Greenland 2022: Dog Food Kibble Or...
Updated: Feb 28
Well... we now have 13 hungry mouths to feed every day and that calls for a lot of work!
Sure... we shipped 1000kg of dog food to Qaanaaq last summer on the once-per-year cargo ship, but still - that's hardly enough.
Despite the kibble being Arktis, a blend of sled dog food that is high in fat and protein... these Inuit dogs much prefer their traditional diet! Heck they've been subsisting on it for thousands of years.
So... how does it all work? Let me share.
First we have to find hunters who are willing to sell meat - harder to find these days as a traditional way of life is slowly melting away... We asked on the local radio show, posted on the town Facebook page, tried in the village shop - through lots of miming and... ultimately found some!
But it's not easy. Lonnie and Tine had to pry frozen chunks of narwhal, walrus and seal out of a meat box with a pickaxe and a crow bar. Then load it into a wheelbarrow and cart it across town and uphill. It weighed about 60kg!
Like many other houses, we now have our own outdoor meat box too. The next step is to chop, saw, or cut up the fat parts that can be when frozen, and bring in the rest to thaw in the house. Our house is a very traditional house now too... it has a lingering smell of fat, blubber, meat, and blood soaked kibble at all times :)
So, we hang some of the meat, and get to work. We then portion up everything alternating between kibble and"real" food. On the bigger and colder days - these amazing creature's deserve nothing but the best!
It's my job to sled it down to the ice where our dogs live. (It's been a few years now that all sled dogs live on the beach instead of next to the house to help keep the noise down.) Sounds easy right? Just pull a little sled downhill with dog food in it. NOT! The minute I move the sled, all the village stray dogs come running and then it's a careful game of watching my precious cargo. Lonnie and Tine feed the dogs, I'm not yet comfortable or experienced enough, it can be a scary thing. That part could be a whole other blog post :)
The reality is that all this effort is worth it! These dogs are amazing and one can tell just how happy they are when they chomp on their traditional eats :)
Max, Fritz and Charley II hanging in the hood after a feeding :)