I met Ivan online 13 years ago and thought he was the most adorable little being I had ever seen. I had been wanting a little dog and took an online test to see what type of breed would be most suitable for me. My criteria were: short hair, not yappy, smart, easy to train, and good with people. Ivan's breed, Prague Ratter, was one of three listed based on my preferred characteristics. I had never heard of this breed, but began to email people about them.
I found a breeder in Houston and decided to purchase from him. He was the former coach for the European Football League. He and his wife lived in Prague and loved Prague Ratters. When they moved back, they brought a litter of puppies with them. Ivan was one of them. He was so cute and tiny that he fit in the drawer of a coffee grinder. It was love at first sight. A month later, I picked him up at the San Francisco airport. He weighed just 3 pounds!
On the day I picked up Ivan, it was cold and windy. I immediately zipped him up in my coat where he fit perfectly. As he laid curled up against my chest, I realized that this was the beginning of a beautiful and loving relationship.
Ivan has served three parishes in his ministry and visited many people in the hospital and in convalescent homes. He graduated from nose school and learned how to sniff things out -- great for discernment. He enjoyed making the rounds every day at All Saints' Church, proudly sporting one of his many, cute sweaters and jackets. He owned more outfits than Liberace!
His favorite spots to visit were Carmel Beach and the Mission trails, Santa Lucia Campground in Big Sur, the Raw Connection, Diggity Dog Boutique, and Terry's Lounge at the Cypress Inn.
Ivan was such a celestial gift -- a vibrant spirit and bright light; joyful, warm, compassionate, loyal, brave, and a fierce, little angel beast, and of course, a marvelous friend and companion. Thank you, Ivan! Your name means "God is gracious!" What a gracious gift you were to me and to everyone that you met. What a bundle of abundant energy and life. Thank you for blessing us with your sweet presence here on earth!
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