RIP Tank and Hana - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Steven Roberto
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RIP Tank and Hana

Tank passed away ten months ago after two days of suffering final late stage symptoms of DCM, which had presented few symptoms previously, none of which I knew how to interpret at the time. His companion of eight years and big sister Hana passed away six months afterwards, also of DCM, which rarely occurs in females I am told. She died in my arms knowing that she was loved completely. They are buried side by side where they once loved to play.

I begin to think I am over the loss and then I pass by a site where some memory of them and me together there comes to mind, and the loss hits me unaware again and it is just devastating. You think you know how much a part of your life your Dobes are, but it is not until you lose them that you realize how deep the connection goes.
Nine years ago I began the journey with them with Hana, my first Doberman. I rescued her from a cruel Thai breeder in Bangkok who kept her confined to a crate in a closet since she was three months old. Such a beautiful animal but with no emotion or feeling, like a zombie. I built her self confidence, introduced her to the world, and we went through basic obedience together. The boy, Tank, was a literal rescue. My vet told me about a man who had bought Tank at six months, as his first dog, but who could not control him. I visited him as it turns out on the day before he planned to abandon Tank somewhere. If you do not believe in past lives, you would if you were there to see Tank and Hana meet each other; they knew each other immediately. When I said I will take Tank, as Tank listened to me talking with the man who owned him, I noticed from the corner of my eye Tank understand my intent and watched him walk to my car without prompting and sit by the door waiting for me to take him to a better life.

To say Dobermans are intelligent is an understatement. To leave Tank alone in the car to run into the bank for five minutes, only to return to see the carís emergency lights blinking, find the a/c on, the radio playing, and him sitting in the drivers seat thoroughly enjoying his fantasy conductor moment, was my first indication that these were not ordinary dogs. I studied about Dobermans to learn everything I could. I thought I was well informed. I had heard about DCM but it seemed like a theoretical, improbable disease for these two well bred, powerful and healthy dogs. It was not until they were in their final stages that I realized much too late that this was happening to them; both of them. I struggled with guilt, that I should have been more prescient, that I should have noticed something was not right years before when there was still time to at least begin some course of treatment to slow the onset. I am over the guilt now but the loss is still fresh; and what bothers me most is two such noble dogs undeservedly being cut down that way, those two masters of the universe - they were cheated of their pride to be cut down unaware like that.

There is a professionally produced documentary that delves deeply into DCM, with extended interviews at University of Munich. I was shocked to learn that as many as 58% of all Dobermans die from DCM and that breeders are doing essentially nothing to stop it. This video is well worth watching, for all Doberman owners, not just those who have lost dogs to DCM. This is the link:

I cannot close by saying, Goodbye Tank and Hana, old friends, again; I have said this to them so many times already. I lost a part of myself when I lost them but I am thankful for the opportunity to have shared my life with them and for experiencing the privilege of them letting me be their owner. I can never repay them for the richness they have added to my life. I miss them.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:20 PM
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@ Steven...

Oh... Having 2 dogs pass within 6 months of each other had to be very hard.

DCM sucks. Many of us here on DT (myself included) have dealt with this insidious disease.

@ Hana and Tank...
You've crossed the Bridge. Run free. Pain free, Disease free.

John, The Sheriff and McCoy
Portland OR
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:40 PM
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Sorry for your losses. I have been in your same position by losing a pair close together. It is sad and unfair.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 04:00 AM
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Oh what a beautiful pair......peace be with you my dobe friend.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:44 AM
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So sorry for your loss - DCM is something that every Doberman owner will deal with if they are in the breed long enough. Many of us here have lost dogs to cardiac disease in one way or another. I will say that it is a fallacy that fewer bitches die of the disease - some cardiologists apparently thought this, but most have since changed that school of thought. DCM is an equal opportunity killer it seems.

It is a very difficult disease to deal with as it is certainly not a simple recessive gene, and in fact there could be dozens of genes that are connected to it. In addition, we deal with more than one kind of cardiac disease. I've lost two personal dogs to sudden death whose cardiac ultrasounds were absolutely normal and whose EKG's were normal as well. In this case, the first sign that there is something wrong is quite literally death. I don't breed often, but always try to avoid DCM close up in the pedigree and insist on cardiac testing (cardiac ultrasounds and 24 hour holter monitors - which is a 24 hour EKG) the 2 available DNA tests are more to research at this point and while I think it is great to do the tests, I would never accept them as a substitute for real cardiac testing. I can tell you that no matter what we as breeders do to avoid DCM, it will rear its ugly head when you least expect it. Breeders are not magicians - we can do our very best to produce healthy dogs and have it blow up in our face. I have cardiac ultrasounds done on my dogs every year once they are mature - once before breeding is never enough. I will admit that there are a lot of so so breeders out there that don't do the testing..... and lots of lousy ones that don't even know enough to know that they should.

None of this will help with the grief of losing a beloved dog, but it will hopefully add to your knowledge of the breed should you decide to have another Doberman. If the disease is diagnosed early enough, medication can often extend their life for up to many years depending on the individual dog. For most of us, we love the breed too much to walk away.... but I also understand when people can't risk it again.
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Mary Jo Ansel

AKC GRCH/UKC CH Fitzmar's Command A Minute CGC "Harvard"
Fitzmar's Victory Hop Devil RN CGC "Jezebel"
Ch Jalyn One Moment Please "Mabel"
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:36 AM
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:08 AM
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I am sorry for your loss, RIP and run forever free
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:23 PM
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Oh, how awful to lose them both in such a short time span. My heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing all the information and especially for sharing photos of your two wonderful Dobermans. You captured in words EXACTLY why we are all hooked on this amazing breed.

I encourage you to hang around this forum and discover links to the many devoted breeders who ARE extremely devoted to inching the Doberman breed out of the DCM trough. So much continuous awareness and education here, many references to breeders doing everything possible and known to breed healthy Dobermans.

Hugs and shared tears...I think we all grieve a bit when we see a poignant thread like this; we all long for lost heart connections with our own Dobermans now gone. Most importantly, it makes wonderful memories come to life as well, sparkling little treasures as we revisit our history with this amazing breed. In your shared loss, you brought us those gifts. Thank you so much for that.
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