Anatolian Painting Unveiled at AKC Headquarters

On February 11, 2007, a magnificent original painting of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog was placed on display for the first time during the 2007 Open House at the headquarters of the American Kennel Club in New York City.

The painting, oil on canvas, is titled: "Ch. Sakarya's Altin Kilij-First Anatolian Shepherd Dog AKC Champion."  This historic piece of artwork was donated to the American Kennel Club by his breeders and owners, Quinn and Marilyn Harned from Alpine, California.  The donation was the result of a personal request from an AKC official who said there were too many pictures of sporting dogs and terrier breeds hanging on the walls of the AKC headquarters and not enough working dogs, and wouldn't it be nice to have a painting of an Anatolian Shepherd Dog in the AKC art collection?  The painting commissioned by the Harneds reflects the history/function of the breed by having Kilij posed guarding sheep in a rural setting.  The painting is done in the old world style of the 19th century artists famous for their canine portraiture and landscapes.

Ch. Sakarya's Altin Kilij, or just "Kilij" as he was affectionately known to family and friends, was born December 18, 1991. He had an illustrious show career beginning at the age of 17 months when he earned High Score in Trial and won Reserve Winners Dog at the 1993 ASDCA National Specialty under Mrs. Marian Hodesson.  As he matured, Kilij set a national specialty record that has never been surpassed, winning Best of Breed at three consecutive ASDCA specialties: 1994-judge Mr. Richard Beauchamp; 1995-judge Mrs. Virginia Devaney; 1996-judge Mrs. Ruth Zimmerman.  For several years just prior to AKC recognition, Kilij, was the #1 Anatolian Shepherd Dog in breed rankings with the American Rare Breed Association.

On June 19, 1999, just three weeks after the Anatolian Shepherd Dog moved into the Working Group, Kilij, now 8 years old, became the first Anatolian Shepherd Dog AKC Champion of Record.  He was expertly handled to this historical win by professional handler, Mr. Allen Chambers.

Kilij passed away following emergency surgery on February 5, 2000, ten days before dog owners and the TV viewing audience throughout America saw his top-winning son, Ch.Sakarya's Kasif ("Chief") walk onto the green carpet in the Working Group to represent the Anatolian Shepherd Dog for the first time at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York City.  What a proud legacy Ch. Sakarya's Altin Kilij left behind!

After months of research for just the "right artist", the Harneds commissioned artist Deborah Francis Drastrup, "Horse and Hounds Studio" in Fallbrook, California, for the painting of Kilij.  In 1992, after setting aside more than a decade of broadcast journalism covering major news stories for CBS and ABC affiliates around the U.S., Deborah returned to her home in Southern California to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a successful artist.  She began painting portraits of hunter and jumper horses for customers at her family's Carmel Valley Ranch.  In 2002 Deborah began including dog portraiture into her collection of artistic projects resulting from competing with her three Rhodesian Ridgebacks in AKC conformation, agility and lure coursing events.

Deborah Drastrup's artwork has been featured on the cover of magazines including the October 2005 10th Anniversary Special Edition of The Rhodesian Ridgeback Register.  Besides paintings of her chosen breed, Deborah has completed portraits of Whippets, Akitas, Dachshunds and Rottweilers.  Quinn and Marilyn Harned are very proud to have their handsome Anatolian Shepherd Dog Ch. Sakarya's Altin Kilij, immortalized on canvas that is both a beautiful representation of the breed and now a permanent addition to the AKC's extensive and priceless art collection.



Balance, form and function make up the physical being of an animal in the real world.  Light, balance and color harmony create the soul of the animal - captured by my eye and transported through my brush onto canvas where it becomes a true reflection of the "spirit" of my subject.