Gianpaolo Poggio 'eyeballing' a potential 'world champion in the making'

Isotta shows her belly

Axel del Monte Alago

02-12-2006: the final message

Nearly all puppies have gone to their new owners. We only have the two English puppies Brogan and Pomona and our own Promessa. A good time, we thought, to close the puppy-log. We hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed making it. The log will stay online for a while longer. In the meantime we are working on the puppy-pages. If everything goes to plan, the pages are ready to put online somewhere in the next week.

20-11-2006, 15.00: A warm welcome for Isabella

The three puppies have got company from Italian, three and a half month old puppy Isabella. Marieke took Isabella home after the very successful trip to Italy. Isabella was born at the Polcevera's-kennel owned by Maurizio Sodini, who helped out with the hunting practice on the last day of the trip. Isabella isn't going to be a Vicini dog. In a couple of months she will leave for England, to her new owner Jan Hayward. Until that time she is enjoying herself with her newfound mates in Kleine Huisjes.

20.30: 'prickly' encounter in the garden

The garden at night is an exiting place. The puppies stroll through the shrubs chasing sounds and smells. Somtimes their search is rewarded with a remarkable encounter, like with this garden dweller. It took all the puppies a couple of tries before they found out that it isn't a good idea to stick your nose in a rolled-up hedgehog.

18-11-2006, 14.00: dog bed without wrapping gets approval

The new dog beds have soon become favourits with the older dogs. Right after the beds were unwrapped Isotta and Quinta fell down in the beds and didn't get up till a couple of hours later. The puppies also like the beds, even now the wrappings have been removed. They especially like them when Pandora tries to take a nap.

17-11-2006, 19.00: 'can't wait to try out the new bed'

Paul and Jeanette from the dog webshop came by to have a look at live braccos and to deliver two new dog beds. The puppies were very interested in the two packages that were brought in. They didn't wait for the beds to be unwrapped and instantly fell asleep on the wrapping material of the dog beds.

16-11-2006, 19.00: master of the dog bed

More and more the puppies are starting to feel at home. They are freely moving through the kitchen and respond well to the signals given by their mother, grandmother and aunts. Areas that originally were out of bounds for the puppies, are slowly conquered. The bed has ceased to be a sanctuary for the older dogs. The puppies like nothing more than spread themselves all over the bed together with Pandora. Galina is also welcome. She seems to be wielding a policy of tolerance.

15-11-2006, 16.00: eating out

The weather stays mild and the puppies still like to be outdoors. The three of them wander through the garden. Sometimes all the way to the fruit trees in the back. They also have their meals outside. Even with some light rain they seem to enjoy their soaked dogfood.

14-11-2006, 15.00: enjoying some good autumn weather

The weather is very nice, the past few days. There has hardly been any rain in the North and the autumn has been very mild. The puppies are really enjoying the nice weather. They take their short walks in the garden and like to hang around the big dogs when they are outside.

13-11-2006, 12.00: daddy is world champion

Life continues as if nothing has happened for the three puppies in Kleine Huisjes. But the news that their father Axel del Monte Alago has just become world champion (Best in Show, World dog Show Poznan), made Marieke very happy. It is a confirmation of making the right choice for a sire for Isotta. We are hoping that the puppies will step into their daddy's footsteps.

12-11-2006, 22.00: then there were three

Perla had a good first night at her new family in Aarau. In Kleine Huisjes things have become a little bit quieter. Not much however; the three remaining puppies know how to get themselves noticed.

11-11-2006, 00.00: Perla is leaving

In a few hours Perla leaves for her new home in Switzerland. Everybody is sad about the departure of Perla, especially Sylvia. But she will at least be able to enjoy Perla a little longer. On their way to Italy, Sylvia and Marieke are delivering Perla at her new owners in the Swiss town Aarau.

10-11-2006, 22.00: Pralina has her own sofa

Pralina enjoys the good life at her new family. Every morning she happily greets her new masters who give her all the attention she can handle. And if it gets a bit too much for her, Pralina finds her way to her own little sofa.

08-11-2006, 20.00: streetdog Pietro

Pietro, who showed us earlier that he is really at ease in 'his' street in Vianen, keeps on exploring new territory. Rommert, his master, can't get enough of following him with a camera. While Pietro inspects the close-by shrubs, he keeps watchful about Rommert's whereabout.

06-11-2006, 17.00: Pinto and Bruno, Young and old

Bruno, the old dog who lives with Carolien and Oscar has a new best friend. He and puppy-Pinto have become mates in a very short period. Pinto can get away with anything; he climbs on Bruno's back and he bites his ears.

19.00: Pietro settles down

We received a photo-report of Pietro getting used to his new environment: the streets of Vianen. Self-assured he walks through the streetlife near his new house. Big 'sister' Gaeta is always around to keep an eye on him. And after a stroll nothing beats a good rest on the lap of your master.

05-11-2006, 15.00: permission to enter the dog-bed

At last the big dogs have given the puppies permission to find a place in the big dog-bed. As long as they keep quiet they can even use one of the big dogs as a pillow. On the photo puppy Principe is looking a bit wary. He would soon fall asleep on his mothers head.

