ArticCross Samoyeds and Bernese Mountain Dogs is run by Julie Dunkle, her fiance` Jason Rydstrand and her daughter Drea.  We are a small kennel with a dual base having Julie and Jason outside of beautiful Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Drea just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Being a family operated kennel we have strong values. First and foremost, we believe that our dogs are pets that should live in our household as part of our family. We also believe that bonding and training are essential to a healthy and happy relationship between dogs and their owners. Over the years we have had different experiences with the same dogs which makes our views on companionship and dog ownership both dynamic and extensive.

Julie Dunkle

My first Samoyed was a beloved family pet I was given in 1971 at the age of 7 years, bred by my stepmother’s grandparents.  Sams are part of my heart and I’ve been involved in showing, training, consultation and breeding since 1989.  My daughter Andrea and I have shown quite a few dogs to their Championships as well as earning titles in Obedience and Agility. In 2002 I trained a Samoyed to work for me as a Service Dog, but it soon became apparent I needed a breed that was a bit less active and bigger.  I started looking at Bernese Mountain Dogs for their size and general tractability (tractable is NOT a word you’d use for a Sam, clever and smart are!!).  After working with a lovely, bright dog named Koz, (bred by Amy Tucker) I was hooked on the notion of a truly working Bernese.   A few months later one of the loves of my life was given to me.  Ch. Slvlte’s Sweet Deal V.Drmlne,  as a naughty puppy was named “Pandora”,  she grew into a superb working Mobility Assistance Service Dog and earned the name “Miss Dora”.  Born in 2003, she is now past the average Age of Death (AOD ) of a Bernese and is still going strong.  Longevity and health are crucial components for me.  But always I have to have a Samoyed and my back up working dog is Ch. Hawkwind’s ArticCross Emerald, Rico, who is bar none the sweetest male Sam I’ve ever met.

Drea Dunkle

My first memory of Samoyeds was with Millcreek’s Sweet Sabreena, our first foundation bitch. I remember playing dog show when I could barely walk in the hallway of the house. Sabreena was my best buddy and as a toddler I would hide behind her in her crate when I was in trouble. As a baby she had helped me learn how to walk by allowing me to hold on to her while I was tottering around. She helped me take my first steps and from then on I was hooked. To me, dogs have always been companions and throughout time they have grown into much more. When I turned seven I was finally allowed to start training in conformation classes so that I could show Sabreena in a real show. My first show was at the age of seven and a half. By the time I was nine I began handling dogs for my mom’s friends. By the time I was 10 and finally allowed to compete in junior showmanship I was handling multiple breeds to their championship. Around that time I got my first real Samoyed, Ch. Hawkwind’s Full Magenta Moon, OA, OAJ, CD, TDI. She was my heart and soul. I won multiple Grand Championships with her in 4-H, multiple Best Junior Handler awards in AKC and we dominated in agility and obedience ranking in the top 5 Samoyeds nation-wide. I miss her every day. When I went off to college I had to give up my ability to compete in the dog world. Education is simply more important. I went four years without a dog in my home and it simply felt empty. I continued to handle dogs for close friends but I didn’t have anything to call my own.  In 2008 I suffered a head injury and was in need of a service dog. Because I suffered no external damage and have no obvious disability no one knew my internal struggle. I would often find myself disoriented, in severe pain in a public place and debilitated to the point I couldn’t walk. Again, a dog taught me how to walk. This time is was a Berner. ArticCross New Year’s Resolution, or The Lou, taught me that I didn’t need to be afraid and to just go out and move forward, one step at a time. And today, the dogs and I are still moving forward as a team, one step at a time.

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