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Monday, 29 May 2017

Vitamin C - Feed it or not?

I am going to reprint an article from Outdoor life that I saw almost 2 years ago.  It was enough for me to start researching vitamin c and dogs.  I came to the conclusion that extra vitamin c would not harm the dogs, so why leave things to chance.  I've spent decades breeding dogs and the healthier they are the better.  

One of my puppy owners was told by an employee in a pharmacy that it could give his puppy diarrhea.  And sure enough.  It did.  I've never had that problem before but you certainly don't want a puppy to have constant diarrhea!  I have recommended Vitamin C to all my puppy owners but if it is causing your dog problems, stop.  There is no reason why you have to.  It's just what I do.  And I haven't had any problems whatsoever.

Here is the article:

Roughly one in four hunting-dog pups become victims of hip dysplasia.  Some of these dogs suffer a lifetime of crippling pain.  Others are destroyed.  But it is now a virtual certainty that if you take some preventive measures, your pup will not get hip dysplasia.  Is that a strong statement?  Read on, and judge for yourself

Scurvy and Hip Dysplasia

 San Jose, California veterinarian Dr. Wendell O. Belfield was visiting a friend.  On the table was a reprinted copy of the 1753 book, "A Treatise On Scurvy", by Captain James Lind, a surgeon in the British Royal Navy.  While waiting for his friend, Dr. Belfield began reading. 
The symptoms described were: bleeding gums, loose teeth, foul breath, nose bleeds, swollen eyelids, brittle bones…And then came an autopsy report made in 1699 at St. Louis Hospital, Paris:  "The ligaments of the joints were corroded and loose.  Instead of finding in the cavities of the joints the usual sweet oil mucilage, there was only a greenish liquor, which by its caustic quality had corroded the ligaments."
Recognition flashed across Dr. Belfield's mind.  This 300-year-old autopsy of a dead human being described hip dysplasia in dogs.  Could chronic hip dysplasia be a form of scurvy?  Simply a lack of vitamin C?
No, it's accepted that a dog's body makes its own vitamin C.  Everybody knows that.  Canine hip dysplasia is hereditary.  Everybody knows that, too. But why does everybody know that dogs don't need extra vitamin C?  Because back in the 1930s, some dogs in testing laboratories suffered no ill effects when denied all vitamin C in 
their diets.
We can't help but observe, however, that very little happens in the controlled 
environment of an experimental laboratory that would cause dogs to need more C than its body can manufacture.  In the real world a dogsled racer brought a bitch to Dr. Belfield after other vets in the San Francisco area had failed to help her.  She had a swollen tongue, bleeding gums, and often fell and dragged herself about with great difficulty. 
Dr. Belfield recognized the trouble as scurvy, although not the true clinical scurvy 
that brings death to humans.  The dog was making enough C to keep the scurvy on a chronic subclinical level.  After a month on ascorbic acid (another name for vitamin C - simply meaning NOT having scurvy), the bitch could run as long and hard as any dog on the client's team.     Why didn't other members of the racing team have scurvy?  They had been eating the same food.  This happened because of another factor usually ignored by those who believe that dogs never need more C than their bodies make.  In one group of 104 dogs tested, vitamin C levels varied from .02 milligrams per cubic centimeter of blood to .84 milligrams - a 42 fold variable!  Obviously, one dog's body can be starving for C while another dog makes enough to get by.
This variability also leads us to the heredity factor.  Breeding programs to eliminate 
CDH have worked to a certain degree.  For instance, the Wirehaired pointing Griffon breeders eliminated half of the problem in just ten years through selective breeding.  But no breeding program has come close to being 100% effective.  If we assume that Dr. Belfield is right in believing that hip dysplasia is connected to a vitamin C deficiency, it all begins to make sense. The variable ability to make ascorbic acid is certainly inheritable.  While selecting parents for lack of hip dysplasia in the heredity, we may have unknowingly selected for the real factor
that inhibits CHD - good vitamin C production.
Nature and Nurture

