Who is Bonnie Brier?
Actually, Bonnie Brier is the prefix for my AKC registered Westies. My name is Christine Swingle and God has blessed me to love Westies for 51 years! I am currently in Wyoming with 5 naturally reared Westies: Vestry, the elder and 1st NR generation, and who turned 17 June 6, 2015, Praise God, went over The Rainbow Bridge. He is missed dearly. So the family consists of Sadie, Tommy, Pistol, Judi, JJ. JJ is 4th generation NR.
Without knowing it at the time, Bonnie Brier was established when, as a youngster, I decided I wanted a dog of my own. Little did I know that my life would take on a whole new meaning. 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, I was hooked. I talked to breeders and was put in contact with Bettina King and Barbara Langdon of Briarwood Westies located in Scituate, Rhode Island at the time. Both ladies became my second mothers and mentored me those early years. They allowed 11 month old Bonnie, later to become Ch. Briarwood Bonnet, to come live with me and at the age of 15, I welcomed the most precious thing into my life. Bonnie became the foundation for Bonnie Brier Westies. In 1979, when Bonnie was 16, my best friend traveled on. The fact that Bonnie saved and changed my whole life keeps her always alive in my heart. I didn't realize, until much later in my life, that God was orchestrating everything. My eyes were blind, but now I see. 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 that I hold and pass on to others. I am proud of my beginning and my roots in the world of Westies.
Bonnie Brier was born based on the “Simon” and “Dextor” bloodlines; the two most influential studs of that era. Among the many friendships of exceptional mentors included: Katherine Hayward, Pricilla Barley, Nancy Boston, Roberta Campbell, Patty Storey, Ruth Birmingham, Triskett Vogelius, Patricia Burke, Eleanor Anderson, Judy Hunt, Jeanne and Tex Fawcett, Gloria Roselle and Barbara Nisbit. One very special friend of almost 30 years was Ruth Faherty, author of Westies From Head to Tail.
My natural rearing mentors: the late Juliette de Baircali Levy, "Mother of Natural Rearing", also CJ Puotinen, Jane Fink, Kymythy Schultz and many holistic veterinarians. As far as I am aware, Jane and I are the only 100% NR Westie breeders in the country. If there are others, I'd love to hear from you. It leaves me baffled that Westie breeders are not "coming out of the dog crate" to happily announce they are 100% natural rearing. You can't just feed raw and then pump harmful vaccines into puppies. You can't just stop using flea/tick pesticides while you use toxic products to clean your house or spray your lawn with Roundup. (glyphosate is a known carcinogen) I won't even mention all those toxic products being used on "show dogs" these days. It isn't about us, folks, its about the health of our companions, but I digress.
I was a vet-tech for almost 19 years so becoming a NR breeder was not taken lightly. I am a Natural Rearing Breeder Association member. I have judged many Westie specialty clubs’ sweepstakes throughout the country, including roving specialties and Futurity/Maturity of the WHWTCA. I was on the original committee which created the official Clarification of the Standard for the WHWTCA. I am one of the founders of The West Highland White Terrier Club of New England, The West Highland White Terrier Club of San Diego (now dissolved) and The West Highland White Terrier Society of CT. I was also a member of the Farmington Valley Kennel Club (all-breed club). I’m a life-time member of the West Highland White Terrier Club of America (51 years), former member of the Health Committee, a member of the Owner/Handler Association of America (43 years, I believe). I have held every officer position; have been on the Board of Directors for numerous dog clubs, both specialty and all-breed.
My most prized credentials, however, are my Westies. Following our Creators lead, knowing all that I do for them to live long, disease free and healthy lives is the most important job I have been given.
Bonnie Brier Lil' Bit RockNRoll, Christine and
Ch. Bonnie Brier Lil'Bit Country
Garth and Shania are littermates