June 14, 2016

Ode to Kafka


Once upon a time, Kafka was quite small - around the same size his head is now.

I knew I wanted a puppy when I went to the Walmart parking lot I found him in. At the time, the woman from Romance, Arkansas told me he was 8 weeks old... but later, I asked her when the puppies were born for some reason I can no longer recall and did some math to realize he had only been about 5 weeks old when I took him home with me. I was upset with her for lying, although I was never sure if it was done accidentally or maliciously... though I feel like 5 and 8 weeks are pretty hard to confuse. She tried to exaggerate the fact that while she didn't know what the father was, the mother was a very small German Shepherd... and I believe she was trying to get rid of the puppies fearing people would think they would become too big, because at 5 weeks old, it was already easy enough to believe they were 8 weeks. He ate his food fine, too.

I later realized that his extreme separation anxiety probably stemmed from being stolen away from his mother after just 5 weeks. I fell in love with him the moment I saw him (they were going to keep him for themselves and named him Tank but had decided against it), and I would have gladly waited a few more weeks to take him had I known. But it was already too late by the time I pieced it all together.



I swear, in less than two weeks, he had doubled in size.
Sneaking him around became more difficult...
He no longer fell asleep mid-play...
Before we knew it he was the size of Indy...
And could stand his ground in dog-wrestles...
And outgrew baby Matthew...
He eventually outgrew that sweet red collar...
Entered his teenage years...
Or should I just say terrible twos...
I do mean terrible.
Was introduced to "head collars"...
And learned how to waltz...
A few things you're seeing here: first batch of apple wine (the kit being my
Christmas gift from Pete), a blanket serving as a projector screen for us to
watch movies & play Nintendo games on, and the Lego Slippers by ThinkGeek
I bought Pete for that Valentine's Day!
Until he was fully grown...
Until he became the handsome gentleman he is now...

Dearest Kafka,

I love the way you love. You love fetch. You love rides. You love walks. You love hikes. You love going to Daddy's. You love going to Nana's. You love toys. You love treats. You love curiosity (i.e. figuring out what cats are). You love visitors. You love chewing. You love to run. You love running alongside of cars (on the appropriate side of the fence). You love life, and you make me love life knowing how much life can be loved. 

There were some days I wanted to give up - I would come home after a long day at work and you would have destroyed couches and spatulas and pants I bought all the way in France. When I tried re-kennel training you, you howled so my neighbors wouldn't allow it. You would get trapped, amidst your mischief, and try to claw through a door. I would try and treat you by getting the expensive, healthy treats and you'd eat the whole bag. I tried to calm you with some calming chews and you'd eat the whole bag. I'd give you plenty to eat but you'd find an uncooked package of rice or untouched slab of fudge - and you'd eat the whole bag. And survive. And when you would get a stomach bug eventually and had to be taken to the vet... you hurt yourself trying to escape in the middle of the night. 

I never considered getting rid of you, but I didn't know what else to do--I'd been told dogs were supposed to grow out of this by the first 18 months, and you passed that line. I am so glad I stuck it out. Even those amazing, comfy, cute irreplaceable pants from France couldn't replace your happy grins or the way you corner me down and lick tears off my face when I'm sad. I love the way you've swayed me from accepting certain roommates - if they didn't like you, they were no good; they weren't welcome in our home. I love how you insist on sleeping at my feet and never on the dog bed bought with you in mind. You encourage play even when we decide to be grumpy humans. You don't let anything get you down, even when your mom yells at you for getting into some new Kafkanigan - you have the most optimistic outlook on life, and we could learn to take a page out of your book of life. 

You brighten my day and I'm so proud of the furbaby you've become. 
Love, 
Mom

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