Mr. Golden Retriever Mali lives in the town of Alzenau, Germany, with his photographer-human, Gabi Stickler. Thanks to the reach of social media, he’s become known across the world, with his Facebook account delighting fans with playful and vivid pictures of his adventures (which often involve his stuffed toy sidekick, Teddy).
Let’s get to know a little more about Mali.
Mali comes from a background of shady breeders in Germany who, Gabi says, import dogs illegally from Poland. She says they were “tricked by bad people” and also that Mali was delivered to them in a sick state.
“He has a disease in which the spine is ossified and rigid,” she recalls. “In his first three years, he was operated on three times on his back and he had to experience severe pain.”
In happier news, Mali is currently “doing well” and is all about “enjoying his new life.”
With a photographer-human behind the camera lens, it’s no surprise that Mali’s Facebook page is a delectable feast of eye candy.
“Mali is my heart and my everything,” says Gabi. “I love Mali so much, and I think that reflects in my pictures. I think my pictures are also to some extent novelettish-romantic: I like strong colors and images with a statement.”
“Also, I am a very humorous human being and always try to show a portion of humor in my pictures,” she says.
A laughing pooch
“Mali is a very funny dog and loves to play,” says Gabi. “When I sit down with him in the grass, he comes and throws himself in front of me on his back and kicks his legs, so I tickle him on his belly.”
“He is a fundamentally positive and happy dog, and he always wags his tail — no matter what he does.”
Let’s meet Teddy
You’ll notice that many of Mali’s pics co-star a pint-sized stuffed teddy bear. Over to Gabi to explain:
“When he was a puppy, we gave Mali a small teddy bear to play with. He took this teddy everywhere, in the house and in the garden. In the evenings, Teddy was allowed to sleep in Mali’s dog bed.”
After that, Teddy began to hop along with Mali and Gabi on their walks — a situation that ended with him landing in a few muddy puddles and occasionally being buried in sand.
“At that point, I had the idea to photograph the adventures of Mali and Teddy,” explains Gabi.
Sweet, sweet fantasy
If Mali and Teddy could jet off on their ultimate adventure, where would it be?
“The beach!” says Gabi. “After some time at sea, the two of them would spend their time swimming, digging in sand holes, and running after seagulls.”
“Actually, I think we need a house by the sea,” she continues. “Water is Mali’s element, and he’d love to spend an entire day there.”
Working up an appetite
When he’s not embarking on adventures in tandem with Teddy, you can find Mali pursuing his other great passion — snacking.
“Mali is so greedy,” says Gabi with a laugh. “He would prefer to feed on everything we eat. He must not, of course, but sometimes we make an exception and then he gets a donut or sometimes a slice of pizza.”