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A narrative exploration of the meaning of companion animals throughout the lives of non-institutionalized.. Stokowski, Teresa Angela 1994-02-25

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A NARRATIVEEXPLORATION OFTHE MEANING OF COMPANION ANIMALSTHROUGHOUTTHELIVESOFNON-INSTITUTIONALIZEDELDERLY WIDOWS LIVING ALONEbyTERESAANGELA STOKOWSKIBA.,The UniversityofVictoria, 1990ATHESIS SUBMITfEDINPARTIALFULFILLMENT OFTHEREQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHEFACULTY OFGRADUATESTUDIESDepartmentofCounsellingPsychologyWe acceptthisthesisasconformingto therequiredstandard2THE UNiVERSITY OFBRITISH COLUMBiAMAY 1994@ TeresaAngelaStokowski, 1994In presenting this thesisin partial fulfilment ofthe requirementsfor an advanceddegree at the Universityof British Columbia,I agree thatthe Library shall makeitfreely available forreference and study. Ifurther agreethat permission for extensivecopying of this thesisfor scholarly purposesmay be grantedby the headof mydepartment or byhis or her representatives.It is understoodthat copying orpublication of thisthesis for financialgain shall not beallowed withoutmy writtenpermission.Department of(\\f.The University of BritishColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate_____________________DE-6 (2/88)11ABSTRACTThe purpose ofthisstudywas to explore the meaning of companion animals throughoutthelives ofnon-institutionalizedelderlywidowsliving alone. Three widows ranging in age from70 to 85 were recruitedfrom friendsandacquaintances for participation in thisstudy. Themeaning of companion animalsin their liveswas studied by using anarrative approach. Thedatawasanalyzedforemerging themesand integrated into alistofcommon themesofthemeaning of companion animals. The resultsofthisstudywill hopefullyassistpeople inunderstanding the meaning andvalue of companion animals to non-institutionalizedelderlywidows livingalone.inTABLEOFCONTENTSAbstractTable ofContents iiiAcknowledgements vChapter I INTRODUCTION 1Rationale 1Purpose ofthe Study 3Definition ofTerms 4Chapter II LITERATURE REVIEW 6Theories 6Positive and Negative Aspects 9Attachment - The Human/Companion Animal Bond II)TheElderly 11Widows 12Summary 12Chapter III METHODOLOGY 14Methodological Approach 15The Process ofNarrative Inquiry 14Pre-Interview Process 15Procedure and DataCollection 15Rationale for InterviewQuestions 18Field Notes 20InterviewProcess 21PilotStudy 21Participants 22DataAnalysisandReporting ofFindings 23Interpretation in Narrative Inquiry 24iVBeyond Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability25Risks, Dangers, and Abuses ofNarrative 27Narrative Audience 28Chapter IV RESULTS 29Pam’sStory 29Summary 42Themes 44Martha’sStory 48Summary 72Themes 74Dora’sStory 79Summary 128Themes 131Common Themes 138Chapter V DISCUSSION AND SUMMARY 141Theoretical Implications 141Limitationsofthe Study 143ImplicationsforFutureResearch 143ImplicationsforCounselling 143References 145Appendix A Participant InformedConsentForm 151VACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank my committee members, Drs. Norman Amundson, Mary Westwood,and Carl Leggo fortheirsupportand encouragement. and forallowing me my freedom andindependenceduring this project.I would like to thankmyfriendsfortaking an interestin myworkand providingconstantsupportandencouragement. In particular I would like to acknoviedge LorriJohnston andPaulaDaPonte.I would like to thankmyfamilyfortheirneverending patience. support. andunderstanding.Finally, thisworkisdedicated to Trudy. mydog, who generouslyand continually gave 16yearsoflove andinspiration. Thisthesiswaswritten because she hadtaughtme theincredible andimportantvalue ofcompanion animals.CHAPTER 1introductionRationalePeople 65yearsoldandoveristhe fastestgrowing age group in Canada. Currentlythisage group accountsfor 11.5% ofthe total population. Provincially,in British Columbiathisage group accountsfor 13% ofthe population (StatisticsCanada, 1991). Basedon currentprojections,this groupwillaccountforgreaterthan 20% ofthe population by2030 (Health &Welfare Canada, 1989). people aged 75yearsandolderwillincrease from 19% in 1991 to anestimated 24% oftheolder population by 2001 (Health & Welfare Canada. 1983). andthoseunder 20 yearsofage will accountforlessthan 20% ofthe population (Novak, 1988).These demographic changesmean thathealth care costswillincrease to meetthe needsofthe elderly (ie. more institutionalsupport. householdmaintenance, medical care, andcommunityhealth care supports),while thereare relativelyfeverpeople to contribute. Costsaving strategiesneedto be developed. Busta.d and Hines (1983) suggestthatstudiesneedtobe conducted to determine ifanimal companions can contribute to reducingthe costsofhealth care. Research hassuggestedthatcompanion animalsmay permit the elderly to liveindependentlyin theirown homeslongerand to experience betterhealth (Katcher. 1980) orreduce theirdependence on drugs (Corson &Corson, 1980).AsveIl,itisestimatedthatalmost6% ofmen and 9% ofwomen in Canadaaged 65 andover reside in institutions (Novak, 1988). As the population agesthe numbersand percentageofolder peoplewhospend time in an institutionwillincrease, which mayincrease morbidityand mortalityand decrease life satisfaction (Bustad &Hines, 1983 Gutman & Blackie, 1985).Bustadand Hines (1983) suggestthatthedegreeand qualityofanimalassociation in eachsituation couldmodifythis grim prediction.Statisticsalso showthatproblemsin old age are magnifiedforwomen. Due to adecreasein mortalityrates, bytheyear2001 therewilllikely be 134women to 100 men aged 65 to 79.andwomen aged 80 andoverwilloutnumbermen 218 to 100 (Health &Welfare Canada, 1983).2Thishasabroad rangeofconsequences,among themagreaterlikelihood ofolderwomenbeing widowed than older men. Currentstatisticsshowthatformen65 andover 76% aremarriedand 14% arewidowed,while only 40% ofolderwomenare marriedand 49% arewidowed (StatisticsCanada, 1991).Also, thisdifference increaseswith age. A major problemwith being elderly, female, andalone is the high risk of poverty. As well, thelossofaspousepresentsseriousrIsks to the physicaland psychological healthandwell-being ofthesurvivor(Glick, Weiss, &Parkes, 1974: Morris, 1974; Parkes, 1972). Numerousstudiesdocumentexcessmortalityand morbidityamong widowsandwidowerswhen compared totheirage and sex peers (Barkson, 1962, Cox &Ford,1964; Helsing, Szklo, & Comstock, 1981;Maddison & Viola, 1968: Rees &Lutkins, 1967). Much ofthisexcess mortalityandmorbidityhasbeen attributed to the stress, anxiety, and lonelinessfrequently experiencedbysurviving spouses (Akiyama, Holtzman, & Britz, 1986). Increased use ofmedicalcare servicesand drug consumption were also reported (Parkes, 1964). Companion animalsmay be onewayto reduce these problems.Burnside (1979) providesvaluable insightinto the generalneedsofthe elderly. Shedescribes the basic characteristicsofthe elderlyand some oftheirmostimportantneeds.needsthatto some extent could be metthroughrelationshipswith an animal companion. Shesuggeststhatcompanion animalsmighthave apositiveeffecton the lonelinessandemotionalisolation thatthe elderlymayexperience, afeeling ofbeing locked into oneselfandunable to obtain warmth and comfortfromothers. Animalsmightalso reducethe stressassociatedwith moving fromhome to home. In addition, she posits thatlife reviewisanimportantaspectofworkingwith the elderly,andencouraging reminiscence isan effectivetool. Animalsare helpful because they can triggerreminiscences.Therapeutic touch isalsoextremelyimportant. Nonverbal communication can decrease the elderly’ssensorydeprivation. The sensory loss, immobility, living alone, and lossofsignificantothersexperienced by the elderlymayincrease the needfortouching. Touching animals, aswellasbeing touched, could be therapeutic.3Levinson (1969) focusedspecificallyon the non-institutionalizedelderlyand theirrelationship to companion animals. He found thatthe elderlyoften suffer fromalossofrelativesandwithdrawfromactive participationinhuman affairs. Objectsand animalsthatprovidedsecurityinearlylife mayassume greaterimportance in laterlife. The animalsmayserveasananchorfor good mentalhealth. He also explainsthe fragiledefense structuresofthe elderlyandthe reversalofrolestheyexperience. En thisreversal, companion animalscan be importantallies because theanimalsdepend on theownerand offerthemameasureofsecurity. Companion animalscan helpthe elderlyadaptto their change in statusandaccepttheirnew role. Companion animalsdo notoffer competition and can leadthe elderlyto find newinterestsand move outinto theenvironmentto walkand to talkwith others.Companion animalscan also be importantlove objects and can be loved withoutfearofrejection. In thisarticle he providedan excellentsummaryofthe potentialbenefitofcompanion animalsfortheelderly:A companion animal can provide, in boundlessmeasure, love andunqualified approval.Manyelderlyandlonelypeople have discovered thatpetssatisfyvitalemotionalneeds.Theyfindthatthey can hold onto theworldofreality,ofcares,ofhuman toil andsacrifice, and ofintenseemotionalrelationships by caring foran animal. Theirconceptsofthemselvesasworthwhilepersonscan be restored,even enhanced, bytheassurance thatthe companion animalstheycare forlove them inreturn, (p. 368)PurposeoftheStudyThereare anumberofreasonswhy I believe thisstudyis important. As I havepreviouslydiscussed, theelderlyexperience anumberofpotentialproblems. There aremany benefitsassociatedwith companion animalsandmyown beliefisthateveryone couldbenefitin one wayoranotherfrom companion animalsbut becauseofnegative aspectsorcurrentlifestyle itmaynot beappropriate or practicalforeveryone to own companionanimals. Thisiswhy I wantedto exploreifcompanion animalsareactuallybeneficial,in4whatways, whatwidowsmightbenefitfrom companion animals,andwhatare the negativeaspectsassociatedwith companion animals.Although thesesame questions could be askedinrelation to widowers, because elderlywidows greatlyoutnumberelderlywidowersandthis population israpidlyincreasing.I havechosen to focusthisstudyon elderlywidows.Wilson and Netting (1987) suggestedthat basedon life course developmentanindividualspersonal history becomesavariable indetermining thepattern ofsubsequentlife events. Based on thisstatement, life courseevents(such aspersonalhistorywithcompanion animals, previousattitudes towardandattachments to companionanimals,childhoodexperiences,andso on)areall partofan individualspersonalhistory. Anditisthese life courseevents thatcould be adetermining factoras to the pattern ofsubsequentlifeevents(such ascurrentattitudestowardandattachmentsto companionanimals, positive andnegativeaspectsassociatedwith companion animals, perceived role of companion animals,and thedegree to which companionanimalshavean impacton an individual’ssenseofwellbeing). Bearing thisin mind, the presentstudywasdesigned to explore the meaning ofcompanion animalsin the livesofnon-institutionalizedelderlywidowsbased on eachparticipant’spersonal life experiences.Definition ofTermsIn thisstudythe meaning ofcompanion animalsrefers to participants’ perceptionsoftheinfluenceorimpactcompanion animalshave hadon theirlives. This could includepositive andnegative aspects,theirrole,value,importance,and so on.The term companionanimalrefersto anylivingnon-human animal. The termcompanion animalis usedratherthan the termpetfora couple ofreasons. Asstated byMugford (1980), companionship isundoubtedlythe most commonly citedreason for “pet”ownership emergingfromsurveysofboth ownersandnon-owners. Today domesticanimalsarevaluedforlove, companionship, andotherintrinsic qualitiestheyprovide, andnotjuStownedandtreatedasan objector possessionthattheterm petinfers.Attachment, andthe termhuman/animal companion bonding, referstoalastingaffectional tie between aperson and an animal (Poresky &Hendrix, 1988).56CHAPTER IILiterature ReviewAlthough much hasbeen said aboutthe potential healthvalue ofcompanion animals,mostofthe researchreliesheavilyon anecdotalreportsoron psychiatric case histories(Wilson NetLing, 1987). Studieshave been conductedon the effectsderivedfromcompanionanimalsandtheirownership, andthevalue ofcompanionanimals to theinstitutionalizedandnon-institutionalized. Severalstudiesandtheorieswill be discussedbelowwith an emphasison the elderly. Because ofthelimitedamountofresearch doneinthisareathisstudyincludesliteraturefromabroader timeframework.TheoriesIn 1984 an invitational conferenceforresearch on the interactionsofanimalsandpeoplewasheldin Washington, DC. Atthatconferenceitwasapparentthatno conceptualframework dominatedthisareaofstudy(Netting, Wilson, & New, 1987). Basedon thisconference and previouslypublishedliterature on thetopic, thereare severaltheoreticalframeworkswhichmay behelpfulin understanding the rolesand relationships companionanimalsmayplayin aperson’slife.Socialrole theory. A role hasbeen definedasanysetofbehavioursthathas somesociallyagreeduponfunctionand forwhich there existsan accepted code ofnorms(Wilson&Netting, 1987). Fourdimensions characterizethe effectofsocialroleson the individual:(a) thenumber ofroles, (b) theintensityofinvolvement, (c) the pattern ofparticipationovertime, and (d) the degree ofstructuretherolesimpose (Wilson &Netting, 1987). In oursociety, each stage ofone’slife may be characterized byvarying rolesthatassume thesefourdimensions.Asaperson agesmultiple rolesdevelop. Companion animalownershipmay be one ofmanyrolesanddepending on life circumstancesitmayremainveryimportantoritmaybecomelesssignificant. However,when approaching an advanced age aperson mayexperiencerole lossesthrough widowhood,retirement,incapacitation,and so on. Some7personsrapidlyreplacelostroleswith newones,othersmay rejoice in theirnewfoundfreedom,andyetothersmaymourn theirloss. Companion animalownership may becomeaburden to the olderperson whowantsto travel, butitmay become amore significantrole forthe isolatedelder. Forthe lattertypeofperson,when creatingroleswith otherpersonsmaybe lessan option, companion animal ownership becomesarole thatcan be filled simply bybuying acompanion animal (Wilson &Netting, 1987).ExchanRe theory. Exchange theorysuggeststhatpeople continue to engage inrelationshipsonlyaslongasthe benefitsoftheirinteractionsoutweigh the costs (Blau,1964). Forthe elderly, petsmay provide valuable relationshipsthatserve functionssuch ascompanionship, tactilestimulation, safety,andnonjudgmentalemotional support. Thesepotentialbenefitsmay be especiallyimportantto personswho have limitedinteractionalopportunities. Therefore, the benefits may greatlyoutweigh the costin certain situations(Wilson &Netting, 1987).Life soan develoomentaltheory. Thistheoryfocuseson the uniquenessoftheindividualasheorshe progressesthrough the stagesoflife. Because each person’sexperience andperceptionsvary, no one hasthe same personalhistory (Newman &Newman, 1984). Based onthistheory,Netting etal. (1987) contendthataperson’sinteractionsandexperiencesearlyin life mayaffect.laterattitudestoward companion animals. Ifthisisthe case, each personwillresponduniquelyto companion animals, Some people willenjoythese relationships,andotherswillnot.Wilson &Netting (1987) contendthatbased on life course developmentan older person’spersonalhistorywith companion animals(ownership, experience,attitudes,andattachments)may influence: companion animal ownership and potential benefitsinlaterlife,howhe orshe perceivesthe role ofcompanion animalsin hisorherlife,andthedegreetowhich companion animalshave an impacton an olderperson’ssense ofwell-being. Inaddition,an older person who hadastrongattachmentto companionanimalsearlierin lifemayhaveastrongattachment.to companion animalsinlaterlife. Aswelt, companion8animalsmaymeandifferentthingsto thesame person overtime;thatis, the companionanimal’svalue asadevelopmentalassetwill fluctuate, dependingon individualneeds, age,andsex ofthe owner. Therefore, theoretically, previousrelationshipswith companionanimalsduring otherphasesofone’s life course mayserve asindicatorsofpotentialfuturerelationships.Sociobio1oical perspective, Thistheoryisbased on the beliefthatcaringforanotherperson orthing mayhelppreservehealth (Katcher &Friedmaiin, 1982). Itmay be thatcaring foranotherfacilitatesapattern ofpsychoendocrineorganizationwhichresultsingreaterresistance to disease. An example given to supportthistheoryisthatdepression isassociatedwith an unwifflngnessboth to take care ofothersand to form close socialrelationships. Thislackofcaringresultsin psychoendocrineresponseswhich increase theprobabilityofdisease anddeath (Friedmann, Katcher, Thomas, &Lynch, 1984; Katcher &Friedmann, 1982).Transitionalobjects, A transitionalobjectissomething thatallowsaperson to transferaffectionsfromone person or group ofpeople to another, In laterlife a companion animalcan actasatransitional object. Older peoplewho have been depressed because ofthe lossofrelativesandfriendscan learn to love othersagain through firstlearning to love and careforacompanion animal.Animalsasaconnection to nature. Contemporarysocietywith itsdeclining importanceofnuclearfamilies,high geographic mobility, and rapid changescanresultin feelingsofanomie andisolation (Feldmann, 1979). As oursocietiesgrowevermore technologizedtherewill be an everincreasing needformore contactsandexchangeswith otheranimals forthismayhelp to lessen the potential psychic damage ofourtechnologies(Drengson, 1987) andprovide alink to thenaturalworld. This contactwith animalswillhelp us to be in touchwithourown feelingsand hurt, and thisitturn helpsus to approach theworld in ano-harmwaybymeansofsympathy, love, and compassion (Drengson, 1987). Through acompanion animal9we can relate to the non-human environmentwhich can give usasense ofunity toalllivingthings (Woloy, 1990).Socialinteraction, According to thisperspective, companion animalssatisfyinteractionalneedsofpeople by providing sustained companionship. Argyle (l%9)foundthatabalanced personalityultimatelydependson satisfactionofpeoples’ needforsocialinteraction,Positive andNegative Asoects Associated With Companion AnimalsCompanion animalshelp meetpeople’sneedsforaffiliation, self-esteem,safetythroughphysicalandemotional securityand protection,and asense ofbelonging (Fox, 1975,Friedniann,Katcher, Thomas, &Lynch, 1984;Katcher &Friedmann, 1982; Mugford, 1980;Norman, 1980; Walster, 1982).Aswell, companion animalsalso provide social, psychological,and physiologicalbenefits, Taken fromanecdotalevidence, case studies, andexperimentalstudiesthe followingtablesummarizesthe positive and negative aspectsassociatedwith companion animals.Positive Aspects Negative Aspectsaffection responsibilityresponsibility housing limitationsego satisfaction transmitsome diseasespower creating nuisancesnormalityofthe physicalprocess creating pollutioncompanionship destructive habitsplayand recreation bitingattachment overprotective naturesomething to care for needsattention andaffectionsomething to touch and fondle needsdisciplinesomething to keepone busy threatenspeopleexercise animal’slife spanpurpose in life/reason to live veterinary feesand caresport allergiespride dependence on the companion animalfacilitate socialinteractionwithothers restricts mobilitypleasure worryaboutanimal’s fate upon death ofbeauty ownerunconditionallovesomething to lovesense ofbeingworthwhilesense ofidentitycontactwith nature10sense ofimportancefeeling ofbeing neededextensionofhowyou seeyourselforanextension ofhowyou wantto be seenenhancedselfconfidencepositive emotionalsupportnonjudgmentaltakesonesmind offtheirtroublesopportunityto give &receive affectionobviates lonelinesseducationalfunctionseg. nutritionstatusrelaxing focusofattentionstimulusforadaily routineincreasedsurvivalrateafter myocardialinfarctionsoranginadecreased blood pressuredecreasedheartrate & respiratoryrateattentivenesswelcomingsomeone to talk tofewdiseasestransmittedto humanssense ofbeing neededhumour&entertainmentreducedalienation &socialwithdrawalreinforcefeelingsofIndependencesolace in bereavementattenuatesthe pain ofsocial isolationattenuatesthe pain ofdepressionimproved physicalhealth &longevityreducedstressimproved mentalwell-beingincreasedverbalizationimprovedrealityorientationameans to helpothers(Supportforthisinformation can be found in: Arehart-Treichel, 1982; Bossard, 1944; Brickel,1980; Brodie, 1981; Bustad, 1980; Carbary, 1975; Corson, 1981; Faircloth, 1981; Feldmann, 1977;Friedmann,Katcher,Thomas, Lynch, & Messent, 1983; Grossberg &AIf, 1985; Jenkins, 1986;Katcher, 1981; Katz, Atlas, Walker, &Crossman, 1982; Kidd, 1982a; Kidd,1982b; Lago, Kafer,Delaney, &Connell, 1988;Levinson, 1982; Montagu, 1978; Quigley, Vogel, &Anderson, 1983;Selby,Rhoades, Irvin,Carey, & Wade, 1980; Slovenko, 1983).Attachment- TheHuman/CompanionAnimal BondAsdescribed inRynearson (1978), the need to form close individualizedattachmentservestheubiquitousfunction ofnurturaiice,alliance, andparenthood. Although itismostintense andfocusedbetween motherandinfant, with maturitythe needforattachment11assumesequivalencewithotherdeveloping needsand graduallydiversifiesto involvemultipleattachmentfigures. In adulthood the needforattachmentcontinuesto be ofprimarypsychobiological value. Rynearsonsuggests thathumansand companion animalsaresignificantattachmentfiguresforone another.Severalstudies (Lago, Connell, &Knight, 1985; Ory &Goldberg, 1983) have foundsignificantassociations between companion animalownership statusandvarioushealth andwell-being measuresafterthe affectionatecharacteroftherelationshipwith the companionanimalwastaken into account.The importanceofbondingwasalso reflectedin astudythatfounddifferentpatternsofphysiologicalresponsesto petting an unbonded dog and adog inwhich a bond had beenestablished (Baun,Bergstrom, Langston, &Thomas, 1984).TheElderlyCusack and Smith (1984) andLevinson (1972) have foundthatforthe elderlypersonwholivesalone and is no longeraworking and active memberofthe community, theworld canseem to be ableak place. Theyoften have fewvisitsfromfriendsand family. Limitedmobility, physicalimpairment,or poorhealth can make itdifficultto go on even shortoutside excursions. Withoutmeaningfulactivitiesthere islittle incentive orreason to keepspiritormorale high. Withoutcompanionship orpurpose the lonelyelder can easilysinkinto amorassofdespairanddepressionthatisasdebilitating to health astheworstdisease.Theaged notonlyface the problem ofalossofstatuson retirementfromworkorfrommanaging an active household, butthey begin to findthatthe greatestsource offrustrationiswithin themselves. They oftenhaveincorporatedinto theirself-conceptsthe ideathatonce retiredfrompreviousoccupations,whethervoluntarilyornot, theyare nolongerableto do manythingsthatpreviouslywereveryeasilymanaged. Whetherthisistrueornotdoesnotmatter becauseonce they believe thisistruetheywillactaccordingly. Because theirbodyno longercorrespondswith theidealizedself-image theyhave carriedwithinforsomanyyearsthey become convincedthattheir body is damagedordiseased. Because being12young isalsoequatedwith being desired, loved, andwanted, the agedfeel like asuperfluouscommodity. Likeanyotherhuman being theywantto be needed,admired,andapprovedof.Theywish to transmittheirknowledge to others, to Leach newthings,to create, andbechallenged. A companion animalsuch asadog, which actslike aperpetual juvenile, may bejustwhatthe elderlyneed. A companion animalcan provideaboundlessmeasure oflove,companionship, adoration, and unqualifiedapproval,Manyelderlyandlonely individualshavediscovered thatcompanion animalssatisfytheirneeds andenable them to hold on to theworld ofreality,of care, ofhuman toilandsacrifice, andofintense emotional relationships.Interactionswith companion animalspromotes physicalandemotional good health, andtheirself-conceptasworthwhileindividualsisrestoredandeven enhancedwhen theyfindthatthe companion animaltheyhave been caring forlovesthemin return.WidowsThereare alimitednumberofstudiesthathave focusedon widowsinparticular. In astudyinvestigating the impactof companion animalownershipon the health statusofrecentlywidowed urban middle-classwomen (Akiyaniaetal., 1986), analysisofthe dataindicatedthatnon-ownersexperiencedsignificantlymore symptoms (especiallythosewithpsychogenic components), andasignificantlyhigheruse ofmedications.SummaryA reviewoftheliteratureshowsthatmany publicationsin thisarearelyheavilyonanecdotalreportsand psychiatric case histories. Although thistype ofinformationhighlightsthe sociopsychologica.Lvalue ofanimal companionshipforthe elderly, theyhavebeen characterized by casualmeasurementandobservation (Beck&Katcher, 1984; Robb &Stegman, 1983). Manystudiesdid nottakeattachmentintoconsideration. As previouslydiscussed,when thisvariablewasconsidered theresultsshovedasignificantdifference(Lago etal., 1985; Ory &Goldberg, 1983). Many studies, even those thathad taken attachmentinto account, used closedresponse questions. Although doingso made the informationquantifiable, italso restrictedthe typeofinformation thatcould be obtained. Because no13studiesused open response questions, additionalinformation may be unknown,such asotherpositiveand negativeaspectsassociatedwith companion animals, the significanceofthecompanionanimalin dailylife,andso on. Therefore,inexploring the meaningofcompanionanimals to non-institutionalizedelderlywidowslivingalone thisstudyutilizesin-depth interviewswith open-ended questionsso asnotto restricttheamountand type ofinformation obtained.14CHAPTER IIIMethodologyMethodological