Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 31 October 2011

Dudley Update.....

After attaching himself to everyone he has met in the last 36 hours, having Dudley feels as if he has been around for ever. Tonight I braced myself for the trip I was dreading and took him to see Jonathon at Moorview Vets. After losing Scooby less than 2 weeks ago, and Spirit with bone tumours, I really was dreading this trip.

Jonathon was brilliant with him, and we have a little hope depending on blood test results. There appears to be a thickening of one of his anal glands, which in turn may be the reason of the excessive drinking. Excuse my lack of medical knowledge here as I try to explain this the best I can. The blood tests will determine how much calcium is in the blood, a high rate and we may have something unpleasant to deal with. So we are waiting for the results to come back.

After a thorough examination, Jonathon believes that the problems with his back end may be due to discs, whilst the front paw, pictured above may be due to some old ligament damage. Although known of which we can address until we have the test results back.

So tonight Dudley is back in my front room, we have done the best we can for him now we must wait. But boy is this boy worth the wait.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Where There Is A Will.....

Where theres a will theres a way, and some people have proved that today. Thanks to our own Heather and Chris making a big detour as they left Sussex for Northumberland, Dudley is now up here with us. He's currently relaxing after his tea in my front room, and he's doing extremely well after several days of massive upheaval. The big handsome lad is in a terrible state, there are certainly issues going on that I'm not going to comment on until a vet has given him a full examination, but I believe he will be another that breaks our hearts. Look at the photo above that was taken en route today, and think back to the fact that this dog was taken and dumped in a field left to die. I think the fact he has got this far makes this story a happy one no matter how it finishes.

More Food And More Thank You's.....

Thank you to everyone who has donated food over the last few days. Once again your support has been fantastic. We've had food parcels arrive from as far field as Canada and Lincolnshire, whilst the local support has been second to none. We appreciate every single tin and bag. Special thanks to Robinson's Pet Shop in Newcastle for a very generous donation, at present with times being hard we appreciate all our you for remembering us.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sad Lullaby 'Sleep to Dream' (Some Very Sad Images).....

This shows you what really does go on. Sorry that it is so graphic, but the truth really is this unpleasant. What you see in this video is why you MUST help us make a difference. Neuter and adopt from rescues, donate anything. Every little bit helps.

Thanks to Lisa Clark for creating and sharing this song and video.

Fountainhead Car Park.....

Please remeber Derek is open for drinks and scones at FOUNTAINHEAD CAR PARK, on the sea front at Seaton Sluice. As well as providing refreshments and raising money for us, Derek is also a great drop off for any food donations. Thank you in advance for your support.

Foxy Roxy: Our Rover Reporter.....

Well, I received this email this morning and after a good laugh, I thought it was the perfect time to announce the fourth and final dog that had a sleep over last weekend. I'll let you you read into it what you like, take it away Foxy Roxy.....

Roxy's Report.

"Well dear SHAK readers-what a week.I am almost too worn out to scribble my report but it seems like no fireside snooze until I do. There I was a week ago paddling in the contents of my water bowl as always when that big bloke sticks a lead on me , puts me in the back of his car and next thing I know I have a vet staring at my sore eye and generally poking at me.Mind you I let him know with my Roxy growl that I was having none of it.But before I know it that big bloke (massive hands he has) was holding my head while the vet stuck needles in me-acupuncture it was not!

Anyway things improved later that afternoon when,guess what? I walk up the gardenpath and who is staring out the window at me but my old sparing partner-Handsome Harvey.Harvey showed me round his house and explained the big bloke who Harvey calls Dad isHarvey's butler,cook,cleaner and chauffeur.Harvey rents the upstairs of his house tothis Dad in exchange for his services.Anyway Harvey had organised Dad to set up a rather cosy bed in the corner, a double dish stand and a selection of toys for me.After a brisk walk on the beach it was back to Harvey's place for a spot of 2 star Michelin food-Turkey mince cooked in tomatoes,garlic and olive oil and served on a bed of moist dog biscuit-pity this Dad person has only one recipe but.

The rest of my week has been a blur of activity including back to the vets for my
little operation on my eye,walks every few hours and more bloody Turkey.Mind you I did have to laugh at Harvey's efforts to train his domestic help.Basically he gets this Dad person to give him lumps of liver every time Harvey sits or lies down or runs back after chasing a rabbit.Tried it myself and it works-unbelievable!

