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Monday, 12 November 2018

My Black Dogs

Just found this old photo of Merlin & isis. Both came from the Czech Republic many years apart. Merlin is no longer with us and Isis is 15 now. Merlin is on the left and Isis is using the food bowl as a pillow!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Nova has two favourite toys. Outside, it's a three sided orange "thing". Inside, it's this lime coloured dog bone. It's the only toys she hasn't managed to destroy. Both were purchased at Bass Pro Shop. For some strange reason they are the very best place to buy "indestructible" dog toys. Seems like if they are lime/neon green or bright orange the seem to last forever.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Prince has found a home!

Thank you to everyone for sharing Prince's story!  We were successful in finding Prince a new home!  But I should maybe say that in a little different way.  Prince has found new owners, not a new home!  The people who are purchasing the farm are going to adopt Prince and keep him in the same place he has been all his life!  What a wonderful outcome for Prince!  Again, thank you to everyone who helped and shared.  We have been successful!


Mary Ann

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Cali & me

This is Calibre. He is a half brother to Tazer & Trinity. He is here for some training. He decided I needed a tongue bath just after parking. I took him to town to work on distractions. He loves going to town! I think he's going to cause me to have another shower today!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Let's not let anyone kill Prince!


Prince is still in need of a home.  Good with farm animals, kids and cats!  Comes when called.  Doesn't wander.  Neutered.  Well mannered.  Well trained.  Still lively and loves to play fetch.  Sounds like he may come with a chainlink kennel and insulated dog house.  And some food and dishes probably as well.  PLEASE! PLEASE help find a home for Prince before October 15th!  You can contact Kim directly at for more information.  And if you do take him, please let me know.  I'm so worried about this beautiful old guy.  His owners are elderly and have to move off the farm.  He's had a wonderful life of having free reign of the farm and protecting all the critters from harm.  Surely there must be someone out there who could take him!


Mary Ann





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Friday, 5 October 2018

Prince needs a new home

Here is Prince.  He needs a new home.  And quickly!  His owners are elderly and they must move off the farm where they can no longer take care of themselves.  They have been trying to find Prince a new home but are running out of time.  They move out on October 15th.  If he goes to a humane society he will be likely put to death.  All he is looking for is a place where he will be loved and cared for for the next few years of his life.

Prince is 9 years old and was the only dog on the farm.  He took great pride and pleasure taking care of all the farm animals (and even a cat UGH!).  As an only "child" he needs some place where he does not have to share his new family with other dogs.  He is an outside dog and is neutered.  He has good manners, is well trained and does not wander.  Sounds perfect to me!  He is NOT a Guardian Angel Shepherd.  I'm just trying to help the old guy find a warm place to spend his last few good years of life.  He is laid back, sweet natured and gentle.  He is used to roaming freely on the property and has no knowledge of traffic.  There is still life in this old fellow and he loves to play ball and do chores.  If you have a place for Prince or you may know someone who does, please email me at as soon as possible.  And send this out to as many people as you can!  Surely we can save Prince a terrible and undeserved fate.

This is Prince.  He needs a new home.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Things that scare me!

OH! OH!  Let's get an Aussie Labradoodle puppy!!  They are only $2500 US and they come with a pedigree and "Good Health Genetics" certificate!  The pedigrees even having fancy names in them.  "Jojo's Color Me Dazzled" or Dazzle for short.  "Aussieland's Little Miss Sprinkles" or Missy for short.  Oh it sounds so appealing!


I happened to find a WONDERFUL website while looking for directions to build a Do It Yourself elevated dog bed.  I won't tell you which site I found.  The website is very impressive.  Probably 50 or more pages of dog related articles on husbandry, care, heartwarming stories and tons and tons of reviews and recommendations from clients who adopt their puppies.  Oh, it all looks so GOOD!


And it scares the living crap out of me.  Why?  Because they are selling mutts (a mix of 3 breeds) with no pedigree longer than 3 or 4 generations.  And they are "registered" with the Designer Dog Registry which was started about 10 years ago.   The Canadian Kennel Club however was started in 1888 with the Animal Pedigree Act to register animals valuable to mankind.  This website is making up words like Good Health Genetics Certificates (what the hell is that?) and I don't see a single thing on there about guarantees.  But there is something about being able to go to an Australian Shepherd Cross breeder who has invented a new breed where you can see the sire.  Oh good grief!  Invented a new breed?  Do you have any idea what it takes to start a new breed?  I do and I can tell you that in this case, they have not followed all the rules and regulations to do so.  I know someone who truly was trying to start a new breed of herding dog.  For decades, they kept impeccable records and still they were not able to get their new breed recognized by the world's acknowledged registration bodies.  It is VERY difficult to start a new breed.