04-11-2006: Ollie terrorised

Ollie B, our youngest cat, has become used to the busy foursome in our kitchen. He doesn't backup easily when the barking whirlwind passes. This attitude makes him an easy target for puppy-terror. The puppies enjoy dragging Ollie by the tail through the kitchen. Ollie lays back and watches this without worrying too much. And when he does get fed up with it, he lashes out. After that he better finds a high place, if he doesn't want to become buried under four puppies.

22.00: Marit and Wim: 'just in time'

Wim van der Bij, one of Marieke's colleagues, and his daughter Marit visited our place when the puppies were just a few days old. A return-visit was promptly planned. Tonight they were here again to have another look at the puppies. Just in time to see the remaining three puppies in action and resting. Marit enjoyed herself with Puppy Promessa on her lap.

01-11-2006, 20.00: surviving the storm

The weather has been dreadful last night and this morning. It was so bad that the puppies and even the big dogs were a bit hesitant to go outside. This afternoon the storm died down and the sun came out for a while. The puppies used this opportunity to go out in the garden and assess the damage.

31-10-2006, 21.00: Aiello isn't afraid

A note from the southernmost puppy, known as Aiello to his family. He's doing great. On his little exploration trips through the garden he has already met some other pets. The rabbits are apprehensive; they snart and bite at him. But Aiello doesn't see the danger, he goes there anyway. And also inside the house he isn't afraid. He doesn't back up for noisy appliances like the hoover.

30-10-2006, 10.00: Pimpa is doing well

Pimpa has a great time with his new Family Marjan, Johan and Rijk Fasel. He enjoys his daily walks and the attention he gets from especially Rijk. He has even been to a football match, supporting Rijk's team. They lost the match but Pimpa gained a valuable experience.

28-10-2006, 20.00: lust for game

Give the puppies some game and they enjoy themselves for quite a while. A dead quail gave the puppies a good opportunity to show their eagerness with game. All three instantly picked the bird up and carried it around. They weren't ready for a hands on delivery of the bird. Bit given some time they will get the hang of that too.

27-10-2006, 14.00: new friend for Duca

Pascoli (who is called Pascal at his new home) has soon become best friends with Duca and the Ferwerda family. Duca gave his little mate a warm reception and after a short time of getting used to each other they even chaired the same dogbed.

21.00: nearly house-broken

It takes some effort, but if we keep on paying attention we manage to get the four puppies house-broken. They are already announcing their need to go outside by barking and walking to the door. They are not yet ready to wait for someone to open the door, however. If that takes too long they use the doormat as toilet.

26-10-2006, 10.00: Pace's first week

Pace is really getting used to his new home. Owner Helen Waldhof writes to us that Pace is busy exploring the garden. Every day she goes to the nearby forest for a brief walk. The hard food is still something Pace must get used to. But mixed with some dog-sausage the four daily meals go down well.

25-10-2006, 10.00: wet grass and mice

Our cat Ollie B. with a mouse, caused great amusement with the puppies. They tried to steal the mouse from Ollie, who climbed the fence and looked down on the little troublemakers. The puppies went on with another one of their favourite pastimes: chasing each other through the morning dew.

24-10-2006, 23.00: English male back in Kleine Huisjes

The 'English' brown male puppy has returned to the nest. He was lovingly awaited by 'puppy-mother' Sylvia who visited us this evening. Marieke has taken the puppies to the vet. They were checked and had some socialisation experiences. The brown male will stay in Kleine Huisjes for some time. Mariska from Burum will take care of one of the female puppies.

23.00: hunting practice

After some fine retrieving by Delizia this afternoon, the puppies got to try and get the feel of a real duck. Although it felt a bit strange at first, the puppies soon got the hang of getting a good grip and dragging the duck in our direction.

23-10-2006, 15.00: a nice rumble in the garden

The three sisters are having a great time. They sleep together in their little crate and when they wake up they'll let us know. Sometimes they are even scaring away the big dogs. A chewing stick they found in the garden, became the prize of chase and tussle on the lawn. With puppies of the same size and when it only lasts a few minutes, fights like that aren't harmful for the puppies.

23.00: three puppies left in Kleine Huisjes

For a short while the four remaining puppies got the chance to lie together on a pillow. But since this morning only three puppies remain in Kleine Huisjes. They will be together for a little while longer. Much to the pleasure of Pandora, who has made her life's work of nursing the little puppies. And sometimes to our horror, when three little terrorists are busy in the kitchen or the garden.

22-10-2006, 11.00: Pralina on route

This morning Lammy and Wim collected Pralina, the darkest bitch. Yesterday evening the little rascal was playing on a field on the other side of the country. She has gotten used to car travel the past few weeks, so the two hour drive to her new home will be easy for her.

21-10-2006, 11.00: school has started for Pietro

While most Dutch children are still enjoying the autumn holidays, Pietro was expected at school this morning. He started his first obedience classes today. 'At first he was a bit apprehensive', said Rommert Hazenberg. 'But when she got used to the other dogs, she really went for it with gusto.' Pietro learned to respond to the first, simple commands. He showed some promise as a student.

