The Malibu Library turned into an Alaskan wonderland excursion as children and their families were treated to an interactive dog sled show, Mushing for Gold, last Thursday afternoon. The Friends of the Malibu Library organization sponsored the event.

Robert Stradley, founder of Adventure Quest Institute, demonstrated how to sled, pan for gold, harness a dog and more. Hidden in Stradley’s humorous tales were life lessons, weaved within the stories that captured the interest of even the youngest audience member. With each lesson learned, a “gold nugget” would be added to the children’s miners bags to be used when needed in the “sled dog race of life” that we’re all on.

Malibu Children’s Librarian Lauren Katz’s intent is to bring unique and educational events to the library.

“This year, I wanted to start booking performers and programs that may have never been seen at the Malibu Library,” Katz explained. “I also know that any children’s program that involves animals will be a huge draw for both children and adults. I chose Robert Stradley from the Adventure Quest Institute because I thought his program and format was unique, and bringing two adorable sled dogs was a big plus.”

Stradley’s sled dog Sugar was introduced to the group and immediately nestled into his lap. Squeals of laughter were heard as Stradley showed the children how to harness Sugar, who seemed more interested in cuddling than sitting still.

The second husky that Stradley introduced was Tri Top. With only three legs, Tri Top was still able to join the sledding team, which Stradley used as a lesson on overcoming physical challenges.

Stradley’s hope is “to educate, to inspire and to motivate” children as well as adults during his dog sled adventure program. Children were quick to volunteer to be sled dogs, squirrels and miners during Stradley’s show.

“I loved seeing the children fully engaged and absorbing Robert’s ‘golden nuggets’ of wisdom and life advice on being a kind and good human being,” Katz said.

 For information about upcoming events at the library, visit

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