Change Lives

Change Lives

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

SHAK On BBC's Inside Out.....

Just for those who missed it, or are outside of the catchment area, here is our appearance on Inside Out last night. A big thank you to Andy for providing and editing this copy!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Beautiful Words For Lenny.....

On the 24th of August we lost another big part of the SHAK family, it's just taken me this long to find the right time to share the story.

Lenny didn't like me, pretty much from the moment he arrived. However in David and Melissa he found true love, and when they paired him up with George he also found his best friend.

The love between these four was incredible to see, and something that no words could really do justice.

Lenny was found dead a week before him and George were due to go home with Melissa and David. George has made that move still, but Lenny's memory lives on in this poem written by them.....

'Our Friend.'

I don't know where to start,
Or even where to end,
But here it goes with a poem,
About you being our friend.

You came to us in fear,
Not knowing where you are,
Giving us a piercing look,
I assured you we would be here.

I came to your kennel,
An hour after you had arrived,
I took one look upon you,
We are gunna be alright.

A few days had passed,
Then your Mam came back to work,
I had mentioned all about you,
She took one look upon you,
And seen your goofy smile,
Then whispered in your ear,
WE are gunna be alright.

When it came to walk time,
You had another friend,
You walked along paw by paw,
To make sure each were there,
To guide each other through,
The tough times that were not there,
George, your bestest collie friend.

It came to kennel sharing,
With your new best friend,
It surely was a bromance that would never seem to end,
We knew right there and then,
We could see you in our home,
Jumping all around,
A forever home... you had found.

We made some many memories,
For the whole world there to see,
You were truly our best friend,
Which we knew was meant to be,
You were taken two weeks before,
You were mean to be with me.

I cant write anymore,
While you are running free,
But at least you know,
We love you our

Sunday, 1 October 2017

SHAK 2018 Calendar's Now Available.....

The brand new and official 2018 SHAK Calendar is available now!

A brand new design featuring the beautiful Mia on the cover, this years edition is really special. 

Please remember, that thanks to the wonderful sponsors EVERY PENNY made from the sale of these calendars goes straight to the dogs!

Have the faces of some of the dogs you have helped us save brighten up your day, every day.

You can see all the dogs and order your copy from the link below:

Thank you in advance for your support.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Yogi Update.....

After a routine vet check to see how the ulceration of his foot was healing last night, I met Paul to collect Yogi and due to the time said he could stay overnight. He was a star, even in the pub for the handover, and has fitted in with my dogs as if he's always been here.

Today I hopefully secured him a temporary foster home so we can assess exactly how much he uses that foot. Although in the house he walks on it perfectly.....

With that in mind, he can have a few days with us. Here he is tonight, begging for my tea to fall off the bench.....

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Keiser Meets Geds Pals.....

I'm very proud of the SHAK dogs I've taken Home, each and everyone with their own horrible tale to tell. So many of them were destined to be destroyed for one reason or another, yet the way they help others is incredible.

Yesterday I posted a video of Ged meeting them for the first time, today I'm posting a photo of Keiser out on a walk with some of them. He has met Star and Bruce before but this was the first time he'd met Lennox and Sky.....

(L-R Sky, Bruce, Lennox, Star, Kaiser.)

I think it is also important to point out that I walked all 5 myself, such was the harmony amongst the group. I'm very proud of them all, and especially of Kaiser who took his first step on the road to hopefully finding him a home of his own.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Sleepover For Ged.....

Ged and I had a big day filming with the BBC today (will inform you of broadcast date when I know it) so with an early start he came to my house for a sleep over last night.

As part of an episode of Inside Out Chris Jackson and his team have been filming Ged since he arrived. Today was the last shoot at Blyth beach.....

Last night was an equally big night for him though as he had to meet my gang and also handle being in a house. Obviously with not knowing any history on him we don't know when he was last in somebody's home or if he has even ever been in one before.

He took everything in his stride, and as you can see he really enjoyed meeting and making some new friends.....

It was a pleasure to spend so much time with him, and as I told Chris Jackson today..... "he has certainly done bit h himself and us proud."

(Facebook viewers will need to click the link to see all the photos. )

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Week Of Ups And A Very Sad Down.....

It has been a week of real ups and downs, and with so many emotions that I really do not know where to start.....

At 8.05am I received a call from David to say they'd opened the kennels to find Kai looking lethargic and possibly a little bloated. Knowing what this meant, Melissa rushed him into her car and sped off to meet me on the A1. A pit stop speed swap over, and I continued the journey to Moorview Vets as fast as I could.

