I suppose I had better start off by saying that I have dreamt about having an Alaskan Malamute since I was a little girl. That might help to make you understand why I am so completely in love with mine.
I am now 39 and we adopted Solo (then called Jay) two and a half years ago so I had waited a long time to get him but as you probably know, making the decision to get a dog is a big one and it has to be the right time for many reasons. I finally managed to persuade my then boyfriend that it was the “right time” (mainly for me!!) and we got in touch with Malamute Rescue. Jay was the last one that we were considering to be honest. The Malamute we really went to see was called Zorro but when he was let out of the kennels to meet us, we soon realised that we would have to buy a bigger house if we were to bring him home! Not only that but we didn’t seem to connect with any of the 3 dogs that were brought out to meet us. None of them seemed bothered with us and didn’t really pay us much attention. Jay on the other hand, ran straight over to us, rolled on the floor and just wanted us to tickle his belly (that’s after he had jumped all over us slobbering us with kisses). He seemed so lovely and desperate to come with us and we fell in love then and there. About 2 weeks later after a second home visit and lots of preparation, we nervously went back up to Yorkshire to collect him.
On the journey home (back to Bristol) we decided to change his name as we knew two Jay’s already and in homage to my favourite actor (and my love of Star Wars) we renamed him Solo which fits him perfectly. Now, I’m not going to lie to you, the first 3 months were tough. We had both had dogs in the past but never one together and he certainly tested us. The first time we left him for maybe an hour to do the shopping, we came home to a bombsite and honestly thought we had been burgled. Skirting boards ripped, carpets pulled up, TV off the stand. It was a nightmare. After several months of that kind of behaviour and the fact that he seemed to like nipping me (in particular) all the time quite a bit – not in a nasty way. But, we started to take him to dog training classes and we had a visit from a particular trainer to the house that helped us. And after a while he seemed to find his place and really calm down. Another dog walker suggested that we get a crate for him so that he has his own place in the house and although sceptical, we borrowed hers for a while and from that moment on – he was a different dog. He went straight in it and we have never looked back. He sleeps in it every night and even takes himself off to bed when my husband says goodnight to him (and he always says sweet dreams to him which always makes me smile!!).
I absolutely adore him and can’t bear the thought of him not being around one day. He is 3 years old now and he has enhanced my life a million times over. I have met so many truly lovely people out dog walking, some that have blossomed into real friendships and I am so grateful for that. He is famous within our circles because he is so friendly. He is the best thing to come home to after a bad day and never ceases to give us endless love and affection. He is also a real character and all our family and neighbours love him. Even the bin men knock on the window on a Tuesday morning to see him (he loves them) and the postman keeps threatening to get some saddle bags and take him on his round! And he recently came runner up in a fun dog show for most handsome dog – I was a very proud mum!
He also made a surprise appearance at our wedding recently which was the best wedding present ever, he even had a little bow tie. I’m not sure what else I can really say about him. I don’t think any other dog is loved as much (much to my husbands annoyance!). To me he is perfect and I thank every day that he came into our lives. I only hope that that there are other dog owners out there whose lives have been changed for the better, just like ours.