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Mariah's Promise
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Tributes and Memorials

This page is dedicated to those that have shared their love and their lives with us and have sadly gone on ahead of us to prepare the way.
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Chenko aka Sweetie Pie
Loved by Betty
Jan. 2009
Chenko, affectionately known as Sweetie Pie, came from an animal shelter. I was working there as a volunteer when one morning as I made my rounds I noticed this beautiful young dog excitedly wagging her tail.  As I approached her cage she stood up and put her front legs on the door as if to say, “Look at me, I’m very pregnant and I sure need help.”  Being a Pit Bull she fit into a class where she would be hard to adopt and being pregnant made her almost impossible to re-home.  After her first couple weeks in the shelter I frantically began searching for a shelter that could take her.  It was obvious that her days waiting for her motherhood were becoming very short.  Finally I did find a rescue for her but it was obvious that I wouldn’t have time to get her moved so since I live on a farm I decided to take her home and let her babies be born in a stall in my barn. 

On Saturday when I went to pick up Chenko I was greeted with the news that she had delivered seven puppies during the night.  The shelter attendants were very nervous about going into her cage to pick up her puppies but when she saw me she just began wagging her tail and smiling.  I opened the door and went in and sat down beside her.  She licked my hands while I picked up her puppies.  As we carried her little wet puppies to my car she would follow and when the last one was placed on a blanket in the back of my SUV, she jumped in, turned toward me and smiled.

~Read the entire story ... you don't want to skip the whole thing.~
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"Waiting at the Bridge"
August 2009
Some of you knew Dandy, at least from my e-mail messages. He passed peacefully this afternoon after a long bout with "everything." I just came in from burying him facing the desert sunrise. He was at least 9 yrs. old, possibly more. I've had him since March '04. He was the first dog I adopted after my devastating fire and for the first 5 months, he thought he was my only dog, until my 4 survivors arrived back from fostercare after 5 mos. From then on, he still thought he was my only dog. He went everywhere with me; he wasn't a "dog," he was an "accessory." He meant everything to me.

His nickname was "Schnickelfritz," given to him by a 90 yr. old Alzeimer's patient who loved him. I named him Dandy Lion, because he was a dandy who thought he was a lion. I'd only had him a short time when he went up to a 90 lb. neighbor's dog, the dog shook him like a rat, gave him a concussion and broke four ribs. That made the little genius pursue other dogs even more vigorously. I've laughed these past several weeks because KoKo, the wolf-hybrid I recently adopted, would try to play with Dandy, who'd lose his temper and chase off KoKo.

I'm going to "unplug" my life for a while, go float in my pool where the tears will wash away. I know you all know what this feels like. This is the fifth loss for me this year. (Thankfully the rest are younger and completely healthy.) But this was also a particularly hard loss. As much as we try to not show favoritism, me - the wolf and big dog guy - adored that demanding bit of cantankerous fluff as much as humanly possible.

Pictured in the attached is Dandy in the animal control shelter on deathrow before I adopted him. He'd been found wandering the streets and bit the AC officer. And then with me the first Spring, in a field of his namesakes. That is how I will always remember him.

No need to reply, I already know I have your sympathy, or I wouldn't have included you. Just give your own furkids an extra hug and kiss in memory of my little buddy.


Jim's book "PIECES OF MY HEART - Writings Inspired by Animals and Nature" benefits animal rescue efforts. For samples, info on fundraising and to download "HOW COULD YOU?", or click here to order through

**Some of the most important things in life are not "things"! Please use personal pronouns (not "it") when referring to animals.**
You Left Too Soon
Jan. 7, 2010
You Left Too Soon

Skylar, birthdate unknown.  We call his arrival at Mariah's Promise on October 3, 2009 his re-birth day.
Skylar went to the Bridge on January 7, 2010. 

[Click Here to read Skylar's story when he arrived here]

This adorable boy was so deep inside himself, he closed off to the rest of the world, curling himself into a tight ball on that cold steel grate at the South LA shelter.  He touched some gentle hearts, was rescued and sent to a home to begin again.  Skylar made slow progress, then regressed again.  We were asked to take Skyler, give him another chance out here in Colorado.  This shaking, troubled beauty stayed in the back of the kennel even after the door was opened when he arrived in Denver. 

