The Fan Hitch Volume 13, Number 2, March 2011

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

From the Editor

British Antarctic Survey Monument Trust

Mistaken Identities

Piksuk Media’s Nunavut Quest Website

Product Review: Servus Boots


Tip for the Trail: Ice 'Fishing'


IMHO: Are We There Yet?

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.


Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or mail@thefanhitch.org


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
From the Editor....


Qiniliq can barely be seen traversing the snow-walled
 back yard 'canyons'.                              Photo: Hamilton


It was in my December 2010 editorial where I mentioned we did not yet have a snow cover. And here it is March already and, mercifully, near the end of a horrific winter. Spring has officially arrived and has visibly begun to arrive as well here in northwest Connecticut. There's still snow on the ground, but the surface of the pens has cleared of compacted ice without the often protracted several inches of wall-to-wall standing water. The twice or thrice daily schlepping of hot water from the house to thaw the kennel buckets is almost down to nil, although we're not quite ready to re-attach the water hose to the frost-free valve up by the kennel. Winter kennel chores would have been far more palatable had we been able to get the dogs in harness more that we did. We run in a wildlife foundation area whose extensive trail system is open to the public for a variety of uses except motorized vehicles. For the most part we peacefully co-exist with the deer, most hikers, joggers, wild-eyed horses and their riders, cross country skiers and walkers of dogs usually on leashes (but not the ones off leash and out of control). We don't have to fear being run down by that category of reckless snowmobilers who drink and drive, speed and refuse to make a cautious pass. Besides, aside from the cacophony our dogs create until the snub line is released, we really enjoy the quiet sounds of rhythmic footfalls, swishing runners and the wind blowing through the evergreens. After a really big snowfall we rely on the cross country skiers in particular to pack a bit of the snow. Surely Inuit Dogs don't need a groomed trail, but early on in the season we got a nearly two-foot dump, and that was that. No trail users, save for the rare snowshoer, wanted to set foot, ski or runner on that surface. And with multiple weekly snow storms accumulating over six feet (1.8 m) for the season plus a couple of freezing rain storms, all of us who enjoyed being in the winter woods knew we were done for. Our dogs, who sensed something didn't compute – snow plus cold should've equaled sledding, but didn't – finally gave up anticipating the daily ride in the dog truck. Although we dutifully blew their pens free of snow after every storm so they couldn't just walk over the 6 ft high fencing, the back yard and large exercise pen (the perimeters of both had to be repeatedly "moated" to prevent dogs from easily going over those fences) provided plenty of obstacle courses and very deep snow for entertainment and workouts. All our Inuit Dogs are good at accepting realities, making do with what they are provided and finding other ways to have fun.


Repeatedly leaping 'leads' with no chance of an icy plunge
was loads of fun for Monkey.                         Photo: Hamilton

Spring hasn't arrived everywhere The Fan Hitch is being read, but the March issue seems to be the right time to once again get up on my soapbox and extol the virtues of "adopting" retired or semi-retired arctic Inuit Dogs. In general, their original owners seek less environmentally and physically demanding homes for these dogs whom they love – around eight years old but sometimes younger or a little older – who, while still quite vigorous, cannot keep up with the younger team dogs. Dogs to be placed are generally quite capable of harness work and seem to transition well from fan to tandem hitch. Many soon learn to crave the extra attention that is easier to come by in a below-the-tree line setting and are happy to just to "hang out" with their new favorite people. These dogs are not your neighbor's Golden Retriever. They can still be tough and demanding, and they require just the right person with the right set up for a successful transition and a mutually rewarding relationship. If you think you are up to the challenge, contact me.


Monkey, Mark and Romulus. Bonding began with introductions
at the airport. Within a very few weeks, both dogs and humans felt
as if they had enjoyed each other's company forever!
                                                                                       Photo: Hamilton

Wishing you smooth ice, narrow leads,

                       Sue
Return to top of page