BRAVEHEART
aka
         MEL
was shot on the head!

HIS STORY IS BELOW... Read until the end

Mel is no longer with us! 
Mel passed on January 29, 2004 at 3:35 pm.
He is waiting at
Rainbow Bridge 
Read a beautiful Memorial by his owner Bret Gross at the bottom of the page


Gulfstream Rottweiler Club
offers its website space to MEL hoping to find his Guardian Angel

His story below, but the latest update
12/15/00 is at the bottom


MEL NEEDS A HOME

I recall the day I visited the Agoura Hills shelter. I was walking down the dog section and came across this tremendous Rottie...they had a caution sign up and I noticed blood on the floor of his cage. I looked up and
saw the bullet wound in his temple. I summoned Laurie the wonderful woman that worked at the shelter. She said that this boy was brought in the night before in Topanga at a horse farm...He had been shot in the head...Needless 
to say, nobody had any explanation! Laurie explained that she was unsure if anyone had x-rayed him but gave his chances at the shelter to be slim to none.   Barbara

And Judi Becker sent the following recollection....
AC received a call to "come get a dog" on a ranch in Topanga Canyon (just up the mountain from Malibu). When they got there, they found this dog, who had been shot in the head (you can see the bullet hole in the picture above).  He was taken to the shelter, they didn't do much for him, a lady who does a daily shelter visit emailed me and asked me if I could help this dog, as the shelter people fell in love with him. Apparently he let them poke and prod the wound and wasn't nasty with them. One of the shelter volunteers took him to her vet and that vet x-rayed him, decided to leave the bullet where it is (lodged in the jaw), determined that he had no brain damage, and kept him there for several weeks until his wound was completely healed. And THEY fell in love with him. An anonymous benefactor (I don't even know who this is) paid for his vet care. I then pleaded and begged on the list for help with transporting this guy... oops, let me back up....

MEL
IS A GORGEOUS MALE!

Diane Silver, on rottie-l, went to the vets and "evaluated" him, and she and another lady on rottie-l, Jeanine Daynes, transported him to a "temporary" foster home. This foster is not really one of our foster homes, the people just happened to hear about Mel and offered to take him in for a while. The lady has been ill, off and on, and she and her
husband will be traveling and they already have 3 or 4 other dogs and its time to move Mel. 

For some strange reason, no one is interested in adopting him. He gets along with other dogs, but NOT cats from what she can tell, he knows a little training, likes people and loves to ride in the car and go places like Petsmart. He does require daily eye medicine in one eye due to the gunshot wound. 

"I'm looking very hard for my
GUARDIAN ANGEL!
I promise to be a good boy."
Mel 
Look at the bullet hole!

Actually, Mel is sort of "my" rescue, as our regular foster homes were overloaded when I decided to help save this boy and so I knew I was "on my own". I have been fortunate that I have had the help of all these people in California, being that I am in Arizona . A wonderful couple near San Diego, members of the Golden State Rottweiler Club, have offered to temporarily take in Mel (they have 4 canine girls, so figure he won't be a problem), but again, it will be only temporary.

I would love to find this boy a wonderful home. We received two apps that were interested in him, but the people wanted an "outside only" dog and I refuse to let Mel go to an "outside only" home. I know some people might say "well who cares, its a home", but MY dogs come and go as they please and I wouldn't want any less for our rescues. Oh! And he got the name "Mel" because we needed to think up a name and the lady who originally contacted me about him said how about "Braveheart" because he has been so brave and then since Mel Gibson was Braveheart, we nicknamed him Mel!

Please, if Mel's story touches your heart, it may be God speaking to you!  Don't close your heart and have Faith.  With every rescue God sends His blessings.

