About Us ... Akela's Den!
Hi, Welcome to Akela’s Den, home of the De Marie – Tabel clan. We, Stefaan, Bart, Tanja, Yanna and little Brinn are based out of Christopher Lake, where we run this sled dog supply business (mostly mail-order) and racing kennel.
Find out more about who we are and what we do…
Stefaan, originally from Belgium. My first experience with sled dogs was on New Years day 1999, when I came out for a ride with Jim Tomkins. The following year I returned to handle and race for Jim and Elaine. That is when I really became addicted!! I have been privileged to work closely with the Tomkins from 2000- 2006, and have gained invaluable knowledge and experience from them. During which time I was able to handle and run the main racing team.
Tanja, originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I found the love for sled dogs while I was doing a practicum for an Ecotourism Certificate program with Brad Muir and Sundogs Sled Excursions (2000-2001). A touring company based out of Anglin Lake, Saskatchewan.
The following year I handled and trained all of Tomkins' racing dogs. I have also continued to guide sled dog tours with Sundogs Sled Excursions, and am looking forward to many more years on the trail…!
Bart, younger brother of Stefaan. I got the dog sledding bug passed on to me through my brother while visiting the winter of 2005. I was able to watch and follow the Canadian Challenge Sled dog Race from a close-up perspective, and gained a new respect for the sport. So I wanted to try it for myself and came back to handle and race the final season for Tomkins Sled dogs (2006). I am hoping to settle here in this mushing friendly neighborhood!