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Grainger Everyday Heroes: Musher

Grainger Editorial Staff

In the Eastern upper peninsula, our biggest asset is snow. And we sell snow. If there's any place in the lower forty eight guaranteed snow in winter, it's gonna be here. I'm Tasha Stielstra. We are at Nature's Kennel Sled Dogs in the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan. We have about 150 Alaskan husky sled dogs. So we do a sled dog touring business where people can come and learn to drive a dog sled or they can take a ride in the sled. And then we also have a competitive racing team that we run out of those kennels. It's different than snowmobile racing or car racing where there's a season and then you park that car for a couple of months and everybody takes a vacation and you're done. Where with dogs, it's 365 days a year 'cause you're caring for animals. And then you're lucky enough to, you know, be able to race them some of that time as well.

The breed you see is Alaskan Husky, which is a non-registered, it's not an AKC breed. For the last few hundred years, they've been bred better and better to be racing dogs. They're a northern breed dog. C'mere you little trouble maker! So they, um, in general, they're pricklier. Their ears'll probably stand up. They have a double fit coat so they have an outer layer of guard hairs and inner downy fur. And, um, generally pretty social. Hello! Yes, yes. But not a specific registered breed. And you're gonna see they look so different from each other.

So this is the gang line, this is what's going to connect us to the sled. We tie our sled off here, because once they get hooked up, they really like to run. So we have a quick release that we tie this to a pole. And then when we're ready to go, I'll pull this and then we'll be off and running. We live in an inside world where we don't spend a lot of time outside and people, I think, are a little afraid to be outside sometimes. What if I get cold? What if my toes get cold? What if my fingers get cold? You know, we're not out there for days and days at a time with our guests. It's for a few hours and to get people to experience kind of that magic of winter, that it's OK to push yourself a little bit to try new things. You never know what you see in yourself. You never know what you see in your kids. You know, so seeing people come back with that look of "Aw, that was awesome!"

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.


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