Article contributed by Mirja Bishop
One blue eye and one brown eye! You can’t help but notice that about Xena immediately. When she comes to the front of her run at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter to greet you she wags her tail furiously and then you see the second thing about Xena that makes her stand out. She is a canine tank! Xena is grossly overweight weighing in at close to 100 lbs. I jokingly tell her that you could make two normal size dogs out of her. It’s difficult to imagine her as a stray which is how she was found in March 2009. I would think that she belonged to someone who fed her from the table all of the time, who never walked or ran with her but who loved her because Xena has a loving, trusting personality. She is one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs that I have ever seen.
To see her in her run is to miss the most enchanting characteristic of Xena. In the play yard she is in her element. Yes, she loves to run!! Now for Xena perhaps a more fitting description would be that she lumbers. She is like an 18 wheeler climbing the grapevine! To her credit she doesn’t let her size determine her enthusiasm or make her want to give up. She huffs and puffs a little more than most of the dogs but she runs along side the volunteer taking time out every few minutes to catch her breath. She is a happy girl!!!
Xena smiles when she looks at you. The corners of her mouth reach up almost to her ears and as a result when she looks at you with her mouth open she appears to be smiling. It is impossible to look at this dog and not feel happy. In spite of her overweight condition and the anxiety of life in a city shelter she is a happy, gentle dog always wiling to wag her tail and always smiling when you greet her.
Xena is a German shepherd mix with a beautiful coat of medium length brown and black fur. Her coat is in excellent condition and shines in the sunlight. Xena is said to be 12 years old but her behavior is that of a younger dog and her teeth which are often used to help determine age are white and appear to be in good condition.
Xena needs to lose weight. That is obvious. She needs an appropriate diet and she needs to be able to run and play. She would make an outstanding friend for someone willing to work with her. She is an amazing, happy dog with so much love to offer some lucky person. Come visit her at the West Los Angeles animal shelter!