The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 1, December 2002

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial: Hoof Beats and Zebras
*
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Merv Ehrich
*
Jubilee Medal Awarded to ISDI Co-Founder
*
Blue Eyes in Norwegian Greenland Dogs
*
ISD Enthusiasts Speak out on Blues Eyes
*
ISDI's Official Stand on Blue Eyes
*
Mountie, Alouette and Moose
*
Following Nanuk's Tracks
*
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 1
*
News Briefs:
New ISDI Scandinavia Web Site
Atanarjuat Update
Dog Teams in Iqaluit
Grammar Lesson
ISDs in Museum Exhibit
*
Poem: Lost Travellers
*
Book Review: first Nations.... first Dogs
*
ISD Enthusiast's First Novel Published
*
IMHO: Seeking to Answer the Wrong Question


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Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

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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.)


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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
What follows is a gem taken from The Book That Wasn't*, a collection of the very personal accounts of Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and British Antarctic Survey veterans describing what it was like to live and work with dogs. In this poem, the first of a series of four vignettes, geologist and dog man, Jim Exley (Horseshoe Island, Base Y, 1955/56) describes "Banshee", lead dog of the Admirals team. 
 
 

Lost Travellers

by Jim Exley

It hardly seems a flamin' week,
Since I first cursed your flamin' cheek
I'd 'irra' shout - you'd swing off right, 
And then you'd start a bleeding fight - 
Or else you'd spot a bergy bit,
And find you'd got to water it!

You'd stand around for all our rest
And then, just like you, stupid pest - 
Just as the driver thought you oughter
Pull - you'd start to make more water!
Look as if butter wouldn't melt, 
Then nip at Brock, below the belt.

I stood you for a day or two - 
You'd often bait drivers new
But things like that must reach a head
Then 'lead my way or end up dead'
An 'irre' you just 'failed to hear'
Your backward glance, that held a sneer.

I stopped the team, cursed high and low,
And thumped you down into the snow,
I curse a novice drivers must,
I thumped you hard, just fit to bust.

That scene was two - both first and last - 
Your little games were done and past - 
A dog like you knows what's enough
From that day on when things got tough,
You'd plug ahead - through wind and drift
You'd keep the course - you wouldn't shift.

Much later when our sea ice went
We found a way that climbed and bent,
Through rock and snow patch three feet wide
Then down to base, the other side,
Past ice cliff high and snow step bold
Where rope brakes strong would hardly hold.

Home safe - you'd get a special steak - 
Old dogs' worn teeth must often ache,
And then, you curled up in the snow,
I'd seek the base hut's friendly glow.
But first, a special favour, well I know, 
You'd let me stroke your ears - and then I'd go.

It hardly seems a flamin' week,
Since I first cursed your flamin' cheek.
It hardly seems a week - hang on
It's forty years! - and you're long gone;
My eyes are moist; I smile and sigh -
No sledger old will need ask why!



*The Book That Wasn't was originally published as a limited edition for those people who had in any way contributed to the book Of Dogs and Men by Kevin Walton and Rick Atkinson.  That was first published in 1996 by Images of Malvern. The ISDI and The Fan Hitch gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Kevin Walton for granting permission to select and reproduce portions of The Book That Wasn't.

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