Sunday, 11 March 2007

Mourning during Iditarod 2007

Mourning during Iditarod 2007
Read more details below...

Heartfelt Thanks 

Today we are silent
  For yesterday our hearts broke...

NorthWapiti's Snickers
June 6, 2001 - March 11, 2007
Main Leader
Many fans from around the world have offered their support and condolences to Karen & Mark on the loss of their beloved Snickers. One member of the North Wapiti Yahoo Group* suggested donations in honor of Snickers, other fans lit memorial candles on the internet in Snickers' name and another group began work on a Snickers Memory Book. 
Karen & Mark were touched by the outpouring of support and decided to create the "Snickers Memorial/Ulcer Research Fund" and donate all funds in her name to a group which studies gastric ulcers in working sled dogs.
A note from Karen follows. To see Snickers forever running in lead, watch the Pretty Sled Dogs music video.
-The Website Editors
Donations to the
Snickers Memorial/Ulcer Research Fund
can be mailed to:
Karen Ramstead
Box 9
Perryvale, Alberta
T0G 1T0
Or sent via PayPal

As of June 18, 2007 - Over 80 donors from around the world have raised nearly $3,000!!
Heartfelt Thanks 
Just a short note to let you all know that the team and I accompanied Snickers body back to Anchorage on Monday evening. She was in a lovely little casket that Skip in Grayling made for her. It was lined with straw and hand-lettered on the top was her name, with a heart above the 'i'. I was deeply moved by the thoughtfulness. I have actually been very moved by the huge outpouring of sympathy that Mark and I have received through phone calls and emails. Although the burden of this loss is great, it is helped when you know you do not carry it alone.

The loss of Snickers was unexpected and shocking. My heart aches so deeply that I'm still not prepared to sit down and put the story on 'paper'. I do wish however, for everyone to know that it seems Snickers died from a bleeding ulcer. A team of 4 incredible vets (Dr. Justine Lee, Dr. Turner Lewis, and the Dr. Mikes) worked for hours on her. The lengths they went to in the middle of the wilds of Alaska were simply amazing and included a dog to dog blood transfusion off of her brother, Crunchie (who was so cooperative and calm it was spooky). I know that everything possible was done to try and save our little lead dog - and we will forever be grateful for that.

I was also very touched by the compassion and genuine sympathy from the Iditarod volunteers and the residents of Grayling. They made a horrible time somewhat more bearable. And warm thanks to fellow mushers Cindy Gallea and Bryan Mills. Cindy graciously offered her skills to help hold off veins during Snickers transfusion - and Bryan Mills, in a move so kind it makes my heart ache, offered to travel to Nome with me should I decide to stay in the Race, so I wouldn't have to be alone.

That's one of the things about Iditarod, it often strips you bare and shows you for what you really are - and in the case of the folks in Grayling it showed what remarkable people they all really are.

I would also like to thank all of you that have stepped forward wishing to donate money to Mark and I in Snickers name. We are grateful and touched by your kindness and desire to 'do something'. Mark and I have spoken - and have decided that all the money raised in honor of Snickers will be gathered and donated in her memory to studies on ulcers in working sled dogs. I have already been in touch with ISDVMA vets to find an appropriate group to put the funds to use. We will keep you all posted on what is raised and where it is donated.

Again, heartfelt thanks from both Mark and I.

Click on photo to see additional team photos with Snickers in the lead.
Snickers & Karen share kisses during the Sheep Mountain Race

1 comment:

Beth. said...

There is nothing worse than losing a beloved friend on a run. the should have could have would haves swirl in your mind but when the stunning slam of grief eases a bit you realize that there were no should haves, could haves, or would haves it just was and that your friend left doing what they loved so much. what better way to leave this earth doing something with passion. Hugs in snickers memory. And hugs for you and Mark on this aniversary. I am so glad that you were able to fund research into the causes and possible cures.. Hugs.