August, 2012. Next we fostered what proved to be our most problematic dog. Jack Black was an 11 month old “in desperate need of socialization” case. He was extremely scared and defensive toward strangers and a major flight risk. In the two sessions I had with him at the shelter he was constantly searching for a means of escape.
But he bonded pretty fast with me, got along well with Boomer and made himself at home in the house and backyard. He seemed housetrained and showed no sign of destructive chewing behavior. Jack protested being put in a cage, so when we took our niece out to dinner on the second day I made the decision to leave him out with Boomer. Not smart.
Jack apparently thought his life was in danger if he didn’t escape. He tore up the floor tiles in front of our kitchen and entranceway doors. He dug out the drywall next to the backdoor. He somehow jumped up on the kitchen counter and tore down the curtains, leaving a trail of bloody paw prints everywhere. And for some reason he shredded my much beloved plastic palm tree. All in all a pretty impressive rampage for two hours.
So a lot of time was spent trying to get him use to being in the crate. He seemed comfortable enough that he eventually went to lay down inside on his own.
We had contractors over working on the house so lots of opportunities to work on his socialization issues. Jack seemed to do best if everyone ignored him and let him follow them around. Inside he was affectionate and for the most part at ease, not seeming to mind the loud noises as our house’s siding was being replaced.
Jack was very on-guard while walking, constantly looking around for threats. He did a little better running or going for a bike-run. But each time we had to leave him, even when he seemed ok at first, he apparently bit at the metal bars enough that they were bending and breaking.
This obviously caused enormous stress for our home, since he was going to either hurt himself or escape and probably go on another rampage. So after one week the painful decision was made to bring Jack back to the shelter, and for me to work with him from there.
Sadly, not all cases can have the outcomes we'd like to see. I dearly wished I could have done more for you Jack Black, and I promise I'll never forget you.