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Lady Kasmira is gone
July 30th 2006 - December 12th 2013
Rest in peace, love. CraneHill's pack leader has left us.
We will never be the same without her. 

Goodbye, Kassie. We will miss you forever.

 Remembering Kassie

December, 2013


With deep sadness, we say farewell to our best Doberman girl and the most amazing leader of the CraneHill canine pack, our Lady Kasmira. Kassie came to us but a short time ago, just over 7 years back, yet she somehow had the ability to warp time and make it feel like she had been part of our lives seemingly forever. We originally decided to get Kassie as a "little demure Dobie girl" intended to be a present and companion for our Ozzie boy. However, that turned out to be something of a lie we perpetrated on him. Her first days at our house had her eating out of the big dog bowls, taking Ozzie and Maddie's toys out of their mouths, strutting confidently about, and generally announcing that she may be small and young, but certainly was a force to be reckoned with. She was immediately the clown of our small 3 dog pack at the time, and her sense of humor became one of her unforgettable traits. As she grew up, we noticed that perhaps she would not be such small gal after all, and she rocketed over 70 pounds, then past 80 pounds, then up to 90. A robust size even for a male Doberman. Ozzie loved her right along and held his own at a steady 82 ponds for most of his life. It seems like they never had any real conflicts, though Kassie was the humorous cause of the first times Ozzie ever beared his teeth and growled in protest. She generally laughed him off in doggie fashion when he did this but always showed him respect and affection as a youthful, exuberant pain-in-the-butt. Later on, they were the best of friends and the solid core of our expanded pack, teaching young German Shepherds how to be good dogs in our house.


Young Kassie was the author of one of the most stressful puppy episodes we ever endured when she was left unattended at a doggie daycare center long enough to ingest a huge rope toy. Despite claims that she was "under constant supervision" it was clear that eating the toy was over an hour of effort. We were on vacation down in Florida at the time and Marcy returned to find her puppy in a very bad state. Thanks to Dr. Korneiser, our fabulous Vet, an emergency abdominal surgery saved Kassie's young life, but cost her a couple feet of intestine. She was hours from death from the blockage created by the toy and we learned our lesson on who is really qualified to "watch" young dogs. 


Kassie's eventual end came far too soon, on December 12, 2013.  We knew we had to end her suffering from bone cancer and endure a sharply painful reminder of how little we humans actually control. This event also reminds us, once again, of the absolute worst part of being dogs lovers: they just are never with us long enough. We offer a heartfelt "long live Kassie!" out to the cosmos and hope she gets to kiss her best boy Ozzie again. We hope she plays with all of our other lost babies now in the great beyond who have left us behind. Her pain has ended, ours intensifies. Yet we persevere.


We always said Kassie was a "certain thing", an irresistible personality, a beautiful Dobe and an amazing physical specimen. We often said that she was formed of "superior materials ".  Her coat was the best Doberman coat we have ever seen. Her eyes had a calming sweetness in them along with deep soulfulness. The rare look of a dog you knew you could trust and rely on in every situation. She was the Granddaughter of Repo Man, the top Dobe in the show world a few years back, He was an amazing looking boy and Kassie represented his line well. Her adult weight of over 90 pounds was sheer silk-wrapped muscle and she was an inspiring athlete. She loved playing on the agility and obstacle course and could literally jump from a standing position over a 4 to 5 foot wooden fence with ease. She was an ultra fast, powerful runner, fleet, graceful, fearless and confident. Everyone would stop and watch if she was running the course, putting other dogs to shame without any ego on her part. That is one of the unique qualities of a great dog like Kassie, they possess no discernible  ego. They do what they do just because it's fun and their humans are happy to participate. Making their people happy is the only thing dogs need much of the time and it drives their lives.

How lucky are we?


Our pack will surely never be the same. Kassie not only facilitated the incorporation of all our beautiful German Shepherds, and supervised the whelping of many beautiful puppies, but she ran the CraneHill pack every day with tolerant nature, a tangible force of will, consistent rules and a superior intellect not at all common in the canine world. Kassie was the guiding force for our pack, capable of keeping a room clear of other dogs with just an expression, but also fair and steady in her alpha dog leadership. Kas was the best pack Sergeant we could have ever wished for. Her fairness of nature and unwavering self control allowed us to successfully bring in our Shepherds. Tasha came first and always had a good, respectful relationship with Kas.  Then came Bodhi, a dominant breeding male GSD who, thanks to Kassie's leadership and temperament, joined our pack without too much trouble or any bloodshed. He followed Kassie's lead with good sense and awareness of his position so that she never had to correct him harshly as a young boy. Anyone who knows the Doberman Pinscher breed understands this is not always the case. Many up-and-coming young males are treated brutally by their female Dobie superiors. Kassie asserted confident, steady leadership over Bodhi and over all our Shepherds such that they likely will not know what to do without her for quite a time. A new pack order will need to be established.


