Change Lives

Change Lives

Friday, 29 June 2012

Busy Times And Some Updates.....

I swear there isn't enough hours in the day for us right now, as things just seem to get busier and busier at the moment.Keep your eyes peeled as we may see three of our dogs move onto Forever Foster homes in the next few days. Some of who I haven't even had time to get on here yet! There's also a major project currently being put together that will literally bring SHAK into your sitting rooms, kitchens, anywhere..... So keep your eyes peeled for updates on that one.

I'm pleased to say that Holly is recovering from her operation well, and is even begining to put a little pressure on her poorly leg, and with Jude and Vicki she's in great hands.
I was at the vets myself this morning with Ava, and I'm delighted to say the concoction of medication has made a dramatic difference, and she doesn't need anymore. Her physical body must be feeling better, as we are currently experiencing a "season" which complicates things. Plan is to wait a couple of months now, and get her speyed, her entropian (eye operation) and her mammary tumour removed. She's such a beautiful girl, very much the Grandma of my k9 family, and if nothing else to of been able to give her the comfort of clearing those ears and eyes is so worth it.

Of course, another weekend is upon us, and that means that the SHAK Fundraising team is out raising funds for dogs such as the two ex strays mentioned above that need serious medical attention. Unfortunately the freak weather we witnessed yesterday has put pay to the Corbridge Show our Tombola was due to attend. However, as is the case EVERY Sunday Derek will be slogging his guts out down at Fountainhead Car Park at Seaton Sluice. This guy has put so much into what he does over the last two years for us, we'd all really appreciate it if this Sunday everyone braved the weather whatever it may be and popped down to say hello to him. Remember EVERY PENNY raised goes to help the dogs, so your support really does count. Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Charlie Reaches Dizzy Heights.....

(Written By Jill Amery)

When I got up to go walking with a friend this morning, I decided I should give one of our furry pals the opportunity to join us.  So, after filling the car with towels, water bottle, doggy breakfast, treats and leads, I picked up Charlie.  He’s been a little lonely since Tammy his kennel-mate was re-homed a few weeks ago and deserved a break. 

Charlie and I arrived early at the car park at Simonside Hills near Rothbury and took a toddle around there after he ate breakfast.  My friend Christine arrived and we headed off with Charlie behaving well on an extendable lead.  Once we left the road and all sign of traffic I let him off lead to enjoy the sights and particularly the smells, of the woods.  He kept stopping to sniff about and then sprint the 100 yards to catch us up again. 

Although he seemed apprehensive at the scramble to the top of Simonside, Charlie the mountain goat tripped up there with much less effort than Christine and I exerted.  We stopped at the top to have a break (water, treats and cereal bars between the three of us).   Charlie took meeting people and other dogs in his stride until he came upon two men with a little Border Terrier who obviously gave him a fright and the anxiousness we are constantly working on, overcame him again.  He literally turned tail and bolted.  The men with the dog were great and gave him a wide berth to try and ease his stress.  I’ve learned that if I sit on the ground, Charlie will run back over and jump onto my knee.  So, as embarrassing as it was, I sat on the damp path and watched my little boy skip back to me.  Charlie had a bad start and although he has come on a long way, this was another example of why he needs a forever foster mam or dad.

Two and a half hours later and Charlie was back on lead.  I left him for a while in the car to sleep while Christine and I put the calories back on with cake and hot chocolate.  I returned to the car nervously.  Would the car still be in one piece?  Well, it was.  Charlie had behaved well and was also great on the hour long journey back to the kennels.  He spent the journey on the front seat, with one paw stretched over onto my knee.  Back in his kennel he scoffed his tea in no time at all and am sure he’ll sleep well tonight. 

Charlie didn’t bark once on his day out and his recall was smashing, other than the incident when he became nervous.   He clearly wants a little affection and needs someone with time and patience to support him and work with him through his issues, so he can become more relaxed and enjoy life to the full!  (If it wasn’t for my husband, he would be mine)!

Love you Charlie!

Run Free Sweetheart.....

I was sad tonight to hear that one of my old SHAK sweethearts had left this world at 4pm this afternoon. Krysta came to us after she'd got herself into a bit of trouble in a home through another rescue. She had clearly been severely abused prior to this home, and had great deal of hair loss around her neck that we though had been caused by being chained up. Thanks to Suzanne and Kev of UK German Shepherd Rescue for giving her a home with them to see out the rest of her days, but today old age finally caught up with her. Krysta was a dear girl, who could be very proud of herself for the way she learnt to trust again. Run free sweetheart.

Get Well Soon.....