11.00: Pandora takes custody

The four remaining puppies spend the night in a little dog-crate. Just enough space, we thought. Pandora thought differently. She found a way to get herself into the crate among the offspring she claimed. Any of the grownup dogs, including Isotta, that aren't happy with this situation, can expect a lip and a growl from the self-proclaimed custodian.

20-10-2006, 10.00: four puppies left in Kleine Huisjes

The delivery-team arrived home yesterday, after they had handed over two more puppies. Pimpa is going to live with Marian, Johan and Rijk Fasel (photo below) and Pace with Helen Waldhof. Until the end of this weekend our own puppy will be accompanied by three sisters. The big dogs have it a little easier again. Some of them even try to tease the puppies into some gentle playing, which we allow as long as it doesn't get to rough.

19-10-2006, 9.00: second 'puppy-delivery day'

For the second day in a row, Marieke, Barbara and Rommert are setting off to deliver a couple of puppies to their new owners. Yesterday the Curvers family from Valkenburg (photo below) and Carolien and Oscar from Deurne received their puppies. Today the 'puppy-delivery service' travels east to deliver two more puppies.

22.00: Pascoli leaves the nest

A few moments ago the Ineke, Frank and Dick Ferwerda left for their home in Mantgum with their new companion Pascoli. The orange male puppy will become the playmate of Duca who moved to the Ferwerda family a few months ago.

16.00: 'English' Primo stays in Burum

It has become even more quiet in Kleine Huisjes. Elize, her mother Mariska, Valero and Dante from, picked up Primo, the male puppy that is likely to move to England. Primo has to stay in The Netherlands for a couple of months before he is allowed to make the crossing. During this period he will stay in Burum at Mariska and family and in Kleine Huisjes.

18-10-2006, 12.00: travelling with six puppies

This morning Marieke, Barbara and Rommert got in the car for a trip across the country to deliver four bracco-puppies to their new owners. At the departure everyone was smiling. Marieke knows, however, that she will shed some tears when she has to let one of 'her' babies go. The puppies of Rommert and Marieke accompanied their four brothers and sisters to get some car-travelling experience.

17-10-2006, 21.00: webmaster back, first puppy leaves nest

The webmaster has found his place behind the computer again. It has been a very busy week. The puppies have really grown. Many bracco-experts among which Gianpaolo Poggio (photo) have visited Kleine Huisjes to examine and test the puppies. Last weekend the first puppy left the nest. Pietro accompanied Rommert Hazenberg to Vianen where he will live together with Gaeta.

09-10-2006, 9.00: first encounter baby-sitter is ok

The first encounter with baby-sitter Riek has gone well for the puppies. They were treated to a big bowl of milk. From now on Riek won't have a problem gathering the club, as the puppies know that there might be a treat for them.

08-10-2006, 22.00: new babysitters

The webmaster thought it necessary to go on a fishing trip again. For the website this means that not much will happen the coming week. The puppies won't notice much from the webmaster's absence. Riek and Oscar, Marieke's mum and dad, will pamper the puppies the next couple of days.

18.00: British puppy-inspection

The puppies have been closely inspected by Kim Parris, chairwoman of the British Bracco Italiano Society. Kim, who owns three braccos and three spinones, Will be the owner of one of the puppies that will live abroad. She'll be here today and tomorrow. Next November we'll meet again, when Kim and three bracco-friends join us on our trip to Italy.

07-10-2006, 16.00: driving lessons

Driving in the car is a part of the process of socialisation. As long as the puppies don't get the notion that something strange is happening, everything is ok. On their first drive the pups had a good time in the bench. But when they arrived home and they noticed some familiar smells, they couldn't wait to get lifted out of the car.

06-10-2006, 14.00: granny knows best

Isotta does what she can with suckling. But with the sharp claws and teeth of the puppies, she has a hard time. For the puppies this is the sign to go and look for other sources of milk. A situation which is exploited by Pandora, who started to become all motherly when the litter was born. She gladly offers her teats to the puppies. And they gladly accept, even though there's no milk at granny's.

21.00: meeting Ollie

Up till now our cats Tom Poes and Ollie B have managed to stay out the way of the puppies. But tonight Ollie B was inspected by one of the puppies. Even though the puppy showed more ineterest for Ollie B than the other way round, Ollie didn't seem to mind that the puppy sniffed his ears and whiskers.

05-10-2006, 11.00: sleeping with mother again

The puppies are enjoying their new freedom to the fullest. they have found their favourite hiding and resting places in the kitchen and they try to approach the big dogs. They are still apprehensive about it, as they aren't very keen on eleven biting and scratching creatures. The new surroundings can be a bit intimidating at times. At moments like that it is good to know that your mother is in the neighbourhood. As long as they keep their teeth and claws to themselves Isotta allows the puppies to take a rest on her pillow.

04-10-2006, 12.00: the gates are open

The gates have literally opened for the eleven puppies. After cleaning the kitchen we decided to remove the doors that keep the puppies inside the whelping box. Straight away the puppies went to examine the kitchen. Some of them found a new place to take a nap, while other puppies returned to the safe surroundings of the box.

