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,
Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International,
is published four times a
year. It is available at no cost online at:
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$23.00, elsewhere $32.00
per year, postage included. All prices are in
Canadian dollars. Make
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"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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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
ISD Enthusiast Publishes First Novel
Scott Miller of Hinckley, Minnesota, USA has just published
his first novel,
Signs of Winning
F.H. So, are you a musher?
S.M. My wife Terry and I have eighteen dogs: one Alaskan Malamute,
two Alaskan Huskies and fifteen Inuit Sled Dogs. The main dogs get run
over a thousand miles a season.
F.H. Is Signs of Winning about ISDs then?
S.M. No, the protagonist starts with Malamutes and ends up with
Alaskans. She gets into mid-distance racing and looses sight of everything
except winning. There's a fair amount of racing and training and running
dogs in it, but it's mostly about the relationships between the characters
and how they handle the situations they find themselves in.
F.H. How much of the story is based on things that have actually
happened to you?
S.M. Most of the things that are painful have happened to me
or my wife. A lot of the embarrassing things have actually happened to
us too. The part with the black lab at the finish line really did happen
except it was a Malamute during a training run. I was so proud of them
I had to include it in the book.
F.H. Have you written other books?
S.M. I'm currently putting the finishing touches on two other
young adult novels. One is about a young boy who finds an ISD that belongs
to a neighbor that has a reputation for mistreating dogs. His parents say
he has to take her back but he's afraid of what will happen to her if he
does. The other book is about a young girl whose family comes into possession
of a pair of wolf puppies and the problems that arise. I'm also kicking
around an idea of a young adult who runs a big race like Race to the Sky.
I haven't decided how they get into the race or if they might race ISDs.
I have a couple of other books I'm working on but they have nothing to
do with canids.
F.H. What made you decide to write a book?
S.M. Oh, I went through a poetry phase and a short story phase.
I've written a lot of songs even though I'm a horrible singer and only
a slightly better guitar player. But ever since college I've wanted to
write a novel. I have about five half finished novels stuffed away somewhere.
F.H. Why were you able to finally finish one?
S.M. I gave up trying to write the great American novel. I think
writing for young adults allowed me to tell a story without having to worry
about whether or not a college professor would find universal truths and
lasting value in it. Kids just want to have fun reading.
Signs of Winning
by Scott Miller
reviewed by Tina Portman
Signs of Winning is story about dogsleds, huskies, tuglines,
ice hooks and dog booties. But mainly it's a story about thirteen-year-old
Kaitlin, a deaf girl with a passion for dogs.
As I think back to my childhood and my shocking capacity for stubbornness
and clumsy manipulation, I think Miller has succeeded wonderfully at making
Kaitlin real. Kaitlin is not an angel, yet she's thoroughly likable. She's
not a disabled wallflower, yet she doesn't always win. Kaitlin's spunk,
and humor ("I saw Joe Workman. He was doing the deaf cheer and as near
as I could tell asking for ice cream."), make Signs of Winning an
In Signs of Winning, Kaitlin struggles to define what makes her
a winner and what makes her a loser. That's not easy for a deaf girl in
a hearing world, or for a child who feels cheated by her mother's death
and resents her father's detachment.
Kaitlin is thrown more challenges in the story, but she also gains some
friends. George, who knows sign language, helps Kaitlin train her young
sled dogs. Her new best friend Sarah, is deaf and (as she says) erudite,
and wants to get multiple body piercings and a tattoo of a dove and an
olive branch on her ankle.
Kaitlin is an aspiring sled dog racer. In the story, she progresses
from the three-mile Snowflake Days race with her two Alaskan malamutes
to the 150-mile Moccasin Run with her newly trained team of six Alaskan
huskies. It's through sled dog racing, with help from her friends and family,
that Kaitlin learns that being a winner isn't about crossing the finish
Signs of Winning is a good story. It doesn't just zoom to the
finish, it lures with twists and turns. In the end, it's a winner.
Signs of Winning; 192 pages paperback, for ages 12 and up, ISBN
0-9681675-5-1, US $9.00 plus shipping, Cdn $12.00 plus shipping from Whippoorwill
Press, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0 Canada, also available at Amazon.com