The new top girl for CH will likely become Samadhi (Sami), number one daughter from Bodhi x Tasha's first litter and an assertive, tough gal since day 1. From birth, we could see that her mind was set on being Kassie's right hand girl, and she rose through the ranks of our pack with confidence and purpose. Sami's biggest challenge currently will be dealing with Koszie, the new Doberman puppy we brought in when we knew we would lose Kassie to cancer. The CraneHill house without a Doberman Pinscher in the mix would be a pathetic place in our minds, so little Ko-Ko is with us now, storming about in youthful bliss, surrounded by bigger GSDs that will soon become her 4-legged accomplices. Ko-Ko had a few days to watch Kassie run the show and will most likely feel she can take over to some extent n the near future. The coming weeks and months will tell whether the baby dog can truly handle all the dynamic canine personalities and opinions in play at our place. While certainly not a replacement for our Kassie, Koszie will follow in the footsteps of the incredible Dobermans who preceded her in our lives. It was 19 years ago almost to the day that the unforgettable Rudy left this earth. He was a big, friendly, fearless, floppy-eared red male Dobe that in many ways started our on-going dog journey. Rudy was gone at 12 & 1/2 years of age. I still feel a wrenching hole in my heart each December, the recurring reminder of losing someone special that lingers in my mind since that final day for Rudy. From now on, that hole will be bigger and more painful with the passing of Kassie.


To all the people who have lost their best dogs, we say keep on going with joy in your hearts and dogs in your lives. We humans have the unique ability to become attached to our canine companions and we both benefit greatly and suffer desperately from this condition. We seek and form strong emotional bonds that are the two-way connections we choose to live enriched lives with our beloved dogs. Cherish each and every moment while you can and don't dwell on the unhappy things. Realize that every dog you ever have will eventually become a lifetime that can be remembered in an instant from beginning to end and that this reality will never not be tragically painful. We can't imagine living without our dogs. That is, in fact, why we chose to breed, so that others might have the opportunity to enjoy canine companionship as well. Dog ownership is not convenient, simple or even always fun, but, as with everything worthwhile in life, the benefits far outweigh the negative aspects. Even the death of a best friend can be overcome and it makes us stronger. Kassie gave everything she had to us everyday without complaint or question. We were the recipients of her unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, good-natured humor and unique Doberman goodness and we were lucky to have been. She was never not happy to see us come home, her little stub tail wagging furiously in celebration of our arrival. She would lick our faces every time they were near hers, even when she was suffering in terrible pain at the end of her life. Every single time. Now we send her off to lick Ozzie's face once again.

-Mark Howe

Our top Dobe with her new charge, December 2013
Kassie with 9 week old Koszie

For your consideration:

Welcome to our website. CraneHill is owned by 2 dog lovers who enjoy the companionship, challenges, antics and protection of our pack every single day. We treat our canine "kids" as if they were our human children, with the utmost care, dedication, affection, and even-tempered discipline within a nurturing, structured, highly-active environment. We expect–and, in fact, require–our puppy parents to provide the same. CraneHill is currently breeding only German Shepherd dogs. but we look forward to adding an exceptional, top-quality Doberman Pinscher breeding line in the near future. Anyone considering our puppies should be aware that we are very selective about our breedings, and very picky about our puppy placements. Working dogs are not a good fit for everyone, and we have reinforced this lesson through deep experience with many dogs and people. Strange how the human side of this world seems to be where problems are most prevalent. People are sometimes selfish enough to put up fronts to get what they want. Dogs do not, nor do we. We sincerely do our best to match our dogs with qualified, responsible owners that will nurture them with care so they may fully develop and flourish. So, if you are seriously interested in GSD's and well-versed in the realities of owning and raising a highly-intelligent, no-excuses working dog that may challenge your very concept of what a life-long committment really is, we invite you to contact us. We are happy to share information on our dogs, puppies for placement, training tips, and how we handle contractual transactions. Let our dog experience and knowledge assist you in the decision-making process of choosing a puppy, even if GSD's may not be the right breed for your family. And, if you do join our expanded family of puppy parents, we look forward to sharing your unique experiences as well.


Socialization is important
Moira (Bodhi's mother), Mahayana (Hani--Bodhi's daughter) and Bodhi at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan where they encountered and walked among 1000's of people. Dogs must learn to relax and calmly follow their owners in the midst of chaos. 

The Noir factor: Moira (of Mondoucu GSD's), Hani and Bodhi Sept. 2013

Quality, AKC-registered, purebred German Shepherd Dogs, carefully bred for temperament, beauty, strength, intelligence, compliance and drive.



 Please direct any questions on future litters (IE: join our waiting list) or any puppy inquiries to CraneHill via the "Contact us" link. 

Mating pair of Sandhill Cranes
Our frequent back yard visitors and the reason we chose the name "CraneHill" for our kennel.