The Fan Hitch Volume 6, Number 1, December 2003

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial: What's in a Name?
Fan Mail
Breaking Away: The Liberation of Ove Nygaard
What is the ISDI and the ISD?
A Holiday Miracle
Of Sheep and Sled Dogs
News Briefs
Qamutiit and How They're Loaded
The Truth Behind the Madrid Protocol
Media Review: Globe Trekker - Iceland and Greenland
Product Review: Ryobi TrimmerPlus®
Tip for the Trail: Bitches in Season
IMHO: Super Cars and Inuit Dogs

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

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Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

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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:

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

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;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,

Young Vikings, "Pinky and Perky" at two months old
                          J. Noble photo, Stonington 1966/67

Behind the Madrid Protocol:
The real reason dogs had to be removed from Antarctica

reported by Mark Hamilton

This past October, Sue and I flew to the United Kingdom to visit friends, tour Scotland (including a meeting with polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert and his wife, Lady Marie, at their home) and to attend the Marguerite Bay reunion of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey/British Antarctic Survey veterans. The event, held in Lockerbie gave us our second opportunity (the first being the reunion held in Stonington, Connecticut in October, 2001) to get to know this remarkable group of men and to hear some of their stories. The affair was much too brief, and there were so many people carrying on so many conversations that it was difficult to absorb much of any details of those exhilarating and dangerous days of exploration by dog team. Recurring themes, however, were the love and respect for the dogs, the bitterness of the dogs' removal from the continent and the sense of profound loss that virtually no genetic material from this unique population was saved. They are ALL GONE!

One of the most enlightening discussions at the reunion was the revelation to us of the real story why all dogs were banished from Antarctica. It seems that France and Argentina, for their own reasons, did not want the treaty but were unwilling to be seen as the sources of its failure. Instead, having made the assumption that the dogs were such an integral part of British effort and tradition in Antarctica as to be something they would refuse to relinquish, the French and the Argentines had the provision about removal of non-indigenous species added to the treaty. Their assumption was that while other countries with dogs (such as Australia and New Zealand) would be willing to give up their dogs, the provision would serve as a "poison pill" for the BAS and result in the treaty failing because Britain would refuse to sign. Ultimately, however, word came down "from on high" that a major treaty would not be lost over a bunch of dogs, and BAS was ordered to get rid of them.


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