And here's a fact you don't want to know.  When you are breeding Labradoodles, GoldenDoodles, Cockapoos, or any other designer dog that crosses a shedding breed with a non-shedding breed, 50% of the puppies have non-shedding coats and 50% have shedding coats.  It's just how genetics work.  And what do you think happens with the puppies who shed?  Who wants those puppies?  If they wanted to get a shedding puppy they would have gone to a breeder of Goldens, Labs or Cockers.  So where are all those shedding dogs?  You don't see them do you?  I leave you to ponder on that question but I can tell you that you won't like the answer.  For every single non-shedding doodle out there, there is no longer his shedding brother or sister who was just unlucky enough to get that shedding gene.  So every time I see a designer dog with an "oodle" in it's name, it makes me sad.  Sad to know a wonderful dog has been discarded because of his luck.  I saw three doodles in the pet store the other day and almost started crying.  If those people had known this fact, I doubt they would have purchased those dogs.


I understand the desire to have a dog that doesn't shed!  Believe me!  I have 9 German Shepherds in my house at the moment.  But did you know I can find 22 breeds of small dogs, 8 breeds of medium sized dogs and 9 breeds of large dogs, THAT DO NOT SHED!  And they don't have to dispose of every other one that is born.  And each puppy has a pedigree that stretches back for a hundred years,  they have legitimate health CLEARANCES (which is the key word) and they have guarantees!


Come on people!  Do your homework.  Don't be fooled by fancy websites and words strung together that don't really mean anything.  I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this but somebody has to.


I love my dogs.  I love ALL dogs.  And it is for this reason I will stand up and speak for those who can't.


Mary Ann


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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

My puppy!

This is Ranger. What a beautiful boy! Seriously! Have you ever seen a more beautiful German Shepherd? He's just over a year old. Stunning! I look forward to seeing more pictures of Ranger as he matures.

His owner tells me he's really happy with the dog I picked for him. Very easy going and takes on new situations with ease. That's great but let's not forget that the owner has a great deal to do with that too! Great job Ryan!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

1/2 Brothers

This is Tazer and Calibre. Tazers mom is Fia and Calibre's mom is Cruz. Their father is Rommel. Their both gorgeous boys but different temperaments. They are more like their Moms. Tazer is more like Fia. He is up in your face, when are we going to do something kind of dog. Whereas Calibre is like Cruz. Much more easy going, gentle loves to snuggle. They both have the opposite tendencies too but the most dominant come thru with their Mothers genetics. Rommel donates his good looks, athleticism and brains. Both dogs are awesome and I'm very proud of them.

"Cali" is here for some training while the owners are up North. He's doing really well so far.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Brandie Vom Haus Marcellus

A beautiful portrait of a 12 year old Guardian Angel Shepherd. This is the same dog, many years later, that is laying inside a military helicopter on my website.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Another Great Match!


Mary Ann, it's time for an update on Mr.Blue from the January litter of Cruz and Rommel.

                Our Calibre Vom Haus Marcellus is  EXACTLY the puppy you said be would be.  He is calm and alert. Careful and brave. Cautious and kind as well watchful and fierce. (And oooooooh so handsome!!!!)  Dave says he's an old soul. He's been a watcher since day one. Always carefully observing and quite happy to sit alone quietly with no stimuli. We take him with us everywhere (to different locations for work) and he adapts to his new environment with ease. As well to the people who have helped us care for him when work was busy in the spring. He will trust and listen to the adult in charge. 


                Settling into our  forever home and property in BC this summer has been a wonderful experience for all of us. Cal has so many spots he likes to sit and survey his domain. 


                We couldn't be happier and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,


Amelia & David








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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Monday, 30 April 2018

Bad news first, then some good news, then some exciting news for me!

I am very sorry to have to tell everyone that my Precious Ebony has crossed the Rainbow bridge. I discovered her gone at 3:00PM on Monday. Both Mark and I saw her earlier in the day and she seemed normal as ever. Except she was up earlier than usual. She generally liked to sleep in. She did not seem to have been in any pain. My belief is she died from a broken heart. And there truly is such a thing. You sometime hear couples who have been together for many decades, dying in very close proximity to one another. They often refer to that as Broken Heart Syndrome. Ebony was the life long mate of my recently passed stud dog Merlin. She lived with him for 10 years in a large yard they shared with no other dogs. After Merlin passed, she was not the same. Ebony would not stay in her yard but found every hole she could escape from. She had never wanted to escape before his passing. I believe she wanted to go find him. I tried putting in other buddies but she just ran them out of town. She had no tolerance for anyone else. She wanted her Merlin and that was that. I believe she finally realized that he was not returning and therefore had no reason to live. She didn't give up eating. She was a good weight, not too thin and ate the morning of her passing. I actually think she and a local squirrel were sharing from time to time. But when I came out at 3:00 I saw her laying flat out at the gate and I knew something wasn't right. I hope she is running in a field with Merlin, enjoying the freedom of a young dog again. Most haven't heard much about Ebony as she was never in my breeding program. She was an Isis puppy but for whatever reason could not give us puppies. And me, being me, couldn't just toss her off because of that so she lived out her life her with us, as part of the pack. Those who have been here would have met her but she didn't have her own page on my site. Regardless, she was loved by everyone here and will be missed greatly.

This has not been a good year for us with the passing of both Merlin and Ebony. And unfortunately I don't think either Isis or Indy will see another winter. They are 15.75 years old. An extraordinary age for a German Shepherd. Indy is doing better than Isis, but still doing well for her age. That could possibly mean losing 4 dogs in a year. And that is devastating to me.

For those of you waiting with deposits on the next litter, you already know that Fia finally came into heat in April. She was bred to Rommel on April 11th which means we are hoping to have puppies around mid-June. The breeding wasn't as good as I could have hoped as they did not tie. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I've had many females catch without ties. And if you don't know what I mean by "tie" you'll have to google it as this is a G rated blog!

And my exciting news is I'm off to Australia! I am in search of a new stud dog to add to my breeding program as Merlin's passing has left a spot to fill. I need an unrelated male to keep my two individual lines going. There are some pretty darn good dogs in Australia so here's hoping! I'm leaving in a couple of days and will not be back until the 25th of May. Mark is going to hold down the fort here with the help of my daughter and two other dog knowledgeable friends who have offered their assistance. So wish me luck everyone!

Mary Ann

Monday, 9 April 2018

Good News for those waiting with deposits down!

FINALLY Fia has started to come into heat!  If everything goes according to plan, she will be bred in the next 7-10 days and we will have puppies 63 days later!  So that means puppies around mid-June!  Now, let's all keep our fingers (and toes) crossed that things go as scheduled!

I appreciate your patience!  Waiting for a new fur ball is incredibly hard.  But the girls do as they wish.  Fia is about 6 weeks late coming into heat.  I'm on edge even more so than you!  Is it today? No.  Is it today? No.  Is it today? No.  It is uppermost on my mind every day when I wake up.  So I know what you are going through and I appreciate your patience!  I promise you, it is worth the wait!  The references on my website are just a small sampling of the number I actually have.  I think my best references are the people who come back for their second Guardian Angel Shepherd.  I have supplied 3 people with their second Angel in the last couple of litters.  Repeat customers after 10-14 years really says something!

Keep those fingers and toes crossed!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

New Forever Home

Looks like somebody is having a blast at their new forever home!  This is Rosie!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Odd way to sleep

Trinity sleeps in the strangest positions!  Here one of them!

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

Friday, 9 March 2018

First puppy off to her new home!

Mary Ann

Meet "Lady Cruz vom Haus Marcellus"! Off to an exciting new life with Kelsey & Cody!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

For Those Picking Up Puppies this Weekend

For those picking up puppies this weekend, there's a few things you need to bring with you.

- A puppy holder - the puppy needs to ride on someone's lap on the way home. Do not stick him/her in a box in the back where he is terrified even more that he needs be.

- A blanket - this is to rub on Cruz so that the puppy has a familiar smell to cuddle up with. This can be put in the crate that will be beside your bed. But be careful. If he starts to chew the blanket, take it out.

- Clean up bag - Your puppy will get sick on the way home. All puppies do so come prepared. The only good thing about it is that they give you warning before they do. They will start to drool profusely! Then YARK!

- Do not come early - I know it's exciting for you but I have back to back to back appointments and if you come early you will have to sit in your car and wait.

- Be patient - there is a ton of papers to fill out and a ton of things to talk about. Try and read through the book I gave you so if you have any questions, they can be answered. Young children will be bored so please leave them at home.

- You must have 3 names picked out for your puppy. This is for the CKC registration papers. This is in case your name has been used before, they will go to the next or the next if necessary. The register name does not have to be the same as the call name. I had a stud dog named Diesel and his registered name was Marcellus' I Am Canadian because he was born on July 1. All pups from that litter had a Canadian based name.

That's it for now! See you all soon!

Mary Ann

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

I need to know

I need to know if all the new puppy owners received my gift. I sent it as a group message and wanted to make sure it worked. Please let me know that you received it.


Mary Ann

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Your Puppies Have Been Picked!

