Kafka the bulldog had a play date this weekend, kind of. A couple of our friends came over for lunch, and they brought their toddler. For privacy sake, let's call their toddler... SB for silly boy, or sweet boy. You take your pick. Because really he's both. He loves to giggle and smile. He loves to climb up to our front window and just watch the world go by. He loves to run around our place and show us exactly how we need to babyproof our place. And he loves to play with the dog's toys. Whenever he comes to visit, and this was actually only the second time he's hung out with Kafka, it's the best kind of practice for our pooch.
The first time SB met Kafka, it didn't go so well. We had to keep Kafka on his leash the entire time, because Kafka, not knowing his own strength, kept knocking him over. It was one of the many reasons I knew that we had to get our dog more prepared for a baby in the house.
Their meeting this weekend kind of started the same way. After all, Kafka, hearing the door's buzzer, got crazy excited about guests coming over. (Because guests visiting are always there to see him, right?) But after keeping on his leash for a little while and tugging him back when he got a little too interested in SB, he started behaving better. I'm sure giving him treats whenever he behaved well -- like when he just watched SB from afar -- also helped matters too. That, and Kafka planted himself right under SB while we had lunch, so he got to collect a whole brunch of scraps.
We even got to the point where we -- including SB's parents -- felt comfortable letting Kafka walk around while SB played. Our bulldog and the toddler even shared a moment on the couch when they very nicely sat right next to each other. And my most favorite moment of all? I was sitting on the floor when SB came running to me for a hug. Kafka didn't even bat an eye when this happened, even though a few months prior, his jealousy would have gotten the best of him, and he would have stood between me and the child.
At the same time, these were just the highlights. Kafka had his moments (he really still doesn't understand that a small poke and the toddler will fall down) and you can bet we all kept a careful eye on Kafka the entire time. Even so, it felt like a breakthrough of sorts. Our friends only visited for about two hours, and in that time, Kafka behaved well. It felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Our training is starting to pay off. Kafka is calming down. He's reacting to kids better. He still has a lot to get used to, but progress is progress, and for that, I'm so incredibly thankful.
For more cute dog stories, pictures, and videos of Kafka the bulldog and his canine friends, like Kafka’s Facebook page and subscribe to my posts. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.