In This Issue...
Passing the Torch
F.I.D.O.: Kevin Slater
Dog Yard Noise
Road Food Inuit
in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part III
How Much is That
Doggie in the Window?
MAXIGUARD® Zn7™ Derm
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:
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.)
Hitch welcomes your
letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The
the right to edit submissions used for
The Fan Hitch are protected by
No photo, drawing or text may be
reproduced in any form without written
consent. Webmasters please note: written
consent is necessary before
this site to yours! Please forward
requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town
Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut 06791,
USA or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Young female ISD Inka submitting to goat and alpaca
Road Food Inuit Dog Style
reported by Sue Hamilton
Anyone who is acquainted with or has heard of Sylvia Feder knows of
her formidable skills as a musher and trainer of Inuit Sled Dogs. Her expertise
has also enabled her to keep a peaceable kingdom (à la Edward Hicks'
Peaceable Kingdom paintings) of cats, goats, chickens, alpacas, ferrets,
as well as three male and one female Inuit Dog on her property in the Pacific
Northwest state of Washington.
While I have no doubt she owns a snow hook, I suspect she seldom needs
to use it, and not because of too little snow. I have watched home videos
of her sledding adventures and marveled at how well her dogs respond to
her soft, barely over a whisper voice cheerfully issuing commands, encouragement
and praise. I was amused as well as impressed by the following story she
told of a sledding experience on her January, 2006 visit to Jeff Dinsdale's
place in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada to participate in the annual
Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run.
"On my trip up to Jeff's, for several days in a row on my
runs with my team of four, I had passed a fellow on a four-wheeler setting
live-snares for rabbits. I was a bit disgruntled with him because he was
setting the snares literally a step off the trail, at a distance that a
dog wouldn't even have to go into the deep snow to get a snack. He had
a dog team himself (so he said) and I mentioned this to him.
Apparently it didn't make much of an impact, because on the third
day, on a rather steep downhill, we came upon a rabbit (I guess it
was a rabbit, though I never saw it). I was relaxed on the back of the
runners, enjoying the sunrise, without a care in the world, when the entire
team came to a sudden stop, ending in one furry ball, punctuated by a few
muffled squeaks. As I tried to process what was happening, the ball came
apart, each dog with a piece of rabbit, neatly divided and nearly bloodless.
It was over before I could even get off the sled, with the dogs swallowing
hard, wagging their tails, and lining back out on the trail; never a growl,
never a bad word, just a few tufts of fur floating in the air and a bit
of stained snow.
I felt bad for the rabbit, but truly there was nothing I could do.
When I told this story at Jeff's later that day, the other mushers were
quite impressed. They apparently think my dogs are rather "soft" and they
were pleased to hear that they are at least capable of dismembering a rabbit."
Sylvia's team at work and at rest Photos: