Change Lives

Change Lives

Friday, 15 August 2014

Can You Help Bella.....

This beautiful girl is Bella,, a Crossbreed that has recently come to us after a tough life. She was covered in fleas, in fact her infestation was so bad you could actually see them jumping all over her body. She appears to be a girl that is eager to please, and is waiting for an opportunity to start her life properly.

If you are interested in helping Bella (or any other of our dogs) then please contact

Bailey All Grown Up.....

Geoff and Lesley had a great time recently catching up with a familiar, but now all grown up face in Bailey. You may remember Bailey being very young and puppyish when he arrived at SHAK, well I think its safe to say he has grown up into a very handsome boy:

Baby Bailey When He Arrived With Us.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Another Special Day.....

My head is spinning right now, so many memories coupled with the loss of JD yesterday. Today is another special day, as its three years since we had to say goodbye to another massive SHAK legend. Anyone who listened to today's radio show will know exactly how emotional we all are right now.

Gunnar was without doubt the most fearsome dog I have ever met. He didn't need to bark or growl, he simply clacked his teeth to let you know he didn't like you, and those eyes..... I was fortunate, I never witnessed either directed at me. In fact I received more affection than I thought was possible given his background.

I still think about him, and miss him. I still love him, and take strength from all he taught me. Lessons no text book could ever teach, and for that I will always be eternally grateful.....

Here's what I wrote the day he died:

"This is has been one of the saddest weeks in SHAK's history. First we had Harry being diagnosed with Lymphoma, today one of the special big boys died in my arms.
Gunnar came to us because nobody else would take him. The fact that he was a security dog meant that nobody wanted anything to do with him. He was discarded, after the idiot that had ruined his life decided he didn't want him anymore. The day he arrived, he wanted to eat everybody. It took 4 of us to carry him in a crate to his kennel, it was like carrying a wild animal.

Over time, Gunnar and I bonded to the extent he was my dog. After that "difficult" start, I got to do everything with him, groom him, walk him, even attend to little ailments and injuries. To everyone else he was scary, to me he was the biggest, cuddliest bear. I lived to help him.

After a couple of days of not being quite right, and appointment was made for him to go to the vets tomorrow. Given his past, getting him there was going to be like a military operation. This morning though I went into his kennel as soon as I got there, and on trying to get him out he collapsed. He was never to walk again.

I rushed him to the emergency vets, where we tried everything. Blood tests revealed his body was shutting down, multiple organ failure the vet called it. She went to get the needle to ease his suffering, but she didn't need it. He died naturally in my arms.

Gunnar gave me so much. Much more than I ever gave him. He died unmuzzled in my arms with vets and nurses trying to save him, just like any normal dog would. A far cry from the crazed beast that arrived that Good Friday. The 18 months we had was perhaps the best months of his life, but he taught me so much and proved so many people wrong. Above are some photos of the good times we had. I am so proud of him, and miss him so much already. Life really won't be the same without him."
In a week we have lost another big boy that taught us all so much, Gunnar has been clear in my thoughts. In fact if Bodie (and Doyle) hadn't come here I wouldn't of had the courage to take on what turned out to be one of my best friends. I miss you Big Gee.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Farewell To JD.....

More bad news as we had to say goodbye to a dog that has been an absolute superstar from the minute I picked him up as a stray. JD was exactly as his name stated..... Just Dog, but in the nicest possible way. An over night stay on being collected turned in a forever home for him with my daughter and her Mam, and from that day forward he was the perfect pet. He loved food, he loved walks (a little too much at first as he pulled like a steam train) but most of all he loved the little girl that looked after him.

Lymphoma took hold of JD, the disease itself attacked his intestines, but he was brave and his strength meant he was able to enjoy some more fun packed weeks with his family, especially his favourite place, the seaside.

Today he has gone to a better place, no longer suffering but still loved as much as ever. He has left a family that loved him and will always miss him. He has also left a lasting impression on a little girl as her dog that she grew up with..... Just like a dog should do.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Year For Big Bodie.....

It's a year today since we lost big Bodie, and all though so much has happened in between, it still feels like he is still there. I often have to correct myself from saying "can you please walk Bodie and Doyle." Those two just seemed destined to always be here..... and together.

I still miss him. We all still miss him, and a year on after we lost him that's not a bad achievement for a scrapyard dog that nobody else wanted.....

Turning back the clock a year:

It is a really sad day today as we lost one of true legends that this charity has been lucky enough to spend time with. Bodie came along with his brother Doyle after spending 8 and a half years in a scrapyard. They arrived on a Sunday morning. The bulldozer and a marksmen was booked for the Monday morning.

This morning we found he had passed away in his sleep.

