It is seven in the morning and just as punctual as ever, Delta’s wet nose gently pushes my cheek with a look on his face, saying “Get up, it’s morning and I want food”. There is no time to slumber. He beats me impatiently with his paw, before finally breaking out in lamentation. I open my eyes and close to my face he stands, our black little beauty: Delta, smiling with his tail. As in triumph, he twirls around himself a few times when he realizes that his tormenting once again had an effect. Even I wonder how I got a dog – who had basically never barked before – to use just that as a mean of torture, every single morning. The triumph dance gives the latest addition to the family – a five-year-old Greenlandic blend, that until recently lived and worked as a sled dog at Green Dog, the opportunity to say hello. Ritter – always one step behind Delta – just needs to tell us how much she missed us during the night. Finally, it is morning and the day can begin. So what should we do today… perhaps a hike? Food? Fun? She doesn’t care, as long as she senses love.
So how did they become part of our family? I never thought it would be so enriching with a dog. Delta – also a former Green Dog – joined us just over two years ago, after he was diagnosed with an illness that caused him to retire. Ritter became part of the pack just a few months ago. Too lazy to pull the sled, but a perfect hiking buddy. Strong, curious and happy! The dogs are two very different beings with different minds, but a common thing is the good socialization they have with them. Ritter immediately moved in and accepted her new family. Delta was a bit skeptical when he suddenly had to share his attention with someone else.
On a tour in Longyearbyen during the tourist season, they charm their way through the pedestrian zone with a horde of German tourists behind them and they love it. Ritter throws herself on her back, waiting to be cuddled, while Delta chooses his own tourist who can give him attention and cuddle.
With two good adoptions, I doubt I’ll ever choose another way to get a dog again. We have skipped the puppy stage and can enjoy the Svalbard nature with the two best hiking companions one can get.
Grateful for indoor life, but at the same time active and eagerly pulling on the leash, they conquer one mountain peak after another. I might as well admit right away that it is I who is the weakest link in the pack!
And we, Jerry and I, are so incredibly grateful that Karina and Martin had enough confidence in us, to allow us to take over Delta and Ritter.
Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your extended dog family!