We had to make the very tough decision to give Ivan his wings last night. He was 11.5 years old and he’d been sick for some time. We thought he was just getting old, but some blood tests done a fortnight ago revealed that he had pancreatitis. He was being treated for it, but unfortunately he went downhill quite rapidly and in the very early hours of this morning we said our goodbyes.

I knew Ivan was getting old and wouldn’t be around for much longer so I was planning to do a shoot with him when he got better. He’s had so many near death experiences I really thought this was just another one he’d bounce back from. I didn’t get the chance to though, so the most recent shots I have of him are from his birthday in March and one from Easter, when I subjected him to Chopper’s bunny ears!

I’ve uploaded an album of snapshots to my Facebook page if you want to see some more.

Ivan was my first dog. He was seven when my cousin asked us to take him. I knew NOTHING about dogs, let alone powerful headstrong Huskys like him. I remember the first day we had him we took him to Centennial Park for a walk. I thought it’d be fun to run with him, but he took off and I had to drop the lead. He ran into the duck pond and refused to get out for half an hour! Stubborn bastard! It took him a while to adjust to his new living situation. He wasn’t used to being on his own during the day so he cried a lot and tried to dig under the fence to escape. Our poor 80 year old neighbour kept having to find things in his garage to stick under the fence to stop Ivan getting out until we got home from work!! I remember coming home to an ironing board and a clothes rack rammed under there one day!!

We got him Angel for company and he settled down. I don’t think he ever really liked her, but he tolerated her and she liked to play with him even if the feelings weren’t mutual! Luckily for him Chopper came along shortly afterwards and Angel had a new playmate, so he got some peace. Ivan was a great early warning system. He’d always let me know when Angel and Chopper were up to mischief. He was never one to make noise for no reason, so if he started howling I’d come to see what it was about and every time I’d catch the other two doing something they weren’t supposed to!

Ivan was a bit of a loner, never one to cuddle in the bed with the other three or hang on the sofa with us, but he was still an important member of the pack and he’ll be sorely missed by all of us. RIP big fella. I hope there’s lots of cats and small fluffy things for you to chase freely up there!

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