A Dog’s Vigilance – A Trek in Abruzzo

Abruzzo, Italywise

A Dog’s Vigilance

Recently, when I was fortunate enough to join two shepherds and two flocks (one of sheep, one of goats) up in the mountains of the Parco Nazionale della Majella of Abruzzo. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what would stand out, so I just made sure I had my camera ready for “whatever”. I also worked to be quick on my feet. Following a flock on the move and capturing a unique perspective can be a bit of a challenge.

In this photo, which I have entitled A Dog’s Vigilance, I was fortunate to capture an unexpected “stand out” moment. I was trying to stay ahead of the flock of goats and capture their wonderful faces. And, there in the middle of the flock, was this amazing canine face. This fella definitely was on full alert, making sure his charges stayed on course. I love seeing how his ears and eyes communicate alertness and awareness. He also was keeping an eye on me to make sure I didn’t step out of line.

This experience was made possible by Abruzzo’s organic La Porta dei Parchi agriturismo, run by Nunzio Marcelli

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also credit my dear friend Novelia Giannantonio, who lives with her delightful husband Peppe, nearby in Sulmona. Novelia knows everyone. And, she orchestrated my day on the mountain with the sheep, goats, and shepherds. I urge you to include Sulmona on your Italy itinerary.

Welcome to SulmonaAnother wonderful resource, which covers so many things about Sulmona (including other options for accommodations) is WelcomeToSulmona.com. It’s the best English language resource guide to Sulmona.

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By |2018-06-13T17:26:21+02:00October 25th, 2016|Abruzzo, Black & White|9 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Domenic Ricci November 4, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Great story it brings back memory’s born and raised in sulmona zone cavate living in Boston nowadays, would like to see more pictures

    • Jed November 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks for writing Domenic. I’m so delighted to hear that you are a native of the Sulmona area. As you can probably tell, I am very much enamored with the area and my new friends there. Stay tuned for more photos from the last trip! Jed

  2. Anita October 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Ciao Jed ,Nice… memories flood back reading this piece as my friends at home tend to the flocks! So nice to read …I love the dog peering out…”Im here!’ Grazie! A presto! Anita

    • Jed October 28, 2016 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Glad you like Anita! Yes, this fellow is reminding me that he has his eye on me!

  3. Novelia October 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Mio cara fratello just to make it clear Beppe or Peppe, Giuseppe is called both ways here in Italy, so no mistake . Yesterday I started the comment on this other masterpiece you have given birth to, but the tremor of the earthquake made me stop. Our sheperd dogs are really special, as you know they risk their lives when it comes to fight with the bears and the wolves if they get any close to the flock. I simply love the expression on his face you really know how to capture the moment. As I told you once you have finished writing about Abruzzo, probably a guide book to this beautiful region will be ready to be published. Thank you again for your love and interest for this( still unknow to most) part of Italy. Until next time , a big embrace from Beppe and of course me. Novelia.

    • Jed October 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Ciao Novelia, As always I love hearing from you – especially since I consider you the guardian angel of Abruzzo! I look forward to writing more about these hard-working shepherd dogs and how, as you point out, they risk their lives to protect their flock! I know my education of Abruzzo will only continue to flourish under your wise tutelage. Molti baci!, Jed

  4. Kathy Guenther October 27, 2016 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Hi Jed,
    It’s “Peppe” not “Beppe” for Novelia’ s husband’s nickname.

  5. Nancy LeMaster October 25, 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    An amazing capture of a wonderful dog who does such a great job of keeping his goats safe and secure. Guardian dogs allow shepherds to have a bit of an actual life because the dog is always on duty. The shepherd can’t be up 24/7. Neither can the dog. But the dog can take quick naps throughout the day while the shepherd is the main one on watch. Some of the guardian dogs are capable of keeping their herd safe from coyotes, wolves, and other predators. They will give their lives to protect their herd. You caught that total devotion in this shot. Good job, Jed!

    • Jed October 25, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nancy! You describe so perfectly how seriously devoted these dogs are to their job. More dog photos coming soon!

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