Bodie was a mess and scary on arrival, but he quickly came around. Its a testament to him that when I spoke to people today to tell them he'd gone, at least three volunteers came back with "he was the first SHAK dog I walked." Even more incredibly was that when David came to work he admitted he was scared of German Shepherds. Guess who I made him walk on his second day.....

Bodie has left everyone devastated. Being at the kennels will never be the same without Doyle's sidekick. However, like I told everyone today, we can all be extremely proud of him, and consider ourselves extremely lucky to of spent 3 years with such an amazing, gentle giant. After all before coming to us he'd been left to fend for himself in the snow for 3 weeks, and was less than 24 hours from getting a bullet.

There are so many stories and tales about this big guy and his brother, but for me personally there are two I will never forget. The day they arrived, muzzled, matted and ready to eat me. Stopping just inches from me as they hurled from the transit van that they had travelled in.

Secondly today, as I wheeled his shrouded brother past his kennel, Doyle stopped and sniffed him from head to toe and back again, licking him on the way back up, and crying. He then started playing with his ball again.

Brothers too the end, but life goes on. We all miss you  Bodie, the world is an emptier place without you in it. Thank you for showing us so much.

Bodie the day after he arrived.
Years of oil engrained in his coat.

How we all remember him.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Anja Urgently Needs Your Help.....

A couple of weeks ago I told you about Anja. Left locked in a crate in the back garden of a deserted house. Anja is a real sweetheart, but as well as horrific ear infections, the amount of urine she was passing concerned me. Once her seven days as a stray were up I had her booked into the vets, where blood tests and then a scan confirmed my worst fears..... Anja has serious problems with her kidneys. The vets believe she is suffering from a condition called Juvenile Kidney Failure. An outline to her condition can be found here it also explains the heart break we are up against.

However, all in this story is not bad. We quickly put Anja on a renal diet as prescribed by the vets, and along with antibiotics for a Urinary Tract Infection, Anja's latest blood tests are showing that her phosphorus levels have reduced dramatically since she began on the special food, and she is gaining weight too. Its hard to believe at times that she is suffering from any disease at all.

So this is where we need your help..... Anja's prescription food cost just over £80 for a 14kg bag. Can you help us with our life long commitment to give Anja the only thing that can help her? 

If so you can contribute by the following methods:

Send a cheque (payable to SHAK) to Wildwood Cottage, 3a Stead Lane, Bedlington NE22 5LT.

Make a donation via PayPal to the email address (marking all donations the Anja Appeal)

Call Moorview Vets directly on 0191 256 6990 (please tell them it is for food for Anja at SHAK)

Hand in your donation to the SHAK stall at one of the events on the Events Page.

Or print off the Standing Order form below:
Of course, another way of helping is by offering Anja a Forever Foster home. It would be the very least she deserves if she was to spend her life with a family that loves her. If you are interested then please contact me via email
The information we have tells us Anja is only three years old. Her life hasn't even started yet. We are doing all we can to kick start it, and even save it. But we need your help.....

Pool Party.....

Also enjoying the sunshine and taking advantage of the paddling pool was George and Jenson.....

George enjoying a splash.
Jenson "Chilling" out.

Fun With Two Staffys.....

I had a great afternoon with a couple of our resident Staffordshire Bull Terriers today, both loving the sunshine. As a breed the damage has been done, I don't think on here is the place to talk about it, but I know that in that back run today with Bully and Mona there was simply two dogs that had amazing fun and were equally amazing to be around:


Taking Your Work Home.....

I love these photos of Melissa and David's dogs. All SHAK dogs and all with such huge stories  to tell.....

The Filled Out Henry.....

It was great to see that Henry is doing so well, and looking so well! I've also attached some pictures of when he first arrived just so you can see how far he has come.

Thank you Judith and Harry.

At A Time When Humans Are Behaving Disgustingly.....

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Kash (Now Spieler) Goes Home.....

I'm also delighted to say that Kash (now called Spieler) has found his Forever Foster home, through some old friends of SHAK's Helen and Walter. Having been the home form heaven for both Roman and Till, Spieler is one lucky boy, although I have to say he has been an absolute superstar throughout the whole thing. You may remember Spieler arriving with a little bit of uncertainty (there is a video of his arrival at However, after a long process of pairing him and his new sister Reise up, they are now inseparable.

It just goes to show how taking your time when preparing a dog for a Forever Foster home can reap the benefits. Proud of everyone both 2 and 4 legged concerned in giving him this new start.
Spieler, Helen and Reise.

Fagan And All The B's.....

I love this diary of one of Fagan's medicated bath days with Sheena......

First up..... Beach.

Next...... Breakfast.
Then... Bath.
Followed by..... Bed!
Thank you Sheena!