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Sunday, March 18, 2012

'Mushing Mortician' Breathes Life Into Fallen Iditarod Sled Dog

A must listen to story...go to NPR for audio.  
by Ian Chillag

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race rookie Scott Janssen, known as the "Mushing Mortician," of Anchorage, Alaska, poses for a photo with one of his pet dogs.
Enlarge Mark Thiessen/AP Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race rookie Scott Janssen, known as the "Mushing Mortician," of Anchorage, Alaska, poses for a photo with one of his pet dogs. 

From our "How To Do Everything" podcast:
Scott Janssen crossed the finish line of the Iditarod sled dog race on Friday afternoon, one dog short. He had hoped Marshall, who'd been with Janssen since he was a puppy, would be there.
They call Janssen "The Mushing Mortician," because when he's not racing the Iditarod, he owns a funeral home. A few days before the finish, he and his dogs were headed down a treacherous part of the course, the Dalzell Gorge. It was snowing, and the dogs were doing what they often do: dipping into the snow to hydrate as they run along. Everything was normal, until Marshall fell over.
"He must have packed his snout with snow when he [dipped]," Janssen says. "Much like when people are in an avalanche."
Janssen stopped his sled and ran to Marshall.
"He was dead. I'm an undertaker. I know death," he says.
Janssen closed up Marshall's mouth, and sucked the snow out of his snout. He then started breathing into his nose, and giving him chest compressions, as his other dogs watched and whined.
"I remember so vividly my tears dripping down on his snout as I looked up at the sky and I said 'Please God, please let him come back,'" he says. "I looked at Marshall, I breathed in his nose again, and I'm like 'Dude, please come back, please come back.'
"I did one more chest compression, one more breath into his nose, and he coughed back out, I mean, right into my mouth. Now it might sound disgusting to people, but it was the most joyous sensation ever," Janssen says.
Janssen and the other dogs rushed Marshall to the next Iditarod checkpoint in Rohn, Alaska, where the veterinarians checked him out. They're not sure exactly what happened to him out there, but they say he's going to be OK. He's resting at Janssen's home in Anchorage, awaiting the return of the human who saved his life.

5 comments:

iheartblog702 said...

Im glad that dog recovered and didnt die. talk about a miracle. he wasnt breathing or anything then one last try and he was alive!

Anonymous said...

I love these dogs, so I'm glad he came out okay. The iditarod is a crazy race, I had no idea the dogs "dip" into the snow to hydrate while running. None the less I love these fury dogs, and want a husky or malamute.

Ryan Clift
Com 101-4049

Anonymous said...

A tear jerker this was and how he is telling his story. He is in tears and so am I listening to his story. I adore dogs, this is an article to send to my animal lover friends.

Anita Falconetti
Comm 101-4049

Ana Tinta COM 101-4080 said...

Wow...this is so kind! This owner was loyal to his doggie as I am sure his dog would of done the same to keep him out of danger or to help him. This story was touching.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing story! I love dogs, I myself have a siberian husky. By far the best dog I've ever owned and I would perform CPR on either of my dogs without question!

Jaimie Kurtz
Com 101 4080
Mon 6-850