We have a relatively new member of our family. He’s only been with us for a couple months. He is a fawn pug we adopted through a pug rescue. What we know of his story is sad. He was picked up roaming the streets by animal control. His skin was covered with infections so that large areas had to be shaved of their fur and treated. He cowered when people moved too fast and the shelter believed he had long been severely neglected.
We already had a pug in our lives – a black one we rescued from the shelter two years ago. We had fallen in love with this boy and thought we had room for one more in our household. Following a bit of pouting by our little friend, the new boy was soon accepted as part of the pack.
The new pug boy is a love and a cuddler. Both Blake and Michael took to him quickly. One problem – he had never learned that the indoors is not for going potty. We’ve been working on that, and he is learning well; however, he still thinks it is okay to mark his territory indoors. And therein lies the issue for one teenager with OCD.
Okay, let’s be honest, nobody likes it when the doggy marks indoors. For a teenager with OCD that sometimes centers on contamination, it is fuel for the fire. While Blake loves this puggie boy, he is on high alert for urine.
“Does this smell?” “Did this get marked?” “Do you smell something?” I am constantly being summoned to check. Sometimes there’s nothing and sometimes – well, sometimes the doggy has left something to be cleaned up. Tonight was a night that, indeed there was something to be cleaned – and Blake sat right in it.
“Um…something doesn’t smell right here,” he noted. He’d already been sitting in the spot for nearly an hour when he realized this. Michael and I verified that, yes, that very spot had been marked and needed some clean up. Blake, however, did the most interesting thing. He did nothing at first. No panic. No running away to change. He just stayed there and finished what he was doing.
Now, he still did go change his clothes, but it was different than I’ve seen in the past. The urgency was not there. He delayed until he finished the task he was on. For someone with OCD, resisting the urge to immediately respond to the anxious moment is a big thing. Perhaps consciously resisting and not changing until bedtime might have been a bigger step, but I’ll take this one. Of course, I didn’t mention to Blake that he had resisted. He’d rather prove me wrong and go running the next time. Instead, I just silently noted it until I could share it with you.