About Us and Our Mission
My goals and reasons for creating Peace Pups Dogsledding
I am a local Vermont resident who grew up on a 100 head dairy farm in North Ferrisburg before moving to the mountains of Central Vermont where I have lived since 1978. I live in Elmore Vermont with my wife, and a "several" Siberian Huskies. We adopted our first Siberian husky named Jake from a local shelter in 2001. We blame our dramatic change in lifestyle on him. With the trend being toward Alaskan Huskies and hounds for racing we have decided to stick with Siberians because we love their personalities, their love of running and even their sometimes stubborn dispositions.
I believe small is beautiful, and am committed to keeping my business small. At times it is tempting to grow in order to accommodate more guests each season but I have seen other businesses go this route and have seen the problems that arise. I take pride in the fact that I am involved in all aspects of my business from scooping poop to answering the phone to driving the sleds. I feel that this allows me to provide a high level of care for my customers and my dogs. It also means that if we have a slow period or a bad winter I will still be able to provide for dogs that I have. Having too many dogs and no work can create a situation where the dogs have to be given away or placed due to the expense. In these days of mergers and huge business models I believe small and personal is the way to go even though it may mean turning away customers at times.
My focus is not on racing what I really enjoy is just being out in the woods with my canine family and exposing people to the exciting world of dog powered sports. I have been a professional woodworker for more than thirty years and worked for one of the largest custom furniture companies in New England for eighteen years. My goal in 2004 was to move toward a more outdoor oriented lifestyle and gradually move away from furniture building. I'm happy to say that I have been successful in doing that and now my entire life revolves around my dogs. I do still enjoy working on and building dog sleds and much of my own dogsledding equipment but I do not do much "woodworking" these days. More time in the fresh air, more time with the dogs!
It's all about the dogs here at Peace Pups. The reality is that no one would trek all the way to Vermont from half way around the world just to see me; but they do to meet our dogs. There is no doubt that there is a special connection between the dogs and the people who come to visit them and it brings me great pleasure to be a part of that. At Peace Pups we have made a conscious decision not to breed dogs. Although we had a litter in 2004 and 2013 and love them all dearly we have found that there are already plenty of dogs out there who could benefit from coming to live with us. We strive to provide the best care possible for our dogs. This means providing a safe loving environment where each dog can blossom and reach their full potential as well as providing the best possible food, shelter and veterinary care. We are proud members of Mush With Pride; a organization that seeks to improve dog care by providing information on all aspects of sled dog care. Since we adopt sled dogs from many different kennels and lines It's often hard to predict how a new dog will get along with the dogs currently living here. If things do not work out I take accept full responsibility for finding that dog a appropriate home where it will hopefully spend the rest of it's life. It can take a lot of time and effort to find the right match for a given dog but it is worth it to me to know that the dog will continue to receive the best care possible. Any dog we place is welcome back at any point in time if things do not work out with the new home. I do not want any dog which has been with us to end up in a shelter or in a situation where it is not receiving the best care possible. We try to stay in contact with every owner and often receive pictures or even visits from the dogs we have placed. I come to think of the dogs new families as part of our extended Peace Pups family.
One of the biggest benefits of what we do is that it allows us to teach each and every visitor about compassion and caring for animals. Taking guests out with the dogs gives them the rare privilege of seeing a dog team doing what they love to do; run. Inviting people to visit our home allows us to show the high level of care our dogs receive, what loving animals they are and how happy they are. I enjoy being able dispel misconceptions people sometimes have in regard to sled dogs or "working" dogs. I've had dog trainers tell me they felt that Huskies were one of the worst dogs to try and train due to their lack of focus. I've had people who thought that Siberians were vicious and dangerous dogs. I've had people who thought there was a radical difference between "working dogs" and "pets" and I've had people ask "isn't it mean to make them run?". These misconceptions couldn't be further from the truth and a hour or two with the dogs makes that evident. This is the easiest part of my job because the dogs speak for themselves!
My Mission at Peace Pups Dogsledding is to stay a small sustainable business. My goal is to donate ten percent of my profits to non profit organizations working to promote world peace while at the same time providing the best possible care for my dogs. I feel this is a way that I can act locally and have a positive global impact. I strive to spread the joy of working with dogs to a broad audience and promote dog sledding in Vermont as well as encourage people to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our state.