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


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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
 
Not the way to address important issues         Feder photo

ISD Enthusiasts Speak Out:
a sampling of unsolicited words in opposition to blue eyes in ISDs

Dear ISDI,

I follow the "blue eyes issue" and my personal opinion is that there have been through the last two or three decades some "adventurers" who never took care of poor breeding of any dog. We must think that in modern time people are traveling all over the world with equipment and animals. And adventurers, musher's who wants faster dogs, make their "own cocktail mix". And we find some breeders up here in Scandinavia do [who do] the same. And that is a shame!

Some years ago I read an article written by a Norwegian, who lived at Svalbard in the seventies. He wrote clearly that he had mixed Greenland dog with Siberian Husky. Afterwards he declared that the result was far away from success. This is only one example of mix breeding told by the "breeder" himself. I can assure you that there are several more who do the same, but they are eager to maintain the name "Greenland dog". The breed is more "macho" and has "IT"!!! Therefore they register a mix as a Greenland dog.

I will do what I can to participate in our struggle to keep our Inuit Sled Dog as a pure breed.

Best regards,

Jan Erik Engebretsen
Sweden

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Dear Geneviève Montcombroux,

I find it this time necessary to write some words to underline my support to Mr. Ove Nygaard. I am among those who share his opinion on the Greenland sled dog. I am no longer a member of the Norwegian Polar Dog Association as I found the club with its leaders of non-quality. Together with Mr. Nygaard and others I have many times fought battles against the club and central members' interest in making the dog to something it has never been and never should be.

Today I have no dogs at home, but I have more than 20 years breeding experience. During those years I only experienced bad and unfriendly official words from the association's leadership. I am afraid the origin of the dog will disappear and instead turn into a racing variety if nothing is done in the very near future. It should be of some interest for all outsiders to realize that the most experienced and best qualitative breeders are leaving the club because of years with unfriendly words. The association's leaders have never opened their lips with any quality comment, not even a single friendly comment on your work and effort to preserve a small but still important breed. Neither Mr. Nygaard, nor the undersigned are "nuts" or "psychic" in any ways, but only very censorious to the lack of quality and seriousity of the official breeding policy of today.

Best regards,

Kari Aalerud
Norway

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Hello Sue,

Personally, I have never seen a pure bred Inuit dog with blue eyes. This observation has come by traveling to nearly all the villages in Greenland also that of the arctic in the early 90's.

[Neither] Ken MacRury, in his thesis on the Inuit dog, nor any of the Polar explorers at the turn of the century - Peary, Nansen, Svedrup, Herbert or Amundsen- ever mention blue eyes in their dogs. 

Personally, I would not have a blue-eyed dog in my kennel and call it an Inuit dog.  It is possible but highly unlikely that a blue eye Inuit dog was created by a recessive gene from a breeding 5000 years ago at the Bering land bridge with a Siberian.

It is far more likely that a lone Inuit dog in Norway ended up getting bred by a Siberian or Alaskan Husky and this blue-eyed gene is popping up here and there.

Cheers,
Lonnie Dupre
Minnesota, USA

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