Once Upon a Time...
Without knowing it at the time, Bonnie Brier was established when, as a youngster, I decided I wanted a dog of my own. I went to the library and
read numerous books on all the breeds. I attended a dog show in February of 1964. Upon setting eyes on the Westie, fell hopelessly in love. I talked to
breeders and was put in contact with the now retired Briarwood Kennels (Scituate, Rhode Island), owned then by Bettina King and Barbara Langdon. Both dedicated, wonderful ladies became my special Mentors over the years. They allowed me to purchase my first Westie, and at age 15, I came to own Ch. Briarwood Bonnet. "Bonnie", then 11 months old, was destined to become my closest companion, first champion, foundation bitch and eventually top producing dam with three champions of her own. In 1979, when Bonnie was only 16, my best friend died. The fact that "Bonnie" changed my whole life keeps her always alive in my heart. Little did I know back then, that God was orchestrating my life. I credit Ms. King and Ms. Langdon for my start in raising and showing Westies, and for the basis of my education, ethics and values I hold and pass on to others today. I am proud of my beginning and my roots in the world of dogs. Today, I look back and thank the Lord for the blessings He brought into my life.
In 1996, I made a giant leap to begin raising my Westies the natural rearing way. Another blessing to come out of the tragedy of losing my precious Summer. Bonnie Brier Westies will always be my labor of love hobby, raising today, by natural rearing methods, on rare occasions two, but usually one litter a year and dedicated to producing healthier West Highland White Terriers with sound temperaments and the qualities for conformation showing and obedience work. They are all loving companions first and foremost. My breeding foundation was based on the "Simon" and "Dextor" bloodlines in the 60's. The prefix Bonnie Brier comes from a combination of my first Westie "Bonnie", and brier, from her kennel prefix Briarwood, with a slight change in the spelling. After being established in 1964 with the purchase of "Bonnie", the years that followed brought me many wonderful experiences and new friendships with people who share the same mutual love for these little white terriers. I also count among my mentors Katherine Hayward, Triskett Vogelius, Patty Storey, Ruth Birmingham, Barbara Keenan, Julie Hunt, Roberta Campbell, Nancy Boston and Mary Dennis,
"Bonnie" was sired by Ch. Roselle Music Man, out of Ch. Huntinghouse Heather. Both her parents go back to the breed's early great, Am. Can. Eng. Ch. Cruben Dextor. "Bonnie" produced Bonnie Brier Molly, CD and was then bred to Am. Mex. Can. Ch. Royal Tartan Glen O'Red Lodge, a son of another of the breed's most influential sires, Eng. Am. Can. Ch. Elfinbrook Simon. This combination produced two champions, Ch. Bonnie Brier Bilbo Baggins' and Ch. Bonnie Brier She's Groovin'. Both loved to show. "Dulcey", went on to become one of the few top producing dams in America with 6 champion offspring to her credit.
Selectively bred to top producing sires,
Ch. Triskett's Topsail and
Ch. Briarwood Blockbuster,
Ch. Bonnie Brier Oliver Twofoote,
CD Ch. Bonnie Brier Heathertoes
(multiple Best of Breed winner and Top Producing Dam of 5 Champions)
Ch. Bonnie Brier Daisy Clover
Ch. Bonnie Brier Lionel Twofoote (Best of Breed/Group winner)
Ch. Bonnie Brier Barbet
Ch. Bonnie Brier Farin Featherly
The second generation of quality producing dams had become a reality.
Ch. Bonnie Brier Heathertoes, or "Luci" as I lovingly called her, was so special. Luci passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 1981, but she was another great joy in my life and left a continuing legacy of quality producing dams to help fill the never ending void of her loss. Bred to top sire and Best in Show winner, Am. Mex. Can. Ch. Merryhart Honest John, a litter of
4 champions resulted:
Ch. Bonnie Brier O. B. Wan Kanobi
(Best of Breed winner/finished at 15 months of age from Bred-By class (owner/handled) with a 5 point major)
Ch. Bonnie Brier Popsicle Toes (1977 WHWTCA Specialty Sweepstakes winner)
Ch. Bonnie Brier Stagedoor Jonny (Best of Breed winner)
Ch. Bonnie Brier Cracker Jack
Ch. Bonnie Brier Outa Whack,
Luci's 5th champion offspring, was sired by the Best in Show winner,
Am. Can. Mex. Ch. Merryhart Paddy Whack. Her 5 champions entitled "Luci", as it did for her mother "Dulcey", the title "Top Producing Dam" . . . and the legacy continued.
