Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meet the Mushers - Rebecca Haun Savidis

Like Justin, Rebecca grew up enjoying the rivers and back country of southeastern Idaho and the surrounding areas. And like AJ, she maintained her love of the outdoors while earning her degree from the University of Utah. Rebecca specializes in Human Resources and enjoys working with nonprofit groups as a member of The Foraker Group team. It’s been said by some that Rebecca’s professional 8 to 5 life is much different from her 5 to 8 which usually involves insulated overalls, work gloves and bunny boots, and she’s also been called the High Heeled Musher by others; the latter is out of necessity to accommodate her back more than any ounce of fashion sense.

Knowing she didn’t want to live a “safe” life, Rebecca states it felt like coming home when she and AJ moved to Alaska in 2004. Seeing her first dog team before she was 20, Rebecca pocketed the idea as a dream for the future, and it wasn’t until several years later, and after marrying AJ did she tell him of her dream to run dogs. After what Rebecca prefers to call persuasion, they moved from Park City, Utah to Willow to follow her dream. That, as AJ puts it, was the beginning of the end…Rebecca wouldn’t have it any other way.

Much to AJ’s dismay, Rebecca has a hard time resisting strays that aren’t claimed or dogs who need another chance. It seems as though there is always enough love to go around.
Highly motivated, fiercely determined, and a perfectionist, AJ says Rebecca and a young leader, Twig are one in the same. They make their mind up, and it’s best not to stand in their way.

What Rebecca listens (and dances) to on the runners:
Dog’s Songs Playlist:

Dire Wolf performed by Grateful Dead
Any Man of Mine performed by Shania Twain
Ain’t No Way performed by Shania Twain
Put me in, Coach performed by John Fogerty
Just Can’t get Enough performed by Depeche Mode
Get Rhythm performed by Johnny Cash
New Speedway Boogie preformed by the Grateful Dead
Learning to Fly preformed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
No One is to Blame performed by Howard Jones
Uncle John’s Band performed by the Grateful Dead
Mamas, Don’t let your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys performed by Willie Nelson
Forever in Blue Jeans performed by Neil Diamond
I am Woman preformed by Martha Wainwright or Helen Reddy
Every Little Thing she does is Magic performed by The Police
Built to Last by the Grateful Dead
Trouble Me by 10,000 Maniacs and Terry’s Song by Bruce Springsteen
King of the Road performed by Roger Williams
The Monkey and the Engineer performed by the Grateful Dead
Back to Pooh Corner performed by Kenny Loggins
From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) performed by Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run performed by Bruce Springsteen
Jesse James preformed by Bruce Springsteen in the Seeger Sessions
Pancho and Lefty preformed by Willie and Waylan
When you say nothing at all preformed by Allison Krauss
What’ll I do performed by Bing Crosby
Legend of John Henry’s Hammer preformed by Johnny Cash
We Shall Overcome performed by Bruce Springsteen
How can I Keep from Singing preformed by Bruce Springsteen
Wildflowers performed by Tom Petty

Rebecca’s AJ Songs:
Belle Starr by Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knophler
America Land performed by Bruce Springsteen
All this Roadrunning performed by Emmy Lou Harris and Mark Knophler
Terry’s Song performed by Bruce Springsteen
I'm Still a Guy performed by Brad Pasley
Guacamole performed by the Texas Tornados
We're all the Way performend by Eric Clapton
Some Must Have Trail Songs:
Bad Thing performed by Jace Evertt
Skinny Love performed by Bon Iver
O Mary Don't you Weep performed by Bruce Springsteen
How can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live performed by Bruce Springsteen
The Race is On performed by Johnny Paycheck
Trouble with Angels performed by Kyf Brewer
Bandits by Josh Ritter
Princess by Matt Nathanson
The Witch of the Westmereland performed by the Waybacks
About Us...
In 2004, we packed all our worldly belongings on a trailer and moved from living on a mountain in Park City, Utah to Alaska. (For a short time, and in true Clampett-style we had a rocking chair strapped to the top of our truck). We told family and friends we were moving because Justin was offered a job in Alaska; the real reason for the move was because Rebecca wanted to run dogs. Shortly after moving to Willow, we ended up on the doorstep of a stranger who was a musher, Lance Best. Quickly, he became Rebecca’s mushing mentor. After running her first team, Rebecca was addicted---it took some convincing for Justin to agree that this was a good idea. Rebecca started out with 1.5 sled dogs. The 1 being Tenzing who was born to pull, and the .5 being Luna the reluctant sled dog (she’s the mascot and matriarch of our kennel). Originally, Justin said someday our kennel might consist of a total of 4 dogs---Rebecca, of course, felt otherwise. Now, we have a 40+ dog kennel in Willow, and we are looking forward to the 2010 Iditarod!

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