I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open for good kennels to recommend when folks inquire about dog sled adventure and touring businesses. I like to suggest kennels of mushers I respect, whose put dogs first and run neat, professional places.
My list isn't big - Vern Halter and Susan Whiton's Dream a Dream Dog Farm; Peter McClelland's White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures and Frank Turner's Muktuk Kennels made up the list till a few weeks back when Wonder and I landed on the doorstep of Nature's Kennel run by fellow Iditarod Musher Ed Stielstra and his lovely wife, Tasha.
It was very quickly obvious that this place was one I could easily and happily recommend to others!
Ed and Tasha have a wonderful set up. Their passion for their dogs shines through and they are just super nice folks to boot!
I was actually picked up by at the Green Bay airport by one of their handlers, Sam, who was all decked out in a three piece suit. Very impressive. I don't know that any of my handlers have even owned a suit!!! If so, they certainly have never dressed up for me!
Although it was a fair drive to McMillian, MI, the time passed quickly due to the enjoyable company. (And for the record - Sam didn't ask even one stupid question!!!)
Friday I ran dogs with Ed and his handlers. Ed was very gracious and allowed me to run 2 teams of his main string dogs. What a very nice group. It was an honor to drive them.
Everything about this kennel was well thought out and well laid out.
Tribute wall to sled dogs that have left the kennel (Tasha says it is important to note that most of these dogs have not passed on, but rather just moved on to new homes.) I love this idea and am working on a way to do something similar here!
Some of the beautiful flowers that line the driveway!
One of the 4 sections of the kennel.
A very happy sled dog.
Handler Doug and his favorite sled dog Sup!
Wonder and I passed a enjoyable few days as Ed and Tasha's guests. They treated us fantastically, but I have a feeling that they treat everyone that way!
The Mid West Sled Dog Symposium went really well. I loved the purebred panel. My co-speaker Tom Knoll and moderator, Blaine Danley were alot of fun!
I enjoyed the vet panel which included one of my very favorite vet Dr. Dr. Nik Vukich (thanks Nik for pealing off clothes to show off your tats!! They are marvelous!!!) and took a good number of notes from the nutrition panel. All good stuff.
It was also great to get to visit with alot of friends and fans - especially former NorthWapiti residents Batdog and Bean!!! What a treat!
I must admit, it was very hard to leave on Sunday morning. I could have happily spent more time in McMillian, but Wonder and I had a schedule to stick to!
We were off to Detroit!
With loads of thanks to Ed, Tasha, Sam, Maliko, Doug and Ryne!