Change Lives

Change Lives

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A Happier Harley.....

I'm sure you'll all remember how terrified  Harley was when he arrived just a couple of weeks ago. Fear aggressive and petrified by transport, his mental state really wasn't very good.

Today I captured a couple.of very special moments on a walk with Amy. You can see how far he has come.....


Below is the video of when he arrived:


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Fun In The Sun.....

Today Indi and I were joined by a very special guest as Rachel joined us on an afternoon stroll in blazing sunshine. Although I'm not aloud to post any photographs (Must be a girl thing ha ha) Indi soon got over being very cautious and even allowed Rachel to walk her for a while.

Afterwards we retired for another snooze in the sun room where, with the help of Lennox, I was able to enjoy a very special moment.....



Sleeping Beauty.....

So after her walk last night I thought I'd give Indi another look at indoors.....  She promptly lay next to me and fell asleep!


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

First Look Inside At Home.....

Having been getting on so well with Indi I thought let her follow Star and Lennox inside after her walk tonight. It's fair to say she did incredibly well although whenever I moved she tried to bury herself into the nearest object.

We shared a little snooze and then I took her back to her kennel where she collapsed totally exhausted.

Still I managed to get this footage.....


Monday, 14 May 2018

Two Huge Moments For Two Very Special Dogs.....

Even I know that this is a terrible selfie but I just couldn't help but show you who sat on my knee tonight and enjoyed the sun and a beer after work.....



Such an amazing feeling on a beautiful evening.

It was also a big day for Harley as he went out for a walk with Lynn for the first time. Meeting a new lady meant he needed a little spruce up and how amazing is it that considering the state he was in when he arrived he let Amy and Paul get so close.....


Sunday, 13 May 2018

A New Experience For Indi.....

I bet you thought you'd got through a full day without a post about the wonderful Indi.....

Well as the sheep had been moved it meant we could have a trip around the field next to her kennel, which so represented a walk on grass for the first time since she came to live with me. As usual she took it all in her stride despite being visibly unsure, whilst in Star and Lennox  she had great sources for reassurance.

Oh and we caught a beautiful sunset.....




Saturday, 12 May 2018

When The Cats Away....

So look what Indi (in the kennel on the right) gets up to when she thinks that nobody is around.....




Here Comes The Yosh In Black.....

I really do think Yoshi is taking these sleep overs with Brad and Amy just a little too far, as he's clearly fully relaxing!


Friday, 11 May 2018

Indi A Week On.....

So a week ago today myself and 3 of my dogs set off to meet a scruffy little dog that was extremely shut down and terrified. That dog of course was Indi, and what followed has been a very emotional and proud week.

This is her on arrival.....


You have all followed her progress all week, the highs and lows, we all share the same admiration and love for her. Today is a day off, so I had the pleasure of getting her put for a walk in daylight and having been with Star all week I introduced Lennox who had also had the pleasure of the road trip to get her.....


All three of these dogs have had tough lives and Star and Lennox are battling their own issues that health and age bring, but I have to say that to be part of this walk this morning was an amazing feeling. I am so proud of them all. So much has changed for Indi a week on.....

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Indi's Most Amazing Walk Yet.....

Sorry for the late post but I really couldn't wait to share with you a really proud and massive moment for Indi. Tonight we went out for a walk with Star like every night, only tonight she really did step out.....

Not much trashing around or biting the lead, tonight she walked despite still being terrified. It was as if her curiosity had finally taken over her senses. She really was amazing.

Interestingly at one stage two cyclists went past talking, it was the only time she freaked out. Then not long after a van went past and she didn't flicker. Once again all I can conclude from witnessing her actions is that she is terrified of humans but used to traffic?

Anyway we went all the way to the cattle grid and back again, a combined trip of about half a mile. Quite incredible considering she only thrashed her way into my life 6 days ago. I am so proud and in love.

