Mike West

Clark Gable or William Powell in a movie version of White Fang? Nope; it’s Mike West from Hovland, Minnesota with a couple of his Malemutes; the Kotzebue not the Kobuk variety. Or was it vice versa? I’ll guess this was the kind of Malemute that Scotty Allan gave to Short Seeley when she was establishing the Siberian Husky breed. Knowledgeable pedigree experts could point them out in the studbook for Sibes. Betcha did not know that, some of you purebreedĀ aficionados. And the Alaskan Husky fans don’t care except for the sake of argument.

Mike was another one of the World War II 10th Army Division musher veterans. He said that the Army got the intel mixed up on his dogs and Lou Wheeler’s so his dogs sat out the war at home. He trained raw soldier recruits in the program at Camp Rimini near Helena, Montana, then matched them up with dogs that purchasers like Dick Moulton shipped back from throughout North America.

He first came to Hovland as a trapper after running into his friend Benny Ambrose at a barber shop in Minneapolis in the 1920s. Pencil mustaches were the fad among macho movie actors, probably an artifact of the silent and low quality film period when they gave the leading men a strong upper lip on the silver screen.

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