Well, Jen and I completed our second session of training to be foster parents. We also discovered something interesting about our dog. A psychologist gave us some information on attachment disorder, which is very common in foster children. Makes sense, since many of these kids have been abused, neglected, and moved around.
So, it many ways it would follow that Jack may suffer from attachment disorder as well. He was abandoned, likely abused (I have no proof of this, but I believe he was abused for two reasons. First, when we first brought him home, he was sometimes very submissive, so submissive that I wondered if someone had beaten him. Second, I’ve lived with this dog for almost two years, and many weaker men would have definitely beaten him.), and adopted.
Here’s a partial list of symptoms, and how Jack fares in each category.
Superficially engaging and “charming” behavior
Yep. Everybody thinks he’s cute.
Lack of affection with parents on their terms (not cuddly)
Totally. He’d rather be at our feet. Even at night, we can’t get him to cuddle up with us.
Little eye contact with parents, on normal terms
Persistent nonsense questions and incessant chatter
Incessant chatter? You bet. Just spend a day with him.
Lying about the obvious (crazy lying)
I can’t prove this, but I have my suspicions.
Just ask Gracie about this one.
Destructive behavior to self, others, and material things (accident prone)
He’s never, ever destructive to himself or others, but he’s been known to tear up a tennis ball or dog toy.
Abnormal eating patterns
Let’s see… eat grass, throw up, eat grass, throw up… yep.
No impulse controls (frequently acts hyperactive)
Check. Two checks, infacts.
Lags in learning
Well, he always seems surprised when his bark-activated citronella collar goes off when he barks.
Abnormal speech patterns
I’d vote yes on this one.
Poor peer relationships
He doesn’t have many dog friends.
Lack of cause-and-effect thinking
See note above about the citronella collar.
Lack of conscience
Well, in his defense, he is a dog.
Cruelty to animals
Preoccupation with fire
Nope. He’s clear on this one.
Manipulative — plays adults against each other
Dysregulated eating/sleeping/toileting patterns
Yes. This dog will crap four times during a thirty minute walk. That’s dysregulated.