Michigan couple moves to Alaska to start viral dog bus business

In 2005, the couple behind the cult dog bus sensation met in the cafeteria at Muskegon High School.

Muskegon, Mich. — In Skagway, Alaska, you can find an amazing school bus that takes students on the trip of their dreams every day.

Although, this isn’t your typical student class – in fact, they’re furrier.

Behind it all is a loving couple, Lee and Mo Thompson. The couple picked up the dogs in their area and took them to a hiking spot where they could relax with their best friends.

“I like that weird dog lady. It’s like, my quirk,” Mo said.

For her, it all started with a love of dogs. When she was in high school, she would offer to take care of the dogs for free. Well, almost for free.

“I just want the snacks in the cupboard,” she laughs.

When she and her husband moved to Alaska in 2014, she started walking the dog while friends were working long hours. Over time, more and more paying customers pile up.

After Lee, who works as a paraprofessional at a nearby school, had his schedule cut to a part-time job, he jumped on board to help.

The business was expanding, and Mo knew that walking the dog while cycling wouldn’t work in the long run.

“The bus has always been a dream of mine because everyone can have their own personal space,” Mo said.

Each dog is trained to jump on board and find their assigned seat. They buckle up and get ready for adventure.

There are even small groups like real school buses, with quiet puppies in the front and enthusiastic dogs in the back. Mo called the back seat of the bus “cute puppy corner”.

“I post online and ask their owners to come home and watch my Facebook and Instagram stories. That way they can see where their dogs are going and what they’re doing.”

But those aren’t their only audiences. The Mountain Mutts have amassed 1.6 million followers on Tik Tok and their videos have hundreds of millions of views.

“I think some dogs have fan clubs,” Lee said.

the best part? The couple behind the thriving business are from West Michigan.

“I loved growing up in Muskegon. I mean, living in Alaska now, I still miss the summer at Lake Michigan beaches so much sometimes.”

After all these years, the pure Michigan pride remains.

“We dug up some of my old Reeth’s-Puffer sweatshirts for you,” Lee said in an interview with 13 ON YOUR SIDE.

They met at the Reeth’s-Puffer cafeteria back in 2005 and married last year after 15 years of dating. They can now run the family business with their 8-month-old son, Vern.

They are inspired to make the company work every day because they want to be their own boss.

“You usually get a job and work on someone else’s dream,” Lee said.

Of course, this is also for the benefit of the dog.

“An owner telling you you changed their life and they didn’t have to relocate their dog, or their neighbor said, ‘Thank you so much, they’re barking a lot less,’ you know, when you see the ripples impact on the community,” Mo said.

Many people told them they had dream jobs. Without hesitation, they said they agreed.

“I mean, how many other jobs can you have, get your husband, your son, your own pets, get outside in the fresh air and contribute to the community?” Mo said.

Meaningful work—and furry companionship—makes the leap worth it.

“No regrets,” Li laughed.

Check out the latest from Mo Mountain Mutts on their Facebook. You can also follow them on Tik Tok with the username @Mo_Mountain_Mutts.

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