The Therapeutic Effects of Dog Ownership On Anxiety
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The following autoethnography is designed to contain accounts of the researcher’s lived experiences of anxiety and healing through the human and dog relationship. The purpose of the study was to give meaning and gain a comprehensive understanding of the therapeutic qualities of the human-dog relationship on anxiety through personal experience accompanied by scholarly literature. From an evolutionary perspective, humans have bred dogs (or Canis familiaris) to fulfill a number of roles. Through this, they have developed a special relationship with humans and can have a profound impact on their psychological functioning, particularly through emotional bonding. The data was obtained through a series of self-reflections, poems, images of the researcher and her pet dog, accompanied by scholarly literature. Writing and sharing self-reflections are therapeutic for participant and reader(s), and therefore can encourage personal reflection in others as a pedagogy tool.