The Fan Hitch Volume 6, Number 1, December 2003

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: What's in a Name?
Fan Mail
Breaking Away: The Liberation of Ove Nygaard
What is the ISDI and the ISD?
A Holiday Miracle
Of Sheep and Sled Dogs
News Briefs
Qamutiit and How They're Loaded
The Truth Behind the Madrid Protocol
Media Review: Globe Trekker - Iceland and Greenland
Product Review: Ryobi TrimmerPlus®
Tip for the Trail: Bitches in Season
IMHO: Super Cars and Inuit Dogs

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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. 

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.

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Product Review.....

Ryobi Gas TrimmerPlus with EZ-Link®

reviewed  by Mark Hamilton

One of the nice things about kenneling dogs together is that they are at liberty to move around freely within their run and interact with all other members of their group at their own discretion, developing the pack's social dynamics on a full time basis rather than just when their group is assembled for play or work.

Unfortunately, winter can be a problem with kennel runs. Rather quickly, snow accumulation can reduce nice, safe, six-foot tall fences to insecure four-foot tall fences. In fact, two good storms in one week can reduce them to something an ISD could easily hop over. The best way I know of to deal with this problem is to remove the snow from inside the runs before it builds up to that level.

It's time for a true confession: I'm not a slogger. When faced with a big job, I look for a tool that will reduce the workload for me. I prefer chain saws to axes or two-man cross-cut saws, hydraulic wood splitters to splitting mauls or wedges, snow blowers to snow shovels. For years I used our 30" Ariens® snow blower to clear snow from our kennel runs, but it was exhausting work - there was too much maneuvering though doorways and around dog houses with this heavy and not particularly agile device.

Then my original string trimmer died (like I said, I'm not a slogger). I went shopping for a replacement, selecting a Ryobi TrimmerPlus with EZ-Link® because it is designed to quickly switch "heads", changing from a string trimmer to a lawn edger, a cultivator, a leaf blower, a leaf vacuum, a hedge trimmer, a tree pruner, or ... a snow thrower.

More true confessions: I hate maintaining small gasoline engines, so two cycle engines appeal to me, as does using a tool year round so as to avoid  "winterizing" and off season storage. I purchased enough attachments for the Ryobi so that I can use it year 'round, and I am pleased to report that its engine starts quite easily even when stored in an unheated area where the temperature can fall to below -18°C (0° F).

As evidence that the snow thrower actually moves a useful amount of snow a useful distance, I refer you to the picture at the start of this product review. I clear the dog runs and the central, security corridor in our kennel (the central corridor is five feet wide and I clear it along its forty-five-foot length, not into the runs on either side) with the Ryobi. Snow is pitched both over and through the one-inch chain link kennel fencing. Snow clearing is actually pretty quick. That central corridor, for example, is usually a five to ten-minute task, and done with little effort on the operator's part. Configured as snow thrower, the Ryobi is about as maneuverable as a push broom, and light enough to be used for cleaning off the tops of the dog houses. This makes the Ryobi TrimmerPlus® much easier to use to clear out the kennel runs than my cumbersome, walk behind snow blower. It is less troublesome and takes less time to clear the runs of excess snow build up so the doors swing freely in either direction than it does to reconfigure those two piece doors in order to fix in place the snow gate bottom section.

Contact information: Ryobi Outdoor Products, 550 N 54th St., Chandler, AZ 85226, 1-800-345-8746,

Is there a useful product you'd like to tell us about? Email your experience to or snail-mail it to Mark Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA.

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