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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April, between spring showers...

A picture of happy Coco from today.

L-R: Bella, Ruya and Coco at the gate, alerting at a visitor. (they see James there on the other side headed to the visitor, so they are showing mixed signals)

Molly has gone to her new adoptive home. She seemed to know something was up and seemed a bit stressed about it. We hope to hear good news about how she is settling in. She should be okay soon. She's been such a good girl.

Ruya grinning. She's up on the picnic table, and getting some love. :)

Kirsi sent me some information, completely true of course, about those amazing people in Finland.
Check it out here: :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/08/2009 01:10:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dogs, men 'play' same game to woo women-Man-Woman-Relationships

Man-Woman-Relationships-Lifestyle-The Times of India

I have some old weirdly fuzzy / grainy digital pictures of Ruya, the girl (left), manhandling Boone, the boy (right). These were taken when both stars of the show were about a year old and after they badly abused a paper bag of dog fur from Zor that was going to be tossed after I finished working on their Uncle Aslan.

I had to laugh about the above Times of India article since at least with big dog folk, this craziness is pretty well known. And it's part of the reason that boy-girl pairs work better than having a girl/girl or boy/boy pair if you like to have Anatolians in stereo. :)

Ruya taking a big chunk out of Boone's cheek!

Here's some of the text from the article:
Just like men, dogs too know how to win ladies’ hearts – and that too from a young age.

According to a new study, while playing, young dogs let the female pups win, even if the males have a physical advantage.

They might lose the game in the short run, but they could win at love in the future.

The experts found that male dogs place themselves in potentially disadvantageous positions, which could make them more vulnerable to attack, and researchers suspect the opportunity to play may be more important to them than winning.

Infact, the gentlemanly dog behavior is even accompanied with a bow. "We found that self-handicapping tends to occur in conjunction with play bows," the Discovery News quoted lead researcher Camille Ward, as saying.

"A play bow is a signal that dogs use when they want to communicate playful intentions to a potential play partner," added Ward, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan and director of About Dogs LLC. She is also author of the forthcoming book, Relationship-Based Dog Training.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/11/2008 09:22:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Polly Tricks

Inboxes are coming alive with more political mail. Not complaining. I like that people get active in the processes of shaping understanding. I think it is undeniable that a lot of stuff in circulation has certain bias, sometimes it is good bias and other times it's just plain wonky. At the end of the day, none of us really know the whole truths of anything nor how an elected candidate will act on his/her new reality, once they "have the tiger by the tail".

A site that I have found pretty useful in working out issues in local government is Vote Smart. Go there and look up a candidate that you may be researching. Check out their stance and their voting record on the issues closest to your heart. Then check out to see if they balance out this position by defeating it with other measures. The site may probably be most useful in issues in local government but it certainly has value for candidates who are jockeying for national positions. (The fastest way to get info on an incumbent or candidate is to type their last name into the search box.)

Once you are there... on the main profile of your target (the way it is formatted now) there will be a picture of the incumbent and then a list of things such as "Biographical", "Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)", "Interest Group Ratings", and assorted other things. You can also check out how they voted or abstained on various issues. We are all aware that sometimes bills come about that sound like a good idea, but for example if you have a large population of people that would like to use their clout to control issues in an area affecting another group -- they are often guilty of heavily profiling that group and anyone that doesn't fit precisely into the literature's dogma, will be swept into the chaos. (this was a major area where proponents of Mandatory Spay and Neuter bills have totally taken leave of their brains. Give them a hammer and everything is a nail.) There are sometimes good reason for a candidate to not support a bill that appears to be something that they actually believe in and that really should go without saying, but I am increasingly made aware that certain classes of activists are little more than Barbie cheerleaders for a cause they little understand. Also at least among my acquaintances, many of us are not strict on our party lines -- for even the candidates themselves are not as simple as black and white.

Cheryl, a great gal, sent me this link that I hadn't seen before. It is kind of fun to do.
ABC has a test to see who's campaign statements, McCain's or Obama's, you agree with most.

They don't tell you who made the statements, of course, but a statement made by each candidate on the same topic (economy, immigration, judiciary, etc.) will be side by side. You just pick which statement you agree with and, after selecting all 13, you'll find out which candidate's philosophy you support (and you can hover over the checkmarks to see the statement again, if you've forgotten).