AporoachBecausethefundamental purpose ofthisresearchwasto explore themeaningofanexperience, theinfluence ofcompanion animalson the livesofnon-institutionalizedelderlywidowslivingalone,anarrativemethodologywasused. The centralvalueofnarrativeinquiryisits qualityassubjectmatter. AsConnellyandClandinin (1990) state: “Narrativeandlife go togetherandso the principalattractionofnarrativeasmethodisitscapacitytorenderthe experiences, both personalandsocial, inrelevantandmeaningfulways” (p. 10).ConneflyandClandinin (1990)definenarrative asawayofcharacterizing thewayhumansexperience theworld. Narrative is both aphenomenonandresearch method. Thephenomenon,ortheexperience to be studied, is calledthestory. The inquiryintothephenomenon is calledthe narrative. People bynatureleadstoriedlives andtellstoriesabouttheirlives. AsSchon (1991) states, “Storytelling isanaturalwaywe representexperiences(p. 237). butpeople arenotalwaysawareofthe meaningoftheirexperiences. AsSchonstates, ‘Everydayexperiencesare continually imbuedwith meaning,renderedmorecoherent,morevivid,even morerealthroughstorytelling’ (p. 237). Using narrativesbringsto lightthemeaning ofthese experiences.Thenarrativeapproach wasusedin thisresearch so as to capturethe trueessence ofthephenomenon. Asaresearch methodnarrativetakesinto accounttheemotionsandbehaviourselicitedduring theinterviewthatenriched the story, gave itfullnessand depth,and gave itlife beyond being merelywords on apage.The ProcessofNarrative InquiryAsManning (1983) statesinrelation to qualitativeresearch, “There isno single ‘correct’reading ofthe externalworld,’ no properway inwhichfactsmustbe selectedand presentedandno arrangement, empiotmentorpresentation, orencodationthatisuncontrovertiblycorrectorvalid” (p. 225). Asaresult, thenarrative processusedwas chosen asthe method13which wouldachieve the purpose ofthe studyand would be consistentwith thecharacteristicsofaqualitative research frameworkandanarrativeresearch methodology.Asdescribed byLancy (1993) the characteristics ofqualitative researchinclude: theinvestigatorhaschosen atopicorissue to studyand the task is to discoverandlethypothesesemerge; the topic governsthesitesandindividuals chosen forthe studyand these arerelativelyfewin number; the investigatoris the principalinstrumentfordatacollection; theresearch processisdesigned to intrudeas little as possible in the natural,ongoing livesofthose understudy; the investigator isaware ofhisorherown biasesandstrivestocapturethe subjectiverealityof participants; theinvestigator usesabroad perspective to recordcontextsurrounding phenomenaunderstudy, butthe focusmayshiftasanalytical categoriesand theoryemerge fromthe data; typicallyastudylastsformonthsoryears;and thereporting of the resultsusesanarrative formatofastorywith episodes.AsGergen andGergen (1986) describe, “The narrativeessentiallystructureseventsinsuchaway thattheydemonstrate first, aconnectednessor coherence, and second, asense ofmovementordirection through time” (pp. 174, 175).Based on these characteristicsand the purpose ofthisstudy, theresearch process usedforthisstudyinvolved threemajorstagesor processes: 1) Pre-interviewprocess, 2)Interview process, and 3) Dataanalysisandreportingofresearch findingsin awrittennarrativeform.1. Pre-InterviewProcessThisstageincludedreadingresearchliterature to become familiarwith the topic anddesigning andverifying theresearch methodologywith the researcher’sacademic advisor.Procedure andDataCollectionIn thisstudy the participantswere the primarysource ofdataandtheresearcherwasthe primaryinstrument. Datawas obtained by collectingverbaldescriptionsofthephenomenathrough the use ofminimallystructuredin-depthinterviewing andtaking fieldnotes.16These techniqueswere selected to elicitvaryingkindsofinformation suchasattitudes,perceptions, behaviours,and positive and negativeaspectsassociatedwith companionanimals. The collection ofdifferenttypesofinformation fromdifferentsourcesatseveraltime periods contributesto thevalidation ofdatabypermitting ongoing corroboration,orcorrection,ofinformation.Two minimallystructuredin-depth interviewswereconductedwith each participant. Ageneralthemewasintroducedateach interviewwhichwasintendedto focusparticipants’thoughtsbutallowthem freedomofexpression;however,thesubstanceanddirection ofeachinterviewvariedwith the participants’ responses. In theinitialinterviewthe researcherdescribedthe purpose ofthe studyandestablished thethemeforthatinterview bysaying:I amdoing astudy to understandthemeaning ofcompanion animalsin the livesofnon-institutionalizedwidows65 yearsofageandolderwho are livingalone, Because bothpastand currentlifeeventsandexperienceswith animals contribute to thewayyoucurrentlyview companion animals, I will be asking questionsaboutyourlifeexperiences. I wouldlike to begin by getting some backgroundinformation.I then asked or clarifiedinformationinrelation to each participant’sfamilyoforiginandwhatitwas like growing up and previouslifeexperienceswith companion animals. Theselifeexperiencesincluded both companion animalsthey had ownedorhadonly come intocontactwith. The life experienceswere discussed to getinformation aboutwhen theyoccurred,whathappened, whatthoughtsandfeelingsthe participantsexperiencedatthetime,whattheseeventsmeantto them today, howattachedtheywereto each companionanimal, andwhatthese companionanimalsmeantto themthen andtoday.AsSeidman (1991)outlined, “In thefirstinterviewtheinterviewer’s task is to puttheparticipants’ experience in contextbyaskinghimor her to tellasmuch as possible abouthimorherselfin lightofthe topic up to the presenttime”(p. 11). I asked participants todescribe previous lifeevents because “people’s behaviourbecomes meaningfulandunderstandable when placedin the contextoftheir livesand the livesofthose aroundthem.17Withoutcontextthereislittle possibilityofexploring themeaningofan experience”(Seidman, 1991, p. 10).The secondinterviewwas focused on the present, In thisinterviewdatawasobtainedinrelation to significantlife experiencestheyhadwith theirpresentcompanion animal(s) andthe meaningsofthose experiences, theircurrentlifestyle,inwhatvaystheircompanionanimal(s) positively ornegativelyaffectedorinfluencedtheirlifestyle,whattheircompanion animal(s) meantto them, andhowattachedtheywere to theircurrentcompanionanimal(s). AsSeidman (1991)described,the purpose ofthe secondinterviewis toconcentrate on the concrete detailsofthe participants’ presentexperience in the topicareaofthe study.Differentkindsofprobeswere used to directtheinterview. Theseincluded probes toelicitinformation aboutthe timing anddetails ofevents,andforfurtherexploration andclarification (Schatzman &Strauss, 1973). Silencewas used asmuch as possible to allowtheparticipantsfullexpression before probeswere used. Topicsthatrequired probingweretrackedand participantswere redirected to theseonlyaftertheyhadfinishedexpressingtheirthoughts. Trackingwas used because itminimized the interviewersinterferencewiththe naturalflowofthe participants’ conversations. The interviewswere more orlessstructureddepending on the information thatwas previouslycollectedandunsolicitedinformation from the participants. More directedinterviewingwasused tovalidate data.Initially two, two to threehourinterviews(allowing fortime to establish rapportandexplaintheresearch topic andtheme ofthe interview) were to be conductedwith three to seven daysbetween each interview. Given the population being studiedandthe depth ofthe interviews.more time wasrequired to allowforestablishmentofrapport, memory lapses, reminiscence,interaction, the numberofstoriesthe topic generated,and clarification. Each interviewlasted from two to five hours. Thespacingofinterviewsallowed time forthe participantstoreflecton the preceding interview, butnotenough time to lose the connection between thetwo. Also, the spacing allowed theinterviewprocessto continueover aweek. This passage of18time reducedthe impactof possible idiosyncratic interviews. Interviewswere conductedinthe participants’ homesandwereaudio taped. The tapeswereerasedattheendofthestudy.Rationale for InterviewQuestionsRationale forthe interviewquestionswasbased on areviewofthe literature. Inparticular, I had askedaboutfamily background,previousexperiences andattachmentstocompanion animals, ascribed characteristics,andachieved characteristics becauseaperson’spersonalhistory becomesavariablein determining the patternofsubsequentlife events(Newman &Newman, 1984). More specifically, I hadaskedaboutfamilyoforigin becausechilddevelopmenttheoryand particularlyFreudian psychoanalytic theorystressedtheimportanceofthetiming ofcriticaleventsinapersonslife on psychologicaldevelopment(PoreskyetaL, 1988). A person’scurrentattitude towardcompanion animalsmayhave beeninfluencedbythe presence ofcompanion animalsduring previouscriticalevents.I hadasked aboutpreviousexperienceswith companion animalsforseveralreasons.Childhood companion animalexperienceshad been reported to be a predictorofadultpetownership (Serpell, 1981), so earlypetexperienceswere likelyto influencethe developmentofadults’ attitude toward companion animals(Poreskyeta!., 1988), Aswell, areviewoftheliterature by Wilson and Netting (1987) found thatan olderperson’s personalhistorywithcompanionanimals(ownership,experience,attitudes,andattachment) mayhaveinfluenced:companionanimalownershipandpotentialbenefitsin latelife,howan olderpersonperceivedthe role ofcompanion animalsinhisorherlife, andthedegree to whichcompanion animalshadan impacton an olderperson’ssense ofwell-being,In aretrospectivestudyofadults’ petattitudesasaresultofchildrens’ companion animalbonding, Poreskyeta!, (1988) foundthatpetattitudesweremorestronglyrelated to andmorepredictiveofchildhood bonding scoresthan contemporarybonding scores,and currentattitudestoward companion animalswere positivelycorrelatedwith childhood bondingscores. Aswell, currentattitudeswere mostpositiveforthosewho had afirstcompanion19animalwhen theywere youngerthan 6 yearsold, and leastpositive forthose who had afirstcompanion animalwhen theywere over 10 yearsold.I had asked aboutthe level ofattachmentto previousand currentcompanion animalsbecause La.go eta!.(1985), Oryand Goldberg (1983), and Baun etal. (1984) had foundsignificantassociationsbetween companion animalownership andvarioushealth andwellbeing measuresafterthe affectionate character oftherelationshipwith the companionanimalwas taken into account.As Wilson and Netting (1987) described, questionnaireshad been developed thatattempted to analyze currentattachments to andattitudestoward companion animals, andhowintense those attachmentswere, butno attempthad been made to askifthese feelingshaddevelopedoverthe life course andwhytheyhadorhadnotdeveloped. Astheystated,withoutknowing this, we did notknowifthesewerelifelong patternsoronlyincidentalrelationshipsthat becomemore importantin the life coursewhen the lossofhumanrelationshipsoccurred.I hadaskedthe question, “How attachedare/wereyou to your companion animal(s)?” inthisway because Ory and Goldberg (1983)hadused thissingle-itemattitude question intheirprospectivesurveystudyofadjustmentto widowhood in late life. While no reliabilityinformation wasreported, “low attachment” ownersreportedsignificantlylowermorale than“high attachment’ owners.I haddeterminedascribed characteristicssuch as age and gender because DavisandJuhasz (1985) found thatthe companionanimalsvalue asadevelopmentalassetfluctuateddepending on individual needs, age, andsexofthe owner. Ethnicitywasimportantbecausethe wayanimalsare thoughtofandtreated variesculture by culture. Forexample,Europeansand the British do notconsiderthe dog asasourceoffood, whilefor the Chinese itisadelicacy (Fox, 1984).I had asked about currentlifestyle because this couldinfluence the effectsderivedfromcompanion animals. Severalstudies (Brim. 1974: Larson, 1978; Palmore &Luikart, 1972)20reportedapositive association between measuresofpsychological well-beingandlifesituajon variablessuchassocio-economic status, health, physicalactivity,andsocialparticipation. House, Robbins. andMelzner(1982) discovered thatindividuals reportingahigherlevelofsocialrelationshipsandactivities(adjusting forageandavarietyofriskfactors)weresignificantlylesslikely to die in thefollow-up periodoftheircommunityhealthstudyinvolvingacohortof2,734adultmen andwomen. These resultswereinvariantacrossoccupation, age, andhealthstatus groups. Aswell, thepresenceofsupportivesocialinteractionsisthought to haveadirectimpacton psychologicalwell-being aswellasamediatinginfluence on negativelifesituationsandrole losses(Kahn, 1979; Linn, 1979),However, studiesofsurvivalratesofpersonstreatedformyocardialinfarction andanginapectorishadfoundthataone-yearfollow-up onmortalitycomparisonsindicatedthatsignificantlymore survivorsowned companion animals,andthisfindingheldtrueevenwhen theresearcherscontrolledforcompanionanimals (dogs)with whomexercise mightbeafactor. Adiscriminantanalysisofphysiologicalseverityand companion animalownershipon patientsurvivalindicatedthatownershipwassignificantin predictingsurvival(Friedmann, Katcher, Lynch,&Thomas, 1980;Friedmann, Thomas, Noctor,andKatcher, 1978).Thesestudiesalso foundthatnoneofthe othervariables,such asthe numberofpeople thatwere talked to each day, the amountofdaily contactwith neighbors, the participationincommunityactivities, orlivingaloneorbeing married explainedasmuch ofthevarianceinsurvivalasdid companion animalownership.I had asked howtheircurrentcompanion animal(s)affectedorinfluencedtheirlifestylebecause this providedinformation as to the positive andnegativeaspectsderivedfromcompanion animals.Field NotesDatafrom fieldnotesincludeddescriptiveandreflective notes. Descriptivefieldnotesattempt to capture aworld-picture ofthesetting, people, actions,and conversationsasobserved. Field notesrepresent“the researcher’s bestefforttooblectively recordthedetails21ofwhathasoccurredin the field” (Bogden &Biklen, 1982, p. 84) Descriptive field notesinclude: portraitsofthe participants(such as physicalappearance,dress, mannerisms, styleoftalkingandacting):reconstruction ofdialogue (verbatim notesofwhatwassaid);adescription ofthe physicalsetting;accountsofparticularevents(such as getting aphotoalbum); depiction ofactivities (such as patting theircompanionanimal); and the observer’sbehaviour (such as the researchersown behaviour, assumptions,and whateverelse mightaffectthe datathatis gatheredand analyzed) (Bogden &Biklen, 1982).Reflective field notescapturesmore oftheobserversframeof mind, ideas, andconcerns. AsBogden &Biklen (1982) outlined, reflective “fieldnotes contain sentencesandparagraphsthatreflectthe observer’smore personal accountofthe course ofthe inquiry.Here the more subjective side ofthe researcher’s journeyis recorded the emphasisisonspeculation,feelings, problems, ideas, hunches,impressions, and prejudices” (p. 86). Bogden&Bikien statedthatreflectivefieldnotesincluded: reflectionson analysis,reflectionsonmethod, reflectionson ethicaldilemmasand conflicts, reflectionson the observer’sframe ofmind,and pointsofclarification,Both typesoffieldnoteswere used to add clarityanddepth to theresearch study andarereflectedin thewritten narratives.2. InterviewProcessThe interview processincludedapilotstudy, obtaining participants, and conducting theInterviews.PilotStudyA pilotstudywas conducted to assessthe clarityandeffectivenessoftheinterviewquestions, to determinethe amountoftime required to complete the interviews, and to allowthe intervieweran opportunityto familiarizeherselfwith the scope andflow oftheinterviewresponses. The pilotinterviewdatawasnotincludedwith the dataanalysisforthisstudy.22First, two colleagueresearcherswere asked howtheywould respond to the interviewandpilotquestionsandthen theywere asked ifthese questionswere clearlystated. Bothhadagreedtheywereandthe answersthey providedwere consistentwith the anticipatedtype ofresponses (ie. theyhadnotmisinterpretedthe questions). Then, using the interviewprocedureand questionspreviouslydescribed, two interviewswith a65 yearold widowwholivedalone andhad two budgiesandthree turtleswasselected. Thevolunteerparticipantwasobtainedbywordof mouth. Attheendofeach interview the participantwasaskedthreequestions: a) Were the questions I asked clearlyworded soyou knewhow to respond to eachquestion? b) Do you thinkthatI understoodwhatyou weresaying andfeeling?c) Are thereanyotherquestionsthatI couldhave asked thatwould give me agreaterunderstandingofthe meaning ofcompanion animalsinyour life? For both interviewsthe participantansweredyes to the firsttwo questionsand no to the lastquestion. Based on theseresponsesno changeswere made to the interviewquestionsorformat,ParticipantsThreevoluntary participantswere interviewedinthisstudy. Theywererecruited byword ofmouth (snowballingeffect)through friendsandacquaintances. Participantswereselectedon the basisthatthe person wasawidow 65 yearsofage or older, hada companionanimal, waslivingin rentedorownedaccommodation otherthan aninstitution,andwaslivingin thisresidencewithoutotherpeople. Aswell, because each participantwasrequiredto describeand communicate lifeexperiencesin detailitwasimportantthey could articulatean understanding oftheirexperiencesinEnglish.Afterobtaining potential participantsnamesandtelephone numberstheywerecontacted bytelephone. After confirmingtheireligibility, each person was told the purposeandnatureofthe studyandwhatwould be requiredofthem. Theywere also toldthattheirparticipationin the studywasvoluntaryand they couldwithdrawatanytime. Interviewswerethen scheduledwith individualswhowerewilling to participate in thisstudy. All23participantsagreed to be audio-tapedand the interviewswere heldin each oftheparticipants’ homes.Atthe beginningofthefirstinterview each participantwas given aduplicate consentform (seeAppendixA)whichwasreadaloudoutlining clearlythat: the studyinvolvedtwointerviewsofabouttwo to threehoursinlengthwith brief(halfhour) sessionsto providefeedback and analysis. Theywere told theinterviewswould be audio-taped butalldatawouldbe confidentialand tapeswould be erasedupon completion ofthe study. Theywere also toldthattheirparticipationwasvoluntaryandthey couldwithdrawatanytime. All participantssignedthe consentformin duplicate andkeptone copyforthemselves.3, DataAnalysis andReoorting ofFindinasThe dataobtainedfromthe interviewswas analyzedusing the following process:Transcribe. Each interviewwas transcribedverbatim.Establish meaning units. Initiallytranscriptswere readandreread to getasense of thephenomena,in allitssubtletiesandnuances. Thiswaslargelyaccomplished byreading andreflecting upon whatwasread. The transcriptswere then broken up into naturalmeaningunits. Thesewere statementswhich summed upormade knownaparticularidea, theme,concept, ordescription. Meaning unitswereattained through reading the transcriptsanddelineating each time atransition in meaning was perceived.Establish categories. Afterreading the transcriptsand identifying meaning unitstemporalmeaning categoriesbecame quiteevident. Listswere made ofemerging categoriesandwere refined as more categorieswere established. Meaning categoriesincluded: familyoforigin (personaldescription and childhoodexperiencesup until marriage);description ofpreviouscompanion animals(physicaldescription, personality, and howshe had obtainedthe companion animal); previous companionanimals (experienceswith previous companionanimals, positive andnegative aspectsforanimalsin general, positive andnegative aspectsassociatedwith theirprevious companion animals,andattachment);meaningofpreviouscompanion animals;widowhood (including the transition to widowhoodandwidowhood itself.24effectofhavingacompanionanimalduringthe transitionand asawidow, andspeculationon getting acompanion animaliftheydidnothaveone during thattime); old lifestyle(married lifestyle and influenceofcompanion animal); currentlifestyle (lifestylesincebeing widowed in relation to selfand companion animal);description ofcurrentcompanionanimal(physicaldescription, personality,and how she hadobtained the companion animal);currentcompanionanimal (general positive andnegativeaspects,specific positiveandnegative aspects, and attachment);meaningofcurrentcompanionanimal; societalfactors(positiveand negative factorsaffecting companion animalownership); and generalstatements. Each meaning unitwasthen codedaccording to the categoryitrepresented.Organizing meaning unitsinto temporalsequence within categories. Thisinvolvedorganizing the meaning unitsin the categoriesaccording to the sequence ofeventswhichactuallyoccurred.Reflection. Thisstep consistedofreadingthe statementsandfieldnoteswithin eachcategory to getasense ofthe experiences.Prenarenarratives, A narrativewaswritten foreach participant.Summarization ofnarratives. A summaryofeach narrativewaswritten.Establish themes foreach narrative. Themeswere identifiedforeach participantinrelation to the phenomenon understudy.Validation. Narrativeswere read to each participantfor corroboration and/orcorrection.Revisions. Correctionswere made andnewdatawasincorporatedinto the narratives.Preoare listof common themes. A listof common themeswaswritten incorporating datafromall ofthe participants.Interoretation in Narrative InquiryHuman experience hasastored quality. The descriptions people give oftheirexperiencesare awayoftelling astoryoftheirexperiences (Connelly &Clandinin, 1991). Inrecounting an experienceapersonwill communicatetheirinterpretationofthe experience.25A narrative researcheris concernedwith description. He orshe is concernedwithrecordingeventsin fieldnotes, recording participants’ talkininterviews, and recordingtheirstories. But containedwithin thesedescriptive recordsistheresearchersinterpretation ofthe experiences. Interpretation ispartofthe fieldobservations,interviews,and participants’ stories. Thisinterpretivequalityalso appearsin thewrittennarrative aswaysofgiving an adequate tellingaccount(Connelly &Clandinin, 1991).To verifyhisorherinterpretation and to tryand getasaccuratean accountofthephenomenonas possible requiresacollaborativeefforton the partofthe researcherandresearch participants. One ofthe main functionsofnarrativeresearch is to fosterreflectionandrestorying on the partofparticipants. The interpretive relationship between theresearcherand participantsleadsto amutual, collective telling andretellingoftheparticipants’ stories (Connelly &Clandinin, 1991).Beyond Reliability. Validity, and GeneralizabilitvLike other qualitative methods, narrativerelies on criteriaotherthan reliability,validity,and generalizability. As ConnellyandClandinin (1990) state, “Itisimportantnottosqueeze the language ofnarrativecriteriainto alanguage createdforotherformsofresearch” (p. 7). Sieber (1976) concurswhen he says:The quantitativeviewofreliability (inter-observer, inter-rater,inter-instrumental,orintra-response overtime) is in many respectsinapplicable in qualitative datacollection.Certain kindsofreliability mustbeintentionallyviolated in order to gain adepth ofunderstanding aboutthe situation (ie. the observersbehaviourmust change fromsubjectto subject, unique questionsmust be askedofdifferentsubjects. . . there isaninherentconflictbetween validity andreliability-- theformeriswhatfieldworkisspecially qualified to gain, andincreased emphasison reliabilitywillonlyunderminethatunique function, (p. 126)The language and criteriaforthe conductofnarrativeinquiryare stillunderdevelopment.AsConnellyandClandinin (1990) state:26We thinkavarietyofcriteria,someappropriate to some circumstancesandsome toothers,willeventuallybe theagreed upon norm. Itiscurrentlythe case thateachinquirermustsearch for, anddefend, the criteriathatbestapply to hisorherwork.