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. 

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"Sunny" came to live with us and the remainder of Amaruq's and Puggiq's 
pack in October, 2003.                                              Hamilton photo

Her Divine Approval - The True Story of a Holiday Miracle

by Sue Hamilton

The knock on the front door took us by surprise. It was only around ten o'clock in the morning, but we were already so focused on preparing The Fan Hitch for publication that we must have missed the sound of a vehicle coming up the driveway. Mark opened the front door to accept a large box from the delivery man. Our resolve to have presents we had already received remain unopened until Christmas week collapsed the day before when we had become giddy with excitement at having successfully fulfilled a quest to some friends in Scotland we visited back in October. They were lamenting the fact that famous Scottish-born musher "Scotty" Allan's burial place was unknown. So after phoning the Stewarts in Aviemore to tell them Scotty had been located, we celebrated on this side of the Atlantic by opening up the gift received ten days ago and the one that arrived in the mail yesterday. There was no stopping us now, as I dug out my pocketknife and carefully slit open the box top while Mark looked on.

THERE HE WAS! The Sun Dog! Although not the first time we had seen his face, it was this same pose, electronically sent to us about three months ago, before he came to live with us, that clearly identified "Sunny" as Amaruq's great grandson. It was his striking resemblance to her that brought us to tears. (All the pups in Sunny's litter, bred by Michael and Geneviève Montcombroux, born about three weeks before Amaruq died, appeared gray at first. Right about the time Amaruq died however, one pup turned red like his great-grandmother. It was Sunny.) Now that first connection was preserved forever in an oil painting. A beautiful gift of the heart created by Michael's gifted hands.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the hangings on our crowded walls were rearranged to accommodate two recently framed pieces. It meant that a space was made just below the stenciling near the ceiling, to the right of the corner cupboard in the living room. The photo that had been there never did very well in that spot. For most of the day and night its pale colors and frame disappeared into the eggshell tinted walls.  At certain times on sunny days the light glared off the plain glass, making the image of the Greenland fan hitch very difficult to see. Mark took the oil painting of Sunny and, standing on a ladder, positioned the picture hook to achieve just the right spacing from the poem hung below it, and then hung the Gift.

There was no way we could have expected what happened next. Even by consulting an atomic clock or with the advice of meteorologists and astronomers we could have not predicted the miracle that occurred. As soon as Mark got down off the ladder, the sun must have peeked out behind a cloud, or perhaps the earth rotated so that the sun moved out from behind the back of the house, or from behind a tree. But as soon as Mark stood back, a shaft of light pierced the tear drop shaped crystal hanging from the window on the wall next to the one where the painting now hung, and cast a dazzling rainbow of glittering light all across Sunny! It was a display of color we had never noticed there before. It had to be that Amaruq, who died in July, had finally returned to bless this painting and her great-grandson, her radiant illumination of the canvas proclaiming, "He is Good."

The passing of Amaruq, one of our Pond Inlet Dogs, was lamented in Volume 5, Number 4, September 2003 of The Fan Hitch: Editorial - Newton's Third Law (of Motion) and Page from the Behaviour Notebook - Death and Transfiguration. 

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