Our Story

Like many of the best adventures, our story with Swissies began unexpectedly.  April volunteered with a service dog group, and raised a Swissy pup for them.

We were smitten.

When You Least Expect It …

Through the service dog group, April met Deanna Never of Swiss Run Swissys, and in 2015, one of Deanna’s puppies came to stay with us. “For a few months” turned into “forever,” and Deanna and April became co-owners of Swiss Run’s Fiddlehead “Fern.”

April and Fern started showing in conformation, and in a few months, Fern finished her championship, and then went on to finish her Grand Championship. By the end of 2016, Fern was the #3 Swissy in the National Owner-Handled Series.

Our story continued as more Swissies joined our family!

 

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them …”
thorn jones

And Then There Were Two Three

In early 2016, we welcomed Medley into our home. She brought us full circle: her sire, Merlin, and dam, Tango, were two of the first Swissies we met.

We added a second Merlin daughter in 2016 when pretty Kette joined our family. These girls were our starting point in the breed. Fern and Medley each produced some lovely puppies, and are now retired, along with Kette. 

The next chapter of our story is just beginning! Medley’s son, Tallis, and Flynn, our beautiful girl from Blue Hill Swissys, produced a litter of 11 puppies in March. Fern’s daughter, Emilia, produced two stunning girls with  Dezzy (Dahlgren Swissies) in February.

 

Just the facts ….

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Who We Are

We’re April and Tom Bender, and we live in central Massachusetts. Tom recently retired from Schott North America, where he was most recently Director of Project Management.  April taught our three children at home, and now that they are all grown, her focus is on the kennel. Before moving to Massachusetts, April also owned a piano and voice studio in New York, and worked as a producing director/music director/costume designer in regional, community, and school theater.

 

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Our Mentors

We are fortunate that Deanna Never of Swiss Run Swissys placed some of her wonderful dogs with us, and helped us get started in showing them. She is also our breed mentor, and we are grateful for the knowledge and expertise she has shared. 

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Our Affiliations

We are members in good standing with the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, the Patriot Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club, and the Swissy Club of New England.

 

A Little More About Our Life With Dogs

Neither of us grew up in the world of purebred dogs. However, we did grow up in families that included dogs (especially April’s family). We have always owned dogs and treasured them as companions. 

Tom’s family lived in a small city and had what he describes as a little black scruffy dog. April grew up in the farm country of New York’s Finger Lakes region, and her family had a lab mix and a couple of smaller mixed-breed dogs. In college and graduate school,  April owned several shelter dogs and also purchased her first purebred dog–a Miniature Schnauzer named Heidi.

When April met Tom in the mid-90s, she still had Heidi, and after they were married they adopted a second Mini. Katie was an abandoned puppy mill mama that April found in a shelter. Her last years were spent in a happy home, loved by our family. We owned several other terriers, but it wasn’t until we met Swissies that we made big dogs part of our lives. 

As We Move Forward

We have been living with Swissies for nearly ten years, and are grateful for the support of the Swissy community. If there is something we don’t know, or with which we need help, we have a network of experienced Swissy owners and breeders who will help us. Also, we continue to educate ourselves about training, behavior, health, and good practices in breeding. 

We would love to meet you and answer your questions about us, our dogs, and our breeding program. Please feel free to contact us!

Tom and April