My OCD Dog

I have been thinking about writing this for awhile now. If you have been following me you know that I adopted my dog Lilly back in August. I went to the local Humane League like I had done when I adopted my first dog Cookie, who I had for almost nine years. In those nine years my arthritis has gotten worse which means my walking has also gone downhill.

I think I need to give you a little back story now that I am thinking about. I had to put Cookie down in July and was really not sure if I was going to even get another dog. At that time I could not imagine replacing Cookie because we were so close. Cookie helped me get through many difficult times she helped me grieve for my mom and now I was grieving for her. Bu

It took less than a month when I started missing having a dog around. This is interesting since Cookie was my first dog ever; we always had cats growing up. One day I decided to call the Humane League to find out how much it would cost to adopt a dog, just so I could save up. Turns out I called at the perfect time since they had an "angel donor" and all dogs were free that weekend. That must have been a sign right?

Now came the hard part getting to the Humane League and picking out a dog. First I asked if they had any dogs the size I would want. Cookie was a Lab/Pit mix and I was really hoping that they would have another dog with the same mix. Turns out they only had two dogs that fit into what I was looking for so I asked my sister, Heidi, if she would take me.

After arriving at the Humane League, I guess they saw how I was walking; they said that Lilly would be best for me. They did not even let me meet the other dog they had, but we did see a dog that Heidi was in love with. Lilly is a Lab/Sheppard mix, so she is a little bigger than Cookie, but still not too big.

Since adopting a dog is a big step and knowing that Lilly is eight years old I had to go home and sleep on it. Yes, you know the answer; I called them back later that night. Lilly had stitches in her one paw so I had to wait a couple of days for her to get the green light from the vet. During that time Heidi went into the hospital so now the scramble was on. How would I get Lilly home?

My aunt was out of town and everyone I tried either did not have a car or they were too busy to help. I was starting to think maybe I was not suppose to have Lilly, and I could not afford a taxi. Finally, I got a ride so off to the Humane League with my sister’s roommate Gerry and a friend. Lilly was already for me when we arrived and I just had to sign several papers. On the way home we had to stop for dog food and I thought I would get her a toy.

We stopped at the pet store and I stayed in the car while Gerry and her friend went in for the food and toy. I got out the front door of the car and left it open because I was going to get Lilly out of the back door. Just that fast Lilly went through the front car seats and out my open door. Talk about panic! I couldn’t see Lilly since she is light yellow (so I’m told) luckily she went for the store and there were no cars coming in the parking lot. Gerry’s friend caught Lilly and brought her over to me, where I had a very good hold on her leash.

After Lilly and I were finally home alone she paced for a long time before she settled down. Then I started to notice that she likes to make circles, her tail even wags in a circle at times. I know that animals, at least dogs and cats, make circles before they lay down and I am not talking about those kinds of circles. Lilly makes a circle at the bottom of the steps when she goes out, and at least one before she comes in. Then after she is in the kitchen (that’s the room the back door is in) she makes more circles because she is happy to be inside. When she gets fed she makes a couple of circles before eating and when we go upstairs for the night she has to make a circle before going up the steps.

Lilly now sleeps in bed with me. It took her a few weeks to get comfortable enough not to sleep in the corner anymore. I have a Gazelle, which is an elliptical piece of exercise equipment. Now she circles around that several times before she will jump into bed. Last night I said to her that was the last time and she jumped up like she understood. I just had to chuckle to myself.

It’s been six months now that Lilly has come into my life and every day I can see her opening up and relaxing. She did not give kisses until about two months ago. But I can still see signs that she must have been outside for awhile since she can be a little jumpy. I am just thankful when she is jumpy she doesn’t bark or bite. I feel bad for startling her though when she jumps. Hopefully someday she will feel comfortable enough that her jumpiness will work itself out. I am just happy to have my OCD dog home with me. Whether I call her my OCD dog or my ballerina she is home and that is what counts.


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