A Doberman Named Mariah

A year after my husband and I had purchased a new home in Wisconsin with a fenced yard, we were sitting at the kitchen table one morning and I said to him that I would like to give a needy soul a good home. It felt like the right time.

Many years prior to that I had managed one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in the Midwest — I also had rescued several Doberman Pinschers from the shelter by making them apart of my family. My love for the Doberman Pinscher breed grew so much that I started to breed and show in obedience.

However, this time I just wanted to adopt a mutt — pure breeds are always more adoptable anyway. Yep, I wanted just a little ugly, scruffy, lovable mutt … the kind of mutt that most would pass over and not even glance twice at when strolling the aisles at the shelters. In fact, the last words out of my mouth to my husband when we were walking out the door on our way to the shelter one fine Saturday afternoon was, “I’m looking for the ugliest, scruffiest dog there … no more purebreds and no more Dobermans!”

My husband and I drove to the shelter and as I was walking up and down the outside runs, a few dogs ran up to me to say hi, but none of them were very interested … then I saw HER — all curled up in the back of the run … food dish untouched and over flowing with uneaten food. She was a purebred, 18 months old … a Doberman named Mariah.

Mariah slowly got up and walked to the gate on broken, dried, cracked, and bleeding paw pads and actually stood up on her hind legs to face me, nose to nose. She was towering over me as she leaned up on the gate. The shelter attendant informed me that I was the first person Mariah had shown any interest in. The attendant and I were both horrified to see the dismal shape she was in and she had only arrived two weeks prior. She was deteriorating fast. The volunteers had not noticed that she wasn’t eating. Mariah was so skinny you could count every single vertebra in her back, her chest was sunken in, eyes dull with no hope, hair starting to thin … Mariah had given up and was dying.

Her weight had dropped to 62 pounds. She should have easily weighed 110 pounds — she was the largest Doberman Pinscher I had ever laid eyes on, about the size of a Great Dane. The attendant was so alarmed at this poor dog’s condition, she ran to get the manager who was equally irate to see Mariah’s frail frame. I knew Mariah had picked me because of my experience with shelters … the manager felt confident I would be able to nurse her back to health and let me adopt her.

As we drove home, I rode in the back seat to comfort and stabilize Mariah. She was incredibly weak and could barely keep from falling over. When we arrived home I knew she needed an IV and may not make it through the night. I fed her by hand, laying on the floor next to her with very small amounts of food, I made sure she swallowed every bite.

On the third night, Mariah suddenly got up and hobbled across the room to retrieve a rubber ball I had bought in anticipation of a new pet. She gingerly picked it up and walked into the kitchen where she gently laid it on the kitchen table (she was so tall, she could rest her entire head on the table). She was too weak to play, but it was her way of saying thank you for choosing me.

Three moths later Mariah weighed 125 pounds and was a ball full of energy, her feet had healed, her coat gleamed, her eyes were bright. She was my giant shadow … always by my side … we were inseparable.

Fast forward eleven years later — one day I felt a lump on her chest and knew she would not have much longer … I knew it was attached to her lung.

On the day before St. Patricks day in 2007, Mariah walked over to me and placed her massive head in my lap. She looked up at me sideways and rubbed her head back and forth … I knew, right then and there, in that moment, that Mariah was saying goodbye. She was letting me know her time was near. That night, at ten minutes to midnight, I heard a yelp come from my bedroom that did not sound normal … as I rushed to Mariah, and held her in my arms, her heart gave out. She was 12.

Many years later, I now do volunteer work with my local shelter as well as sit on the board of directors. Yes … animals do choose us … so the next time you are looking to adopt … pick the animal that picks you!

35 thoughts on “A Doberman Named Mariah

  1. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Thank You, Michelle, for your kind words.

    I hope you liked your reading….it was an honor and my privilege to read for you.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    Gina Rose – I had tears streaming down my face when reading about Mariah. What a beautiful soul you are for seeing an animal who so desperately needed help and most of all love (even though she did choose you). You were meant to go to the shelter that day – that is so spiritually obvious. I have a reading with you on Sunday at 1pm and I can’t wait to say all this to you. I’m so glad I chose such a beautiful person for my reading session. There is absolutely nothing like the love of a pet.

