In August 2018, as a newly retired pensioner, I had the opportunity to fulfill the dream of coming to Svalbard. My wife and I went with Hurtigruten and the program included a meeting with the sled dogs at Green Dog. I’ve never had or wanted to have a dog, but to meet and socialize with these dogs … Maybe it sounds primitive, but we both fell in love. We were told that it is possible to adopt a retired sled dog. We went home, thought about it and discussed. And had email contact with Martin – “dog must be able to deal with grandchildren of all ages” etc.
By the end of 2018 we had made up our minds – we wanted to adopt a retired sled dog from Svalbard and let it move into our home, a small number of kilometers from Stockholm. Martin chose a couple of dogs – including eight-year-old Lotte. In the winter of 2019 we both planned to return to Svalbard and Green Dog to join a sled trip, meet the dogs and then finally choose our dog. But I became very ill, so we had to cancel the trip. I got back into shape and in July 2019 we were back in Longyearbyen and met and socialized with some dog retirees at Green Dog. Big dogs! We were out walking with them on a leash. You can’t say we were walking together – I was very effectively pulled uphill, which was good for me! Lotte or Vodka? It ended up with Lotte, who throws herself on her back and wants to be scratched on her stomach.
And then pushes you with her paw if you stop scratching her. Blood test and three months quarantine – all the time very good help and service from Martin and Green Dog. And in November I returned to Longyearbyen again to take Lotte home with me – it was a lot of fun with veterinary visits, air transport, etc. So how are things going today? Very well, we are very intrigued by how easily Lotte adapted and how she works. Cool, a little laid back, keeps some distance. Sometimes she “follows us like a dog” but does not come and wiggle her tail if we’ve been away. Something that suits us well. She is charming everyone who comes to visit. And she works well on a leash! Goes fast with my wife, who is walking at good speed. And understands that I am slow and then walks slowly with me.
We chose the right one! What remains for me now is to return to Svalbard to join a dog sledge trip. Could that be possible? (And yes, Erik – it can! We look forward to seeing you again 😊 Hugs from the Green Dog gang)
Erik, almost 70 years old.