Xenna vom Grunenfeld


October 2, 1993 - December 16, 2004


My gorgeous, highly intelligent, graceful companion passed suddenly from this world at approx. 3 p.m. Thursday, December 16, 2004 in the presence of my husband and Yuri.

True to her nature, Xenna vom Grunenfeld left on her own terms. She collapsed and died at home in a shady spot in our garden, eerily reminiscent of the way in which her beloved friend, Freudig had died six months earlier. In doing so, she wrested from me the awesome responsibility of calling for veterinary intervention to release her. That was her special gift to me.

Majestic, proud and regal in bearing, Xenna had flair, style, a zest for life, and an aura that drew compliments and admiration from all who met her. She was truly stunning with her lovely long coat, flecked with highlights of gold and red. In her honor, I started LH-L in 1998 hoping that I would be able to share experiences with other coated Shepherd people. The list has grown since then from a handful of founding members to over 80 subscribers representing not only the U.S. and Canada, but the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Xenna acquired a small circle of internet canine friends over the years, and being technologically adept, corresponded with them via email. These friends were located in Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, Northern California, and Australia. Her closing signature in her messages was "Ich gehe jetzt"—I go now. I think those were probably her final words.

It will be a constant sorrow to me that I was not with her when she left. I have to imagine the scene as best I can. The reality is she probably waddled stiffly through the door, blinked at the bright sunshine, gazed round the garden, took a few faltering steps and fell to the ground.

But that reality is far too hard for me to endure. Instead I prefer to think of her striding out with head held high, and a determined look in her eyes. Yes, that's it—that's the way I choose to remember her, and I am convinced it is the way that Xenna would wish to be remembered. Not an old Shepherd lady dying from congestive heart failure, but a truly magnificent and awe-inspiring sight, strutting her stuff as she gaited out, eyes agleam, silken leg feathers and mane blowing in the breeze, and that wonderful tail held aloft and streaming behind her like a banner.

Yes, that's it—that's the way she went. Like the champion she was and still is, and always will be. Look at her go! Look at her move, look at her beauty! That's my girl! That's my Xenna!

San Diego, CA
December 20, 2004

At the Bridge: Xenna 10.2.93–12.16.04; Freudig 8.31.95–6.14.04; Phanta 12.7.86–9.6.95; Oskar 12.5.86–6.21.94; Dietrich 4.19.66–7.5.77