Everyone getting a Cruz/Rommel 2018 puppy needs to check their emails! Your puppy has been picked! There's a couple of you who still need to make an appointment for pick up. Some I have no dates, some I have dates but no times. Be sure to book 2 hours to be here for paperwork and discussion. Best if you leave the younger kids at home. It's very boring! Please check in with date/times ASAP!

As for payment, interac epayments are best but cash or certified cheques are fine as well.

Congratulations Puppy Owners! The excitement is coming to a crescendo!!

Mary Ann

Miss Purple

Mary Ann

Miss Purple needed her kangaroo after her shots yesterday.

Tables are pillows. Right?

Mary Ann

A Favourite Treat

Mary Ann

This is an awesome treat for your dogs. And the best part is... it actually lasts! It is actually hardened cheese from Nepal. They are pricey but as I said, they last. A large one will last for days here and that's with several dogs taking a turn at it. And when it gets down to just a small piece (I just read this on their website), you can put the piece in the microwave and it "puffs". And then you can feed the cheese puff to your dog! Once it cools of course.

Happy chewing my friends!

Friday, 2 March 2018

Puppies were Aptitude Tested Today

One of the exercises is to hold the puppy off the ground two feet for 30 seconds.  Depending on their reaction they will get a number.  The reaction may be, fight and flail, fight then relax, fight then relax then fight, hang rigid, hang relaxed, etc.  There are about a dozen exercises and all of them combined will help me determine the aptitude of that puppy.  There are no right or wrong behaviours.  They just are what they are.  I hope by Monday night to have puppies picked for you.  Or actually maybe Tuesday night as the vet is here on Monday to do health checks, vaccinations, deworming, and microchipping.  It makes for a long day. I take these puppy pick decisions incredibly serious.  As my husband!  He will tell you I lose sleep over it!  I want to be sure you get the BEST dog for you and your family.  I know it's hard to wait, but I promise.  It's worth it!

Mary Ann

Benefits of Vitamin C to Your Dog | Whole Dog Journal

This is one of the best articles I have found on the benefits of Vitamin C and dogs.  I have been recommending Vitamin C to help prevent Hip and Elbow Dysplasia for years.  Make sure your dog gets his daily vitamin C!

Mary Ann

Benefits of Vitamin C to Your Dog

Features September 1998 Issue

[Updated October 10, 2017]

For humans, a source of vitamin C in the diet is literally necessary for survival. Early sailors deprived of fresh foods for extended lengths of time often suffered from "scurvy," a nasty affliction characterized by bleeding gums, loss of teeth, a weakened condition, and sometimes death. It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that Captain James Cook, the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands, taught the British Admiralty how to prevent scurvy by adding fresh fruit or lime juice to its sailors' daily ration of rum (thus earning them the nickname of "Limeys" that endures to this day).

In the early 1900s, ascorbic acid was isolated and identified as the nutrient that prevented scurvy. Humans, it was discovered, are among the few animals that cannot manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies, and must obtain it from an outside source (fresh fruits, vegetables, or vitamin C pills) on a regular basis in order to avoid illness.

Dogs, however, can produce vitamin C in their bodies, and because of this ability, nutritionists have long considered it unnecessary to add C to a dog's diet. Until recently, few dog food makers added vitamin C to their products – or if they do, it was for the preservative action of the vitamin, rather than its nutritive value.

Vitamin C advocates say that young dogs who regularly receive C supplements develop far fewer cases of hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Vitamin C Benefits Sick and Stressed Dogs

This may be appropriate when dealing with healthy unstressed animals, but recent clinical observations indicate that when dogs are sick or stressed, they can rapidly deplete their bodies' output of vitamin C. A 1942 study noted that dogs with skin diseases usually have very low amounts of vitamin C in their blood.

Other researchers have found the blood levels of vitamin C to be low – and even non-existent – in dogs with fevers and dogs who have exercised to their limits (sled dogs after a race, for example, or hunting dogs in the middle of hunting season).

Stress is the best-known cause of vitamin C depletion in dogs. Physical stress comes in many forms: gestation, lactation, growth, hard work (dogs used for herding, hunting, tracking, etc.), vaccinations, injuries, tail-docking or ear cropping, or illness. Emotional stress, whether caused by relocation, weaning, or demanding training, can also deplete this reserve. In fact, researchers can measure the level of stress a dog experiences by measuring the degree of depletion of the vitamin in the dog's blood.

Conversely, many studies have found that dogs (as well as humans) that are supplemented with vitamin C show greater resistance to disease, and a better ability to recover from injuries or illness.

How Vitamin C Affects Dogs

Wendell O. Belfield, DVM, is perhaps the world's best-known and most ardent advocate of vitamin C supplementation for dogs. In his book, "How to Have a Healthier Dog," Belfield describes how he first came to experiment with (and appreciate) the power of vitamin C in his veterinary practice.

