Update on Jack

I really meant to get around to this post before now, but what can I say – I’ve been busy. I’m sure you’ve all been on pins and needles wondering about the old boy – or should I say the young pup, which describes him way more accurately. If you haven’t read the first post about Jack, click here to read about how Jack came to be a member of the family a few months back. You can read about his two broken legs and his ministry of love to our family, not to mention his pirate thieving ways – hence his name – Jack is really short for Captain Jack, after “you know who”, which suits him just fine.

photo by michi1308 courtesy of Flickr

So, how’s he doing, you ask? He is doing just fine. Ask me how I’m doing – better now that he is contained – before that, I was about ready to send him back to the Black Pearl. He has gained a good amount of weight and the first round of antibiotics worked very well on his bone infection. So well, in fact, that by the end of the medication this dog was jumping, running at top speed and wreaking havoc on everything outside the house – I can only imagine what would happen if we let him inside the house – oh wait – the children already have that job covered! It was a total transformation in him. We were so glad that he was feeling better, and his sweet nature was still there as before, but now he was energized with his newfound health and began redistributing anything he could pick up in his mouth to other parts of the property, where he proceeded to chew them up and rip them to shreds. He stole shoes from the children, jumped up on them and chased them around the yard. He took over my front porch and rather trashed it. When we discovered one day that he had broken and pushed out the porch rail, we knew something had to be done.

This began a long period of time wherein we debated the best solution to the Jack problem. It took so long, because there didn’t seem to be a good solution. Finally, what we came up with was to put up a dog run/kennel in the yard for him, with a doghouse for protection from rain, etc. We purchased a kit at a nearby PetSmart and were all excited about getting it set up and into use.

About this time, we decided it was time to take Jack in to be neutered. The vet informed us that he would not be able to get wet for two weeks. This was never a problem with our indoor dogs, but Jack was in the habit of swimming in our pond several times a day, so we knew we had to prevent that. We ended up leashing him up on the back patio for the two week period, which was the final test of our patience. He got into everything he could reach, sometimes even jumping to grab something that was up high. Every day, Laura would clean up the huge messes he was making (in more ways than one) and the next day he would have pulled down more things and cluttered it all up again. He seemed to love laying in piles of junk! Here is what we saw looking out at the patio for two weeks –

And this picture doesn’t even show the birdseed that he kept dumping all over the place! Well, as the two week mark started to come closer, it was decided that it was time to build the kennel, so that he could go right into it as soon as he was ready. We were certainly ready!

Here is what the box said –

and . . .

Did you notice how many times they said the word “EASY”? An ad for it online even went so far as to say it would assemble in 15 minutes! I must say I was skeptical. The reality was that it took Jeff and Laura (I stayed away for the sake of my marriage). . . 3 (or was it 4?). . . days to get it all put together and ready for habitation. Now we aren’t normally super handymen around here (unlike my BIL, who was born with tools in his hands), although usually once we’ve done something, it’s easy to do again – which will come in handy if we ever need to build another dog kennel. So, that could partly explain the discrepancy. Or it could be that the trouble was with the supervising crew –

Or maybe it was the fact that Jack kept stealing their tools (he was released from his patio prison anytime people were outside to keep an eye on him, and so thoroughly enjoyed his freedom).

No matter – the job was eventually done and Jack was moved into his new home. We wondered how he would like it. We wondered if he would be scared at night when it got dark (okay, I wondered this one – after all, I am a mother). We wondered if it would even hold him in – would he find a way to escape, or worse yet – knock the whole thing over! Happily, it has turned out to be fine. He did bark some at night the first few nights, but has pretty much gotten used to it. He likes his doghouse and sleeps well in it. Laura takes him out several times a day to run with him, and we let him out whenever we’re outside playing – although he still terrorizes the children and they run to safety on the trampoline. Here they are with our visitor turtle a few weeks ago, who Jack was really interested in! –

And here he is in his new home – as you can see, he is still surrounding himself with a mess, but that’s the way he likes it – and I don’t mind if he wants his home a mess, as long as he doesn’t destroy mine! –

I have been greatly encouraged by Cora at Hidden Riches From Secret Places, who has a chocolate lab named Buster, who sounds just like Jack in the antics department. Buster has started settling down now and is becoming a true and loyal friend to Cora. This gives me hope that Jack will soon do the same and I look forward so much to the day when we can enjoy him without all of the destruction.

We’re still figuring out what to do with Jack when it gets really cold this winter – but we don’t have that many really cold days here in Texas. We put a second doghouse on the back covered patio next to the house, which might work for those nights. Or maybe, he will settle down by then, and actually be allowed in the house for a bit. Of course, then we’ll have the issue of house training to deal with! But no matter how challenging he has been, we’re glad he’s a part of our family. His exuberance and love of life and his family is inspiring. He’s definitely a keeper!



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