Fritz & Otto: Why They Didn’t Move To Indonesia.


It was a heartbreaking decision to have to leave our two dachshunds behind when we moved  to Indonesia 18 months ago. The truth is that they would have hated it here. The heat and humidity, the nowhere to go for nice walks, the traffic and noise, the lack of green spaces to gallop in….not least all the new pathogens and parasites that their little bodies would have had to got used too. Believe me when I tell you how much time I spent  in the couple of months before we moved out here, getting in touch with animal and livestock transport specialists, sizing up crates, filling in various forms, working out vaccines and meds, seeing how long they would have to be in quarantine before they could leave the airport in Jakarta. My heart sank to my toes when I realised what sheer hell that they would both have to go through just to satisfy our happiness and spare our grief our at having to part with them.

Please, please lift me up onto the sofa. Meerkat impression by Fritz worked everytime!

After a tearful discussion we finally made the decision to find them a new home instead. I  put word out on the grapevine that there were two 1yr old smooth haired miniature dachshunds that needed re- homing in the next four weeks. I wasn’t interested in asking any money for them, but what I did want was to find as ideal a new home as possible and to make sure that wherever they ended up they would be loved and cared for permanently.

Sunbathing on the kitchen floor.

Great friends helped by spreading the word on Facebook and others by putting adverts up in their local vets surgery.  Within a couple of days the phone started ringing with folk interested in giving a home to the dogs. First up was a gentleman from Ireland with a very plummy, uppercrust voice. Unfortunately Lord What’s his Name rang me in the evening when I was out enjoying a pint of cider with the Irishman in our noisy local pub. Unfortunately, when I answered the phone, I’d had a little too much cider so that when he started telling me that he lived in a castle, I thought he was taking the piss . I had to pretend that my fit of hysterical laughter was that of some rowdy drunk in the pub and suggested that he emailed me all his details and telephone me back the next day if he was still interested.

Otto as a puppy.

When we got home later that evening, sure enough there was an email from Lord What’s his Name with a link to his castles website. I nearly died. ‘Holy F’ing shit’ I said handing Irishman the laptop with all the moving images of the castle and it’s magnificent grounds, rooms stuffed full of antiques and valuable paintings, exquisite landscaped rose gardens  with gravelled paths and fountains. ‘Why the bloody hell don’t we live somewhere like that?’  Fritz and Otto are going to live in a nicer house than us…that is SO not fair!’

Lord What’s his Name duly telephoned me the next evening and said that he would be coming to London the following week, and so please could I hold off showing the dogs to anyone else until he’d come and seen the dachshunds and could make a decision. Being that he was the first person to call, and, let’s not kid myself about this, lived in a vast castle with pots of money, it would have been very churlish to have denied our 2 dogs the chance of such a splendid new home, complete with heaps of expensive persian rugs to chew and pee on, miles of corridors to sneakily poop in, and tons of priceless antique furniture whose legs  and arms they could enjoy defacing and knawing.

Dancing around the kitchen.

Now the thing is that when you know that you have a Lord and Lady What’s their Name coming round to your house, AND you’ve seen pictorial evidence of the sort of gaff that they live in, it does tend to make you feel just a wee bit insecure about your own home, especially when it’s a tiny 2 up 2 down in a not particularly lovely part of London filled to the rafters, not with antiques and ancesrtral portraits, but instead with junk and crap.

The day of the castle dwellers visit dawned and as luck would have it, it also happened to be the day that the kitchen ceiling which had been threatening to collapse for weeks due to the leaking pipes from the bathroom upstairs, finally  did so. For months there had been a large and hideous stained ‘breast like’ bulge in the ceiling,  over the kitchen table but lack of funds and other more pressing things had meant that we hadn’t quite got round to getting it fixed. And so it was then that when Lord and Lady What’s their Name and their  blue blooded toddler, Little Lord Tarquin Fauntleroy arrived on that Saturday afternoon, there was a sea of dust and plaster everywhere, and both the dachshunds had gone from being a shiny black and tan and ginger to a sort of dull and matt uniform grey colour.

Lord and Lady What’s their Name, gingerly made their way through our tiny entrance hall and into the rubble strewn and cramped ‘Drawing Room’ gathering dust and filth on their expensive shoes and outfits as they went. Irishman and I tried as best we could to make them comfortable in our humble abode offering them the choice of the dusty, dog haired, sofa to sit on or the computer chair with the broken back. They politely refused both, plus the offer of tea or the use of the bathroom facilities which was a blessing really, as you could see right up through the kitchen rafters to the toilet directly above.

On their introduction to Fritz and Otto, Lord and Lady What’s it’s Names made all the right plummy noises about how ‘daahling’ and ‘sweet’ and ‘adorable’ the dogs were, and on requesting to see their pedigrees, how very ‘WELL BRED’.  All was going absolutely splendidly until that is, their very own daahling toddler Tarquin, decided to make a beeline for Otto and stick his chubby fingers, and sharp fingernails straight into Otto’s eyes, and  try to strangle him. Otto, having never encountered this sort of malice before, quite rightly snapped fiercely at the infant, and in such a way that made it very clear that if young Tarquin should unwisely repeat this manouevre, or move another inch closer, then some serious blood would be drawn and the young infant may well risk losing an eye, a  digit, or at very best, be facially scarred for life. For purposes of damage limitation, I immediatley whisked Otto up onto my lap whilst he continued growling furiously and curling his top lip to show of his fabulously sharp canines to the assembled company . From that instant, it became very clear that Otto had clearly blotted his copybook and that neither Fritz nor Otto would be going anytime soon to live in a castle in the South of Ireland. I have to say that minutes later when they made their excuses and quickly left, we were both greatly relieved on many counts.