Tonight we're wishing Holly a speedy recovery after an operation to repair her Cruciate Ligament and to remove some screws from a previous injury that was causing her problems. Once again the staff at Moorview Vets have been brilliant, and everyone at SHAK including foster parents Vicki and Jude are very grateful. Get well soon Holly.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Brodie Sleepover.....Forever.....

Another one of our dogs that has enjoyed a busy social life of late is Brodie. A trip to the Seaside a few Saturdays ago turned into a sleep over the following Saturday, and he hasn't come back!

Brodie came to us stressed, frightened and totally mixed up. Yet in the time he has spent with us he has learnt that life and people can be fun, and anyone that has ever witnessed him pushing his ball through the kennel bars all day long will testify to that!

He has left little Mona (his kennel girlfriend and best pal) behind, but as you can see he has plenty of new friends although Maisy definitely appears to be his favourite.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Laser And Murphy's Weekend Away.....

Written by our own Lynn Sharp:

This weekend saw me taking another SHAK/Hadrian's Wall trip and guess what?  I still haven't finished the whole thing!!!  But more of that later.  On Saturday I got to fulfill a long term plan of mine and thanks to my willing assistant Liam I managed to take two of our long term dogs, Laser and Murphy, away for the weekend.

Laser and Murphy are two older german shepherds who have been with us a number of years now.  They are both very affectionate once they get to know you, they have always lived together and are very attached to each other.  Once again we were unsure how they would react away from the kennels so the weekend was both a trip outfor them and a little test for them. 

In the middle of torrential rain on Saturday afternoon we managed to 'load' the two big lads into the back of a clio (!) only to be informed at that point by Steve that Murphy may not have been in the back of a car before!  Apart from an excessive interest by him in the rear windscreen wiper though both he and Laser settled brilliantly in the back of the car.  On arrival at my house they then had to face the ultimate test - a bath!!!  Laser reluctantly went first but once we got him in he stood really well while I gave him a good scrub down.  Unfortunately for my flooring Murphy decided to pass on the bath option but to be honest the plug may not have coped with the longhaired GSD shedding all over the place!

After a very settled night (not a squeak out of either of them even when Babsie the cat decided to sniff under the kitchen door) we loaded them back in the car again and headed over to Gilsland to take up where Jetta and I finished at Easter.  Despite the miserable predictions for the weather we managed to get a good four miles of the potential eleven done without encountering any rain.  The boys seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves with their noses barely lifting off the ground for the first two miles!  Unfortunately we managed to pick the four miles of Hadrian's Wall which doesn't have kissing gates, it has massive wooden styles which are really difficult for young, small dogs to master.  These were really hard for Laser and Murphy due to their size and not even between Liam and I could we get Murphy's large frame over them.

After completing the four miles we turned back to the nearest 'escape' point and after negotiating our way round three very defensive sheepdogs (maybe I have learnt something about reading dog body language and handling skills because I managed to distract them long enough for Liam, Laser and Murphy to sneak past without getting eaten) and took the two happy but exhausted boys back to mine.

Sunday night was spent with the two of them sound asleep - Laser in the hallway and Murphy in the living room.  Any time I moved it was like having two shadows as they followed me around the flat and the only demanding they did was for cuddles.  Once again there was hardly a squeak out of them apart from when some drunken bloke was
singing his way down the road and Murphy decided to tell him to shoosh, people were trying to sleep. 

Monday morning saw the two lads getting a lift back to the kennels from Jill who provided the last piece in the logistical jigsaw of the weekend. This was an absolutely fab weekend and I really hope the big lads enjoyed it as much as I did.  Considering how long these two have been in kennels they did us proud. They were perfect in the house as I've said, asked out perfectly when they needed to, slept all night and never touched a thing they weren't meant to - including
trying to get on the couch! 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Continuing A Week Of Radio.....

Thanks to Lionheat Radio for inviting me back on here, although they might not anymore after they hear my Tracks of My Time!

In The Papers.....

Following on from the article on Radio Hartlepool about the sea fishing raffle, the story has made the newspapers with both the Hartlepool Mail and Peterlee Star running the story.

Please remember you can purchase tickets by emailing or from the following venues:

The Mill House Inn
New Inn, Headland
Cosmopolitan, Headland
The Fishermans, Headland
Rapport Cafe, York Rd, Hartlepool
RSPCA shop, York Road, Hartlepool
Radio Hartlepool

Thanks to everyone involved for all their support.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Still Miss The Dog That Started It All.....

It's 6 years to the day since I lost my true best friend and the dog that inspired me to start all of this.

When I lost Shak to Lymphoma I swore that never again would I have another dog, I couldn't put myself through the losing them again. But I owed Shak to help other dogs who like him were unwanted.

Today hundreds of dogs have experienced a life that they nearly lost all because of the lasting effect a scraggy German Shepherd Cross had on me.

