Following on from the efforts of Miss Maree Cooper and later Mr Ian and Mrs Lesley Grey who brought the first dogs into the country and in the case of the Greys successfully showcased the breed through competitive dog sports, it is Rose Madsen who is creditted with the establishment of the Swedish Vallhund breed in New Zealand.
Her story began in the early 1990's. Then living in Otago Mr Hans Madsen was keen to give up life as a scrap metal merchant in Dunedin. He and wife Rose, had watched an appealing 'Country Calendar' episode on the dairy farming of goats in the far north. It seemed just the kind of adventure they were looking for. Within a short space of time they had sold their Dunedin business and travelled to the far north where they discovered and bought a 69-hectare property near Okaihau in the Hokianga. Hans felled trees on the property to build a milking plant and at peak production they owned some 160 goats, supplying milk to a co-operative.
"It was like I had been struck she said. It was as though I had known these dogs my whole life, as though I had a connection to them. But of course I had never seen them before. From a detailed description and a photograph they captured my heart and were about to take over my life."
It was a while before Rose and Hans were to discover the smiling dogs were Vancy, Santa, Alpha and Aster owned by Ian and Lesley of Valdemar kennel. Rose's initial enquiries led her to a breeder in Australia named Aylwin Hopgood. Alwyn owned Wynrik Kennels and was keen to find good homes for her dogs as she was waging a losing battle with cancer. Alwyn agreed to send Wynrik Christa, a 20-month-old Swedish Vallhund bitch to New Zealand much to the delight of Rose.
Rose was looking for something extra to do with her spare time and with the space they had on their rural property when she wondered if dog breeding might be an interesting hobby that would fit with their farm life and her love of animals. Flicking through a book on dog breeds she stumbled upon images of Swedish Vallhunds written by Graham Meadows.
By the time Christa’s pedigree paperwork arrived to the Madsen’s they had already registered a kennel name with the N.Z.K.C, honouring their foundation bitch. Rose, though, had spelled Christa with a 'K'. On November the 16th, 1995, Christa arrived in Auckland from Melbourne. On this same day, in Adelaide another litter of Swedish Vallhunds was whelped. The litter included a handsome grey pup, Steppenwolfe Zip. When Zip was 12 weeks old he flew to New Zealand too. Rose remembers him as a real gentleman with exceptional temperament. To Rose's thinking temperament was paramount, and she extolled this over and over to the new breeders and those she mentored in the years to come. The support of others in the breed came in between breeding some 16 champions. Rose also owned the only Swedish Vallhund stud dog to earn dual Australian and New Zealand Championship titles.
Over her fifiteen year breeding career Rose imported eight stud dogs and two bitches to create the genetic diversity she knew would be important in a breed that descends from just a handful of dogs rescued from extinction in Sweden in 1942.
Rose embraced, befriended and nurtured the new breeders. She sent foundation bitches to Swedish Vallhund kennels up and down the country. She shared her knowledge, her enthusiasm, her bloodlines with those who took a genuine interest in the breed. To anyone who would listen she would describe the "Swedish Vallhund as the ultimate dog for the kiwi lifestyle." Rose was instrumental in the first breed profile published by the N.Z.K.C, gathering articles and interviews from breeders in Sweden and the U.K.
Rose forged friendships among many international breeders of Swedish Vallhunds, and this became increasingly easier to manage and facilitate by the computer and popularity of email. It didn't take long for Rose to suggest an online e-group be formed to keep the owners of her puppies in touch with each other. She encouraged gatherings of owners to bring their vall's along to 'Vall-Meets' and she hosted an annual gathering which later she wanted to become a rememberence occassion also after her Christa sadly passed over the rainbow bridge in March of 2006 aged twelve years .
Valkrista Puppies in Mangawhai.
- NZ CH Valkrista Alatna
- NZ CH Valkrista Bert Bacharach
- NZ CH Valkrista Candy Floss
- NZ CH Vakrista Cristabelle
- NZ CH Valkrista Jumping Jellybean
- NZ CH Valkrista Lili Marlene
- NZ CH Valkrista Maid Marion
- NZ CH Valkrista Miss Matilda
- NZ CH Valkrista Miss Milenium
- NZ CH Valkrista Miss Popularity
- NZ CH Valkrista Nile
- NZ CH Valkrista Paddy's Rune Stone
- NZ CH Valkrista Paloma
- NZ CH Valkrista Picasso
- NZ CH Valkrista Silver Fern
- NZ CH Valkrista Solano ADXB JDX
- NZ CH Valkrista Treasured Tessan
- NZ CH Valkrista Valkyrie
Imported by Rose Madsen
- NZ CH Steppenwolf Zip (imp AUS)
- Wynrik Christa (imp AUS)
- Drammericans Echo at Valpyn (imp AUS)
- Ausled Platypus (imp AUS)
- Aus CH Leesway What A Player
- Castleavery Storm Rider (imp IRE)
- Ausled Ron Chaz (imp AUS)
- Candace Valkrista Voyager (imp UK)
- Ausled Classic Cangaroo (imp AUS)
- Aus CH & NZ CH Leesway Man About Town (imp AUS)
Arriving at the Valkrista kennel in 2008 were two rare dilute apricot puppies. Two apparently white puppies along with their grey sister were born by caesarean section much to the surprise of Rose. These are still the only apricot dilutes to be born to any kennel in New Zealand. People who took her puppies home often became her good friends, and she was but a phone call away for anyone wanting advice on the breed. While forging the way for the breed in New Zealand and setting the standard to follow with her generosity Rose was likely not overly mindful of the significant role she played in the history and establishment of Vastgotaspets in Aotearoa.
She was just getting on with her hobby and love of a dog breed. Rose passed away in August of 2010 after a long battle with cancer. She will not be forgotten, and her lovely silver grey dogs and breedlines are a legacy to the lady fondly known as "Mrs Swedish Vallhund."