Try it at:

Although I had no issue with the result I got, it really is just another example of how survey design can sort people into categories based on the rules of that survey. While that may seem obvious with any survey, it actually takes place every time you read about a candidate. The literature all have their inherent biases.

And don't forget, when you get around to musing that "there ought to be a law about..." -- remember this-
"You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered." Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the U.S.
I'm still having fun with old pictures... :)
Ruya and Bella with Coco
A 2006 photo: In dog house is Ruya, and on the step is Bella. Looking up at them both is Coco.
I remember the moments of such photos as if they were taken yesterday. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/20/2008 05:31:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Tiny! (not!) - Realistic expectations when choosing an Anatolian

Here's a 2005 photo of Zoey with Phyllis.
It's a fun pic with Zoey's amusing expression as she scrutinizes the cameraman's antics for this photoshoot.

Zoey as a baby
Zoey as a baby.

I got happy giggles out of Brandi's blog posting here. Check it out!
She has several pics where she is sharing animal crackers with her Anatolians, who stand with their paws over her shoulders.
There are a lot of Turkish dog pics and videos on Flickr or YouTube and similar sites, with Turkish owners showing off dogs posed with paws up on the shoulders of their handler, so it is amusing for various reasons, and a lot of us with Anatolians (sometimes just us females who are decidedly not on a macho kick) just get a kick out of doing it. :D I'm not sure what message our amusement carries beyond our turf, but no harm intended. :)

Now for some concerns and rants...

Every once in a while, we get emails from people wondering if this is the breed right for them. More often than not, people are not really prepared for the level of responsibility required for ownership of a dog like this.

You can find any number of forums where people are listing their 'favorite breeds' and mostly all they are doing is talking about appearances or reputation of the dog, with little consideration for breed character, the amount of care required for coated breeds and any number of other issues. Sometimes their lists are so diverse it becomes a bit unsettling to me, and reminds me of why dog rescue is so necessary - you can't choose a breed solely on its appearance... it has to fit your lifestyle and you need to have realistic expectations. Hey, I've done the same when I was a teenager. I loved the look of certain fluffy dogs, of certain hero dogs (Lassie, Rin Tin Tin) or a dog seen in an advertisement (Borzoi, Afghan, Great Dane, whatever).

I get a huge kick out of all those people that would be PERFECT for a poodle. But the reason they don't want one is because of the 'hair cut'. What's with that? You can choose a mohawk if you like or just get the puppy cut if you like. You could even have your poodle trimmed like a lion. But what do these people say? "I want a breed that is "nonshedding", "non-allergenic", really smart and makes a great family pet. I'm thinking of getting a doodle." -- say what? Doodles are crosses with one of the most allergenic breeds there is and there's no guarantee on what many of the traits will be. Why not just get the poodle you ask, and the response is stupefying... "We don't like that haircut". Holey Toledo! There is no universal law about how a pet could be trimmed, and there's no limit to the lack of common sense out there.

I've heard about people giving up their Anatolians because the dogs turned out "too big". Actually, while that sounds kinda stupid, I can see how it happens. Often people meet the breed while the dog is outside or working with stock. Or maybe the dogs are at a show, or just hanging around on the patio at home and even with furniture in the area to help the person gain perspective -- the tightness of home living with a fairly large dog, just doesn't really settle into their consciousness just yet. The dogs they meet may be very polite and give a good impression so they come away thinking of the merits.

As they raise their pup, the daily issues of the dog's size in the house become realistic. Ponder the real estate the dog needs, the size of the crate or cushions, the amount of space the dog consumes on the couch or bed, or in a corner of the room, the amount of food and the cost medications (heartworm preventative, or maybe the dog steps on glass and needs 10 days of antibiotics for a mature 120 to 160 pound dog). They come to realize how powerful the dog is when part of a fence is reduced to kindling (we all have some regular fence maintenance when we have dogs like this!), or maybe a hole is dug next to the house, and the house tips and slides in, totally disappearing into the void and ends up somewhere in Turkey (okay, I got just a little carried away...). But all these do add up to a new perspective of reality.

Above, here's a picture of Helmut at one year. That table surface is about 29-30 inches high. He is not standing on a box! He is helping me to sort some books into boxes. (that is his sister Coco, in the background) Click the pic to enlarge

People who just are not prepared for this, feel like they have a miniature horse in the house.

