the 17th of November in your diary, along with all the dates.

So we can have an idea of expected numbers, please send an RSVP to

This really is an exciting time for us, it will be great to see you here on the 17th to share it.
Thank you again for you support.

Stephen Wylie.
Founder of SHAK


Nov 17th 2015 - 7pm ... ‘Come Step Inside’ Your chance to  explore SHAK HQ

Nov 24th 2015 - 10.30am ... ‘Join The Team’ An opportunity to learn more about being a SHAK volunteer

Jan 9th 2016  -  10.30am...  ‘Join The Team’ An opportunity to learn more about being a SHAK volunteer

Jan 21st 2016 - 7.30pm... ‘An Insight Into Problem Behaviour’ with Sue McCabe from Muttamorphosis

Jan 28th 2016 - 6pm... Essential Equilibrium with Leigh Smyth

Feb 21st 2016 - All Day... Reiki Level 1 with Leigh Smyth

Mar 3rd 2016 - 6pm... Essential Equilibrium with Leigh Smyth

Apr 14th 2016 - 6pm... Essential Equilibrium with Leigh Smyth

May 15th 2016 - All Day... Reiki For Animals with Leigh Smyth

Aug 14th 2016 - All Day... Reiki Level 2 with Leigh Smyth

Sept 18th 2016 - All Day... Reiki Level 2 with Leigh Smyth

A Year On For Denbar.....

Sunday was the first anniversary since we lost a real big part of the early years of SHAK.....

A sudden illness has taken Denbar from the family that loved him so dearly, and the big guy has left a huge hole in a lot of peoples hearts. There was twice in Denbar's life that I stopped him being destroyed. The first time, he was probably just minutes away..... waiting to be called into the room. For him to go on and witness the love and affection that he did was truly amazing and I think the pictures below show this. Thank you to his family for loving him and to those who got him there.