Meet our ambassador Elda, the Alaskan Malamute, and her pawrent Tilda!
Hello Tilde and Elda! Tell us a little more about yourselves!
First of all, hello! So nice to be here with you. As I said, my name is Tilde, I was born and raised in Stockholm but decided in 2020 to move to Gotland with my partner. Partly because I wanted to study further and partly because we were simply tired of the stressful big city life. By the summer of 2023, I will be a fully qualified nurse, which is the first step in the direction of my dream, namely to become a midwife.
The move to Gotland also meant moving away from home, and I could suddenly make all the decisions myself. My first big decision of my own - get a dog! We found little Elda and immediately fell in love. In September 2020, we sat nervously in the car down towards Vårgårda and picked her up. Our golden nugget Elda.
Who is she then? Elda is a 3-year-old Alaskan Malamute. Stubborn as a bee, strong as a bear and majestic as a queen. She is a very independent dog, but she holds tightly to the pack. She has no special interest in people or dogs she doesn't know, but instead saves her love for us. Elda is the biggest challenge I have faced so far in my life, and at the same time she is the best thing that happened to me in every way.
Have you, Tilde, always been interested in dogs and especially the Alaskan Malamute or how did it happen that it was Elda?
My biggest dream has always been to have my own dog. When I was a kid, there were always ads for puppies at the back of the morning paper. If you ask my dad, I probably cried at least once every weekend while trying to explain that we could have a dog, that I promised I would walk with it even if it was pouring rain. 4-year-old me finally got a cat instead who walked by my side for almost 15 years. Not a bad plan B either.
Elda's breed then, an Alaskan Malamute. A large and difficult polar dog. Not a first time dog if you ask just about anyone. How did it become her? We knew we wanted a dog that would always say yes to whatever adventure we wanted to go on. The move to Gotland has meant countless more hours in nature and therefore it was on top of the dog list. We were into the Eurasian for quite a while but then fell into the Malamute. It felt right. A good challenge. And it was right.
How would you describe Elda and the breed? Is it suitable for everyone or is there something special to think about?
Without hesitation, I can say that it is absolutely not for everyone. They are incredibly independent and need their space. Elda is an individual with great integrity. If I'm too strict she stops listening, if I'm too relaxed she creates her own rules that don't suit us. I have had to step off the path regarding how one "should" be as a dog owner in order to create a bond with Elda. It took a long time for us to become a team, for a long time I thought we would never succeed. She didn't trust me, I didn't trust her. Today she knows that I can be trusted, I have had to have clear rules with her, and she needs to know where she has me.
A line of text that describes Elda well reads "when you let the birds fly, they land quickly". Malamutes need their space, they need to be themselves and take their own initiative. The more I let her go, the faster she came back to me. That said, it's not a dog for everyone, but with the right tools, it's a breed I wish everyone could experience at some point.
Please tell us more about your interests? What do you usually do together?
Oh, we hang out in the woods a lot. Elda and I love to stroll, at our own pace. Ideally, the birds should chirp and the branches crackle underfoot.Then we do pulling, she is a sled dog after all. Elda pulls me on a bike and is a real natural talent. I love the feeling of being able to ride along on the bike while she does what she was made to do. No way that she would stop and smell something along the way or not continue forward. When the harness is on, it's the focus that counts.
What made you try petgood?
During the years that I had Elda's Instagram account, I have seen petgood's posts from time to time and thought it seemed interesting. The environmental issue is more relevant than ever and it is an issue close to my heart. And then one day I got in touch with Pernilla from petgood and it clicked immediately. We got to test the food and Elda has liked it since day one. Not to be forgotten is that dental sticks and treats are also well appreciated here at home. Her tummy feels great, and I also notice that she remains full longer with this food and that she recovers well after exercise!
Finally, do you have a fun fact to share?
Fun fact about the malamute is that they were used extensively during both World War I and World War II to carry, among other things, ammunition and food. They had to work hard and many were lost due to the heavy work which made the breed almost extinct. The malamute is, unlike the husky, bred for heavy long distance work, rather than being light and fast.
Something that stands out about Elda's breed group is that they howl and talk. Elda talks a lot, when she is happy and when she wants to complain about something. Other dogs (and people too for that matter) we meet often look at her strangely because she has a completely different language. I understand them!
Another slightly funny thing is that she always throws up her paw when you scratch her or if she wants you to scratch more. She often plays with her paws too. She can sit opposite a canine friend and all of a sudden hit the other with her paw, cuckoo!
Thank you Tilde and Elda for so generously sharing your story, and we are so glad you are part of the petgood family!