“The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet, and whither then? I cannot say”

                                                                   ― J.R.R. Tolkien.


Our family live in rural south Otago, New Zealand and our story with the Swedish Vallhund began in 2002 when leafing through a pet magazine I stumbled across an advertisement placed by Rose Madsen about her little dogs, a breed I had never heard of before.  I had just embarked on study in Veterinary Nursing and had been searching for a dog for my family.


After a year of waiting, Rose rang out of the blue to say she had a puppy for me, only the puppy didn't have a full tail I had asked for, instead no tail at all.  She asked... "are you interested?"  I hesitated for a moment and then decided to not worry about a tail given we had waited so long and I had four children patiently waiting.  Saying yes has to be one of the best decisions of my life.

Possum romped into our family and our hearts with typical Vallhund style.  She became central to our lives and she was best friend and companion to my kiwi kids growing up on the back of a sheep farm.


By 2004 after lots of discussion with Rose, I joined the N.Z.K.C.  and registered my breeding kennel name B.A.R.A.H.WOLFE.  Which is made up of the initials of my children's names.  Breezsha, Alice, Reuben, Amelia and Hazel.  Rose sent to us a new little boy from a different blood line.  We called him Murphy after Greg Murphy in keeping with our rally car theme.  

This then was our beginning.  What started as gaining family pet dogs became a breeding programme and excitement to share this wonderful breed with other families in just the same way Rose shared with us.  Life has rolled on in the last seventeen years since I first flipped open that magazine. 
 

In partnership with Natalie Morgan of Vanaheim Kennel we together started and formed the Official Breed Club.  I have immersed myself gathering and protecting the breed history in New Zealand from the 1970's ensuring the first kennels Valdemar, Valkrista and Shan Shao are not forgotten.  

I am driven by my desire to support new owners and make sure the breed is always available to regular folks and families seeking a companion dog. 

Today I am current President of the Swedish Vallhund Club and enjoy working with a team of seven others on committee as we strive to serve our membership and our breed under the umbrella of the kennel club (Dogs New Zealand). 

I only have two Vallhunds at home at the moment, Samson and Trixie.  I have just retired and rehomed sweet Annie, Possum's grand daughter.  But I remain committed and actively involved in the breed and supporting new breeders.  I run a Facebook group of 300 Swedish Vallhund owners and love to see so many people enjoying their dogs and becoming part of a wide community.  


Most recently I have flown home from Auckland after helping on the Swedish Vallhund stand at Pet Expo.  It was fantastic to see so many more people knowing the breed than ever before.  1 in 5 people had met or had heard of a Swedish Vallhund.  I think Rose would be terribly pleased with how things have worked out.

I invite contact from dog lovers new and experienced to chat about the breed any time!

Peta Dowle
Vet Nurse and Mum.
Otago.

In 2017 my childrens picture book was published.





Being a creative person I set about writing a children's story featuring a heroic Swedish Vallhund.  Vallhunds are brave and intelligent and often do amazing things for their owners.  I wanted to capture this in a story and commissioned Australian artist Kat Young to create beautiful images to depict the tale.  Kat took almost three years to carefully paint the stunning images that went on to become the book FOR THE LOVE OF ELLIOT.

Here is Kat as she gets her advanced copy of the book.




Tin Whistle books printed 2000 copies for the initial print run.  Of these there are about 250 books left and still available.  They can be purchased through
www.vallfund.org.