His first few days were spent in a mixture of curiosity and fear as he met new dogs, new people and adjusted to mountain living.  Inside the house, he tucked himself as far under my desk as he could, while the dogs would come check out the new kid on the block.  Then came Buttercup, a little bully girl from the streets of Denver.  Skyler was curious enough to check her out.  Then came Baby, abandoned by her person, so insistant that Skyler accept her prodding, he finally caved and the three became fast friends.  His dance card was soon filled with all kinds of new friends and he blended into the front room group, belonging.  He couldn't expand his trust beyond me, no matter how hard others tried or he wanted to.  It was coming, but he left too soon.

So in celebration, let me share the life Skylar had here and the friends he made as he unfolded.  I will deeply miss you, my Skyler boy.  When you see Esther-Sue, give her a slobbery kiss from all of us.  Until we meet again.

I loved you!  Toni
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February 6, 2010
Samson was owned and loved by
Barbara Laird, our webmaster
Tribute written by Barbara Laird
Photo Montage
Samson was the beginning of a lot of new “firsts” for me.  After much research, I knew the Great Dane was the breed for me.  Samson was my first Great Dane.

I rescued Samson out of a hell-hole 4 years ago when he was approximately 5 years old.  With Samson along my side, we began a new journey into the Great Dane world.  
Because of Samson … I became good friends with Kim Coxwell and her beautiful daughter.  I feel blessed to have a friend like her.

Because of Samson bringing Kim into my life … I became the fortunate owner of Remi, Samson’s first and only girlfriend.  Kim operated a Great Dane Rescue in Los Angeles County and a beautiful blue Great Dane (Remi) became available, and Kim gave me first opportunity to adopt her.  Of course I could not have turned down that opportunity.

Because of Samson … I became good friends with Marc Sayer and have spent my last 2 summer vacations visiting his Deaf Dane Rescue.  Marc and I have become close and I hope will be a lifelong friendship.

Because of Samson … Marc and I became lawsuit victims together.  Well, OK, perhaps that wasn’t Samson’s fault.  Gee, perhaps Marc and I have big mouths and we feel it is our right to stand up to the wrongs that are happening to other people that adopted Great Danes and other giant breed dogs from Samson’s former hell-hole, Gentle Giants Rescue.  Fortunately, the law was on our side and the lawsuit was dismissed.

Because of Samson … I began my first website, Gentle Giant News, exposing Samson’s former hell-hole to the public and giving a place for all the victims to speak out about the wrongs that happened to them.

Because of Samson … bringing me into the world of website development … I started up my own web development business that services the Animal Rescue community. 

Because of Samson … I was introduced to the message board community of Leans and Slobbers and have become friends with Keri, Victoria, Rachel, Carole Ann, Mia, Gwen, and many, many others.

Because of Samson … I became friends with lots of people around the Nation and across the pond.

Because of Samson … bringing me into all these wonderful friendships … I was given the opportunity to bring Callie into my life.  Life has never been the same since. 

Because of Samson … I have had the opportunity to serve the elderly community with Therapy Dog visits.  I got Samson and Remi certified as Therapy Dogs, and although Samson wasn’t too much of a fan of going into the Senior facilities, he did his job anyway and brought much joy to that very lonely group of people.  Samson didn’t last long in this “profession” but I continued the work with Remi.

Samson went to the Bridge today. 

For the past 4 years … well, as long as I have owned him … Samson has had chronic bowel issues.  Samson has had very few days that everything worked normally.  As Samson got older, his back started becoming a problem (arthritis or disc problems) causing pinched and/or damaged nerves.  Now, with the back shot and the nerves damaged, he lost all control of his bowels and bladder and was completely humiliated every time he had accidents in the house.  Samson could barely stand up … his back end sunk almost all the way to the ground.

Samson was a regal boy and he deserved to retain his dignity.  Samson’s purpose in life … to hold down the couch … was over.  So I decided, instead of waiting until there was nothing left of him and he could no longer function or walk on his own … while his dignity was still intact… it is time to release him and let him live free … free of pain … free of humiliation.  Samson lived his life with dignity and he deserved to go out with dignity. 
Here’s Samson hard at work.
Samson is now pain free and healthy.  He is running freely in the heavens, awaiting my reunion with him.  I look forward to meeting up with him again and feel the warmth of his big head snuggling up against me.

Thank you Samson for the life you have given me.  I could never have asked for a better, more devoted dog than you.  You have definitely changed my life for the better.

Until we meet again … RUN FREE, SAMSON, RUN FREE.