The Fan Hitch Volume 13, Number 3, June 2011

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog
In This Issue....

Editorial: Know the Dog, the Land and the People

Fan Mail

Chinook Project Returns to Labrador

Canadian Animal Assistance Team Returns to Baker Lake

Ghosts of Dogs Past

A Conversation with
Charlotte DeWolff of Piksuk Media and
Jake Gearheard of the Ilisaqsivik Society

Qimmivut: the Ilisaqsivik Society’s Dog Team Workshop

Media Review: Of Ice and Men (book)

IMHO: Succession

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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

This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.

Slow Rush Kennel's dog sled museum    photo: Kyia Bouchard

From: Kyia Bouchard
Date: May 5, 2011
To: Sue Hamilton
Subject: Seeking items for dog mushing museum

I have built the largest dog mushing museum in the world here in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. It is the only real mushing museum in the country. This is a private museum that in the future will be left to the city, not the government. The museum includes First Nations, trappers and prospectors, the RCMP, the sport of racing, military mushing and different forms of dog sled travel from around the world.

I am looking for donations or to purchase traditional examples of Canadian and Greenland dog mushing and lifestyles including old or working replicas of qamutiit, fan hitch ganglines, traditional harnesses and whips, toggles, leather booties, a very old qamutiiq or old runner, clothes and hunting equipment.

I am dedicated to showing the 70,000 people who visit Dawson City every year Inuit life style living and working with dogs.

Thank you.

Kyia  Bouchard
Slow Rush Kennels []
PO Box 1236
Dawson City, YT Y0B1G0, Canada
867 335 2036 

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From: Genevieve Montcombroux
Date: March 21, 2011
To: Sue & Mark Hamilton
Subject: Another way to water dogs

It’s very interesting to read how Mark and Sue Hamilton are keeping open water for their Inuit Dogs year round (Tip for the Kennel: Ice 'Fishing', The Fan Hitch, March 2011). Here in central Manitoba, double buckets or skimming the ice off the top of the water simply doesn't work by mid-October when temperatures drop below freezing into the minus double digits and stay there till the spring. So how do we keep our Inuit Dogs hydrated?

We rely on the dogs using metabolic water. Every morning, year-round, they get one-quarter pound – more in colder weather, such as -25 C (-10 F) and below – of pure fat, usually pork as it is the most commonly available around here. The fat is metabolized by the dog at a 100% rate. In addition, the meat they get with their evening meal contains up to 30% fat. The dogs whose turn it is to go out sledding or running (for the older dogs) are offered a pail of water. They invariably sniff it and walk away, more eager to get their ball of fat than drink water.

How about summer? We do put a fresh pail of water in each pen every morning. Our dogs pay no attention to it and wait for their slightly smaller ball of fat. The dogs who are running that day (usually at 4:00 am before the heat) might drink a mouthful. I say might, because some of them never touch the water. Lulik, now 11 yrs, has never in her whole life drunk a drop of water, though occasionally she eats snow.

What is metabolic water? It is the oxidation of food: fat 100%; carbohytrate 50%; protein 41% being processed by the body. The Inuit Dogs are marvelously adapted to this process. After all, for millennia they lived in the Arctic without any water available during the long winters.

Geneviève Montcombroux
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