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

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Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

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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

From the Editor...

A Tale of Two Cities

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."   This is how Charles Dickens began his epoch novel, set in the maelstrom of the French Revolution.

Mark and I have been through Iqaluit only a half dozen times, stopping over for mere hours to nearly a week.  That hardly makes us authorities.  Nonetheless, from our first visit in 1994 to our most recent and longest stay just this past April, we have both seen and sensed change.  We always felt that Iqaluit was "different" from the smaller hamlets where we have spent proportionally more time.  Given it is bigger than those other places, we could expect the difference that mere size confers on a place. But every visit we have observed change in the years leading up to, then as the capital of, Nunavut Territory.  Whether it is the rise in population, the increase in automotive traffic, a desire to shed a former image for an upscale "city" one, a clash of two cultures or within one culture, with some wishing to embrace change as opposed to others longing for the old ways, I have observed more uneasiness and tension than a vibrance of optimism, 'two cities' struggling for an identity.

Given the circumstances of the shooting of Ken MacRury's dog Serius, and subsequently other sled dogs (see articles elsewhere in this Fan Hitch), I see what occurred as more than just the act of pulling the trigger and killing dogs.  Barely three months from Nunavut's decision to make the Canadian Inuit Dog the Territorial mammal, an announcement which we ISD enthusiasts found exhilarating news, the very symbol was spat upon, whether or not that was the shooters intention. What we thought heralded a bright future for the breed on May 1st of this year, is once again shrouded in uncertainty.

There is no disagreement that people and their pets must be safeguarded from dangerous dogs.  Good, sound and fairly applied laws for dog and non-dog owners alike must be in place to see to this. But I have been reminded by my Inuit friends of how valuable their dogs were in the pursuit of food and without a good team and great lead dog, human life was put in jeopardy.  Protecting humans from dogs and protecting humans with the help of dogs need not be mutually exclusive activities.  And the "two Iqaluits" need to find a way to make this happen.

It is my hope that maybe, just maybe, Serius and other working sled dogs will not have died in vain, that all the attention brought about by this ugliness will result in renewed effort to preserve the Canadian Inuit Dog.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads.


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