Following a particularly heartbreaking episode, where he was unable to save the life of a beloved family dog that had distemper, he began researching viral diseases. In the course of his studies, he came across an article about a doctor who used massive doses of vitamin C to successfully treat viral diseases such as polio and hepatitis in the 1940s. Belfield began wondering whether C could be used to combat canine viral diseases.

One day in 1965, another client came to Belfield's office with a dog that was suffering from distemper. Belfield decided to try an injection of vitamin C on the dog, and it responded dramatically, surviving what he had been taught in veterinary school was a fatal disease for which there is no successful treatments.

Following this success, Belfield began experimenting with vitamin C treatments for all kinds of conditions in dogs. His trials and studies have convinced him of the tremendous power that the vitamin holds for dogs.

According to the "Encylcopedia of Nutritional Supplements," by Michael T. Murray (1996, Prima Publishing), vitamin C improves immune function by enhancing white blood cell function and activity. It also increases the blood levels of interferon (the body's natural antiviral and anticancer compound) and antibodies (proteins that bind to and destroy foreign material such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins).

Vitamin C is commercially available by itself or combined with other nutrients in a number of forms. See Which Form of Vitamin C is the Best?, below, for information about your options.

Antioxidants and Bioflavonoids

Vitamin C acts in the body as an antioxidant. Oxidation is the chemical reaction of oxygen combining with another substance, and oxidation of food by an animal is a natural process which provides both the heat and the energy needed to keep the body running. Too much or too little oxygen in the system, however, can create toxic by-products called free radicals, which can damage cell structure, impair immunity, and alter DNA codes.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C acts as both an oxygen interceptor (thus protecting the cells from being destroyed or altered by oxidation) and as a scavenger of free radicals. It not only prevents oxidation, but will, for instance, return oxidized vitamin E back to its original state by stealing an oxygen molecule away from the E molecule. Thus vitamin C is a restorative substance that inhibits tissue and collagen degeneration by working in conjunction with the other vitamins and minerals that protect the body and its systems.

As a demonstration of the antioxidant powers of vitamin C, try the following: Dissolve a 1000 milligram tablet of the ascorbic acid form in a large bowl of water. Take some lettuce that has been in the refrigerator a little too long and is getting slightly brown around the edges. Dunk the lettuce in the water for several minutes, then drain it and notice the change. The lettuce should be crisper, fresher and some or all of the brown tinge will be gone. You have just reversed the effects of oxidation! Apple or potato slices can also be dunked in vitamin C solutions to prevent browning. (Antibrowning agents sold for home canning are usually ascorbic acid powder.)

Many types of vitamin C sold also contain bioflavonoids, which are naturally-occurring plant pigments which the body can use to manufacture other nutrients. Beta-carotene, for example, is the bioflavonoid used by the body to manufacture vitamin A. Hesperidin, rutin, acerola, rose hips, citrus bioflavonoids, and bioflavonoid complex are all bioflavonoids commonly used in vitamin C products.

Occasionally supplementing your dog's diet with grated carrots or apples, or offering him any other fresh fruit he finds palatable are great ways to enhance his bioflavonoid intake. Fresh, ripe melons and peaches are two fruits that many dogs enjoy.

Ways to Use Vitamin C on Dogs

Time and further studies are bearing out Belfield's findings. Today, vitamin C is routinely prescribed by holistic veterinarians for a number of illnesses, including cancer, kennel cough and other respiratory infections, abscesses, and other bacterial infections. Due to its important role in maintaining the health of collagen, it appears to be especially helpful for slowing – and some say, reversing – degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, and spinal disorders.

When older dogs are started on vitamin C, the results are often dramatic. This 13-year-old's arthritis used to limit her mobility, until owners began giving her supplements of vitamin C.

The use of vitamin C as a preventative and immune booster are also celebrated. Some veterinarians suggest giving C to dogs before and after vaccination, to dogs that have been exposed to contagious diseases, to pregnant and lactating dogs, and for healthy teeth and gums.

According to Belfield, young dogs and old dogs can benefit the most from routine vitamin C supplements. Due to the extensive stresses faced by puppies and young dogs, such as numerous vaccinations, surgical procedures on dewclaws, tails, and ears, and the demands of rapid growth, he suggests that all young dogs receive C.

As they get old, dogs become less proficient at producing their own supply of vitamin C, and more in need of antioxidants. Administering vitamin C to even very old and feeble dogs, says Belfield, can reinvigorate and strengthen them.