Today I was driven by Dad the chauffeur to something called a canine centre, and it was where I was introduced to lots of other dogs and two ladies who these dogs are training justlike Harvey is Dad.Not exactly sure what that was all about but seems like someonepassed something with flying colours and gets to take Dad for his Saturday training start day soon-wonder who it was?Attached a few pictures of me and Harvey .As you can see I have Dad groom me to shining perfection,my eye has mended well and lets face it I look gorgeous despite the extra couple of pounds I have put on this week.

I will keep you posted on Dads progress from Chez Harvey but must go and grab the bestspot next to the fire before Harvey notices me slipping past Dad as he washes our dinner bowls.

Love to all at SHAK"

Foxy Roxy

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dudley On His Way.....

I'm delighted to say that Dudley was saved from the pound today and has been placed in emergency kenneling until he is transfered up to ourselves on Sunday by our very own Heather.

He has been for a quick check up at the vets today, and has medication for the sores, however it would appear his back legs are causing the most concern.

More on this beautiful boy when he arrives, but thank you to Heather and Lisa Clark for saving his life.

Wilf's Pass Extended.....

I think the photograph above shows that Wilf is thoroughly enjoying his extended sleep over, in fact I've granted permission today to have his pass extended even further, so hopefully it will be a long term thing. He's been enjoying playing with his two new cousins (our very own Sparky and Skip) and tonight even ran off with a football much to the disgust of the boys trying to have a game!

Wilf was one of the 4 lucky dogs last week to have a weekend away, and this week its little Lexi who is staying with Auntie Alison.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Can You Help Us Help Dudley.....

I don't normally do this, but he is a glimpse of the next dog that we're expecting to arrive at SHAK. Please read his story written by Lisa Clark, and if anyone can help with donations towards his vets bills please come forward. Thank you.

"'Dudley' Which means 'From the peoples meadow'

This lovely friendly GSD was found collapsed in a field in the middle of nowhere. No I.D. & no chip.

He is in poor shape & is in need of veterinary care.
He has muscle wastage & weak back legs, he also has a growth of some sort on his left shoulder the size of a golf ball hidden under his thick coat of hair.
His right front leg has two problem areas, on the ankle & one of his toes with swelling & pressure type sores on both areas, causing him to use that front foot carefully & awkward.
He is drinking allot, which could be down to infection or other health problems. He needs a total M.O.T. at the vets.

'Dudley' as he is now named, is in a pound & his 7 days are up on friday, we have been asked to help him rather than he be Put to Sleep.

He is not ready to die & on meeting him today, he was the perfect gentleman, he licked my hand & then licked my 6 year old child, he nuzzled for love & his clear bright eyes told me he wants to live whatever life he has left with people who will love him.

We have found him a rescue placement who can offer him love & even a doggy wheelchair if needed!

What help do we need from you....
If 'Dudley' has not been claimed by friday, we will need to get him straight to the vets for treatment, we will then need to private board him in heated kennels until we can find volunteer transporters to transport him to Newcastle where his placement is, with SHAK a wonderful Large Breed Dog Rescue.
This will all cost, the vet bill, the kennel fee, the fuel for the transport run.. & then possible further vet fees once he is at SHAK..

We need donations to cover these costs so we can help 'Dudley'. Who the authorities believe was dumped in that field, with his weak legs & medical needs.. :(

If you can donate, please pledge in the comments, & if by Friday he has not been claimed I will post up the donation info... We are expecting costs to run into the hundreds, but can not give you a definite estimate until we get him to the vets. If you can help with transport from Kent to Newcastle then please let me or Niall Lester Know. Thank you. "

Monday, 24 October 2011

Thank You's.....

Time just seems to slip by me, so here are some Thank Yous to everyone who has helped us fundraise or answered our cry for help for food over the last two weeks.

Thanks to both Jollyes and Whitley Bay Pet Supplies for wonderful donations, as well as an anonymous doner who dropped a whole load of bags off. And to every single person who has helped out by donating. The cupboard is no longer bare, but we need to keep the roll going.

With everything that happened last week I didn't get the chance to thank the team of girls for giving up their last two weekends respectively to fundraise at both the Cramlington and Sunderland Pets At Home Stores. Of course also Thank You to the staff of both stores and the people of both areas for making us so welcome. Last but not least, thanks to Derek, Sandra and all the people that support us down at Seaton Sluice on a Sunday. We appreciate all the effort you all put in.

