Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 30 May 2011

Wilf On The Road.....

There's not many dog's in rescue that can claim to get away for a few days on holiday, but Wilf certainly can. Thanks to Lynn and her partner Phil, Wilf has spent today walking the final 15 miles of their tour of Hadrians wall. An overnight stay at mine allowed Wilf to catch up with old friends Oskar, Sky, Star and Dusty before setting off to meet Lynn, Phil and team for his expedition and then a slumber party at their house. As you can see, he had a wonderful time and experienced some very strange situations for a rescue dog, all of which were taken in his stride with such composure. Lynn sent me this text which shows how much he has come across today:

"Well that's Wilf walked fifteen miles today from heddon-on-the-wall to wallsend n
he's as shattered as the rest of us but he's been as good as gold. Didn't bat an
eyelid at any other walkers, dogs, cyclists or traffic. We've been on the metro, in
a lift, up part of northumberland street n he's now sound asleep on the x21 to
bedlington station. Just hope he wakes me up when we get there so I don't miss the

I'm sure you'll all remember how Wilf arrived at SHAK, bald and with mange. Thanks to Lynn and Phil for taking the time to give Wilf a well earned holiday.

Wilfs Holidays.....

Charlie Having Fun.....

In the little over a week that Charlie has been with us, he has come on so much. From a dog that tried to climb up my trouser leg when he first saw a car go past, he was today running and playing with me and Andrea. Charlie still has a long way to go, but we are now looking for a Foster home that has the time and patience to show him the outside world is ok after all.


You can see Charlie has clearly been neglected, covered in sores, scars and with such long claws. After being fully treated with medication to get rid of his unwanted friends, Gemma helped me give him a medicated wash, and the little diamond of a dog began to shine.

Meet Charlie.....

This is Charlie on his arrival at SHAK just over a week ago. I picked him up as a stray, near some allotments and as well as being terrified, he was riddled with fleas. Charlie was so scared he wouldn't walk, he just crawled along on his belly. Despite whatever he has been through he loves people though, and Jill and the whole SHAK team have given him a lot of attention this week.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Good News And Bad.....

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Rebecca and Casey who worked so hard at the table top sale in Bedlington last weekend. These young girls put so much effort into their sale every year, and I'm delighted to say that this year has been as brilliant as ever. £134.37 was raised to help the dogs in our care, so thank you to the girls and to everyone who supported them.

Ironically, yesterday saw us take in the most seriously neglected dog we ever have. I cannot show photos or tell the dogs story yet, but these funds from two young girls will go directly to bringing this dog back to health.

More to follow.....

Friday, 27 May 2011

Donate Via Your Mobile.....

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Vodafone, and provide a simple and effective way of you to help us "Save Even More Dogs On Death Row."

Simply text SHAK01 £10 to 70070 to donate to Shak (Safe Homes And Kindness) and make a difference today. You can donate any amount upto £10 by simply changing the amount in the text, and the best thing is we get EVERY penny.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Honey On The Road.....

One of the dogs who has really come on lately is little Honey. Once again, it is the dog that has done all the hard work, but all the SHAK team have helped her realise that people are not going to hurt her anymore. You have to remember that when I went to Birmingham to collect her, Honey was described as "evil" after being used as a bait dog in dog fighting. Today, Gregg and Lynn took her into a local busy village for her first road trip on her the road to "Forever Foster." The aim is for Honey to become accustomed to the outside world with her new found confidence, and then we'll begin the search for her "Forever Foster" home. Things went well today, and as you can see Honey really had a wonderful time. Thanks Gregg and Lynn.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Dusty Keeping An Eye Out.....

If you have been to the kennels you will be familiar with the fact that Dusty stays in the office during the day before coming home with me. His job is to keep an eye on things. Here he is at his work today.

Duke Shows A Hot Dog Who's Boss.....

Anyone who has met Duke will love this.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Faith A Year On.....

Pinched this off Karen's Facebook:

"I was looking back at Faiths records at the weekend and as of April she has been a SHAK dog for over a year. For those of you who can remember the little dog that crawled along on her belly terrified of everything, thrashed about on the end... of a lead because she had been poled when she was caught and was generally shut down from the world and everything in it - WELL LOOK AT HER NOW !!!! A happy smiling little madame now !!!!"

Think that says it all! Thanks for giving her such a great home Karen.

Sunday Of Fundraising.....

I'm delighted to say Steve Williams completed the Edinburgh Marathon in a fantastic 3 hours and 57 minutes. Thank you to Steve for all his efforts, and of course to everyone who sponsored him.