Ch. Bonnie Brier Popsicle Toes, called "Feather", was to continue the legacy. Bred to F.C.I. Am. Mex. Can. Ber. Ch. Skaket's Candy Man, UDT, GC, TT, CGC, a multiple Best in Show and Specialty and Group winner, her daughter Bonnie Brier Summertoes was to carry the banner. Unforeseen health problems ended both "Summer" and "Feather's" show careers and motherhood plans. Many years were to pass while the Westies and I moved from Connecticut to California and I put my breeding and showing on hold.
In 1987, "Sierra", Ch. Dawn's Shadow Dancin', came to live with me. "Sierra" was to be my return back to showing and breeding after so many absent years. After finishing her championship, she was bred to Multiple Best in Show winner, Ch. Holyrood's Hootman O'Shelybay, and produced 7 puppies in her first litter.
"Emma", Ch. Bonnie Brier Cattle Kate and "Jimmy", Ch. Bonnie Brier James Butler, CD TD, went on to finish their conformation championships and Jimmy his obedience title. Sierra was also bred to another champion male and of her three offspring, her daughter "Katie", Ch. Dawn's Kit N' Kaboodle, (she unfortunately was not able to carry the Bonnie Brier prefix as she was a return puppy to the breeder of Sierra) is a conformation, obedience and earthdog champion and Sierra's son "Alex", Bonnie Brier Sec Time Around, CD CGC TD has done very well in obedience. "Hannah", Holyrood's Remember Me, is a daughter of my "Jimmy" and has produced champion children and grandchildren. Although a show career was not what Hannah wanted, Hannah's quality proved itself in the mommie department. She was bred to the Best in Show Westie, Ch. Donnybrook George. From a first litter of two girls and a boy, her daughter "Reba", Ch. Bonnie Brier Sittin' Pretty became my 19th conformation champion with 6 Best of Breed wins, a Group 1st and a Group 2nd. Her record was awesome in a limited campaign! In 1998, Reba was bred back to her grandfather Ch. Bonnie Brier James Butler, CD and produced a lovely litter of three including Ch. Bonnie Brier Dealer's Choice, "Vestry", and his brother "Roy", Ch. Bonnie Brier King O' Cowboys, who finished at the New York Specialty with a 5-point major. Then, Hannah's litter, sired by the Best in Show and a top winning Westie in the country, Ch. Sweetsong's King 'O' Rock N Roll, produced two puppies, "Shania", Ch. Bonnie Brier Lil' Bit Country (co-guardians are the Janis family) and "Garth", Bonnie Brier Lil' Bit RocNRoll (co-guardians are Mark and Sharon Fromson). Shania finished her championship is less than 4 months of limited showing. Garth has three points towards his championship. We hope to see him finished because of his overall excellent qualities. In 2003, Shania was bred to Ch. Bonnie Brier Dealer's Choice and produced two girls. Sadie, Bonnie Brier Boot Scootin' Sadie will start her show career in 2005. In 2005, Bonnie Brier I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Dillon, (co-guardian Sue Daley and starting his show career in 2005) was bred to Ch. Bonnie Brier Lil'Bit Country and 5 puppies resulted. These are the new generations of Westies to hopefully make a "healthy" difference in future generations of Bonnie Brier puppies to come.
The new naturally reared generations will be updated to this article in the near future.
I am naturally and humbly proud of all my kids' accomplishments and of the titles, trophies and awards they have won over the many years. However, I am most appreciative of the reputation Bonnie Brier has earned since 1964 and more recently, with my naturally reared puppies. I am always conscientious of our breed standard and am forthright about our breed problems today, which I believe can eventually be eliminated through natural rearing! I am now committed to the "natural rearing ways" which, I feel, will result in the Westies having healthier immune and digestive systems which equals to a long life of good health and well being.
In the years ahead, in generations down the road, breed problems and the poor health that is so "common" in today's Westies must become a thing of the past. It has always been my dream to breed the ever-elusive "perfect" show Westie and that is a wonderful goal. However, today, more than ever, it is important to breed Westies that start out, and continue to have the opportunities to live well to their 18th + year, disease and illness free. A more important priority and goal for you and me.
Many Bonnie Brier puppies have found their way into loving and special homes. Some families have children while others do not. I watch my puppies as they grow and also temperament test all my puppies so that I am sure that the right puppy fits into the right home.
A lot of dedicated work and love go into the natural rearing stages of each Westie and their well-being and future are very important to me. I am very select, therefore, when placing my babies. I seek out families who are open-minded about health and nutrition for themselves as well as their pets. I seek out families that will come to honestly believe in the NR philosophies and will commit to them in order to give their Westie the best loving home and life of good health possible.
Only those families will be "adopted" into the Bonnie Brier family.