Lena - 6/1990 to 3/11/04

Caucasian Ovcharka
Picture of Lena - 6/1990 to 3/11/04, a female Caucasian Ovcharka

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Sex: Female   Weight: 51-100 lbs

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   Leave a bone for Lena - 6/1990 to 3/11/04

Mother Lena, Lena P'Dena, Lenechka

Quick Bio:


pesky pups

Favorite Food:

Favorite Walk:
the woods, the dogpark

Arrival Story:
With a coat like plush velvet, a gentle soul with a formidable appearance, Lena is a dog of firsts, a history maker within her breed. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. With the collapse of communism, at a few weeks of age, she, her littermates and sire were brought to the U.S. She was one of the first CO's in this country. She came into my life at about 14 months of age. With the patience of a saint, she helped out with new dogs and puppies in my household, by showing them what was expected of them, what was right and in no uncertain terms, what was wrong. Corrections were swift, never unnecessary and only with the force needed to get her point across. At my feet lie dogs who are all the better for having learned from "Mother Lena". Lena was also the first Caucasian Ovcharka in history to be certified as a therapy dog, and we-Lena and I- were certified by Delta Society. She loved people. Lena was also one of the very first champions of her breed in this country.

In January, 2004, Lena had an oral mass removed, which was found to be rapid growing and cancerous. She came through the surgery like a trooper. The mass never grew back and and she was doing wonderfully. With a change in her diet to raw, she happily ate--with gusto. She loved mealtimes. It was no different the evening of March 10. She ate, wagging her tail, and settled down to sleep on a full tummy. Less than 12 hours later she died. In the early hours of March 11, 2004, she began the process of dying. It was painless, it was peaceful. She died with the same kind of dignity that she lived. She would have been 14 yrs. old in June. I'm not looking for another Lena. There never will be another Lena. In a world where so many take, Lena gave back. Godspeed, my sweet girl. Until we meet again.

Forums Motto:
There is no "T" in Ovcharka

I've Been On Dogster Since:
April 7th 2004 More than 12 years!

Rosette, Star and Special Gift History

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Meet my family
Pete- With the
Major - At the
Flicka -
Good-bye, my
Murphy at the
Dolly-At the
BayJoePetewick Sea

Meet my Pup Pals
See all my Pup Pals
See all my Pup Pals

A Post Script to Lena's passing

December 18th 2007 5:26 pm
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March 11, 2008 will mark the fourth anniversary of Lena's death, and the beginning of what was to be one of the worst years in my life. Within the span of less than 12 months, I lost four of my old timers.

Lena was the first of the four to die. She was a Caucasian Ovcharka, born in St. Petersburg, Russia after the collapse of communism. She was shipped here with her littermates and arrived in the US at a few weeks of age. Lena came into my life at 14 months of age. Bigger than anything I had been used to, with that plush velvet coat and huge bear head, Lena presented a very formidable picture. But my sweet Lena was the very soul of good nature. She was the first of her breed ever to be certified as a therapy dog, and we were certified by Delta Society. She took on the role of "mother" Lena to the pups who passed through our household. Always fair, always firm, she let them know in no uncertain terms what proper behavior was. Pups listened, but when they played with her, they hung off her face, used her as a trampoline and with the patience of a saint, she withstood all the puppy punishments they dealt to her.

Let an adult do the same, Lena became a formidable opponent, but in keeping with her sensibilities, she never started a fight. She did end quite a few however.

The night before Lena died, I don't know why, but for some reason -- and I NEVER do this -- I gave her - only her, an extra meal. The significance of this wasn't lost on her and she wagged her tail happily as she cleaned her bowl. Only a few hours later, in the early hours of the next day, she began the dying process. I couldn't believe it. I begged and pleaded with her, with God, please don't die, sweetheart. God, please don't let her die. But Lena did die. We arrived too late at the vets. My big girl was gone. She was nearly 14 yrs. old - not too bad for a giant breed.

I cried for days. Then, ten days after she died, I had a dream. Me - whose dreams, the ones I actually remember, are nonsensical, had the following dream. I dreamt that I was in a room, shades pulled and the day's sun was setting. The room was in twilight, with a lot of shadows. As I stood in the room, from the shadows, Lena walked out to me, looking at me with a softness of expression, one of no worry, no pain, no concern, her huge plume of a tail wagging in greeting. She stopped before me and I knelt down and kissed her on her head, on her cheek. I told her how happy I was to see her. I buried my face in her thick ruff and I cried into it and I told her what a good girl she'd been. I could smell her, I could feel the texture of her coat. Then I stood up. As I was standing, Lena turned and began to walk back into the shadows where she had come from. She paused, looked over her shoulder and gave me one last look before she turned around again and disappeared into the shadows.

When I awoke, I felt as though my burden of grief had been lifted. I felt closure. I went to sleep the night before still grieving. I awoke knowing my Lena had come to say good bye to me and that she was OK. And I know now, that she waits for the day when we'll be together again.

Sleep gently, my sweet girl, a peaceful, well deserved sleep. We'll meet again.

See all diary entries for Lena - 6/1990 to 3/11/04