Well Ozzy was a newspaper dog, Sandi came from a farm in Woolwich, the last name was Martin
We did buy our Saint Bernard from a German Shepherd Breeder. A. Glen Saxon in Ancaster, they were the dog catchers, run grooming and boarding and have a part of their facility devoted to strays etc., who need homes. We saw the ad for Dolly, contacted Charmaine and Rick, Charmaine talked to me for hours on the phone, we went, met Dolly, spent more time with them, it was she who told me get Oz's thyroid checked, she looked at him, said her opinion was labXGSD and he had a thyroid issue - good enough for me, she was right! They were fantastic with follow-up, told us if we needed to return her we could, we kept an open dialogue with them, we even boarded with them once.
If I were looking for a GSD, I wouldn't hesitate to call her or recommend talking to her. At the end of the day, if you are spending over $1,000 on something and you aren't doing your own research, a fool and their money are soon parted. What one person on the internet says is good, isn't always.
Sometimes I think what happens is someone wants "A" dog, but they want "C" dog's price, so they settle on "B" and then don't necessarily convey the whole truth, so people get inflated senses of comfort or recommendation. I remember when my ex and I bought our first plasma tv, they had a hefty price tag back then, anyways, a friend told us, oh no, you order from this company, half the price - yes but they didn't spell Panasonic right
We bought from a reputable store, not on-line from some foreign country, they bought a forgery/knock-off. Now it might be OK for a $50 purse, but when you are talking about lives, animal lives, and the price quality is, you want to make sure you are buying what you want.
The only way to do that is research and recommendations, but if most of the people you know, don't know much about your preferred breed, you might have to listen to internet experts. Except, because you are new, haven't been around to watch long enough, you don't know that these experts have dogs far beyond their scope, they are languishing talented dogs, their vision of the breed is significantly skewed or their idea of doing something with their dog, is getting a $10 pledge for the humane society walk-a-thon. What I am saying, is recommendations is only one very small part of the purchase process and all recommendations should be treated with a grain of salt.