Devin’s Tails: OCD Dogs

By Devin O’Branagan

In my upcoming comic novella, THE TWILIGHT BONE, I want to introduce a canine character who has OCD issues. Although I do understand it is a real psychological condition and not funny in many cases, I am playing it for laughs in this humorous tale. I asked my trusty Facebook friends for instances of silly OCD among their furbabies. This is what they told me––some of which may also include examples of ADADD (Adult Dog Attention Deficit Disorder).

– Kathy Connolly Remington: “My Pistol doesn’t trust men no matter how long she has known them. When they start to sit down, she rushes over to give them ‘the eye’ and to tell them to stay. If they get up, she follows. And heaven help them if they touch her pink soccer ball!”

– Tim Price’s dog separates the food in his bowl by size, shape, and color.

– Lori Anne Greco’s baby barks at his own shadow.

– Tracy Lucas had a dog who would beg for treats, and instead of eating them, he’d line them up in a hidden corner of the room. If moved out of his perfect line, he’d spend a long time putting them back. She says, “He was like Monk!”

– Kelly Whiteman had a Border Collie who would get bored when he was in a crate, so he would dump his water bucket, lay on his back, and juggle the bucket using all four feet!

– Ellen Levy Finch’s late, great Jake the semi-Dachshund would arrange all the fallen fruit under a tree and be horrified if someone dared to pick one up and mess up the pattern.

– Julie Campbell, talking about her Border Collie, Kira: “Ball…ball…ball…oh shiny (stares at light sparkles for a while) ball…ball…ball…”

– Shirley Reed Russell: “Toys have to be hidden behind the pillows on the couch, even if they have been outside and are wet!”

– Tammy E. A. Crosby: “Counting all the kibble. Kibble cannot EVER touch water bowl. Bones must be buried with exactly 20 digs (10 per side). Human must not change seats in living room [or] else she herds them where they belong. Owner once put collar on with buckle to the left not the right, nearly drove dog to frenzy. Must circle three times left, two to the right to lie down. Sorts her balls by color, or texture, or size, or bounciness.”

– Cassie Arkalis: “You take a nap and when you wake you find your Border Collie has put every ball in the house in your bed—just in case you will roll over and throw one…”

– Candilynn Fite-Writer: “We have a Yorkie Poo with OCD about [a lof of things]. But his cutest is his collection of balls: tennis, golf, rubber, and one soccer ball. He keeps them in one specific corner of the living room. If we move one, he immediately puts it back with the others. He also sits and rearranges them in the corner. So adorable!”

– Stacy Mantle: “I once had a Beagle who would remove all the inserts from shoes and make two big piles outside. One for inserts, one for shoes. I would wake up, go outside, and sort through the piles for matching shoes. (Rolls eyes.)”

And let’s not forget the dog who digs up and counts his bones over and over, then reburies them.

In my own life there was an amorous Australian Shepherd named Grizzly Bear who fell in love with my late Aussie, Kolbe. He would regularly take a trek around the ranch, dig up all his buried bones, and with great ceremony place them at her feet until the pile was huge. Then he would lick her ear for hours. Like the Alpha Queen she was, she endured his adoration with regal dignity.


Who says animals don’t have an imagination? Yep, I have enough material here to create quite a humorous canine character for my new novella. If you’d like to sign up to be notified when THE TWILIGHT BONE is released, please click here.

Copyright © 2013 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved

Photo of Queen Kolbe courtesy of Devin O’Branagan

Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include young adult urban fantasy, paranormal thrillers, comic mysteries, and fiction about dogs and cats. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. All of her books are available in both print and eBook formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com, and check her out on Facebook and Twitter.


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