Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty > Tatiana Nicholaievna

Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortipo

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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>:

Please consider the fact that the daughters were making a lot of spelling mistakes whereas Alexandra always thought and wrote in english.

Forum Admin:
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".

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.  


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

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?


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