Ruya with horses
Ruya with some horses.

Then, there are other considerations.....

We can sometimes be quite excited by anticipation, and might be guilty of glossing over the issues raised when the breed heritage and its character are discussed. (yeah, yeah, every breed has someone saying, this isn't the breed for everyone, ha) Now we can sometimes feel a bit invincible when originally getting the new pup. We plan to do everything right.

Since we get a dog from the start, we can feel we may be ahead of the game. But for some people, the problems begin fairly soon.

The Anatolian is generally not a dog that is a bully, but they are generally rather sizeable and fast growing. And here is where it gets tricky. While they can tend to be easygoing, they do sometimes opt to ignore their human when the person wants them to do 'something' and the dog has a different arrangement of priorities. This by and of itself doesn't seem like major obstruction to the pack order the human fully intends to have securely established in the end. -- BUT the problem, is that owners don't always realize that every interaction, every decision they make with their dog, actually has potential to set some precedents for that dog and future behavior.

Over time, it can create patterns of behavior. The dog may do nothing really 'wrong' for most of his puppy months, then some incident happens, like the dog crowds the children when the owner is giving the small humans affection and the dog will not wait his turn. Then the owner feels that suddenly the dog is too bossy and asserts that they have raised the dog right and have 'always been alpha'. But you know... all this time, the pup has been tucking feathers into his growing war bonnet. He's an analyst par excellence. He's been learning how to manipulate others in his sphere. Any analyst and strategist will recognize patterns and as the info accumulates, it can be used to an advantage or as may turn out, executed by the dog to the dog's disadvantage later.

I know of a few cases where people backed down when their four month old puppy raised a lip at them -- he was just testing to see what he could get away with. It could be a one time thing but it should not be ignored. (I won't say what has to be done, because each situation can be different and often people panic and want a paint-by-number cookbook of things to do if their dog does this or that... and sometimes it is the human that caused the problem, so we don't have enough info!) If they really want to work through the problem, they may contact their dog's breeder or find other sources for advice.

When you come right down to it, a big four month old Anatolian puppy is still a baby, but they can be pretty sizeable. (see growth chart.)

I encourage people asking about owning one of these dogs to consider a lot of issues. Many people do decide that perhaps they would be better off selecting a different breed. That's not a bad thing. Okay, rant over for now.

:edit: Here's a link to my post about using Anatolians as service dogs.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/15/2008 03:20:00 AM | Permanent link | (5) Comments

Anonymous Brandi sent us a woof // September 15, 2008

Great post! Yes they are big dogs! After owning them for a while, I look at mine and see an average size dog because I'm just so used to their size. When I take them somewhere and someone comments on their size, it doesn't seem to faze me anymore until I see an average sized dog or a picture of one of mine next to me. I also liked the comments on people choosing dogs for their looks. That is so true. People need to realize that they need to choose a dog or breed that suites their lifestyle instead of based on looks alone. Again, great post. I enjoyed it.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 16, 2008

Thanks Brandi.

Yep, we kinda get used to how small they are, seriously. And when I've got my 'coke bottle' glasses on, they are positively shrunken!   

Blogger Anatolian Indy sent us a woof // September 18, 2008

Gosh if I could just pass this out to every person that thinks Indy is beautiful when she volunteers as a therapy dog . . .

Every time I hear a person google and goggle over Indy, I very nicely add in my speech that this breed has good and bad, just like any other breed. I don't want people to think about getting one if they base on seeing Indy as a therapy dog because she is on her best behavior at this time. She see a beautiful, calm, affectionate dog and might think that is all there is too it; when I know it has taken daily dedication to raise an Anatolian.

I probably over react because most people don't know what I'm saying when I say what kind of breed she is, lol.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 19, 2008

I can relate to all you said.

Indy's beautiful! Keep up the good work!   

Blogger Edward Ott sent us a woof // September 21, 2008

That is a bog dog.   

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Helmut comes to visit!

Ruya with Lisa
In August, Geno, Lisa and Helmut came to visit from So. California.
In the pic above, you see Ruya on the glider with Lisa. In the background, you can see Helmut sniffing around and marking his spots. That's Coco's tail right at the far right. Coco and Helmut are siblings. Last time he was here, Helmut was a year old and still squatting, but at this point he was lifting his leg. My little boy, growing up! :D

Anticipating the visit, James and I figured the girls would be excited enough to see their brother again and that it could get complicated, so we decided to keep Boone out back (separate), just in case Boone wanted to make a comment about his harem while his son was visiting. Based on what our foster dog Molly had to say about the attention she was getting from Helmut (back off you nosey boy!), it turned out to be a good choice!