Vitamin C Dosage for Dogs

The average dog normally produces about 18 milligrams of vitamin C per pound of body weight per day. Therefore, for a dog that is free of clinically significant symptoms but is experiencing unusual stress, supplementation with about that much C per day appears be a conservative maintenance dosage. (About 500 milligrams for a 28-lb. dog daily.) To increase absorption, veterinarians recommend splitting the total daily dosage into several feedings during the day.

However, many holistic veterinarians routinely suggest maintenance doses that are three to four times that amount. They explain that modern, domestic dogs need more vitamin C than the theoretical "natural" dog, since their bodies must deal with so many challenges: stress, pollution, chemicals and pesticides, and poor diets, to name a few.

Too much vitamin C, especially if given in one dose, will cause diarrhea in dogs. What amount is too much varies from dog to dog, so, when administering the maximum amount of C for a therapeutic (not just maintenance) dose, many veterinarians will suggest that you increase the dose in 100-500 milligram-per-day increments until the dog develops diarrhea, then reduce his daily dose to the previous day's dose. (This is often referred to as dosing to "bowel tolerance.")

Individuals dogs may be more or less tolerant of vitamin C supplements, and their tolerance may change with environmental conditions. For instance, a dog that is experiencing great stress may tolerate 4,000 milligrams without diarrhea, but develop the condition as the stress is removed. The owner's awareness of the quality of the dog's stool is critical to appropriate dosing.

The type of illness being treated should also be considered when determining the dose. Some guidelines published by holistic veterinarians include:

Richard Pitcairn, DVM, "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats." Pitcairn suggests giving 100-500 milligrams (based on the dog's size) of vitamin C daily to dogs that are exposed to unusually high amounts of pollutants.

Cheryl Schwartz, DVM, "Four Paws, Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and dogs." Schwartz suggests giving vitamin C to dogs with a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory conditions (small dogs, 125 to 500 mg. twice daily; medium dogs, 250-1,500 mg. twice daily; large dogs, 500-1,500 mg. twice daily), arthritis (to bowel tolerance), infected ears (small dogs, 250-500 mg. twice daily; large dogs, 500-1,000 mg. twice daily), and skin allergies (small dogs, 125 mg. twice daily; medium and large dogs, up to 750 mg. twice daily).

It's important to remember that a healthy, happy dog with a quality diet and little stress probably has no need of supplementation with vitamin C. However, if stress, illness, or age causes a dog's need for vitamin C to outstrip his ability to produce it, supplementing him with C is a sensible choice.

What Form of Vitamin C is the Best?

Assuming you have a dog that would benefit from vitamin C supplementation, what options are there? Many vitamin C supplements labeled and sold specifically for dogs use ascorbic acid, the only naturally occurring form of vitamin C.

Unfortunately, among all the vitamin C supplements on the market, ascorbic acid has the poorest absorption rate by the body. However, the salt forms of vitamin C, known as ascorbates, are easily absorbed in the intestinal tract of humans, dogs, and other mammals.

Don't like the idea of a vitamin C supplement for your dog? You can find a great list of whole food sources of vitamin C here.

As the information below explains in detail, for dogs, the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C appears to be the best choices in terms of cost, bioavailability, and effectiveness. Before you start shopping for a vitamin C supplement, it is important to be aware of the differences between the various forms.

Ascorbic Acid

This is the naturally occurring form of vitamin C. A tarttasting organic acid (pH 2.5-3.0) in crystalline form, this is the form of vitamin C most frequently used in vitamin C pills for humans. When given in high concentrations or in single large doses, however, ascorbic acid is not efficiently absorbed by dogs or humans and can cause diarrhea. Using smaller doses several times a day can alleviate this symptom. Most dogs find powdered forms of ascorbic acid to be unpalatable due to its tartness.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Although vitamin C is considered a water-soluble vitamin, an oil-soluble form called ascorbyl palmitate is also available, and is thought to act synergistically with other antioxidants (see, Antioxidant and Bioflavonoids, above). Although oral administration of this form is three times more efficient than the ascorbic acid form, ascorbyl palmitate costs about six times as much as ascorbic acid.

Calcium Ascorbate

Vitamin C can also come in the form of salts called mineral ascorbates (compounds formed by replacing all or part of the hydrogen ions of an acid with one or more metallic ions). These forms of vitamin C – known as calcium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate – are easily absorbed anywhere in the human intestinal tract and in that of most mammals. These are thought to be the most gentle (buffered) forms of vitamin C and cause the fewest side effects such as diarrhea or heartburn.

Calcium ascorbate, a pH-neutral, slightly bitter powder, is one commercially available mineral ascorbate. Many health practitioners are of the opinion that calcium ascorbate gives the best results in the relief of arthritic symptoms. It is also considered by holistic veterinarians to be the most beneficial form of vitamin C for use in horses.