(p.7)Insteadofreliability,validity,and generalizability ConnellyandClandinin (1990), GubaandLincoln (1989), andSieber (1976)suggestothercriteriathatcould be used. Itissuggestedthatappearance (something thatisseemingly true)replacereliability,verisimilitude (anappearanceofbeing true)replacevalidity, andtransferability(resultsvhich could beconveyedorappliedto someoneelse)replace generalizabiity (howmuch resultsapplytosomeone else). Other criteriatheyproposedthatcould be used include:1) Intertwiningofanalysisanddatacollection. In narrativeinquirydataisdonethroughoutdatacollectionratherthansomethingthatisdone onlyafterallthedataisgathered.2) Formulating classesofphenomena. Thisisacategorization processsubsumingobservationsunderprogressivelymore abstractconcepts.3) Identifythemes. Thisprocessinvolvesmakinglinkagesbetween concepts.4) The principleoftime defeasibilityratherthan theillusion ofcausality. Insteadofcreatingan illusion ofcausalitywherebywhenasequenceofevents isviewed backwardithasthe appearance ofcausalnecessity,andwhen lookedforwardhasthe senseofateleiologicalintentional pullofthefuture, narrativewritersfrequentlymove backandforwardseveraltimesin asinglenarrativeasvariousexperiencesarenarrated(Conneily &Clandinin, 1990). InsteadofcausalityClandinin andConnelly (1990)statethatnarrativeexploration derivesfromthewhole. ‘Narrativeinquirywasdriven byasense ofthewholeanditisthissensewhich needsto drive thewriting (andreading) ofnarrative. Narrativesare notadequatelywritten according to amodel ofcause andeffectbutaccordingto theexplanations gleanedfromtheoverallnarrative” (p. 7).275) An invitation to participate. Narrative may be read,and lived, vicariously byothers. AsPeshkin (1985)wrote:When I disclosewhatI haveseen, myresultsinviteotherresearchersto lookwhere I didandseewhatI saw. My ideasare candidatesforothers to entertain, notnecessarilyastruth,letaloneTruth, butaspositionsabout thenatureandmeaning ofaphenomenonthat.mayfittheirsensibilityandshape theirthinking abouttheir own inquiries. (p.280)ConneiLyand Clandinin (1990) suggestedthenarrativewriterhasan available testbyhavinganother participantreadandrespondto the account. Theysaid, Thisallowsaresearchertoassessthe invitational qualityofamanuscriptalreadyestablished aslogicallysound” (p.8).6) Authenticity. “A reader ofastory connectswith it byrecognizing particulars, byimagining thescenesinwhich particularscould occur,and byreconstructing themfromrememberedassociationswith similarparticulars. Itistheparticularandnot.the generalthattriggersemotion andmoves people and givesrise to authenticity’ (Connelly &Clandinin.1990,p.8).7) Adequacyand plausibility. Narrative truth consistsofcontinuity, closure, aestheticfinality, and asense ofconviction. Aswell, itis also plausible in thatit“tends to ringtrue. itisan accountofwhich onemightsay, I can see thathappening to me’ (Connelly &Clandinin,1990, p. 8).In thisresearch projecteach ofthe above suggestedcriteriawasusedasameasure ofreliability, validity,and generalizability,Risks. Dangers. and AbusesofNarrativeAspreviouslystated, “The centralvalue ofnarrativeinquiryisits qualityassubjectmatter. Narrative andlife go togetherand so the principalattraction ofnarrativeasmethodisits capacity to renderlife experiences, both personaland social, inrelevantandmeaningfulways” (Connelly&Clandinin, 1990, p. 10). However,adanger orabusewould beto substitutefalsehoodformeaningandnarrative truth. In addition to fakedata,thedata28could be used to telladeception aseasilyasatruth. To tryandsafeguardagainstthisand toensureasaccuratearepresentation as possible thenarrativewasacollaborativeeffortgiving the participantstheopportunityto corroborateormake correctionsto the data.Anotherdangeris to portraythenarrativeasa“Hollywood Plot” whereeverythingworksoutin theend (Connelly&Clandinin, 1990). Thishasalso been referred to asnarrativesmoothing. A safeguardagainstthiswas to obtain dataon positiveandnegativeaspectsofthe phenomenon,andhavingthe participantsandacolleague readthenarratives.NarrativeAudienceAsConnel.ly andClandinin (1991) discuss:One purpose ofnarrative research isto haveotherreadersraise questionsabouttheirpractices,theirwaysofknowing. Narrative inquiriesare sharedin waysthathelpreadersquestiontheirown stories, raisetheir own questionsaboutpractices,and see inthenarrative accountsstoriesoftheirown stories. The intentistofosterreflection,storying, and restoryingforreaders. (p. 277)Andin thisparticular case reflectionandstoryinginrelation towhatcompanion animalsmeanin theirown lives.A readerofnarrativeisdrawn intothe story to findaplace orwayofseeing throughparticipating in the story. To facilitatethisresearchersattemptto have the readerunderstandenough ofthe participants’ experiencesso thatthereader can sharesomethingofwhattheexperiencemighthave been for the participants. AsConnellyandClandinin(1991) state, ‘In order to do thisareadermustmake agenuineeffortto sharein theexperienceofthe participants” (p. 277). At bestitallowsareaderto share some qualitiesofthe participants’ experience.29CHAPTER IVResultsIn each ofthe following narrativesall nameshave been changed to ensure theconfidentialityofthose mentioned.Pam’sSLoryWhen I drove up infrontofPam’shouse I was immediately impressedwithwhat I saw,The hugefrontlawnwith itsshortlength.neatlyedged perimeter, andrich green colorshowed the care ithadreceived. Thehousewasolderandwassmallerthan thosesurrounding it, yetitdid notlook outofplace. Itwas aone level bungalow made ofwoodandbeautifulhand laidmasonrywork.In preparation formyvisitPamhad closed Sammy,hernine yearoldSheltie, in afrontbedroom. When I rang the doorbell I couldhear Sammy barking awelcome. I was greeted atthe door by Pam, arecentlywidowedwoman in hermideighties. With herneatlystyledgrayishhair, uprightposture and quick gaitshe could easily be thoughtofas muchyounger.As I enteredthe house therewas a beautiful long-hairedwhite furruglayingin the cornerofthefrontfoyerwhere I thoughtthe dog mustlike to lie. Aswe walked into thelivingroom,whichwas locatedin the back ofthe house, I sawitwas carpeted in arusty brown colorofamedium shadewhich would easilyshowdog hair. As I was being seated I noticed thattherewas nota. trace ofdog hairon the carpet. AfterPam and I got to know each otherforafewminutesshe let.Sammyabeautifulmulti-colored (brown, tan, andwhite), medium-sizedSheltie outofthefront bedroom. He was so happy to be free he came running up to mewagging histailasifhe washappy to see me. As I waspatting him I noticedhe had thickcleanhairwhich had been brushed so his coatflowed down around him. I wasimpressedwith howclean he was. Having allergies to catsand dogs I amverysensitive to theirodorand I could notdetecta“doggie” smell coming from Sammyorfrom being in the house ingeneral.30Pamand I spentthefirsthalfan hourtalking aboutthe purposeofthisresearch study,getting the consentform signed,and talkingabitaboutourselvesso we could getto knoweachotheralittle. AfterPam made teaand broughtin cookieswe startedourinterview.IinitiallyaskedPam to describeherfamilyoforigin andwhatitwaslike growing up. Shegrew up in an “average familysituation” with sixbrothersandsisters. Pamwas the middlechildand saidshewas considered to be the peacemakerofthe family. She hada closerelationshipwith herbrothersandsistersandparticularlyenjoyed playing and beingwithone ofheryoungersisters. When describing herfamilylifePam said, “Growing up in alarge familyyou don’tneedalotoffriends.”When describingherselfPam said, “I’m ofScottish stock myselfand I’mveryindependent.” Fromherstatement, “The way I feelaboutit I’mnotapessimistand I justkeepgoing one dayafteranother and make the bestofeach day,” Painseemed to be astrongwilledand optimistic person.Pamwasborn in Eastern Canadaand before theage of 10 herfamilymovedseveraltimesto Saskatchewan andAlbertabefore settling in Vancouver. During her childhood, and upuntilSammy, Pam saidshe “never hadareal pet.” Asaveryyoung childherparents hadcows, chickens, geese, andduckswhen theylived on afarm in Saskatchewan butPamsaidshe was too young to rememberthem. Her parentsliked companion animalsand hadadogforashorttime when Pam waseightyears old butalthoughshe loved dogsPam was tooyoung to rememberbeing that close to thisdog. She said, “Itwasjustthere. I didn’tfeel thatitwasmydog because I do rememberthatmy brotherwastheone who used to take itwalkingandall the restof it.” Aswell. Pam rememberedhaving budgiesand canarieswhen shewasayoung child. Although abudgie wasfun Pam didnotconsideritto be areal pet. She said:A bird isfine butitcan’tcompare withadog. Somehoworother you don’Lhave thesamefeelingaboutitas adog, you can’tpetit. You cantpetabird. I thoughtthatabudgie wasalotoffun andthey used I.e flyaround theroom. Andeven the canarywould come park31on myshoulder. ButthisiswhatI call agood companion, a.dog because I can go walkingwith himand I do everyday unlesstheweatherisso horrible.When shewasinherlattertwentiesPam gotmarried. Theyhada goodhappymarriage.“We talkedalotandenjoyedeachotherscompany.” Theyhad afairlyactive sociallife’which included playing golf, belonging to aclub andbeing quite involvedin it, andplayingcardswith friendsonaregularbasis. Theyhadonedaughterwho is nowmarriedandlivingin anotherpartofthe city.Because ofworking,raising afamily, travelling,andhavingan activesociallife Pamandherhusbanddid notown any companion animalsuntilnineyearsagowhen theyboughtSammy,whichwas threeyearsbefore herhusband died.Pam andherhusbandhad talkedaboutgetting adog because she loveddogsandwouldpatthem allwhen theywentoutwalking andhehadhigh bloodpressure.Theyhadreadan article thatcompanion animalsarenotedto lower blood pressure andthoughtadogmighthelp. Theydid not, however,haveanyintentionsofbuying adog on the daytheywentshopping.We had been out to Richmondandwe sawsome dogsin a petshop out there and oneofthemwasaSheltie and oh 1 justfellin lovewiththislittle thing, So we askedthe girliftheyhadany. Thatone wastaken. Andshesaid no wevonthaveanyuntilthespringbutshesaid I hadafriendwho hassomerightnowandshe saidifyouwant I will giveyou herphonenumber. So I saidokay. Andwe phonedanditturned outto bewayoutonnumberseven roadinRichmondand so myhusbandandIwentoutthere andheretherewasthesefourorfive little pups. Andthiswasthe mischievousone I tellyou. Andsoshesaidnowshewantedto keep the littlefemaleherself! guessfor breeding purposesbutshesaid ofanyoftheseothersyou can take yourpick. So wecouldsee thatthislittleguyeven aswe werewatchingwould grab holdofatailofoneoftheothersandwe couldsee thathewasthe aggressivelittleguy. And she saidifyou wantbeing older,myhusbandand 1, ifyouwantaquietdog she saidI vouldn’ttake thisone. Ifyou wantalively dog thisisyour dog. I saidto my husband oh letsgetthelivelyone. I havewished32on occasion thatwe hadn’tbecause he can be yen’lively I tell you, barkbarkbark. Andbarking when people come down the lane he runsdown to the house to letme know.Andthe postman andthe paper boy comesaroundfive o’clockin themorningnovandhe barksregardlessofhow earlyitisin themorning. So he can beprettylively. Sothat’swhatwe did so we decided and broughtthe little thing home.He wasonlysixweeksold. Re had justbeenweaned.From the beginningSammywas thoughtofandtreatedasamemberofthe family.Pam said:I justassumed naturallythatwhen you getadogyou hadadog house. He neverhadadog house. I wantedmyhusbandwhen ‘we bought himto build alittle doghouse and myhusband said oh no he’s got to be apartofthe family, we don’twanthimoutin adoghouse. So hesleepsin the house.When describing Sammy Pamsaid:He isfrom the Shetland. Hisancestorswere fromthe Shetland Islands so he is Scottish,very independent. That’strue. . . Sheltiesareindependentlittle creatures. He will cometo me and puthisheadon the chairand I pathimandheletsme reach down and justforaminuteor two andthenifhe couldtalkhewould say okay that’senoughnow and awayhe would go.Shewenton to describe himas being “feisty” and “a good littlewatch dog.” She said. “He’sbetterthan anyalarmsystem hereallyis because he hasasharp bark.” To thisshelateradded. “I reallythinkthathe givesme a good feeling ofsecurityhaving himin the house. Ijustfeelsafer.” He also tries to be helpful byalerting Pamwhen the telephone ringsbybarkingandrunning up to her. Also, Sammy isadogwho loves people andhates to be leftalone.Sammy lovesthemall. My dog isnotaracist. He lovesthemallregardlessofcolororethnic backgroundorwhatever, He loveseverybody. He justloves company. He couldhave peopleoverallofthe time.33Whilewe were talking before the interviewPam saidSammywould love toputupasignsaying Pam’sinn because whenagroup ofwomenshe hasovereveryweek go to moveoffthe couch be barksbecause he doesn’twantthem to leave.Although Sammy loved them both Pamfeltthathewas predominantlyherhusbandsdog. She said:Wellthat’swhat I thoughtbutmyhusbanddidn’tagreewith me atall. No hesaidheloves both ofusequally. Well I knowhe lovedme toobutsome dogs I thinkjusttake to aman. I reallydo feelthat. As soon as myhusband came to sitinhere[the living roomIthe dog wasrightbeside himandhewould staytherefortheevening. He doesn’tdo thatwith me. Although he lovesme andI knowthat ye alvayshad the feeling thathewasmore partial to myhusband. 1 justhave thatfeelingyou know.And I wasn’tjealousoranything because I wasdelighted because myhusbandjustdearlyloved Sammy.Onlysixyearsago Pamwaswidowedafter50yearsofmarriage. Herhusbandhadbeenin thehospitalforseveralweeksbeforehe passedaway. Pam said the transition towidowhoodwasnotonlyhardforherselfbutfor Sammyaswell. She said, “Sammymissedmyhusbandwhenhe died, Whenmyhusbandventintothe hospitalmy dog would be constantlywalkingaround. He waswanderingaroundwonderingwhere myhusbandwas.” To helpSammyadjustPam said:I gave him an oldsweaterofmyhusband’s andwhen heventto bed, whenhe beddeddownatnightI would putthatupagainsthimandhe used toputthatbeside him. Andthen afterafewmonthsallofasudden I guessthescentvas goneandhe justignoredit.He didn’twantanything to dowith itafterthat.That’sthewaytheyare theysay.Pamfoundthetransition to widowhooddifficultaswell. Going from being amarriedperson to being single Pam said:Itvasallthe differencein theworld, I thinkyou willtalk to anywomanwho haslostherhusbandor any manwho haslosthiswife andyourlife changesunbelievably.Youhave lostyourlife’s companion. Andyou justsomehowhave to geton withyourlife and34make the bestofitand make the mostofit. It’shardandittakesquitealong Lime andyou neverforgetthe person. butyou justcarryon anddo the bestyou can.Pam found itdifficultbecause theyhadhadsuch alongandhappylife togetheryetthiswasalso asource ofcomfortaswell. “Ifyou’ve hadahappymarriageyouvegotthattorememberanditgivesyou thatcomfortthatyou did have agood life,agood marriage,agoodrelationship,and that’senough.’Pamfound itveryhelpful having Sammyduring thistransition time:Ithelped. I don’tknow ifI wouldexactlysayitmade iteasierbutitdid help. He wasasource ofcomfortforme. definitely. And I could cry. I’m notone given to cryingandmaking abig spectacle ofmyselfin public but I could cryin privateand therewereneverincriminationsfrom mydog. He was definitely, putifthisway, itwould havebeenmoredifficultfor me if I hadn’thad him particularly the firstyear. Itwould have beenmuch more difficult. I don’tknowwhat I would havedone because hewasagreatcomfortto me.Even though Sammyhad been apartofboth oftheirlivesPam said having theirdog wasasourceofcomfort toherratherthan being a painfulreminderofthe past. During this LimeSammywasasource ofcomfort in anumberofways:When I go outand come home he isthere to greetme andhe runsaroundthehouse...delightedto have me back.. . . It’swonderful justto havesomethinglive to come home to.Itreallyis. Itcan’ttake the placeofthe oneyou lostofcourse butit’s justgreatto havesomething, notjustto come intoadead housewithoutanylife in itatall. ForthatreasonI thinkitiswonderful.A littlelaterinour conversation Pam said thatafterherhusbanddied she found pettingSammywasvery comforting. She added, “Ifhe hadbeen asmaller dog itwould have beencomforting to have had himon mylap.” When she wasinitiallywidowedand in theyearsfollowing Pam said:35I think patting adog orevenacatitreallyhasakindofarelaxingeffect. I reallydothinkthaL...I’mnotahyperperson anywayreally. I think it’smoreofacomfortingfeeling. I comforthimand hein turn givesme comfort. It’ssortofatwo waything.LaterPamaddedthatpatting Sammy is “a pleasurable thing” and “it’san affectionatething.’Ifshe hadnothadadog when shewas firstwidowedPamspeculatedon whetherthiswould have beenagood time to have gotten one:No. IfI hadn’thadhimand I had lostmyhusbandthenafterawhile I would probablyhave goneon some tripsand thenif I feltI had hadenough tripsthen I would havegotten adog. Butif I didn’thaveadog I would probablyhave gotten maybe acanary,justsomething, I think it’simportantto havesomethingelse thatisalive notjustyourtelevision.In discussing howmuch she missedherhusbandPam said, “Butnow asyears go bythateasesup. I stillmisshimterribly. I miss agreatcompanion. We talkedalotandenjoyedeach otherscompany. Now I justfeel I guessit’saneedin me, I wantto havesomething tohug.” To satisfythisneedPamdemonstrated asshesaidsheviii‘everyoncein awhile I justcall Sammy overand I justreachoverand give hima good hug andhelicksmyhand. I finditis a comfortingthing”WidowhoodisnoteasyandfromwhatPam saidittakestime to adjust. She said, “It’shardandittakes quite along time andyou neverforgetthe person.” Even though she hasSammyasasource ofcomfortPamsaid, “It’staken sixyearsto startto getmysense ofhumourbackwhere I findmyselflaughingatthingsagain.’In talking aboutherlifestyleasawidow forthe lastsixyearsPam immediatelyresponded bysaying “boring.” On apersonalbasisPammissesthe companionship. She said,“We talkedalotandenjoyed each other’scompany,” Now thisisamajorrole Sammy playsinherlife:He ismylittle companion, he’sall I’ve gotto Jive for. I’ve gotmyfamily, mydaughterandherhusbandandmy two granddaughters,. ,.butthisis myalltime companion day36andnighthe ishere with me. So he means alotto me in thatwayandthat’sreallyaboutthe mostimportantthing that I can tellyou.”Shewonton to say that:He meansalotto me because I can talk to him, Whetherheunderstandsme ornotI’mnotsure,sometimeshe does because I thinkthatwhatadog doesistheylatch on tomaybe one wordand then hisears go upand heknovswhatthatword is. Like Illsay,‘Oh lookattherain’ andhe knowswhatthatmeansandaway he’ll go and lookoutthewindow. And that’sjustthe wayhe is. I do feelthatyou can communicate withadog.And I readonce thatdogsare unlike some animalstheymakeeye contact. Andtheylookup atyou intelligentlyand theyappear to be eitherunderstanding ortrying tounderstandwhatyouaresaying. Sometimesitsjustlikehavinganother person.Ireally mean that. . . . I thinkthattheyare intelligentlittle creatures.Aftergetting up in the morning Pam said shestartsherday by doing the householdchores. Pamvacuumseveryday because Sammysleeps in the house. When asked ifthiswasanegative thing Pam said:Actually that’sno problem. I don’tconsiderthat, it’snotreallyanegative thing likelosing mydog ornotbeing able to go on atrip. Butit’sjustafactoflife becauseyouwould beabsolutely amazed thehairdoesn’tshov exceptforthewhite hairsbuttheothersseem to be blendinginwith the carpeting. Butwhen I emptythe bag itisabsolutelyfullofhairs. I couldmake a pillow, He isshedding allthe time. Andthere isan awful lotofhair. I thinkthatifI everdid getanotherdog I would probably getashorthaireddog although theyarenotas patable.Afterthe choresare done the two ofthem go outfortheirdailylong walk:My husbandand I used to walkaroundthe park up there.. . . When we firstgotthe dogwe would go around the golf course.. . .We used to walkaround there butmydog being afeistylittle guyeverytime anotherdog camealong, we had himon aleashand peoplehadtheirson aleash, buthe would kick up suchafussthatitgot to be anuisance so37then we started justgoing around the park. Andatthattime you could letyourdog offthe leash and letthe dog have agood run. And he used to go absolutely crazyrunningaroundthe footballand soccer field up there. He justloved it. Andnowofcourseyou arenotallowed to do that. But 1 still take himwith the leashandwalkhimaroundthereandtake mylittle plastic bag and pick upafterhim,andnoteverybodydoesthat... 1’d loveto be able to take mydog down there [StanleyPark] but I wouldn’t.dare. He’d be terrifiedofthe bikes. I used to getterrifiedofthe bikes too.Sammydoesn’tgetmad he getsterrified. He doesn’tlikeanythingwith wheels. Sammyisafunnylittle guy. He isafraidofanything unusual like he doesn’t.like babies in strollers.He doesn’tlikeanybody carrying aballoon oran umbrella. He is terrifiedofumbrellas. He isreallyweird. And skateboardsare hismortal enemy, he isterrifiedofthem.The restoftheday isspentdoing anynumberofthingsassociatedwith the house, friendsandfamily, orSammy. Aswe talkedaboutthe house andthe districtwith it’s beautifultreesandhuge sized lotsPam said:My husbandbuiltthislittle house in 1949and I’ve livedhereeversince. . When wemovedherealleastofHeatherStreetwasallC.P. property. Therewere no housesthereatall, it was bush and scragglystuffand then abouttwo orthreeyearsafterwe movedinhere the C.PR. sold thatpropertyto the cityand then theysubdividedit. And iftheyhaddone thatin 1949when we decided to buythispropertyyewouldhave boughttherebecause atthattimeitwasallnew homes. Asitwaswe boughton thislittlestreetandtherewasanawfullyolddumpy little house rightnextto us butwe liked the propertyandwe likedall the trees up there. This used to be likeabig acreage. And somebody hadplantedall theseornamental treesandwe loved thatand we decided justso we could getthe benefitofallthatlook outthere we would haveour living room atthe backofthehousewhich iswhatwe did. Thisisabig lotandrightnowwith the taxes I’m going tohave to pay I wish itwassmaller. It’snotthe house I’mpaying taxeson it’sthis big oldpiece ofproperty. However, ifI didn’thave Sammy I would probably selland getinto a38condominiumandthen I’dstill havesome moneyleftover. . . . So ifitwasn’tforSammy Ithink that’swhatI’d be tempted to do because it’s gotten to be abitofaburden with thegarden andnow I have to getsomebody to come and mow the lawnatthe front. I manageto do the back myselfbut I haveafellow come and do that.and then thereareotherthings. Butthe upkeep ofahouse,themaintenanceandeverything,andifI wasinanapartmentwellthatwouldall be lookedafter. I don’tknowso much about condosbut Iunderstandthereare some townhousesthatallowdogs. Butthenwhenyou have atownhouseitsjustalmostthe sameasbeing in ahouse. I haveadaughterand twogranddaughtersandshesaysmotherwhy don’tyou juststay put. Because I like thedistrictand I like my little house itmeansalot to me. I’m sentimentalaboutitbecausemyhusbandbuiltitafterworkandon weekendshe builtthislittle house, And I’dlike tostayreally butit’s justgetting to be abitofaproblemlooking afterit.Activitiesassociatedwith friendsandfamilyincluded anumberofthings,such astalking with theneighbor,volunteeringat.the churchorhaving achurch group over,occasionallygoing outwith friends, andvisiting relatives.Pam’stime isalso spentdoingavarietyofactivitieswith andforSammy. In addition totheirdailywalksPam groomshimatleastonceaweek, goesand buysdog food, and:Everyyearhe getshisshotsandeverythirdyearhe getshisrabiesshot. And I tellyouhe keeps me going. And I don’tdrive so I have to take himdown. Andwhen he hashisteeth cleanedtheyknockhimoutand give him generalanaesthetic so then I have totake a cab home, So he costsme moneythatlittle guy butheisworthit.She didnot,however, consider the costsofbuying orkeeping adog to be anegativeaspect:Wellthatisjustafactoflife. When my husbandand I decidedto getadog wenevergavethe costathought. We never gaveitathought. Andthen all ofasudden we realizedafterwe gothimthatwe had to go take himforshotsandwe had to lookafterhishealthandwe hadto buyfood regularlybutwewere prepared to do that. And I figureifyou aregoing to have apetyou’ve gotto be prepared to lookafterthatpetand to putoutmoney39to keepithealthyand to haveavetto go to and have theregularshotsandwhateverelseisneeded to keep thatdog in good condition. Andwhen you decide you wantto haveapetI thinkthatyou shouldthinkofthatbeforeyou get it. And realize thatitis going tocostmeeveryyearfortheseshotsandeverysayonce amonth you have to go andgetanewsupplyoffood, anditcostsafairamount. Andthen ofcourse the teethcleaning whichrunsinto moneyandalicence. You have to getalicenceeveryyearandallthat. So youshouldthinkaboutitcarefullyandifyou feel well I don’tthink I can affordthatthenyou betternotgetapet. Ifyou feelyou can afforditthen I thinkitisworth it,definitely.When asked aboutnegativeaspectsin generalPam hadreplied, “Itisfarmore positive thannegative. Thereareveryfewnegativesin myopinion.’ However, being restrictedfromtravelling isonenegativeaspectassociatedwith owning adog. Pamsaid:Theyare like an albatrossyou know. I did getawayin 1988 mydaughterand I wentoverto Britain andFrance and one ofmy granddaughterscame and stayedhere andlookedafterhimwhich wasfine. We wereawayforthreeweeks. Butnowtheylive in NorthVancouverandsheworksoverthere andshehasa boyfriendandallthe restofitso it’snotconvenientforherto gowayoverhereand then go way backoverthere. So afriendofminewantsme to go on a cruisewith herand I saidwhataboutmydog. I can’ttake mydog, I’m going to thinkaboutitandillcan getsomebody to come andstayandlookaftermy house andlookafterhim I’ll go on anothertrip because I don’twantto puthimin akennel. We had oneexperiencewhen hewasayear old. He hadn’tbeen welllookedafteratallandhewasveryunhappy. Theyarewonderfulbutthey can be akindofaproblem. Theyholdyou back there is nodoubtaboutitparticularlyifyou do wanttotravel. I’ve gotto thinkofhim justas I would thinkofachild because he’sthatimportantto me.Afterdescribingherlifestyle Pam said, “So allin all the time goes I justkeep goingone dayafteranotherand make the bestofeach day.”40Throughoutour conversationeveryonce in awhilePamwould turn to Sammyand talk tohimorreachoverand pathimashe walked by. Itseemedlike theyhadastrongattachmentand theymeantalotto each other. When I askedheraboutherattachmentto Sammy.Pamreplied:I amveryattached to Sammy. Yes I am because he isreally,asmyonlyhousecompanion, he isveryimportantto me. I amveryattached to Sammy. AndifI amout Ilookforwardto coming home andseeing himand being greeted by him. And sometimesI don’tsleep too wellatnightand I’ll go intothekitchen,like two o’clockin the morningI ventintothekitchen and made myselfsomehotmilkandashreddedwheatandsomefruiton top ofitanda cup oftea. So he trotsin to seewhat I am doing. So he is mylittlepal. He meansalot to me. 1 amveryattached to himno doubtaboutthat, I amveryattachedto him. I love him.Pam saidsheexpressesheraffection to him byhugging and patting him, telling himheisa good boy andagood little guy. She said, “1 callhimmy Little guy.’ She added. “And I lookafterhimwell. That’smyway ofshoving himthatI love him because I take good careofhim.” She said. “He is a good looking little dog.” She laughedasshe said, “Maybe I’m justbiased. . . you getso attached to yourown dog you lookatothersand saytheyare okay buttheydon’t compare to my own dog.”Because she lovesSammyso much Pamsaid shewouldworryaboutSammyifsomethinghappened to her. I don’tlie awakeworrying aboutitbutitwould be aworryifthathappenedbecause I wouldwanthim to be well lookedafter.” Aswellbecause oftheirstrongattachmentshe said:Nowthathe is getting older one thingisabitofaworry. I keep myfingers crossedandhope thathe doesn’tbecome ill because I know thatdogsdo. I know thateverybody 1knowwho hasadog had to face that. Andthen theyhave to havetheirdog putdown andI dreadthethoughtofthat. It’stheillhealth I worryabout. Anditwould be terribleifIhadto puthimdown. ButifI found outthat, Godforbid, butifI foundoutthathe hada41terminal illness I would justhave thevetputhim to sleep. I couldntface havingadogsuffer. No I couldn’tdo thai.AfterPam saidthis I askedherifshewould getanother companion animal. We hadaninterestingdialogue forthenextfewminuteswhich illustratesan internalconflictbetweenwantinganotherdog anddoingwhatispractical:I Wouldyou getanotherone?P I would go on atripfirstandthen probably getanotherone.I You mentionedaboutwanting to move into a condo.P I’m not ‘ustsurereally because I’m old and I don’tknow ifthatwould be awisething to do because unfortunatelymydaughter.she doesn’twantadog. She’s gotacat. She likes catsbetterthan dogs. Then I wouldhavetheworryofanotherdog.Whatifsomething happened to me, what’sgoing to happen to mydog. It’sjustpossiblethat I wouldn’t.I So you would likeanotherone butitmightnot be possible?P I would likeanotherone but I would have tothinkitoververyverycarefullyand Iwouldhave to make somearrangements justin case. And I’m notbeing pessimistic.I’m being realistic. And that’swhat I would justhave to weighone thingagainstanotherand decide well should Iorshouldn’t I and I think to be practicalaboutititwould be betternotto getanotherone. He’sgetting old too andhe mightlive foranotherthree, four,orfiveyears.Ifshe did getanother dog Pam hadearliersaid:I would love amongrel. In factifI everhadanother dog somebodytold me thatit’sashame so manyofthesedogsdown atthe poundortheSPCA iftheyare not.picked up andifnobodywantsthem theyareaftera certain time theyare justdestroyedwhich issad.During our conversationPamveryeloquently made severalstatementsthatillustratedthe importanceandmeaning ofcompanionanimalsinherlife. These included:42He’sagreatsourceofcomfortto me because I’m alone. I love himdearlyandhe meansalotto me. Hesabig partofmylife, he really is. He isthe main thing in my life now. Hereallyis.I am glad I’ve gothim. He has been agreatsourceofcomfortandenjoymentforme andI can’timaginelivingwithouthimreally. He ismyeverydaycompanion and I hate theverythoughtofanythinghappening to him.When I askedPamaboutcompanion animalsandwidowhoodshereplied: “Itdependsonwhatyou want, Itisaveryindividualthing I think.”SummaryPam isarecentlywidowedwoman inhermideightieswho isindependent, strongwilledandoptimistic. She likes to take care ofthingsproperlyandactivelytakes care ofherhouseand companion animal.Pam comesfromalarge close knitfamilywheretherewasalwayssomeone to playwith,Although sheneverhadarealpetasachildshealwayshadalove fordogs. As a childshe didhave contactwith budgiesand farmanimals, butshe did nothave much to do with themandwasneverreallyattracted to themas companion animalsbecause areal petissomething thatyou could pat, wasa good companion,you could go forwalkswith,andyou hadacertainfeeling associatedwith it.Pam didnothave acompanion animalfromhertwentiesuntilherseventiesdue toworking, gettingmarried, raisingafamily, travelling,andhavingan active sociallife. Pamhada goodhappy50yearsofmarriage.Sammywaspurchasedas apuppythreeyearspriorto herhusband’sdeath becauseofherlovefor dogsand as ahealth benefit. Rightfrom the beginninghewasthoughtofandtreatedasafamilymember. He hasalways been averylively andmischievousdogwho lovespeopleandisa goodwatch dog.43The death ofherspouse wasdifficultforPamand Sammy. HavingSammyduringthistransition helped herto adjustandhe wasasourceofcomfortbecause she could crywithoutanyincriminations, hewassomething to hold. hug, and cuddle to. He wasalso acomfort,especiallyduring thefirstyear, becausehewassomething live to comehome to and hewelcomedand greetedher,happy to see her come home. Although shesaid shewould nothave knownwhatto do during thistransition timewithouthim, she thoughtthiswould nothave been atime to purchaseadog ifshe had nothad him.Widowhood dramaticallychangesaperson’slifestyle. As Pam’ssociallife decreasedhertime spentdoingthingswith andforSammyincreased,andhisrole asacompanionincreased. Although Pamhasfamilyandfriends Sammyisthe main partin herlife becausehe iswithherallofthe time.Pamisveryattached to Sammyandsaysshehasgottothinkofhimjustasshewouldthinkofa child because he isthatimportant to her, Pamspoke ofmanypositive aspectsassociatedwith owning adog in generalandwith Sammyin particular: having peace ofmindandfeeling safeandsecureonwalksandin the house becauseheisagoodwatch dog;he iscomfortingandrelaxing;he issomething live to come hometo; she isuninhibitedcryingin frontofhim:he issomething to pat, hold, andcuddle; hewelcomesand greetsherwhen she comeshome;he issomething to live for; he is amajorpartofherlife;he isherdayandnightcompanion;heissomething to talk to and communicatewith;he issomething tocare for; andhe issomethingto Lake forwalks,Pamalso spoke ofsomenegativeaspectsaswell: Sammyrestrictsherfromtravelling,sheis concernedoverwhowill take careofhimandwhatkindofcarehe wouldreceiveifshedid go away, she is concernedabouthimifsomethingshouldhappen to her,sheisconcernedthatsomething mighthappen to himand dreadsthedayhe hasto be putdown.andhousingwould be aconcernifshewasnotinherown home.44Although taking care ofadog can be considered costlyandPamvacuumsherhouse dailybecauseofdog hair,she considered theseaspectsas justafactoflifeandnotasnegativeaspects to owning adog.Thereare aspectsorserviceswhich couldmakeowning adog easierormore enjoyableforPam. These included: affordablehelp foryardworkandotherchores, an affordableandreliablehousesitter,a pettaxi, placesvhereyou can letyourdog runoffleash, peoplepicking up aftertheirown companion animals,affordable petinsurance,having aveterinarianin thevicinitywhich isreasonablyhandy,andhavingapleasantwalkingenvironment.Although PamlovesSammy andisveryattached to him, she wasofthe opinion thathaving acompanion animalisan individualthingthatmaynotfitwith everywidowslifestyle.ThemesWhen reflecting on our conversationaboutthe meaningofcompanionanimalsinPamslife I identified 23 majorareasorthemes;I) Independence. Pam isan independentperson. She thoughtthiswasin partdue toherScottish ancestry. Her independence isillustrated by herdesire to do thingsforherselfliketaking care ofherhouse andliving on herown so shewillnot be aburden to others.2) Compassion and caring. Pamiscompassionateandcaringforpeople and companionanimals. Thisisseen inthewayshe takescare ofSammyandherconcern thatheisproperlytaken care of, howshe talksto himasifhe isanotherpersonvhileusing namesandwordsofendearment,hervolunteerworkassociatedwith the church,andherwillingnesstovoluntarilyparticipatein thisstudy.3)Optimistic and positive attitude. Thisisevidentduring thetransition to widowhood andin theyearsfolloving. When Pamwas going through the difficulttimeofadjusting towidowhoodshewouldtellherselfthatyou justsome howhave to getonwithyourlifeandmake the bestandmostofit. You justcarryon and do the bestyou can. Aswell, shewas45positive and Wok comfortin having hadagood life together, agood marriage,andagoodrelationship,ratherthan focussing on whatshe had lost. Asawidow shetakesoneday at.aLime andtriesto make the bestofeach day.4) Previouslove ofdogs. Foraslongas Pam can remembershehasalwayshadafondnessand love ofdogs.5) Familyoforigin. Pam grew upin a close-knitfamilywith six siblings. Becauseofthesize ofherfamily Pam saidthere wasalwayssomebodyto playwith.6) Parents’ love ofcompanion animals. Pamsaidthatherparentshad also loved companionanimals.7) Absence ofcompanion animalsduring childhood. Pam’s childhoodwasspentplayingwithherlarge close-knitfamily. They movedalotandduring theseyearsPamneverhad a“real pet”.8) Typeofcompanion animal. A dog,ratherthan budgiesand canaries,were consideredtobe a“real pet” becausethey could be petted, taken forwalks,they gave companionship,theywere intelligent, they could be communicatedwith, andthey gaveheracertain feeling. Pamlovedanytype ofdog andwould own apurebred oramixedbreed.9) Absence ofcompanion animalsduring hermiddleyears. Due to working, gettingmarried,raisingafamily, travelling,andhavingan activesocial lifeitwasnotpossible orpractical to own acompanion animaluntilherseventies,10) Reason for getting hercurrentcompanion animal. Pamandherhusbandwantedto getadog because ofherlove ofdogsandforhealth reasons.Theyhadreadan article thatsaidcompanion animalsare noted to lower blood pressure sotheythoughtitmighthelp Pam’shusband.11) Help and comfortduring transition to widowhood. An existing companionanimalisasource ofcomfortwhen initiallywidowed in thatitprovides companionshipandcomfortinmanydifferentways.4612) Acquiring anew companion animalduringthe transition to widowhood. Pam thoughtitwasnotagood time to getanew companionanimalwhen awoman isrecentlywidowed,Shedid thinkthatitwould be appropriateafter aboutayearafterbeingwidowed so thattherewassomething live to come home to.13) Increasingimportanceduringwidowhood. Companion animalstake on agreaterroleinwidowhood. NotonlyisSammyhermain sourceofcompanionship butPamspendsmore timedoing thingswith andforSammythan before when more timewasspentin social activitieswith others.14) Currentlifestyle. AsawidowPainslifestyle consistsoftaking care ofherself,herhouse,and her companion animaL In addition to household choresPam talksto andvisitsherfamily, goesforwalkswith Sammy,volunteersatalocal church, andwatchestelevision.15) Widowhood. When aperson iswidowedtheirlifestyle changesdramatically. Becausethere isnobodyelse to do thingswith, to talk to, and to take care of, Pamhasmore time tospend doing thingswith acompanionanimal. Theyare asourceofcomfortandcompanionshipandtheybecomeamajorpartofyourlife.16) Importanceofcurrentcompanion animal. Having Sammy meansverymuch to Pam.She said he is the main partofherlifeandshe couldn’timaginelivingwithouthim. This didnotmean,however, thatSammyreplacedherhusband because she still missedhim butSammy became more importanttoherand hisrole asacompanion increased.17) A strongattachmentto currentcompanionanimal. Thiswasillustrated bothverballyandnonverbally. Pam discussedhowsheworriesifanything wouldhappen to him, shewouldworryabouthimifanything happened to her,shesaidshe lovedhimandwasveryattached to him, andhowshe considersandtreats himasamemberofthe family, when shegoesoutshe looks forward to coming home and seeing him,she considershim to be herdayandnightcompanion,andshe talks to him using endearing namesandwords. Nonverbalindicators include the cleanlinessand careSammyreceivesthrough grooming, feeding,and47veterinary care; cuddling himand giving himhugs;andmany Limesduringourconversation Pamwouldreachoverand patSammy.18) Positive aspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Pamspoke ofmany positive aspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Forowningadog in generalpositive aspectsincluded:you feel closerto adog thanabird, you can patit, adog isagood companion, you can gowalking together, patting adog isrelaxingand itloversyour blood pressure, itIssomethinglive to come home to, theyare intelligent, they make eye contactwith you, you cancommunicate withadog, andtheyappearto understandwhatyou are saying.Associatedwith Sammyin particular,Pamidentified: thathe wasagreatsourceofcomfortespeciallyvhen she wasrecentlywidowed; she hasafeeling ofsecurityorsafetybecause he is agood watch dog; she looks forward to coming home because she likesthe wayhe greetsandwelcomesher:itis relaxing, comforting, pleasurable,andaffectionate pattinghim;he isaffectionate; he providesher‘with companionship; he iswith herdayandnight;he issomething to talk to and have two way communicationwith; taking himforwalksprovidesherwith exercise; he isactive; he issomething to care forin relation to feeding,weekly grooming,shots,and teeth cleanings;you getveryattached toyourown companionanimal; he issomething to love; he issomething to hug:he makesherfeelbetterwhen she issad or physicallyailing; he alertsherwhen the telephone rings;he is more patable than ashorthaireddog; he isasourceofenjoyment; therewere no incriminationsfrom himwhenshe cried; andhe made the transition to widowhood lessdifficult.19) Fewnegativeaspectsassociatedwith currentcompanionanimal. There areveryfewnegativeaspectsandfactorsthatare typically considered negativearenotthoughtofassuch. She did notconsiderhaving to vacuumevery dayorthe costofkeeping adog to benegative factors. She said thatitis justafactoflife andyou know thatbefore you buy adog.Pamdid considerbeing restrictedfrom travelling to be anegativeaspect. Aswell, shethought“losing herdog,” aswhen he passesaway, would be anegative thing.4820) Societalaspectsorservices. Thereare aspectsorserviceswhich could make owning adog easierormore enjoyable forPam. Thesewould include: affordablehelpforyardworkandotherchores,an affordableandreliable house sitter,apettaxi, placeswhereyou can letyourdog runoffleash, people picking up aftertheirown companion animals,affordable petinsurance,havingaveterinarian in thevicinitywhich isreasonablyhandy, and having apleasantwalkingenvironment.21) Age. Asshe getsolder Pamisconcernedifshe can remain independentand take careofherselfandherhouse. Also because ofher age Pamsaidifsomethingwere to happen toSammyitwould be atough decision whethershewould getanothercompanionanimal.Although she would love to haveanotherone shewould be concernedthatshe would be ableto take care ofitproperly, andshewouldneed to make arrangementsshouldsomethinghappen to her. She said shewould needto be practicalwhenmaking thatdecision.22) Companion animalsandwidows. Pamwasofthe opinionthatthisisan individualthing.She feltsome peoplemayneedthe companionship, love,andso on thatacompanion animalprovides butothersmayenjoytheirfreedom to travelwhen andwheretheywantwithouttheworryandresponsibility ofa companion animal.23) Socio-economicstatus. FinanciallyPamisable to properlytake care ofSammy inherown home.Marth&sStoryWhen I arrivedatMartha’s condominium complexforourfirstinterviewshe releasedthesecuritydoorsand I took thestairsinsteadoftheelevatorto thesecond floor. Thecomplexwashuge andas I walkeddown themany corridorsitseemedlike I waswalkingthrough thehallsofahotel. The plushcarpetingwasmedium greyin color,thewallswerecream colored,andthehallswere litwith brasswalllights, Because ofthemanyhallwaysthereweredirectionalroom numbersignson thewalls. As I walked to Marthassuite I was49impressedwith how quietitwasin the hallways. Nearinghersuite I noticedthatthe suitesthemselveswere labelledwith brass numbers.As I roundedthe lastcornerMarthawasstanding in the hallwayoutside ofhersuite. Allofasudden asmallblack dog with adiamondshapedwhite patch on herchestcame runningoutofthedoor to greetme. Aftershe greeted me she ran back into the suiteandwasrunningaroundasifshewasveryhappyandexcited to have company. Martha.awidowof25 yearsinherlaterseventies,warmlygreeted me and showed me into hersuite. Marthahadneatlysetgrayish hairandwalked leaningslightlyforward. As I made myway to thelivingroom Inoticed the condominiumwasspotless. Therewas no sign ofblackhairon the beige coloredcarpetingorany “doggie” odor. The living room wasveryclean with blanketscovering thefurnitureandafewsqueakydog toyslaying on the floor.After I had been seatedwe spentthefirsthalfhourorso talking and getting to knoweachother. We discussedwhatwould be involved in the studyandMarthaagreedtoparticipatesaying she would do whatevershe could to help me and make itworthwhile forme. Aswe talked I waspatting Mandywhowasablack 18 month old LhasaApse who had bigbeautifulbulgybrown eyes. She had ashortlittle tail andhercoat,which hadbeen clippedveryshort,was quite softto the touch. As she jumped upon me andwanted to play I could tellshe hadbeen bathedrecently because the smellofshampoo stilllingeredin herhair. I couldtellrightawaythatMandywasaveryenergeticand happydog who justloved people. Shedid notmakestrange to meatallandlikealittle childshe wantedhershareofattention. IfIignoredherforlongerthan she likedshe made herpresence known byrunningup to me orjumping on the couch beside me so she could eitherclimb on mylap or paw atmyhand.I began the interviewbyaskingMartha to describeherfamilyoforiginandwhatitwaslike growing up. Marthawas born in Ireland andspentthefirstthreeyearsofherlifethere. Hermother,eldestbrother, andherselfwerevisitingrelativesin irelandwhen shewas born. They didnotreturn toCanadaas soon asMarthawas born because herbrotherhadan illnessandthe boatcustoms peoplewould notgive them permission to traveluntilthey50hadadoctorsapproval. Aftertheyhadreturnedto CanadaMarthaonlylivedinEasternCanadaforayearand ahalfbefore hermotherbecame illand “couldn’tcope,” Marthasaidherfather “didn’tknowanythingaboutlittle girlsandwhatyou do to do thingsforthem.” AsaresultMarthawassentover to Ireland to livewith an Aunt. During the 18 monthsMarthawaslivingathomeshe remembershermother havingyellow canaries. Martha“found themdumb andverydull.” theywere “messy” and “noisy.” Marthasaid, “They justwenton andonforno reason.” and theywould “bouncearound in their cage andscreechandsqueakatyou.’Marthahadnotbeen attached to the canaries. She said. “I like them. I wouldn’tdo anyharmto them, butI wasn’tthatinterestedin themand I stilldon’tfind theminteresting.’Marthawentto aboarding schoolforgirls in Irelanduntilshe graduatedfromhighschoolatage 18. MarthawouldvisitherAunton weekendsandreturn home to Montrealeverysummer. Marthahad two olderbrothersandtheywere “basically good to me” butwhen shewashome she “didn’tspendalotoftimewith them because I had alotoffriends.”Growing upMarthasaid shewas “alwaysabusyperson” and “always bad.” She said:I wasbroughtup in aboarding schoolandhalfthe time I didn’tgethome because I wasbad. I’d keepdoing those sortsofthingsand Id getinto trouble. I wasalittle devil, Iwentformonthson endwhere I didn’tgethome to myAunt. Sometimes I wentthreemonthsatastretchwithoutgetting nearanybody’s home, My Auntwould come to getmeand I wasn’tallowedout. Butitdid.n’tmatter I hada good time. Itwasalotoffun, Ienjoyed it.When Marthawasabout 3 yearsofage until 17yearsofageherparentsowned aGermanShepherd, Because Marthalivedataboarding schoolin Irelandafterthe ageoffour sheonlysawthe dog when shereturnedhome everyyearforsummerholidays. Marthasaidbecause this ‘was hermother’sdog she “wouldn’tlisten to anybodyelse butmy mother. Mymotherwas crazyaboutherandshewas crazyaboutmymom andshewouldn’tletanyonetouch mymotherorshe would go forthem. She wouldn’tbite them butshewouldshowleaveheralone,” Marthaadded thatboth ofherparentsloved thisdog andtheyhadalwayshad a51love fordogs. When Marthawashome in thesummershe used to playwith herand “take herto thevet.” In return the dog “wasvery goodwith me.”Marthadescribed thisdog as being “very good andsmart. My mother used to talk to herasifshe wasachildandshe neverdidanything wrong in the house. She neverpiddledorpoopedanywhere.’ Shewasavery good dog andMarthasaid therewasnothingnegativeabouther. Because thisdog meantso much to herandbecause shehad been veryattached tothisdog Martha“wouldn’thave anotherone foralong timeafterthatbecause nothing wouldmatch her. She wasso good.”Martha “alwaysloved dogs” butherfondnessfordogs grewbecause ofthis dog. “She wasone ofthefirstones [aGerman Shepherd) that I rememberseeing.” Because Marthahadbeen informedofherdeath byalettersenttoherin IrelandfromherparentsMarthasaid.“She neverdied asfaras! wasconcerned. She isstillalive in myhead.” Although MarthalovedaGerman Shepherdsheneverhad anotherone “becausewhere we movedandeverythingitwasn’talways convenientforthattype ofdog.”Martha’sAuntin Irelandalwayshadfourorfive dogsandwheneverMarthawas atherhome she loved to playwith themand take themforwalks. Therewasone dog in particular,Jerry,thatMarthahad beenveryattached to. Because ofJerryand theotherdogsMarthasaidherfondnessfor dogs grewbecause ofthem.At 18 yearsofagewhenMarthareturned to Montrealshe took afew coursesto seewhatshewanted to do. “I wentandlearnedtypewriting.” After graduatingshe “triedafew placesthenwentto anEnglish firm.” Marthalikeditatthisfirmandoverthe course ofseveralyearswas promoted to a “well paying job assecretaryofthe company.” The job involvedalotoftravelling andattimesMarthawould “go down andworkinnew York forsix months.”Marthadid nothave companion animalsduring thistime because:I wasworking and I was so busy. I was getting callsfrom New York. I washaving to geton aplane thenextdayand go there, I couldn’thave animalsthen. I missed them butit52wasn’tfair to the animals.I could understandwhy I couldn’thave them buttheycouldn’tunderstandwhy I couldn’thave them.When Marthawasin hertwentieshermother becameveryillso Marthatoldher boss“I’m going to have to go home to see aboutmymother.”Forthe nextsixyearsMarthastayedhomeand lookedafterherfatherandhermother, whowas paralyzed fromasevere stroke.Herfatherwasin hiseightiesand lie diedafewyearsaftershewenthome.During thistimeMarthaworkedveryhard.I did all the paying. I had to workin orderto make the moneyto payitout. Andtheexpensesformymotherwere terrible. Butmybrothersnever gave anythingto it. Ipaidforeverydamn thing, I didn’tletmymotherand fatherwantforanything. And Idideverything forthem. 1 don’tregretit, I’m gladI did itbecause theywere goodparents, My parentswere good parents to allofusand my brothersbasicallydidnothing. Andasawoman in those daysyou didn’tmakeasmuch asthey do today. I diddo well because I had a good position withthem,mindyou I workedhardforit.Martha couldnotkeep doing everythingherself. So,asshe explained:I used to pay people to come in to look after them becausemy doctor said to me youcannotstay atthislevel, you’regoing to driveyourselfcrazy, andyou’re notgoing to doyour parentsany good, And hewasright. SoI had people who came in.During thistime Marthaalso paidforone brother’suniversityeducation.