Additionally, Bella had just come back to us the day before and we were all getting reacquainted. Bella was reintegrating into the social order and still trying to assert how many stars she should have should she be allowed to assume rank of General, but it was for the most part going quite smoothly. She seems to adore her sibling sis, Coco, (they used to be arch enemies at one point at 3 months age), but she's now a bit more standoffish to her older sister, Ruya. It's amazing, even after nearly 1.5 years apart (for Bella), that all these siblings seemed to recognize each other very quickly and settled down. It all worked out rather well. :)

Ruya with one month old Bella
pic by Dave Koerner
This is big sister Ruya, protectively watching over little Bella. Bella isn't so little any more. :)

Helmut, with Coco and Bella at one month
pic by Dave Koerner
Here are Coco, Bella and Helmut at one month. It's kind of amazing to study their baby pics and see how they all were back then and how they are now.

Daddy Boone
This is Boone. He is daddy to Coco, Bella and Helmut.

Coco with Lisa
Now, here is Coco on the glider with Lisa. She really dug Lisa!
Lisa was stuck on the glider for the whole visit with all the dogs milling around her.

Geno takes great pics!

Coco with Lisa, and Bella in front
Another pic of Coco just enjoying hogging all of Lisa's attention. That's Bella standing in front. She was a bit more aloof for the day and adapted pretty well to the commotion.

Molly in August
Here is Molly. She is a mystery girl, possibly an 'akbash'. We picked up from Animal Control. Eventually we hope that she gets a perfect home. She was the only one of the girls that got much attention and flirting from Helmut. It was cute to watch, but she made it pretty obvious she wasn't interested in that MUCH attention from him. ;) As you can see, she looks very pretty, relaxed and easy going. Her paws are muddy because her idea of getting a drink of water when she is happy and playful, is to stand with her front feet in the bucket while she drinks. This behavior makes the water muddy for everyone else, alas.

Geno surrounded by Anatolians
Now here is Geno. Left to right are Molly, Coco, Helmut and Bella.
If Helmut deliberately wanted to look totally goofy in a pic, he could hardly have picked a better way to stand and stick his tongue out. Sheesh.

Lisa with four Anatolians
One more glider pic showing four dogs around Lisa. That's Coco eating up all the attention. Bella prowling in the foreground. In the background is Molly trying to get away from a persistent but very flirty Helmut.

It was so nice to get a chance to meet Lisa. And so good to see Geno and Helmut again!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/02/2008 04:47:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // September 05, 2008

i am Turkish living in FL, and anatolians are the best dogs, in my opinion. i would like to have one pure bred;however, i go out of town occasionally and dont like the idea of leving it to someone else's care. i love the pictures in the blog, they are so lovely...   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 06, 2008

Thank you! I think these are awesome dogs too! Come by again! :)   

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NASRN on MySpace

Above, Ruya (L) with our foster Molly (R) after checking out the corral. They coming up to see if I have cookies and rubs for them. Molly is available to the right home.

Speaking of rescues...
National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network (NASRN) now has its own MySpace page. Go visit and if you have a myspace page, sign up as a friend! Kudos to Tammy for her NASRN rescue and networking efforts!

Tammy is working with a foster that needs a home. Meet Tramp, below!

Contact Tammy for more information about "Tramp" and other rescues.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/26/2008 09:40:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Meet Molly!

Meet Molly :D

A few days ago, Lynn Howe of New Hope Animal Foundation sent an email to let me know there was a possible Anatolian in a Placer County Shelter.
James and I went to look at the dog and decided to foster her.

I decided to call her "Molly" the first night we had her for no particular reason but it is pleasant enough and she responds to it. I have another page right here, with other details and photos specific to Molly. Even if you're not looking for a rescue, be sure to check out 2- Feb 15, scroll down the page and see Molly's haircut!

I'm not certain what breed she is. She is around 26-27 inches high. Definitely appears to be purebred LGD and her character and behavior is right on the money.

