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“You just gotta see these dogs!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Happy Trails Kennel

Happy Trails Kennel
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Big Lake
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Offers tours of the kennel operated by 4-time Iditarod champion
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
183 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“You just gotta see these dogs!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2011

Frankly, I wasn't too thrilled when Stephanie, our tour leader, had our coach stop at this place off the beaten track. Martin Buser and his wife and sons run a first class kennel operation (and B&B) and I am so glad we stopped there. WOW - was I impressed?! Those sled dogs are not like anything you'd expect. They LOVE TO RUN! That's what they do. They are well trained and they love The Busers and are friendly and well-behaved. Martin Buser is a 4 time winner of the Ididarod Race and has been awarded numerous animal care awards from the attending veterinarians. He is quite an articulate showman from Switzerland. His wife is an LSU grad from New Orleans. They are both funny and dedicated to keeping their dogs healthy and their place clean and attractive. DO NOT MISS IT. It was part of our cruise-land tour so if there was a fee, it was paid by our tour company.

Visited August 2011
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Thank JSS3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Laurel, Maryland
Level Contributor
77 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Wonderful and authentic intro to the Iditarod”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2011

Even though it is somewhat out of the way, this is the place to go to get a legitimate view of the process of raising the dogs and preparing for and participating in the Iditarod race. This is not a tourist trap but a major, real working kennel. Martin Buser has won the Iditarod four times and provides insight into the race that only a veteran musher could. This experience rose way above our expectations and we would highly recommend it.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
silicon valley
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Awesome experience for lovers of dogs, life, and achievement”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2011

We were here with a group of 16 or so cruise ship group trippers. Spent almost two hours experiencing the presence of dozens of champion sled racing dogs and their loving master, Martin Buser, 4-time Iditarod dog sled racing champ, who provides an exceptional educational and entertainment experience. Not to be missed by dog lovers and those who respect living your dream and striving to achieve your goals, against all odds, on your terms. A monument to individualism and liberty.
Fun movie,, educational talks, play woth adorable puppies, watch eager to work and run huskies in action, Q and A with Buser, a Swiss immigrant who loves his life and sharing his experiences with racing. Brought tears of joy to my eyes to watch and listen. Five stars plus!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank relaxed53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
46 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2009

Sometimes you get lucky! We were the only people on our tour of the Happy Trails Kennel, as a result, we had a personal tour by 4-time Iditarod champ Martin Buser. We were greeted by his son (an Iditarod finisher) who showed us the trophy area, watched a video narrated by Mr. Buser, saw an Iditarod sled and got to play with sled dog puppies. We also saw a demonstration of the dogs pulling a sled. Mr. Buser sat with us (and the puppies!) and he seemed as if he had all the time in the world to answer our questions. He clearly loves his dogs and they love him. Our impression might be different if there were hordes of people, if it were raining and muddy, or if Mr. Buser were not there. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet world-class athletes - Mr. Buser and his dogs.

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1 Thank 2Alaska09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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