Musher Saves Iditarod Dog With Mouth-to-Muzzle Resuscitation

'Come back to me, Marshall,' Scott Janssen pleaded with husky

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 9, 2012 12:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Iditarod racer Scott Janssen did what any man in love would do to save his pal: He locked lips on his husky's muzzle to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when the dog collapsed. His husky Marshall "was running really tight on the line, no problems at all, and all of a sudden, he collapsed,” said Scott's wife, Debbie Janssen. Scott stopped the sled to discover Marshall wasn't breathing. So he closed the dog’s mouth and began breathing into Marshall’s nose, while compressing the animal’s chest, according to ABC. Marshall came to, then fell unconscious again, and Janssen repeated the process.

“He looked at Marshall and said, ‘Come on! Come back to me!’” said Debbie. “And Marshall did. He came back. He started breathing.” Janssen tucked the 9-year-old dog, a veteran of six Iditarod races, into the sled before reassuring each of the other dogs. “They were all freaking out,” Debbie said. “They’ve been a team and could tell something was wrong.” Janssen dropped off Marshall at a way station with a vet, and continued toward the finish line in Nome. Marshall seems to be fine. “He loves all these dogs,” said Debbie. “He told me he couldn’t imagine Marshall dying in front of him.”

Scott Janssen puts down straw for his team in Nikolai, Alaska, during the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.   (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester)
Scott Janssen and his team head to the starting line with help from handlers during at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage.   (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester)
Scott Janssen hugs one of his dogs before the start of the Iditarod.   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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