I’m excited to welcome Marble Peaks’ Seda, an 11 week old Anatolian Shepherd to the farm. Her journey from Marble Peaks Ranch to get here used just about every mode of transport possible, but once she made it, she fit in like she’d been here all along.
The story of how she got here is something. Perhaps I’ll share more sometime. In short, I’ve been captivated for quite some time by the Karadeniz, or Black Sea Shepherd, livestock guardian dog from the Trabzon region of Turkey. Certain types of livestock guardian dogs from other Turkish regions resemble cheetahs or lions in build and type of athleticism. Karadeniz resemble grizzly bears. Their solid build, unique structure in their leg and feet structure and thick, rough coats make them well suited to the steep mountainsides with thick, sweeping forests of their region. But they, like some other regional variants of LGDs, are a dwindling gene pool. It’s not easy to find them, especially in the US.
There have been a few Karadeniz imports. One such import, named Ormanüstü Duman, was a Karadeniz sheep dog in the Trabzon region and imported into the US as an adult. He was known for his keen intellect and ability to adapt and roll with so many changes throughout his life.
I’ve worked with LGDs that bear a lot of resemblance phenotypically to Karadeniz. I had been searching for some time to find dogs that carried a decent percentage of Karadeniz genetics. I am thrilled to have Seda here, who not only has Duman as one grandsire, but also another noted import, Yozgatli Arap Ati, as her other grandsire. Her parents are lovely working dogs that protect sheep in northern California.
My hope is that she’ll carry on Duman’s legacy as a sharp, keen, sweet and decisive guardian. Hence her name, which is Turkish for echo, or more specifically, voice of the mountains and the forest — an homage of sorts to Duman’s native terrain.
She’s already showing great poise as a young pup and learns so quickly. She’d never been around any livestock aside from sheep before she came. But just the other day, I was putting up fencing in the barn yard to move sheep from one barn to another, with Seda on tether nearby. I looked over at one point and realized she had company. A mama muscovy duck and her ducklings were drinking from Seda’s water dish, while she sat watching calmly.
She’s been introduced to all of the sheep, and has taken to asking to chew bones while hanging out with the small group of ewes and lambs doing weed remediation in the side yard. Atta girl.
Welcome home, Seda.