“I putmy brotherthrough universityandhe graduatedandheneverdidathingwith it.” She added,“I don’ttalk to him. I don’teven knowwherehe is today, Andyou knowwhat, I don’t care.”Soon afterMarthastarted taking care ofhermothershe boughther blue,yellow,andgreen budgies. Martha boughtthem so theywould takehermother’s mindoffherself.Marthaliked the budgies betterthan the canariesshe hadasa child because, “Theywerebigger, Theywere more substantiallooking,” and “theyhadmore pep than anyother birdthatI’veeverseen.” Although the budgies “did alotofsqueaking too” this didnotbotherMarthaasmuch asitdidwith the canaries because she “feltasiftheyweretryingto talkand53tell me somethingunlike the canarieswhoseemed to screech forno reason atalL” Marthaalso preferredthem better because she couldletthemoutofthe cagewhereasshe couldnotdo thiswith the canaries. Marthalikedthe budgies because “their colorswere beautiful,theywere quite smartin theirownway,” andtheywere “something to talk to.” She dislikedthem because “theywere messy.” She said:I liked to keep themveryclean and I couldn’tstandthe messin the cageand I’d cleanitoutanditwasmoreworkthan I had expected because I wastired. And I don’tthinkyoushouldhaveanything and notkeep itclean.Theywere “abitofanuisance” because she was tiredfromall theworkshe did taking careofhermother. Aswell, Marthasaid, “Although theyare clevertheywere notcleverenoughformyliking.” Although theywere companyforMarthaandshe enjoyed themwhile theyhad themandshe “missed themwhen I didn’thave them” Marthadid notbuyanymore andwould notwantto getone now. Aswell, she said thatifithadnotbeen forhermothershe‘wouldnothave boughtone forherself,”Marthagotrid ofthe budgiesbefore they moved to Calgarywith the intention ofbuyingmore forhermotheronce theyhadsettledin. Martha’smother died threeweeksaftertheyhadmoved to Calgary. Itwasshortlyafterthisthathereldestbrotherwaskilledsuddenlyinan automobile accident.Severalyearsafterthiswhen Marthawasin hermidfortiesshe gotmarried to amanalmosttwo decadesolder, She said, “I had been engagedthree timesbefore thatto otherpeople but I said I’m notgoing to getmarrieduntil I am alone now because I hadmymotherandfatherstifiliving andboth sick,”Marthaand herhusbandlived in his “big, beautiful home” with Martha’ssister-in-law“whowasverydemanding.” Because ofhis position as alawyertheyhad “alotofpeople comeinto the house foronereason oranother.” Theywere quite active sociallybecauseher‘husbandwasalso acity councillorandwhen the Queen was coming andanybodyelsein theRoyalfamilywas coming theyalways gothim to do the honors.” Therewerealwaysdances54and functionstheywould attendassociatedwith this. Theyalso didalotoftravellingeitheraloneorwith good friendsoftheirswho livedinToronto. Marthasaid, “I used to go to theBahamasalotwith myhusband.” Iftheywenton any long tripsordidanydrivingaroundMontrealMarthaused to do itbecause herhusband “used to driveacarand then he stoppedand he didn’tgo back to itand I was doing all the driving.” During theirmarriage togetherMarthaandherhusbandneverhadanychildren. Although shewantedacompanionanimalMarthadid nothaveonewhile theywere married“because mysister-in-lawdidnilike them.Shedidn’Lwantone. Itdidn’tmatterthat I wantedone.”Afteronly sixyearsMarthawaswidowed when herhusbandsuddenly passedawayontheirvacation. He had notbeen feelingwellbefore theyleft. “He saw adoctor beforewe leftand thedoctorsaid therewasnothing wrong he wouldbe allright.” Afteraweek into theirvacation he passed away in hissleep the firstnighttheywere in theUnited States. Marthasaid, “Itwasdifficultto deal with when you are away from home.” Marthaflewback toMontrealand had to makeall thearrangements. “Itwasdreadful. I wasupset. God I wasupset.”When discussing theadjustment to widowhoodMarthasaid. “Itwas terrible. My husbandwas a good husbandand Id just been marriedsixyears. Itwasa good marriage. Itwas justasifmyworld had been torn apartagain.” Marthasaidittook “atleastthreeyears” before shereachedapoint“whereyou couldhandleit,whereyou feltyou couldhandle it.”When askedwhathelpedherto adjustduring thetransition to widowhoodMarthareplied:Getting outanddoing thingshelped to takemymind offthehurt, I was busy. I alwayskeptbusy. I alwaysdid things. I was busywith thisandthatand theotherthing becausemyhusbanddiedsuddenlyand I wentto hisoffice and clearedup thingsand gotthingson the go. I gotthingsgoing. I was therethreeyearssimply becausewe wanted to getitallstraightenedout.55When askedaboutgettingacompanion animal during thattransition Lime Marthasaid:I wouldnothavewanted to getone atthatparticulartimesimplybecauseyouhavesomanythingsto thinkof, so manythingsto do. I wasrunningall the time. Itwould havebeen something else toworryabout. And itwasn’tmy ideaof consoling myself. And itwasn’tmy ideaofwanting to hurtany animalthatI had because theymighthavethoughtGod thisisaterrible place, she isn’taniceperson. And I couldn’tlustcope ‘withit. My husbanddiedsuddenlyin Californiaso thatdidn’tmake thingseasier.I hadalotto take care ofandtherewasno pointin gettinganew petandbeing missingmostoftheday. Itsnotfairto the petanditsnotfair to you.Marthaalso feltthat“itwould have been hardifI hadhad an existing pet.” She saidittookherthreeyearsbefore she couldstartto thinkaboutgetting apet. She added that“wellitalldependson the person maybe.”Marthawasquite busydoinganumberofthingsin those threeyears:Once my husbanddied I wasdoingotherthingsthatI had to getdone becausewe hadlived inabig house andallthiskindofstuffand I had to getthisall attendedto. IthoughtthatendsthatI’m going to go outto live in Vancouver. I didn’twantto stayinMontrealany longer.Marthaboughtasix month old brown female toypoodleshortly aftershemovedtoVancouverwhen shewasin herlatterfifties becauseshewantedadog. Marthagother“because the householdsplitup, amarriagehadsplitup orsomething,and headvertisedherin the paperand I wentdown with my friend.” Ladywasa“beautiful dog”who had “alotofsauve woi faire.” She wasa“well mannered”dog andwas “so precise.”Within the same yearMarthaboughtanotherdog. Trixie wasatwo month old greyfemale standard poodle. Being justapuppyshewas“naughty” andvery “young and foolish.”She wasagood natureddog who loved peopleand “she hadasense ofhumour.”Within ashorttimeaftermoving to VancouverMarthastartedworkingagainpart-timeatvarious places. “My girlfriendshe knew people in the jewelry businessandshewas56always getting me to go to worksomeplace. I wentto workatUBC forawhile. And I wenttoworkin ajewelry store.” The job startedoutasbeing part-time, and it“gotto becomefulltime” Marthaworked there “abouttwoyearsorsomething because she wasgiving up thejewelrybusinessbecause she‘was going to retire.” Marthasaiditwasnotaproblemvorkingandhaving dogs. Aswell,fortheentiretimeshe had LadyandTrixie Marthalivedinapartments. She said, “itwas notaproblematall.”Fromourdiscussion itsoundedliketherewasneveradull moment, especiallywithTrixiearound. WhereasLadywas “areal lady” andshe ‘was “veilmannered” Trixieon theotherhandwassomething else.Shewasaterroristandshe knowsshewas, Forinstance she seemed asifshehad nobrainsatallattimes. She would lookatyou ifyou chastisedher. . . . Ladywasso precise.When shewas outwithyou she stood up andwould go along. Trine,onenightI tookheroutitwas 10 o’clock. . . and I tookheroutthisnightandshe gotoffthe leash.Nov Idon’tknowhowiteverhappened. She gotin themiddle ofthe roadandI said to herTrixie come on butshe knewthatshe haddone somethingwrong so shewasn’tgoing tocome to me in case I toldheroff. She didn’tlike if 1 told heroffbutshe wasas cuteasabutton. Everybody lovedthatlittlewench. She satthereandifI made amove, justonestep, she would go the otherway. And I thoughtGod it’s badenough I don’twanther togo overto Granville. So I saidairight goodnight, goodnightand I turnedaround to goandshe would come back to herstarting point. When thathappenedItwas gettingonmynervesand I thoughtI’m going to killyou you little bitch.WhereasLadywasobedientand “neverwentoffthe track,’ Trixie didasshe pleased. Marthalaughinglyrecalledan example:Well we’d go up thestreetandtherewasa parkthere andtherewasabowling place andI’d go up therewithherandshe would dash aroundandshewouldn’tcome back to me.So thatdaysheran along West 13th to thisstreetandshe’drun thereandshe ‘would godown andthen shewould come along. And I thoughtI’m going outofmymindwith this57kid. I wasoutofmy mind to buy the little bitch but I’m going outfurther. So sheranalong the street, she wentup onestreetand came down theother. Andthere used to be ahouse on the cornerthereandyou used to have to go upstairsto it. So shewentup thestairsto avoidme. And I’d chaseher because I knewshe couldn’t go anywhere else. I’dgo up andwhen she found me itwas justasifshewaslaughingatme. And I’d sayoh GodI cantstand this, this is ridiculous. And I thinkshe wassixmonthsoldatthattime.Marthadid notlike thismischievous, terroristside ofher. Her good friend used togetannoyed becauseshe thoughtMarthawasfavoring Lady more. “Itwasn’tthat! favoredhermore, I enjoyed herbetter I mustsay because shewaswellbehaved. Whatevermommysaidwas the word andshe did it,.” ItwasnotthatMarthawas moreattached toorlovedone dogmore than theotherasshe said, “I loved themboth on theirlevels.. . . I wasattachedindifferentways.”The two dogs “were greatfriends” andthey “gotalongveryveiltogether.” ItseemsthatTrixiewasnotable to draw Ladyintoher bad deeds:Trixie gotinto agreatbig pot I had anditvasalloverthe carpetandeverywhere. Icame homeandsaid oh God don’ttellme and Ladylookedatme asmuch to sayitwasn’tme, And Ladydidn’thaveathing to do withit. Trixie haditin herhairandeverything.She wasyoung and foolish. I couldn’thelp butlaugh. And I saidwhatthe hellhave youbeen intoagain Trixie. And she lookedatme like thisand then she cameoverand gaveme akisson thehand. I said I tellyou that’snotexactlywhat I’m thinkingrightnow. Idon’tloveyou rightatthismomentI’lltellyou that. Andshe lookedatme asifto saywell I don’tcare andraisedherheadhigh in theair. I thoughtifI hada cameraandtook thoseshotsofheritwould have been priceless. ButdearoldTrixie wasadoll, Ilovedherdearlybutshewasso nonchalantabouteverything thatshe did. I tellyoupeoplewho saythatdogsare all the sameare crazy because theyallhavetheirownideas. Even the same breed, It’s theyasapersonthat I like because theyarelike people,58While recounting thisstoryMarthawas laughingatTrixiesantics. She said, ‘Therewasno harmdone because I putitallbackagain.” Trixieoutgrewthisataboutsixmonthsofageandthenshe justdid “the odd little thingonce in awhile. Even ifshewasn’tgoing to do itshewastesting me,” Otherthan thisincidentLadyandTrixieneverdidanydamage.I’d buymydogsyoungenough and I’m usuallywith themand theydon’tdo certainthingsanditsano no iftheydo and I tell themso. I’d say mommydoesn’tlike you forthat, thatis rude. Notthattheyunderstand me butit’d getthrough to them. It’sthewayyou sayit, it’snotwhatyou sayaltogether. No I’ve neverhad too many problems.Marthaonly had Lady forseven yearswhen she waskilledinan automobile accident:I waswalkingwith Lady andTrixie . ..andwe were going pastalanevayandthiswomancame outwith hercarin themorningandhitherrighton thehead. And I said toheryou don’tseewell. I didn’tseeitshesaidandshe ‘was so nastyaboutit. I said lookdon’tgetyourhigh horse up atme because I’m going to getmineatyou ifyou startthis. Youkilled mydog I didn’tputherinyourspotto killher. You came down andyou shouldhavestopped. You don’t come outofthelaneintoaStreetwithoutstopping. Where didyou learn to drive. I wasso mad ather. So that’show I losther.AfterthisMartha “hadaterrible time ofTrixieforquite awhile afterthat.” Trixie criedfor“atleasteightweeks” before she gotoverit. Even though MarthastillhadTrixie ittookheralotlonger. “I wouldsayseven oreightmonthsatleastand I stillthinkofit.” Itwasdifficultbecause ofthe wayithadhappenedand because Marthahad been so attached to Lady. Afterreflecting on itforamomentMarthasaid, “I neverreallygotoverit.. . . I wassickformonthsafter. I stillsee it. I’llneverforgetaboutit. It’sjusttheworse thing to getoverandthere isnothingyou can do aboutitwhen she isdead.. . . I feelassadas I did thefirstdayithappened,”In thelatterpartofthe 1980’s, oraboutfouryearsago, Marthawasstilllivingin anapartmentwithTrixiewhen shewentoutonemorning and collapsedon the Streetfroma59stroke. Since then herlife haschangeddramatically. Before thestroke Marthawas used todoing manythingson herown:I did all the painting in my homewhen I waswell. I’ve alwaysdone thingson my own.I’ve gottoolsin there I tellyou thatnobody else has. And I couldfix thisandfixthatanddo thisanddo that. Thatcame aboutbecause I wasalwaysa busyperson.AsaresultofthestrokeMarthawasputon medication,she gotahearingaid, she requiredaneye operation,andshe hasapainful back, Aswell, she said:I cantrememberthings. Thatiswhy I keep thishereandmarkeverything down on itbecauseifI don’t I getallfouled up. It’s affectedapartofmy brainandthere’snothinginitasfaras I am concerned because I don’tremember, Andanothertime I’ll be sittinghereon my own anditwillall come back to me.Ithad restrictedherlife in otherwaysaswell:I haddrivenacarfor50 years. I stoppeddrivingafter I had the stroke because I wasafraid I couldhaveanotheroneatany time. . . . The doctorsaidno don’tvacuum. I’m notallowed manythings. I’m notsupposed to liftmyarmsup thathigh so I have someonewho comeshere everyweek to do it.When thishappenedMarthawaskeptin thehospitalforamonth. Although Marthasfriendand aneighborlookedafterTrixie,Marthasaid. “Itwasabig concern. Who’s going to takecare ofmy dog.” Marthaalsoworriedifshe would be able to properlytake care ofTrixiewhen shewasreleasedfromthe hospital. Atthe time she thought, “I’msilly I shouldn’thaveanimalsit’s notfair to them.” Marthaworriedaboutthisand said she recovered betterandfasterthanherdoctorhadexpected. When Marthawasreleasedfromthe hospitalshewasable to take care ofTrixieherself. Even though Marthahashadastrokeshe doesnotworryaboutsomething happening to herself. She said, “I hope itdoesn’thappen but I have nocontroloverit.”60Itwasaboutayearlaterwhen Marthahad to haveTrixie putdown atthe age of 13 or 14due to cancer. “God thedayshe died I cried myeyesout. Nancy took herin andcame outandsaidshe has to be putto sleep. And I said I’m notgong in. I justcouldn’ttakeit.”Marthareally missedTrixie. Itwas ustas badaswhen Lady died becauseMarthawasleftwithoutadog. She said:Wefi I missednothaving adog andespeciallynov. Itwouldn’thave been so badifI wasyounger butnowthat I am older and I don’t getoutasmuch to go anywhere I liked tohave adog. Itwascompany. I don’tfeelasifI am talking to myself.Aswell, Marthamissedhaving adog because “itwassomething to love” andinreturn “theyloved me.” Theywere also “something to take careof,” IttookMarthaatleastseven oreightmonthsto getoverherdeath. “SometimesNancywouldtalk aboutherand I wouldsaydon’ttalkaboutittonight 1 don’twantto hearaboutit. And I wasneverlike that.”When asked aboutnegativeaspectsassociatedwith LadyandTrixie Marthasaidtherewerenone. Marthadidnotconsiderthe costsassociatedwith keeping two dogs to be anegative aspect. She hadreplied, “No. I’ve haddogslong enough to know thatitcosts to keepthem.”Within ayearafterTrixie diedMarthaboughtMandy, hercurrentcompanion animal,because shewaslonely, to helphergetover grieving thelossofTrixie, and becauseshemissedhavingadog:When I boughther I didn’tthinkthatsomethingwas going to happen to me anymorebutthesearethingsyou have to plan foratanyage. I gave italotofthoughtbefore Iboughther. And Nancysaidyou shouldhave her,you missTrixie, andyou arealone. Ithinkyou are going therightway, don’tworryaboutit. So that’stheway I gotthisone..I figuredthat I wasmiserable upwhere I lived because I didn’tlike it. Andasyou getolderyou arenotabout to go herethereandeverywhere likeyou used to do but I’ve hadadog when itwaspossible. I enjoythem because I feel I’m nottalking tomyself.,. . AndI thinkithelpsyou withyoursanity because I findthisisa bore to justlivehere,61MarthaboughtMandywith the help ofher good friend:Nancy chose thisdog forme. I would never have chosen thistype ofdog because shedoes, notgreatly, butshe doesshedand that’swhy I keep herhairshort. I would neverhave chosen thisdog butNancyhasbeen good to me in herhelping me makedecisionsand thatso I didn’twantto turnherdown. She took me though to see itbutitneveroccurred to me aboutthatLsheddingl. . . ,She was$200 orsomething. I gotallthe stufffromthembut I wasn’tinterestedin keeping papersoranything. I justwanted to makesure I hadagood dog. I have no intentionsofshowing heroranything like that. All Iwantedwassomething thatwasdecent. I’ve always hadthattype ofdog butshe is goodnaturedreally.Marthaboughtafemale puppybecause, “I always buy puppies. I onlyhad females, I’mused to the females.’ Marthawanted to geta poodleratherthan aLhasaApse foracouple ofreasons. One reason isbecause ofallergies:Well the onlyreason I say poodlesis because they don’tshed. .. . My doctorsaid I couldhave adog butdon’tgetone thatsheds. I boughtthisone.. . and theysaidshedidn’tshedbut I beg to differ. The hairmakesme weep and my nose runs. I’m justallergic toit. It’snotasbad nowasitused to be. It’sstillthere, itexistsbutsomenightsit’sworsethan others,orsome days it’sworse than others. Thatiswhy I try to keep herclean. Ican’toverwash her. That’snotfairto hereither. But I brush her two to three timesaday.The otherreason isthatsheisjustmorefamiliarwith poodles:Itwouldn’tmatter‘whattype ofdog itisaslong as I have a goodanimal. I love themallbutnowatmyage I’m notused to the others, I’ve only been used to theseotherkind Ihad.Because MarthaneverhadaLhasaApse before shewentand boughtabookaboutthe breed:I’veneverhadone ofthese breedsbefore and I don’tknowifthis iswhat I’msupposed todo. I boughtabook abouther breed. I lookedandsaw my God theirskirts go down to the62groundand I said no no unlessyou are showing thembutthat’snotfor me. I justwantanicelittle doggie, anice little girlthat! can keep clean.I findithardenough keepingherclean like thisand I don’tlike smelling dogsordirty dogs. Whethertheyare humanorotherwise.Herallergies to hairisalso one reasonwhyMarthaneverhada cat.“I wasneverallowed tohave cats because ofthe hair. I wasonlyallowed dogs,I don’tdislike cats, buttheyareveryindependent.” Independence is partofthe secondreasonshe neverhada cat. “I don’tcarefor catstheyare too independentnumberone,andI don’ttrustthem..I’vealwayslikeddogsmore.”Even though Mandy isnotapoodle Marthasaid, “I’veneverhad one ofthese dogs. I’vealwayshad poodlesbut I certainlydon’tdislike her.I loveherdearlyand I’mnotsorry I gother butshe isdifferentthan my poodles.” Marthasaidshewould, however, getanotherLhasaApse. When Marthawasdescribing Ma.ndyshe laughedasshe said to Mandy, “Thoseeyesare so funny. . . . And she hasan overbite.”Marthawenton to saythat“hereyeswaterand I don’tlikethatbecause I wipe them55 timesaday. I can’tstand dirtyweteyes. ThankGod she’s black.”Marthawenton to describeMandyasa dog who is “young andfoolish,she loveseverybody, she isindependent, andshe knowshowto getwhatshewants.”She isa good dogwho “never complains,” andshe has“nevermade amessin the house.” She isaffectionatelyreferredto as “my love bird.”Within ayearaftergetting Mandy, Marthamoved to anotherlocation. Marthahadmoved so shewould have greateraccess to storesand services:That’swhy I moved down here. I livedup thereand God therewasntastorewithin amile atleastand I didn’tknowwheretheywere.I hateditover there. .. . I don’tlike torelyon people too often. I insistedon cominghereandthereasonwasbecause I canwalkdown the streetto the grocerystore. I don’twantto be carriedaround.63Because ofrestrictionsMarthahadahard time finding acondominiumthatwouldallowMandy. The stratacommittee athercurrentcomplexrequiredherto submitawrittenstatementrequesting permission. “1 had to waitthreedaysand I finallysaid to them lookyoueitherletme knowattwelve o clock todayor I’m notgoing.” And Marthaisnotallowedto getanotherone ifanything happens to Mandy. Marthawasstillmad aboutthisassherelated itto me. She didn’tlike these housing restrictions“simplybecause I do notletmydogbark.And when she isaloneshe is quiet. I thinkshe isagood dog.” In factMarthawasquiteannoyed because aswe were talking aboutthisadog acrossthe Streetwasbarkingcontinuously. Marthasaid:I thinkthatisvile. There isnothingworse than adog thatbarksandyou don’tknowwhatin thehellitwants. I thinkitisdreadful. . . . She [Mandyl doesn’tbarkordinarily.I don’tlether barkbecause I don’t.wantthat.Because Marthais quite restricted inwhatshe is allowed to do Mandy playsabig partinherlife. “I enjoyher.. itisalong dayand I can do so little now.” Theirday togetherbeginsatseven a.m. “I startatseven in the morning and I go outwith her. I wasneveralongsleeper.. . Then we come backand I give hersome breakfast.” Then Marthagoesintoherbedroom and makes the bed:I bringherin with me. Sometimes I allowher to siton the bottomofthe bed forawhile.She lovesthe bed. She would be in thereeverynightwith me butno no she staysin thekitchen and I putthe gate up andshe isas good as gold. I neverhearfromher.AfterthatMartha’s day isunplanned, I getup in the morning mosttimeswithoutplanningwhat I’m going to do thisorthatbecause I have nothing buttime in myhands.” The restofthe dayisspentdoing activitiesassociatedwith the house, friends, orwith Mandy. Eventhough forhealth reasonsMarthaisnotallowed to do verymuch aroundthe house shewilldustonce inawhile:Well I’m notallowed to vacuum. I’mnotallowed to do many thingsso I have somebodywho comeshereeveryweek to do it. ... . The people you getinaren’tvery good though.64I’m sure theyneverwiped thattelevision screen off. I do that. I don’tlike to do itbut Ido it. I don’thavemuch in thisplace. I’ve gotten i-idofallmy good stuffmore orlessbecause I haven’t gotroomforitanymore. But I don’tknowwhatin thehellshe does...They don’tmovefurnitureoranything. I’mnotsupposed to liftmyarmsup thathigh.A person coulddusteveryday, andespeciallyvhenyou haveadog. Butthere isplentyto keep me going.She thenwenton to saythatshe doesherown groceryshopping “acouple oftimesaweek.”Marthasaid becauseshe is limited in whatshe is allowed to do around the house thatiswhyMaady issuch good companionship.Marthadoes anumberofactivitiesassociatedwith friends. Atleastonce adayMarthawill talk to hervery close friendNancy. “Once in awhile” Marthawill go with Nancy to keephercompanywhen theyvisitNancy’sfatherinanursing home. Also, once inawhileneighborsfrom theapartmentMarthaused to live in will come andvisither. Aswell, onceamonth orso Marthagoes into Vancouverforadoctor’sappointmentor goes to her bank. Onthese occasionsNancydrivesherinto VancouverandMarthagoes outforbreakfastbeforeherappointmentand then returnshome by bus. Marthasaid:Asyou getolderyou are notaboutto go herethere andeverywhere like you used to do.Butitis justarelief. I can’tsithere seven daysaweekespeciallywhen I amable to goout. Itmight come adaywhen I won’t be able to go out. I don’tlike to berunningforthesake ofrunning becausewhen I’min myovn place I’m happy. I like to go outthough.Even when she does goesoutMandyison hermind. Before she goesoutshemakessureMandyhasfreshwater:I leaveherin thereand I putthe gate up here and I alwaysmake sure to leaveherfreshwater. IfI changeherwaterevenin the morningwhen I getup, which I do, I changeitwhen I leave. I go out I lockthe door I putherin there [the kitchen]. I putthe gate upthere and I say I have to go out. I saymommyhasto go outnov m going outanditwon’t be long before I’m backsveetie and I say you are going to kissmommy and I kiss65her. I alwayskissherbefore I go out. And I’m usuallynotmore than two hours..because I don’tbelieve that I should. I thinkifyou are going to have an animalit’s notto stayalone everydayofthe weekand allday long by themselvesand then you comehomeatnightat9or 10 o’clock atnighttheydon’tbotherwith it.When Marthadoesnotfeel like going outshewillwatch television forsomething to do or justto have some voiceson in the background to listen to.“I putiton and I hear the odd thingbutI’m notconcentratingon ithalfthe Lime.” Marthalaughedwhen she recalledwhathappenswhen she fallsasleepwatching television:Sometimes I sithere and maybe the Lv ison andsometimes I fall asleep and she’ll be overthereoroverhereand the nextthing you knowshe comes up to me andvery gentlyonme [pawsherarm], and Illopen myeyesand there itisstanding so glad that.you wokeup.Martha’s time isalso spentdoing avarietyofactivitieswith andforMandy in addition totheirmorningwalktogether. ThroughoutthedayMarthawilltalk to Mandy:I speak to her I justdon’tletherlayall daydoing nothing. I talk to herbecause I thinkitmakesherhappy. I sayyou’re mommy’s best blossom, She doesn’tknowwhatthe hellthatisbutit’snotwhatyou sayaltogetheritshowyou sayit I think,...I’m notsittingherewith my mouth closed alldayandsaying I didn’ttalk to asoul today because she isasoul. I can talk to herand I don’tfeelasifI’m going mad.. , . She looksatme andsheseemsto knowwhat I’m saying. I’m sureshe doesn’tbutshe looksatme and say’s that’salright, that’sokay. Shesortoflooksatme andshakesherheadatme. But I don’tthinkthere isanything betterthan an animalforafriend.Aswell, Marthasaid talking to hermakesher “feel alive. Itmakesme feelasifI amliving, Icould sithere and read but I getboredwith that.” Butin talking to herMarthafeltsheshouldn’tburden herwith hertroubles:I talk to herand itchangesmy mind, Ittakesmymindoffofwhat I wasthinking. I’mnotveryoften upset. I thank God forthat. And if I getupsetshe would be the lastone66thatI wouldwant to letknow becauseshe isstill justalittle dog and I loveherdearlyandshe isagood little guy.Many timesduring the dayMarthawill patMandy. “Ipether because I wanthertothinkand knowthat I love herso itisasign ofaffection forher.” She saidthatalthough sheenjoysdoing itshe doesitforMandy, “I enjoy doingitbecause I think Imdoing somethingforherthatshe likes. . ,.Iwantherto knowthat I loveher,” Then with much emotionMarthaextended thisby saying:I thinka dog or an animal, maybe you shouldn’tcompare themto grownupsorkids, but Ithinkit’s likewhenyou haveyour kids. Ifyou don’tpayattention to them theysoon tireofyou, and I think because I payattention to hershe lovesme. And I’m glad thatsheloves me because I wouldn’twantto do anything to hurther. She didn’task meto buyher. And she hasdonegjforme, Justbeing afriend to you.Aswell, theywilloften play together. “I playwith her. I kickher toys aroundlike this,”Although this isfun Marthasaid:God I hate those squeaky toys. Theydriveyou crazy.. . . Theyare so terriblynoisy. Ihate themwith a passion. Andwhat can you buy, even the dog storesheredon’thave toomanythingsfordogs. Theyhave thingsbut I can’tsee any common sense toit. Andthose thingsare over $5 and they lastnotvery long. And I’ve been tryingwhen I go outanywhere to look to seeifI can getsomething that’sdifferentand more substantial andit’s justthe same old garbageone aftertheotherthatyou find...I’m so afraidthatshe’llgetit[the metal noise makerlandswallowitand I don’tlike that. Itworriesme becauseifshe swallowedthatit’s bigger than itshould be. She playseveryafternoon. She’s gotalotofenergyyou know. Butwhen she collapsesshe goes. Andshe goesin the kitchenand goesin her bed, Shewillsleep. I don’ttellherit’s time youwent to sleep oranything butshe does thaton herown. And ifit’sraining shewill come up and sitsuphere, I thinkshe is quite happyand satisfiedwith things, Thisone is active butifshewantsto run aroundand jump aroundshe doesherthing.67Aswe were talking aboutthisMandy had jumped up on Marthas lapandappearedto besniffing beside her. The nextthingwe knew Mandy had pulleda$5 billout.ofMartha’spocketand‘waswagging hertailasfastasshe could. It.wasso comicalwe both laughedforseveralminutes. Mandythoughtbeingashow offand the centerofattention wasgreatandshe did notwantto give up herhardsoughtfor prize.She eventuallywaswilling to trade forone ofhersqueakytoys. Thislittleepisode clearlyillustratedMartha’s pointthatMandy isveryentertaining and she makesMarthalaugh.EverydayMarthabrushes Mandyatlastonce butusually two or threetimes. “When Ilike something I like itand I like to show it. I take careofit. I take careofher. I do the bestI can atall timeswith her.” Marthaalso sendsherto adog groomer. “Igetherwashed andclippedeverymonth and supposedly taken care of.” Although she is professionallydoneMarthaisnotverypleased with the levelofcare she receivesor the costofthe service:Theydidn’ttake care ofherears. I shouldn’t have to do those. All the dogs I’ve everhadI’d taken them. Now I paidthirtysomething to getherdone. Now I thinkthatisenough.And I thinktheyshould do herearsbutthey didn’ttouch them. And I had to pay$100andsomething to getthemdone bythevet. So I wasn’tveryhappy. I dontmindspending the money.Thereare anumberofreasonsMarthawould like to go someplace else butshe hasotherfactorsto take into consideration:Itseemed to me theyused to complain abouther. Wellthey putherin alittle hole likethisandshe goesthere fornine o’clock in the morning anddoesntgetoutforthreeorfourhourslater, I think that’sabominablefrankly.Nancytakesherin the carandthen she goesand picksherup andsheisso gladwhen she getshome. She isexhaustedwhen she getshome. I gotthe picture forawhilethatshewasabitofa pest to them.And 1 said to Nancy I’m going to change because I said I don’tlike themanywayandmaybe she’s justifiedin being apest. I don’tknowwhatin thehell theyare doing toher,I’m notthere. And I have to be careful becauseNancytakesherinthe car m not68hung up on these people asfaras I am concerned. I’m nottoo happywith them.I thinkI’ll be glad to gethermoved butI have to be careful like I saybecause I don’tdriveacaranymoreafterOyears.AnotheractivityMarthaandMandydo is go forfourwalksaday.Aswith petting, the reasonforthewalksisto benefitMandyandin the processMarthabenefitsaswell. She said:I go outrain orshine, snowor blowwithher. Manydays I wouldshrinkandsay to hellwith it, I would, I may aswell be honestwith you because I would. Anddontgetthe ideaI just go outformy benefit, I have no feelingsaboutit. I gother and I love herand Iwantto do whatisrightbyherand I don’t thinkthat I should getlazy andsay I don’tfeellike going out today because itis helpingme to go outtoo.Aftershe said, “She goesalong anddoesher piddle andherpoopsand I cleanthem up andputthemdown in the garbage here,” she became quite annoyed because “noteveryone cleansupaftertheirdogs.”Everyonce in awhileduring the dayMarthawill give Mandy atreat. “Not too large oranything because I don’twanther to get too fatit’snotfairshe can’thelp it.”Marthalaughing saidthatatthe endoftheday:I putherdown and say come on loveyyou’re going to bed now and she getsdown and shecurlsup on her bed, I say goodnightbaby I loveyou andshe looks up at me asmuch tosay I wonderifyou do. And I leave itatthat.Other activitiesassociatedwith Mandyinclude giving hera bath herselfonce in awhile.buying petfood, andtaking herforyearlyshots. Marthadidnotconsiderthe costofkeepingadog to be anegativething. She said:I’ve haddogslong enough to knowthatitcostsmoney to keep them. . . . I thinkitisalotmorethan I ever used to pay before but I don’t care because I love her. I likemy dog.Money isnothingifyou arenothappy.Marthadidnotconsiderarestriction fromtravelling to be negativeeither:69I have mydog inayeareverydayoftheyear. Now my friend is goingup on acruiseandshe says I wishyou could come. . . . I said no I’mnotputting heraway in aplacewhereshe hasnever been and expectto come backand find mydog isnice. I saidshe isadog it’strue but I dontbelievein mistreating them.And I think I would be mIstreatingher. . . . I don’t.knowenough aboutthe people wholookafterthe dogsiftheyare kind tothem. 