K9 Ivan “The Delightful”

Date of Birth: 9/17/2005
Dates of Service: 3/7/2007 – 10/8/2012
End of Watch: 3/25/2018
Breed: German Shepherd

Partner: Ofc. Henry Wilson (Retired)

K9 Ivan was the fourth working dog acquired by Capital K9s for the City of Madison Police Department – thanks to a generous donation from the family of Mary Jane Hayes Meng.

You might remember reading about Ivan a little over a year ago when Capital K9s featured his “End of Watch” tribute, complete with special case stories and favorite photos shared by his handler, now-retired MPD Patrol Officer Henry Wilson. You might also remember reading news pieces in the Wisconsin State Journal featuring the pair (links below).

Wilson fondly recalls being paired with Ivan… While other sponsors of K9s chose their sponsored dogs’ names, Ms. Meng’s family bowed out of naming decisions. As a result, Ivan kept the name selected for him by his original training kennel where he and Wilson got their start.

Ivan always wanted to work. His drive and focus led those who saw him in action to describe him as a “warrior” or “machine,” or to compare him to the first Russian czar, Ivan the Terrible. To counter the image of a dangerous unapproachable K9-and-handler duo (especially in light of Ivan’s size and Wilson’s height), Wilson jokingly dubbed Ivan as “the Delightful.” The nickname stuck – making them approachable and memorable to those who met them during community events.

Story after story could be told about Ivan’s successful searches for narcotics, tracks for missing persons or crime suspects, searches for evidence, and tenacity during training exercises. It’s sometimes difficult for Wilson to explain how important Ivan was to him. His favorite story is about Ivan infusing new life into his career. “The name ‘Ivan’ means ‘gift from God,’ and he truly was a gift to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. I love that dog.”

After his early retirement due to health issues, Ivan reluctantly shared the spotlight with Wilson’s second working dog, K9 Boris. While he shared his home with Boris and three other dogs – another German shepherd and two stocky Staffordshire terriers – Ivan never relinquished his “Alpha” role or his fighting spirit. His absence is felt by Wilson every day…

Special thanks to All Pets Veterinary Clinic for providing Ivan’s primary care during his working years, to Evansville Veterinary Service for providing primary care during retirement, and to Madison Veterinary Specialists and UW Veterinary Care for providing specialty services.

Thank you for your service Ivan; keep resting in peace.

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