The Fan Hitch Volume 9, Number 2, March 2007

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue....

From the Editor: Who Will Share Our Vision?

ISDI Launches New Partnership in Nunavik

Qimmiit Utirtut's First Litter

A Real Inuk

Update: Sledge Dog Memorial Fund

Recollections of the Doggy Man

Sledge Dogs of The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, 1947-50

Fan Mail

In the News 

Video Reviews:
Secrets of Antarctica
Wolf Dog
Return of the Qimutsiit
Dogs That Changed the World

Product  Review: Leather Mittens by Sterling Glove

Tip for the Trail: It's in the Bag

IMHO: One Brick at a Time

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch 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

This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
Fan Mail....

                                                                photo: M. Holm

Around nine years ago, when we began what we called at the time our "newsletter", we were searching for the right name for it. The Fan Hitch seemed to fit just right because not only did it mean the traditional way working dogs in polar regions were hooked to the qamutiq (sledge), the name also had a double meaning of a place where people who are breed enthusiasts could gather to meet and to share their experiences, knowledge, ask questions and get answers. Over the years, it is not so unusual that I have had the honor and pleasure of "hitching" people up with each other because of a common interest. The ISDI and The Fan Hitch have served as and continues to be just such a gathering place. See what follows Ed.

Feb. 8, 2007:

Dear Sue Hamilton,

I am interested in ordering Kenneth MacRury's The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History….

Thanks in advance.
Kind regards,

Dear DM,

If you send me your exact mailing address, along with your preferred method of delivery, I will create an invoice as a PDF and email it right back to you.

I would love to know of your interest in the Inuit Sled Dog.

Sue Hamilton
Dear Sue  Hamilton,

You asked how I got interested in the Canadian Eskimo/Inuit dog. Well, I spend a year in Canada and heard about the breed. I am a biologist by profession, with a strong interest in dogs. I am interested in working dogs and in rare breeds. Unfortunately, there is not much to read about the Inuit dog in other publications. As I am really interested in them and might be going to work with them, I would like to learn as much as possible about them.

Dear DM,

What do you mean that you "might be going to work with them" a kennel handler learning to mush or as a scientist? The reason I ask is because there is a person at a university in your country working on a project on the physiology of Greenland Dogs.

Sue Hamilton
Dear Sue Hamilton,

Thank you also for telling me about the scientist. That's interesting to hear. Would be nice to talk to him.

Dear DM,

As you have given me permission to do so, I will forward your request for contact with her. I hope she will be able to chat with you. 

Sue Hamilton
Dear Sue,

This is so funny - just because I order a book. We have a saying coincidences, which is "the world is small place..."

Dear D,

This happens more often than you may imagine. ISDI gets to know many people through initial contacts such as yours. It is our position that we try as much as possible to help folks with their goals. Beyond being mutually beneficial, it often turns out that our collaborations help the Inuit Dog!

Dear Sue,

Thank you for giving my e-mail to the researcher. Yes, I think your way - making contacts is promoting the breed and helping it. I like your approach of doing so.

Hi N,

I very recently received a request for a copy of the thesis. DM also lives in your country and appears to be interested in the Inuit Sled Dog from a biologist's point of view. I mentioned to her that I knew a biologist (no name mentioned) in her country working on an Inuit Dog project and she asked if it were possible to be put in touch. She gave me permission to forward her contact information. Perhaps you would like to chat with her.


Hi Sue,

It's funny that it needs somebody half around the world to put people in the same country in touch - but its really great that it works too! Thank you for making the connection - I will get in touch with D!

Dear Sue,

I received an e-mail from N. I will reply to her tomorrow once I am back home.

February 26, 2007

Hello Sue,

I phoned with N on Saturday. It was a very interesting talking with her. 

Thank your for "connecting".



* * * 

On Feb. 17, 2007, at 10:09 AM, Gail Halldorson wrote:

I am doing research for the New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. I have read some of your newsletter website. Do you have any information about the dogs from Gimli that went with Shackleton in 1914 or Byrd in 1933? If you could send some info, or give me some clues where to look, it would be greatly appreciated. We are doing a display for International Polar Year, 2007 at the museum. We have started our presentation with information from the Arctic (that will be mainly, Vilhjalmur Stefansson) and Antarctic, but it is going to be a continuing effort until April--and maybe beyond…Of course, pictures would be of interest to us, also.

I would be happy to have you pass on my enquiry to your readers. This project, that started so small, is consuming me! And, it's great fun!

With thanks! 

Gail Halldorson

OK, Readers. Feel free to give this nice person a hand if you have any information for her. Thanks. Ed.

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