My husband and I lost our boy Major, in June of 2018. He was – as is typical of Bernese Mountain Dogs – very special and irreplaceable. We picked up the pieces of our broken hearts though, and started looking for a breeder and a new puppy to ﬁll the huge void in our lives that Major left.
On recommendation from friends in the Seattle area, we found Shelly Leary and Swiss Silhouette Kennels. I ﬁrst went to the SSK website and was so impressed – I knew right away that Shelly was a special person. Anyone who takes the time and effort to tell her story, giving you insight as to the kind of person she is and how she approaches breeding, then meticulously showcasing each dog and experience, well, it tells you A LOT about the experience you will have when looking for your next very special dog.
We visited Swiss Silhouette in August of 2018. There was a litter of puppies we were invited to look at (all spoken for already), and we also met Shellyʼs adult dogs. We fell in love with a young male named Milo and were pleasantly surprised that he would be bred soon. We paid our deposit and the wait began.
Puppies arrived at Thanksgiving – the Thanksgiving Blessings litter. Just like on her website, Shelly takes the time to send out detailed weekly updates on the puppies. The love, care and pride Shelly has for each pup reaches out to you – but mostly her love and delight in each development. We had never had a breeder “choose” a puppy for us, but we trusted Shellyʼs ability to know what match was best.
“Pilgrim” became ours on Jan. 20, 2019 – and he was exactly what weʼd asked for! Now ”Hudson”, he is maturing into a gorgeous dog, and heʼs goofy and happy and affectionate, a character who brings joy to our lives every day. That is our puppy experience with Shelly and Swiss Silhouette.
Now for our rehoming experience: one of Shellyʼs dogs needed to ﬁnd a new home. Iʼd been talking to Shelly about how to adopt an adult, and then London became available as his owner had been injured and could not care for him. During that time heʼd been placed in a kennel but he did not thrive there.
As all great breeders, Shelly is committed to every dog she breeds for life. She picked London up and took him home with her. Heʼd been very stressed at that kennel and was extremely underweight. After many weeks of working to get his weight back on and letting London know he was loved and would be cared for, Shelly and I spoke about adding him to our family.
We put Hudson in the car and drove over to see how the dogs got along. London has been with us for 2 months now, and we love him so much! Heʼs a great companion to Hudson, and having two Berners is better than having one!
We cannot give a higher recommendation than to Shelly and Swiss Silhouette Kennel. You will not ﬁnd a more thorough, knowledgeable, loving, or caring breeder. Shelly demonstrates her own “continuing education” as a breeder who is committed to improving the breed.
Her dogs are highly successful in the show ring in breed shows, carting, nose-work and obedience, and those same dogs make outstanding family pets. These are gorgeous dogs, bred to the breed standard, who come to you very well socialized because they are raised with and handled by Shellyʼs family and grandchildren.
We are so grateful we found Shelly Leary and Swiss Silhouette!
– Bret & Rosemary