5: Oops

5: Oops

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

Oops

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog.

~Franz Kafka

“Oops,” I said while tapping my foot against the rug, where I’d dropped a breadcrumb. Kafka the English Bulldog bolted off the couch and stuck his snout right into the rug to slurp up the miniscule piece of food. That wasn’t enough though, so he continued to sniff around the rug to make sure he got every last crumb I might have dropped. When that wasn’t enough, he stared at me, willing me to drop the bread and butter in my hand.

That was Kafka’s relationship to food: beg—and stare—until he got more food, or until it was gone and there was none to be had. From the moment we got him, one of the first “commands” he understood was “oops.”

My husband Tyler and I should have been more careful about our use of the word, something we learned quickly on another evening.

It started innocently enough. Kafka was actually behaving by playing with his tennis ball on his own—rather than shoving it at my legs and refusing to drop it. Tyler was in the kitchen pouring himself a drink, and I was heading his way for a snack.

But then the glass slipped out of my husband’s hand. Water went everywhere, and Tyler uttered the one word Kafka without fail responded to: “Oops.”

Kafka bolted across the living room, through the hallway, and right into the puddle, sliding through the spilled water. His paws scrambled as he tried to get some traction on the wood.

But he couldn’t stop, and he crashed right into the trashcan as if he were a fifty-pound bowling ball and the trashcan a single pin.

Tyler and I laughed so hard tears came to our eyes.

“Kafka, are you okay?” we both tried to ask through our laughter. Kafka strolled over to us and lapped up some water. When our laughter still hadn’t ceased, he looked up at us and cocked his head to the side as if to say, “What’s so funny?”

Oh, Kafka, if only you realized how much you entertain us!

~Elizabeth SanFilippo Hall

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