I’ll be the first one to admit that Kafka the bulldog hasn’t been getting nearly as much attention as he used to. (The lack of posting on this blog lately is evidence of that). My patience for him too has incredibly lessened. In many ways, you could say that I haven’t been appreciating him as much as I once did, focusing less on the good things he does (like how amazing he is with our now 9-month-old daughter), and more on the aggravating things (he’s reverted to jumping on people as they walk in the door).
But I was reminded on Christmas Day just how much I love and care about our crazy canine. A dog running away will do that…
We were in Springfield, Illinois, where all my in-laws live, to celebrate the holiday. My husband had been searing some meat on the stove, and the kitchen had been getting smoky. Most everyone gathered around the kitchen table to nosh on some appetizers and have a drink or two, or three, or four. The back door had been opened to air out the kitchen, but someone was always standing guard to keep both the dogs inside.
I had been upstairs with my daughter, putting her down for bed. A few minutes after I came downstairs to join in on the holiday fun, my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law Nate asked, ‘Where did Kafka go?’
Kafka is the kind of dog who always wants to be where the action is. He follows the kids around as they crawl. He shoves toys at people’s legs. Even when he’s laying down, he snuggles up to whoever is on the couch with him. In other words, he makes himself known.
So where was he? We hunted through the house, even checking in my daughter’s room (where Kafka had gotten himself stuck multiple times already). But he was nowhere. Still, I didn’t freak out. Instead, I looked through the house again, and all the guys went outside, calling Kafka’s name. I kept thinking, he’s going to run back any second. The neighbor’s dogs started barking and I thought, oh, he must have run over there.
But our brindle, energetic bulldog didn’t show. My husband drove off in the car to look around. Others started walking through the neighborhood, others into the nearby park, all searching. I stayed back in the house, still trying not getting too worried. This wasn’t the first time Kafka had escaped my mother and father-in-law’s house in Springfield, but back then we saw him slip out the door. Right now? He could be anywhere. But I tried not to think about it.
And then my phone dinged. I had a message on my ‘World of Kafka the Bulldog’ Facebook wall. ‘That’s odd,’ I thought, considering I hadn’t posted more than photos to the page in the last few months.
I check, and there’s a message: “Hi there! I think we have Kafka. Are you currently in Springfield, IL?”
My heart seriously skipped a beat. Without hesitating, I replied, “Yes, where is he?” I also gave her my cell phone number, as I started shouting to everyone in the house that someone had him. I called my husband, and those out searching started to return. They couldn’t believe the story. Someone had seen Kafka’s tag with his full name — Kafka Hall — and tracked us down through my blog? (My cell number, as well as my husband’s, was on the back of his tag, but knowing Kafka and how much he moves, I’m guessing he didn’t give them much of a chance to look back there).
It seriously felt like a Christmas miracle. The rest is what I pieced together through a short convo with Rebecca, who had contacted me online, and what my father-in-law learned when he went to go drop off some handmade chocolates to their house as a thank you.
After Kafka escaped through the back door, he’d trailed someone walking their dog, and then started scratching at the door of their home. He had only gone a few doors down, where they took him in and then started looking for us, his owners.
And as soon as he was returned and ran in that door, I gave him the biggest hug he’s probably ever gotten from me (other than, maybe, the time I first met him). He gave me some sloppy kisses, and I never felt more relieved in my life. As both my husband and I agreed, Kafka the bulldog reminded us just how much we’d miss him if he was gone. He might be second fiddle in our family now, but he’s still very much a part of this family.
Let’s just hope this too-smart-for-his-own-good dog didn’t just learn to run away to get a big more attention. And cuddles, because he got a lot of those that night as well.
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.