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Eastside doberman battles daily challenges to live a happy life

Nikita the doberman is deaf in both ears, but that doesn't stop her from living her life to the fullest
Nikita Doberman
Posted at 6:03 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 08:55:51-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Kristie Porter had never had a deaf dog.

So when a friend called her about a 2-year-old doberman that had been returned to her breeder, she was not sure.

"She called me after Duchess, (her last doberman) passed away and said, I don't know if it's too soon...but I have a pup that's being re-homed to me due to some unforeseen situations with her current family, and I was wondering if you would be interested."

But when Porter met Nikita, she knew it was meant to be.

"She jumped out of the car and acted like she had known me her whole life and slept with me that night," said Porter, "There was just...there was no turning back. So she definitely found her forever home here.”

In the three years since Nikita came home with Porter, she has taught her different hand signals that tell Nikita to sit, lay down, stay, spin and even praise her.

Porter says that a vet suggested euthanizing Nikita to the breeder when she was a puppy.

"They told Megan, you should probably euthanize her. Nobody's going to want a deaf doberman. She's going to struggle all of her life. Could you imagine, you know, euthanizing her as a puppy? I mean, when she's just, she's full of life."

According to the American Kennel Club, between 5% and 10% of dogs are deaf.

But the Porter's are making sure that Nikita is able to live her life to her fullest.

Nikita is on Instagram, @nikitap_the_deafdobie.

Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing