Cailie was 8 weeks old when Positive Energy Outdoors adopted her. Would she have what it takes to become a sled dog?
Puppy Cailie spent her first year socializing. Children from youth agencies snuggled with her. She ran loose when the adult teams were hooked up to the ATV for fall training runs. She greeted dozens of guests arriving for dog sled tours and sleigh rides. She ate lots of nutritious food.
At 9 months old, Cailie got her first taste of being in harness. She pulled for short distances with a small team on a sled. Good girl, Cailie! By the fall, she was ready for her first training runs with the big team of 16. Would she have what it takes to become a sled dog?
Cailie learned to pull consistently. She learned sled dog commands: gee (turn right) and haw (turn left). She learned to lead the team even when there was no trail on the lake to follow, deep snow or glare ice. And if another lead dog didn’t listen, Cailie barked encouragement and helped them learn what she knew.
At four years old, Cailie became an amazing sled dog.
Positive Energy Outdoors has provided homes for many dogs like Cailie. They spend her retirement in the same way they spent their puppy days. Children snuggle them, they run loose and play. They greet hundreds of dog sledding and sleigh ride guests, day campers and children on school field trips. Many curl up at night on a cozy dog bed in the house. Positive Energy Outdoors is a forever home. And the forever home for 55 Alaskan husky teammates.
Dog sledding season is fleeting. In a good year, we layer wool socks and mukluks, mittens and parkas for four months of travel on sled runners. We take in every bit of sunshine from dawn to dusk seven days a week.
To get ready for this winter marathon, Positive Energy Outdoors begins training the dogs in September. As soon as the nighttime temperatures cool in late August, the dogs bark and howl to get pulling again.
It’s hard to sleep on the first cool night of late summer. The dogs know what is coming. We are all ready. We wait for it all year.
Dog sledding season in 2022 ended successfully and we wrapped up a fun, educational, and active Adventure Club nature-based childcare at Lowell Elementary School. We did offer a small group of 10 students after school Adventure Club field trips 3 days per week, getting out to our site and town parks. This fall we added an additional day to Adventure Club! We also enjoyed a successful 2022 Summer Day Camp season with 147 campers attending during the summer. Portable climbing wall events resumed slowly. Our adult and family programming that generates 90% of Positive Energy Outdoors’ revenue has continued. Local grants are more competitive and our youth outreach programs and scholarships fund needs additional donations. We would like to serve more deserving youth organizations and provide more scholarships in 2023.
The care of sled dogs and draft horses is a lifelong commitment. At Positive Energy Outdoors, our animals have forever homes. They pull and do what they love. They retire with their team and the people who adore them. While the cost of dog and horse food is highest we have seen, we will continue to provide that care no matter what happens in the world around us.
Donors like you care about animals and outdoor experiences for children. You know that Positive Energy Outdoors provides transformative experiences in nature for local families and visitors to our region.
Positive Energy Outdoors is resilient. Your support helps us to continue uninterrupted despite the unknowns. Thousands more children, families and groups will experience the joy of dog sledding with a lead dog like Cailie. Children will grin as they drive Hank and Henry, our new draft horse team. More families will have access to transportation and scholarships for our programs. We'll be able to expand partnerships with schools and youth agencies. Our Fredenberg Lake site will be used for programming in new and exciting ways.
Your support helps make all of this possible.
Thank you for donating to Positive Energy Outdoors.