A boy with no name
That’s at least the name I gave him while I was taking his pictures on Monday.
“Buddy” is an Anatolian shepherd found loose in Spokane a couple weeks ago. He’s been living at the SCRAPS shelter since he was picked up by the County.
When I first met Buddy, I looked at his paperwork and written in the notes was “very nervous.”
Now, I’m no expert on livestock guardian dogs, but I do know they are big fans of being in small cages. And Buddy, who likely will have a new name very soon, would find just about any cage too small.
According to his lanky frame, I estimate he’s around one year old, so this boy has a lot of growing and a lot of filling out to do. If he doesn’t get to his breed’s high end of 140 pounds, I’ll be surprised.
A new best friend
Anatolians are a livestock guardian dog, similar to my Bella, a Maremma sheepdog.
They originate in Turkey and they’re bred to protect flocks from predators like wolves, coyotes and bears.
They’re fiercely independent and they need a job. Now that job could be patrolling your farm, guarding your chickens or your sheep.
The job could also entail the best damn companion dog you’ve ever found. Livestock guardian dogs, or LGDs, are gentle giants with their families and they do a damn fine job of warning you that the UPS guy is here with your latest Amazon purchase, the neighborhood kids are out on their bikes, or a leaf is floating past the window.
They bark a lot.
No, really. A lot.
And here’s a fun fact from the American Kennel Club. The Anatolian shepherd was first brought to the United States for a secret government program.
The Department of Agriculture imported several Anatolians in the late 1930s to rank the various sheepdogs.
The Secretary of Agriculture and the man in charge of the program, Henry Wallace, had never heard of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog. He only learned of the breed while talking about the experiment with a Turkish ambassador at a White House dinner. The ambassador promised to send a male and a female dog to the secretary.
Alas, the gal got knocked up and delivered a litter of 12 puppies. Those pups grew so big that the project went under, trying to feed them.
So there are your two biggest warnings:
They bark a lot. A lot. No really. A lot.
And they eat a lot.
Still interested? Buddy is at the SCRAPS shelter on Trent Avenue in Spokane. Make sure you check out all the adoptable dogs and cats.
Make sure you check out Buddy’s one blue eye, though.