The Fan Hitch Volume 6, Number 2, March 2004

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: Kudos and Cat Calls
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F.I.D.O.: Barry Salovaara and Tina Portman
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Barry of the Midnight Sun
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The Fan Hitch Contributor Wins Maxwell Award
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Ivakkak: Encouraging Purity in Nunavik ISDs
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Games People Play:
Saving the Sled Dog or Saving the Show Dog
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Coppinger Comments Prompts ISDI Rebuttal
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News Briefs
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Media Watch
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Behaviour Notebook: Building a Team
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IMHO: The Sernix, a Fable


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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: http://thefanhitch.org  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

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                                                          Matthews photo

The Fan Hitch Contributor Wins Maxwell Award

"The Return" by David Matthews was one of three nominated finalists in the 2003 Dog Writers' Association of America (DWAA) annual writing competition. On Sunday evening, February 8, 2004, in a ceremony in New York City, Matthews' gripping account of Claire, an Antarctic sled dog, was awarded the top prize in the category of National Club: Newsletter: Feature article. Upon learning the news of his award Matthews exclaimed, "Hey, that is really such a fantastic surprise that I am not sure what to say. I am over the moon! It is the first writing award that has come my way. I have written bits and pieces over the years, but never entered a competition before."

First published in the Volume 5, number 2, March 2003 issue of The Fan Hitch, the true story about Claire was based on Matthews' experience driving dogs in Antarctica from 1964 to 1967 as a member of the British Antarctic Survey.  Currently, Matthews lives and works in the Scottish Highlands where he is also translating into English a book about the Sirius Patrol and their dogs.

The Inuit Sled Dog International is honored to have David Matthews as a contributor to The Fan Hitch. We are delighted that his writing talents have been recognized by the DWAA. Congratulations, David!

"The two teams in the story, mine - "The Terrors" - nearer the camera, taken as we were approaching the plateau edge. Claire would be 'on the cowcatcher' of the lead team. Quite nostalgic looking at the picture and remembering the feelings of anxiety, excitement, etc before starting the plunge down 5000 feet. Mac and Bryn, my two record-breaking dogs, are back pair in my team." 
"As I was sorting through old Antarctic pictures the other day (I have literally thousands from both poles), I came across a good photo of Claire, the subject of my story, which I never knew I had. It was taken about six months earlier the same season (in September)."
                                                                          Matthews captions and photos

Editor's Note:  After winning the Maxwell Award, David dug into his photo files and found two that would have been perfect for his story The Return. We are delighted that David has made them available to share with us now, with his own commentary about them.

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