On arrival our worst fears were confirmed, Kai had suffered a stomach torsion and we had no option but to rush him into surgery. Now for any dog this is traumatic enough, and the chance of survival is slim, but Kai was one of our more specialised dogs, and a vet handling him conscious was just not an option. We came up with a plan, and after surgery I collected him and brought him home to nurse, knowing the next 3 days were critical.....

Sleeping on the floor with him and syringe feeding him medication and baby food are now memories I will never forget, and the fact Kai let me get so close to him both physically and emotionally is something I really will cherish.

On Wednesday night Kai collapsed and couldn't stand. We were just several hours away from passing the critical marker, but my heart told me he was in serious trouble. I rushed him back to the vets where an ultrasound scan revealed his abdomen was full of fluid. We had two options, let him go right there or go back into surgery and try and fix him. I knew I owed Kai at least that.....

Opening him back up revealed that the damage to part of his stomach from the twist was too bad. It is presumed the blood vessels to that part were damaged beyond repair, and part of his stomach had died. Worse was to follow, for Kai was so weak now and his heart couldn't take anymore. He left us after suffering a cardiac arrest on the table.

I always had a real soft spot for Kai, as had so many others. He came with such a huge reputation, but gave us back so much. I don't think anyone who witnessed it will forget the way he helped other dogs such as Maisie and Ben realise other dogs were actually ok to be around. His dislike for strangers and people he didn't know meant he stayed in kennels, and I think I always thought one day he'd come home with me. In the end I guess he did, just not the way I planned it. Those 3 days were really special.....

I said it had been a difficult week, but there was also some good news, and I'd like to thank everyone who supported us in our appeal to raise £300 so we could get Yogi's foot X-Rayed. I'm delighted to say that you absoloutly smashed the target, with just over £750 donated so far. This became even more essential as the week progressed, as we spent over £1250 trying to save Kai. A huge thank you to everyone who has made a donation.

The X-Rays itself provided us with proof that there is nothing wrong with either Yogi's foot or hips, and his leg also looks perfect. It would appear that the fact he has lost his weight baring middle toes is responsible for him holding the foot up when walking. You can see the dramatic effect in the photo below after the foot was shaved.

So now it seems we need to find Yogi a very patient foster home who can help him learn to walk on that foot again, he does put it down occasionally so it even may be just learnt behaviour?

If you are interested in offering Yogi a home please email:

I also get asked quite a lot about Lilly, and how she is doing. I'm delighted to say that she is now in the process of getting acquainted with a potential new owner, and as you can see she is having a ball with Sheena and Roger in her temporary accommodation!

(Facebook viewers will need to click the post to see all images and videos.)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Yogi Appeal Update.....

The support been given for Yogi has been fantastic, and waking up this morning we are very  nearly at our target of £300 for X Rays.

The figure you have donated currently stands at £265, all we need is one final push.....

You can donate go help Yogi by PayPal to

Or by sending a cheque made payable to SHAK to SHAK Greenwell Road Alnwick NE661HB.

Thank you.

Free Delivery This Weekened.....

There is FREE POSTAGE on everything on our SHAK Teemill store this weekend, including our Graffiti Tees featuring Kai.....

To order benefit from the special offer, order yours before midnight on Sunday from:

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Yogi Needs YOUR Help.....

I keep talking about the revolving door, and young Yogi is a very special boy who has come through it after arriving as stray.

I say special for several reasons..... because he is still very much a baby, but also because despite being so young he has already suffered life changing surgery.

Yogi doesn't put much weight, if any, on his back right foot, and whilst we're not entirely sure if the reason I think the fact he has had his middle two toes removed will account for a lot of it!

Despite being an absolutely gorgeous boy, the chances of getting him a home without knowing what's wrong, and having no history whatsoever, is very slim.

Rich very kindly took Yogi to the vets on Wednesday where no issue with his leg was found. Obviously the toes that are missing are very much the weight baring ones, which in turn could explain the limping, but it has been decided that an x-ray to find the full cause is the best way forward.

The next step in Yogi's journey will cost sound £300. This is where you can help him.  We appealing for people to help us pay Yogi's vets bill so we can help him get his young life back on track. He honestly is such a loving boy and deserves this at the very least.

You can donate via PayPal to

Or by sending a cheque payable to SHAK to SHAK Greenwell Road Alnwick NE661HB.

Thank you in advance for your support.

(Please note that Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Good News For Lilly.....

I'm pleased to say that we have had the results from Lilly's biopsy back......