    Reply
  3. Karen

    That story was just beautiful in every way. It literally brought tears to my eyes, as I too share such a love for animals and an understanding for how and what they are feeling. They fulfill us, as much as we fulfill them. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Ann-Marie

    Gina Rose,I am so moved by your story.Last year i decided to look for a new friend,and on the one year anniversary of my dog Kelsey’s passing she came to let me know that the dog I was looking at was the one for me,I felt Kelsey’s nose on my left leg,and I did everything i could to get Carly.I talked with my angels and spirit,she did go to another home,but the people returned her after 3 hours.The lady called me and asked me if i would like to adopt Carly and I knew my angels answered the call.So in reading your story,i believe they do find us.In September it will be a year that she has been here,and i thank god everyday that she’s with me.Ann-Marie

    Reply
  5. velvetoversteel

    I just came across your story. It brought tears so many reasons. Such a touching story!! My boys had pets growing up and everyone picked them or picked our family. I truly believe that with ever single one of them. So many stories!

    What a beautiful person you are, Gina Rose! She did pick you because she knew you would love her…. for her and take care of her. I’m sure she took care of you too!

    Thank you for sharing with us all, your personal story!
    Love you, Gina Rose!
    Hugs,
    Coreen

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Pet Peeves: Moving On | California Psychics Blog

  7. balancedesires

    Hi Gina Rose!

    Sorry for the delay in responding! I have more on the customer roundtable than anywhere else so far unless there is an article that hits me! I know I read your suggestions to the admin team as far as putting the newer comments first so we don’t have to scroll all the way to the end to read them! Harmony & peace!

    Reply
  8. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Fran,

    Yes…..they become our ” babies “…..

    Your Maddie sure does have a wonderful ” mommy ” !!!

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  9. Fran

    I was really touched by your story. That’s sort of how Maddie came to live with us. We found each other. It was a cold, rainy January day, and my daughter and I were leaving school (she was little, and had come with me to volunteer in my son’s classroom). As we were heading towards the parking lot, I spotted Maddie. She was small, drenched, and my heart melted. She saw me, and when I called her over, she came immediately and rolled onto her back, exposing her belly for me to rub. That’s all it took. We brought her home. She let me bathe her, and I made her some chicken to eat. We looked to see if anyone had posted signs looking for a lost dog, but there were none. I believe it’s because she was meant to be a part of our family.

    Maddie is 14 years old now, and her age is showing. She’s slowed down a lot, and loves to sleep. I know that she probably doesn’t have much longer, but as long as she hangs on, she’s got lots of love surrounding her. And she’s given so much love in return.

    Hugs,
    Fran

    Reply
  10. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi balacedesires….
    I think the new blog is still being worked on…..I may need my Guides to help me navigate thru this until I become accustomed to it…..LOL…kind of like a spiritual GPS system…..LOL

    well…..so far, so good…..I found your comment.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  11. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Yes….we know they depend on us,like children do, for love and all of their needs…..so yes, I have to agree with you. It’s like losing a child….for me anyway. And you can never replace that particular pet…but you can obtain happiness, once again, by giving another needy soul a new home.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  12. balancedesires

    I feel it is the innocence that an animal resonates that makes it tougher to bear when we grieve, especially if the animal is tragically taken from this earth. Their love is unconditional to us which is a comfort in a sense. I know my life is enriched by having them in my life!

    Reply
  13. Miss Krystal ext. 9192

    Gina Rose, could not agree with you more. We are the same about animals, when they pass-no difference…It’s a hard loss. Once, when I was a teenager, right after a loss of a pet, my mom took me to a movie-we had to leave the movie because we kept crying…We could not get our mind off it. I also have a vivid memory of having to tell my middle brother, we lost the dog…I just remember him speechless and had to lay down on the coach -He did not get up for hours…..so right…Hugs,
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  14. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Kallista…..
    Well you know…there is a bit of magic in all of us….as the magic comes from within.
    But also, working with animals gives me a nice break from the psychic world in general…. I grew up with a well known psychic so I’ve done this my entire life.
    It’s nice to just rub elbows with the folks at the shelter doing volunteer work who do not know I am a psychic. I find it gives me the healthy type of balance I need in my life. And balance is essential to me, as it is to any person who works in the psychic field.
    I tend to be a hermit because of what I do and who I am, so the animal shelter work gets me out and about.
    And balance is a good thing.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  15. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hail and Well Met Romana,
    Yes, cats are extremely psychic by nature, and I personally believe, that cats resonate more easily than most, but not all animals, to the energy we are putting out as well…..I loved your comment about your Afghan hound too…how neat!
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  16. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hey there Jacqueline…..
    Thank you…..
    Belated congrats !!!!! on your promotion by the way, I’ve been busy with shelter stuff and just noticed it……
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  17. Romana x5235

