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Who We Are:

We’re a hobby kennel in NE Illinois with a passion for creating powerful connections between owners and their shelties. Breeding 1-2 litters a year, we strive for dogs who are healthy, sound, intelligent, and ready to thrive in their future homes no matter if their future job is to be a champion show dog, performance star, or bring more love into their family.  

From the beginning, the MacDonald Family (Mark, Maril, and their daughter Morgan Manion) have become increasingly closer over the shared mission of Somerled Shelties, and each member of the family plays an integral role in helping maintain the vision, socialize dogs, and help nurture and honor the dogs under our care.  

Our History:

We acquired our first sheltie in 2003, as a dog for Morgan to show in Junior Showmanship, a competition where kids are judged on how well they handle their dogs in the show ring. Through Morgan’s extensive research on shelties, over and over we found ourselves drawn to photos of top winning dog CH Zion’s Man About Town. While we sat together watching Westminster in 2003, we all had an emotional reaction to CH Raisin’s Jameson – “Erin”— in the herding group, showing with his owner John Burgess. Morgan declared “I want a sheltie just like that one”. Few weeks later at the International Kennel Club dog show in Chicago, Morgan had tears of joy filled her eyes when she opened up the catalog to see that dog was here with handler/breeder/co-owner Linda Guihen of Raisin Shelties, and to see he was a son of the infamous CH Zion’s Man About Town. Meeting Linda and “Erin” was a turning point in all of our lives. As fate would have it, Linda had a litter of “Erin” puppies due the following week. After several weeks of putting us to the test to make sure we were committed, we got the call in May we could come pick between two show puppies she had available.  The connection was instant. 

 “Flash” received his call name as we were leaving Linda’s during a terrible storm, and a spectacular display of lightning bolts flashed across the sky. At 12 years old, we were all in love with this sweet goofy puppy, but Morgan was infatuated, so his show name became “Raisin’s Jr High Crush”.

From then on, Linda Guihen took us under her wings. Morgan spent two summers traveling across the country with Linda during CH Summerlove’s Zak Attack’s campaign as #1 Sheltie. Linda’s number one rule was the dogs came first, and built our muscles strong on the importance of focusing first on the care, condition, and happiness of the dogs, then on showing goals.

Flash quickly finished his championship as a puppy under Morgan’s guidance, and covering 100,000 miles and 43 states, Flash went on to support Morgan in being the #1 sheltie junior for 4 years, and then the teams switched rings to focus on campaigning Flash to become a top 25 sheltie in 2006, a top 5 sheltie in 2007, and the #2 sheltie in 2008, and win Award of Merit at the American Shetland Sheepdog National at the age of 12.

During this time, Morgan also worked under well-known terrier handlers Scott Kipp and Susan DePew, who like Linda, had extremely high expectations for the level of care, conditioning, and performance of their dogs and the people who supported them. Getting the change to work with many other breeds, including leasing an Airedale Terrier for Morgan to show in Junior Showmanship for a few years, not only gave us exposure to a whole new set of lessons and learnings to take back to the shelties, but also reaffirmed how special of a breed shelties are.   

Since acquiring Flash, we obtained championships on 9 dogs we owned. We had our first litter in 2012, which produced CH Somerled’s Debutante, who was 2nd place in a stunning bred-by exhibitor class at the American Shetland Sheepdog Association National. We have bred 2 other champions, one grand-champion, and have several others who are close to obtaining their championship title.

Heartbreakingly, we lost Flash in the Spring of 2019 at the age of 16 (you can read his full tribute here). He set the bar high for us in knowing, and his legacy lives on - both in his genes, but even stronger in the vision we have for other people to have the love with their dogs we had with ours. 

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