My passion for dogs began early in my life. I enjoyed reading about the various dog breeds in the encyclopedia and was always interested in the larger breeds.
One day I visited a well-known Mastiff breeder and I was hooked. How could such a large breed of dog be so gentle and noble.
Since then, I have owned Mastiffs and my passion for the breed grew. I joined the North & East Mastiff Fanciers and held the title of Membership Secretary as well as assisting in other aspects of the breed.
Since 1988, I have enjoyed showing my dogs, breeding a litter on occasion and became the rescue coordinator for New Jersey. Being involved with rescue was very rewarding and at the same time heartbreaking as well. It was always an emotional journey when finding that forever home for those in need. During this time, I was also lucky to have been owned by a smaller breed, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. I considered myself very lucky to be surrounded by so many people who shared the same passion as myself…both here in the United States and across the globe.
As with most pet owners, I started out with kibble as I didn’t know any better. It was easy and convenient. Even then, I was trying different foods with varying results. As time went by, I couldn’t understand why the frequent veterinarian visits for one thing or another. When I purchased a male from well known breeders in Virginia, they mentioned feeding a raw diet. I started out with chicken quarters and gradually started putting together a diet for my dogs. This took a bit more time than opening a bag of kibble but I noticed a difference in a relatively short amount of time. Back then, it was difficult finding green tripe as most was bleached but with a bit more research, I found a supplier.
Being involved with the Mastiff all these years, I met my husband, Carl. He too had a passion for the breed and, since the male I had purchased had Belgian lines, we spoke quite frequently regarding pedigrees as well as diet. The rest is history.
Bes Van Bael