    Gina Rose,
    We have talked some in the past, but this is my first time commenting on the blog list. I loved your Mariah story!!! The animals in my life have always had a huge role in everything I do. I did want to comment upon Pagan/Wiccan Rits/Sabbats, all of my cats have always loved my alters and sometimes I get to remove a cat from the center of my Tarot spread. One of my favorite moments was, there was a Ladies Circle at my house one night, and each lady had a moment to dedicate outloud or privately… the circle was open, and my female Afghan Hound entered the center of the circle a few moments and politely left. She had her moment with the ladies. :)
    Blessings.

    Reply
  18. Kallista ext. 9623

    Hi Gina Rose,
    Thank you for your kind words. It’s wonderful that you are a hereditary Wiccan. I’ve studied Wicca and find it to be a very positive belief system. Thank you for teaching others more about familiars and other great things pertaining to Wicca and magickal workings. You have so much to give. I want you to know just how appreciated you are. I hear how amazing you are from clients, too. I’m glad I know it for myself.
    Blessed be to you as well,
    Kallista ext.9623

    Reply
  19. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Abigail,
    Well….as you know I am hereditary Wiccan….and Mariah was definitely what
    we, as Wiccans, consider to be a familiar.
    Not all animals are our familiars, only those that show interest in our magickal workings….but this particular dog stuck to me like glue, even when I was performing Wiccan Sabbat ceremonies.
    And a familiar can come to us in any animal…dog, bird,horse…doesn’t have to be a cat.
    Also, when teaching a class to new psychics, I use the story of Mariah to teach Karmic markers or Karmic signs.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  20. Psychic Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Gina Rose,
    What a touching story I do believe our animals pick us, they come into our lives at a time when we need them and they need us, animals are such an important part our growth as well as letting us help them and be apart of there lives.
    I know she still walks beside you, you have such a big heart, she was lucky to find you!
    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  21. balancedesires

    Hi Gina Rose!
    Thank you so much for your response! Yes & she now has an annoying little playmate I adopted from a friend last year but simply named Pickles! :) I picked a green collar to accent his coat color which is a lovely buff….but literally did not realize that pickles are green too until my vet mentioned something! LOL, geeze I felt like a stooge! :)

    Reply
  22. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Balancedesires,
    Thank You…..sorry about the loss of your kitty~Locqacious ( great name !)….
    ….but you’ve made room in your life for yet another little loving
    soul~ Peanut Butter Cup Smashed Over Vanilla Icecream…he he …..I think that’s great !!!!
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  23. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Kallista,
    thank you….
    I wrote this in memory of Mariah….but also to show just how much animals do choose us….
    …and, most important of all, how loving and loyal adopted animals really are.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  24. balancedesires

    Hi All!
    When I have control over, well, the remote control I like watching Animal Cops on Animal Planet. I know its heart wrenching but I love to watch it to see the happy endings! Gina Rose, you are a savior to animals, what a wonderfully dynamic soul you are! I can relate to the loss of a sweet & loyal friend. I did have a kitty Locqacious that passed tragically. She was wearing a harness outside & my roommate had her too close to the tree & she hung herself. I was at work at the time it happened, my then fiance drove all way down to my job to tell me what happened. I had to go to NH to see my brother back off to FL that night & did not have a chance to grieve until I got home Sunday & cried my eyes out!! She was my friend. That Monday I went into the same shelter & a silly calico chose me. I still have her: Peanut. Full name is: Peanut butter cup smashed over vanilla ice cream. Because when people wanted to know what she looked like that was the best way to describe her! White underneath & black & orange on top! Much respect & blessings to you all!