It seems clear, however, that all CHD is not entirely genetic.  Selective breeding has 
been too inconsistently successful to believe otherwise.  Dr. Belfield says that he constantly sees sound parents.  A Swedish doctor who x-rayed army dogs concluded that dysplastic dogs produce only ten percent more dysplastic pups than normal dogs.  But again, if we accept Dr. Belfield's vitamin C theory, it all makes sense.
Vitamin C does 300 different jobs in the bodies of animals, including humans.  One of
the most important is collagen production.  If you think of cells as bricks, collagen would be the mortar.  Without enough collagen, you can't build muscle tissue.  You can't build bone, either, because collagen forms the honeycomb holding the minerals in place in bones. Furthermore, it's possible to have not quite enough vitamin C to manufacture quality collagen. Weak collagen builds weak muscles and bones.
A second function of ascorbic acid is to cope with the effects of stress.  It does this
by nourishing the adrenal glands and by helping the body produce its own cortisone, which combats histamines produced by dying cells.  A rat can multiply its vitamin C output tenfold when stressed.  Humans can't make any at all, much less increase it, so we must eat all that our bodies need or supplement our diets.  Apparently, our ancestors ate huge amounts of fruit containing vitamin C, so unlike most animals, our livers didn't develop the ability to turn glucose into ascorbic acid.  Dogs are poor producers.  A goat can make five times the vitamin C produced by a dog of equal size.  A rat, small as it is, makes nearly four times the vitamin C produced by a full-grown dog.
I hate the term "conventional wisdom."  Too often, it means believing what everybody 
else believes, no matter how foolish, for fear of being ridiculed.  But in this case, the definition is accurate.  Conventional wisdom has it that dogs need no more vitamin C than their bodies make.  Dr. Belfield asks why, if that is the case, do dogs or wild canines, when left to their own devices, act like they need more?  When possible, canines do eat fruits, berries and vegetation containing vitamin C.
In my experience, there are two times when dogs eat large amounts of grass and other
available vegetation.  One is when they've run long and hard, and there's no water to be found. At such times, they chew and swallow vegetation for the moisture.  The other time is when they've been kenneled too long.  Even some hard-running bird dogs and hounds often stop and eat green vegetation before taking off to hunt.  We've always wondered why.  We even thought up several explanations, but they didn't ring true.  Could this simply be caused by a need of additional vitamin C?
Keep in mind that there is no extra vitamin C in most commercial dog foods.  That's 
not a criticism, either.  Ascorbic acid oxidizes rapidly when the lid is off the container. It probably would oxidize rapidly as a minor ingredient in a large bag of food.  Also the high heat during the extruding process would probably destroy most of the vitamin C added to the food.  One manufacturer that does add ascorbic acid makes no claims for its benefits, nor is the amount specified or guaranteed to be in the bag.
To sum up so far, our dog is a poor producer of vitamin C, there is no extra C in his 
usual food, and like us, he needs far more in proportion to size than we do to achieve normal growth.  While our growth is stretched out over two decades, most of theirs takes place during the first year.  The bigger the breed or strain, the more rapid the growth, and the greater the demand for ascorbic acid, the greater the incidence of hip dysplasia.
Dr. Belfield suggests that we should also consider the stress assault on a domesticated
pup.  It's weaned, separated from its mother and littermates, involuntarily carried to a new and unfamiliar location, stuck with needles, mildly poisoned to eliminate worms, and possibly operated on to remove dewclaws or part of the tail.  All of this happens while the animal is already stressed by teething and phenomenal growth.  The growth factor induces a very high demand for ascorbic acid through additional stress and the massive need for collagen.
The wild canine pup, by contrast, stays with its mother, keeps its tail and dewclaws, 
suffers no early separation, is not hurt by hypodermic needles, and has not been bred overlarge by foolish humans.  Diseases and worms are its stresses.  But the wild pup does get extra vitamin C from the livers of animals the mother kills, some green vegetation, and sometimes from fruits and berries. The domestic pup gets none because we have decided that he doesn't need any.
Our pup - in a condition perhaps bordering on subclinical scurvy - runs, plays and jumps 
with muscles and bones weak from lack of quality collagen.  Muscle growth may not be keeping pace with bone growth.  The pectineus muscles become taut.  Suddenly, during one great leap or unusual jolt, the weak muscles fail, and the balls of the leg bones are pulled away from the hip sockets.  The lubricating synovial fluid leaks out, and the balls grate on the sockets. In hours, maybe less, the dog has hip dysplasia.  It will not recover.

