Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Christy Ponticelli.

Keywords

Companion animal, Human-animal, Interaction, Relationships, Dogs, Family

Abstract

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are currently more than 60 million pet dogs in the United States. This is an increase of nearly eighteen percent since 1991, coinciding with a growing area of research on humans relationships with companion animals and companion animals place in society. For years dogs have been thought of as mans best friend because of their loyalty and faithfulness. The increasing popularity of activities such as canine daycare and puppy school suggests that dogs have become more than a best friend to some and even an integral part of the American family unit. The bond and emotional connection between humans and canines is a unique relationship, yet the depth of that relationship is not fully understood academically.In order to contribute to our understanding of this special bond, I conducted seven in-depth interviews with canine companions.

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