    Reply
  25. Kallista ext. 9623

    Wow, Gina Rose. Mariah was so blessed to have you as her angel. What a beautiful and poignant story. Yes, it would be hard to write. I felt tears come up too as I read it.
    It was no accident she chose you. You know you were meant to be together. I was so happy to read that you two had eleven good years together. I feel she is your guardian angel. You have many angels watching over you, both human and animal!
    Bless you for all the good you do for all the beings you encounter,
    Kallista ext.9623

    Reply
  26. Abigail Ext 9570

    I know …. I got an amazing glimpse of Mavericks running in meditation 3 days ago and I feel it was a past life thing I was viewing, and my kitty cat that showed up to help me move spirits is still here !!:-) She’s Seans cat he protects her like its his baby even when she’s a brat.
    Many Blessings
    ~Abigail~

    Reply
  27. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Miss Krystal,
    Thank You…
    Well,our own “babies” are always special to us…..we really do bond with our pets like they were our children.
    In fact, the Psychiatrists I read for often tell me that grieving the loss of a pet can be as traumatic as grieving the loss of a human relative or spouse.
    …part of what drives me to volunteer yet with shelters is the memory of Mariah….
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  28. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Believer,
    Thank You….you know, the average dog has an actual IQ of a 2 year old child…..some have the IQ of a 7 year old child…..they really do know and understand when a human adopts them and/or rescues them. I’ve always said that adopted pets are the most loyal and loving pet a person could could ever own.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  29. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Abigail,
    Thank You…..
    You know I’d like to think I don’t have any favorites when it comes to my animals, as I love them all……but Mariah, StarBuck ( another Doberman) and Lightning ( a Tennesse Walker filly ) were very special to me….. all crossed over.
    But, you know….we will see them again someday…
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  30. Miss Krystal ext. 9192

    What a moving story, Gina Rose.
    I had a dog of mine, a while ago, “Say goodbye”
    and he was 12. A moment that changed my life, honestly. I was not able to be near my other dog, when he passed, I was at school. I found out later the day he passed & that he had a heart attack, at six years old. No matter how much I know about spirits, I always start to tear when I think of my babies. I know you miss her so much, and we know that the answer is, to get another pet, even though no animal can really be replaced. Good news, is, you are getting so much out of your life now with the causes you are involved with-Thank you for all of your life work trying to save the animals. It’s people like you that are making the changes, needed, in order to create more justice for animals.
    You should come out here sometime. Seems like almost every saturday they are protesting in the streets, in front of pet stores, about puppy mills, trying to get people to go adopt-instead.
    You were very lucky to have Mariah. Lovely story. Thanks.
    Blessings,
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  31. Believer

    Dear Gina Rose,
    That was a precious story (I have tears rolling down my face). Sounds like Mariah was quite a lady. Good thing you listened to your inner voice to find her when you did!
    Our sweet animal friends heal us in a way that nothing else can. God bless all of our animal friends! They bring such a bright light into this world. And, god bless people like you who take the time to give them a voice!!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with Mariah.
    With Love Always,
    Believer

    Reply
  32. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    This article was hard for me to write….I actually teared up a few times as I wrote it.
    When Mariah first went into the shelter, for the first week, all she did was pace up and down the 20′ long concrete outside run at the shelter….and she didn’t eat or drink water she was so depressed.Finally, when she was too tired to pace anymore, she just curled up into a ball to die in the back of the run. She really was within 24 hours of death.
    This dogs’ paws were SO raw, worn, and cracked that for the first two weeks I had to keep wiping bloody paw prints off the kitchen floor whenever she would walk across it.
    Her bones stuck out so bad she could not lay on any hard surface without it creating contact bed-type sores. I had to lay blankets on the carpeting in my office to cushion her body when she would lie down….and actually slept on the floor next to her the first two nights after bringing her home.
    What a beautiful, loving, loyal friend she turned out to be all because of a little TLC….I still miss her. I almost felt guilty writing this as my newly adopted dog is lying on my feet now as I type this. I love all of my animals but my beloved Mariah was so very special.
    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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