Meet Laura's 2021 Puppy Team!



This page introduces you to the yearling team of 2020/2021. Laura has decided to devote this season to the future of the Nature's Kennel race team and train/race a young and inexperienced team. With so much young talent born in 2019, she realizes the importance of giving these young dogs a quality education and a large variety of experiences during their first year in harness in order to keep a strong team in the future. A few of the A-Team dogs have stayed with Laura for the season to help train the youngsters, and the rest of the A-Team is spending the season with Blake Freking in MN. Be sure to keep an eye on their season by following Manitou Crossing Kennels on Facebook! 


The page also includes information about our dog sponsorship program that allows fans to sponsor their favorite dog in exchange for race and kennel memorabilia. The Nature's Kennel dog sponsorship program is dedicated to supporting Laura's 2021 yearling team. All of the proceeds go toward the team and their training and racing adventures throughout the 2021 season! This is how the club works; once a dog receives a sponsor, the sponsor's name and picture will be listed next to the dog and that dog will no longer be available for sponsorship.  They become that person's sponsored dog for the entire race season. Once you have sponsored a dog, you will always get the first chance to sponsor that dog again for the following race season.


Benefits of joining the club include exclusive Nature's Kennel and race memorabilia. Scroll to the bottom of the page for detailed information on the memorabilia that you will receive!


The "Scooters" Litter

Sire: Baker

Dam: Jett

DOB: August 11th, 2019




Also known as "Chilly Dog" or "Chilly Bean", he is one of my favorite yearlings. Chilly is always smiling, wagging his tail, and waiting to receive a great big bear hug. As a natural leader, I think Chilly is going to have a blast this winter.


Tracy Morrow!





Fusion appears to have inherited all of both parents' best attributes! He has Baker's loud enthusiasm and Jett's natural leadership skills. He is super confident and just as sweet.



Tracy Morrow!





Envy is soft hearted, happy, and full of love. He is very attentive to "his human" and wants to be every dog's best friend. Just like his siblings, Envy is also a natural in lead!




A big, long legged girl, Razor will not be lacking athleticism! She is a fantastic young dog who acts much older than her age. She makes great eye contact, loves to snuggle, and enjoys running at the front of the team.

The "4th of July" Litter

Sire: Baker

Dam: Ann

DOB: June 24th, 2019




Red is intensity, intelligence, and amiability all rolled into one handsome dog! He is already running lead and I think this guy is going to go far in life. 



White is a gentle soul who is always ready to enjoy a belly rub and giant hug. He partners up well with anyone, but he especially enjoys it when he gets to run with his brother, Blue. White is already a leader in the making. He is one of the most photogenic dogs on the team, so get ready to see a lot of him on Facebook this year!




Blue is a joyful guy who is happiest when out on the trail running! He is pretty much a 50/50 mixture of Red and White's personalities. He is an up and coming leader who really loves to run with any of the girls. ;-)



Firecracker is.... well, a firecracker! This little girl never runs out of energy and is a total natural at the front of the team! She may be little, but she makes up for it with all of her spunk. 

The "Space" Litter

Sire: Ebb

Dam: Ramblin'

DOB: October 20th, 2019




NASA is gigantic and still has a lot of growing left to do at only 11 months old. He is extremely passionate when he is in harness, and the biggest teddy bear in the world when he's not. 


Thomas Rosenbloom!




Axis is much like his brother, NASA, just not quite as big and possibly even more of a teddy bear! He's been jumping up and down to go ever since his very first run in harness!




Atom is a fun little bundle of energy. He loves to run with Winkle, and I love seeing him mature more and more every run as he learns from the superstar that has raced over 8,000 miles and trained countless more than that. Atom is like a sponge now and soaks everything up!




