Tuesdays with Worry: Appreciating nature with a dog at the end of life

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Justin Harmon, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Dogs have been called ‘social lubricants’ for their uncanny ability to help people with serious illnesses and trauma find brief moments of catharsis, create meaningful relationships when there are none and connect with healthcare providers and other support team members for those with serious illnesses. In this paper, the therapeutic qualities of human–dog interactions will be demonstrated by focusing on one woman’s terminal cancer diagnosis while in end-of-life care through her shared leisure experiences with a dog in a natural environment. This auto/ethnography sought to exhibit the simple importance of a dog to the meaning-making process for someone coming to terms with their mortality. Complementary therapies and support are essential to those receiving medicalised care, but for those beyond the treatment stage, the important and necessary support is to be found in the relationships and activities that are of the most significance. As is demonstrated, dogs can provide this necessary kind of therapeutic support that may not be found elsewhere.

Additional Information

Leisure Studies, 38(3), 317-328
Language: English
Date: 2018
Dogs, nature, cancer, palliative care, leisure

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