18.00: the late summer sun

It was a very nice day here in the north of the country. The day started with some rain, but progressed with sun and a nice temperature. The puppies exploited the nice weather to the fullest. They ran out on the lawn and had a great time. Before long however, they all returned to the kitchen door. With the days shortening the evenings are getting a bit colder.

03-10-2006, 14.00: bracco-battery

The time has come to teach the puppies some tablemanners. Up till this afternoon we fed them by hand. Not only resulted this in big brawls, it also gave a big mess. With the feeding-battery that Gianpaolo Poggio made for us, feeding has become a leasurely pastime. The puppies keep to their compartments (maximum eight at a time) and the mess has reduced dramatically.

23.30: escape artist

It is becoming more and more difficult to keep the puppies on their place. The gate of the whelping box, which is slightly lower than the walls, needs to be barricaded with the bed of the big dogs. And it won't be long before the puppies can't be held back by the walls of their living space. Some of the more enterprising puppies are already checking out the walls. Each day they perform stretching exercises to find out how much they have to grow for a successful escape-attempt.

02-10-2006, 13.00: peace and quiet

After a hectic weekend the puppies' territory has become quiet again. They have been sleeping and resting and it looks like they have regained enough energy to pick up their ordinary lives again. After a couple of meals they found each other again, growling and biting. Because nothing is better to get the circulation started, than a good brawl with your brothers and sisters.

13.00: fight in the kitchen

After the final feeding session it is time for the puppies to go to bed. But not before their bed is made. During the changing of the sheets in the whelping box, the puppies get to wander around between the chairlegs in the kitchen. And while they are out there they use the kitchen as a battlefield. They bite their brother and sister's ears, legs and tails. It looks a lot like playing, but they are also busy establishing the ranking in the litter.

18.00: rushhour in the whelping box

It was a good day for socialisation today. The whole day through visitors were admiring the puppies. There was even a little reunion of owners of puppies of the Gemma x Valero combination. The puppies got enough attention. At some point it was even rushhour in and around the whelping box.

01-10-2006, 10.00: skipped a day

Plenty of things happening, not enough time to report them. That's why there weren't any reports from Saturday. Yesterday, Marieke, Rommert and their 'crazed fan' Barbara were having a good time in the fields around Westernieland. In the afternoon and evening the puppies were inspected by the three bracco-tifosi.

18.00: greetings from Tiny Houses

Our village Kleine Huisjes which translates in Tiny Houses couldn't be named better today. Bracco-fanatic Ilonne came by to show us the birdhouses she imports from Sweden. With a part of her collection we turned our garden terrace into a small village. The puppies who came to visit suddenly looked very grown up. Click here to view the entire collection of bird houses.

29-09-2006, 11.00: Thom's visit

For Thom, Marieke's cousin, a wish came true when he stepped in the whelping box. He had been longing to meet the puppies in real life. The puppies were ok with Thom's visit. They used him to climb on and tested their little teeth on his jeans and socks.

13.00: saying hello to granny

The puppies are really starting to find their way in the kitchen. They are especially drawn to those spots that are hard to reach. Like for example the dog bed on which granny Pandora likes to seek refuge. Pandora knows what is soon going to happen. But up till now she tries to keep the puppies away from her resting place with a silent growl and a raised lip.

28-09-2006, 15.00: lunching alfresco

The puppies have already gotten used to the outdoor air. They have such a good time in the garden that they don't have a problem with exploring the outer boundaries. Because these little expeditions aren't without risks (water, poisoneous plants), we have fenced in a piece of lawn for the puppies to be during daytime. They even had their first 'alfresco' lunch today.

16.00: Sylvia is back

Good news for the puppies: their 'godmother' Sylvia has returned. She was welcomed with a lot of noise. Sylvia's patience was put to the test when she took the eleven rascals out to the garden. While one of the puppies was trying to dig out the plants in the border, another one was coming dangerously near the pond. Babysitting the puppies in the garden is rapidly becoming a job for someone with more than just two hands.

27-09-2006, 08.00: in and out

The cleaning of the whelping box is always tricky with the puppies who are constantly in the way. To make our lives easier we let the puppies out of the box. With the kitchen door open, most of them ran outside for a little adventure in the garden.

22.00: nearly escaped

A couple of the puppies nearly managed to escape from the whelping box. And if we hadn't been present, they might have succeeded. Isotta entering the kitchen was what triggered some of the puppies to climb the steep pvc wall.

26-09-2006, 13.00: Tom Poes keeps a low profile

By coincidence our cat Tom Poes ran into the puppies. She noticed us in the garden and while she approached us, she ran into a group of young 'hooligans'. At first she found the encounter interesting. But when the puppies started to eat her coat, she took off. Since that incident Tom Poes keeps a low profile.

16.00: walking the dogs

The trip to the garden has become a daily routine for the puppies. They enjoy themselves in the neighbourhood of their company. Some of them also have a good time on their own, exploring exiting new places, like the borders of our little ponds and the entrance of the 'dog-forest'. Back in the whelping box they loudly protest their confinement. A protest which can only be silenced by a suckling session with Isotta.