Woodstove is amazing! If he was dumped in a can of black paint, he could easily pass for a black lab. He loves to swim (uncommon for Alaskan Huskies), loves to please his human, and is an all around jolly soul. I had to leave the cabin for about 1/2 hour the day he was born, and he crawled away from his mom and underneath the woodstove, where I found him as soon as I got home. He gained a scar on the top of his head to tell his tale and, of course, he had to be named Woodstove.


Richard Rosenbloom!





Comet is a tiny little girl but she sure doesn't know it. I keep having dreams where we are running in a race and she is the little superstar in lead. We'll see if those dreams come true! Comet loves playing with her big retired buddy, North, when he is supervising the happenings in the kennel.

The "Random Names" Litter

Sire: Elmer

Dam: Normandy

DOB: October 6th, 2019



Ace is an extremely hyperactive boy! I'm pretty convinced that it is physically impossible for him to stand still for longer than 2 seconds. He is always 100% ready to rumble!



Teegan is the team's pacifist. She is extremely submissive, almost to a fault, so my big project this year is to help break through her shell and allow her personality to bloom! She is passionate about pulling and usually runs with Ozzie (below).



Pat Berglund!


The "AUSSIE" Litter

Sire: Hick

Dam: Normandy

DOB: February 10th, 2019




Ozzie is a giant goofball! The similarity between him and his half-brother, North, is uncanny. This similarity means that he can be a bit of a handfull at this age but give him a couple of years and he will be a machine set on autopilot. He is a powerhouse and his always crazy to go!


The "Ken Dolls" Litter

Sire: Winkle

Dam: Erin

DOB: August 7th, 2019




Ken is one of a two puppy accidental litter between to very talented sled dogs, Winkle and Erin. Ken is a bit of a handful until he gets into his harness, then he's all business! He has already matured a lot during our first few months of fall training and I'm excited to watch him progress!


Sire: Lightning

Dam: Ebony

DOB: June 20th, 2019




Noogie has a little bit of a different bloodline for our kennel, and I'm really looking forward to seeing his progress this season. He is a hard working guy and is very easy to pick out in the team with his unique coloring!

The "Alaskan" Litter

Sire: Baker

Dam: Flo

DOB: March 21st, 2019




Litnik is a beautifully built big girl who is passionate about life. She can be a bit bossy with other girls, but all the boys love her! If she grows up to be like either of her awesome parents, she is going to be a superstar.


Richard Carstens!


The "Fishing" Litter

Sire: Titan

Dam: Mammoth

DOB: March 15th, 2019




Line was born in Alaska and along with her two sisters, made her way down the Alaska Highway and to our kennel as a young pup. Line is a big female who gets along great with all of the more rambunctious males on the team. She loves to run and has very strong focus in harness.

The Veterans

Edited Image 2016-08-20 21-11-27



Age: 8

Race Record


2016-Yukon Quest, Iditarod, Percy DeWolfe



Woodstock is back in action for the 2020 race season! Some of you may remember him as the good natured and patient dog who partnered up with Thomas at the back of the team for years. Well, he is now back to racing and is doing a phenomenal job teaching the yearlings the ins and outs of being a lead dog!


Sharon Smith!





Age: 4

Race Record:

2018-John Beargrease 100, Midnight Run, Copperdog 150

2019-John Beargrease Marathon, UP200, CanAm Crown 250, Hudson Bay Quest

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200, Iditarod


I remember watching Jett run as a yearling and thinking out loud that I could picture her making the A-Team someday. She lived up to my expectations by having a great season with Blake Freking in 2019, even spending time in lead during every race. Then in 2020, she turned into one of my main leaders. She is an amazing dog to work with and I have never seen her phased at all by any difficult trail conditions. She is going to be sharing her leadership and knowledge with the yearlings to make more future superstar leaders!


Judy Carstens!




Age: 5

Race Record:

2019-John Beargrease Marathon, UP200, CanAm Crown 100, Hudson Bay Quest

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200


Perez has had a very reserved personality since he was just a pup. He has taken much longer to mature than most dogs but the wait was well worth it. In 2018 he spent the year training with Ed and he grew up a lot as Ed created a bond with him. Then in 2019 he spent the season in Minnesota where he trained and raced with Blake Freking. His shell has now officially cracked and he has turned into a great leader! He is a very patient guy and I think he will enjoy working with the young dogs this year.


Michael and Kathleen Mathews!





Age: 5

Race Record:


2019-Idaho Sled Dog Challenge, UP200, CanAm Crown 100

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200


Bench is a super fun and talented dog that seems to float effortlessly down the trail. He never works too hard but always works hard enough. He had his debut year on the A-Team in 2019 and has spent a lot of time running at the front of the team ever since. He can be a bit of a clown sometimes but is always a big sweetheart.


Sharon Smith!





Age: 8

Race Record


2015-Eagle Cap Extreme, UP200, Canadian Challenge, Great Northwoods Challenge

2016-Yukon Quest, Iditarod, Percy DeWolfe


2018-Yukon Quest, Canadian Challenge

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200, Iditarod


Winkle is best described as continually happy, hard working, and passionate. Laura jokingly calls him her “husband” due to his awesome personality, and Ed makes fun of the exaggerated ”poop dance” that he performs while running. He is always a rock solid dog that has finished every race that he has started. Winkle is an amazing influence on young dogs, and he is having a great time running with the youngsters this year.





Age: 4

Race Record:


2019-John Beargrease Marathon, UP200, CanAm Crown 250

Mark is a handsome little guy with a beautiful gait and a lot of passion to boot. He gained experience training and racing with Blake Freking in 2019 and then joined the A-Team with me last year. He had a poorly timed tendon strain last year that prevented him from racing but he still became an amazing leader during the training season. 




Age: 3

Race Record:

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200

Barney is a huge-headed sweetheart that I have always been in love with, partially because he is one of Maple's offspring! He gained experience training and racing with Blake Freking last season and I'm really excited to have him on my team helping train the yearlings for the 2021 season. He runs anywhere in the team (including lead) and with any other dog. He's a blast!




Age: 3

Race Record:

2020-Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Marathon, UP200

Andy is another Maple offspring that is joining the youngsters this year. He also gained experience training and racing with Blake Freking last season and, like Barney, he runs anywhere in the team including lead. And he is very patient with the yearlings.

The Team Coaches




Age: 8

Race Record


2015-Canadian Challenge, Great Northwoods Challenge

2016-Yukon Quest, CanAm Crown 250


2018-Yukon Quest, Canadian Challenge

2019-Idaho Sled Dog Challenge, UP200


Maple is Laura’s soul mate and before she retired in 2019, she was her main leader and go to dog. She excelled in both the 2016 and 2018 Yukon Quest and led the team for the majority of both races, never seeming to do anything less than perfectly. She is extremely smart and will do anything for Laura. You can find her anywhere Laura is, especially riding shotgun in the truck.




Age: 8

Race Record


2015-Extreme Cap Extreme, UP200, Canadian Challenge

2016-UP200, Iditarod, Percy DeWolfe


2018-Yukon Quest


North is an amazing sled dog who retired in 2019. He now hangs out with Laura and Maple and is usually either sleeping on the couch, playing with his squeaky ball, wandering through the kennel, playing with his favorite yearlings, or riding in the truck!

Want to Sponsor a Dog and Join the Nature's Kennel Race Team?
Your $500 Dog Sponsorship Includes:


  • Your name and picture displayed on the Mighty Mutt Club webpage

  • 2021 Nature’s Kennel Race Team t-shirt

  • Nature’s Kennel bumper/window sticker

  • Nature’s Kennel 2021 race team poster

  • 4x6 photo magnet of your sponsored dog

  • Your dog’s dog booties worn in races throughout the year

  • A trading card for your sponsored dog

  • Memoribalia from various races


Nature's Kennel Sled Dog Adventures

Ed & Tasha Stielstra  906-748-0513

PO Box 5, McMillan, MI 49853

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