Once we got back she was exhausted and fell asleep in front of my eyes. She let me put on her new collar, and perhaps more importantly she didnt scrunch her head into a corner. For the first time she just stretched out and then went to sleep in front of me.

Writing this I am still very emotional about what I have seen from Indi tonight. I don't even think the video and photos will do justice to just how amazing she was......





Ember Trump.....

I just couldn't resist this when I went to the van.....


The Three Musketeers.....

Some more great work from Rich this time as he's taken Harley's socialisation to a whole new level. You're familiar with his story and what a mess he was in just a couple of weeks ago, but look at him now!

Bren of course was due to be destroyed at the local pound for being aggressive, whilst Cooper had a real tough life before coming to us. Amazing to see 3 such beautiful big boys helping each other.....

From left to right Bren, Cooper and Harley.

Indi A Page 3 Girl.....

Another great write up in this week's Northumberland Gazette. Page 3 too.....


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Enrichment.....

Carrying on the theme of the fantastic work Gary and his team are doing at SHAK 2, I thought today I'd share some of the dogs enjoying the Enriched Environment Area.

The idea if this is to give the dogs mental stimulation as well as exercise and to let them discover new scents, sights and sounds that will help them on their journeys back to society.

Whilst this video isn't action packed, look at just how much concentration, sniffing and licking is going on.....


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Another Walk With Indi.....

Seem to have been running behind all day today so my walk with two special girls came at dusk rather than sunset. Still it was such an improvement even from last night, just too dark to film!

The lead is still her big issue but I found that when she starts to reject it she calms right down if I slowly and gently stroke her head. I feel as if she is beginning to trust, and she is definately beginning to be curious about the outdoors.....


Monday, 7 May 2018

Simply Amazing.....

Having been such a beautiful day, the sunset at home was simply glorious. I didn't want Indi to miss it! So I decided that having been so close last night and coming home from work today to find that she had messed outside (That's the first time since she arrived) I thought I'd try her on a lead again and take her out with the amazing Star.

I'm not going to lie, the actual walking on the lead bit was horrific with the thrashing and lead biting I witnessed on Friday, but once she realises she was outside and the beauty that surrounded her, I honestly think she enjoyed the view and smells.

Living on my own it is difficult to capture the full wonder of what I was lucky enough to witness. I honestly think that Indi has never ever been out on a walk with somebody. She was amazing and you can even see her beginning to respond to her name. A glorious sunset with two amazing girls as this video shows.....






Time For A Swim.....

Whilst a lot of attention has been on the likes of Harley and Indi lately, Gary and his team down at our secondary kennels have been doing a brilliant job utilising the sunshine to give the dogs there a real sense of adventure.

Concentrating more on mental stimulation to help the dogs readjust to the outside world, Gary has found a really perfect way to let the dogs enjoy the sun as much as we are.....

Look at how much this means to Benny and Sally.....


Sunday, 6 May 2018

An Amazing Moment.....

As the sun began to set and after I'd sorted all my dogs, I thought tonight's warm evening was a good opportunity to spend some quality time with Indi. Fair to say she blew me away.....

I started by just sitting with her, stroking and talking to her, she stayed glued to her corner. No eye contact was made and I have to admit I was a little disheartened.

I decided to try the lead on her again, that way if she decided to bolt or thrash around, I had some control. I wasnt let down, for as soon as the lead was on she started to try and escape and to hide anywhere. I just sat there calmly, no fighting back or trying to stop her and for the first time since I had the pleasure of meeting her on Friday the penny seemed to drop.....

Below is almost a step by step gallery of how we shared that first intimate moment. Maybe the first time in her whole life someone has had the opportunity to get this close.....





On my own and on a roll I went for it and managed to capture this precious video footage.....



She was and still is clearly still petrified but to be part of this magical moment was something so special. I know she probably wished I was a million miles away, but she let me get this close..... I will cling onto that feeling and more importantly that hope.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Amazing..... She Looked At Me.....

