I made the mistake of asking my husband what we should name him. He said, "His name should be Ivan." I thought, oh dear! I asked him and now this dog is stuck with the name Ivan! I looked into the eyes of this strikingly handsome, young, brindle Bull Mastiff mix that was staring back at me and said, "Sorry, Buddy, but I guess Ivan it is." Now, several weeks later, Ivan fits him perfectly and I think it is a wonderful name. The name became a great name because of the great dog that bears it.
This six to eight month old pup was abandoned in a rural, wooded area and left to starve or freeze to death in terribly cold weather several weeks ago. He found his way to a remote, rural home where the woman of the house felt pity for him ... but the man of the house just wanted him gone. Time after time, Ivan quietly snuck onto their porch to sit by the glass storm door, peering into their home, hoping to be invited in. Each time he appeared, the man of the house would yell at him, throw rocks at him or shoot at him. Ivan would run terrified into the woods ... but eventually would reappear at their door. The woman took a picture of Ivan one day, sitting by her door and as fate would have it, the email found its way to one of our volunteers for Faithful Friends. She forwarded the message to me. When I opened the email my heart turned to mush and I asked our volunteer to please go get the puppy. When she notified the woman that we would rescue Ivan, the response she received was that the puppy was gone. Her husband had given him to someone who thought they could make a fighting dog out of him (or bait). Our horrified volunteer demanded that they go retrieve the puppy immediately and that she would be there to pick him up momentarily. When the woman hedged, our volunteer said authorities would be called if the puppy wasn't turned over to us ... thank goodness, they complied with her request.
Several Chicken McNuggets helped Ivan overcome his fear enough that Rich and I could get him in the car. (His last car ride had not been a good one.) I instantly loved this dog. (No, believe it or not, it doesn't always happen.) From that first night that Ivan was a guest in our home, he was the perfect gentle-man. Even though this happens all the time, I will never for the life of me, comprehend why someone would abandoned a magnificent looking, sweet, friendly, obedient dog like Ivan. He would have had about as much chance as a baby duck would have in a dog fighting ring ... the term "dodged a bullet" certainly applies to Ivan.
We have had several applications for Ivan in the last few weeks, but just haven't had just the right one until last week. Benjamin, a man who is driving from Des Moines, Iowa has an appointment Thursday afternoon to meet our one-of-a-kind Ivan. Ivan is a Bull Mastiff/Boxer mix. Benjamin's fair town has a very vague, tedious "Breed Ban", so to be on the safe side, Mr. "B" spent several days jumping through hoops to obtain an official statement of Ivan's breed mix along with "permission" to allow Ivan to live in Des Moines. After several phone calls and emails all concerns were laid to rest. In my latest email correspondence to Benjamin, I wrote: "I wish you a safe journey and will really look forward to meeting you. You will be introduced to an absolutely wonderful, very special Ivan. How exciting to begin the first of many joyous days with this faithful friend you have chosen to make your own. The laugh lines and smile wrinkles have deepened in my face since I have known Ivan. Ivan's sweet soul has left new paw prints on my heart in his journey to find you. Those same big paws of his will be making prints on your tomorrow! I will await your call tomorrow when you are getting close to Neosho. Thanks again!"