Table of Contents
Beats and Zebras
Featured Inuit Dog
Owner: Merv Ehrich
Jubilee Medal Awarded to ISDI Co-Founder
Blue Eyes in Norwegian
Speak out on Blues Eyes
Stand on Blue Eyes
Chronicles, Part 1
New ISDI Scandinavia Web Site
Dog Teams in Iqaluit
ISDs in Museum Exhibit
Poem: Lost Travellers
first Nations.... first Dogs
First Novel Published
IMHO: Seeking to Answer
the Wrong Question
Edition: Imaged and distributed
by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School,
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Inuit Sled Dog International
Sled Dog International (ISDI)
is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the
preservation of this
arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog.
The ISDI's efforts
concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to
its native habitat. The
ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and
|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.
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.