My Sled Dog Collection

I'll be adding information on all the sled dog items in my collection at a later date. But, until that time I thought you might enjoy a couple of poems from Charles Gillham's book, Sled Dog and Other Poems of the North, published in 1950, and for sale in our ebay store.


You conquered the toughest country
Ever created on earth.
Where you led, man followed your footsteps,
And the North was given birth.

Mountains you scaled to the sky-top,
Slippery glaciers crossed,
Muskegs and barrenland traveled,
By thousands your lives were lost.

Trails of the Arctic are dotted
With the bones of your brave race,
No pillars are erected to you,
No stones mark your last resting place.

Brown-eyed, happy and gritty
You slaved, and your only pay
Was dry-fish, blubber, or muktuk
Thrown on the snow at your sleigh.

Without you, the Great North Country
Would yet be unknown to man.
There are insurmountable barriers
That only a dog can span.

Who went to the Pole with Peary?
Who carried the serum to Nome?
Who rescued our shipwrecked sailors,
From the ice pack, brought them home?

Who traveled the creeks to Dawson,
Hauled the mail and packed out the ore,
Left crimsoned tracks along the Bering,
Heard Aleutian sea lions roar?

Who struggled, helping his master
On trapline barren and drear?
Fought polar bears from the caches,
Stood guard over those held dear?

Struggling through the overflow
Of frigid white glacier streams,
Dragging the sledge of a Siwash—
Mush—Mush—to an old squaw's screams.

Cut feet, sore back, empty belly,
Tottering and struggling ahead—
Falling at last in his harness—
Then dragged down the trail stone dead.

Mankind has borne persecution
To strength the human race,
But never forget the sled dogs
Who gave—and died—at the trace.

Descendant of wolf ancestors—
Tempered by hardship and pain,
Fighting a raw, tough country—
These bred the Husky dog strain.

Most amazing was God's forethought,
How wondrous was His plan—
Developing the Husky Dog,
The ally and friend of Man.

You on the creeks and the tundra,
You in the squalid igloo,
Give thanks to God for the Husky
Who gave the Great North to you.


"Blowing like the very Devil,
Cannot even see the trail,
Mush, Rex, Mush. We got to make it,
We are carrying the mail.

"Down this creek a little farther
Lives a Mother, old and frail,
She just lives to see this dog team
Bringing in the 'outside' mail.

"Her boy is a big-town Doctor,
Think she said he went to Yale,
She won't live in 'outside' cities,
So she lives with him by mail.

"And beyond a little farther,
In a clearing by the trail,
Is a little girl on crutches,
She is countin' on the mail.

"Froze a foot when but a baby
And the magazines we bring
Keep her laughing all the Winter
Tide her over until Spring.

"For the two old Sourdough miners,
Just below her on the crick,
We are taking digitalis,
Seems that one of 'em is sick.

"Frozen fish for you tonight, Rex,
'Outside' people do not know
How we postmen of the Arctic
Battle gales and drifting snow.

"There's no cairns to mark the places
'Long some drifted dismal trail
Where the old dog mushers cashed in
Carrying the winter mail.

"Mush, Rex, mush—we got to hurry,
Friends ahead we cannot fail,
Uncle Sam's damn well proud of us,
We are carrying his mail."