We did find a new home for the dachshunds. The nicest, loveliest home that we could ever have wished for them. They now enjoy a huge garden, a houseful of company and are just minutes from their old home, so they know the terrain well and where all the smelliest and best lamp posts and street corners are to cock their little legs on. They are loved to bits, spoilt rotten, and extremely happy. They’ve ended up in a most wonderful place and despite us still missing them, we both know that we ultimately made the right choice for them.

Every morning waiting patiently for the bacon rinds leftover from Irishmans breakfast.

For anyone reading this who is thinking about bringing your dog with you abroad, especially if you currently live in the north western hemisphere and are moving to a destination such as Indonesia, I would say this; However much you love them and how ever much you will miss them, I don’t believe that the stress that you will inevitably put your dogs through with longhaul travel, quarantine, rabies injections etc is kind to them and I  believe that they will in the longterm thank you for putting their needs over yours, especially since bacon rinds in Jakarta are rarer to find than hens teeth.

16 Comments

  1. Hey there what a beautiful touching post 🙂 I’m so glad that you’re so fair and honest and that you didn’t being your beloved pets to Indonesia, I have been to Indonesia several times and feel so so sorry for all the ferrel pets that are full of flees and wounds. Loved your cute pictures too!!! If you want to read about my Indonesia experience, visit http://www.carolinebakker.com all the best and enjoy Indonesia.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your blog. The dogs are adorable!I can totally understand. We adopted a retriever and a mini-poodle in Jakarta, and two cats that the retriever adopted. To add, I have a cat in my Singapore residence who would have to suitably ‘adopt’ another parent, soon.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, much appreciated.

      How wonderful that you were able to adopt dogs in Jakarta and that they in turn adopted the cats!! Sadly, where we live it’s impossible for us to keep a dog or a cat but, fingers crossed that one day we will be able too. It’s funny how much a part of your life they are and when they are gone, what a great, gaping hole they leave . Hope you find a good home for your Singapore cat soon, wish that I could say YES!

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      1. I had a couple die on me. They do leave a void non-pet owners cannot comprehend. It’s like a friend who’s gone (to a better place, I hope). As for the princess Azumi, I do hope I find a loving owner soon.

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  3. So do I, and I am sure you will. If I hear of anyone this end I shall let you know. Have you tried Facebook? I have a friend in Singapore that I can contact if you like. I don’t think that they are cat lovers, but they might have friends that are. Worth a try and I am very happy to help.

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  4. For us, having had many different dogs especially when we lived on our farm of over one hundred acres, no dog beats the Jack Russell. Ours is named Milo and we can’t take him anywhere without people asking us to pet him. I am sure if we tied him up at a shopping center with a cap next to him, we or rather Milo would make a fortune.
    Anyone who has seen the movie”the Artist” and the Jack Russell featured in it has then also seen Milo.
    Of course all dogs are adorable, we couldn’t live without them.
    Thanks Lotte for your article and photos.

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    1. Thank you Gerard, Milo sounds wonderful! I had a Jack Russell many years ago called Rolo! Small dogs seem to command short names it seems! Brilliant that you have your Fbk link up, I can’t wait to share your posts! Lottie

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  5. As difficult as it was, I believe you did the right thing putting your pets needs above your own selfish love. I know you must miss them fiercely, but I bet they are having a blast wherever they are these days! 🙂

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    1. Oh they are sure having a blast! I know we did the right thing by not bringing them. It’s very tough if you have pets and have to re-locate and I’m sure everyone who has been in this situation will understand. I think it would have been a lot more difficult if they had been older but fortunately they where still very young and of course they have each other 🙂

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  6. You are much stronger than I, Lottie. I could never leave Murphy behind nor our two previous beagles either. So I guess I would not be a candidate for any position in Indonesia. My best guess, though, is that there is no shortage of claustrophobic agoraphobic drapery hangers in Indonesia so I will stay put.

    And good for Otto, putting the dental clamp on the little blighter. 🙂

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  7. What heartbreak but what a wise decision. I can’t imagine how I would have dealt with such a choice when I look at our boy, clinging to me rather as my Irishman via Sheffield and Chessington is away for a few weeks. Thrilled with myself yesterday for successfully walking him by attaching his lead to the handlebars of my mobility scooter!

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  8. Awww…how sad to have to leave such cuties behind, Lottie. Made me teary reading your beautiful post. I completely agree with your decision, though.

    Lovely photos of those two. Oh, and I was horrified reading about the toddler with the grabby hands. Just for good measure, I would have bit him, too! Thank goodness he did it BEFORE they took Mr. Fritz and Mr. Otto! I’m glad you were able to find them a good home. xoxo

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