August 06, 2006

4-time Iditarod Champ Susan Butcher Dies.: Sad news indeed. I always had the greatest of respect for anyone who could make this run and she proved that here was another accomplishment that didn't depend on gender. RIP.

posted by commander cody to extreme at 04:00 AM - 11 comments

Aah, that's awful. I remember hearing about the illness but had no idea she was in crisis. Rest in peace.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:12 AM on August 06

A story likes this brings a lumps to my throat. Its a journey that I have lived everyday for the last 4 1/2 years. May her family find peace, not in her passing, but in the way she lived her life.

posted by daddisamm at 08:16 AM on August 06

This is a sad story and I'm sorry to hear about her passing. Anyone (man or woman) who could compete and finish the Iditarod has my respect and she won it four times over, that's amazing and humbling.

posted by fenriq at 11:00 AM on August 06

Saddest news I've heard this week.What a competitor,and a role model for young girls everywhere.It takes an incredible amount of physical and mental toughness just to finish the Iditarod,more or less to dominate it.What say, we erect a statue of Susan and her pack at the finish line in her honor.

posted by Tubby Fan at 11:36 AM on August 06

I concur, fenriq.

posted by steelergirl at 12:57 PM on August 06

may she rip . she was great .

posted by eviltrekker at 02:38 PM on August 06

RIP People in Alaska are probably not doing well.

posted by Joe88 at 03:53 PM on August 06

I had known of her battle for life for several years, but was still sad to hear this. She always treated her teams with respect and they repaid her with a loyalty that brought her her four victories. I was inspired myself by photographs of her with her winning lead dogs, Jodie and Preacher, to start to raise Huskies myself more than 25 years ago. In later years, she was one of several mushers responsible for developing the breed generically known as an Alaskan Huskie, a true racing dog. It would be a fitting tribute if the power-that-be in the AKC would recognize the breed at last and name it the Butcher Huskie.

posted by kodisadog at 05:26 PM on August 06

Met her when I was stationed in Alaska, and later while working for Ralston Purina in St. Louis, one of her sponsors. A class individual, without question. Because of Susan, I have enjoyed many years with three incredible Huskies. I can only hope that she's working with them right now, because Rafferty, O'Keefe and O'Bannon could no doubt use a lesson, or two. Peace, sister wolf...

posted by wolfdad at 07:21 PM on August 06

kodisadog, I couldn't agree more with your wish. The problem is that the AKC only cares about butt-wipes, when it comes to champion breeds in show.

posted by wolfdad at 07:29 PM on August 06

In later years, she was one of several mushers responsible for developing the breed generically known as an Alaskan Huskie, a true racing dog. It would be a fitting tribute if the power-that-be in the AKC would recognize the breed at last and name it the Butcher Huskie. Wonderful idea! Not just because she helped develop the breed, but because she was one of those people who seemed to genuinely love her animals. To some people in some sports and professions the animals they work worth are just a tool of the trade as it were. However one of the reasons I think she was so successful was her real affection for her dogs. I think they sense that and try even harder for an owner they love back.

posted by commander cody at 12:44 AM on August 07

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