The Fan Hitch   Volume 20, Number 2, March 2018

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

From the Editor: Nakurmiik

Historic Polar Films at the Peary MacMillan
Museum and Arctic Studies Center

Arctic Nomads Workshop Booklet

National Registry Established to Vaccinate Greenland Dogs

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:

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.
From the Editor....

Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
                                                                  Sir Winston Churchill

It was last September 2017 when Mark and I announced we were going on sabbatical from publishing our quarterly journal, The Fan Hitch, in order to focus on the task of digitizing the life’s work of our mentor and dear friend, behavior geneticist Benson E. Ginsburg. Dr. Ginsberg passed away in August 2016 at the age of ninety-eight.

Let me tell you a little more about our work with the Ginsberg material and where it has led us. In carrying out this labor of love to honor a man to whom we owe so much, we have experienced a formidable learning curve. With mentoring from Benson’s grandson, a photo archivist, and also the extraordinarily patient manager of archiving services at the Library of Congress (U.S.A.), we quickly realized that digitizing thousands of pages of often delicate (many over 60 year-old) frail pages or hundreds and hundreds of fragile 35 mm slides was not as simple as inserting sheets into a document scanner (Sue) or processing transparencies on a flatbed scanner (Mark). Given that the ultimate goal for this archive project is to see it become available world wide on a university or behavior society web server, the enormity and complexity of the job in the hands of we two neophytes rendered our work daunting and confirmed that there was no way we could simultaneously undertake this project and prepare issues of The Fan Hitch journal.

In early February we finally completed processing every bit of the material we had in house. This included subject matter such as evolutionary origins, inheritance and genetic factors and their expression influencing the central nervous system, physiology, early life experiences, neurogenic mechanisms of behavior such as dominance and social hierarchy, personality profiles and life experiences of rodents, canids (wild, domestic and hybrid) and humans, often with a focus on aggression within each species). We knew, however, that because of the enormous volume of Benson’s work, begun in 1941, which we had for months been electronically preserving, there was still much more of it “out there” to be added to the archives. There’s no predicting from where and when it will show up. Late last month a small steering committee gathered at our house to review the current status and to plan for the future of The Benson E. Ginsburg Archives. More work lies ahead.

All the while on hiatus from publishing The Fan Hitch, we couldn’t help but continue to be on the look out – after nineteen years, that habit was not easily turned off – for more articles for future issues. We are saddened to report that precious few have been forthcoming. In the year prior to deciding to go on sabbatical, there was an unsettling feeling that the availability of quality material was winding down. After multiple discussions and periods of reflection we recently decided it was time to end publication of our quarterly e-journal.

We want to make it abundantly clear that we are NOT going anywhere! The Fan Hitch website, which began simply as a newsletter in July 1998, will remain online as the sought after resource and reference material it has come to be known for nearly two decades. We invite you to explore our website and the past seventy-seven issues of The Fan Hitch journal containing 868 entries by 337 contributors.

Also remaining available, exclusively through The Fan Hitch, is Ken MacRury’s masters thesis, The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History. We are enormously grateful to Ken for granting us sole permission to reproduce it and retain all the revenue from its sale to help defray the cost of printing it, paying web hosting fees and for giving us the opportunity to give back in the form of either outright monetary donations or copies of his thesis wherever it supports in some way a better understanding of the aboriginal landrace Inuit Dog and its keeping.

It is likely that in the future we will become aware of material worthy of your attention. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will send you an email alert announcing that these articles are being posted on The Fan Hitch website; not minimalist versions characteristic of social media communications, but instead with detail you have come to know in our journal.

Likewise, we very much look forward to hearing from you from time to time. You can reach us at or For us The Fan Hitch website and journal have served as a very, VERY important link to our many friends and contributors and we do not wish these relationships to slip away!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my copy editor/line editor/proofreader/critique partner/alter-conscience and dear friend, Lucille Murphy, for her brutal honesty and patience, especially when I violated some of her dearly held sentence structure and grammatical tenets. Sensing that I was sometimes going to cross her line in the sand anyway, she still cheerfully scoured over all the articles I sent her way, including this one.

Finally, Mark and I offer our heartfelt thanks to our readers and generous contributors for sharing this nearly two-decade journey and enriching our lives and knowledge beyond our wildest dreams.

Never say goodbye because saying goodbye means going away
and going away means forgetting.
                                                                 Peter Pan
                                                                  (a.k.a. author J.M. Barrie)

On the way to Button Point on Bylot Island at the northern tip of Baffin Island     photo: Hamilton

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,
Return to top of page