Author Topic: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortipo  (Read 78472 times)

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Offline Katharina

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Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortipo
« on: February 05, 2004, 05:35:03 AM »
Does anyone know (without doubt) the correct spelling?

There are dozens of pages claiming that Tatianas french bulldog was called <Ortino>, first of all www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/Ortino.html and many, many others.

Yet in a few primary sources you can find <Ortipo>:
www.alexanderpalace.org/letters/september15.html
www.alexanderpalace.org/letterstsaritsa/april15.html
www.alexanderpalace.org/letterstsaritsa/march15.html
www.alexanderpalace.org/letterstsaritsa/may15.html
www.alexanderpalace.org/letterstsaritsa/december15.html
www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt/XXI.html

Please consider the fact that the daughters were making a lot of spelling mistakes whereas Alexandra always thought and wrote in english.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 08:53:52 PM by Sarushka »

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2004, 09:52:40 AM »
Bob says that this question has come up before.  The definitive answer from his research is the dog's name was <Ortino>.

The mistake seems to have come up from some Russian translations, where the character in russian cursive for "p" is the same as the western cursive for "n".

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2004, 07:58:35 PM »
In Alexandra's letters and diaries she writes in English, however she mixes in Russian names and other distinctive names of things in Russian Cyrillic.  She often writes Ortino in Russian and I think this is where the confusion happens. The 1920's 'translations' of the letters often say ORTIPO.  

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2004, 06:18:57 PM »
Bob-

Here's a question I haven't yet figured out:

Ortino was given to Tatiana in 1914 by Dimitri Malama.  She wrote to her mother: “Forgive me about the little dog.  To say the truth, when he asked should I like to have it if he gave it me, I at once said yes.  You remember I always wanted to have one, and only afterwards when we came home I thought that suddenly you might not like me having one."(TN to AF 30 September 1914)

But Ortino seems to have lived for less than a year; Alexandra noted his death in a cable to Nicholas on 5 September 1915.(AF to N, 5 September 1915)  When Dimitri Malama learnt of this, he apparently arranged for another English Bulldog to be delivered to Tatiana; she promptly named him Ortino as well.  I've never seen any reference to two different dogs given the same name, but if you look at the family’s correspondence it seems that this is exactly what happened.  See AF to N, 28 November, 1915; and AF to N, 17 March 1916.

Do you know any more about this?  It's odd-like Lisa Simpson and "Snowball" and "Snowball II."

Greg King

Offline Katharina

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2004, 05:25:07 AM »
At the moment I enjoy reading the german edition of Greg King's "Alexandra - The Last Empress".
One detail I came across is the question if Ortino followed the Tsar's family to Ekaterinburg.

Pierre Gilliard:
"...Tatiana Nicolaievna came last, carrying her little dog and struggling to drag a heavy brown valise. It was raining and I saw her feet sink into the mud at every step..."

Sophie Buxhoeveden:
"...when Nagorny wanted to help the Grand Duchess Tatiana, who held a dog under one arm and dragged a heavy black valise... he was rudely pushed away."

In my imagination both statements refer to little Jimmy, an idea than can be also found in Greg King's book.

What we know ist that ...
... Joy, Ortino and Jimmy went to Tobolsk.
... Jimmy was executed together with the imperial family.
... Joy survived.

I have to admit that Pierre Gilliard's comment ("her little dog") is rather clear. But isn't it possible that Ortino was not living any more? Maybe Anastasia entrusted her sister with Jimmy.

What do you think?

Nick Nicholson

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2004, 08:43:21 AM »
I am pretty certain that the citations Katharina mentions refer to Ortino, and not to Jimmy or Joy.  Jimmy and Joy were English Springer Spaniels, who are very hearty and medium-sized dogs of about 45-50 pounds when full grown. Ortino was a French Bulldog, and both males and females optimally weigh between 20-28 pounds.  

I think that it is far more likely that Tatiana Nikolaevna was holding Ortino under her arm -- I would have a very hard time indeed holding a struggling 50 pound  Springer Spaniel under my arm while dragging a valise through the mud.  A 20-lb lap dog would be hard enough!

Nick

Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2004, 04:47:29 PM »
Greg and I tried to sort out these doggy logistics in The Fate of the Romanovs, and here's what we concluded:

Jemmy, Joy and Ortino departed Tsarskoye Selo with the family, and lived with them through the days in Tobolsk.  After N, A and M left for Ekaterinburg, the three dogs remained with the rest of the children, and traveled to E'burg on board the Rus and by train with them.  The family, including the three dogs, were reunited in the Ipatiev House.  During captivity there, the dogs were fed on the upper balcony, just outside the dining room and what became Demidova's bedroom.  After the murders and during the White investigations, the bones found on this balcony were itemized as remains of the dogs' last dinner in the house.