The Solution

Dr Belfield thought that the solution was obvious.  Prevent hip dysplasia by supplying 
enough vitamin C.  He tried it with several litters of German Shepherd pups, a breed with serious CHD problems. The parents either had hip dysplasia themselves or they had already produced dysplastic pups.
The first bitch had very bad hips, and according to Seeing Eye dog standards, should 
have been neutered to prevent damaging pregnancy.  Dr. Belfield gave her 2,000 milligrams (2 grams) of C daily as soon as she was pregnant.  Eight pups were born, and they were given 50 to 100 milligrams of liquid C from birth until weaned.  From that point to four months, 550 milligrams of powdered C were added to their food.  This was increased to 1,000 milligrams, then 2,000 until the pups were 18 to 24 months old.  None of the pups were dysplastic.
Another bitch had been bred twice to different studs that were certified free of CHD. 
Each time, half of her pups were dysplastic.  She was bred again and vitamin C was administered under Dr. Belfield's guidance.  She produced eleven pups with perfect hips.  In all, eight litters were handled in this manner over a five-year period.  When x-rayed at two years of age, all pups were free of CHD.
The testing ended in 1976, and as far as Dr. Belfield was concerned, the CHD threat was
defeated.  He published a paper in a professional journal.   Was it truly over?  Hardly.  Dr. Belfield had attacked the popular genetic theory that everyone "knew."  Instead of simply trying the treatment and finding out for themselves, most of the professionals ridiculed Dr. Belfield for not conducting a better experiment with double blinds (some dogs not given C).  He was even called a crook and a charlatan.
"That really hurt," Dr. Belfield told me.  "I'm just a little one-man practitioner who
looked for better ways when conventional means weren't working.  Proof is up to the universities. I really want to help these animals, not wait around for further proof while the dogs suffer."
Those are my sentiments exactly.  Dr. Belfield has since upped the dosage of C somewhat 
and has combined it with other vitamins and minerals.  He also mixed some with Ester-C.  I'm currently testing both mixtures on hard-running Fox Hounds.
Whatever you do, if you're raising a litter, provide the needed vitamin C.  If you're
buying a pup, put it on the C the moment you take it home.  There's no sense risking hip 
dysplasia just because absolute proof hasn't yet been established or seriously attempted.
**Reprinted from "Outdoor Life"


Sunday, 28 May 2017

An Awesome Picture!

Mary Ann

My Granddaughter was here playing with the puppies a few days ago. Today, she was playing with her dog, Vedor. He is a 9 year old Guardian Angel Shepherd. She thought it would be fun if he had puppies too!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Grandma snuck in!

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

Good thing Fia was out for a walk because Indy (13 years old) decided to puppysit while she was gone!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Getting the idea

Mary Ann

Finally getting the idea about eating from a dish. Some will only take a bite or two then start crying because it wasn't what they wanted. I have to be careful they are getting enough to eat. If necessary I will give a few more bottles.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Fia/Rommel puppies first solid food!

This is GO puppy food soaked overnight in hot water. I add the homemade bottle formula just before I feed it. I warm it by floating the glass dish in hot tap water. When it's about the same temperature I would bottle feed, I set the dish down. It's about as messy a thing as you could imagine! They just walk right thru the middle trying to find their bottle! I have to take reach individual puppy and feed them one piece of couple at a time until they start to realize it's actually edible. Each meal will take about two hours.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Mr Green Mr Red & Kids

Mary Ann

Socializing with kids is really important. As soon as their ears and eyes are open they are introduced.

Feeding your new puppy

If your puppy is having difficulty eating his kibble or she just doesn't seem that excited about it, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes before giving it to them. Sometimes they just prefer this and there is no harm in it. Just make sure that it's cool enough for them to eat before putting it on the floor.

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Mr Green

Mary Ann

Mr Green

Mary Ann

Mr Green polished off a whopping 100 mod of formula and couldn't keep his eyes open. In just a few days we will be switching from formula to mush.

Also my answering machine has been acting up again. Messages from 4 weeks ago are just now coming to my attention! So my apologies every one. Please call again or email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Email works best as I can answer at 2 in the morning.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Happy and Sad

I don't know how one can be really, really happy and really, really sad at the same time.  My beautiful boy Achilles has found a wonderful home.  I have turned down many potential owners, as you know, because he needs just the right amount of love and direction to manage him properly.  He has his own ideas and combined with being a dominant dog, he needs just the right people to love him.  Someone with experience, someone who will give him a job, and someone who will love him unconditionally.  And he's finally been paired with just those people!  I'm so happy he has found his perfect match.  He will be working everyday with a retired policeman who is now in charge of a security company and he will go home each night and be spoiled rotten by the significant other.  They have had 3 German Shepherds before Achilles and they just make a perfect match.  I'm so happy!

But I'm also sad.  I will miss his big bear face around here.  He's been here for 4 years and it's hard to see him go down the driveway.  But he will be very happy and that makes me happy!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Sent from my iPadSeveral people have been asking about training treats again. Training treats should always be soft and small. The reason for this is because a dogs brain quickly flits from one thought to another. Think "SQUIRREL!" from the movie UP. If the dog takes more than one or two seconds to swallow, he no longer remembers it for the last behaviour.
The other thing that you need to think of when you are picking training treats is how healthy they are. When you first start training you should be giving lots of treats. You don't want ti fill up your dog with empty calories.

