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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Mystery of Melanie Gould

For the last week, thoughts and prayers have been swirling in my head about dog musher, Melanie Gould

Please see the Fairbank's Daily News-Miner for the story.

Melanie is gone.  Not reporting to work.  Leaving her dogs unattended.

When I first saw the concern pop up on the social media site, Facebook, I thought perhaps Melanie connected with a friend to look after her dogs, and went to the bush for a couple nights of solitude.  I understand that desire.  Afterall, she lives near Talkeetna, Alaska. 

I even understand how mushers have been failed in the past by "caretakers" not showing up to fill in as promised. 

I thought, won't she be surprised to see the fuss when she returns home.  But as the story unfolded, and the concern poured in, I realized something wasn't quite right. 

Facebook has a page "Have you seen Melanie Gould?" that is an excellent resource for updates and information.  Her two friends, both named Amanda, are working hard at sticking to the facts of this unfolding drama.

No, I've never met Melanie.  But if you are a dog musher, you know her. 

Melanie has crossed over the Iditarod finish line 6 times, as a rookie in 2000, and with her best showing in 2006.  In 2007, she scratched.  She did not finish. 

As with all Iditarod mushers, we followers watch their actions.  The same goes for Melanie.  You know how she stands on the runners of a sled, how she pulls her snow hook, what she wears as outdoor gear, how she treats her dogs, her smile

One of my early blogs featured pictures of her year 'round "outdoor shower", providing me with inspiration for our "unique" shower system.   The link to Melanie's photos is now gone...vanished.  Just as she disappeared quietly last week.

Now, a week later, the mystery continues.  My dreams are now filled with all things Melanie.  She encompasses my waking (and now sleeping) thoughts. 

I pray this ends well.  She's tough, and resourceful - two key elements in being safe. 

God speed search party.


Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

This has bothered me all week. And the longer it goes on, the MORE it bothers me. "Bothers" as in worried sick. But praying hard that all will be well in the end. And SO worried about her dogs, how they have been faring without her for a week. I know her friends are feeding them, but still, I worry. I hope they are ok, and I hope and pray Melanie will be found soon. You're so right - even though we don't "know" them, we KNOW them.

Farmchick said...

I do hope the situation ends well.

Angela Manderfield said...

I dont know her, but the mystery has been on my mind all week as well..especially after having just watched the movie "127 hours"

OurCrazyFarm said...

I have been thinking about and praying for Melanie most of the day after reading your post this morning Sherry. God knows exactly where she is. Good for you for telling her story so that others know and are praying.

goatldi said...

Sherry I am so sorry. I don't and haven't ever been where you all have been. But my heart is there.

I am so sorry for Melanie's disappearance and worry for her dogs. Trust someone is now tending them.

As a livestock person and a vet. tech nothing frightens me more than the thought of something happening to me and no one having a clue as to how many mouths there are at home.

Prayers sent up. Will follow the story.

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

Thanks ladies...yes, this situation is getting more disturbing as the hours tick by. Melanie has good friends who are caring for the dogs...they are o.k. The community, actually the entire state of AK and beyond is coming together to resolve this mystery. The problem is...there is such a vast area to cover. And it isn't a simple stroll in the woods. Grizzly, skeeters the size of fly swatters, you name it. Let's hope we hear something soon...thank you for your prayers! You guys are the best!!

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

This...from earlier today: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43290758/ns/us_news-life/t/just-doesnt-look-right-iditarod-musher-missing/

goatldi said...

Hi Sherry thanks for the update. In heart, mind and prayers. Wish there was more I could do.

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

Folks ~ nothing new to report. However, here's an updated timeline. http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/what-happened-missing-musher-melanie-gould

goatldi said...

Thanks Sherry- Just read it through including her friends Blog post. Darn perplexing it is.

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

Great news folks!! She was found today!! http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/missing-musher-melanie-gould-found-alive

goatldi said...

Wooooooooooooohooooooooooooo! I prayer for a truly happy ending for her. What a traumatic experience.