Her first day or so after arrival, was spent in the Magnum kennel, getting handled and getting to meet my Anatolians. After that, we let her start mingling and free ranging in the yard. She seemed happy to be cagefree after being in the shelter for what I understand was two weeks. She was walking around, eating grass, checkout scents, curling up and snoozing in the grass. She picked out spots where she could watch activities going on around her; places where she would snooze throughout the day. She hasn't done anything hyper yet and I have yet to see her run to check anything out. This could also be due to social respect to the two Anatolians she is with. LGDs don't usually like strange dogs tearing around their property. So maybe in time she will feel comfortable in that respect.

She has however taken quite happily to the evening routine of sleeping in the Magnum kennel. She beds down for the night in the straw of the big doghouse at around dusk.

Here are some pics I got of her on Friday with Anatolians, Ruya and Coco.

Molly - left front.
Headless sisters- Coco, right. Ruya, behind Molly's tail.

Trio responding to noise by suddenly sprouting heads.

Molly watching minihorses come into the corral next to the red slatted fence.

Her first day of freedom was also Molly's first chance to meet the miniature horses through the fencing. They were down in the other field but when the horses heard me talking to Molly, they came into the corral. That's when Molly raised her head - picture above.

The stallion is bold and came up to the fence to peer into the yard. I like that Molly didn't over stimulate upon seeing minihorses (and a chicken that followed them). Another transient dog we had here sometimes went berserko upon seeing horses. :o

Molly watching the mini-stallion at the gate.

Coco and Ruya both dropped what they were doing by the house, and came over to monitor how Molly reacted to meeting the stallion through the gate. Coco, above pic, is closer to Molly. Molly seems to be more comfortable with Coco at close range, than she is with Ruya. Not sure why, although Ruya is quite a bit bigger. Ruya is the alpha of my pack as well, but she rules with the benevolent firmness that her great granddam always had, never throwing her weight around.

The Anatolians are a couple inches taller at the shoulders.
Molly is full grown.
Here, Ruya and Coco watch carefully.

Closeup - Almost nose-to-nose with Mr. Stud Muffin.

This stallion, btw, has a perverse sense of humor sometimes. He occasionally tries to get a rise out of the dogs by jiggling the gate with his nose, scratching his butt on the fence, or by laying down with his back against the fencing, just inches from the dogs and facing the other way. If you ask me... that is truly evil behavior from a warped and capable mind! If dogs react, he tends to stand just the other side of the fence and stoically studies the dogs as if he were watching TV. You've probably seen it! It's the same way some cats will sit just inches from a fence and watch dogs go ballistic. ;)

Since my crew have gotten a lecture or two about indulging and entertaining this evil horse in this manner over the past year, Ruya and Coco are wise to this now and usually ignore him. (once in a while, they just can't stand it any more, I can hardly blame them)

So it was interesting to watch Molly try to figure him out. I think Molly got her cues from the Anatolians.

Other pics.....
Rear to front- Ruya, Coco & Molly.
You can kinda see it, but Molly's coat has a really bad haircut along the topline and on this side of her body.



Coco- 16 months.

Coco - she went through another collar. This one is chewed up but still serviceable.

Ruya - 5 years old. She's wearing Sabah's collar. Sabah was her great granddam.

I need to get another batch of martingale collars eventually!

Anyway, if you have contacts that might be interested in Molly. Let me know. Be sure to read all of Molly's pages before inquiring.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/16/2008 08:08:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Judy sent us a woof // February 24, 2008

Molly is a beautiful BWD (Big White Dog) - I hope you find her a wonderful home soon. She's a lucky girl to have found you to prepare her for a better future.   

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Anatolian Service Dogs

Ruya in quiet reflection.

Ruya is a great granddaughter of my first Anatolian, Sabah (Masallah Sabah Sarki). Like her great granddam, Ruya has always been a sweet, contemplative, long fused and bold girl. And like Sabah, she has sometimes done work for me in the capacity of a service dog. I tend to joke about my disabilities with friends, sometimes saying such things as I was "Made in Taiwan" (my birthplace) and that the warranty on some of the parts I originally came with has run out. ;)

Ruya's tasks when she is in her service dog harness, are to help me keep my balance (darned vertigo), help stabilize me when I get muscle spasms (cerebral palsy) in my legs and also she's a hearing 'alert' dog (not a hearing dog in the usual sense) so that if she indicates a sound of interest (I am deaf), I can look to see if we have an upcoming obstacle.

