The Fan Hitch      Volume 15, Number 2, March 2013

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

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?

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

Defining the Inuit Dog

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch 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:

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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.
From the Editor....

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:
Hope lies in dreams,
and in imagination,
and in the courage
of those who dare
to make dreams
into reality.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads as you follow your dreams,

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