This Sunday also saw the Little Snorters/Beauty and the Pooch Walk(in aid of SHAK)which I hear was a great day. Thanks to Leah and Beauty and The Pooch for arranging it, and to Lynn and our very own Honey for making a guest appearance! Honey was one of the 4 dogs we had out on sleepover over the weekend, and Lynn reports that once she settled she was great fun to have around. She made a lot of friends on the dog walk and got a lot of attention. A far cry from the bait dog that was described to me as evil.

Another slightly different run/walk was Sparky and Skip doing the Cumbrian Traverse with Trevor. Despite a fall and suspected cracked rib for their Dad all three completed the run, the two boys even doubled up as first aiders for their Dad.

Thanks to you all for doing so much to help us help the dogs that need it the most.

Speaking of the dogs on sleepovers, the other two are still in their potential homes. Their passes have been extended, so we're hoping for successful outcomes.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

SHAK's Supporters 200 Club. Our Own Lottery.....

As we strive to save even more dogs lives in the next 12 months, we have been looking at other ways of gaining support, and I'm delighted to announce our very own SHAK Lottery, the SHAK's Supporters 200 Club.

With the aim of getting 200 members, the 200 club is a great way to have fun and support us along the way. For just £25 for a whole years membership, you enter a monthly draw with prizes of £75, £50 and £25 every month!

If you'd like to really make a difference to a dog's life that desperately needs it, and also have a chance to play the lottery, then please print off the form above, and send it to the address on it. Remember to include a cheque for £25 made payable to 'SHAK's Supporters 200 Club'.

We plan to make the first draw on the 16th December, just in time for Christmas, so please get your entries in before the end of November.

Thank you in advance for your support, and Good Luck.

Coffee And Scones?.....

Please don't forget Derek is open at Fountainhead Car Park tomorrow for hot drinks and scones. I know he'll love to see you.

Good News For Coco.....

The phone and email have been inundated with people asking about Coco. I'm delighted to say that she is off to her new home tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has expressed and interest and please remember we still have other dogs looking for a Forever Foster home.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Coco And Sleepovers.....

Coco came to us last night after her owner died and a relative booked her in to be destroyed. She is very over weight and has sores on her legs which we are treating. It appears that she hasn't been exercised for a long time and is thriving getting out for walks. Hopefully the walking coupled with a diet will get this beautiful girls life back on track. This weekend Coco is relaxing at Alisons house while we try and get her something permanent. Thanks Alison and thanks to Moorview Vets for giving her this chance.

Coco is one of four of our dogs having sleepovers this weekend. The other three are all long termers, and whilst one is just a vacation, the other two are with views to Forever Foster homes. I will let you know more after the weekend.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Please Support Sparky And Skip's Run.....

Please support our boys Sparky and Skip (and Trevor of course!) You can sponsor via PayPal ( or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to:

Wildwood Cottage.
3a Stead Lane,
... Northumberland
NE22 5LT

Or by texting SHAK01 £10 to 70070

"Sparky and Skip are two collie dogs who were both abandoned and then rescued by SHAK big dog rescue. They now live together with Trevor Wakenshaw.

In order to raise funds for SHAK it was decided to do some sort of challenge but it had to be one the dogs could do as well.... Therefore we are doing the Cumbrian Traverse on October 22nd 2011. This is a mere 35 mile jaunt across the lakeland fells which includes 21 peaks and 12,000 feet of ascent.

Those doing the run are Sparky, Skip, Trevor Wakenshaw, Dave Johnson and Neil Scott. We have road support provided by Craig Bell and his German Shepherd dogs Lewis and Inca.

Please sponsor us and help to raise funds for the wonderful SHAK dogs. If you aren't able to see Dave or myself in person for us to empty your pockets, you can donate via paypal) but please state that it's for Sparky and Skip's run if you do."

Thank you all for your support.

Shocking Statistics.....

Stats taken from the Mirror this morning:

"Dog abandonment in the UK is at an 11-year high as hard-up families struggle to feed themselves, let alone pets.

More than 126,000 dumped dogs were picked up by local authorities in the past 12 months – that is 345 every day. And a shocking 20 a day are being destroyed."

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Hug And A Kiss From Ellie.....

Life goes on, and time waits for no man, so today it had to be very much back to normal after the sadness and shock of losing Scooby yesterday. I'd like to thank the SHAK team who was in both yesterday and today, and also to say how very proud I am of the way they handled such awful circumstances, and also how well they supported me in something that I don't really think has sunk in. People often say to me "I couldn't do your job, it would hurt too much" well my team have proved in the last 24 hours that they are more than capable, and both myself and the dogs are very lucky to have them.

