Finding Love in the Great White North – Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours Jereme and Caitlin’s Magically Romantic Love Story
Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours was founded by Connie and Charles Arsenault in 1983. Connie’s father was one of Alberta’s first park rangers. Growing up in parks across the province nurtured Connie’s love and respect for the outdoors. Connie, a true pioneer, wanted to share her passion for dog sledding and the beauty of the Canadian Rockies so she began running dog sled tours. Back then, Canmore was still a sleepy coal mining town.
Today, Snowy Owl is a thriving, family-owned business operated by Connie’s son, Jereme, and his wife, Caitlin. The story of how they met is so much like a “Hallmark” movie we had to share it. Especially since Snowy Owl recently worked on a Hallmark movie!
Valentine’s Day Weekend Getaway
It was February 2016, Valentine’s Day weekend. Caitlin was on a trip to Canmore with a couple of girlfriends: Melanie and Betsy. Betsy’s parents had visited in the 1970s and it remained one of their favourite trips. The girls planned to spend a long weekend of snowboarding and exploring. A dog sled tour was at the top of their list and one of the first things they did when they arrived.
Caitlin, who was born and raised in Michigan, was living in Indianapolis when she visited in 2016. Canadian by birth, Caitlin’s dad is from Toronto, but this was her first time out west. Caitlin has held dual citizenship since she was born. Jereme would later joke that he wouldn’t have given her a chance if she hadn’t had her dual citizenship.
First Time Visiting the Canadian Rockies
Their first time in the Rockies, driving from the airport was a jaw dropping experience for the group of friends. The next day they did Snowy Owl’s two-hour Powder Hound Express tour in a self-driven sled. The owner’s son, Jereme, who operates Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, led the girls’ introduction. Known for being charismatic and well-rehearsed after years in the saddle, Jereme’s talk was hilarious and full of one-liners. When he asked the girls what to do if they saw wildlife, Caitlin joked that they would stop. Not the right answer! Usually, Jereme only gives introduction talks when he’s guiding, but that day was different.
Melanie was up first to drive the sled. It was her jam, her dream. Their guide was Ethan, who is now Caitlin’s brother-in-law. Caitlin and Betsy drove the sled for the second half of the tour. The dynamic duo managed to tip the sled over with Melanie inside! Classic mistake. By the time the girls’ tour had finished, Jereme was on ‘poop’ clean up.
Later that evening, the girls jokingly decided to take a sneaky look at some eligible Albertan bachelors online. “Look, it’s that dog sled guy.” Egged on by her friends, Caitlin ended up messaging Jereme, who, a few days later, invited the group to meet up with him and his friends at a local pub.
“How tall is she?” Jereme asked Betsy. Ever the rebel, she replied, “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” And with that, the ice was officially broken.
Caitlin and Jereme kept in touch and a few months later, in May, Caitlin returned to Canmore for a visit that included a kennel tour and a romantic helicopter flight. Their romance blossomed, with Caitlin returning every two months. After securing a job with a software implementation company in Calgary, Caitlin finally made the move north on Thanksgiving weekend. Caitlin packed all her belongings in a U-Haul, and she and Jereme drove across the country together. After eight months of commuting to Calgary, she quit her career role to work with Snowy Owl.
Finding the Man of Her Dreams
Fast forward to May 2018, when on her 30th birthday, Caitlin went into labour and gave birth to a baby boy who the couple named Atlas. Their son joined Jereme’s two daughters from a previous relationship, Ariel and Alice.
In May 2019, the pair flew to Vegas to elope where they were married by Elvis. Looking back, Caitlin describes her experience as a romantic comedy. Caitlin says she had to pinch herself, “What are the odds of finding the man of my dreams, who happens to be a dog sled musher in the Canadian Rockies?”
Caitlin, now responsible for many aspects of Snowy Owl’s busy business, loves the family legacy the business represents. For Jereme, running the business is a connection to his father who passed away in 2006. He was proud to take the reins from his mother, Connie. With three children to potentially carry on the family legacy, Jereme has never been more grateful to his mother. For Caitlin, it’s a joy for her to see Jereme’s success. She enjoys being part of the business and helping to ensure it’s a success for her husband in his own right.