The Fan Hitch   Volume 18, Number 1, December 2015

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

From the Editor: Welcome to My World

Iqaluit Asphalt Plant Update

From the NFB Film Files

Living and Dying with Black Bears

Film Review: Okpik’s Dream
Canadian Inuit Dogs I have Owned, Raised and Trained:
 a photo essay; Part 1

A BAS Doggy Man Reminisces:
Chris Edwards’ interview on Houndsounds

Special Screening of Inuk in Vermont;
 new general release date given

IMHO: Where We Stand

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
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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
From the Editor....

                                                                                        photo: Hamilton

Welcome to my world

Our two-story house can be described as having a “center chimney”. It means that on the first floor one can do a circular walk either through or past each one of the five rooms, a rather open design.

As their twice daily meals are being prepared, a couple of our five house cats relieve their anticipatory stress by running laps around the main floor while their food bowls are being filled, taking off from around my feet at a brisk trot then usually come ‘round the corner from the living room back to the starting line. Occasionally “punches” are thrown at each other in an effort to displace their anxiety. After what seems to them an eternity, a bowl is placed in front of each cat’s face and with the contented sounds of crunching kibble, peace once again reigns…until the next meal is anticipated.

Invariably as I face the reality that it is time to come up with an editorial, I do an adaptation the cats' feeding time ritual, only without the punching. My start/finish line is the sixty-plus year-old sewing machine stool, previously in front of my mother’s Singer, now staged in front of my “computer desk”, actually purchased over thirty years ago when the high tech device we had back then was a Canon S-90 electronic typewriter with its three inch long “crawl” of text previewed as I banged away on the keyboard back when I was the secretary and newsletter editor of my local all breed kennel club. (That was well before I left the “dark side” of the dog world.)

Staring at a blank document save for the generic heading “From the Editor…”, I periodically get up, do a couple of laps around the first floor, maybe crack a fresh pecan or two as I stop by the nut bowl, and then return to my seat to stare at the computer monitor some more.

This might go on for hours, sometimes off and on for days, as I grapple for that spark of enlightenment, hoping for an incandescent bulb to suddenly igniting over my head, at least some place to begin on an editorial journey on which I often have no idea where it is headed or where it will end.

Sort of like what you’re reading so far.

Am I stalling for time and struggling for inspiration at this very moment? You bet! Might I trash all I’ve written to this point? Occasionally I’ve done just that. My editing of others’ submitted articles pales before how brutally I can treat my own work.

But wait! This is the first issue of our EIGHTEENTH YEAR! Yikes, that’s a long time for just a ‘dog magazine’. Maybe there’s something to be said about it…Naw, been there/done that with N1s of previous volume years. Maybe I should mention the small sense of joy over the good news about the location of Iqaluit’s second asphalt plant; or talk about two fantastic aboriginal films we’ve been following for years.

Time for another lap or two...maybe pause to see “a man about a dog”. Some of my other most productive thinking comes during my morning shower as well.

I really should mention the three historical perspectives, two of them in ironic juxtaposition with the third. Here’s one guy who, with his good buddy, made a commitment to work towards restoring a healthy population of Inuit Dogs to the Canadian North (and elsewhere) by first taking them out of the Canadian North (no disrespect meant to Yellowknife) and how, in the process more or less dodged with the help of his dogs the local black bear population. Yet in the very same decade, possibly within the same year, 9,319 statute miles to the south, another “doggy man” had to execute horrific orders, stuff pernicious nightmares are made of, delivered by his home office.

Ugh! Time for another walkabout. I might try to alleviate my own stress by banging out the pips from two pomegranates on the kitchen counter just to redirect that last unpleasant thought! Or maybe not. Those “seeds” are plentiful, very red and sort of look like droplets which sometimes fly all over the place.

Well, I dunno. This is a holiday season for many, and with all the horrific events mankind has been suffering lately, overshadowing this journal’s focus, perhaps I should just express my hopes that we can find some peace and personal joy and share it with family, friends and those less fortunate.

That being said, I guess this will be my editorial after all. I can stop circling the first floor until some time in March when the process will start all over again.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,
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