Madeleine Eskedahl didn’t exactly plan to have three West Highland white terriers in the family.
But the Swedish-born novelist, who was raised in the Gotland island town of Visby – a UNESCO World Heritage Site she describes as “very Harry Potter” – has always been a dog person. Now living on Auckland’s North Shore, Madeleine decided to adopt Harry after falling in love with her neighbours’ Westie, Jemma. A year later, Archie joined the fold.
Fast forward five years, and Jemma’s owners, Roy and Robyn, were moving to Waitakere Gardens retirement village but were unable to take the dog with them. “They were devastated,” says Madeleine, “So I said, ‘We’ll have Jemma.’ Well, actually I said, ‘I’ll have Jemma.’ I had to work on my husband for a little bit because three dogs is quite a lot.”
Madeleine describes it as an open adoption, as they regularly take 16-year-old Jemma to Waitakere Gardens for visits.
“The Three Musketeers are quite famous there. Everyone knows them and gives them a pat. So not only did we gain a dog, we also gained honorary grandparents, which is a blessing. We don’t have any family living in Auckland, so it’s nice having that generation for our two daughters.”
Madeleine is currently working on the sequel to her first book, Blood on Vines, and her three dogs are her constant companions.
“They are my little muses. If I go anywhere, they always come with me. They love going in the car – they’ve got little seatbelts. They love going for adventures and are really, really easy-going. But mostly, they love sleeping under my desk as I work.”