It's for these two reasons why I use Rollover. Rollover is actually a dog food, not a dog treat. Your dog could eat nothing but Rollover and do very well. There are hundreds of dog treats out there to pick from. As long as you remember the criteria, you can probably find several others that fit the bill.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Attention Nova Rommel 2017 Puppy Owners

I have sent you all "Puppy's First Night & Beyond". If you haven't received it, please let me know.

Mary Ann

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Puppy Placement!!

Hello Everyone!

The moment you have all been waiting for! I have spent most of yesterday and all of today going through your questionnaires and going through the temperament tests to find you the best puppy for you and your family. So with no further ado,

Miss Pink is going to Mike & Dawn in Alaska!

Mr. Blue is going to Bob in the Yukon!

Mr. Green is going to Ashley in Calgary!

Mr. Red is going to Tony in Edmonton! And,

Mr White is going to Dan in Carstairs!

The dog's jobs range from Search and Rescue, Security, competitive tracking, Therapy and all are going to be valued family members/protectors! I am so proud of this litter already! I can't wait to hear the stories and get all the pictures of their accomplishments. And that includes the goofy ones under the Christmas tree with reindeer antlers!

I'm going to miss them all terribly. And yes, there will be tears when they go. I just can't help it.

Congratulations everyone!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Nova/Rommel Puppy Pick Up Times/Aptitude Tests

Nova/Rommel puppies are ready to go home May 18th.  Please book your time to pick up your puppy now.  Plan on being here 1-2 hours.  There's lots of paperwork and lots of information that goes home with you.  Bring the remaining balance owing on your pup in cash or a certified cheque or a bank draft.  Also an emoney transfer is fine but remember that there is usually a $1000/day limit so you will need to send the money in advance over a period of days.  

We successfully completed the aptitude tests this evening.  I will post which family gets which puppy on the blog by tomorrow evening.  I take this process very seriously and many factors come into play.  I know you are all waiting and I appreciate your patience.  but here is something I just received today.

Hey there!

I want to send an update and a couple of pictures. He's a wonderful dog. He's fit right into the family and it's very clear he loves all of us. He's gentle with the kids. He plays nice with other dogs and he's very very smart. No surprises to you :) 

Take care and have a great weekend! 

And also,

Thanks Mary Ann.....I am happy with my pup, and more very to you later.

Mary Ann

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017


Attn: Nova/Rommel Puppy Owners

This is what I am feeding your puppies.  

K9 Partnership sent you a video: "Easy way to give your dog a pill!"

K9 Partnership has shared a video with you on YouTube
This is my educational channel. Not a lot on there yet but I'm growing it slowly.
Easy way to give your dog a pill!
Here is a super easy way to give your dog a pill. With just a little practice it will go down easy as you please! Big dog or small, it will work with all sizes. Be sure to practice ahead of time so you're ready when the time comes.
©2017 YouTube, LLC 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066, USA

Friday, 5 May 2017

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Clean Bill of Health X 5

Dr Luzi was here today and gave all the Nova pups a clean bill of health! They also received their first shots and were microchipped. Another major accomplishment in their lives. Thank you Dr Luzi!

FINALLY! Nova & Puppies Outside!

The weather has been cold & wet for the last several weeks. Not a good environment for puppies. But today! Finally! The pups are able to use their outdoor kennel. They have sunshine or shade. Inside or outside. Whatever their little hearts desire.   They look so little out there!  But they are very much enjoying their new area.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, 1 May 2017

Please Send Deposits Now

For those of you that I asked to wait to send your deposits on a Fia puppy, you can send them now.  I will email you all individually but it's been very busy here the last few days so I'm sending out this generic message.  Things are so busy here that when we finished our morning chores is was 4:00PM, just in time to start afternoon chores! And I didn't even eat lunch!  

 I'm making formula for the pups just as a preventative measure.  Fia is a first time Mom and 8 pups is a ton of work.  If I can take some of the heat off for her, I will.  The pups are 24 hours old and have all gained weight!  Yay!  The first 48 hours are crucial.  Then the next 2 weeks.  And if everything is going well by then, I can start to relax a little.

Oh!  And we have 7 girls and 1 boy!  Crazy!  Not as crazy as the 11 boys I had once though!  No girls and 11 boys.  

So those waiting on a Fia/Rommel puppy, please send your $500 nonrefundable deposit now.  The best way to do that is send it via email money transfer to  We can discuss the security question via private email.  If you don't want to wait for me to email you, please go ahead and contact me if you'd rather.  As you know, I'm really behind on everything.  Except for caring for my dogs.  They are all in tip-top condition!

Mary Ann

Maya's Expensive Toy

Mary Ann

Fia' s litter

Mary Ann

Healthy Puppies

Fia has had 8 healthy puppies! Pictures and details later when I can see straight. 😵😑

Mary Ann