25-09-2006, 12.00: pointing lesson

One of the puppies got an early start of his hunting career this morning. We took him to the shed to meet our quails. As in a trance he admired the birds, thus getting his first lesson in pointing. The quails weren't very happy with their four legged onlooker. They reacted very grumpy when the puppy came near their food.

16.00: a little rain

Today, like yesterday, the puppies had a stroll through the garden. The temperature was ok even though the sun didn't show. We even had a little rain when the second group was out. Another new experience for them. If you get wet you have to seek cover. For example behind the trouser legs of your companion in the garden.

24-09-2006, 10.00: visitors in the kitchen

Moving to the kitchen worked out fine for the puppies. They don't have a shortage of attention, especially from Delizia who can't keep her eyes of her little cousins. Under the watchful eyes of old Quinta and mother Isotta, she is even allowed to sniff and lick the puppies. Jurrian who is visiting with his brother Merlijn and mom and dad, had a great time in the Whelping box. He even helped out with the feeding.

16.00: the big move

The puppies are having a great time in the garden. They are enjoying themselves so well, that we decided to make a little place for them outside. And while we were moving stuff, we picked up the whelping box and placed it in the kitchen. Here the puppies will be surrounded by the watchful eyes of their aunts.

23-09-2006, 10.00: fed by strange hands

Every four hours the puppies press their noses against the side of the box, in anticipation of the bowl with food. Especially the last few days it is a surprise who is connected to the bowl. This time it was Marianne van Velzen, who owns Isotta's sister Fenna. Marianne and Leo are paying us a visit. They were curious about Fenna's eleven cousins.

14.30: outside

The lives of the puppies is a succession of new impressions. They see new things, smell new smells, taste new food and hear strange noises. But a whelping box isn't very big, so a change of scenery isn't bad. Especially on a bright and sunny day like today. One at the time, the puppies lay themselves on the garden table. They are clearly enjoying the rays of the September sun and crawl to the edge of the table to sniff at the curious bunch of grownup dogs.

22-09-2006, 08.00: passing through milk

Isotta is still feeding. But with the growing teeth and the increased activity of the puppies, she only manages suckling for short periods at a time. To ensure that the puppies are getting enough milk we feed them bottled milk in a trough. The dessert is for Isotta who gets to lick the trough. And while she's at it, the puppies take their chance at Isotta's 'milk bar'.

22.00: socialisation

The world of the puppies is bordered by four walls made of pvc and metal. Sometimes one of them manages to climb high enough to have a peek at the outside world. But up till now there is enough to explore on their trusted rug. And from the outside plenty of things happen like waving plastic bags, guest peeking into the box and a cd with outside noise playing all the time. To let the puppies get even more used to the big bad outside world we sometimes take them with us to another room. For example to meet the grown-up dogs.

21-09-2006, 13.00: play and play

The senses of the puppies appear to work fine. They have no trouble finding and jumping on each other, with a step back and a lot of growling. Isotta seems to have accepted her job as feeder. Dutiful she lays herself on her side for fifteen minutes for the milk which more and more becomes additional feeding to the solids the puppies devour.

20-09-2006, 12.00: buried under puppies

Motherhood is taking its toll on Isotta. The puppies have reached enough height to get to the teats when their mother is standing up. Because of the small teeth of her offspring, suckling becomes quite painful after a while. Lying down doesn't make things much better for Isotta. As soon as she lowers herself the puppies gather and their mother is buried under eleven little braccos.

19-09-2006, 23.00: feeding appointment with Sylvia

The puppies like to be spoiled by Sylvia who, night after night, patiently feeds them with solid food. After over three days of silence on the weblog, the puppies have grown well and are looking good. Their feeding ritual consists of eating solid food and drinking with Isotta. The drinking sessions are becoming shorter. No problem for Isotta who now has more time to muck around in the garden.

23.00: no messages for a couple of days

The next couple of days there will be no new messages on the log. The webmaster takes a break and leaves for Iceland for a couple of days fishing. The puppies had their second solid meal today. They are really enjoying it. Isotta is standing by seeing the meatdisks she loves so much dissappear in eleven little mouths. Luckily for her the puppies are sloppy eaters. So there is plenty left on their bodies for Isotta to lick off.

15-09-2006, 19.00: peace and quiet

It has become quiet again in Kleine Huisjes. This afternoon Yvette and Chris from Australia, got in their camper for their next appointment: a dog show in Zwolle. They couldn't leave however, without giving the puppies a cuddle. The puppies stayed with us when Chris, Yvette, Bracco Diva and Bordeaux Blondie, moved on.

14-09-2006, 22.30: international day

A day full with international visitors. Firstly Australians Yvette, Chris, Bracco Diva en Bordeaux dog Blondie and later Sylvia and Italian Eleonora. Especially Eleonora didn't want to leave the whelping box. She soon found a favourite puppy: a dark brown bitch she kept near for the rest of the evening.