Due to circumstances not under my control, I haven't been able to get the mileage on her (or Boone for that matter) that I was able to accomplish with Sabah (see at left with my nephew, click to enlarge) and Aslan, both of them worked for me in the early 90's. Aslan went just about everywhere with me and since he didn't look like huge white polar bear, it was somewhat easier to accomplish daily tasks without quite the degree of attention Sabah attracted ("Eeeee!!!! Look Mommy! It's a polar bear! Let's go see!") and this increased efficiency caused me to prefer working with Aslan - through no fault of Sabah! From work (the blood and gore dept of a medical laboratory) to shopping, appointments, visiting friends, family and longer trips. I had so much freedom!

I am so looking forward to when the surmountable obstacles can be ironed out. (ahem, to hubby with sidelong glace at the "to-do list")

Kabul at a dog park partyAt left, and also in the blog template, here is a pic with me and James sitting with Kabul (in the party hat), who is Ruya's uncle. We were at a park with Cindy of Growlsburg Anatolians and were celebrating the birthday of her Anatolian SD, Sabrina.

Kabul was a very promising SD, a sweetheart, bold, happy, very loyal and confident, but his life got cut short in a freak accident when he was 3 years old. I still miss him so... :(

Take it from me, there is much more accessibility and ease of movement when one exchanges a clunky walker (can you hear it?-- clunk, scrape, draaaaaaag..., clunk, clunk, clunk, scrape, draaaaaaaag...) for a well trained service dog! As an example, upon finding all the handicapped parking spots taken (this is not a gripe but a "that's life, get used to it" comment) one has to use a distant spot where cars are crammed so tightly together that a walker cannot fit between the cars unless the walker is folded up to ease passage between the cars - which pretty much defeats the stability offered by a walker. A service dog helps navigate these tight spots; flow with ease through tight aisles and squishy store checkouts lines and make it easier to quickly navigate steps and stairways with comparative ease. (try carrying a walker up the stairs or down!) If I get tired or out of breath (leaky heart valves), I can stop and rest with my dog at my side, on the alert for me -- in case unwanted strangers think the handicapped are an easy target.

Navy photo, out in front of the building
A detail from a Navy hospital photo. Pic of me, in green and brown (sans ubiquitous lab coat) posing with Aslan. He usually stayed in the lab office or stockroom while I worked in micro and hematology. Workmates from the whole building would drop by HIS office to say hello. Many more knew him by name, than knew me. :)

All that said, I do get inquiries but I never recommend Anatolians to someone who wants to start with this breed as their first service dog. I think previous experience with Anatolians or other LGDs (Livestock Guardian/Protection Dog breeds) is a definite benefit to temper unrealistic expectations and instill a sense of reality to the person who contemplates an LGD service dog. I have had a few Anatolians that didn't make the grade due to conformation/soundness or stress issues. (If the dog doesn't enjoy it, they shouldn't be made to do the work, period.) I have some friends and associates who have found that one or more of their Anatolians have had a natural inclination to brace for them and give support when they are injured. There are a few people that have Anatolians deliberately trained to do service work and also have been proofed in various ways including with CGC, TD, ATT, various SD certifications.

Why aren't (more) Anatolians formally trained by service dog organizations? (We don't want that to happen to our breed!) Well, the major issue has to do with their independent character. Two decades ago, Jean King, founder of Independence Dogs, Inc. (IDI), started with Shantih, a Blue Yayla-bred Akbash (white variety of Anatolian Shepherd Dog) who trained and served as Jean's SD. A little about Jean is here. It is my understanding that while some of the Akbash trained by IDI worked out well, they did not have quite the success and acceptance that other breeds do. I also became aware that some Akbash breeders really had issues with the whole concept but I'm not sure how much that had to do with vendettas with Blue Yayla dogs and the kennel owner(s), or the idea of stock dogs being used in the cities, and plain old Akbash dog club vs club politics ("Spy vs Spy" from Mad Magazine, remember that?). But while issues about breed character are understandable at many levels, some of the ideas (from able bodied breeders) were not entirely accurate about an SD's life (one breeder described SD life as depressing, total drudgery compared to working out in the fields with livestock -- yeesh!).

