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A Rescue Story

Webmaster's Note:  This story is constructed from a compilation of emails, some private, that describes Chevrolet's rescue & the emotional roller coaster it wrought.  No matter how often one is exposed to these rescued lives, one's heart can never accept them as a matter of course -- no matter the outcome.

Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002
From: Terry Minda
Subject: Chevrolet, Anatomy of a Working Bouvier

Hello, my name is Chevrolet! I am ten years old, and have devoted my life to being protector and guardian to a large horse farm in Wellington (West Palm Beach) Florida, an area known as horse country. I was lord over 15 acres, and numerous amounts of horses during my life there! I did the best job I could! People said I was very impressive, I was a massive, healthy dog in my younger day. I fended off intruders, and took good care of my horses, never nipping or harassing them! I loved my life, even though the people that bought me never showed me any human kindness or affection. They traveled extensively to show their horses, and the caretakers of the farm fed me, it was their job, just like mine was being guardian.

I don't blame them for not taking the time to get to know me, or talk to me, or to pet me, they had their jobs too. After ten years they decided I was too old to do my job, so they just let me go one day. I didn't know where to go, or what to do, my farm, and my job had been my LIFE. I wandered the streets aimlessly, I was in daze, what had I done, that they no longer wanted me?

I was no trouble to them, all I wanted was to run, and enjoy the fresh air, and sunshine the rest of my days, & do my JOB, but they did not want me! I had to knock over trash cans for food, people yelled and screamed at me, cars whizzed by me, I was scared, I never walked on big roads like this before--I am a farm dog. Somebody stopped to get me, I was glad, thought ah--someone to take me to their farm for me to watch over them, but "NO" he was in a uniform, and put a noose around my neck, and pulled me into an Animal Control truck.

I am scared, I have not driven in a car much before, but this is much worse, the other dogs here smell scared, and are peeing in their cages from freight, I want to get out but I can't, I howl, my big bailing noise, the human says shut up, I know these words, the caretakers on the farm used to holler at me like this, I am trapped!!! I don't like to be confined, I need air, I need to RUN. They take me to a bad place, they dump me in an area with a lot of other dogs, they said ran away! I didn't run away, I was thrown away, don't they understand?

I am sick, my stomach hurts, I am bone skinny, I am so matted it hurts, and even I know how bad I smell. They don't do much to me, except feed me, they said I had to wait for my owner to claim me, don't they know--they don't want me. They said I was micro-chipped, and had to notify my owner in writing, and wait for ten days, that is an eternity to be locked up for me, I need fresh air to breathe. My ten days are up, I am put into another population, of dogs to be adopted, no one will want me, I am so ugly, dirty, smelly, and matted, now I have blood in my poop, don't they notice anything???? Some rescue lady came to see me, she had heard there was a Bouvier in Animal Control, even the vet thought I was a Sheep-dog mix, but I am a pure breed Bouvier des Flanders, oh they should have seen me in my younger days, I was so handsome. I can see this lady is hesitating, she has the keeper take me to an area, to get to know me, I am not going to acknowledge her, she is a human, she will not want me! I am in the exercise area, I walk right by her, I pooped, she saw it was full of blood, she won't take me! I am aloof, I go about my business, ignoring her. She goes away, see I told you, no one will want me!

She went to the front desk, and was told my owners were contacted, I think it was really the caretakers, and they said I ran away, HA! They said I was too friendly, and ate too much, they wanted a younger, meaner dog! WHY????? I devoted my life to them, all I wanted was to do my job, until the end of my days. They are taking me outside, oh how beautiful it is out here, I love it, thank you, thank you! They are trying to get me into the rescue lady's friend's truck, it is too high, and I am too weak, I am now skin, and bones, they try to lift me into the back seat, but I can't make it, then they lift me into the rescue lady's arms in the front seat, I feel better, she is touching me, I don't know if I like it, no one has ever touched me in a soft, kind way before!

They take me to another nice blonde lady's house, here I am put with other big dogs, saved from animal control places like where they got me, or wandering on the streets. Well I am safe, they clean me up, and give me nice food! This rescue lady is called Margret, she talks softly to me, she cut my hair, it felt so good to get the matts away, and she gave me a bath, I am feeling better already. I was lame from the matts, and weakness, I am getting stronger, I am able to run again, she brought me to a friend's farm for awhile, I loved it--I got even healthier, but their dog didn't like me! Margret knows I don't like to be inside, but she makes me come inside when it is too hot, I humor her, but I can't wait to get outside again, she has a very small area fenced in for me, but I don't mind, she said it's not fair, she gives me chicken frank treats, I love this, and she even takes me for rides, good rides, this is fun! The dark haired rescue lady comes back to see me, and gives me chicken franks too, life is good! I need a nice big yard to protect--I am looking for a job again, I know Margret will find someone to love me, I now know there are people who care, BUT-- do you NEED me? I want to work, I need a purpose in life! I will watch over your big yard, and give you my protection to the end of my days, that's all I want, is a big place to run, and chase butterflies, and breathe beautiful "fresh air!" Job opportunity wanted: guardian, protector, will work for food! Please contact Margret at

Only serious employers need reply, C.V. available upon request, rescue references available. An equal opportunity employee--will work for man, woman or child!

Chevrolet B.d.F.

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 20:53:29 -0400
From: "Margret Meier"
To: "Jan Rifkinson"
Subject: Chevro


He is now mostly inside the house, I let him out for some hours but then I drag him inside...

He starts to enjoy it and loves now the air condition..

I think that he is on his last month of his life [as] today he had some kind of a stroke. He could not move his whole body for hours, so I carried him inside again and called my Vet. I gave him Pedialite and Rimadyl and sure enough [within] one hour he [was] walking again but very stiff.

