The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 3, June 2003

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial: …of Philosophers, Dogs and History
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Ken MacRury, Part 1
Remembering Niya
Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Bishop and Tunaq
Antarctic Vignettes
On Managing ISD Aggression
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 3
News Briefs:
Inuit Dog Thesis Back in Print
Nunavut Quest 2003 Report
Article in Mushing Magazine
Possible Smithsonian Magazine Story
Product Review: Dismutase
Tip for the Trail: Insect Repellents
Book Review: The New Guide to Breeding 
Old Fashioned Working Dogs
Video Review: Stonington Island, Antarctica 1957-58
IMHO: The Slippery Slope

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Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)

The Fan Hitch
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The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,
Video Review…

Stonington Island, Antarctica 1957-58

narrated by Peter Gibbs

reviewed by Geneviève Montcombroux

Do you want a glimpse of Inuit Dogs in Antarctica as they were, during the heyday of sled transportation? Do you wish to see Inuit Dogs as they eagerly prepare to embark on a seal hunt, or greeting people in their typically enthusiastic manner? All this and more can be found in the video produced from footage in the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) archives.

Caveat: The film segments are dated. Don't expect the quality you are used to with today's cutting edge technology. The color comes and goes, the tracking leaves something to be desired. But the dogs are magnificent!

The scenery is breathtaking and, when the color stays put, you'll see some magnificent sunset shots of ice and mountains. At times the Antarctic sky is of such an intense azure clarity one has the urge to press for a ban on polluting automobiles and belching factory chimneys to return our skies to that pristine blue.

Peter Gibbs introduces the dogs individually with some good shots of their physique, and huge lolling tongues. Images of dogs hauling the heavy Nansen sleds are plentiful, and there is also a detailed view of the famed pyramid tent.

Watching the video unfold is like seeing Ken Parson's memoire, Antarctica: " a lonely land I know." brought to life. The BAS members who went to Antarctica must all have been poets at heart. Whether in Ken's lyrical prose or in the artistic camera angles, they perfectly capture the rugged poetry of Antarctica.

What caught my attention in the video and made me smile was how the lead team, while crossing an unobstructed expanse of sea ice, broke not a straight trail but a serpentine one. Now, I'll feel much better when on lake ice I tell my team to go straight and they wind all over the place. It's in the genes!

The 30 minute video is now available in VHS format, either NTSC or PAL, at (US) $25.00 + $5.00 s/h from Geneviève Montcombroux, ISDI, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0 Canada, It will also soon be available as a DVD, price to be announced on the ISD web site. Proceeds go to the "Husky Pen" in Cyprus.

Peter Gibbs did surveying in Antarctica in 1956, traveling by dog team. He is now semi-retired to Cyprus where he actively supports the local animal charity with its homeless dogs shelter, especially the building of the "Husky Pen", a component of the new Paws Dog Shelter. Ed.

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