The next instalment of our weekly series dedicated to Alnwick-based dog sanctuary, SHAK.
The dedicated members of the SHAK team have spoken of their heartbreak after one of its dogs – rescued after being abandoned – has died.
Phoenix, who had become ‘an integral part’ of the sanctuary’s family, passed away last week, after contracting what is believed to be a possible liver or kidney problem.
The husky arrived at SHAK in the summer, having been found in a dreadful condition, tied to a tree on the A69 in Northumberland.
In an emotional post on the charity’s website, entitled Good Night Phoenix, founder Stephen Wylie wrote: ‘This is still very raw, but I will try my best.
‘You will remember in June we took in an old husky that was tied to a tree on the A69. He was in dreadful condition.
‘This bedraggled boy became Phoenix and it turned out he was at least 16. It was clear from the minute he arrived that he couldn’t stay in kennels so he ended up at home with me.
‘His stay lasted literally a few hours, then SHAK volunteer Rachel came, fell in love and the two became inseparable. The love was mutual and instant, like it was meant to be.
‘He became an integral part of our family, settling in as if he had always been there, loving life with his brothers and sisters.
‘Fostering an older dog is never easy, but Rachel was so patient and understanding with him. Seeing them together showed true devotion, I am so proud of them both.
‘Last week, he became ill. Blood tests showed some major changes, especially in his protein levels and he didn’t have enough red blood cells.
‘Without further tests we couldn’t be sure of the cause, but it pointed towards a liver or kidney problem. Severe anaemia meant his body was shutting down, there was nothing we could do. On Thursday his body told us it was tired and couldn’t go on. We lost an amazing part of the family who had showed much bravery and desire to live.
‘He was stubborn, courageous, determined but above all, he was amazing. We were very lucky he found his way to us, we miss him dearly.’