Ester C Calcium Ascorbate

Most of the results which have been published regarding the use of vitamin C in horses and dogs have been in trials using a patented form of C known as Ester C calcium ascorbate. Like the pure forms of calcium and sodium ascorbate, Ester-C is nonacidic with a neutral pH and does not cause gastrointestinal upset. This product is the result of a unique method of manufacturing mineral ascorbates, which yields what are called metabolites as well as the minerals and the ascorbates. Thus, Ester C calcium ascorbate is a combination of calcium, ascorbate, and metabolites (including a substance known as threonate).

Pure calcium ascorbate is simply calcium and ascorbate. Pure sodium ascorbate is sodium and ascorbate. When these and all other forms of vitamin C are processed in the body, metabolites (including threonate) are naturally occurring products. The patent holder of the Ester C brand, Intercal Corporation, claims the presence of metabolites, especially threonate, in their product before intake into the body increases cellular absorption and longevity of vitamin C in the bloodstream.

However, these observations were made when the product was compared to ascorbic acid. The company has not released results of studies (if there are any) comparing Ester C directly to the pure forms of calcium and sodium ascorbate.

Sodium Ascorbate

Another readily available and easily absorbed salt is sodium ascorbate, a pH-neutral granular powder with a slightly saline taste. Sodium ascorbate is easily absorbed by the body, and studies have also shown that it stays in the system twice as long as the acid form. Sodium ascorbate is the only form of vitamin C approved by the FDA for intravenous injection in humans. It is also the preferred form for oral megadoses in humans because it does not irritate the intestinal tract and the excess is easily eliminated without harm to the kidneys.

Dr. Wendell Belfield, the leading advocate of vitamin C supplements for dogs, vastly prefers using this form of the vitamin for dogs. Belfield says his own tests have proven it to be the most effective form; he manufactures and markets C supplements for pets (Mega C Plus and Mega C Drops, which utilize sodium ascorbate.

Choose the purest product at the best price:

Once you decide on which form of vitamin C you want, the least expensive sources are usually mail-order distributors that sell vitamins for human consumption. Here are some tips for comparing product content and price:

1) For the best price on the active ingredient, purchase "pure" vitamin C products. Skip products with added ingredients such as bioflavonoids and vegetable fillers. Bioflavonoids may be listed as bioflavonoid complex, rutin, hesperidin, rose hips, and acerola (see Antioxidants and Bioflavonoids, above).

2) Look for product listed as USP pure. USP stands for United States Pharmacopoeia. This refers to a list of standards established by the Food and Drug Administration that governs methods of manufacture and degree of purity for products that are designated as pharmaceutical grade.

3) For ease in feeding dogs, use a powder or crystal form. On average, one teaspoon of pure powder or crystals contains five grams (5,000 milligrams) of vitamin C, so an average maintenance dose for a healthy dog will be 1/8 - 1/4 of a teaspoon. Tablets are sometimes less expensive, but you will have to grind them up or find a way to get your dog to swallow them.

4) To compare prices you need a standard unit to compare. This can be difficult, since manufacturers sometimes use different units of measure, but grams are the most common. You'll have to do some converting to be able to compare prices, and obviously, this will only be applicable to the pure forms of the vitamin (those not mixed with any other nutrients or fillers).

Bob Griswold lives near Santa Rosa, California, and is a biochemist with experience in formulating animal feeds, fertilizers, human foods, and cosmetics.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A chance to show my dogs off

The other day I mentioned I had been asked if I would like to send pictures of my dogs to represent the German Shepherd Dog on the largest dog breeder site in Canada.  Here is the result!

I was honoured to be asked!  I couldn't decide which pictures to send so I sent 12 that they could pick from.  I think they look pretty good!

Mary Ann

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Puppies in slo mo

Mary Ann

Looking thru old photos

I have had the distinct privilege of being invited to supply German Shepherd Breed photos for one of the top breeding sites in Canada.  As I was going through my photos, I found this collage I did back in 2008.  My photo editing skills weren't that good back then, but it's still kind of cool to look back at the collage of the different generations.  Here it is.  In order, left to right:  Kahlua, Justice, Isis, Magnum & Diesel.  The only one still here is Isis.

Monday, 26 February 2018

A Very Sad, Sad Day

It is with great heartbreak I must tell everyone that my beautiful Merlin was found deceased on Thursday evening.  The vet said it was from natural causes.  He was 11.5 years old.  I am absolutely heart broken.

Thursday afternoon at 12:30 I returned from taking Isis to the vet to see if there was anything they could do to help her aging body.  She is completely "there" as far as brain, eyes and ears go.  Just her body is giving out at the age of 14 years.  We came home with some pills for her.  