It's a real shame I have no footage of this but I've just gone in to feed Indi and called.her name as I entered. She actually lifted her head up and looked at me before remembering how she was meant to be..... 

Indi's Arrival.....

Thank you for all the well wishes yesterday, I'm delighted to say that Indi arrived in the afternoon and apart from being absolutely terrified, I got her home without major issue.

Getting her from one vehicle to another was a little tricky, as soon as a lead went on she started trashing around like a wild animal, but with patience we got there. It is also very important to say even when being so distressed she didn't bite, there was every opportunity to do so.

She seemed relieved to see Lennox, Star and Bandit who had come down for the ride, it's clear she feels safer around other dogs.

Once home Rachel help me lift her out and seeing her stand exposed the true horror from her life on the streets. Her mammary glands are so big she's clearly had litter after litter after litter.....

Although she looked around and seemed to like the beautiful Northumberland countryside.....




Getting her into a kennel was another episode of thrashing on the lead which you can see in the video below. I do need to warn you that some people may find it disturbing but it's important you see her and remember here as how she is now so you can compare it to how she is hopefully going to be.



Checking on her before bedtime she was in her corner still, but she'd ate. A good sign and hopefully a way to take things forward. This morning she looked as if she hadn't moved, still stuck facing the wall, but the hair on her bed and ruffled blankets show otherwise.....


She has such a long way to go and is so shut down that this is going to be a real hard slog, but I know we can get her there. I feel a connection with her already and just have to be there for her the moment she decides to trust.....

Friday, 4 May 2018

Heading Home With Indi.....

A bit of a struggle transferring between vehicles but I now have Indi with me and heading home.....


Another In A Dreadful State Due to Arrive.....

This afternoon I am setting off to collect a dog that has already come such a long way, geographically.

I was approached about 6 weeks ago by the same source that brought us the wonderful Eden, if I could help another dog in Romania that was showing the exact same signs as our little star. Spending all day staring at the corner in a kill shelter, this little one was staring euthanasia in the eye and being so shut down she has nowhere to go.



She was so thin and weak, her future looked very glum, how could I not offer to help?

I think it is important to state from the very start here that this is a very special case, and we are NOT in a position to start importing dogs from abroad. Likewise for everybody that is against the act of dogs seeking refuge in the UK, we take dogs in from all over the country. Breed, location and issues bare no discrimination to us.

That said, our little dogs physical condition deteriayed rapidly over the next few days after Georgia had asked us to help. Her body was so dehydrated and weak that she was rushed to the vets and places on intravenous fluids. Without this she would have almost definately died staring at that hideous corner.

I was given updates as much as possible and we all prayed for her that she'd pull through and we'd get to meet her. This was her on her way to the vets and at the vets. These pictures were the first time I saw her face.....



It was almost as if she knew she had people behind her and I'm delighted to say our girl pulled through after a week or so and was released to a 'halfway house rather than back to the kill shelter she'd cone from.

Even there though she continued to be shut down and didn't show any interest in interacting with humans, she is simply so terrified. As you can see her surroundings weren't the greatest, and for the specialist care she needed she simply had to come to us.


So on Wednesday she set off from Romania and headed towards us. Its a 3 day drive in a van and I can't start to imagine how frightened she is. Whilst there isn't the aggression that Eden showed on arrival, the fear is horrendous as the following two photos show. 

The first was taken as she left Romania, the second over 24 hours later in Germany. The bedding has been changed but thats the only difference, she hasn't moved in all that time.....



Right at the start of this adventure I was asked to give her a name as she didnt even have the dignity of being called anything. I decided on Indi.....

She is due in the UK this morning, and I am collecting her late afternoon. She has been so brave and shown great strength to get this far, feels like we've been through so much together already. I can't wait to  meet her.....

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Harley Makes The Press.....

Another great write up by James Willoughby in today's Northumberland Gazette.....


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Two More New Friends.....

And now Harley has two new friends in Bren and Sarah.....


