The Fan Hitch Volume 11, Number 3, June 2009

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International
In This Issue....

From the Editor: A Virtual Fan Hitch

Inuit Sled Dogs Achieve Distinguished Visibility

Sledge Dog Memorial Fund Update

New Resource of Polar Exploration Images

In Passing: Remembering Kevin Walton


Book Review: Huskies/My Friends, the Huskies

Evolutionary Changes in Domesticated Dogs:
The Broken Covenant of the Wild, Part 2

Behavior Notebook:
Comparative Behavior Studies in The Netherlands


In the News

Canadian Animal Assistance Team's
2009 Northern Clinics


The Chinook Project's Early Start on Veterinary Clinics


IMHO: Why Inuit Dogs?


Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch


Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page


Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at: http://thefanhitch.org.

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)


The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.


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The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0; gmontcombroux@gmail.com
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, mail@thefanhitch.org
Book review....



Huskies
(UK edition)


My Friends, the Huskies
(US edition)
by Robert Dovers

reviewed by Stijn Heijs

Robert Dovers is an Australian who served in the Australian Imperial Force from age nineteen. Shortly after his discharge from the army after the war, Dovers joined the Australian National Antarctic Research expedition in different periods. In 1947 to 1949 he served as a surveyor with the pioneer party on Heard Island. In 1950 he spent six months on the Australian station at Macquarie Island. Then, in 1951 he joined for one year the third French Antarctic Expedition as a doggy man in Adélie Land. He was the only Australian among French explorers. The expedition was organized by M. Paul-Emile Victor. Dovers’ book, Huskies/My Friends, the Huskies, describes this one year period with the French. This expedition had a remarkable start when their station at Port Martin was fully destroyed by a fire. They re-embarked on the Tottan immediately to return to France. But some time later they anchored at Pointe Géologie and decided to stay with seven men and the dogs.

In the expedition to which he was attached, Dovers had three teams of huskies that were in his care. He trained them and they trained him. As he had so much to do with the dog teams during his stay, he concentrated on the behavior and psychology of the sledge dogs. I believe that there has never before been such a vivid description of sledge dogs and their hard, extraordinary life. And as described on the dust jacket: “The characters of the individual dogs are drawn so clearly – Boss, Bjorn, Fram the leaders, Aspirin the clown, Ifaut the beautiful, Helen the little dark she-devil and the others – that one comes to know them as one knows one’s own dogs.”

During this period of Dovers’ Antarctic exploration, one item of study was to maintain the first year-round study of the life of those remarkable emperor penguins. There is much written about these birds, seals and other penguins in Dovers’ book, along with brilliant descriptions of Antarctic scenery and weather.

I can fully agree with the remarks of Sir Douglas Mawson who wrote the foreword to the book: “So fully and ably are the ways and lives of the dogs pictured herein, that this book is not only a story of Antarctic adventure but also will remain a valuable record of habits and temperament of these animals.” Dovers’ assessment of the psychology and pack behaviour of the Inuit Dog is sensitive and moving.

Huskies, by Robert Dovers, was first published in 1957 by G. Bell and Sons Ltd, London. It contains 219 pages and 19 black and white pictures (nine with Inuit Dogs). The same book, published in 1957 by Farra, Straus and Cudahy, New York, under the title My Friends, the Huskies, contains 236 pages and 29 pictures (fourteen with Inuit Dogs). It is remarkable that the text of the U.S. published book is a copy of the UK edition yet each book has a different number of pictures and only some part of the pictures in both books are the same. Six pictures in the UK edition do not appear in the U.S. edition. Both versions are out of print but available via several used books/internet sites such as www.amazon.com and www.biblio.com and the price is between $5-10(US) + shipping.

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