I was so very proud of you when you were alive with me, and I'm proud of whats been achieved in your memory. Run free till we meet again my friend.

Monday, 18 June 2012

SHAK. Hartlepool & The Radio.....

A massive thank you to Malcolm Riley for arranging this raffle to help us raise funds. If your a keen fisherman or live in the Hartlepool area, please support us. I was interviewed about the event on Radio Hartlepool this morning, and tickets are available from the radio station themselves, or from us (please email or from the following venues:

The Mill House Inn
New Inn, Headland
Cosmopolitan, Headland
The Fishermans, Headland
Rapport Cafe, York Rd, Hartlepool
RSPCA shop, York Road, Hartlepool

Thanks to everyone that is supporting this event, and to Malcolm for pulling it all together.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

SHAK Supporters 200 Club June Draw.....

This months winners are:

1st Prize: 44 - Toby McNeil

2nd Prize: 175 - John Scott

3rd Prize: 2 - John Anderson

Thanks again for all your support.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Difficult Times.....

It's been crazy times of late, which is why things have been quiet on here lately. Just yesterday I was contacted and asked if we could help 3 dogs all facing the vets needle. We simply don't have the room, the funding to expand and all we could offer was our prayers that the people trying to save these dogs find somewhere.

The heartbreaking thing is that this now becoming a daily occurrence again. Everyone knows about the mad spells around Christmas and New Year, but I wonder how many people realise the awful times in the summer. Yes, people do abandoned dogs so they can go on holiday, yes they do get a dog for the kids over the holidays and then want rid as soon they go back to school.

The team are always looking to create space, but we won't compromise the dogs we already have. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that doesn't always make it on here, that is aimed at getting some of our dogs into Forever Foster homes or other rescue places once the dog is ready for the next step in his or her life. Several are going through that process now.

How Can You Help?

Your continued support is so greatly appreciated. In fact we couldn't do what we do with out it. However, we have to brace ourselves for the summer and the desperate time that it appears is already approaching.

We need all forms of help, from volunteer kennel cleaners to potential Forever Foster homes for our residents.

We need funding to pay vets bills, and all the other expenses that comes with offering sanctuary to nearly 60 dogs in kennels and another 20 or so in Forever Foster homes.

We need food to feed our dogs, some of which are on special diets. Please look at the list of drop off points below, and maybes drop a tin of dog food in next time your passing:

-Pets At Home Store, Cramlington.

-Derek's every Sunday at Fountainhead Car Park.

-Moorview Vets, Backworth.

-Taylors Newsagents. Bondgate Within, Alnwick.

If you can offer any support please contact the appropriate contact below via email:

General Enquiries:
Fundraising Enquiries:
Volunteer Enquiries:
Forever Foster Enquiries:

Your support makes all the difference to us, please continue to help us get through this difficult time. THANK YOU.

Still Love You BIG Zee.....

It's two years today since we had to say goodbye to a dog that was fondly known as "Big Zee." Zac was simply gorgeous. A good old fashioned crossbreed with the biggest deepest bark you had ever heard.

Two years ago this morning I walk into the kennels to find Zac collapsed. I swear he had been waiting for me, and as soon as I cradled his head in my arms, he let out his last breath.

On a personal level, I loved Big Zee. He hadn't done anything to end up unwanted, he was just big and old. One thing for sure is that I'll never forget him and he certainly left behind people who loved him..... and still do.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Suki On Days Out.....

Another SHAK dog enjoying some days out is Suki. Her Foster Mam and Dad often send me updates on how she is doing, but I must admit I was a little bit jealous seeing her on the golf course and then at the seaside!

Brodie On A Date.....

Amy and her sister kindly offered to take Brodie to the beach at the weekend, and as you can see he had a great time. It was just two legged girlfriends he met, but maybes there is a blossoming new romance there too?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Updates On King And Bailey.....

Thought you would like to hear an update on two of the big SHAK boys who have recently found new families.

First up, Lesley popped by to visit King this morning, here's what she found:

"I also saw big King again this morning and he`s as happy and content as any dog I`ve ever seen. Apparently, he`s friendly with everyone he meets – canine and human and hasnt put a paw wrong at any time.  The family`s taken to him in a big way and he looks so perfectly in his element, strolling around his house and grounds!"

Then later she also received this email and photo's from Bailey's new family. He looks simply regal and so stunning.

"Bailey is doing well as you can see by the photo’s attached. His coat is still looking good and we have managed to clip his claws ok. The training is still going well and he is doing great, a quick learner."

So proud of both the big boys. We often get commended on the work we do, and all of the SHAK Team work so hard (kennel cleaners/dog walkers to the fundraisers) but it's the dogs that put in the really hard work. These two boys are testament to that.