When I returned, Merlin was there to greet me as usual, along with his yard buddy Ebony.  Happy, wagging tails, looking for his ball.  Everything was normal.  Until 5:00PM when Mark went out to do afternoon chores.  It was unusual for only Ebony to greet him at the gate so he called to Merlin.  He could see him laying on the deck of his dog house.  But Merlin didn't move.  Mark feared the worst.  And he was correct.  There was Merlin, laying as if he was asleep.  He hadn't been gone for long.  The vet thought it was possibly his heart. Im not going to do an autopsy.   He looked very comfortable, not as if he had been in any pain.  This is just so awful for us.  The whole pack has been grieving.  The dogs have been howling, constantly looking for him.  He was the "main man".  He would lie on top of his dog house and survey his domain like a big ol' lion.  He knew how gorgeous he was.  He knew that all he saw belonged to him. Including that pack of girls!  His was royal in nature.  Kind and gentle.  Courageous and strong.  Smart and wise.  He brought 6 beautiful litters into the world and now I wish it had been more.  It is devastating.

I'm sorry it has taken this long to tell everyone but I just couldn't put it in writing until today.  I can't talk about it out loud or I burst into tears.  I've cancelled all appointment this week as I'm just a wreck.  All I want to do is bury my head in my puppies.  And how I wish those were Merlin puppies now.  He was going to sire my next two litters and I was going to keep a male from him.  But that's not going to happen now.  Those of you who have Merlin puppies, please give them an extra special hug tonight.

Mark and I are absolutely heartbroken.  And you're not going to believe this!  I had to tell someone why I was crying the other day and they said "well it's not so bad because you have other dogs".  I just turned and walked away.  I was so shocked I couldn't say anything.  I wish I had said this "Do you have kids?  Oh, well then if one died it wouldn't be so bad because you have others!"

Well I can't see the screen anymore through the tears so I guess that's it.

Mary Ann

Fwd: Multiple Dog Food & Dog Treat Recalls

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Dog Food Advisor" <>
Subject: Multiple Dog Food & Dog Treat Recalls
Date: February 24, 2018 at 9:42:52 PM MST

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

Because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified, I'm sending you this special recall alert. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this message.

Important: This message includes 3 different recall alerts

Northwest Naturals of Portland, OR, is recalling specific lots of its raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Click the following link for details:

Northwest Naturals Dog Food Recall

Carnivore Meat Company of Green Bay, WI, is recalling 73 cases of its Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dog Food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria. Click the following link for details:

Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall

TruPet LLC of Milford, OH, is recalling a limited amount of its TruDog Pet Treats due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria. Click the following link for details:

TruDog Pet Treats Recall

Please share the news of these recall alerts with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There's no cost for this service.

Dog Food Advisor, P. O. Box 6441, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA 

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Friday, 23 February 2018

Strange dog

Trinity is very much like her Grandma Kahlua. They are the only 2 dogs who walk(ed) and use the back of the couch as part of their environment. Part cat??

Trinity is actually supposed to be in a crate. She hurt her left front leg playing with her brother on the ice. When it didn't get better in a few days I took her to the vet. He concluded, thankfully, that it was a soft tissue injury and has confined her to crate rest for three weeks!  She's going stir crazy despite my best efforts at supplying her with safe chewies and treat dispensing toys. But this is what happens when I open the crate!  Sorry girl. Back in you go!😔

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

They’ve taken over the house!

The puppies are much too big to be confined to one room in the house. They pretty much have the run of the main floor now. My job is pretty much chasing after them all day with paper towels and vinegar. It won't be too much longer and they will transfer out to the new puppy building. We are just doing a few minor adjustments to the facility and they will head out there.   More room to build muscles and start to learn a little independence. Although they are all courageous by nature, nurture is extremely important too. Just like you could do terrible things and erase the courage, you can spend extra time to encourage it. Everyone has to remember that the dog you get will be a perfect blank slate and what you do with that slate is up to you. The amount of time and effort you put in in the next few months will be rewarded tenfold later!

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Moving day! Almost.

The puppy play building is ready for its new tenants!  New floor, new shavings, new toys!  And tons of room to run and play!  

Monday, 12 February 2018

Email Problems

Since February 9th, my email has been shut down due to invalid certificate issues.  Whatever that means.  I am working on getting things back up and rolling ASAP.  Thank you for your patience.

Mary Ann

Thursday, 8 February 2018


Was trying to sort out some of my pictures today and I often am told I don't have enough pictures of Nova on the site.  So here are some!  Note the non-English on the x-rays as they were taken by one of Belgium's top veterinarians.  Also, the pictures of the younger version of her were taken in Belgium.  I brought her over at 14 months of age.