The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 2, March 2003

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: The Blind Men and the Elephant
The Return
Dogs in Greenland
The Contribution of Dogs to Exploration in Antarctica
Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Raising Raven
Antarctic Sketches
Physiology of Sledge Dogs
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 2
News Briefs:
Thesis update
Blue Eye update
Product Review: DirectStop®
Book Review: Carved from the Land
Tip for the Trail: Re-lining Water Jug Caps
IMHO: Preservation vs. Saving

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              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. 

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In My Humble Opinion.....

                                                                                                     Corel photo

Preservation vs. Saving

by Mark Hamilton

I wonder how many times misperceptions and misunderstandings result from the "popular usage" of language not being especially accurate? Let me reassure you here. Don't panic! There's nothing geo-political about this piece. Just now my concern is with the words "preserve" and "save". While they have different meanings, these days both are used rather casually, and often interchangeably. 

"The old Victorian mansion on the corner of Elm and River Roads was saved from the wrecker's ball today when developers announced plans to purchase the property and convert it into the new headquarters for Mammoth Software." Clearly, the word "preserved" could not be correctly used in the above statement.

Now, what about this? Later that day, a person in casual conversation with friends, referencing to the above statement says, "It's so nice to see they were able to save that nice old house. It would be a shame to see it destroyed." From this statement it is not clear that the speaker understands that "saved" is not "preserved". It could well be a case of everybody talking, but no communications taking place.

Ok, enough talk about old houses, time to put this into a doggie perspective. We've talked before about the fact that over the last several years, collectively we have raised the general awareness, the "visibility" if you will, of the Inuit Dog, and ourselves in the process. Increasingly, people not only know of the dogs, they see them, recognize them for what they are, and even admire them. 

Now, some of these people have questions, and it is upon us to provide them with some answers.  When people see well-mannered teams, such as those of Terry and Scott Miller or Sylvia Feder, they may well question ISDI's position on the Inuit Dog not being a family pet.

A similar line of questioning that I've seen recently first recognizes the ISD's enormous capacity for work and acknowledges the value in "saving" the breed. Then the questioner wonders why we don't "breed out" their propensity to fight. This thought is then backed up with a piece of logic that goes something along the lines of, "I can see where it may have been useful up in the Arctic, but there is no need for it now, down here."

It comes down to this: can any of you come up with a nice, socially acceptable way, in this age of political correctness, of saying that we don't care a hoot about "saving" the ISD if we can't also "preserve" the dog we all love? I can express the thought, but I fear the way I just expressed it will repel a bunch of people. Then again, maybe it's best just to be clear on our goals, and let it go at that.


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