The crux of the matter with program training is that it most usually involves transfer of a "trained" dog to a handler. The Anatolian is not a dog that immediately assigns authority to the next person holding the dog's leash. "Hey, Charlie, you have to earn my respect first!" This element of breed character doesn't go naturally for many SD users, who are just not very good at 'reading dog' and who may begin having problems at the outset, or may be having an especially bad disability day while their dog is still training, or who just have little natural aptitude to create and maintain a working partnership with such a dog.

Dogs that transfer their training well from the trainer to the handicapped user are generally the dogs most commonly successfully used in programmed-directed SD work. Labs and Golden Retrievers are especially popular. This is not to say that all members of those breeds are naturals nor that mixed breed or individual dogs from other breeds don't make excellent service dogs. I knew of a person who had no legs, got around via use of a skateboard (for longer distances) who used a pit bull terrier as an SD. This dog was ideal, as the dog was powerful, the right height, and had the innate enthusiasm, gameness and endurance to work all day by his owner's side. The training programs for service dog associations are quite rigorous. But independently trained by their primary keeper, Turkish dogs can do a very nice job, particularly in assisting mobility -- but I still don't recommend them for a newbie to LGDs.

While on the subject of Program (trained) dogs, there are many disabled people that have a dog with a natural aptitude for the job who can do whatever is required in their locale to be accepted as an authentic SD. On the other hand, the waiting list for Program dogs can sometimes be several years long. The ADA allows us to use dogs (and other animals - e.g., guide horses) to go into all areas of a public facility where customers are normally allowed to go. Dogs that are owner (or privately) trained to do the required work specific to the SD users needs, are part of the solution so we don't all have to get in line for a Program dog (CCI, Guide Dog, and other groups). I'm finding that more people with hidden disabilities such as bi-polar disorder, can qualify under ADA to use service dogs and their specific needs with their dogs are not as specialized as say, a guide dog's (dog for the Blind) training needs to be.

The main requirement is that the animals must be trained, not be disruptive, and if the handicapped person does not have the ability to control their animal, they must have a person with them who can. (examples are disabled young children who may forget themselves and not keep their trained service animal under control)

Another good read to enforce a sense a reality in using such a huge dog, is this page written by Leonberger SD user, Samantha. Leos are not LGDs but their size and elements of their character have some similarities with the sort of challenges an Anatolian SD user would face. Do check out the "Pictures of Fergus at Work". Isn't he handsome! :)

::: Related link regarding Americans with Disability Act, service dogs, accessibility and a mention of Jean King.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/30/2008 08:48:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ruya on the Pedigree Mosaic

Voila! See Ruya!

From the inset above showing our entry -- Ruya helps to make up the right eyebrow of the Pedigree Doggie on the Million Dog Mosaic.

EDITED: January 27 - Apparently Ruya keeps moving!
As I write, she's shifted downward on the left side of the doggie's nose. The dogs that were adjacent to her have changed, so the whole thing appears to be pretty dynamic! To find her, go to the mosaic page - Select the link to Browse the Mosaic - Then I type ruya1 into the search box when the mosaic window opens up and in zooms in on her newest location. :)


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/25/2008 11:33:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Anatolians in Jail


Long faces above... we had some work done on the property today so all the dogs had to go into the big kennel (the one that is strong enough to be Anatolian-proof!) while the gates were left open for lots of to and fro-ing for a few hours. The orange twine is for holding the kennel door open which it is most all the time.

Work done for the day, front gate closed. I go out to let them out, giving them a cheerful greeting. First, they give me happy, hopeful looks, because I'm about to let them out of the jail -- then I realized I should get the camera! -- Whee! snap snap...

After I got the camera, however, upon seeing the camera, instead of looking excitedly at me, they look resigned as I snap away... poor pups! All you peeps clamoring for pictures after my doggie picture hiatus. Look what you've done! LOL.

Close-ups of the Inmates--

This is taken from another pic, where they look to the front door, maybe accusingly at James who is just standing there watching. They are pointedly refusing to look at me. (lol) :D




I had to move to another angle to get a better picture of Helmut. He looks happier than Ruya who is still glowering (it seems) at James in the doorway. :)


Project isn't going to be done in one day, so they'll all have some more jail time, a few hours each day, in the next few days. sigh... Yeah, I'm not happy either but it'll be nice when the projects are finished. James laughed when he saw the photos of all the accusatory looking glances. The dogs are so expressive. After I let them out of jail, they all clustered around me for attention then each dog curled up nearby.

