The Canadian Inuit Dog
From Barnes and Noble
5 out of 5 stars. The recent book The Canadian Inuit Dog: Icon of Canada’s North
Bob McKerrow, Christchurch, New Zealand
"The recent book The Canadian Inuit Dog: Icon of Canada’s North fills a very important gap in polar literature. The book has been thoroughly researched and covers the origin of the Inuit Dog from its evolution from the wolf, thousands of years ago, up until today. In 10 chapters, Kim Han's, the author, structured approach presents all there is to know about the Canadian Inuit Dog, which is genetically indistinguishable from the Greenland Inuit Dog. The book contains a lot of important scientific information about the dogs, their physiology, environment, and the culture of their owners. I liked the piece on the physical traits that help them survive.
It is refreshing to read a book on polar matters where the hardworking and loyal dog takes the lead, ahead of people for once. But still some of the explorers and hunters are not forgotten and I was pleased to see some giants of polar exploration such as Knut Rasmussen, Peter Freuchen, and Roald Amundsen mentioned, particular in their relationship with their dogs.
It was also to a joy to see photographs taken by the New Zealand born anthropologist Diamond Jenness who was a member of Vilhjalmur Stefansson' s 1913-16 expedition which studied the Copper Inuit.
For someone who has worked with huskies in Antarctica and the Arctic, I thought I knew almost everything about Inuit Dogs from Greenland, Canada and Siberia. What I discovered, was how much I didn't know.
The presentation is pleasing with a nice layout, quality photos, sketches and paintings. Outstanding is the bibliography which has been used extensively for research, but is a wonderful list for those like myself, currently doing research on polar exploration. It is a book that will become a classic in polar literature, and referred to regularly for the quality and wealth of knowledge it contains.
I spent some months on Baffin Island (Qikiqtaaluk) with 80 huskies training for the 1986 Steger North Pole expedition so I had a significant interaction with local Inuit and their dogs. Ken MacRury who is quoted in the book, became a good friend. Qikiqtaaluk and other parts of Nunavut was where the author's daughter, Siu-Ling, worked as a wildlife biologist, bred and ran Canadian Inuit Dogs for nearly 20 years. Sadly, she recently passed away of cancer. The author, her mother, is donating all income from the book to Qimmivut, a non-profit mental health and mentoring programme for youth in Nunavut. What a wonderful tribute to Siu-Ling and the Canadian Inuit dogs."
From a message by Sandy Hagan of Stacey, Minnesota, January 7, 2019.
"Hi Mrs. Han,
I bought your book and enjoyed it THOROUGHLY and completely! I have taken my Inuit Dogs to events to show and tell people the differences between Inuit Dogs and wolves and other sled dogs. I have taken them to a wolf sanctuary/learning center to show and emphasize the differences of the Inuit Dog.
I appreciate Siu-Ling's love and feelings for these dogs. The dogs are beyond description and I am very grateful for having been introduced to them through my daughter. Thanks to my daughter who knew how much I loved my Alaskan Malamutes and sledding saw something about the Hamilton's and Inuit Dogs [Sue and Mark Hamilton of The Fan Hitch website and journal about Inuit Dogs] so she called me and that started my life with the Inuit Dogs. It's been about 20 years that I have been working with Inuit Dogs and I have always called them "Original Equipment." The amazing dogs that run the Iditarod and other fast races have been bred to run and pull and are wonderful athletes but they cannot handle the cold or wear and tear on pads/paws and burn way more calories going the same distance as the original equipment does. There are other differences too but this is supposed to be a thank you letter for your book.
I also note how many of the northern dogs are driven to the races they participate in. They are not always carried in a truck like the Alaskan Huskies are but are often used to pull a sledge, the driver, the food, and other equipment to the race start site. Amazing!
My first impulse when I arrived home with your book was to go through it back to front looking at all of the pictures. Love those dogs! Then I read it and although I am not a good reader unless I am interested, I had NO issues getting through the book. I believe it is right on the subject and extremely interesting. I love the dogs and your book helped me to know them even better by explaining why the dogs do what they do.
Below is the message I sent to Sue and Mark Hamilton after reading The Canadian Inuit Dog.
Thank you for sharing Siu-Ling and her love for the dogs and thank you for writing your book.
My wife and I are interested and can donate $200 US to Qimmivut in Siu-Ling's name or however you'd like to handle it.
Inuit Dog musher and admirer."
Note from Kim Han: Sandy Hagan ended up donating US$300 instead of $200 to Qimmivut. His generosity is greatly appreciated. Below is a short excerpt of a note Sandy sent to Sue and Mark Hamilton of The Fan Hitch website and journal:
"Hi you guys,
I have and have read Kim Han's book and think it is terrific! It tells me so much of what I've noted in the most interesting (I think) dog in the world. Even more interesting than the two-legged creatures that worked with the Inuit Dog (myself included). I learned much from that book, things I had noted about my dogs and then I was able to read about them and see that those things were common to the breed and where the responses likely originated."
Note from Kim Han: Sue and Mark Hamilton of The Fan Hitch donated US$400 to Qimmivut in Siu-Ling's name, and The Fan Hitch donated another US$400. There are no words to thank Sandy, Sue and Mark, and the Fan Hitch for their generosity and kindness, their love and enthusiasm for the Canadian Inuit Dog, their kind words, and appreciation of my book.