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For Scott Janssen’s Dog, a Very Close Call

“The dogs are everything in this race,” Scott Janssen says. After an emotionally tumultuous experience on the trail, it’s a sentiment the Anchorage musher affirms with new emphasis.

As Janssen told KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen in Takotna, he had a frighteningly close call with one of his sled dogs, Marshall, during the run from Rainy Pass to Rohn. While mushing through the Dalzell Gorge, Marshall suddenly collapsed. When Janssen approached him, he was shocked to find no signs of life and immediately began CPR on the dog. After several rounds of mouth-to-nose respiration and thrusts on the dog’s chest – and, as Janssen describes, panicked cries to God – Marshall revived.

Putting the dog in his sled, the musher made a rapid run to the Rohn checkpoint and, after seeing Marshall continue to improve, put him on a plane back to Anchorage, where, Janssen says, the dog will be seen by a veterinarian.

Hear Scott Janssen’s incredible story: