I spent a lot of time last summer wandering the streets of Kotzebue and I found myself meeting a new dog at almost every turn. They are central to the culture of the arctic--just as they always have been--though the role they play in most households is different now. Snow machines have replaced the dog team. Mail is now delivered by plane. Mushing has become a luxury sport. Even some of the people who keep teams to race fail to feed their dogs adequately in the summer--it's cheaper that way--or maybe they are failing to feed themselves as well. I wouldn't claim to fully know or understand what I was seeing. I do know there is no resident veterinarian in Kotzebue. Anything a dog might need beyond water and salmon will cost a small fortune over time. And still there were dogs chained in front of almost every house. They are guardians. They are scapegoats. They areicons of a lost past. They are, less often, companions, familiars, pets.