October 2, 1993 to 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, 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 painful 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!