The weekend also Yvonne, Angie and Abby take the SHAK Tombola on the road once more, this time to Bede's World in Jarrow. It sounds like they had a great day, and made a fantastic £279! Thank you so much for giving up your Sunday girls.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

King Makes A Celebrity Appearance.....

King was in the papers this week, as the Berwick Advertiser ran a story regarding a wonderful gesture by the Farm To Freeze store in Wooler. Thanks to Terry and all the staff for nominating us for funding from a national charitable trust, and for the cheque for £350 that followed. Mike accompanied King to collect the cheque, and there is a nice photograph in this weeks paper. Unfortunately there does not appear a link on the papers website so I can't post the article or photo on here, but thanks to everyone for the donation and the nice write up.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Little Jasper Goes Home.....

Another SHAK dog relaxing in his new home today is little Jasper. I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to Barry and Stacey for giving this little fella a foster home until today arrived, and to Joanne for kitting him out with all the essentials when setting up new home.

Jasper has had a busy couple of weeks, and today was the busiest as there was tears as he left his foster home, followed by a trip to Moorview Vets for a dental and to be castrated.

Tonight he is relaxing in his new seaside home, the little dog that made a BIG impression at SHAK.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New Chapters And New Friends.....

I had some great news today as I phoned to see how Tilly was doing in her new home. She is settling in really well, and has certainly got her Mam smitten. I quote: "I wake up every morning and feel so lucky to have her."

The man she left behind has been missing her though, and I have to say George has been a little down since she left. The last couple of days though has seen him happier though as he has spent time with Nina.I recorded the video above of them playing this morning. (Please ignore the mess, it was cleaning out time.)

Table Top Sale.....

For any SHAK supporters in the Bedlington area, this Saturday sees the annual table top sale to raise funds for us. Thanks to the girls at 9 River View for backing us once more and for all their efforts. Happening at 9 River View between 10am -1pm, there is a whole host of goodies for sale, including Fresh Pastries, Books, Toys, Ornaments, Sweets, Bric A Brac and DVD's.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Happy News Comes In A Three.....

Good news today as Otto's results came back from the vets all clear. Its been a week of worry, but we're all delighted that the growth removed wasn't cancerous. He's been playing football all week as if nothing was wrong, just have to hope it doesn't come back or cause him any more discomfort.

Something else that put a smile on my face today was seeing the gorgeous Tilly (pictured above) leave us to go on a home trial weekend with her potential new Mam. Tilly has been with us too long now and suffered some heart aches as potential homes have fallen through with no fault of her own. I'm really hoping its because she was waiting for this one. I will update you on this as I find out.

There was also a massive development for one of the SHAK boys today, as arrangements were finalised for him also moving into his "Forever Foster Home." The date is set, but as usual I won't reveal his identity until it happens.

Can I also say thank you to the great response to sponsoring Steve Williams in the Edinburgh Marathon. Both the SHAK team and Steve really appreciate it.

Derek Open On Sunday.....

Derek is now back on his feet, and I'm delighted to announce that he is open as usual between 9-5 this Sunday. I know he has missed not being open through illness the last few weeks, and I'm sure he'd be delighted to catch up with you all.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Edinburgh Marathon 22nd May.....

Thanks to Steve Williams for kindly running the Edinburgh Marathon on the 22nd May to raise funds for SHAK. When I first started SHAK I never dreamt that we would gain support like this, and really appreciate being lucky enough to be chosen by Steve for the cause benefiting from all his hard work. If anyone would like to sponsor Steve please do so by the methods below, and mark your donation "Steve Williams Sponsorship."

Cheque (Payable to SHAK) and sent to:
Wildwood Cottage.
3a Stead Lane,
NE22 5LT

PayPal: Payable to

Thanks in advance for your kind support. And thanks Steve.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Thank You And Hello To Jasper.....

Thank you to Joan and Sonia for giving up another part of their weekend to help us raise more much needed funds. I'd also like to say thank you to the staff, management and customers of Jollyes in Blyth for once again getting behind the cause and supporting us.

Events such as this really help us, and enable us to do what we do. The latest to benefit from that work is little Jasper (pictured above) who has served his time after being picked up by myself as a stray. We have several possibilities for Jasper, so hopefully this friendly little boy will be with his new family soon.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Poorly Otto.....

Today was one of those days full of anxiety as Otto was at the vets to get a growth removed from his mouth. We are hoping it is Benin, but has been sent away for tests to confirm. I must thank Jonathon at Moorview vets for turning what was supposed to be a routine consult into the operation that was needed at such short notice, and also for Mike for taking him there in the first place.

