From the Editor... Turning Dreams into Reality
In the News
Return of the Far Fur Country Project Update
Another Inuktitut Word for Snow
A Condo for Dogs: The Evolution of Our Dog Houses
Antiquity of the Inuit Sled Dog Supported by Recent Ancient DNA Studies
A Different Type of Sledding
Astrup’s Harness: A personal voyage to understand an old sealskin sled dog harness, Part 2
Movie Review: The Stories of Tuktu: Tuktu and His Eskimo Dogs
IMHO.... Why do we do this?
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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at: http://thefanhitch.org.
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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.
Turning Dreams into Reality
I've had years to wonder whatever happened to DNA submitted to scientific projects studying the origins of dog domestication. When I ran out of live Inuit Dogs and fresh killed wolf pelts to sample, and friends gave up on collecting from live captive wolves, road kill coyotes, their Inuit Dogs and their friends’ “cultured” northern spitz breeds, I imagined, "wouldn’t it be great if there was ancient DNA to add to the body of knowledge, allowing for the painting of the ultimate picture with a broader brush?" Such a crazy dream…or so I thought. Then last October I received an email from a researcher at the Department of Anthropology and Veterinary Genetics, University of California, Davis (where I had sent DNA to her predecessor back in 2004). She had very kindly written to thank me for the samples, ask some questions and provide a synopsis of her current work that, to my huge surprise, included scores of ancient samples from archeological digs. Stunning news! My dream had become a reality!
Across the Atlantic, an inquisitive and talented young man dreamed of how a hundred-plus year-old leather harness in a museum might work on today’s dogs. He made a plan, got to work and in less than two years not only did his dream become reality, it became so during his first ever opportunity to drive a team of dogs, Inuit Dogs in a fan hitch no less (thanks to the team’s owner), wearing his dream come true harnesses.
In October 2012, dog team owners presented to the Iqaluit, Nunavut town council a wish to create a secure, fenced in “dog yard” for their Inuit Dogs, a safe place where they could be protected from the intrusion of and genetic contamination by non-indigenous dogs. The owners’ dream is yet to be fulfilled. When will it become a reality? Will it ever?
Our hopes and aspirations for the aboriginal Inuit Dog can be found in many ways and in many forms. And as Jonas Salk (1914-1995; an American medical researcher and virologist, best known for his discovery and development of the first successful polio vaccine) said:
Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads as you follow your dreams,