Maree Cooper's puppies - 1978

The story of Swedish Vallhunds in New Zealand begins in 1973 when Miss Maree Cooper, aged 16, was showing her Pekingese dog at an Auckland show.  She caught the eye of international show judge, Joe Cartledge.  Joe was impressed with her dog handling skills and invited her to come out to England and work at Ryslip kennel with himself and wife, Liz.   

Ryslip, a very large kennel facility, was involved with boarding, breeding, and quarantine work. Maree's parents formed a friendship with the Cartledges, and Maree was given permission to go once she finished her schooling and had turned seventeen years of age. So in 1974 Maree left New Zealand for England.  She worked as a kennel maid for Joe and Liz for some 15 months.  Ryslip had recently imported Swedish Vallhunds from Sweden and were just starting to breed them.  Maree remembers thinking how different to Corgi's the little Vallhunds were. 

"They had such different temperaments to Corgis.  I thought them different, and an interesting breed.
I liked them.  Swedish Vallhunds also have very cute puppies!" 

As the summer of 1975 arrived Liz bred her Swedish imported dogs Valle of Ryslip to Snackens Isa.  A delighted  Maree was able to select a puppy from this litter to keep.  When Maree flew home to New Zealand, secure in the cargo hold of the plane in a travel crate was little Ryslip Fabian (Puffin), aged 5 months.  Puffin was the very first Swedish Vallhund to arrive in Aotearoa.  He spent 30 days in  quarantine with Maree at home in Tauranga.  New Zealand M.A.F regulation of the day required only that dogs not move off their owner’s property for a period of 30 days to satisfy quarantining laws.  

Puffin holds the distinguished position of being the first New Zealand Swedish Vallhund Champion.   Maree remembers Puffin well,

 "Puffin was a wonderful dog he had been so well socialised at Ryslip and was such a happy, outgoing, and lovely dog.  His only fault being his coat which was a little too fluffy."  
A year later in 1976,  through Liz Cartledge, Maree brought a second dog out to New Zealand to join Puffin.  Maiden of Duncliffe (Margot) was Puffin's half sister and acquired from Major and Mrs Hugh Perkins of Duncliffe Kennel.  Maree recalls Margot as a quite different dog to Puffin.  
"Margot had a short hard coat, was not as outgoing as Puffin, but a nice girl with more reddish colouring than the sable grey and white that Puffin was."   
A family friend in Tauranga, Audrey Hyslop, was quite taken with Maree's Swedish Vallhunds and  decided to  import a bitch as well.  Ryslip came to the fore once again, organising another Swedish Vallhund export out of England. And so in due course (1977) Ormareon Astridita (Tuppence) arrived  for join Audrey.  Tuppence was a darling, a delightful girl by all accounts. She was shown a limited number of times in New Zealand.  Unfortunately Tuppence developed ovarian cysts and was spayed before she could be bred to Puffin.

In the November of 1978 Maree did breed Puffin to Margo.  This was their only litter, from which there were just three puppies registered under the kennel name Shan-Shao.  They were Shan Shao Skavara, Shan Shao Skidora and Shan Shao  Skiva. 


"They were beautiful puppies with lovely white fronts.  We were pleased to see they had inherited Puffin's lovely temperament.  We socialised them lots and they were sold as pet dogs “ Recounts Maree.   
As lovely as these first dogs were the lines came to an end in New Zealand, as Puffin, Margot, Tuppence and all three puppies were desexed.  
This then was the first introduction of the breed to New Zealand.