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Ruth Sampson | Silveroak American Eskimo Dogs

Ruth Sampson

Interview with Ruth Sampson, Breeder of Silveroak American Eskimo Dogs

Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Ruth Sampson: For nearly 40 years, I’ve been a breeder and co-founder of Silveroak’s American Eskimo Dog Kennel.

What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Ruth Sampson: Some history about Silveroaks and me: I never had a dog growing up and, in fact, getting an Eskie was not planned. My husband and I moved to California—we knew no one. One Saturday, we wandered into a pet store while waiting for a movie to start. Long story shortened… ultimately, we went home with a little ball of white fur we named “Snow.” And to keep him from being lonely, we later got a little Eskie girl named “Stormy.” Outside of our jobs, the Eskies became the center of our lives. Sadly, Snow died of kidney failure at age two. I’ll always remember what happened later that afternoon… at a nearby park, Stormy, for the first time in her life, lifted one hind leg and peed on a stone monument, seemingly taking on Snow’s role. After that, we got “Winter,” a 10-month-old Sierra male. Diana Allen required us to show and finish his championship. Ultimately, Stormy and Winter had two litters. In 1995, my husband died suddenly. During my efforts to cope, our Eskies became my biggest consolation. Eskie friends encouraged me to become more active, especially since AKC recognized Eskies. I acquired Juneau’s mother, CH Sierra Silver Impulse (Imp), from Diana Allen. Juneau was sired by CH Smoky Mtn Slvr Shooting Star (Shooter) from my friends Mike and Candy Chamberlain. I was fortunate to meet Randy Benns, who showed Imp, Juneau, Primo—all my dogs. For many years, Randy and Lisa Haney have handled my dogs and are integral to all matters Silveroaks. In 2005, I acquired an acreage for my kennel, near them. I’m also very proud that Silveroaks Eskies are owned and exhibited by other Eskie lovers. And recently, two Silveroaks Eskies became the foundation stock for Silver Hearts Kennel, started by Cathy Hammer and Peter Ozdzynskl.

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Ruth Sampson: “Juneau” was shown in the early 2000s when Eskies were still new to AKC. I’d like to think of him as a worthy competitor who created enthusiasm for Eskies. Juneau was the first American Eskimo Dog to win more than one All-Breed Best in Show (BIS)! He had 12 BISs by the end of his career. What’s more, Juneau had three consecutive Best in National Specialty Show wins, four years as No. 1 ranked Eskie, and three years in the AKC Top 10 Non-Sporting Group ranking. His highest ranking was No. 6 AKC Non-Sporting Dog in 2005. Juneau’s record-setting was surpassed only by his son, Silveroak’s First And Foremost (Primo). Primo’s record of 18 BISs still stands today. One last brag: Silveroak’s Oh No She Didn’t (NoNo) holds the record for the most BISs for an Eskie bitch.

What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Ruth Sampson: Best-kept secret: Eskies are beautiful, lively, and intelligent. Merely walking an Eskie is likely to attract attention. Also, Eskies can do just about anything. They excel at performance events, Conformation, Therapy and Service Dog roles, and are exceptional family pets.

What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole today and how can these be addressed?

Ruth Sampson: Like other breeders, I recognize the future of Eskies depends on attracting more and younger people who are committed to our beloved Eskie breed’s future.