23.00: strenuous days

The past few days have been very strenuous. Our daily routine goes on as usual and next to that the puppies demand attention. Luckily we had Sylvia who took a lot of work out of our hands. Isotta knows that too, so she welcomes sylvia as soon as she shows up near the box. Sylvia, thanks again for your help. In the evening more help was on its way. despite the busy times, Mariska, Angelo and Ilja insisted on having a look at the puppies. To compensate they brought a complete meal. The puppies are becoming more fun by the day. It isn't hard to imagine that we had a hard time trying to draw Ilja away from the whelping box.

13-09-2006, 15.00: mucking about

It is starting to get busier in the whelping box. Nearly all of the puppies are moving around comfortably on their four legs. In their upper jaws the first signs of teeth are showing. And of course it is fun to test them. They attack their brothers and sisters making growling and barking noises and biting each other in the head. Isotta finds it harder and harder to find a secluded spot to rest. The lifes of the puppies now consists of drinking, sleeping and mucking about.

22.30: maternity visit

Giulia is the first of 'the other dogs' to have had a close look and sniff at Isotta's puppies. Isotta didn't growl, but she kept an eye on her little ones while Giulia took a trip through memory lane. After giving one of the brown puppies a good licking both Giulia and the puppy took a nap on the mattress next to the whelping box.

12-09-2006, 14.00: play or stumble?

The transition from stumbling against each other and playing is very hard to notice. But it looks like the puppies are bumping into each other more regularly and when they do meet they are rolling over each other through the box. For the puppies this is the last week their menu consists solely out of milk. Soon they will add some more solid nourishment to their diet.

22.00: a substitute teat

After feeding the puppies rest well. But sometimes Isotta is a bit too eager saying hello to a visitor or someone passing by. She jumps up and leaves her still feeding puppies behind. They start a spontaneous search for a substitute for the teat, like their sister's nose.

11-09-2006, 11.00: worm-treatment over

Yesterday night the puppies got their last worm-treatment. It seems that none of them suffered from it, apart from some slight tummy trouble. The puppies drink well and move around a lot. Crawling has become running around, while making noise all the time.

09-09-2006, 14.00: pups are well after worm-treatment

They did feel their tummies a bit and they were a bit noisy, last night. But all in all the puppies coped well with their first worm-treatment. They still have two days to go. Isotta takes good care for her offspring. She takes little walks every now and again, but promptly returns to the box.

22.00: worming

For the first time in their lives the puppies tasted something else than Isotta's milk. Tonight was the start of their first three day worm-treatment. After being treated they seemed ok, licking their lips. But we know from past experience that a worm-treatment often ends up in tummy trouble.

08-09-2006, 10.00: van moles to puppies

from moles to puppies within two weeks. The open eyes have given the puppies a totally different appearance. It seems like the new look has given them extra confidence. And even though the puppies aren't able to use their open eyes yet, they are already checking the 'weak spots' in their enclosure.

20.00: an open eye

The eye-lid training was a sign of what was to come: the first open eye is spotted. Not opened very wide and only one, but really open. One of the orange and white girls was the first. The others will probably follow soon.

06-09-2006, 11.00: puppy-doo

Up till now Isotta has been a very caring and clean mother, licking her babies whenever necessary. With the increased mobility of the puppies, this is getting harder and harder. As soon as the puppies have their bellies full with milk, they take a walk and do their 'business' on the go. For us this means that we are constantly changing sheets. Our washingmachines are doing overtime.

23.00: time-out

Isotta shows herself to a good mother, even though her babies give her a hard time every now and again. In between feeding and resting she does need some time on her own. With a stroll through the garden and some investigative work in the wood pile, she reloads the battery.

05-09-2006, 13.30: puppies active, Isotta too

The puppies are becoming more and more active. A couple of them manage to raise themselves on all fours and totter around in the box, bumping into each other. It won't be long before they know where they are going though, as they are already training their eyelids. Isotta finds it a bit too busy at times and escapes to the backyard. This morning she had such a good time getting re-acquianted with her 'old' playground, that she ignored our calls and stayed out a little longer.

22.30:on the move

Tonight Sylvia did the honours for the daily weighing routine. Not an easy task as the puppies start to find out what these four sticks under their bodies are capable of. They like to explore new grounds and the basket that is used as a temporary resting place, isn't holding them back anymore. It won't take long before the first puppy 'breaks out' the whelping box.

04-09-2006, 16.00: new sleeping positions

It has become quiet again in and around the whelping box. Everything is back to normal. Isotta happily welcomed 'baby-sitter' Sylvia and the puppies are into their normal routine of drinking crawling around and sleeping. They have started to experiment with new sleeping positions like lying on their back and this 'bar stool'-style.

22.00: sit-in at the whelping box

A true gathering of bracco-tifosi tonight, around Isotta and her offspring. Lammy and Wim (l.) and Carolien and Oscar were welcomed by a friendly Isotta who clearly enjoyed the attention. The puppies are relaxed. Every now and then they try out their limbs. One of them even tried to climb out of their basket.

03-09-2006, 12.00: Isotta bookmarked

Many of our Bracco-friends have travelled to Kleine Huisjes to visit Isotta and her babies. Elise and Ilja also had to pay us a visit. They got acquianted with the puppies they already know so well, as a daily ritual is logging in on Isotta's weblog to check out if there's news about the puppies.