I will bring him in on Monday to get him checked out again ( Bloodwork and X rays)

He is gaining constantly a little bit on weight but he still [has] to gain at least 20 pounds....

We also got one offer that somebody would take him on his farm here in Florida, but nothing is decided yet. [

He is now used to me, and I can finally touch him , give him some kisses ( he still does not like this too much) but he is slowly enjoyng human attention. Some times he looks up to me with his beautiful eyes like..>>> what you want from me??? [...]

Margret Meier
Bouvier & Friends
All Breed Rescue
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002
From: "Margret Meier" <>
To: <>
Topic: Chevrolet

Here are the pictures from our Oldie Chevro, still only bones but is now inside the house and today he did his first Bouv bouncing..

Thanks to Terry's nice letter we got some offers to give Chevro a house, but because he was his whole life in Florida and he has arthritis, I do not want [him to] have to move so far away and in the cold....

So if we find the perfect home in Florida and near me, ok. If not... I will keep him and will give him some love and attention in his last months ( year???)

Since two days i can give him kisses, still he looks at me with his beuatiful eyes like... you are crazy..... but he does not shiver any more so slowly he is enjoying
[himself] in...

[...] Let's pray that he [has] some more months on this earth....

Margret Meier
Bouvier & Friends
All Breed Rescue
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002
From: Terry Minda
Subject: Chevrolet has a Home

You know sometimes our dogs are smarter than we are!!!!!! Chevrolet, our 10 year old, "oldie but goodie" knew "WAY" before Margret did! After Chevrolet's story, many kind listers contacted us privately to offer Chevrolet a home, and he really appreciated all the loving, genuine-- from the heart-- offers.

He didn't know there were so many nice people in the world 'cause he sure never met them before! Gradually, Margret was introducing Chevrolet into living in the house, her stories of him sitting on the couch with her told me she was beginning to melt!

After a few days, he would beg to be outside again [&] Margret feeling sorry for him, would let him out again. He just glows when he is outside and gets much stronger and healthier.

Well, on Friday, he took a downward spiral. She called and told me she thought he was dying, and that he possibly had a stroke. Margret already had whisked him from death's door, twice before. She spent the whole night nursing him. As he was unable to use his back legs, she knew what the vet would say but Margret wanted to give him one more chance. She spent the night giving him Pedialyte [to get his electrolytes working], Nutrical, [red cell - strong vitamin liquid] & her secret weapon Colloidal Silver.  She rubbed and kissed him, and spoke to him softly. She said he is not used to being loved and kissed, and looked at her with his "beautiful eyes" asking "what she was doing." Just the day before she said, he actually let her rub his tummy!

Saturday, Chevrolet was back on his feet, he was eating and drinking, and ate 6 cans of dog food, Margret even said he "bounced!" Can you imagine??????? Well-- today Chevrolet has a forever home, and a forever spot in Margret's heart, Chevrolet was a hard nut to crack, to find those deep Bouvier emotions, but Margret's love and attention brought out the long suppressed love he had to give.

Margret says, Chevro--as she calls him, follows her every where now!!!!!! She is so in love with this boy now, you couldn't pry him away! There is such a special bond when you pull a dog through something like this, and see such a change, it effects you profoundly!!!! So, Margret figured out yesterday, what Chevrolet knew all along, he already had a "forever" home, it just took him a little longer to teach Margret!!!!!!!!!


Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 17:06:37 -0400
From: "Margret Meier" <>
To: "Jan Rifkinson" <>
Subject: Re: Sabrina and Chevro

Chevrolet is now a complete housedog, he goes only out for a walk, he is now slowly enjoying getting touched, still in a kind of waiting position. The only problem that I have is that he is not gaining weight...

I am now giving him these so named fat-balls. He kind of likes this and I hope I can get his weight up.

We did a total bloodwork and count on him, it looks all normal, also my vet thinks that he is older then 10 1/2, he thinks about 14 or 15........ Yes, he looks old, but I think this is because of his life being outside. Possible the people did not get him as a puppy, they only confirmed that they have had him for 10 years... possible they got him as an adult.... but Ii do not care... I want him to begin enjoying his short remaining life and it looks like that he does!!!!!!!

Terry is laughing at me, now since I decided to keep him for my self, he is now following me like a shadow, and if Ii am not around, he starts complaining...

He is such a sweet dog and I hope he & Lehua will be with me much longer....

Margret Meier
Bouvier & Friends
All Breed Rescue
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002
From: Terry Minda
Subject: Chevrolet

I haven't had the heart to write, Margret lost Chevrolet on Monday.

He had been sick since Friday, and she spent the weekend trying to get him back to health. He appeared to have suffered a stroke. He was given all possible medications to pull him through. He was on I.V.'s, and was doing a little better [&] on Monday, he was eating a few tablespoons of food every few hours and trying to sit up to drink his water.

Margret felt encouraged, that he showed signs of improvement. She had to show dogs for adoption on Monday evening, and when she got home late that night she found him dead.

She was not mentally or physically able to deal with this on her own, so yesterday my neighbor and I went to Margret's, I had to do it alone, and lift him out of the room, because Margret could not handle seeing him like this (it was a real killer for me too).

I covered him in a blanket & was able to get him into the hall, and she was then able to help me carry him to the door. We got him in Marlene's truck, and we buried him in the 10 acre horse farm, where he spent a few happy weeks of his life running free.

He is buried right next to a foal that died a few weeks earlier, so he has a farm, and a colt to watch over, and 10 acres with 20 horses, and another Bouvier Megan to watch run and play.

Margret is broken- hearted because she was not there with him at the end. We had lunch together today, and we are both VERY, VERY depressed! I have not been able to write to the list, but Margret asked me to let you know, since you were always so kind, and tried to help her "Chevro".


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