12/31/19

Pablo Picasso and Lump the Dog



Pablo Picasso loved dogs, almost as much as women. He owned many breeds during his life, but Lump, a borrowed dachshund, was the only one he took in his arms.


Picasso and Lump

Lump, the German word for "rascal", was born in 1956 and belonged to Picasso's friend David Douglas Duncan, a photographer for Life magazine. In 1957, Duncan spent some time at Picasso's villa near Cannes in the South of France to photograph his life. Because Lump did not get along well with his other dog, an Afghan hound who would roll the dachshund around like a toy, Duncan decided to bring him with him.




Lump took an instant liking to Picasso. The artist and his partner (soon to be wife) Jacqueline were sitting at the table eating lunch when Lump first met him. The dog immediately went to Picasso, placed his front paws on him, jumped into his arms and gave him a kiss. That very day, Picasso did his first portrait of Lump on a dinner plate. He often included his dogs into his artwork, and Lump can be seen in several of his interpretations of Diego Velásquez's 1656 painting Las Meninas - replacing the big hound in the foreground.

Picasso and Lump quickly became best friends. According to Duncan, "This was a love affair. Picasso would take Lump in his arms. He would feed him from his hand. Hell, that little dog just took over. He ran the damn house." When it was time for Duncan to leave, Picasso wanted Lump to stay with him and Duncan agreed. In an interview on a visit to Paris, Duncan recalled "He [Lump] more or less said, 'Duncan, that's it, I'm staying here.' And he did, for the next six years."



Lump and Picasso's boxer Yan

Six years after leaving Lump with Picasso, Duncan visited the artist and learned that his dog was suffering from a spinal problem common to dachshunds. Lump was being treated by a veterinarian, but the doctor told Duncan he could not be cured. Duncan decided to take Lump to Stuttgart, Germany (where he had bought the dog) and found a veterinarian to care for him. One year later, Lump recovered and went home with Duncan. He lived many more years, but never accompanied his master again on his visits to Picasso's. Lump passed away on March 29, 1973 and Picasso passed away several days later on April 8.

When asked if Picasso neglected Lump (because of the spinal problem), Duncan replied "No, he'd have gotten sick anyway. Lump had an absolutely pampered life there. Picasso once said, 'Lump, he's not a dog, he's not a little man, he's somebody else.'"


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12/26/19

President McKinley and the Mysterious Black Dog



It is reported that William McKinley had a parrot, roosters and cats as pets while in the White House, but no dogs. In fact, only one photo seems to exist of the President with a dog - a dog he didn't even know.


President McKinley (2nd on the right) and the black dog next to the man on the left.

The above photo was taken just hours before William McKinley was shot at the Pan American Exposition (World's Fair) in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901. Nobody knew who the black dog was that hung around with the men while they viewed Niagara Falls, but after McKinley died eight days after the shooting, the dog was regarded by the press as having been a bad omen.