Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tickle the Pickle

December 16th 2003 – April 15 2019

I drove to Fort Dodge, Iowa to meet Tickle – on Valentine's Day 2004. She was the perfect little lady, even then.

Tickle went everywhere with me. That first winter, she weighed about 3 pounds, and I tucked her into the front of my parka to keep her warm. She came to the university with me, and would run to greet her favorite students. Then she would wait patiently in my office until class was over and she could play some more. 

I named her "Tickle", derived from the German word "teckel" for dachshund. She always pretended to be a little aloof. She would get close enough to visitors and then would scoot away before they could pet her. She enjoyed a good game of tag. She explored her yard tirelessly, checking beneath the bird bath and behind the day-lilies. 

When I brought Weema-pup home, Tickle ignored her for the longest time. The day Tickle took Weema's back leg in her mouth and growled, Weema was thrilled – a combination of joy and terror. After Tickle let go, Weema wiggled back over as if to say, "do it again!".

Tickle, chomping on her "dinosaur bone".

Picasso had a little dachshund named "Lump". David Hockney followed his dachsies around the house and made paintings of them. Andy Warhol took his dachsie, Archie, to galleries, on business trips and to photo shoots. John Wayne had a dachsie. 

And I had my beloved Tickle, also known as Tickle the Pickle.