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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Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

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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

Young Vikings, "Pinky and Perky" at two months old
                          J. Noble photo, Stonington 1966/67

Behind the Madrid Protocol:
The real reason dogs had to be removed from Antarctica

reported by Mark Hamilton

This past October, Sue and I flew to the United Kingdom to visit friends, tour Scotland (including a meeting with polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert and his wife, Lady Marie, at their home) and to attend the Marguerite Bay reunion of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey/British Antarctic Survey veterans. The event, held in Lockerbie gave us our second opportunity (the first being the reunion held in Stonington, Connecticut in October, 2001) to get to know this remarkable group of men and to hear some of their stories. The affair was much too brief, and there were so many people carrying on so many conversations that it was difficult to absorb much of any details of those exhilarating and dangerous days of exploration by dog team. Recurring themes, however, were the love and respect for the dogs, the bitterness of the dogs' removal from the continent and the sense of profound loss that virtually no genetic material from this unique population was saved. They are ALL GONE!

One of the most enlightening discussions at the reunion was the revelation to us of the real story why all dogs were banished from Antarctica. It seems that France and Argentina, for their own reasons, did not want the treaty but were unwilling to be seen as the sources of its failure. Instead, having made the assumption that the dogs were such an integral part of British effort and tradition in Antarctica as to be something they would refuse to relinquish, the French and the Argentines had the provision about removal of non-indigenous species added to the treaty. Their assumption was that while other countries with dogs (such as Australia and New Zealand) would be willing to give up their dogs, the provision would serve as a "poison pill" for the BAS and result in the treaty failing because Britain would refuse to sign. Ultimately, however, word came down "from on high" that a major treaty would not be lost over a bunch of dogs, and BAS was ordered to get rid of them.


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