A month ago, today, I had to say goodbye to my furbaby, my best friend, my Tickle. It’s been a rough month and everything about this still really hurts. As with any grief, I have my good days, my not-so-good days, and my really rough days. Even though today should be a rough day (I anticipated that it would be), I’m actually doing ok (for now). Every day I’m trying my best to focus on how lucky I was to have such a good girl in my life and all the great memories I have with her, instead of how much it hurts that she’s gone. To continue riding that positivity train, I thought today would be a good day to share the story behind the name Tickle.
I know many have wondered, but few actually know.
When I decided to name Tickle, Tickle, I really didn’t think anything of it. I just thought it was a cute name. Maybe not the most traditional name, but I didn’t think it would raise any questions. That was until I took her to her first vet appointment.
I made the appointment to get her first set of vaccinations and on the phone, no questions were raised. But I later learned that was only because they miss heard me or assumed they miss heard me. When I got to her appointment I let them know I was there for “Tickle.” It was a new vet and they smiled and greeted me and handed over the paperwork for me to complete. And there at the top of the paperwork, it read “Pickle.” I giggled and then took the paperwork up to them to have them correct it. I let them know her name wasn’t Pickle, it was Tickle. The receptionist seemed so confused.
“Tickle with T? Like I’m going to tickle you? Tickle?” she asked.
“Yes Tickle with a T.”
Looking back on that interaction, is Pickle really a more expected name than Tickle?
Anyways, for the rest of her life, I would have this experience time and time again. Now not every time did new people or new vets think her name was Pickle, although it did happen a lot, if they did hear her name right everyone always said something like – “Oh my gosh that’s so cute!” or “Tickle? That’s a new one.”
This followed her right down to her last day. As they took her away to put the catheter in her paw I overheard the nurse who took Tickle, talking to the nurse that was assisting.
“She named her Tickle.” she said.
“Aww that’s such a sweet name.” she replied.
The veterinarian that gave her the medication that day even commented on how much she loved her name.
So where did I get the name Tickle from?
I got it from my favorite movie of all time Garden State.
The plot of the movie isn’t particularly important to her name, although if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. The name isn’t pivotal to the plot, but the name does come from one of my favorite scenes.
So if you watched that clip right above this, that is one of my favorite scenes, but you may be very confused because there was no mention of tickling or anything and for that I am sorry. This is the scene that I got the name from, but no matter how hard I tried I could not find the entire scene and the Tickle part actually takes place right before this clip starts. So I shall do my best to explain to you what a Tickle is. Yes, Tickle is a thing.
Right before this clip starts, Sam (Natalie Portman) shows Andrew (Zach Braff) her favorite thing in the world, her Tickle. Her Tickle is a torn-up piece of fabric. The last little piece of the baby blanket Sam’s parents brought her home from the hospital in.
Tickle is all that remains.
It’s such a small part of the film, just a little bit of small talk, that honestly probably was only meant to be a vessel for Andrew to talk about the Wailing Wall, but for some reason, it really stuck with me. It was all that remains of her childhood.
So why Tickle? Why name my dog Tickle? This is a little bit more of a stretch I guess, but I got Tickle my senior year of high school. My last year as a child. I did not realize how true that was at the time, but I digress. I thought it was a cute name, but it also felt appropriate and over the years became more and more appropriate.
Tickle was my last bit of childhood that I was able to carry with me into adulthood, probably just one more reason why it hurt so much to lose her.
Like a baby blanket, Tickle was there to comfort me and protect me. When things got hard or scary she kept me safe. And when things got cold she kept me warm.
At the very end of the scene, well the end of them talking before Sam breaks out into her “Original Dance,” the part I couldn’t find to share with you, Sam says she doesn’t really believe in God, but she believes in Tickle.
Again a line that probably meant nothing, but ultimately ended up meaning so much to me and being so appropriate for the relationship I had with my Tickle. In this crazy uncertain world, where so much has gone so wrong and also so right for me, I often don’t know what I believe in, but I could always believe in Tickle.