Zorba and Peki were the original Turkish
imports brought to the United States in 1968 by Robert and Dorothy Ballard.
Zorba and Peki are the original two dogs
in the Registry of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America (ASDCA). Zorba was
assigned Registration Number 001
Zorba was acquired as a puppy at the village of Karapinar just
east of Polatli, Turkey, (west of Ankura, Turkey) on New Year's Day, January 1,
1967 by Lt. Robert and Dorothy Ballard. Lt. Ballard was assigned duty in Ankara,
Turkey, and was in need of a dog to guard his property in his often trespassed
upon back yard. The trespassing stopped with Zorba in the back yard and
appropriate warning signs posted. When Lt. Ballard's tour of duty ended in
Turkey, the Ballard family returned to the states and settled in El Cajon,
Peki was acquired from a farming settlement just west of Turk Taciri, Turkey near
the headwaters of the Sakarya River. Bob Ballard and his young daughter, Eileen,
had to swim across the river to get their new puppy, Peki, because the bridge to
the village had been washed out.
Zorba and Peki produced the
first documented litter of Anatolian Shepherds in the
United States on August 17, 1970 in El Cajon, California. The litter of six puppies
consisted of five males and one female, fawns, pintos and whites. Pictures and stories
about the introduction of Zorba and Peki to the United States is documented in Kathryn Braund's
book, Uncommon Breeds.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog made its debut in the
American show ring on October 25, 1970, at the Associated Rare Breeds of
California show at Fontana, California. Seven dogs were exhibited with BEST OF
BREED honors going to the breed's #1 foundation dog, Zorba.