Various guards also recount stories of the girls, especially Anastasia, teaching the dogs tricks and making them perform in the garden.

After the murders, we know that Joy was taken from the Ipatiev House to Michael Letemin's house, where he was discovered in the garden by the Whites.  Jemmy was obviously taken somewhere by someone most likely connected to the Bolsheviks, for the little dog was still available to them when they were looking for physical evidence with which to "salt" the mine, as suggested by Summers and Mangold.

Ortino's fate, we believe, is most likely found in Michael Kudrin's testimony of December 1963, when he recalled that as the bodies were being moved from the basement of the house into the truck, a little dog appeared from upstairs, and rushed into the courtyard, obviously much distressed and upset and probably looking for his people.  Kudrin is silent on whether or not the dog was behaving like a guard dog, but it would not have been out of the ordinary for a Frenchie -- a famously protective breed -- to become territorial and vicious in defense of his family, the moreso because their scents were at that time overlayed with the smell of gunsmoke and blood.  In any case, a soldier took up his bayonet and stabbed the dog to death, throwing his body into the truck with the Romanovs.  "A dog's death to dogs," Kudrin remembered Goloshchokin commenting as they stood watching.

We think that perhaps some of the "mammal bones" found at the Four Brothers were those of Ortino.

What a brave little guy he was... =)
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2004, 05:37:57 PM »
Penny,
Our copy of Kudrin's testimony from 1963 says only:

He bent over the tsar.
"The end of the Romanov Dynasty, right?! Yes...
The Red Guard brought out Anastasia's lap dog on a bayonet. When we passed the door to the upstairs, we heard a long pitous wail in the leaves.  It was the last salute to the Emperor of all Russia.  The dog's corpse was thrown beside the tsar.
"Dogs die a dog's death," said Goloshchyokin contemptuously."

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2004, 12:31:02 AM »
Quote
Penny,
Our copy of Kudrin's testimony from 1963 says only:

He bent over the tsar.
"The end of the Romanov Dynasty, right?! Yes...
The Red Guard brought out Anastasia's lap dog on a bayonet. When we passed the door to the upstairs, we heard a long pitous wail in the leaves.  It was the last salute to the Emperor of all Russia.  The dog's corpse was thrown beside the tsar.
"Dogs die a dog's death," said Goloshchyokin contemptuously."


The difficulty here is one we had to wrestle with-and we may be wrong-but we believe Kudrin is mistaken in identifying the dog thus killed as Jemmy, i.e., Anastasia's dog (not that his ownership is any clearer since Anna Vyrubova says she gave the dog to the girls in general, not to Anastasia).  This is from memory, but if I recall correctly Kudrin had previously never been in the Ipatiev House-so first one must ask how he knew this was Anastasia's dog?

More generally, the problem is that if we're talking about Jemmy-and if one assumes for the sake of argument that he was thus killed and thrown into the Ganina Mine where he was later found-it doesn't fit with the known facts.  I know nothing of veterinary medicine or forensics, but Summers and Mangold did consult experts for "The File on the Tsar," and they present a pretty strong case that Jemmy, found in the mine in June, 1919, hadn't been there very long, and hadn't been dead very long.  While a lot of their other assertions are no longer valid, this is one of their strongest points, indicating I think that the White investigators probably planted Jemmy's body there to be found.

Based on this-and in reading through their analysis it isn't a huge leap of faith-Jemmy would have had, of necessity, to have survived into spring of 1919.  Since Joy was found in the possession of Michael Letemin, that leaves only one dog-Ortino-that could possibly have been killed on the night of the murders as Kudrin says.  So it seemed reasonable, as someone unfamiliar with the family and their pets, that he simply misidentified the dog killed that night.

This may not be correct, but it accounts for what Summers and Mangold uncovered about Jemmy's condition when retrieved from the shaft-a condition that indicated he had not been dead for long (and perhaps there were suspicions about this, hence the absurd stories that the Bolsheviks built a false floor to conceal the dog, or that Jemmy was frozen in ice-neither of which was true), and also for Kudrin's account of a dog having been killed that night.

As with all things, it is an issue that has to be looked at and examined carefully, especially given the above, and the fact that Kudrin's memoirs contain a number of errors that undermine their veracity.  He was certainly there, but I wouldn't take his identification of the dog as particularly definitive given what we know now about Jemmy's condition.

