Our dogs

Cane Corso Italiano

I was about twelve years old, when my parents decided to adopt a Irish Setter from an animal shelter and that made me the happiest girl in the world. He was a real smasher and much loved by both my brother and me. We called him ‘Donald’, after Walt Disney’s Duck-family and we enjoyed taking him along for walks in the park. It was very sad that we had to say goodbye to him after a few months, because he could not be left alone in the house. As I liked dogs very much I started to take neighbours’ dogs out for walks. I remember Jasper, a tough old terrier who usually had little appetite for unnessary physical exercise. Then there was Wesley, a very enthousiastic Border-collie with whom I often walked, played and trained for hours on end.   

The wish to have a dog of my own remained strong, but it took very long years of waiting before this dream came true.

Ruud, my future husband, and I had been living together for some years and I was working part-time when we went to the Turkish coast for our summer holiday (2004).

One afternoon as we were sun-bathing near the hotel swimming pool a crippled dog entered the hotel grounds in search for drinking water. Apparently he had heard the outdoor showers and came here to drink. 

Taking a closer look at him, we saw that he was badly injured. We managed to find a vet in town who was willing to have a look at the dog, give him provisional treatment and help us with necessary formalities. He estimated that the dog was only eight or nine months old. We had been unable to trace the owner of the dog and as there was little chance for him to survive without help, it was an easy step for us to decide to take him with us to Holland, even if it shortened our holiday by nearly one week. In spring and autumn poison is sprayed around hotel grounds to get rid of roaming dogs and cats. We decided to call this sweetheart ‘Side’, after the town where we found him and had him  transported to Holland by airplane! 

He has been with us for seven years now and he’s enjoying a life that bears no resemblance at all to his unfortunate early life in Turkey. It feels good seeing him race up and down the slopes of the hill like a red lightning, remembering how he was when we first saw him. At home he is a darling dog; everyone’s friend, clean, socially well-trained and a pleasure to go for a walk with to park or beach. He can stay at home alone easily for as long as is sometimes needed. He enjoys playing with other dogs and likes to go rummaging through the fields and bushes. 

We take him along when we go searching with Nina. He too likes searching, but he is easily diverted from his task. When he smells something more interesting he goes off to check it out first and after that he may  go back to the track again ... or he is just not interested anymore and goes his own way! Training courses are not his favourite pasttime. Nevertheless we did do a puppy training course together (Side as a big teenager among those little puppies, hihihi) and ‘Basic training ’  with success and diploma’s. 

How did Cane Corso’s enter our life? That was love at first sight!

In 2008, when we were taking Side out for a walk in the park opposite our house we saw him for the first time: the cutest black puppy we had ever seen! We had a talk with the owner and he told us that it was a Cane Corso and that he was 3 months old. After this first meeting we saw each other more often. Because we found Saboe a beautiful dog, we started to read more about the Cane Corso breed. In 2009 we decided to look for a second dog ........ a friend for Side and for us. 

The Cane Corso is a medium-sized, impressive and sporting family-dog. He is very social towards familiar people, but reserved towards strangers. He is a good guard dog. His curious nature and his eagerness to learn make the Cane Corso very suitable for training purposes. In short, this is the breed we would like to have.

We got in touch with Corine & Tineke from Cane Corso-kennel Amico del Petto. Their website appealed to us very much. First of all because of  the love they have for their dogs and the fact that breeding is not their main goal. The dogs live in the house with them. The well-being of the dogs always comes first and that’s the same point of view as we have. It was the love for the breed that made them wish to breed a litter. A dream that came true because they got 4 litters from their darlings. 

At the time we contacted Corine & Tineke they were making preparations for a litter. We arranged a meeting at their home in Langerak for more information and to express our wish to have a Cane Corso for  ourselves. They offered us to be put on the waiting list for one their pups. Unfortunately, shortly after our visit we were informed that the breeding with their female dog had to be called off. They referred us to   Kennel Valgaia in Slovenia, where Brihta, daughter of Corine’s Benga was expecting a litter soon. 

We thought this was a wonderful opportunity and went for it! Brihta is a very sweet CC female with a very high level of energy who really enjoys working for her boss. Brihta is training at the highest level (GG3) of obedience just like her mother Benga.

She also passed her Rh-T A working-exam with good results and she now is officially a “SAR dog” (search and rescue dog in collapsed buildings) and she has a great life with Crt & Nina. 

In August 2009 Crt & Nina were expecting their first litter with Brihta. On August 10th we witnessed, through webcam, the birth of Brihta’s puppies. Such a special moment! It was almost impossible to choose a puppy, they were all so sweet. But after sending many e-mails, photo’s and video’s and a lot of chatting, we chose puppy number 4.

She is a black brindle female with an adorable face! Her name is Cheerful Principessa Valgaia, but we decided to call her Nina.

On October 10th we went to Slovenia and took her with us to her new home. She is the cutest! 

I remember how she followed us into the hotel without a leash. She walked confidently and so self-assured through the automatic sliding doors and then without hesitation into the elevator and into our room (of course, this night she was allowed to sleep on our bed because we thought it might be so lonely for her on the floor).

The next morning we walked back to the elevator... everything went fine until the elevator doors opened. She ran away very rapidly,  diseapered around the corner and went straight back to our room (hihihihi). I believe she was thinking : I’m not going to do this trick everyday! 

Now Nina and Side are close friends and she has great respect for our cat Mister Freggle.


We love dogs so much that we wanted to include another one into our family and it was obvious from the start that this had to be a Cane Corso again.

We like Crt & Nina of Cane Corso Kennel Valgaia in Slovenia very much and have become good friends in recent years. They simply and solely breed for the love of dogs and the breed and the choices they make are always prompted by health, character and appearance of the dogs. They make every effort to see that their dogs are in good condition and the attention and guidance the pups get from them is very admirable. No doubt our new Cane Corso would have to be one of theirs.

On April 9th 2014 eight healthy puppies were born from mother Fanta (Gorizia Valgaia) and dad Brio (Jamiro):   three females and five males. We were invited to witness their birth by way of webcam. After many contacts in a cozy FaceBook chatgroup and a trip to Slovenia with Tineke the decision was made: the first born male was our choice! He earned his nickname "Brownie" on account of his colour and because he was just as delicious as a piece of chocolate.

On June 7th, at the end of our holiday in Tuscany, we picked him up at Crt & Nina's and continued our trip home. He was lying on my lap during the long drive, a bit restless for the first hour, but he found in me a safe haven later on.

For the two weeks he has been with us, we have come to know him as an open, cheerful, active and self-confident male who is, fortunately enough, very respectful towards our other two dogs, Side and Nina.

He is a mischievous clown as well, so we are bound to have a lot of fun with him also!

Cheerful Principessa