Nothing brings a smile to your face like a kiss from a dog, and today Ellie really warmed a my heart with affection. I picked her up as a stray and I couldn't help but fall for that face of hers. She is such a character, and really enjoys her strolls with our own Honey. We are actively looking for a Forever Foster home for her, so please get in touch via email ( if you would like to be considered for offering Ellie a home. North East of England only please.

Ellie is going to make someone a lovely pet, and today she showed me just how lovely life with her could be.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thank You.....

Thank you to everyone for all their kind words. The response since posting this sad news has been amazing. Thank you all.

The Handsome Face Of SHAK.....

Enjoying The Snow.....

Farewell To My Best Friend And Face Of SHAK.....

Today was a day I've been dreading for a long long time, the day I had to say goodbye to my best friend and the dog that had more of an influence on SHAK than anybody else, including myself.

Scooby came to SHAK in May 2009 with a horror story: tied to a tree, stabbed in the eye with a screwdriver, at the time it was the worst case of abuse we'd taken on. I drove to Birmingham to get him and he thanked me by biting me twice before I could even get him in the car. The sheer scale of the project I'd taken on was clearly apparent, 4 hours to get him in the car and a week and a half to get the lead I'd put on that day off, were just the start. However he made up for all of that and so much more.

Scooby was called "The Lord" because he ran the place, he kept his kennel nice, had a mattress that he slept on, and made a total mockery out of anyone who dismissed an abused dog as aggressive and destined to end up in a skip. Because of Scooby, SHAK changed focus, was recognised by the Kennel Club, and became the sanctuary for tortured souls that you now all know us for.

After looking a bit shabby yesterday an appointment was made for him to go to the vets this afternoon, however on arriving at the kennels this morning Jill found him collapsed in his kennel. Thanks to her and Mike for getting him into the SHAK Van, and a quick pitt stop so us exchange vehicles on the A1 and a rush to the vets.

I was with Scooby all the way, scans showed multiple tumours in his liver and I was shown the areas of internal bleeding that were killing my best friend. I had no choice, the dog that had both shaped the charity I formed and proved to the whole world that every dog deserved a chance, was dying on me.

Scooby left this world this morning surrounded by love and tears. Jonathon the vet at Moorview was incredible, and its testament to Scooby that he almost shed a tear with me (although I'm sure he won't admit it.)

Scooby was a legend, he will live on a legend, and an inspiration to me to continue to help the dogs that need it the most. No dog has ever given me more than Scooby. He taught me so much, and so many of the dogs at SHAK owe their lives to him. I wouldn't of had the confidence and skills to save their lives without him. I really don't know how I will go on without him, but I must. SHAK must. I am so so proud of everything he achieved, and getting bitten off him that first day was the best thing that ever happened to this charity.

Run free big lad, I miss you so much and owe you so much. You were SHAK, thank yo for showing us the way.

Below are links to his diary page when he first arrived. Due to server changes, the pictures do not show. However, the story is still the same. Also I have posted my account of the day he changed me forever, the day he filled a whole in my heart.

"Sunday 31st May 2009.

A manic day sees Scooby a badly abused German Shepherd arrive at SHAK. Scooby represents one of our biggest challenges yet, as he was found chained to a tree in his back garden after his owners had emigrated. Here’s the horror story, Scooby is blind in one eye after it is alleged he was stabbed in the eye with a screwdriver.

As you can imagine, Scooby is very insecure, and is showing signs of clear stress and fear aggression. However, under all of that, he did show me that he can be a nice dog, it’s just going to take a whole lot of time and hard work to help him trust people. The damage that has been done to this dog is truly sickening.

Several urgent phone calls and emails over Friday and Saturday lead to me bombing down to Walsall to offer this big guy a chance, and after a good start it turns out to be quite a day.

I was greeted by teeth and barking as I approached his kennel, but hot dog sausages soon put an end to that. After a few gentle strokes he allowed to handle his collar, and he was very pleased to see the lead. We had a wonderful 40 minutes walk and after more hot dogs and strokes, he was eager to jump into my jeep. That’s when things took a turn for the worst. As I tried to give him a little lift up, he turned on his blind side and promptly started chomping on my arm. I take full responsibility for this, as I shouldn’t have put him in this position. Scooby is obviously very defensive and feels vulnerable if he is physically handled. I think his lack of vision in his left eye and the fact that he has obviously been beaten accounts for so many of his issues.

What followed was a total nightmare, as Scooby decided he didn’t want to be near anyone. Even sedated he was very upset, and I think this poor guy has been through hell. He gets very distressed if you try and muzzle him, and unfortunately his immediate reaction is too lash out in self defence and not worry about the results, as long as people stay away.

