The Story of Fletschi

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I spent my holidays with my former partner on Koh Samui at Chaweng Beach in June 1995. We were always surrounded by approximately 30 dogs at our part of the beach, some of them sick, some of them injured or almost dead. I wanted to care for all the dogs, but in the first few days I fell in love with one dog who had only one seeing eye and hardly any fur and he was flea-ridden (large, red, male, mixed breed dog) - and he obviously had fallen in love with me. He did not leave us anymore, especially after we regularly fed him dog food, meat and put out fresh water on our terrace. At night he was allowed to sleep in our room (that was the only time he actually was able to sleep and was not busy with searching for food and dog fights or avoiding the employees of the hotel). He went swimming with us, to the restaurant, to the bar, everywhere, and all without leash or "heel" command. Because of his injured eye, we called him "Fletschi". Whenever we made a tour with the jeep or motorcycle, he waited on our terrace for the whole day and did not touch his food until we had returned. After some time and due to the saltwater, his fur became nicer, the fleas disappeared, and by treating his eye with an ointment, it became visible. On our last day of holidays I was sick of sadness.

I love animals more than anything but I never had a dog of my own and I did not know how it would be if we took him with us and if he would like that after all. We then gave some money to a befriended couple and asked them to take care of Fletschi (feed him, watch over him etc.; many dogs are poisoned or killed). At this last day Fletschi did not even eat a sausage which he was given by another tourist, only to stay with us. He obviously knew that we had to leave him. For quite a while he ran behind the bus which picked us up. And I watched him in the rear mirror until he was nothing but a small dot. I cried during the most part of our flight to Germany. After being back home, I ca lled Thailand every day for two weeks to find out how he is doing. He was sad but he was okay.

During that time I contacted dog breeders, humane societies, customs, veterinarians and read in books what I had to do to bring a dog from Thailand to Germany. I had only one thought: I will not leave "my" Fletschi alone at the beach there (besides, I had promised him that we will meet again). The people around me did not understand my motivation to get a sick, probably old and not trained dog - that is crazy. He could be aggressive or die soon. Then the whole efforts would be in vain. But I was determined and listened to my instinct. I convinced my partner to fly to Koh Samui again and get Fletschi. Unfortunately I had no vacation time left but he agreed to go since he was also infatuated with this dog. After we had bought tranquilizers, a leash, collar and the whole inventory for Fletschi's new home, he flew to Bangkok from where we had returned just three weeks ago. There he purchased a dog carrier, then continued on to Koh Samui, had Fletschi vaccinated (there must have been a veterinarian on the island in these days already), the dog got a health pass, and both of them arrived on 7th of July 1995 after five days and a long flight. This date has been Fletschi's birthday from then on and is celebrated every year. The veterinarian estimated his age to be one year old, that means he is now 12 years old. He still is very stubborn and wants to do things his way, but that also makes him very loveable. He felt comfortable from day one on (we have a big yard) and the people who were so skeptical in the beginning, would do anything for him today (and they do it!). Fletschi with his piercing look in his eyes had convinced all of us that he actually belongs here. In the meantime he is the favorite in our family and brings us joy every day.

If I ever go back to Koh Samui, I will definitely visit you and help as much as I can. I wish the Dog Rescue Center much success, fun with the animals and I would like to see more people taking a dog back home with them. Today I am happy that we had decided that way, because I would have worried my whole life about the whereabouts of "my" Fletschi.

Many greetings from Aachen,
Diana (and Fletschi)