He really is doing so well and coping with everything we keep presenting him. We're all really proud.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Lady Meets Daisy.....

Sorry for the bombardment of pictures with my ugly mug on but I just couldn't not share this one. Anyone who knows Lady (on the left) or saw video footage of when she arrived will know how amazing this photograph is. Used for protection, she hated everything and everyone. Today she walked with me and Daisy, probably the closet she has ever been to another dog.

Daisy was due for destruction in a local pound. Although not as full on and menacing as Lady, her story is pretty much the same, hated other dogs and extremely aggressive in her kennel.

Too be in the middle of these beautiful two girls is something I'm very proud of, "can't believe what I'm seeing" was a comment made when we returned to the kennels. I couldn't either, but it just goes to show how amazing these animals are.....


Enjoying The Sunshine With Harley....

Following on from the video at the weekend, Harley continues to improve gain a little more trust. There's now 4 of us walking him, although it's clear to see that in Amy he has found a real friend. Its great to see but also interesting to see that he's more comfortable with a female.

That all said I took advantage of Amy's day off today to enjoy the sunshine with him and get a few cuddles myself.....




Sunday, 29 April 2018

Harley First Update.....

We've seen some amazing progress from Harley over the weekend, progress that makes us all very proud.

Rich and Brad stepped up on my days off as it's vital that Harley doesn't just get used to one person. Both did exceptionally well, with Rich pulling out the master stroke..... Chicken!

Then yesterday I decided to get a little bit closer before handing over to Amy to see how he was with a female.....


A Perfect Storm.....

With all the attention around Harley's arrival last week, Storms entrance seemed to almost go unheralded.  However, I've been keeping a special eye on her as we settle Harley in, and it was great to get to spend some quality time with her yesterday after the book signing.

A big girl who arrives with a bit of a reputation, she had found herself passed around from pillar to post through no fault of her own, before the council brought her to us.

She is so intelligent and I can't help but question whether a Malamute should end up in this environment and expect to cope. The fact of the matter is she had nowhere else to go and really needed us or faced being destroyed.

I think the fun we both had in these photos show that would have simply been a crime. You may tell I have a real sweet spot for her already.



Great Success.....

Is like to thank everyone who supported the fund raising double header on Saturday at both HQ and Alnwick market, both a great success.

Thank you too to all the people involved arranging and then helping at both events.

A big thank you too to young Keira and Ruby who raised a very impressive £68 at a car boot sale, armed with their brilliant home made SHAK posters.

Great work girls, we're all very proud!


Thursday, 26 April 2018

A Sorry Sight Called Harley Arrives.....

I was approached on Monday by an officer from Nortumberland Council to see if we'd take a Dogue de Bordeaux in that was facing the threat of being euthanised by his owner. I won't go into too many details because of the fact we do have some history on this dog, but of course I said yes.

Harley arrives yesterday in quite simply horrific and mental condition. He is clearly under weight and his claws are so long that he sometimes actually trips over them when he walks. However it is the mental state of this dog that has me really concerned.

On his arrival he was frightened but managable, he walked into his kennel on a lead and we even had a little cuddle. Yesterday afternoon though I saw how damaged he was. As soon as I moved my hand to put the lead around his neck he started barking and growling. Fear that I can totally understand. However as I raised my hand slightly higher to make a bigger loop and hopefully cause him less stress, he was so frightened that he soiled himself as he cowered. I got him out eventually with some gentle coaxing and we went for a walk. As you'll see in the video, even the sound of sheep blows his mind, I think you'll be beginning to draw the same conclusions I am.....

Today he was still frightened and a little more difficult to get on the lead, but we got there. We went for another walk and..... Well I'll let you see for yourself how he coped with the outside world.....



His reaction to traffic really shocked me and Rich, and although we didn't unfortunately it on camera, the first time I touched him he wet himself.

As I said I really don't think I can comment on his history or explain his behaviour, but seeing him like this makes me only presume he's had a tough time physically and mentally.....