Snuggler, Boone
Boone snuggles against me as Helmut, his son, relaxes.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/03/2007 09:04:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My First Windows Movie Maker Video -- featuring Anatolian Shepherd Dogs

This is Helmut, after having a good time in the corral when I took some video.

Well, finally some homemade video! It's not Steven Spielberg or Pixar for sure but we had fun. :)

The two vids below are actually the same four minute composition in different resolutions featuring "Three Anatolians in a Corral". The Youtube one will be better for those with slower connections but it's harder to read my text additions. The larger one below it is huge .... well, normally I format blog posting widths to fit on small resolution screens but am making an exception for the high resolution version of this vid -- until this posting ages enough and I move with a link to it to its own page so it won't cause problems with viewing other archives with which that post is connected. IE users may or may not be able to play it online, so try the link to download.

I converted the MOV file from my still Kodak Z650 Zoom camera to AVI, after which I was able to explore Windows Movie Maker with the video. Okay the actually footage is not very good since my fancy digital Kodak camera cannot do Zoom while in video mode like a real camcorder can. But it's still footage that some may find entertaining, and I enjoyed it because it allowed me to learn some more tricks with my resident programs. Certainly any footage taken with less than a 1/4 acre will not suffer as much from lack of detail on the subject dogs, but I wanted this footage because I wanted to get video of the dogs romping around the corral. Boone is not in the video because Coco smells so interesting to him now (she's not in heat yet) and I just wanted focus on the current project.

The original video is taken in a large screen mode on my camera, so converting to the half size YouTube resolution causes some loss of detail in the text I added. I think the solution to that is to shrink the movie first, then add the 'captions' (grin). If you do have broadband speeds, then see the second version. You can also use your right mouse button to view the larger one in full screen because it is not a flash file.

Youtube version-

Windows Media Player version (High Resolution)-
you can right click for options like slow motion

Launch in external player - Watch full size for best detail

That's all for now, I think! Will edit this later, as needed. It was fun doing the videos. Hope you enjoy!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/02/2007 03:08:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // October 04, 2007

This was really fun to watch! You did a great job! :) So cute to see how high they hold their tails, like waving flags. Coco is amazingly gorgeous, with interesting spooky eyes. Of course, all of them are gorgeous!
Bizarre about the camera not zooming... seems like a rather obvious feature that it should have.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // October 05, 2007

Thanks Diane!

Coco is a cutie and so blonde! She's very monochromatic! I've been fascinated with Coco's eye color too.   

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All That's Left!

. . . of Ruya's collar!

Earlier this month, Ruya lost her collar. I didn't find it til recently and about 8 inches of it is still missing.

Apparently she'd been playing war games with my other ASDs and someone got her collar off. One (or both?) of the seven month old pups then turned it into a chew toy! See the nice puncture marks?! This is a rather old and soft, nylon web collar. This remnant is about 14 inches long.

It is a martingale style collar that used to be an odd lime green color which can partially be seen on the headshot of Ruya posed on the bottom left of this page. I like these martingale type collars because they can be left on loose enough so that the dog can slip out if the dog gets caught on something. And the style of the collar allows it to be effective on a leash -- as it will tighten up and not slip over the head when in use.

Anyway, time to buy a new collar for Ruya. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/14/2007 11:54:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Few More Miniature Horse Pics

Ruya checking out the boundaries of the paddock.

Today is the first full day that the miniature horses spent out in the paddock so I went to get a closer look at our temporary guests. I brought along Ruya -- one of my Anatolian Shepherd Dogs for company. Ruya is just so used to the gentle sweetness of Tessie (my late Arabian mare) who never nipped, so Ruya had no idea that the little Studmuffin would start out sweet as anything, then steathily move on to the offensive with his nips and bites. Ruya quickly got wise to this and kept out of reach.

Mr Studly ...looking studly!

Der Princess

Ruya checking out the two beasties

What are they all munching?

I think the Princess is really quite sweet but shy.

Ruya keeping an eye on them at the corral gate.

Mr and Miss Lawnmower

They seem happy and content. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2007 12:46:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // May 08, 2007

Great pictures.What fun they must be. Ruya looks totally in charge.