Otto was a good boy throughout, and is staying with me overnight as he recovers from his anaesthetic. His live in girlfriend Meg is certainly missing him, and was very quiet today without him.

Another operation means that once again I have to appeal for help with the cost. The way things are today I know money is tight, but we appreciate every penny you kindly donate. Anyone wishing to donate towards Otto's vet bill, can by the following methods:

Cheque (Payable to SHAK) and sent to:
Wildwood Cottage.
3a Stead Lane,
NE22 5LT

PayPal: Payable to

Or directly to Moorview Vets (Please state you wish to make a payment of the SHAK account.)
Moorview Vets.
Station Road,

Tyne And Wear
NE27 0AA
0191 256 6990

Thank you in advance for your support.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Picture Says A Million Words.....

I love this photo of Nina and me enjoying a cuddle, because there is so much more to this than meets the eye. In this photo, you would think that a dog owner and their pet are enjoying a special cuddle, and you'd be right. However, if I was to tell you that the very dog in this photo was due to lose her life because her previous owner had used her as a security deterrent and he no longer needed her, that she has a history of biting people because that's what her "owner" made her do, then maybes this picture shows a little bit more than you first thought. In fact, in many ways it shows exactly the work we do at SHAK, and that all the dogs fighting for their lives in this disposable society deserve a chance and a place to simple be a "dog" again.

Meet Skippy.....

Skippy is another newbie at SHAK after I picked him up as a stray. Lovable and playful, Skippy (Skip for short) loves a ball, but walks uneasily on his back legs at times. He clearly isn't in pain, and allows you to touch him all over, but he just looks "awkward" at times when he walks. Now he is officially a SHAK dog we plan to get him into the vets to get checked over, but as you can see he is simply a stunning boy.

The Impression These Wonderful Dogs Make.....

This was posted Facebook. I feel I have to post this on here, as it sums up what an impression these dogs that have been discarded and written off by people can have when you give them time. Thanks Claire Dalgarno-Todd:

Anyone who knows me will know I'm a big fan of dogs, especially big dogs. I first found out about SHAK after seeing posters & flags from a caravan stood on the driveway of a house at the beach (where I walk my dogs). This guy raises money selling tea & coffee to dog walkers every weekend & all proceeds go to SHAK. I went home & goo...gled SHAK only to be heart broken by some of the things I read. Let me just try & briefly tell you about this amazing charity. Shak was founded by one guy with a HUGE heart, this guy is Stephen Wylie. Stephen has rescued hundreds of dogs from being abused or just dumped on the streets by their owners to fend for them selves. He drives the length & breadth of the country rescuing these dogs, some which have been used as bating dogs for organised dog fighting, some on death row ready to be destroyed. Shak's ethos is to give them another chance, to give them hope & a life of kindness.

Shak has survived on public donations & no doubt Stephen's own personal funds. It is just a small charity but is growing at a nice pace where the public are becoming more & more aware thanks to TV & radio broadcasts. This doesn't mean to say they still dont need as much help as possible, even just the smallest of donations is always welcome & can help toward feeding & vets fees for these beautiful animals.

I first met with Stephen last year & arranged to meet some of the dogs & photograph them. I found that all these dogs want is to be loved & played with. Give them a ball & they'll play for hours. I was told some disturbing stories about some of the dogs that really do make you wonder how some people are ever allowed to own a pet. On my second visit I met a little bull type girl who had been used as a bating dog for dogs fights, she was so nervous & scared from past bites, thankfully after a little love from Stephen & the other volunteers she has come out of her shell & quite a happy little thing now.

There are some happy ending stories as some of the dogs after rehabilitation find forever foster homes :o)

But without the help of the public this charity could not survive. There are many animal charities out there but this one really does need our help. Every penny raised goes straight into the cost to keep these dogs alive, Shak doesn't have TV adverts with HUGE costs or billboard posters again with HUGE costs, or even monthly letters, postcards & little fluffy stuffed toys sent out to sponsors.........ALL money goes into the charity to keep the dogs.

This September my husband & I are going to bike the Coast to Coast challenge to raise money for Shak, currently we dont have a sponsor page as yet set up but keep checking back for it, or if you visit Shak's website you can donate direct to help keep another pooch from death row.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Shak.

Claire x

Monday, 2 May 2011

Another Day Of Fine Fundraising.....

Another sunny weekend saw the SHAK tombola taken on the road again. This time the destination was Bill Quay Farm Fair, where once again a fun day was had. Thanks to Joan, Angie, Elaine and little Neve for giving up their Bank Holiday Monday to raise more funds for the dogs. Everyone at SHAK (both 2 and 4 legged) really appreciate it. Thank You x