And I'm delighted to say the tumour that has been removed is benign!!! Excuse my lack of veterinary experience but the explanation I have received from the vets goes something like this:

Lillys lump is a lipoma! Non cancerous fatty mass - local excision is curative in the majority of cases. Mass also has a mild chronic inflammation, in some areas numbers of mast cells are increased and there could be concurrent hypersensitivity condition, such as atopy (skin!)

So that explains a lot with her skin too.

She is doing very well in her foster home, but as she was weined off her steroids her skin has slightly flaired up again. She is going to our vets on Friday.

We are currently sitting through the application forms that have come in to offer her a Forever Foster home, and hopefully one will be exactly what Lilly needs.

I think this a massive, positive step in Lilly's new life. I have to admit I didn't think we would heat good news. However I think it is also obvious she is going to need on going veterinary treatment.  If you would like to help towards her full recovery you can donate via PayPal to

or by sending a cheque payable to SHAK to SHAK Greenwell Road, Alnwick NE661HB

Thank you. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Lilly's Story Hits The Local And National Press.....

It appears the media have fully got behind out little Lilly. Front page of the Northumberland Gazette, and the story has also given us our first ever piece in the Daily Mail.....

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lilly's Weekend.....

It's been a busy few days for little Lilly this weekend, as the search continues to find her a permanent home.

She has been staying with me since Thursday and has been incredible with everyone she has met, and loves being around the other dogs.

After breaking her story there has obviously been  lot of interest in her, but the awareness that was clearly present at all the events she has attended this weekend has been nothing short of amazing.

So Thursday and Friday Lilly joined Haden, Lennox, Sam and Ember at HQ for SHAK Boutique, where as you can see she made herself very comfortable!

Saturday saw me very proud to be invited to judge the dog show at Warkworth Show with our good friends from Moorview Vets. Sky joined the group of dogs having the day out, and they all did us very proud! As I said everybody seemed to know who Lilly was, and she seemed really pleased to meet them all!

Then today it's been a day of rest at home and enjoying the Northumberland country side, especially the sunset.....

The weekend has brought an offer of foster home for Lilly to go to whilst she recovers fully and whilst we wait for her biopsy results, which is greatly appreciated, but she'll be  big miss from here. So the days out have been well worth while.

We are still looking for a permanent Forever Foster home for Lilly. If you are interested please email 

(Facebook viewers will need to click the post to see all the pictures.)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Lilly Update.....

After an understandibly  wrestless  night after such big surgery, Lilly looked remarkably brighter today. She had a busy schedule, first up special guest at the SHAK Boutique and then a fleeting appearance at the local. Everywhere she went she made new friends.

I have a busy weekend planned attending several fundraising events, and it seems a perfect opportunity to let her meet people and hopefully find her new forever foster home.

Tonight she's curling up with the rest of my dogs, and accompanying me as my shadow everywhere I move. She has so much love to give, she will make somebody a wonderful little companion.

If your interested in offering Lilly a home then please contact

(Please note Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photos.)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

At Last I Can Introduce Lilly (WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES).....

There has been a lot of interest in our new arrival, understandably given her condition, and I'm pleased to say that today was a huge day in her life.

The legal situation that has stopped me posting has progressed, so today I can tell you all about Lilly (as we have called her.)

I think it is very important to point out at this stage that although Lilly was signed over in horrendous condition, we are not interested in the past. Her previous owner now has to face the legal system and hopefully justice will prevail, we know she is 12, however all we care about is her life from TODAY.

You can see from the photos on arrival with the Animal Welfare Team of Northumberland Council she was suffering from a horrendous skin condition, her face especially was so red and sore, but also her claws were disgustingly overgrown and her ears were so swollen and infected they were simply shut.

However, it wasn't until Lilly stood up in the house that the Animal Welfare Officer saw the true horror of the neglect she has suffered. Hanging from between her back legs was a huge mass, that almost touched the ground when she walked. Even worse was to come, when on closer inspection it appeared the mass was being held together by string!

The Animal Welfare Team took Lilly straight to The vets after she was signed over, where she was prescribed eardrops and steroids for her skin, today she was back at the vets to get the mass removed.

It turns out the mass was indeed a tumour, and I have authorised it to be sent away so we can see if it is malignant or benign.  I will of course let you know as soon as I do.

Tonight I'm very grateful to Sarah for giving Lilly somewhere warm and calm to recover, her first night of her new life, and tomorrow we start the search to find her a new home to call her own.

If you are interested in giving this beautiful girl a new start then please email

(Please note Facebook viewers will need to click on the post to see all the photographs.)