02-09-2006, 10.30: Growth-sprint by puppies

Weighing the puppies is a daily riual. Especially in the first few days the puppies were growing steadily, but slowly. No needs for concern though; the past couple of days it seems that the puppies have started a growth-sprint. Until now this applies to all eleven puppies. Not one of them seems to be lacking behind.

01-09-2006, 11.00: a healthy appetite(II)

Isotta is cheerful to everyone she knows. While the puppies are drinking, she begs for some extra attention. Feeding eleven pups takes a lot out of Isotta. This shows by her healthy appetite; within two hours after having breakfast, Isotta is getting hungry again.

31-08-2006, 22.00: Isotta relies on Sylvia

It started with a cautiously raised eyebrow. Within moments Isotta changed her behaviour towards Sylvia to a raised head and a wagging tail, as soon as Sylvia enters the whelping box. Sylvia offered to help out on busy days, as godmother of the puppies. Isotta soon found out that her puppies were in the right hands. Sylvia took sees to it that Mother and offspring get the best treatment they can wish for.

17.00: Rijk can't wait

With some consistency future owners find their way to Kleine Huisjes to come and have a look at the puppies. This afternoon Rijk undertook a 2.5 hour journey to sit next to the whelping box, together with mom and dad. This first acquiantance with the puppies won't make the waiting any easier.

30-08-2006, 07.00: Ciao e grazie Paolo

Early this morning Paolo Poggio said goodbye to Isotta and her babies. After four days in Kleine Huisjes, Paolo, on the photo with Derk Hazenberg who took him to the airport, left for Savona. Next November Paolo welcomes us in Italy when a group of Bracco-tifosi makes a journey to the origin of the Bracco Italiano. Paolo, ciao e grazie !

23.00: drink, drink, drink

The life of a newborn puppy isn't the most exiting you can imagine. The day consists of drinking and sleeping, and the occasional 'ride' to the basket, when mother Isotta goes for a little walk. The best part of the day is spent while attached to the teat. Drinking is very intensive and tiresome. It often happens that a puppy falls asleep while still attached to the teat.

29-08-2006, 11.00: licking bellies

An important part of the care of the puppies is belly-licking by the mother. After feeding and 'detaching' the puppies from the teat, Isotta gets the chance to lick them on the belly. This stimulates the urinary passage and the bowels.

22.00: visitors ok, but not too many

Isotta is relaxed. She eats and drinks again and the diarrhoea that is normal after giving birth, has dissappeared. She allows visitors to take place next to the whelping box. And every now and again she even welcomes them, like here with 'crazed bracco-fan' Barbara Hazenberg who visited Kleine Huisjes together with her dad Rommert.

28-08-2006, 9.30: Isotta less stiff, puppies more active

After a quiet night, Isotta sprang up for her daily morning walk. She looked a lot less stiff than the previous days. The puppies are more active as well. They move around more in the box. After they have had their feeding session, some of them find a secluded spot in the whelping box to do a little nap.

17.00: Rommert Hazenberg: 'topdog'

Bracco-fanatic and secretary of the Dutch Bracco Italiano club, Rommert Hazenberg, couldn't wait to drive to Kleine Huisjes as soon as he could, to have a look at the wonderful litter. His eye fell on a beautiful orange/white male puppy which, according to him, will grow up to become a topdog.

15.00: twelve hungry mouths

Slowly but surely Isotta regains her appetite. Especially the mashed 'dog-burgers' are welcomed. And while the food comes in through one channel, eleven hungry mouths see to it that it dissappears just as quickly.

27-08-2006, 10.00: a quiet night

Compared to the previous nights, any night is quiet. But tonight really was. Everyone: Isotta, the puppies, our guests and ourselves had a very good night's rest. Isotta appears very relaxed and satisfied and so do the puppies.

23.00: 'a beautiful litter'

What a day and a night before. But Isotta is quiet now and is totally devoted to her offspring. The puppiest seem content. They drink, sleep and find a warm place against their mother. And Isotta? She stretches and enjoys life to the full. The first visitors have met the litter. The Ferweda family, Duca's owners, couldn't resist to drop in and have a peek. And in the evening Gianpaolo Poggio arrived with Sylvia, who owns Giulia. Gianpaolo flew from Italy, just to have a glimps of the litter. He seemed impressed with the quality of the puppies. The eyes, ears, noses and lip, all seemed more than ok. Thing look good.

11.00: we're done

After one of the hardest nights in our lives, we're finally done. Isotta stuck with twelve deliveries, including one dead puppy. The young mother is doing fine again. She has already regained her healthy appetite and she clearly enjoys her puppies. We would like to thank everyone from all over the world who watched our weblog and supported us with kind words. Many special thanks go to Gianpaolo Poggio for being an intermediate in Italy. And many thanks also to Bitte Ahrens, the owner of the father of this litter: Axel del Monte Alago, for letting us call her in the middle of the night for advice. And a very big hug for Lammy and Wim who surprised us by having a breakfast delivered to our doorstep. Thanks again, we'll keep you informed through our weblog.