For information on how to become Mel's Guardian Angel
please contact

Judith Becker at  judi.becker@home.com

BUT GOD 
HAD OTHER PLANS...
READ

Hi again Grace --
      I was in kind of a rush this morning and didn't have time to say what especially I'm thankful for about you this day.  (Besides all of the hundreds of things you do all the time.)
      I'd asked Judi Becker to leave our name out of the information about Mel.  She was kindly understanding of our feeling that, since we've only been around for a couple of years and have been able to learn so much but contribute so little, we'd serve best from the sidelines.
      When it became necessary for him to find a new foster home -- and no one was able to -- Barb and I talked about possibly stepping in for a short time.  Having the two Grandmas living with us, as well as our other four canines, meant that we'd have to be cautious.  (I often think of the Johnny Mercer song "Fools Rush In".   I keep reminding myself = ) )
      I first got to meet "The Boy" in mid-August.  He was certainly not a wiggle-butt, but we seemed to strike a chord.  (I must admit that I was not quite prepared for his caved-in skull & cruddy eye, but he seemed healthy otherwise.)  I allowed him to size me up as I chatted with Blair.  She sat on the end of a lounge chair on the patio while I crouched about 8 feet away.  He was so aloof, walking past me without making eye contact, circling casually and then walking over to Blair and lifting his leg on her chair!  (As if to say "I'm not going to acknowledge that you're here, but this is MINE.")
      Barb and I made arrangements to pick him up on August 23rd.  (We'd bought a kennel and put it up on the patio outside our bedroom and planned to keep him separate when we were at work.  We figured that if our fostering experience was a success, we might need the kennel for future dogs.  Sound like a big rationalization?)  Everything went just fine.  We'd taken a blanket with us in the car (which the girls had used) so he could get used to the scents.  He was great on the drive home (about 45 minutes) and when we were about four houses away from home he perked up and started air-scenting at the window!  Now that's a nose!
      Slow introductions with the girls were made -- adjustments in the pack followed over a couple weeks -- and he began to capture our hearts.
      Judi sent me a link to the page you had made.  She said that the response to your efforts usually results in an adoptive home in just a few weeks.  THANK YOU for your help!  I must admit that, as I began working with Mr. Mel, he really started to form a bond with us.  Judi would reply to my reports by saying "it's going to be hard to find a better place than the one he's at right now..." and I had to admit that I agreed.  But we kept thinking "God's going to find just the right home for this wonderful boy, don't get too attached.
      To make a long story just a little longer ...
      By the time we'd had him for nearly two months we began to wonder if we'd be able to let him go to someone else!  His training has been going so well, he sleeps in the bedroom with us and the four girls, and we've planned to take him and Majik with us on a little vacation in the RV.  
      A couple days before we left, we drove to L. A. to pick up a crate & x-pen from Jill Kessler's house.  We decided to take Mel along for the ride.  Well, Jill wanted to meet and evaluate Mel.  After about 30 minutes of observing him in her yard (I had him on a flexi and he walked around sniffing, subtly posturing at the fence when her dogs greeted him as he passed, IGNORING Jill, pissing on me as I crouched in conversation) Jill had basically two things to say:
1) "He's a lot of dog" (I bet she said that a dozen times)
2) "Are you planning on keeping him?" We finally admitted that we just might.  Actually, we hoped so.  There, we said it!  = )
      Jill replied "Good.  Because if I was evaluating him for rescue, I would probably say that he's not place able.  First, because of his age (which she estimated to be about 6) you wouldn't get too many calls.  But more important because he has a correct Rottweiler temperament and most first-time owners -- and many others -- would not know how to work with him.  And they'd push and get pushed back.  Not a dog for a family with kids.  Not a dog for most people.  He needs a firm but fair, loving owner."
      OKAY, God.  We understand.  You found him his home two months ago and we just didn't know it was us at the time.  = )

      Well, Mel has been here for three months TODAY!  What a joy he is.  And how Thankful we are for this gift!
      Thank you for what you did to help find him a forever home.  And so many others like him!  I'll send you a photo and a couple stories about his adventures.
      May your day be filled with the joyful knowledge of yet another success story.
Barb & Bret Gross
( bspamb@aol.com)

And look at Mel now!
He has a family of his own.

BRAVEHEART
is his name


This had a happy ending!
Mel, aka Braveheart
lives with

Barb &
Bret Gross

Mel waiting...

 

Mel did not belong to us -- he was larger than that. 

Mel's life touched so many and often I would receive an email from someone who read his story and wanted to say how they enjoyed him on your club's web page.
 
If one idea sums up Mel's story it is this: 
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
We had no idea!
 
When we first picked him up in August of 2000 our intention was to foster him, as I'm sure you remember.  In time we came to understand we were the students and he was the master: he taught us so much...
 
He possessed a rich but subtle sense of humor.  He wasn't the 'life of the party' -- he was the reason to celebrate and to remember that each moment of life is special.  Oh, how we laughed with him.  He was the tree that you sat beneath on a summer day.
 
He was the personification of the idea that 'still waters run deep'.  Like a quiet stream, as you waded in and were refreshed, you'd sense that the current was strong.  But it wasn't a cause for alarm.  It took you where you were supposed to go.  From the stream to the great river.
 
He defined confidence. His aloofness was sometimes mistaken for a lack of affection.  Wrong!  He'd allow us to hug him if we wanted because he knew we needed to.  He was not needy: he was a rock.
 
In the Eastern tradition there is a saying "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."  Mel showed us that we learn best that which we don't know we need to learn.  A wise teacher will lead the student to the lesson and allow plenty of stumbling and mumbling.  He will point the way and invite questions. And he is patient.
Even now, as I feel the bullet against my skin I become aware:  What would Melly do?
And I thank the Great Teacher for sending Him for me. 
 
Mel passed on January 29, 2004 at 3:35 pm.
I'll spend the rest of my days living in his shadow.  There is no better place.
When Mel passed I asked the vet for a favor.  "Mel carried that bullet in his head for nearly four years.  I want to carry it the rest of the way." 
He retrieved it for me and I had it mounted on a chain and I wear it around my neck.  Often during the day I'll feel it move and know Mel is watching.
One day, Mel and I will cross The Bridge together.  We'll stop about halfway across and toss that bullet over the side.  We won't need it anymore: we'll be together again. 

BRET GROSS 

Visit  Mel's sunset: http://haus_gross.tripod.com/hausgross/id8.html 

We all at Gulfstream Rottweiler Club loved Mel. We thank Barb and Bret for giving Mel his loving home.  Barb and Bret were his GUARDIAN ANGELS, no doubt. 
Mel's website will be up for ever.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET  HIM EITHER.

until we meet again...



Edited 03/25/2004

GULFSTREAM GUARDIAN ANGELS ROTTWEILER RESCUE
a 501c3 rescue organization
http://www.ggarr.org