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Born:February 16, 2009
Prague, Czech Republic
Died:April 10, 2022
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
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!

Please share your stories about Ivan below in
"Personal Notes!"
This is my Clint Eastwood impression.
Added by Anonymous

Ivan visits the Grand Canyon
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Added by Anonymous

Hey Mate! Happy Halloween!
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Ivan and Arlington
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Ivan as a pup.
Added by Anonymous
Memorabilia (audio, video, files, documents, etc.)

Added by Amber
Personal Notes

I only had one year with this little lad and it was definitely not long enough. I could hear him coming from a mile away; his bell tinkling as he walked up the pathway into the office. He always came in to say hi as he sniffed around my desk to see if he could find any crumbs that I might have dropped. He was always in a cute outfit or scarf and loved to be scratched behind his ears and his rump. His favorite place was by Amber's side but occasionally liked to assert his independence by escaping the office when the door was left open and exploring outside. I once found him all the way down the street sniffing the sidewalk, not a care in the world. I already miss you, sweet Ivan. Don't get into too much trouble up there. :-)
Added by Larissa

Anyone…animal, person, bird, spirit, and on, who is able to elicit so many beautiful memories, mementoes, thoughts, feelings, etc…as does Ivan…is a never ending tribute to life and death. We are so fortunate to have known him…and still know him. And always will. An absolute breath of Fresh Air. Thank you, Ivan for being you. And thank you for sharing yourself with so many of us. Always. Love, Hans Lehmann PS And I think Ivan knows that Clint would be envious of Ivan’s fearless photo.
Added by Hans

Ivan came in love and he left in love.
This beloved friend and companion to you and many others left behind his gentle expression of unconditional love. May we continue to heal with his tremendous example.
His gift will remain forever on the beaches and trails here and the kingdom beyond.
Good night, Ivan.

Added by Keri

Our sincerest condolences!
We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing.
Ivan was such a joyful presence.
Most of the time I spent with him was during the new members class at All Saints - He welcomed me and the other members of the class with such warmth and sweetness. People can be hard for someone to connect with, especially in a new situation, but Ivan was the ultimate icebreaker!
I know that he will be missed dearly. Thank you Ivan, for your adorableness, for your sweet and calm disposition. You were so loved and will be deeply missed.

Added by Fleur Burke

Ivan the Wonderful, Stylish Host to All, Constant Companion, Gentle Soul ...
We'll never forget those big, warm deep eyes and rapid-fire tail waggin' happiness!
No doubt his little clicking nails on the Gold-Paved streets of Eternity will be enjoyed by All.
Our Condolences,
Troy and Yo

Added by Anonymous

To Amber with Love, Ivan

I explained it to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here
Outside the pearly gate.
I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark, I'll be very patient and wait,
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much, if I went in alone.
It wouldn't be heaven for me.

JanFreya, Lothar, Gaylin & Danika

Added by Anonymous

Ivan. He was such a Presence—friendly, self-assured, composed—a real gentleman. But also endlessly entertaining, as though he knew his job was to cheer everyone up just by being himself. He even seemed to relish having a wardrobe even more lavish than Amber’s robes. Most importantly, we all felt the love that he and Amber felt for each other. Different species, perhaps, but a shared life. It will be impossible to be at church without continuing to feel his Presence.
Added by Susan

The new member meeting was supposed to start in ten minutes, and except for except for a few people filing into a small dim room, the church was empty. Wrong choice, wrong night. I felt relieved as I started towards my car, until a tinkling bell stopped my progress. I found the bell's source, and followed a tiny black dog into a large well-lit room. His claws clicked along vinyl flooring, guiding me to metal chairs set in a small curve.
"Ivan!" Reverend Amber called. She flew from kitchen to corner.
"So I'm in the right place?" I asked.
She didn't hear me, but Ivan did. He turned and looked at me, as if to say, "duh," then trotted after her.
The bossy dog jumped on Rev. Amber's lap as soon as she sat down.
"You've probably already met Ivan."
He sat up straight and looked at his new flock as if to say, 'you'll do.'
We nodded, all smiles.

I always meant to say, 'Thank you.' Now I do.
Ivan, you led me to the right place.
Rest in peace. I'll miss you dearly.

Added by Anonymous