09.50: the last one?

Isotta is totally exhausted. And so are her helpers. After a night without any sleep we helped Isotta deliver her eleventh puppy. Eighteen hours after her first puppy a beautiful brown boy was born.

06.15: at long last, number ten

After the birth of number nine every sign pointed to a quick birth of number ten. Exhaustion took its toll on Isotta, however. She couldn't cope pushing anymore and had to rest. After a waiting session of a gruelling five hours number ten finally arrived: a healthy brown boy. We think that this is the last puppy. But we're keeping our options open.

01.35: Isotta is not ready yet

It is late, but Isotta still has some work to do. Just now, she gave birth to number nine: again a girl, but this time orange/white.

26-08-2006, 0.10: number eight

shortly after the birth of number seven, Isotta starts to push again. Number eight is a lovely girl with a beautiful brown colour.

23.45: one dead, one alive

After the first six puppies it went quiet for three hours. Isotta was relaxed and licked and suckled her offspring. Only after a short walk outside, she started pushing again. The reason of the delay was a little brown puppy that came out dead. Always sad, if something like that happens. Luckily the white/orange male that followed her, was very much alive.

20.30:...and a sister

And just when Jeroen was having a look at the photos, Isotta thought it a good idea to give birth to her sixth: a beautiful orange and white bitch

20.15: the four have a brother

Isotta was kind enough to let us finish our dinner. But there wasn't time for coffee. As we were taking away the dishes, she started pushing again. The result is very nice orange boy.

18.40: number four

Say hello to number four, a dark bitch that came out smoothly.

18.00:second bitch born

At exactly six pm, the third puppy was born: a brown bitch. Brother and sisters are lying besides each other, enjoying their milk.

16.50:second puppy, a bitch

Exactly one hour after the first puppy, Isotta delivered her second: a sturdy orange and white bitch. Isotta is getting the hang of giving birth. The second one came out very smoothly.

25-08-2006, 16.10 h.:first puppy is born

It has started. Just before four Isotta gave birth to her first: a beautiful brown male.

25-08-2006:showing the first signs

It has been a tough night, especially for Marieke who stood by Isotta most of the time. Last night Isotta started to show the first signs of contractions. She was sighing and breathing heavily. This didn't prevent her from cuddling up on Marieke's Mattress next to the whelping box. We are expecting Isotta to start giving somewhere in the late afternoon or the evening.

24-08-2006: ready for the delivery

With one day to go we are ready for the delivery. All the equipment we need is at hand and the whelping box is prepared. Even though it will probably take another day, Isotta might have other plans and start giving birth earlier. Any which way, we are ready for it.

19-08-2006:last week, still growing

Isotta has started her last week before delivery. If everything goes as calculated, she'll be delivering on the 25th or 26th of August. Isotta is ready for it. She spends her days with doing as little as possible. Her belly has grown to impressive proportions.

15-08-2006:Isotta tests her new whelping box

Isotta's whelping box arrived from Belgium yesterday. In stead of traditional wood, the box is made of aluminum and plastic. Isotta tried the box out and seemed happy with it. She took her afternoon nap in it and didn't feel like moving to her blanket in the kitchen.

14-08-2006: cooling down after the puppy-reunion

Even for the Vicini-dogs that weren't pregnant, yesterday was a tough one. Let alone for Isotta who endured the puppy-reunion with an occasional lip, but otherwise problemfree. Today Isotta took it extra easy.

09-09-2006: Isotta resembles her mother

Isotta is still growing, just like her appetite. She is doing very well. And while the birth of the puppies draws near, she starts to show the same small habits her mother Pandora had when she was pregnant. Just like her mother, Isotta likes taking short naps lying on her back. And just like Pandora, Isotta doesn't like close company while she is resting. Especially the male dogs that are staying over can expect a raised lip when they come too near. If the resemblance stays after giving birth, the puppies will have a great time as Pandora was the best mother puppies could wish for.

06-08-2006: combination online

Not much news about Isotta's pregnancy. She is coping brilliantly. Sometimes a little grumpy and always hungry. But she is doing fine and she is steadily growing. As from now the combination Isotta x Axel with pedigrees is online.

01-08-2006: a healthy appetite

The closer Isotta gets to the day of delivery, the bigger her appetite seems to get. To keep the hunger away we have started to adjust Isotta's feeding pattern. In stead of the two meals in the morning and evening, she now gets four meals spread over the day.

29-07-2006: pregnancy starts to show

It has taken a while, but at last Isotta is starting to develop a belly. Apart from the occasional 'hormonal' fit, Isotta copes very well. The first half of the pregnancy has gone by without any problems.

29-07-2006: Intoducing father Axel del Monte Alago

A unique opportunity, called Marieke the chance to be the first to use Axel del Monte Alago, son of Rivana, as stud. Axel has become a top contender in the international show circuit and is top of the list of eligible studs. Vicini thanks owners Bitte Ahrens and Pierluigi Primavera for this opportunity. Also many thanks to Gianpaolo Poggio for his work as mediator.









Vicini del Monastero Witherenweg 26 9977 SB Kleine Huisjes +31(0)595 481338