Ivan was our Doberman Pinscher. He lived from 2002 to 2008 (he died just shy of his 6th birthday).
Ivan was a great dog–he was smart as hell and really wanted to please. Alert, fearless, gentle, and scary-looking, that was my Ivan. Every time I look at his pictures, my chest tightens and I really feel a quick flutter of sadness and loss.
I’m almost never sad or unhappy, so it’s weird for me to feel like that (I’ll talk more about that another time). We were very close (in fact we were too close, since I allowed him to develop separation anxiety, but that’s also a story for another day).
Plus, we let him sleep in our bed. Don’t ever let a future 100-pound dog sleep in your bed. Take it from me.
As to why Ivan died so young. Well, he ended up having Copper Storage Disease, a genetic liver condition that causes the body to stop processing dietary copper. Instead, it stores it in the liver, destroying it. By the time we realized Ivan was sick, it was too late. He lasted for another 9 months or so, taking Prednisone and eating copper-free food, but it eventually killed him.