The Fan Hitch PostScript
Number 7, posted
Sept. 2020
In this Post

From the Editor: The Art of Storytelling

Driving Dogs During the Golden Era of Antarctic Exploration

A Bridge of Ice

Book Review: Burnt Snow

“Arctic-adapted dogs emerged at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition”

QIMMEQ research paper podcast

New payment option: Ken MacRury’s master’s thesis

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              Editor: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton

The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

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From the Editor….
The Art of Storytelling

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
                                                                                         Rudyard Kipling:
                                                                            English short-story writer,
                                                                                          poet and novelist
PostScript #7 brings you a trio of dog mushing writers with stories to tell. Fid (British Antarctic Survey veteran) George McLeod’s fantastic short stories describe driving dogs during the golden era of Antarctic exploration. Before he passed away on July 4, 2020,  George made it abundantly obvious that, like others of his ilk, the passion of those whose association with the BAS huskies remains as fierce as ever. Thanks go to Steve Wormald of the Marguerite Bay website and the McLeod family for permission to share this collection.

Dr. Ken Hedges has been on our radar recently. In the January 2020 PostScript #5, he contributed to an article by John Wright about the restoration of Ken’s Nansen sledge, the one he used when he participated in the historic crossing of the Arctic Ocean via the geographic North Pole. Back in the September 2010 issue of The Fan Hitch Journal, Ken wrote “The Gaze of Animal Life: Memories from the British Trans-Arctic Expedition, 1968-69”. PostScript #7 offers an enhanced reprise of that story. “A Bridge of Ice” appears in the  September/October 2020 issue of Canadian Geographic Magazine. I am thrilled that Canadian Geographic Magazine and Ken have granted permission to reprint that article here! The feat accomplished over fifty years ago by four men and forty dogs of the British Trans-Arctic  Expedition (BTAE) ought to be long remembered.

With very rare exceptions, I have focused The Fan Hitch website and publications on issues relating to aboriginal landrace Inuit Sled Dogs and Inuit culture as it relates to their dog. But in PostScript #7 I am compelled to stray from that mantra. The third mushing writer in this issue is a review of his book, written by a masterful storyteller whose work you are sure to find captivating. If you have enjoyed following content in The Fan Hitch Journal and The Fan Hitch PostScript, I am certain you would want to know about Kieran Moore’s very recently published, Burnt Snow: My years living & working with the Dene of the Northwest Territories.

Each one of these three articles is enhanced by a link to a related video. 

Also in this issue is a notable research paper, “Arctic-Adapted Dogs Emerged at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition”. Published in the June 26, 2020 issue of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Magazine, it is a collaborative effort of the QIMMEQ Project, led by first author Mikkel-Holger Sinding. Dr. Sinding graciously provided The Fan Hitch with a copy of the complete paper, a lay summary (interpretation for non-scientists) of the work and some enlightening comments. AAAS granted The Fan Hitch permission to print the section of a podcast interview with Dr. Sinding about the research. Once again the Inuit Sled Dog is the focus and at the forefront of canine evolution scientific discovery.

We hope you enjoy this issue of The Fan Hitch PostScript.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads.

                Sue and Mark