The Team

Who We Are

Laura Neese
MI DOG Owner

Laura fell in love with the sport of dog mushing and long distance racing at the age of nine, when her family followed the Iditarod as a homeschool project. After five years of learning everything she could about the sport, she started a small kennel in Ohio and began running short races in the Upper Peninsula. She graduated from high school at age 16 and then went on to receive an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology through Penn Foster College two years later. In 2014 she moved to McMillan, Michigan, to pursue her dream of long distance racing at Nature’s Kennel in the Upper Peninsula. She has been blessed with the opportunity to train and race throughout North America for the past eight years and has competed in the Yukon Quest, Iditarod, Percy DeWolfe, Canadian Challenge, Eagle Cap Extreme, Idaho Sled Dog Challenge, UP200, CanAm 250, Beargrease Marathon, Gunflint Mail Run, CopperDog150, and Wyoming Stage Stop.

MI DOG became a vision of Laura's in 2019 and she quickly started working toward making it a reality. After about 2 1/2 years of working to build the facility, she opened MI DOG to the public in June of 2022. Laura and the dogs are loving this new opportunity to share the sport of dog sledding with the public!

Keep scrolling to meet the incredible canine team members and learn about team sponsorship opportunities!

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Maple

Age: 10

 

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 doing 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 or dog bus. Maple loves leading the puppy teams during their first few months of running in harness and taking young puppies on puppy walks.

Sponsored By:

Winkle

Age: 10

 

Winkle is best described as continually happy, hard working, and passionate. Laura jokingly calls him her “husband” due to his awesome personality. He is always a rock solid dog that has finished every race that he ever started. Winkle did a great job with training the yearlings on my team in 2021, and has now retired to couch warming duties with Maple. He will also be helping to train the puppies that were born this summer.

Sponsored By:

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Elmer

Age: 10

Elmer is a fantastic leader. He’s a steady dog who loves everyone and every dog in the kennel loves to be paired with him. He learned a lot during his time spent in lead with his sister, Maple, in the 2018 Yukon Quest. He and I greatly strengthened our bond during that race and that bond only got stronger with his exceptional performance in the 2020 Iditarod when he became my go-to leader in any situation. He is very patient with young dogs and is an excellent partner for leaders in training.

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

  • Tracy Morrow (7 time sponsor!)

Baker

 Age: 10

Baker is always one of the first to wake up and start barking to leave a checkpoint. He’s a huge dog who seems to be made of solid muscle. Baker has started almost every race that the A-Team has ever entered and finished all but one of them! At nine years old he and his brother Elmer are the oldest two on the team by 3 years. Baker is the most well-traveled dog on the team with over 25,000 miles under his harness.

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Witt

 Age: 5

Witt is a super sweet little girl who has been playing around with her leadership skills also. She ran tours when she was one year old, but then as a two year old she trained and raced with Blake Freking and joined my team last minute for the Iditarod. She is a really fun dog who always contributes to the team and is fun to have around.

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Bode

 Age: 5

Bode is Witt's brother and they have always looked so much alike. He is a steady dog who doesn't work too hard, but always contributes to the team. He's a very athletic guy and he sure loves to go.

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Ace

 Age: 3

Ace is an extremely hyperactive and happy boy! He is one of my main leaders already. I'm pretty convinced that it is physically impossible for him to stand still for longer than 2 seconds. He's a natural in lead and is always 100% ready to go!

Sponsored By:

Envy

 Age: 3

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, (Fusion, Chilly, and Razor) Envy is also a natural in lead. He's also a major cuddlebug!

Sponsored By:

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Fusion

 Age: 3

Fusion was my number one yearling out of 23 in training during his first year in harness. He inherited all of both parents' best attributes, getting Baker's loud enthusiasm and Jett's natural leadership skills. He is extremely confident and one of the most natural leaders I have ever had the honor of working with.

Sponsored By:

  • Tracy Morrow

  • Don Mantey

Sponsored By:

  • Don Mantey

Razor

 Age: 3

A big, long legged girl, Razor is not lacking athleticism! She makes great eye contact, loves to snuggle, and is one of my leaders. She loves to break trail and responds to my commands as soon as they come out of my mouth. She loves to lead the charge!

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Chilly

 Age: 3

Also known as "Chilly Dog" or "Chilly Bean", he is a very talented sled dog. Chilly is always smiling, wagging his tail, and waiting to give or receive a great big bear hug. He is a super playful dog and loves to play with his ball. Chilly is one of my main leaders and is VERY competitive on the race trail. 

Sponsored By:

  • Tracy Morrow

Sponsored By:

Atom

 Age: 3

Atom is a bundle of energy with an enormous appetite and a can-do attitude. He was very immature at the beginning of training his first year in harness, but by the end of the season he was one of my top performing yearlings. He loves the race environment and is very bonded to me. He is my official sleeping bag heater on campouts!

  

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Woodstove

 Age: 3

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. He is a honest and steady sled dog and his tail never stops wagging!

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Comet

 Age: 3

Comet is a little girl, but her heart is enormous! She had a flawless yearling season in 2021 and blew me away with her performance at the Pedigree Stage Stop at 15 months old. She had a litter of 6 of the smartest puppies I have raised last summer, and then had a rock solid season last winter! Comet loves to play with balls and will happily play fetch nonstop for hours.

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Chimp

 Age: 2

Chimp is one of the craziest dogs on the team while hooking up, she just wants to go! She is an extremely smart dog and she started playing around at the front of the team this spring. I have a feeling she is going to be an amazing leader in the future!

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Monkey Boy

 Age: 2

Monkey Boy is very smart, full of an excess of energy, and LOVES to eat. He also has one of the biggest smiles on the team! He's a great cheerleader and is always excited for the next adventure.

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Puff

 Age: 1

Puff is one of my all time favorite dogs when it comes to personality. He is extremely smart and attentive to me. He's always up for a big hug and loves to get his harness on. This coming season will be his first full winter running on the team, and he is EXCITED!

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Spin

 Age: 1

Spin is the biggest guy in his litter, and is still growing. He is very strong and is ready to hit the trail on his first full season this winter!

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Groan

 Age: 1

Groan is a wonderfully goofy guy and has always had a very unique personality compared with all of his siblings. He's a great guy.

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Wag

 Age: 1

Wag is a super happy fun young guy. He is ALWAYS moving and loves to hit the trail! He is going to have a very fun winter this year. 

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Smile

 Age: 1

Smile couldn't have ended up with a more accurate name. This young lady is always smiling and never has a cloud in her sky! This will be Smile's first full season in harness, and she is going to have a blast!

Sponsored By:

Sponsored By:

Jett

 Age: 6

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 fazed by any difficult trail conditions.

  

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Line

 Age: 3

Line is a super goofy, energetic girl. Every time we stop out on the trail she jumps into the deep snow off to the side and sticks her head into the snow. She's a happy girl who is excited to run next to any partner, as long  as she gets to run she is happy!

Sponsored By:

Want to join the team? 
Your $500 Dog Sponsorship includes:

  • Your name and picture displayed on this webpage

  • 2023 Race Team t-shirt

  • MI DOG bumper/window sticker

  • 2023 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

 

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Choose Payment Method

Thank you for sponsoring our team!

Please mail checks to:

Laura Neese
PO Box 354
Newberry, MI 49868
Or pay with PayPal:
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