Four long hours later, and having coaxed him into a cage,( A special thanks to John from Wrights K9– Academy for giving his time to help) we managed to lift the cage into the back of the jeep, and set off towards home and safety. Even with a 3 and a half hour drive, Scooby wouldn’t relax, and I just couldn’t help but feel so sorry for the way this boy has obviously been made to fear people.

This really is going to be a tough ride, but it is a battle we NEED to win. Scooby showed me on his walk that can live life as a normal dog, and that he is willing to trust people, we just have to get through his defences. Please say a prayer for him, so he can realise that not all humans want to hurt him, and then we can at least let him live out the rest of his life in peace."

Friday, 14 October 2011

Urgent Appeal For Food.....

Anyone who has ever been connected to rescue will know that things come in peak ands troughs. Well right now we're in the middle of a deep trough when it comes to food for the dogs. We are in dire need of both tinned and more desperately dried dog food. I think it's important to say that feeding the dogs is the most important part of our jobs, and that the dogs will be fed regardless, I certainly don't want to create a picture that paints starving dogs. However we have vets and kennel bills to pay aswell as other costs, so this is where I turn to you and ask for help.

We have food collection points at Pets At Home in Cramlington, Moorview Vets in Backworth, and of course Derek is now open every Sunday at Fountainhead Car Park at Seaton Sluice.

Thsnk you in advance for your support, every bag or tin really helps. Thank you.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Hello To Lexi.....

Lexi is another dog that needed us recently, but she provided us with an unusual challenge..... we desperately need to get the weight of her. She is such a darling, and we are looking for a foster home to assist her on her diet. Anyone in the North East interested please get in touch via

Hometime For Bono.....

A few weeks ago I showed some photographs like the one above of Bono, an emaciated Greyhound that had come into our care. Well, as you can see from the next three photographs above, Bono has game some weight and has also found a new home in the process. Thanks to Northumberland Greyhound Rescue for finding him a new family to love him the way he should be.

Special thanks though must go to our very own Sheena for rebuilding this beautiful dogs life as well as his body, and for getting him ready for his new start in life. Above are photo's of me sneaking a goodbye hug, under the very watchful eye of Sheena. Good luck big brindle, and thanks again to everyone who helped get him to this.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tammy, The New Mrs Charlie.....

As promised, here is Charlie and his new friend Tammy. Tammy came to us last week after being rescued from a life of abuse. She is still very nervous, but such a lovely dog and Charlie is showing her the way to the hearts of the SHAK team. It's nice that these two have found each other, as I was a bit apprehensive of Charlie being on his own after Maggie went home.

Two beautiful dogs that are at different levels of patching their lives back together after years of abuse, stuff like this makes me both sick and so proud of what SHAK achieves.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Two Boys We're All Very Proud Of.....

Two boys we are all very proud of are Oscar and Sonny, who are becoming good pals. Oscar on the left came to us with serious dog aggression issues, now he actually looks for Sonny to share his walks. Not sure who looks the happier on this picture, the dogs or the handlers.

A Dog That Really Is "Lucky".....

Another little SHAK guy going home today is Lucky. Picked up by me as a stray after a near collision with a car, Lucky spent a few days with me where he became good friends with my 4 and really settled himself in. He'd made such a big impression on the person who found him that he was on the phone everyday to see if he was ok. As his seven days are now up, Lucky has gone home with Daniel, the man who stopped and saved him a week ago. Having spent a lot of time with this little dog, I'm really not sure who the luckiest is.

There was progress with another dog going home today, let you know as soon as it happens.

Gorgeous Maggie Goes Home.....

There was mixed emotions today as Maggie said goodbye to Charlie and moved onto her new "Forever Foster" home. Maggie is a gorgeous girl who has done a wonderful job in helping Charlie discover the outside world, and now its time for her to have a wonderful new life herself. Good luck sweetheart, you deserve all the attention your going to get.

Don't tell Maggie, but Charlie already has a new Lady in his life, more on that soon, but I know he's really going miss his first girlfriend.

Great Weekend And A Guest Appearance.....

Thanks to all the SHAK team who gave up their weekend to fundraise at Jollyes and Pets At Home, and also to Derek and Sandra for braving the rain at Seaton Sluice. Thank you to the staff of both stores, and to everyone else who spent money of donated. It really was a fantastic result over the weekend, especially with star of the show King turning up at Cramlington both days.