Greg King

Offline Alice

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2004, 03:21:47 AM »
Pardon my ignorance in relation to this matter, but why would the White Army investigator's "plant" the dog's body in the mine? What would this achieve?

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2004, 06:46:48 AM »
Quote
Pardon my ignorance in relation to this matter, but why would the White Army investigator's "plant" the dog's body in the mine? What would this achieve?


They found Jemmy's corpse just a week or two before the Whites had to flee Ekaterinburg-thus calling a halt to Sokolov's investigation on the scene-and the fact that the Reds were drawing nearer was well known.  For ten months, one set of investigators after another had pumped out the mines, searched the entire area looking for the missing bodies-to no avail.  Sokolov himself was wandering round the area, openly wondering what had happened to the bodies.  Many of the White Army officials (which was the branch in charge of the Romanov investigation) were notoriously corrupt and closed-minded as to what the eventual evidence should suggest-that the family had been killed and their corpses destroyed at the mine.  Other lines of inquiry-like those into the stories of "eyewitnesses" who saw this or that Grand Duchess in Perm, or testified that the Imperial Family was removed from Ekaterinburg by train-were abruptly ordered cut off.

With no bodies, and time quickly running out, some official in the White Army thus may have planted Jemmy's body at the mine-to be found as some sort of proof that here, too, the family had been consigned and destroyed.  In his book, Sokolov places great importance on exactly what the discovery of Jemmy meant to his case, writing that "the mine gave up the secret of the Ipatiev House."  It was the one corpse he had, and the one corpse that tied the fate of the Imperial Family to the bloodstained cellar in the Ipatiev House (not counting the severed finger, pieces of skin, etc.)  I don't think Sokolov had any idea that Jemmy may (and I emphasize that word because none of us will ever know for sure) have been planted to bolster his case, but the evidence presented as to Jemmy's condition when recovered by Summers and Mangold, as I said above, seems to me the one good solid piece of something fishy having gone on that they uncovered-the rest of their arguments don't hold water now.  The argument became: the Bolsheviks pitched in the body of the Imperial pet to the mine, and here were found charred and burnt Imperial items, hence the dog must have died at the same time as its owners, and they must have been disposed of here.  That seems to have been how Jemmy's discovery was viewed and used to bolster Sokolov's case.

Again-it comes back to the question of Jemmy's condition, and the experts they consulted suggested he had been dead for only a matter of weeks-not months.  If that's true, and Joy was found in August of 1918-that only leaves Ortino as the dog that Kudrin says was killed on the night of the murders.  Maybe this isn't correct, but we didn't see any other scenario that accorded with all of the evidence.

Greg King

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2004, 12:55:40 PM »
Dear Penny and Greg,

Reading your research, I would agree that the bayonetted and tossed dog was more likely Ortino than the other dogs.  Back to my earlier post, Spaniels are large, and it would be easier to bayonet and toss a Fr. Bulldog. (Ugh, how morbid.)

Nick
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Geoffrey Moses-Moustafin

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2004, 09:35:53 PM »
Dear Nick,

If you look closely at pictures of the Imperial Family with Jemmy and there are plenty (and indeed, even pictures of the dogs corpse), you will see that jemmy was a King Charles spaniel. This is a very small breed 10-15lbs top.


Thanks,

Geoff

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2004, 08:31:23 AM »
Dear Geoff,

Actually, if you look closely at the pictures (particularly the portrait of Joy, frequently reproduced cf "The Romanovs" by Bokhanov and Ustimenko, p. 312), both Joy and Jemmy were Standard English Spaniels, though it is possible that they were smaller ones.

King Charles spaniels have very different faces, being slightly more puglike, while Jemmy and Joy both had the long noses associated with the standard breed.

Thanks,

Nick
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Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2004, 09:01:47 AM »
Dear Geoff et al.

I have obviously lost my mind.  I have been poring over photographs, and have obviously made a mistake.

OK.  Joy was a standard Spaniel.

Ortino was a french bulldog.

Jemmy was either a King Charles Spaniel, or a Pekinese.

In Oustimenko, he asserts that four dogs went with the family (which we know is an error) "Joy the Spaniel, Jemmy the lap dog, Ortino the Pekinese, and a Bulldog"

Obviously incorrect -- I realized that I have been looking at pictures of Joy incorrectly identified as Jemmy. (hence my previous post.   Can we settle this with citations?

Thanks!

Nick
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