Lick of Affection

One lick and my mind freaks out. I’m contaminated, unclean, I’m going to get sick. I was excited to get a dog, they are great companions, but in the back of my mind I worried about how I’d handle it. Dogs are a bridge between the outdoors (full of contamination) and inside (my safe haven). Getting a dog is exciting, but my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is getting in the way of my relationship with the new member of the family.

The dog, Lincoln, is adorable, but to my OCD he is a germ infested monster. My OCD takes the fact that he smells like dog food to mean that he’s unclean and should not be let to touch things. Everywhere he has climbed on me isn’t clean, and my OCD keeps telling me that I have to change and get rid of my contaminated clothes.

Each time Lincoln licks me panic ensues, with my mind getting caught up on all of the germs that are in the dog slobber, and I can’t touch anything without washing my hands first. I know that I can’t wash my hands every time he licks me long term without drying out my hands, but I don’t know how to stop. The idea of eating or touching something clean after being licked is terrifying, like walking around with dog poop smeared on my hands and going about touching things around the house.

Even after one day, I’m drained after fighting to spend time with Lincoln and only washing my hands after he licks them. I know that once the snow melts and he is able to go out and bring in the outdoors my OCD will act up even more, but I can’t give up. Somehow, I am going to fight back and be able to enjoy the new furry friend. It may take time and lots of dog slobber exposure, but I’m not going to back down.