The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 4, August 2000

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

From the Editor
Raising Sled Dogs
The Good, the Bad and the ‘Eskimo’ Dog
The Russian Connection
Honoured Symbol Under Fire
Iqaluit Team Owner Speaks Out
The Homecoming
Niels Pedersen, D.V.M:
Challenging Folk Remedies
Janice Howls:
Maintaining the ISD Roots
Book Review: 
Portrait of Antarctica
First Hand Account:
Exploration of Antarctica
Dog Ownership in Modern Society
Baking: Carnivore Brownies
Behaviour Notebook:
 Silent and Induced Heat
ISDI Summit Postponed
Memorable Inuit Dog Encounters

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 Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

PostScript is published intermittently as material becomes available. Online access is free at:  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch Website and its publications  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

Apijuq's first day back at Toadhall      Montcombroux photo

The Homecoming

by Geneviève Montcombroux

What do you do when you get a call that the pup you sold six months previously is no longer welcome in her new home?

With lightness in my heart I saw little Apijuq go to her new owner. The person was highly qualified to own a Canadian Inuit Sled Dog and was warmly recommended. So when I got the call that the owner could no longer look after her, it came as a shock. First, there were excuses that the demands of the job, the relocation to a new part of the country, etc., were not fair on the dog.

I was horrified when I got an e-mail stating that "I brushed Apijuq this morning...and didn't realize how thin she was. Well, the kids were feeding her..." A healthy CID is never thin.

Two mushers who had offered to take Apijuq backed out, and I made immediate arrangements to get my pup back. So as not to create any obstacles, I agreed to pay her air fare and the return of the crate. This demonstrates the level of my anxiety.

At the airport, once the formalities were finished, the attendant wheeled the crate with a most subdued Apijuq inside. I did what anyone would do, opened the door, snapped on a leash, and took her out.  As she stumbled out of the crate, I cried: "Oh! My God, what did they do to you?" 

Imagine the skeleton of a dog. Then picture it with skin on top. Her tail was like a rat's tail, with just a tuft of hair at the base. Over the body, the hair was so thin the skin showed through. Apijuq was a perfect illustration of the expression "ribs sticking out". 

I carried her out to the truck and headed straight to the vet. Several hours and many dollars later, we had a diagnosis. For starters she had whip worms. More serious was a hematocrit bordering on the point of no return. Her complete blood count showed some elements right into the danger zone. She weighed less than 30 pounds. Her sisters weighed 55 pounds.

Now two months later, she is out of danger. Although still painfully thin, her hair has regrown and shines with a rich luster. With extra rich food, she is slowly putting on weight. Her hematocrit is almost normal. She is happy and runs back and forth on walks. She is the living proof that this breed is the toughest on earth.

Did I send Apijuq's fare and return the crate? No, I did not. I could have sent a large vet bill instead.


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