1’ve heardso many complaints.When askedifshewould getsomeone she knewortrustedto come in and take care ofhershereplied:Yeah butthatisn’teasy to do any more, I’m notsurebecause I don’t knowanybodywhodoesthatand I would just be going away becauseI wantto go away. I have to thinkofher. I don’tsay theyshouldrunyourlife. I’m notthinkingthatway butyou must bekind to themandyou cantbe kind partofthe timeandthen saywell to hell I’m goingwhetheryou like itor not. And I knewthatbeforeI boughther.In thisregardshe also said:I justfigured I wasresponsibleforthe dog andall thewhile I keepher. If I was going toinvolveanybody else I would nothave hadthe dog simply because shecan’thave twoandthree andfourmastersordifferentpeople comingand tellingherwhatto dobecause I’m notsure thattheyknowwhattheywanther to do.Marthasaid she had feltthiswaywith allof the dogsshe hashad.Martharesponded to my question asking inwhatwaysdoesMandy negatively influenceherlifestyle bysaying, “Nothing. She doesn’tnegatemylifestyle atallin anyway, shape, orform. She isas goodas gold.”Bywatching Marthainteractwith Mandywhilewe weretalking itwasobviousthattheywereveryattachedto each other.Marthawould pether, throwhertoys, hug her, kissher,talk to herusing endearingwordsandnicknames,and tellhershe loved her. Marthasaidshelovedandenjoyedall the animalssheeverhad.And she addedthattheyall made herlife70happierand thatshewas “happierhaving her” referring to Mandy. Heraffection andattachmentto Mandy isexpressed in anumberofways:You have to do what’s rightbythem... . I thinkyou musttreatthemwell. You mustfeedthemwell, notover feed them. You mustmake sure theyare bathedand keptclean.And I thinkyou have to be kind to them. I don’t.letherjustrun aroundandnotbotherwith her. I talk to herasifI am talking to you. I knowshe doesn’tunderstandhalfofitbutatleastshe knowsshe isbroughtinto the conversation.Later in our conversationMarthaelaborated:This isalittle dog andshe hasfeelingsand you mustdo whatisrightby her. And needs,needsthatshe cantdo anythingaboutherself. She can’t.wash herselfso tospeak. Andif I am going to have an animal I like aclean animal. I don’twantone all knottedup andeverythingelse. I don’tthink itisfair to themagain. Ifyou are going to have ananimalyou musttreatitproperlyorelse. It’slike achild,you shouldn’tmistreatachildeither.Thisdoesnotmean, however,thatMandyisallowed to do anythingshewants:I thinkthatthese little guyshavefeelingsthe same aswe do and just because theydon’tspeak to you they do the nextbestthing really. They can tellyou when they are happyorunhappy. And I didn’t buyher to makeheran unhappylittle guy. I wantherto behappy. I likeherto be happy. She doesn’talways do everything thatisright. And I’mnotgoing to takeitouton her but I tellher. I talk to herand I saythat’snotniceyou’reanaughtygirlfordoing that. I don’tknowifitgoesin ornot butitmakesme feel betterI toldheroff, andshe looksatme asifshe knowswhat I’m saying. , .. It’samazing shemustunderstand because she doesn’tdo itagain when I say itisano no. The odd timeshemightrepeatitbutnotonce after the other.Latershe added:Theyare likeakid. . you train themproperly. You have to startyoungwith these guysthe same asyou do with kids,. . . You have to correctthemattherighttime. There isno71use constantlydon’tdo this, don’tdo thatbecause it gets too used to itand itgoesovertheirheads.Butwhen discipliningherMarthasaid she nevershouts. “1 nevershoutather. I don’tshoutather. I don’tbelieveinshouting ather.” Because Mandy knowsrightfromwrongexceptatnightshe isallowedto gowhere she pleasesincluding on thefurniture;I’mnotgoing to have adog and sayyou can’t go hereandyou cantdo this,youcan’t dothat. Itisairightto say certain thingsare that’sano no. .. . But I don’twantto keepheroffhereoroffthere. To hell itismyfurnitureandshe is notruiningit, She isnotchewing it, She isnotpiddling on it. I wouldn’tstandfor it.Taking proper care ofheralso meantnever beating herormistreating her. Marthasaid:I wouldnever beatmine.. . I despise itwhen I hearsomeone ismistreatingthemormaltreating themin anyway, shape, orform becauseifyou don’twantitgetridofitsomewherewhere someone is going to enjoyit butdon’ttantalizeit. People are notniceto animals. I don’tlike that. I like her. I like allanimalsbut! don’tbelieve in beingterrible to them justbecause theyare animalsdoesn’tmake itanydifferent. ... I hatepeople who buy petsand mistreatthem. And ifyou’re going to enjoyyour petyou haveto do whatisrightbyyour pet. Some people don’tand I don’tunderstand. You can’texpectthem to take care ofthemselves, Youve gotto be kind to them.Even though Marthaisveryattached to Mandyshe does notworryaboutsomethinghappening to her, “Iwouldn’twantanything to happen to herbut! don’tdwellonit. Idon’tbelieve in dwelling on itbecause if I dwellon ititmightmake ithappen to her.”Although Mandymeansalotto herMarthasaidifsomethinghappened to hershewouldnotgetanotherone, “1 am getting too old myselfto getanotherone.” She didn’tthinkshewould getanother type ofcompanionanimaleither:I doubtitsimply because I don’tthink I could do itjustice. I don’tthinkI would be fairtoit. I think I’mfairto her, I takeheroutfourtimesaday,I playwith hernow. .. Butyouare nottaking iton justforacouple ofweeks. And itisnotfairto theanimal.72Marthaalso did notthinkshewouldwantto getan olderdog:Sometimesall people aren’tfussy the wayyou bring up yourdogs. SeeI checkherwhenI dontlike something. Iftheyare olderdogsyou aren’tgoing to be able totrain themunlessyou go to someonewho knowswhatthe helltheyare doing. Itwould be mymisfortune to getthewrong dog and then I wouldbe verymad atmyself. Notatthe dogbut I would be annoyed with myselffordoingthat. So that’s the onlythink I wouldworrybutwe musttake into consideration thatwe are notthe onlyone’swho count.SummaryMarthais awoman in herlatterseventieswho has beenwidowed for25 years. She isanindependent, caringand compassionate woman.Marthacomesfromasmallfamily butspentmostofherfirst 18yearsliving in aboarding schoolabroadand spenthersummerswith herfamily inEastern Canada.Whereevershewasshe alwayshad alotoffriendsto playwith. Asachildshe didnotparticularlylike the canariesand budgieshermotherhad because she thoughttheyweremessy andnoisy. Likeher parentsshe loveddogsandespeciallythe German Shepherdhermotherhad. Itwas because ofthisdog and adog herAuntowned thatherfondnessfordogsgrew.Otherthan having the budgiesshe had boughtforhermotherMarthadid nothaveacompanion animalofherown untilherlatterfifties. Untilthistime she had been busywithacareer,taking careofherparents, getting married, having an active sociallifewhile shewasmarried,and then straighteningup herhusband’sestate.Thedeath ofherspousewas difficultforMarthabecause ithadhappenedsuddenlyandunexpectedly. Because shewas so busyandhadso much to take care ofMarthafeltthatthiswould nothave been a good time to have gotten acompanionanimal. She saidthatthiswouldalldependon the person though.Threeyearsafterherhusband’sdeath Marthamoved to Vancouver, gotapart-timejob,and purchased two female puppypoodleswithin ayearapart.Ladywaswellmanneredand73veryobedient. Trixie was mischievous, naughty, young and foolish, and hadagood sense ofhumour. MarthaandTrixie hadahard time gettingoverLady’s losswhen she was killedsuddenlyatseven yearsofage byacar.When MarthastillownedTrineshe had astroke andwashospitalized forseveralmonths.Marthawasdoubtful whethershe would recoverwell enough to be able to properly take careofTrixie. Martharecoveredbetterand faster than herdoctor had expectedandwasable toproperly take care ofTrixie byherself.Marthafounditveryhard getting overthe lossofTrixiewhen at13 or 14 she had to beputto sleep due to cancer. Marthamissedhaving adog, she missedthe companionship,andshe missedhaving something to talk to.Within the nextyearMarthaboughtMandy, her currentcompanion animal. Sheisapurebredfemale LhasaApse puppy. She is adog who isyoung and foolish,sheloveseverybody, she is independent, she knowshow to getwhatshewants, andsheiswellbehaved.Marthaisveryattached to Mandy, asshewaswith Lady andTrixie. She spokeofmanypositive aspectsassociatedwith these dogsand dogsin general: companionship,entertainment, enjoyment,something to talk to, something to love, something to receiveaffection and love from, something to take care of, away to keepyoursanity, something totakeyourmindoffyourtroubles, something to pet, something to playwith, away ofgettingexercise, they makeherfeelhappy,theymakeherfeelalive, and theyare agood friend.Marthadid notidentifyanynegativeaspectsassociatedwith owning these companionanimals. She saidshe knewshewould be restrictedfromtravelling before she boughta dog,andshe haddogslong enough to knowwhattheywould costto take care of,Because ofherage Marthadid notthinkshe would getanotherone ifsomethinghappened to Mandy because she wouldwantto be sureshe could take care ofitproperly.Having acompanion animalmeansalotto Marthaandshesaid, “I don’tthinkthere isanything betterthanan animalforafriend.”74ThemesWhen reflecting on our conversation aboutthe meaning ofcompanion animalsinMartha’slife I identified22 majorareasorthemes:1) Independence. Marthahasalways been an independentperson. Before havingastrokeshe used to do allofherown house painting, fixmanythingswithherown tools, and takecareofherself. Sinceherstroke she doesas much asshe can bydoing herown groceryshopping, house cleaning asmuch asshe can, and takingcare ofherselfand Mandywhilelivingon herown.2) Compassion and caring. Marthais compassionate and caring for people andcompanionanimals. This compassion and carefor peoplewasillustratedinmanydifferentways. Shestayedathome and physicallyand financiallytook care ofheraging and ill parents.Shefinancially helpedotherfamily members. Severaltimesshe postponed gettingmarriedwhile shewas stilltaking care ofherparents. She keepsafriend companyvben they go tovisitherfriend’sfatherin anursing home. Anditwasseen inherwillingnesstovoluntarilyparticipate in thisstudyand to do whatevershe could to help me so itwould beworthwhile for me Her compassion and carefor companion animalswasalso illustratedinmanydifferentways. Thiswasseen in herconcernfor taking care ofMandy properly. Sheiskeptclean andwell groomed, alwayshaving fresh water,never being leftformore thantwo hoursata time, getting fourwalksaday, neverburdened with her troubles, and alwaysdoing the bestshe can atall timeswith her. Aswell, Marthawould talk to her, pether, andexercise herforMandy’s benefit. Marthadid this so Mandywould feelloved,welltaken careof, and so she would be happy.3) Previouslove ofdogs. Foraslong asMarthacan remembershehasalwaysloved dogs.4) Familyoforigin. Afterspending the firstthreeyearsofherlifewith herparentsshewassentto Ireland to livewith an Auntuntilshewas 18. Marthaonly sawherfamilywhenshe returned to Canadaeverysummer. Growing up Dorahadalotoffriendsandshe wasalways busy,755) Parents’ love of companion animals. Marthasaid both ofherparentsloved companionanimalsand particularlydogs,6) Companion animalsandchildhood. Until 18 mostofherlifewasspentlivingin aboarding schoolabroadand she onlycame home forthe summertime. Duringtheseyearsshe washappyand had alotoffun beingmischievousand playingwith alotoffriends.Martha’smotherhad canariesand budgiesbefore shewentto boarding school. Although shelikedthemMarthaconsidered them to bemessy, noisy dumb, andverydull. As aresult,shedid notbecome attached to them,As companion animalswere notallowedatthe boardingschoolheronly companion animalsduringthistimewere hermother’sGerman Shepherdinthe summersandherAuntsdogs. Marthalovedthese dog very much andherloveofdogsgrew because ofthem. The German Shepherdwasveryintelligentand neverdid anythingwrong. Marthahadonly been informedofherdeath by aletterso shewasstillaliveinMartha’shead.7) Typeofcompanion animal. Marthahasalwayspreferreddogsoverothertypesofcompanion animals. Budgiesand canarieswere messy, noisy, and dumb. Catsare tooindependent,Marthadoesn’ttrustthem,and she isallergic to them. Marthalovesalldogs.Since the dogsshe had previouslyownedhad been poodlesshe liked them because shewasmore used to them. Even though hercurrentcompanion animalisnotapoodle she still lovesherandwould getanotherLhasaApso. Marthaisrestricted as to the type ofdog andtype ofpetshe can have because ofallergies. Marthahasalwayshad, and therefore prefers, femalesand puppies. She believesin properlytraining adog andwouldtherefore notgetan olderdog because itmightnothave been trained properly.8) Companion animalsduring middleyears. In herearlytwentiesMarthahad budgiesshehad boughtforhermother. AlthoughMarthaenjoyedthemtheywere messyand too muchwork because shewas busyworkingandtaking care ofhermother. Marthawould nothaveboughtthemifithad notbeenforhermother andshe did notwantany budgiesafterthat.FromhermidtwentiesuntilherlatterfiftiesMarthadid nothaveanycompanion animals76because she wasworkingand taking care ofsick parents. Then she gotmarried, hadanactive social life, didalotoftravelling, and hersister-in-lawwho waslivingwith themdidnotlikeorwantany companion animalsin the house. In herlatterfiftiesMarthaboughttwo dogswithin ayearapartofeach other.For the firstfewyearsMarthawasworkingwhileshe had the dogsand she said thiswasnotaproblem.Aswell, the costofkeeping two dogswasnotanegativeaspect. Marthasaid therewere no negativeaspectsassociatedwith thesedogs.9) Grieving and companion animals. Marthafounditverydifficultdealingwith the lossofherdog companion animals. Itwasdifficult getting overthe lossoflady because she diedsuddenlyand accidentally, shewasa good dog, and becauseMarthawasveryattached to her.Even todaythisloss ‘was difficultto talkaboutanditbroughtup painfulfeelings. Marthafounditdifficultgetting overthe lossofTrixie becauseshewasolder, she hadhadTrixie foralong time, she had been very attachedto her,andnow shewasleftwithoutadog. Thereweretimeswhen itwas too painful to even talkaboutwith her close friend.10) Acquiring a companion animalduring thetransition to widowhood. Marthadid notthinkitwould be a good idea to geta companion animalwhen recentlywidowed, In her caseshe wasverybusyhandling funeral arrangements, closing herhusband’s business, sellingtheirhouse, andotherestate relatedmattersthatshewas too busy to devote anytime to anewcompanion animalor to an existing one ifshe had had one. It. tookherthree yearsbeforeshe feltshe could handle thingsandwasready to getacompanionanimal. Marthadid feelthatthismaybedepends on the person.11) Reason for getting currentcompanion animal. MarthagotMandy because shewaslonely,she missed having adog, and itwould help herto getover the lossofher previouscompanion animal.12) Influence ofprevious companion animals. Because ofallergiesand because she lovedherprevious companion animalsMarthaalwayshad female poodlesuntilhercurrent77companionanimal. Aswell, Marthasaid her fondnessfordogs grew because ofachildhooddog theyhad.13) Currentlifestyle. Because ofherstroke Marthaslifestyle has beenrestricted. However,she still doesherown groceryshopping, a bitofhouse cleaning,she talksto andvisitsfriends,she takesMandyforseveralwalksaday, she talks to andplayswith Mandy, andshewatchestelevision.14) Increasing importanceduringwidowhood. Marthasaid companion animalsinwidowhood take on agreater role because asshe getsoldershe is notabout to go outasmuchasshe used to. Asaresult, the companion animaltakeson a greatercompanionshiprolewithsomething to love, care for, and talk to. Also, Mandy is good companyforMartha because shehasno family and fewfriendsshe communicateswith.15) Importance ofcurrentcompanion animal. Having Mandy meansvery much to Martha.She saidshe doesnotthinkthere isanything betterthan an animalforafriend. She lovesMandy because shehasdone alotforherand she isa good friend. She lovesMandy andalthough itcosts to take care ofherMarthasaid money isnothingifyou are nothappy, andMandymakesherhappy.16) Companion animalsandhealth. In the hospitalafterherstroke Marthaworried aboutbeing able to recover so she could properly take care ofTrixie. Sherecoveredbetterandfasterthan herdoctorhadexpected andwasable to go home and properlytake care ofTrixieon herown. Marthabelievesherhealth benefitsfromhavingMandy because ofallofthepositive aspectsassociatedwith herespecially the love, exercise, keeping hersanity, andmaking herfeelalive and happy. Mandy isespeciallyimportantto Marthabecause since herstrokeshe islimited in whatshe isallowed to do around the house.17) A strongattachmentto previousand currentcompanion animals, Thiswas illustratedboth verballyand non-verbally. Marthaalways kisses hergoodnightand tells hershe lovesher. She always kissesherbefore she goesoutand makessureshe isnotgone more than twohours. She always doesherbest to tryand take care ofMandy properlywhich included: four78walksaday, grooming, patting, talking to her,veterinarian care, playing with her, feedingherthe rightfood in the rightamountatthe righttime, tellinghershe lovesher, trying tomakeherhappy, and notburdening herwith herown troubles. When Marthawould talk toMandyshewould use endearingwordsand names. Many timesduringour conversationMarthawould hug her, pather, playwith her, and tellhershe loved her.18) Positiveaspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Marthaspoke ofmany positiveaspectsassociatedwith allofthe companion animalsshe hashad, especiallyMandy. Theseincluded: companionship, entertainment,enjoyment, something to talk to, something to love,something to receiveaffection and love from, something to take care of, away ofkeepingyoursanity, something to take yourmindoffyour troubles, something to playwith, awayofgetting exercise,something to pat, feeling happyand alive, and havingagood friend.19) Fewnegativeaspectsassociatedwith previousand currentcompanion animals. Whenshe hadowned the budgiesforhermothershe found themmessy and too much work becauseMarthawas busyworking and taking care ofher motheratthe same time. Marthadid notidentifyanynegativeaspectsassociatedwith LadyandTrixie. Marthasaid Mandydid notnegate herlifestyle in anyway, shape, orform. She said she wasas good as gold. Aspectschatothersmightconsidernegative are: notbeing awayfromherdogsfor more than twohoursatatime, being restrictedfrom travelling, the costofkeeping adog, and trying to findacondominium thatwould allow Mandy. Marthadid notconsider these to be negative. Shethoughttheywere partofhaving adog and taking careofitproperlyand people should notbuy one iftheyare notgoing to take care ofitproperly.20) Societal aspectsorservices. There are aspectsorserviceswhich could make owning adog easierormore enjoyable forMartha. These would include: an affordable andreliablehouse cleaner; less housing restrictions;an affordable, reliable, and trustworthy dog sitteralthough Marthamaystillnotuse the service: people picking up aftertheir companionanimals; people properlytrainingtheir companion animals so they do notconstantlybark79andannoy people;affordable, non-harmfuldog toys; andaffordableand reliable doggroomers.21) Age. As she gets olderMarthais concernedthatshe will be able toproperlytake care ofa companionanimal. Mandysimportanceincreases asMarthagets older because she doesnot go outasmuch asshe used to so Mandy is companyandhelps to keephersanity. Alsobecause ofherage Marthadid notthinkshewould beable to getanotherdog oranothertypeofcompanion animalifsomething happened to Mandybecause she did notthinkshewouldbe able to properlytake care ofit so asto be fair to the animal.22) Socio-economic status, FinanciallyMarthaisable to properlytake care ofMandy in herown condominium.Dora’sStoryItwasabright, sunny, hotdaywhen I drove up in frontofDora’s house. Therewasnoansweratthe frontdoor soI decided to go around to the back. As I approachedtherearofthehouse I heardadog barking and then abig, beautiful,black andwhite Dalmatian wasstanding and barking atthe gate. Since she didn’t look orsoundvicious I gave heradogcookie I had broughtandthen I enteredthe big back yard.As I petted the dog andfedhercookies I saw tallfruittrees, afenced garden, flowers, andasmall plastic swimming poolnearthe back porch. I made myway to the back doorandmyknockwas quickly greeted by arecentlywidowedwoman inherearlyseventies.Doraapologizedfor nothearing my knockatthe front door butshe had been busy doing something down stairs.As I followed Dora’squick pace through thekitcheninto the living room Shastaasixyearold purebredfemaleDalmatian followedme nottaking hereyesoffme hoping shewouldgetmore cookies. As Isatdown I gave herthe lastofthe dog cookies I had broughtandshe seemed delightedasshewaggedhertail. As 1 lookedaroundtheliving room I noticedthelightgreen carpetwasspotlessand therewasnottrace ofdog hairordoggie odorin the room. AfterDoraand I wereseatedwe talkedaboutourselvesandthen I explainedthe purpose ofmy research study,what80herparticipation would involve, andI hadDorasign the participantconsentform.To beginthe interview I asked Dorahowshe would describe herself. Doraimmediatelyresponded bysaying:I’mtenderhearted. Really I’m quite quietandshy. .. . Butsince I have livedinthiscountry I’m notasshy as I used to be. Butasachild I wasveryshy. And though thingsdo upsetme attimes I getoverthem quickly.I can sortofblow mystackand getoverthem. But I am inside verytenderhearted.Rathersuperstitiousbecause I believethatifyou areunkind to people orthingsoranimalsitall comes back to you in some otherform. Thattype ofthing. . . . I supposeI’mathletic. I like towalk. AlthoughI have alotoffriendsand I talk alot Fm also aloneron the otherside.Being aloner to Dorameantthatshe Liked to be alone and she liked to do thingsonherown.Dorasaidshewasnotvery goodwith peoplehelping her. She saidalthough shetries” to bedifferentand be patient” she doesnotlikepeopleshelp becauseshe likesdoing thingsacertainway. This pertainsto allareasofherlife including Shasta. “Peoplewanttotake herIforawalk] but I don’twantthemto because I thinkofallthe things behind itthatcouldhappen. Imsortofalonerinthatway’Doraalso feltshe wasindependentandshe dreads:the daywhen I cantdo thingsformyself. . . . Whatam I going to do if I cantdig my owngarden ordo thingsformyself. I knowyou keep gearing yourselfthatthat’s going tohappen one day butyou don’twantitto.Doraalso consideredherselfto be easy going andshe doesnotlike arguments. She said,“I’m sortofeasy going. As I getolder I getdisturbedeasier butreally I think 1 am quite easygoing. I don’tthing you getanywhere by panicking.”Mthough financiallyDorasaid,“I don’thave anyworries” she considered herselfto beeconomical. “1 wentthrough thewar ...so there is somanyimpressionswhenyou haveshortagesandyou stillthink ofitthatway.”81Talking aboutliving through the warasateenager lead intoadiscussion ofDora’s familyoforiginandwhatitwas like growing up. Although Dorahadabrothershe consideredherselfto be an only childbecause herbrotherwasnineyearsolder. They did notplaytogetherand Dorasaid, “He gave me the discipline. He would say the thingslike mom shehasn’tdone her homework.’ Thisdidnot, however, mean she was lonely:I alwayshad friends. I neverthoughtofitthatwaybutmy motherused to tell me thatifshe took me to the beach I’d be playing for awhileand then I would come backwithsomebodyand say to my motherI wantyou to meetmyfriend.During her childhood Doraalso had the companionship ofdogs. WhenDorawasbornherfamily bad a blackandwhite male bull terriercrossedwith afox terriernamed Kipper.Kipperwasvery protectiveand possessive ofDora. ‘He wasalwaysbeside thepramoron thepram. Ifanybody puttheirfingerson ithe would push themoff.” Kipperwasasource ofprotection more than adog to be playedwith. Dorawas neverone to playwith dogsanyway.She said, “When I waslittle I justused to cuddle them.”Kipperwasalsoaconstantsource ofcompanionship because “he wenteverywhere” withDora. He was, however,adog that“wasthe boss” and “had amind ofhisown.”Although Kipperwas hermother’sdog and Dorawas too young totake care ofhimshewasveryfond ofhim. Talking aboutKippershe addedasshe started to cry, “And I’m stillveryfond ofhim.” She wenton to saythat, “I’m more fond ofhim than I probablywould ofhumanseven thatI remember then.”She also cried asshe said, “I wasveryattached to him.I cry nowwhen I thinkaboutit.”Kipperwasputto sleepwhen Dorawasaboutfive or sixyearsold:I justrememberthen I was justheartbroken becauseI didn’thave adog. I guess 1 didn’thave anybrothersandsisterseither. My brotherwaslikeafatherto me but I didn’thave anybody close like that. I feltmore alone then.Because ofherlove ofdogsshesaid:82AfterthatI used to go andvisitpeople thathad dogs. I wasalwayswalking people’sdogsall through mylife. I used to go and have dinneratsomebody’shouse thathadadog. Butno end to dogs. We used to lookafterdogsfor holidaysand I used to walk them. So I’vealwaysbeen adog lover. I likecats but I putup with cats.Dorarememberedotherdogsand catsfromher earlyyears. Beforeage five Doraremembered the neighbor’scathadkittensin theirhouseand Kipper would lookafterthekittenswhen the catwentout. “He would justsitthere.”Dorasaid, Therewasacatatonetime I’m trying to thinkof itthatwe had. I wasn’tmuchfor cats that’s probablywhatitwas.Theyare an animal so I wouldn’thurtit.”Also before Dorawas fouryearsold hermotherhadroller canaries.Doraremembered:only the tales mymotherused to tell because it’s onlytheirsinging. Andwhen‘we wenton holidaymymother used to take him to the butcherandwhen he sharpenedhisknivesthe birds used to sing and theyrolled, so my mother used to tell me. Andwhen wecamehomeshe brought the bird home anditwouldn’t sing anymore so she tookhim back tothe butcherandsaidhereyou mayaswellkeep it. And hesang there.Dorasaid. “Really I didnthave much to do with them.”As a childwhenevershewent to visitpeople she used to be with the dog. “There wasadog happyonce thatsomebodyelse hadwhen I ‘was little beforeI was five, The ownertaughthim tricksandwhen I used to go staytheretheyused to gethappydoing these tricks.” Doradid notparticularlylike this because, “I’m notverykeen on performinganimals. I don’tlikecircuses, I don’tlikewatching thaton tv” Dorajustliked the companionshipanditbotheredherto think “whatthey must go through to do these things,”Atthe age ofsixDora’s childhoodwas affected by the depression when herfamilymovedand Dora’sfatherlosthis job. AsaresultDora’s motherhad to go to workandwasoutuntileighto’clockin theevening. Thismeantthatatthe age ofseven Dorawasresponsibleforgetting the mealsready anddoing otherthings. Although Dorasaid, “I was quiteyoung83seven you know to be alone,” she added, I neverthoughtitwas bad. I think I hadanextremely happychildhood. . . . I neverknewanyunhappinessatall.’Although Dorawantedanotherdog they could notgetanotherone because hermother“wasawayall the time so itwouldn’thave been fair to have adog.” Even though she did nothave adog ofher own Dorafondly rememberedanumberofdogs. Foracouple ofsummersaroundtheageoffive to seven yearsof age DorarememberedaDalmatian calledShastaon afarmshespenthersummerholidaysat:She usedto exhaustme. I couldn’tcatch her. I can rememberalmostcrying becauseIwanted to catch herand holdherandshe wasonlyapuppythen. She was so fulloflife,that.’swhat I remember most. I can remember just being outofbreath chasingherandfallingoverher.Doranever knewofDaimatiansbefore seeing this one andsince thattime shesaid, “I’vealwaysvantedone, always.” Butshe “neverdreamed I wouldhave aDalmatian.” Doraremembered:My mom used to talk aboutthem because when shewasagirlyou see ifyou hadhorsesyou alwayshada packofDalmatians. Theyalways livedwith the horses. And theysaythataDalmatian can walk in amongstthe feetofahorse andnotgettrampled. Sowealthypeoplewho had horsesin those daysmymother remembers before carswhenshewas a girl. She remembersgoing in ahorse and carriage places. And thatimpressedherthatvealthypeople had apackofDalmatians becausetheyare a packdog andtheyarescavengers. Thatswhy theylive on thejunkthatwasthrown to themortheyeatthe oatsandall the type ofthing. But I would sayreallythatwasthething thatimpressedme, theywalked behindthe carriage ofwealthy people. And all my life Iwanted one and I didn’tsee many.Doradid notthinkshewould everhave aDalmatian because in thosedaysDorasaid, “Youwere lucky ifyou gotaHeinzdog.”84Even though Doraonlysaw Shastafor two orthree summersshe knewshewantedaDalmatian andalso “the typeofpersonalityShastawasaswell.” Reflectingback on thisdogDorasaid, “I can still go back to thatin my feelingsforthatdog. ItwasShastathatlivesinme. I can see herasthough itwasyesterday.”Dorarememberedafriend’sdog calledNickie when shewasbetween theages ofabout7to 10 yearsold:I used to go there atlunch time. I rememberhe always used to playwith me because mymotherwasworking thisladyused to give me adinnermeal. And shewasvery good tome actually. Andoh yes I justlovedthislittle dog. Nickie was a bitlike Kipper, He wasalwayswaiting and allwigglywhen I came. I just I did love him. I wasveryfondofhim.The nextdog Dorafondlyrememberedwas Chi Chi an aristocratic ChowChowthatDora“usedto look afteratChristmas time and I used to walk.” Thiswaswhen Dorawasbetween 7and 12 years old. Because ofthis dog Dorasaid, “I have agreatlove foraChov because ofChiChi. I guessifyou asked me the second dog I would like I mightsayaChow,”Itwasn’tuntilDorawas 11 or 12 yearsold before herfamily gotanotherdog. The manwho had owned Chi Chi bred Spaniels.Theyhadfourofthemandoh I used to makeafussover them. My motherwasthe sameasme anyway, andmyfather. One day Mr. Camps came upwith the dog Del and saidwe’ve decidedyou can have Del. And myfathersaidwe likedDianabestand so he camebackhalfan hourlaterwith Dianaandtook Del away. So my parentshadDiana. Thatwasourdog from then on.Dianawasafemale blackandwhite spaniel. “She was the familydog. I wasveryfond ofher,welllike alldogs. Yeah I wasveryfond ofher. Shewasmore mymothersdog.’ Reflectingback on KipperandDiana, Dorasaid, “I wasmore attached to Kipperthan I ‘was DianabecauseKipperwas amale dog andhe had amindofhisown. He wasadearlittlething.’ Dorasaidherparentshad been greatdog lovers. Becauseherfatherhad grown up in an orphanagewithoutcompanionanimalshehadalwayswantedone. Although both ofherparentshad85loved dogsherfatherwasverytenderheartedwith themand hermotherwas more sensiblewith them.During herteenageyearsDora “wasverykeen on sports” and ‘used to go to the footballgames” andotheractivities. She laughinglyrecalledthatateacherhad calledher “the Queenofthekidsorsomething.” Atthisage aswell Dora’slove ofdogsandespecially Dalinatianswas quiteevident:This boy had aDalmatian hisnamewas John. He was two yearsyoungerthan me andweused to callitgoing outwith him. I didn’treallylike him but I wentwith him becausehewouldletme walkhisdog on aleash. Vistahernamewas. I alwaysthinkofhernow. Iwould have been 15 then. But I wasveryfondofVista, but I used to have Dianaathome,Dorawas in schoollongerthan most people in those daysin England:OurschoolingwasdifferentinEngland because we were expected to workreallywhenwe were 14. I wentto a commercialschool actually but.itwasabithigherthan the basicschool’seducation. And so I wentuntil 16 whereasotherkidsonlywentto 14. The schoolleaving age was 14 when I wentto school. So I wentfor the two extrayearsand thenIwentto work. I took the civilserviceexam andwentto the Air Ministry.Doraworkedwith the civilservicedoing clericalwork until theywere evacuated due to thewar. Doragotmarriedatthe ageof 19 to Ben, aCanadian soldier. She continueddoing officeworkandwasabus conductressforashorttime untilherson was born ayearafterhermarriage. Dorastayed home with herson and threeyearslaterthey moved to Canada.During these yearsDoradid nothave acompanionanimalofherown although Diana,hermother’sdog, wasstillpartofherlife. Doraalso rememberedthat“when I came toCanadamymotherhada budgie.” Dorasaid the budgie didnotmean anything to her. “Itwasjustthat I was amusedwhen I wenthome and the thingsitdid.”Doraalso rememberedafriend’sDalmatianduring thoseyears:86I haveanotherfriendandherhusbandhadaDalmatian.Thiswasduring the war.Crystalwashername. And Patwasn’tadog lover but I used to love Crystal. Patused tobringherover to me during the warwhen Tomwasoverseas.DoraleftDianabehindwhen she movedwith herfamily to Canada. Dianadied soon afterwhen Dorawasabout23 or24 yearsold. Dorasaid, “She wasprettyold I thinkwhen she died,but I have pictures ofherwith Dick.”When theyfirstmoved to CanadaDoraandherfamilylived on an orchardfarmandDoradid notstartworking again untilherson, Dick, was sixyearsold.Fourmonthsaftertheymoved to CanadaDora gotherfirstdog. “Thatspring Ben knew Iwanteda dog. He broughthome thisdog and I namedher Diana because ofthe Dianaathome.” Dianawasafemale puppy, a blackandwhite Scotch BorderCollie. Dorasaid:Oh she meanttheworld to us. She justwenteverywhere. . . . We were on the farmandshewaslike Kipperwas to me shewaslike thatwith Dick. Shewenteverywherewithhim. Everybodyknewus because ofthe dog.Several timesduringour interviewwhen talking aboutherown childhoodandherson’schildhood Dorasaid, “I figureevery child should havean animal, I sortoffeel thatyoubecome more considerate ofotherspeciesandracesand thingslike this, I hadaveryhappylife because ofthose things.’ In relation to herson and dogsDorasaid:Well I would say itmakesiteasier because the childhad acompanion. I had one childand I had a childwho hadmyfeelingsaboutadog. Dickwasas fond ofthe dog aswhatIwas.. . . I think all children shouldhave a dog.I reallythinkitmade iteasier because Ionly had one childitmade iteasierwith the dog because there wasalwayscompanionshipand Dianawenteverywherewith Dick.Dorawentback to workwhen Dickwaseightyears old. She worked in alocal store forawhile butbecause she was good in bookkeeping in schoolshe picked itup and ended upworking in an officedoing bookkeeping. Doracontinuedworkingaftertheymovedintotown andagain aftertheymoved to Dora’s currenthouse in Vancouverwhen Dorawasabout8732 yearsold. Both Doraand herhusbandworkedvery hard. SometimesDorawouldwork “12hoursaday justdepending. It.wasall to do with thework. . . . I workedwhathourswereneeded.” Dora’s husbandworked long hourstrying to establish hisown business.Reflectingback on thoseyears togetherDorasaid:We had averyhappy life, ahappylifestyle. We workedthaterawhen you livedin aneighborhood like thiswith alittle house andyourtime,when we came backtoVancouver to liveofcourse, andyou spentyourweekendskeepingitlooking nice,paintingand doing the lawns. Anditwasthe pride ofyourlife to ownahouse and keepitnice, We’ve always grown avegetable garden... . Andwe didon thefarmand so wecannedandfrozevegetables and did everythinglike that. My husbandwasn’tmuch forgoing to the beach or camping. Well hewas sixyearsin the armyandhe said I campedand I livedwithoutafridge orstove and Fm never going back to thatagain. Aftersixyearsin the trenches, hewasin theinfantry,he saidno we’ve gotahome andwe’regoing to make themostofourhome.Dorasaid they hadalways lived in ahouse because herhusband had“livedin an apartmentasachildso he neverwantedto livein an apartmentagain.’During theirearlyyearstogetherDoraand herhusband did nottake anyholidays.‘When we wereyoungerwe were too busy basicallykeeping thewolffrom the door. Itwasnecessary to work.. ,.We had a contented life, always building forthe future.” To Dora’shusband “relaxation washishome.”In those daystheirlifestyle consistedofworking hard,raisingtheirson, andspendingtime togetherwith Diana, takingherwhereevertheywent.When Dorawasabout 37yearsoldshe had to putDianato sleep. Dora cried asshe saidshehad beenveryattached to her,Recalling herdeath Dorasaid:Wellwe had to have herputto sleep because she had canceratthe end butshe wasprettyold. She wasabout 13. Andyou knowwhatcrumpetsare,English Crumpets the thingswith the little holesin the top. We used to have themforbreakfastandwe’d taken herin88to thisvetandwe were eating breakfastthe nextday and I can see us nowwe wereallcrying and the tearswere falling on the crumpets. And I don’tthinkwe everatecrumpetsagain.Doradid nothave towaitverylong before gettinganother dog. ‘In acouple ofweeksmyhusband picked me up fromwork. Well he said go andlookoutthevindov.And he had beento the pound and got apuppy.” Dorawasdelighted butherhusband didn’tunderstandit. Hethoughtitwasgoing to be justlike Diana.”Dianadideverythingwe said, We would say be an Indian dog andshewouldcrawl. Shewould crawl acrossthefloorand oh dear myhusband thoughtthisnew dog was going tobe exactlythe same. Shewaseventually butnotas an eightweekold puppy.Dorasaid getting anotherdog so quicklyafterDianahelpedher getoverherlosseasier.She said, “I wasokay, butitwasmyhusbandthatcouldnever, heneverhadthe loveforSarathathehadforDiana,” Thatwas because:Dianaknew things. She knew the soundofhistruck. She knewwhen hewas comingandeverything. She knew so much. I can remember somebody coming tovisitandsitting in a chairand theywere coldthere and I gave hermy cardigan towearand Dianasat beside her the whole evening becauseshe knewitwas my coat.Partof thiswas because:Dianawentwith usmore. We gotwisewhenwe gotSara, The thing is too we were on thefarmand then wewentfromthefarm up to aplace called Bralorne to liveso wheneverwe gotin the carDianagotin too. She used to layon the floor bymyfeetand I knewsheused to edge over to Ben. Andeventuallyshe used to geton the footthatwasnearthebrake andhe used to tellher to movewhile hewas putting on the brake butshe used totry to getcloser to him. Butshewenteverywherewith us. So we decided thatwhen wegotanotherdog we weren’t going to do this because we couldn’t go outwithoutDianayousee. So Saragotleftathome more, So she didn’t go in the carthe sameway.Even though she had anotherdog Dorasaid, “I still missedDiana because she had been older.”89Sarawasalightbrown,short-haired, female boxer. Saradid not gettaken outverymuchforwalksbecause they lived in town and both Doraandherhusbandworked. As aresultSara“wasalwaysfat.” Reflecting on thisDorasaid, “I feelabitguiltythat I neverwalkedSara.Butthen by the time I’d workedand gothome, and then I had mealsto getand allthattype ofthing. But I wasalways busythatiswhyshe gotfat.” Because theylived on the farmwhentheyhadDiana “she didn’tneed thewalks. She gotallthe exercise she needed.”DorahadSaraforabout 12 yearswhen she had to be putto sleep. Dorasaiditwasharderlosing Sarabecause “Sarawasmore mydog. Ben never took to herthe same way. Theywerebothverymuch my dog butDianawasmuch more histhan Sarawas. He took more interestin Diana.” Reflecting back on her loss Doracriedas she said, “Itwasterrible for me whenSarawentbecause we never gotanotherdog.” When Dianadied they “used to talk aboutthingsshe did” because theyhad Sara “to keep us busy and to love. Butwhen Sarawentitwasalonelyhouse and nobodythere to greetyou.”InitiallyDorasaidshe had been more attached to Sarathan to Dianabutthen she saidthatshewas justattached to them “in differentways” because theyhaddifferentpersonalitiesandshe had thematdifferenttimesin herlife. She loved them both because“ofthe companionship” and “just because theywere dogs.” Other positive aspectsassociatedwith them included, “Theywere alwaystherewhenyou came home and pleased tosee you,jumping up. To me ahome is notahomewithoutadog.”Dorasaid, “Having adog wasalwayspositive.” She added, “Dogs don’tansweryou backandadog is alwaysfaithful to youwhateverhappens,” Aswell, Dorafelt“you getalotofpleasure outofthem,” She also feltthatallofthese companion animals:made me more considerate ofotherpeople, unselfish becauseyou have to consider them.And I feel thatwith other people. , . Ifakid came to the door selling something I wouldhave to buy itnotbecause I wanted itbutbecause I think thatpoor kid ifI say no thatwilldisillusion himforthe restofhislife, thatstyle, that’sthe thought. I feelitallcomesfrombeing considerate towardsanimals.90Doradid notconsider the costofkeeping DianaorSara to be anegative thing because “inthe pastwe didn’tgo to thevetorhave shots. Therewas justthe dog food tobuy.” Aswell.because theyalways lived in theirown home Dorasaid,“Housing andhavingadog wasn’taproblem.”Doradid considerworking andhaving adog to be a bitofaworry:Oh reallyitwasn’tverygood because theyhad to be shutin. I don’tlike dogsannoyingotherpeople. I could.n’Lleave adog outbarking. I couldn’tleave adog tied up orthattypeofthing. You thoughtofgetting home to themwhentheyhad been shutin thehouse. Itwasatie. Itwasaworry.The dogs didnothold them up from travelling becauseherhusband could notleave hisbusiness so he would look afterthemwhen Doraventto England. They did, however, “stop usfromdoing thingsunlesswe could take the dog with us. Butthen we didn’treallywantto goorwe couldn’tafford to go thatstyle.”In talking aboutDiana andSara, Dorasaid, “I rememberthe dogs I had in Canadamorereallythan thoseearlyonesbecausetherewasalot more goingon in mylife in thosedays.”Butin relation to those earlyyearsDorasaid, “I can see therewere alotmore dogsI nevermentioned butyou knoweven when I think ofpeople in the past I see theirdog.”Doradid not getanothercompanion animal untilShastahercurrentcompanion animal.Dorasaid partofthiswas because “we were so upsetwhen Saradiedandwe didn’twantto gothrough thatagain.” Dorasaidittook ‘along while” to getoverherloss “becauseshe used todo things.” She added, “Well did weevergetoverit. We didn’treally. I would saythat’sit, wedidn’treally. We still used to missher.” Therewereotherreasonswhytheydid notgetanotherdog. “We gothouse proudthateverythingwas perfect. Nothing was outofplace. Sowe didn’tgetinvolved. We were selfish.” Aswell, Doraworkedandher “husband’s businesswasverydemanding andalso myparentslivedin Englandandtheydiedaround 1980and Iknewmy brotherhad diedand I knew that I had to go over and look afterthingsyou see,And itwasdifficultforhimlooking afterthe dog.” Theyalso “wanted to travelandadog was91alwaysgoing to be atie,” And, “Therewereotherthingsin ourlives.” So although they, andespeciallyDora, wantedanotherdog itwas too impractical to have one. ‘Butwe grew away. Itwasn’tthatI didn’twantadog oranything. Life waseasier. 1 justthoughtofthe extraworkitwould be butofcourse really 1 waswrong as I found out.” Dorasaid:I always used to say I wish we hadadog again butitwasalltheworkinvolved really.Keeping the dog hairsand all thatandwalking them. And itwasbecause ofbusinessandme working we justweren’table to have an animal.Dorasaidthatherhusbandwasaman wholiked to have aperfecthouse:There wasn’tamarkanywhereand I guess this is because my husband wasCanadian andhad these ideasyou see. He didn’tlike dogs peeing on the lawn oranything to makepatches. That’s 1 thinkone ofthe thingsBen washappiestaboutwhen Saradied becausetherewere no more brown patcheson the lawn.Dorasaid she had notconsidered this to be aproblem.Doramissed havingan animal. “Itwas horrible coming homeand therewas no dog tomeetyou... . Coming home to an emptyhouse is dreadful.” Latershe added, “The dog alwaysgreetedyou. Theywerenevermadatyou. They were always pleasedto seeyou andtheyneverberetyou foranything.”In theyearsafterSaradied exceptfor “alittle dog nextdoor” thatDoraandBen used to“make afussof’ theirlifestyle didnotinclude verymany companion animals. AfterSaradied theirlifestyle changed to include more travelling. Dora’s husbandliked gambling:He liked Las Vegas. So three timesayear, andin lateryears,we would go foralongweekend to Las Vegasthingslike that. Andwe have haddriving holidaysdown toCaliforniawhere ‘we always endedup in Reno and Las Vegasand that. We dreamedoftravellingwhenwe wereolder.Doraalso wenton holidayson herown. “I actuallyhave done alotoftravelling. Butmyhusbandwasverymuch involvedwithhisbusinessandyou couldn’tleave itfor more than aweek.” Dora“wenthome toEnglandeveryyearortwo to see my parents” whereshe92generallystayed foramonth. She also wenton “longer holidayswhen I wentto Australiaand thingslike thatforthree months.”One reason fornotdoing alotoftravellingwasthattheywere both economical:We hadaverycontented life, always building forthefuture. We were economical. Imstilleconomical. I still can’tbuyforthe sake ofbuying them. Andweweresavingforourold age and that’swhytoday I don’thaveanyworriesabout old age or buying things.Thatiswhatwe aimedforandthisiswhatwe got.Doraalso describedhermarriageasaclose, happymarriage. Dorasaid,“Ben and I discussedeverything,. .1 knewhisviewsandacceptedthem . . ,because Ben and I had grown uptogetherourviewson sportsor politicswerethe same.”As ayoung couple they “used to go to the beerparlouranddance.’They also “were greathockeyfansatone time we had ticketsforeightornineyears.” Also, “Weused to go outforsupperalot to restaurantsanddifferentthings.” Although theyknewalotofpeople they didnot go outverymuch with other people.He wasneverone to mixwith otherpeopleverymuch. He washisown man andhe didn’tmixwith people afterwork. He had differenttheoriesthatifsomebody did somethingforyou then the nextthingyou knewtheywereasking you to do something forthem.Doraadded, “We dideverything together. I didnt go outwith the girlsor go to showswithother people orthingslike that.”When Dorawasabout57 yearsold herfather passedaway, Becauseher “motherwassemi-crippledand she couldn’tgetaround” Dorastayed inEnglandfortwo months to settlemattersandhelp hermother, The followingyearDorawentback toEngland to help hermothermove into anursing home butshortly aftershe passedaway so Dorastayedfor sixmonths. ‘I had to sell the house and getridofeverything so I wasthere sixmonths.”Before she had gone to England she said:93My ideawasthat I had quitworkbutwhen I wentback I found that they had beenkeeping thingsgoing ready forme to come back and putitallrightagain. Thatwasin1980 so I worked until 1982.Aftershe retiredDora.“quitandwentto Australiaforthree months.”Then in 1986 after43 yearsofmarriageDora’s husbandstartedgetting strokesandDoratook careofhimathome. The processofgetting another dog startedaboutayearlaterbecause ofherhusband’s condition and because some friends came overwith theirdog:I’ve gotafriend, she isaJapanese girlandshe ismarried toafellowandBen andhewere friendsand Beth and I were friends. ButGord diedyearsago and theyhave asonnamed John. Well thisChristmas, myhusband had hadstrokesand people reallydidn’tknow too much aboutwhatwaswrong they didn’tunderstand ittoo much. Anyway thisChristmasBeth phoned couldwe come overto see you andso Beth andTim herboyfriend,and John and hisbrotherJake andDee and the two kids came. Andwhen they came theyhad gotten thisDalmatian Isy, and he musthave been ayearand ahalfold. Well he cameto Ben. Ben had lostthe use. . of hisfingers. Hisbrain was damaged. When he had thisattackthing he had lung failure, hisheartstopped five timessohisbrain wasdamagedyou see. . . . And thisdog wentto himand Ben wasstroking like thisso John and Deethoughtthisis justwhatBen needs isadog. You know he could stroke itand itcouldsitbyhimandall this. So going home they talkedofthisso Beth phoned the nextday.Theywere living in Lillouetthen. So they talkedaboutitandBeth phonedme and told me thisand they knewwhen itwasaDalmatian. They didn’tknowthatI loved Dalmatiansbuttheysaw itwhen they came here. I said to Beth I need adog likeahole in the head but Ican neversay no. I wantedaDalmatian all mylife. So John said well there isalitterduein May and we will go to see thisMrs. King. And then I neverheardany more until theend ofJune, well the first‘week in July. And therewasaphone call. And assoon as IhearditwasBeth, heardBeth’svoice I said you gotit. She said we’ll keep herdo you wantagirlandall this. 1 said oh no I’ve alwayswanted aDalmatian. Butreally in some waysit94was the biggestmistake ofmylife because the dog was completelydifferentto Isywithall thisenergyshe hadshe wastoo much for myhusbandreally. Butthis ishowwe gother. They came oneday and I can see thislittle face looking outnow. And we hadahome thatdidn’thave amarkanywhere and she justpiddledall thewayacrossthe floorwhen she came in. Anyway that’showwe gother. I paidforherand I gave themextramoney.So after beingwithoutadogfor 17yearsDora gotShasta. Shewasan eightweek old femalepurebredregisteredDalmatian, Beth had calledherDailybutDorawanted to callherShastabecause ofthe Dalmatian Shastaon the farm thatshe hadfallen in lovewith in herchildhood.In talking aboutfirst getting Shasta, Dorasaid, “IfJohn hadn’thave broughtShasta Idon’tsuppose I would have hadanotheranimalasmuch as I’d wantedone.” Doraalso saidthat:Atthe beginning itwasaterrificadjustmentgetting used to adog in the house. And Ithink had myhusband nothadthe brain damage he had that I don’tthinkhewouldn’thave even consideredthembringing Shastahere. No itwas justthe circumstancesthathismind didn’twork too well. He wantedher too yes butbefore he had the trouble hewould never I don’tthink condescended to have adog again. He would sayall theworkandwalking it. Shastahas been a completelydifferent dog to all the otherdogs. . . Butyou’ve gotto changeyourlifestyle completely, thatiswhat I say now. I’ve gotto take thebetterofthe two evils,whatdo I want. Do I wanta clean housewith nothing outofplaceor do I wantthe companionship ofadog. I can’thave both.Although theyhad gotten Shastathinkingshe would be good forBen, she was too energeticfor himand “she used to scratch him. She didn’tmean it. Well he hadverythin skin. Andshe’d justgo like thatand itwould tearhisskin.” Doraadded, “Atthe beginning itwasaterrificadjustmentgetting used to adog in the house.” Becauseshewasso energeticDora95would take heroutforawalk three timesadayfor “an houror something” each time so “ittiredherout.”But getting Shastawas, asitturned out, a goodthing forDora. “In lots ofwaysitmadelife easierforthewalking becauseyouwere sortofsharingyouraffection.”Italso helpedease thestrain ofcaring forherhusband. “I used to go forawalkwith thedog when thepressures gota bit great.’ Doraadded, “But itwashavingherthere the companyandtheaffection.” Having hercompanionshipwasparticularlyappreciated because “Benhad beensickfor quite awhile” andthey “gotawayfrom” people.Dorasaid Shastawasmoreherdog:Hewasveryfondofher butno shewasmy dog because I had to lookafterher. Ithinkthat’show itworks, the one thatfeedsherandwalksher I think that’show.No she wasdefinitelymy dog. Butshe wasveryfond ofhim too. She used to getup inthe bed andnuzzle up to him.Doraonlyhad Shastaforayear before herhusband died after43yearsofmarriage:He reallyjustdrifted awaysortoflike an old soldierhejustgotweakerandweaker. Itwasn’tashock, I expectedit, I knewit., . .AlthoughI mean hewasn’tbedriddenorsickoranything andreally I hadnursed himsayfor twoand ahalfyears.Even though Dorahadexpecteditand because herhusband “had been sickfor alittlewhile”and alotofthings “hadbeen adjusted,” itwasstilla big adjustment.Dorasaid:When you lose yourdog theotherthingsare allrunning smoothlyand soyou justgetanotherdog to replacethe oldone, it’sonlythe loss. Butwith losingahusband it’smuchmore involvedthanhis companionship. Everythingchanges. Because thisiswhatI’vereallysaid to people, untilyou’ve decidedthisisawhole newlifestyle I’vegotto startafresh it’sno good to keepharping back ifBenwashappyifthishadn’thappened.You’ve gotto settleyourmindwith the ideathatyou’ve gotto startafresh on anewlifebyyourself.96Shastadid notseem to be affected byhisloss. “She didn’treallynotice thathe wasmissing. She was too young I thinkforthat.”In Dora’s case though because herhusbandhad been sick, “he hadbeen atrialin away foragoodyearand ahalfand so itwasalmostabitofarelaxation.” Afterwardsherfriends said:You were so patientbut how much longer could yougo on. You can only be patientforso manyyears andthen you startgetting bitter because you are burdenedwith this. AndI knewwhattheymeant. I could understandthatbecause itwasagreatstrain.In speaking aboutthe transition to widowhoodDorasaid:I justfelt I was luckythewaythingsturnedout. We both workedhard butheworkedhardandhe was generousandyethe savedforour old age. I knownovhe had agreatattitude towards life. I maynothave thoughtso atthe time. ButI don’tknowwe werealwayshappy andwe were contentwithverylittle andI suppose we weren’tgreedyandwe didn’twantforalotofthings. No I had averyhappylife. That’swhy I can’tgrievenow I mean I findthewomen that complain are the onesthatweren’thappy because Ithinkthey cantmake itupany more. I don’thaveanyregrets. This iswhatwhendifferentpeople talked to me afterBen died I said I don’thave anyregrets. Helived hislife andwe werehappy. He didwhathewanted to do and he achievedwhathewanted toachieve. I mean you can’tturn back the clock. You can’tbring them back again so whydo alotofmoaning and groaning.Doraadded:Atthe time ithappened Ben was sick butunderneath itthis iswhat I kepttelling myselfjustthe same asalladjustmentsevenwhen Ben diedyou had to thinkofthisthatyoucouldn’tkeep looking backyou got to decide it’s anewlifeand lye gotto lookforward.During thistransition Dora believeditwas importantnotto make anyrash decisions:Atthe timewhen Ben died I knewthatit’s importantto stay inyourhouse foraboutayearand I wasalwaysagainstall these people thatsold up andmovedand theyhave had97nothing buttrouble, Looking back nowitwould have beenaverysilly move to moveintoan apartment.Thistransition timewasmade easier byfriendsandotherwidows:Butyou findwhen you become awidow thatnearlyeverybodyyou knew is awidow sortofthingand so you compare. People sortofgatheraroundyou in thatway.Nov that’sperhapsthat’snottherightway to putit. The people you can talkwith are widowsbecause theyknowwhatyou are talking about. You can’ttalk to awomanwho’sstill gotherhusband because she says I understand butshe doesn’t understand, she can’tunderstand. . . . Notthat I don’tstillhavethe same affectionsformyfriendsandallthatbutitiseasier.. with widows, you have more in common... AndI think thatwas it Igotto knowalotofpeople andalotofpeople gatheraroundyou sortofto tryand adviseyou how it’s going to be and thingslike this. But I reallyfeltmyselfwithall these peoplethat I gotover iteasierthan they did. And I alwaysfelt I gotoveritbecauseI had Shasta.BecauseofShastaand takingherforwalksDorasaid:Because ofShasta I mean itmightofbeenverydifferenthad I nothadShastabutbecause I had gotShasta I had made all theseyoung friendslike all thesepeople I knowaroundhere thathave dogstheyare allsortofthe fortyish age group,theyare notoldpeoplewith dogs. And theyall took an interestin me andtheyallpopped in to see meand to make sure I wasairightandanything they could do and companyand sitand talk.And perhaps I don’tmean thisis so, butperhapshad I nothad them I wouldhave beenlonely.Shastahelped to make thistransitioneasierin otherways aswell. Dorasaid havingShastawasasource ofcompanionship. “Reallyitwasthe mostfortunatething in mylife thatI did have Shastabecause she has been such acompanion.”And she wasalso asource ofcomfort:I justknowthatshe wassuch a comfortto me. I justknowI was so glad I had Shasta. Ihad to write and telleverybody inEngland. I had to write to alot ofpeople, itwould be98up around70 to 80 letters beyond the thankyou’sand thingsbuteverybody I know Iwrote to all the dog lover people andsaid I don’tknowwhat I would have done if I hadn’tofhad Shasta.Shastawasasource ofcomfortin that, “I wasn’tlonely. Therewassomebodyelse in thehouse. Somebody to do somethIng for. To go outforawalkand to feed herand to care aboutand to thinkaboutand to consider.’ Itwas also comforting to be able to “cuddle andstrokeher.” AndDorafound theirwalkstogethercomforting. “I did morewith mydog because thatwas my comfortin asense. I sortofwalkedfurther... I wentoutwith hermore and I mixedwith people with dogsmore.”Because ofthese thingsDorasaid, ‘With me theattachmentgreystronger. She almostreplacedBen the affection that I showedBen I showed to her.” Several commentsDoramadeillustratedhowmuch itmeantto herhaving Shastaduring thistransition. Dorafeltthatshegotovertheloss “easierand faster” because ofShasta, Later she addedthatshe hadsaidatthetime:I need adog like I needahole in the head butwell then myviewshave changednow.You see like wewerewithoutadog for so long. As I said we didn’twantthe messin thehouse and thatagain we didn’twantthe problems. Butasitturns outitwas the bestthingthateverhappened to me. Having Shastawhen Ben died I couldn’thave askedforanything better. It’s funnyhowthingsworkout.With tearsinhereyes Dorasaid, “I hadaveryhappylife that’swhy Shastameansso much tome. I don’tknow how I wouldhave gotten on withoutShastabecauseshe took Ben’s place.”Speculatingon whetherornotaperson should getadog when theyare initiallywidowedrequiredmuch reflection. Dorasaidifyou did nothave adog “it‘was easierwhen you wanttogo away. Andhad I nothad adog I would have done alotoftravelling. Anditisnoteasytokeep leaving the house.” Buthaving Shastaduringthattimewas good because ithelped tomake the transitioneasierand “Shasta has been a big excuse because 1 have been able to sayto people no I can’tcome I’ve gotthe dog. ... 1 am much betterfornotgoing.”99In general Dorafeltthataperson should ‘waitalittlewhile” before gettingadog:No I don’tthinkitwould be agood idea, notrightatthattime. IL mightwhen theinitialsortofmourning periodwasover, maybe afew monthswhen you’ve adjusted,whenyou’ve accepted it. I mean 1 believe firmly ittakesfiveyears to getoveralosswhicheverway itis, achild,oradivorce, or ahusband. ItLakesalong timeandwilloften come back andhityou when you don’texpectitatall, butand everybodyisdifferent. I found thatby myexperience alotofpeoplewho weren’tveryhappilymarried makealotmore fussaboutitthan people whowerehappy. So no I don’treallythink personallyitwould be agood time to getadog because I thinkalittle whileafterwards. While even to startwith you are notlonelyforalong while. Atfirstyou’vegotall the arrangements to lookafter, while thisdependsupon who you are I mean somepeople theirkids come and do everything, but mostpeople have things to do like thefuneral to arrangeandlettersto write and thankyou notesand all thattype ofthing.Thattakesalotof time and it’snotuntil thatisalloverand thengraduallyithitsyou Iamhere allalone. And I would thinkthen,I mean some people ittakeslongerthanothers but I would think then would be the time to getadog, when youstartto feellonelyand needsomething to occupyyour time, of course some people findotherthingstooccupytheirtime like parttime jobsorsomething.Dorathoughtthatafteryou “settleyour mindwith the ideathatyou’ve got to startafresh onanewlife byyourself” that“thisis the timewhen I would thinkifyou didn’thave adog wouldbe the time to getone because that’sthe way I lookattime. Itwasawhole newlifestyleforme.”Doraalso thought“alotdepends on the person maybe.” And “thatwould all depend onwhetheryouwere adog loverornot., . . I wouldn’tadvise people whoweren’tdog loverstohave adog.”Doraalso feltstrongly aboutpeople notgetting adog foryou because “thenafterafewmonthstheymightnotwantit.” In thissituation, “Itisthe dog you arehurting.” She added:100Maybe the children could helpin thatway andsaynotice howthingswere going and saymom I thinkwe should getyou adog orsomething like that. And the mothermightsayno. Butalotdependsupon the ageofaperson andwhattheywantto do with the timeandtheirfinancialsituation. Not I wouldn’tthinkrightaway. I mustadmitthat. Andfordog loverssoonerthan people who neverhad dogs.Dorahad quite abit to say aboutwidowhoodaswell:When you areleftalone thefirstthingyou’ve gotto learnreallyisthatyouve gottostandup foryourself, standon yourown two feetanddo whatyou want. And I knowwith myhusband’sestate I asked Dickthingswhathewantedandoh goodness one dayhewould sayone thingandanotherday hewould sayanotherso I thoughtto heckwith thatI’m justdoing what I wantto do ifyou can’tmake upyourmind. Butyou do you becomeindependent. You have to otherwise I guessyou getunhappy. You have to makeyourown decisionswhereas beforeyou’venevermade yourown decisions,you’ve talked themover. . . unlessyou marryagain orsomething Like thatit’sdifferentorifthereareotherpeople involvedwithyourlifeifyourfamilyliveswith you orifyou’ve gotmorechildren, butifyou’re alone you’ve gotto makeyourown decisionsanduntilyou do Idon’tthinkyou’rehappy. Although sometimesit gets testy becauseyou’ve got to makeyourown decisionsbutyou do. Well I thinkyou are abetterperson for it. You getusedto it. You’ve gotto be able to standonyourown feet. And asyou getolder too yourminddoesn’tmove so quicklythe decisionsdon’t come to you so quickly. It’syourreaction tothings. Butthey’rethethings I would sayaboutwidowhood.Therewereotherthingsawidow had to learn to decide aboutasveil:Even to buythings,yourown clothesoryourfurniture oranything like that. You haveto decide itall byyourself. . . . The financestoo. I mean theymightsaywellwe can’taffordthatbutwhen you are aloneyou’ve gotto makeyourova decisions to startwithcan I afford it.Dorasaid she found itimportantto have people she couldrelyon in anumberofareas:101Anotherthing 1 foundwasveryimportantto me was to haveaplumber, apainter,anelectrician, and somebody to cutmy lawns, people you couldrelyon * . . otherwise likeapainter could come and fleeceyou. That’sallsomethingyou’ve got to learn on your own.1 tend to be trustworthybutyou’ve got to thinkof people coming in yourhome,These daysyou thinkare people sizing up whatyou’ve gothere and laterare theygoingto breakin... Butyou are more dubiousof people, you have to be ifyou are alone in thehouse.Doraalso found that:In all those waysyourworkdoubles becauseyour mentalworkdoubles too, In my case Ineeded a good accountantanda good lawyertoo.. . Sothere isall these thingsaboutbeingwidowed thatmake adifferencelike that.Doradidnotexperience some ofthe negative thingsthatotherwidowshadexperienced:People told me thatmarried couplesignoredthemand that I didn’texperience that. Andtheotherthing I didn’texperience I didn’thave people making passesatmewhich wasanotherthingtheywarn you aboutthatotherpeople’shusbandfigure you mustneedaman. Maybe I wastoo oldormaybe I putthemoffbut I neverhadany problemlike that.Herfriends continued to inviteher to visitand ‘ito go to supper. People had been veryverygood to me in thatway... .1 geta lotofinvites, lots ofthingslike that. People bring methingsand do thingsforme thattheydidn’thave to do when Ben wasaliveandworking.”Doradidexperienceotherthingsthough. “Thething I experiencedwasalonelinessforconversation . . ,that’swhat I missthe most. Ben and I discussedeverything.” Although Doratalks to Shastashe said itwasnotthesame because “Ben hadviews.” Now therewas nobody toask aboutthe thingsshe could notremember. She missed talking to her husband becausetheyhad the same viewson issuesandshefelt “1 can’tsay thingsto otherpeople” because ofdifferingviewson things.Widowhood is also difficultbecause:102You are more busyfrom the pointofviewthatyou have to do everything. Thisiswhat Ifind. I mean I use thisasan example butmyhusbandalways took the garbage out. Thefirstthing I had to getused to was I had to take the garbage out, that’s an extrajob. And alotofjobsaren’twoman’swork, theyareheavier. Theyare heavy going sortofthing.And alotdependsupon, myhusbanddidn’tfixthingsin the house, butyouthinkifyourhusbandfixed electrical thingsand did thatyou can’tdo itthatmeansyou have to paysomebody to do it. And yourworkload doubles, . .ofcourseeverybody is different, lotsofmen theysaynever do anything butmyhusbandwe worked togetherallour lives.Itwasalso more difficultbecause:with my case too I didn’tdrivewhich meansextra. Butthen does it I meanifyou’ve gotacar to look afteritisthe same sortofthing it’sdouble theworkthere too. ButthisiswhatI found thatall the jobsaround the house you’ve got to do allofthem.Doradidnotfindwidowhood to be allnegative though:I don’thave to eatanything I don’tlike,andif I feel I wantashrimp sandwich I have ashrimp sandwich itdoesn’tcostmuch. I don’teatalotanyway. Of course this is partofmynaturewhen I wasyoung mymother was greatforbuying me I lovedBrazil nutswhen theyfirstcame in she would buy me four, or the firsttomatoes justone, Thatwasthe waywe livedover things, And thiswassomething myhusbanddidn’tunderstandwhen I firstcame to Canadawe were together. Buthe grew to be exactlythe samebecause that’s the way I like things. I can have one ofsomething I like,Other positive aspectsincluded, “You onlyhave to consideryourselfwhatyouwatch on Lv iswhat I wantto watch, , . . you can do whateveryou want to do.” Dorasaidwhen you aremarried:you livedforyourhusband so you didwhathewanted, Butnovit’salldifferentyoudon’thave to do these. When Ben wasalive hewasthe bossandwe always consideredeach other. We did everything togetheranywaybuthe wasstillthe boss. Butnow I haveto make my own decisionsand do my own thingssortofthing. Ifyou wantto go on a103holidayyou go where you wantto go andwhen you wantto go, you go to bedwhen youwantto and getupwhen you wantto, everything is lustforyou alone unlessyou marryagain orsomething like thatitsdifferent.LaterDoraadded, “Really you areyourown personreallyforthe firsttime inyourlifebecauseeven when you wereyoung beforeyou weremarriedyour parentswere in control,”Dorafeltthatwidowhoodwaslike childhood:I wentback to my childhood I figured because ofShasta I made allthesenewfriendsallwith dogs. And that’slikewhen I wasyoungyou see and I wasmy own boss again, I didwhat I wanted to do. .. . I have adog andlotsoffriendsand I onlyhave to please myselfwhat I do and thattype ofthing,Dora,said, “To me getting the dog was justawhole new lifestyle especiallywhen I wasalone.And this iswhy to me itis so importantto have an animal.” Dorasaidin widowhood herattachmentforShastagrewstronger “because itwasall I had. And I had more time forher.”Companionship wasalso important:becausewhen you had ahusbandto lookafter too theywere justmore work. Anotherperson to be considered. Butitis somebody to do thingsfor, to me anyway. A reason forliving because I find alotofwidows getverydepressedand complain aboutnothavingtheirhusband. Butwhen you’ve gotadog I don’tknowitfillsyourlife, There issomebodyelse to consider.Dorasaidshewas so glad to have the house and haveeverythingthewayitwasand to haveShasta’s company. “I don’tknow how I wouldhave reacted otherwise.” Dora cried asshe said,I used to saythatafter Ben died myhome is mysanctuaryandmy dog Shastais mysalvationBecause herhusbandhad been sickforawhiletheyhad gotten away fromalotofsocialactivities:We had grown away fromallthose thingsso theyweren’tthings I missedverymuch,And because ofhishealth situation even driving, we didn’t go fordrivesandthings. All104those thingssortofdied in the past. So there was nothing like thatthatI missed.Although I’ve heardofotherwomen whose husband’s had aheartattackand gonequicklyand theywere people who wentoutand did alotofpartying and then theyweresortoflefthigh and drybecause ifyou are aparty person andyouare alone nobodywantsyou. I neverexperienced that.In talking abouther currentlifestyle Dorasaid:I do grow agarden. i’veveryinterested in myvegetable garden. I’m notmuchforflowersbut I putafew thingsin.. . And I am a bitofamathematicianthereeverythinghas gotto be equalandeven andallthattype ofthing.Dora grows tomatoes, pole beanslike the ones thatgrowinEngland, peas, and corn. Becauseshe iseconomicalDorasaid, “We were economicallike I wasneververyinterestedin flowers.I’m interested in vegetablesbuti’m notso much on flowers. I putabitin becauseyou haveto.” Also because she iseconomical Dorasaid:Because I livedwith people here who bakedand everybody made theirown cakesandpiesand did theirown canning. Thatwasawayoflife and it’sstayed the same today.Istillcouldn’t go to the store and buyajar ofspaghettisauce. 1ve gotto make Itfromscratch because that’s the way it’s done otherwise I don’t.wantit.AnotheractivityDoraenjoys iswatching television:I do like tv, Tv isacompanionship justlike the dog is. I sortofalmosttalk to the Lv,. 1watchalotofthese programson tv. Well I tellyou I am one ofthose people thatifitisacrummyday I would turn the tvon. I mean I don’tworry I’m notoneofthose people thatsayyou mustn’twatch Lv in the daytime... . ButI like those educationand natureprogramson Lv. Andthereare alotofthingsthatyou can enjoyand people say to mewhere didyou hearthatand I sayoh I musthave hearditon the tv.ButDoradoesnotenjoywatching allnature programsaboutanimals. “1 getupsetaboutmoviesifI thinkadog is being, oran animal isbeing ill treated, ahorse ora catoradog. Idon’twantto watch thosethings. Even though I am adog lover I don’twantto watch those105things.” Dorasaid, I didn’Lwantto see thingswhereanimalsare going to gethurt.” Like herfather, Dorahad always been sensitive to the well-beingofanimals. She recalledseveralincidence fromher childhood:When I waseightorninewhen I came outofschoolI used to getthe bus. . . I used tohave to waitforher [mother] outside this store. Actuallytheysold grainsbuttheyoftenhad puppies. . . And thisone time mymotheralways used to tellpeople that I was cryingand cryingand assoon asshe gotthere, she wasalwaysabitlateI guessshe hadmetsomebody, and I would crydon’tyou leave me here again I’vehad to lookatthose puppiesall this Lime in thatwindow. . I was justso upset I wanted to buy themall.. . . And alsotherewasafilm... . I was probablyeightornine too. We wentto seethismovie withClark Gable And he looked in and thislittle dog jumped up and he walkedawayandthen he came backand he lookedatitand I wasyelling buy it, please buy it,please buyit, and mymotherwassaying quiet. Oh he mustbuyitI said. And of course he did. I’msurehe did. Butoh I was in an awful state. And even now thereisapetstore down onWestBroadwayand I sortofpeerin hoping I don’t.see any puppiesin there.Dorasaidshe also likeshearingaboutthe wayotherpeople live. Doraenjoys gettingtogetherwith hernextdoorneighborwhoisfrom Sri Lanka, “She tellsme so much aboutothercountriesand I find itallso interesting.” Aftertelling aboutthisDorasaid:The one thing I have foundwithoutahusbandI can be friendlylikewith Betty nextdoorand neighbors. I couldn’tdo thatnotwhen Ben wassick itwasdifferent, butwhen hewasnormalhewouldwantme home andustogether. He neverlikedthis going out. Andso Bettywill phone andsayhaveyou eaten supper come overandeatsupperwithus....Butwhen you have ahusbandyou are homewith him and I thinkofthatwhen I popovernextdoorwell I wouldntbe able to do thisifBen wasalive.Doraisalso busywith otheractivities. “Butthen thereishousework to do and shopping.Because I don’thave a carthingstake longer.” Dorawishedshe diddrive acar.“I learnedto106drive and I gotmy licence but I wasscared to drive.” Because shedoesn’t.haveacarDorasaid:To getplacesifitisin theevening, sometimesI see thingsI’ve forgottenwhat I sawtheotherdayand I thoughtI’d love to go to thatbutthen it’s seven to nineo’clock atnightand I’m too scaredofcoming home on myown, And I’m too cheap to take ataxisortofthing.Dorasaidshewritesalotofletters. She said she stillwrites to thefriendsshe had atschool.Also “we livedin amining camp andyou always knowthose people,you neverlose them,”Andshe also writes to “peoplefrommy old earlydaysin Canadawhenyou wereyoung andyour childrenwereyoung andyou made alotoffriends.”Although Doradoes quite a bitoftravelling like visiting relativesdown East, going to LasVegasforaweek, going back to Englandeveryfiveyears. or going on a big trip forthreeweeks to amonth everyyear, Dora said, “I’m abitofaloner. I like to be on my own.” Andsheliked to go on aholidayon herown. “The besttime I everhadwaswhen I wentto Austria....I wentoffon my own on the train andwith asuitcaseand I lovedthat, oh yes I justloveditgetting offone train andorganizingmywayaround,”Even though Doraisaloneritseems like afairamountofhertime isspentwith others.Many ofherfriendsfromherearlydaysin Canada ‘come and staywith me forafew days,” aswellas people she knowsfromEngland. “I’ve quite afew people come andvisit.” In factDorasaid, “In the summer Cindy down the roadkids me she saysisthe Henry Hotel openyet. Ihave quite afewvisitorsin the summer time.”Going on herholidaysisthe one thing Dorasaidshe doeswithoutShasta, “I don’treallydo too much withoutShastaunless I go on aholidayand putherin the kennel.” In relation toputtingherin the kennelDorasaid:Lotsofpeople say to me thattheythink I amwrong aboutputting Shastain the kennel.They sayitis much nicerforthe dog to be iii its own home. I thinktheyare probablyrightbut I feel more confidentwhen Shastaisin the kennel, I knowshe issafe and107she’s gotpeople who would knowwhatto do ifthere wasanythingwrong withher, andshe can’tsortofgetoutand geton thestreet... I say too thatthey knowherthere andshe knowsthemand I thinkthatis the kindestway. . . I know nothing can happen toher. She is quite happythere. She goes to aplacewhere theyexercise and they loveher. Theymake alotoffuss. My mind isateasewhen I knowshe isin the kennel. Andifyou have somebody in the house you also have to worry aboutthingson the housegoingwrong like thewashing machineand all that. So I thinkatleastthe houseisclosed up and I can forgetaboutitifI go away,Buteven though she said her mind isatease Doraadded, “But I feel that I have to brainwashmyselfofthe thoughtthatshe has to go once ortwice ayearshe has to go into the kennelbecause otherwise I can’t go awayanywhere’ Aswellshe said, “But I mustadmitpartwaythrough the holiday I sortofmissherand I wish I waswith her. Itsso nice to have hertocome home to. I can’t getoverthere quickenough to gether.”In ourinterview Dorahad alot to say aboutShastaand theirlife together. DorasaidShastahasalways been an active dog andlike Kippersheis “demanding” and “is the boss.”Because Shastais active Dorasaysshe still continues to takeherfortwo orthreewalksadayforaboutan houreach time. “I always go firstthingin the morningwhen I firstgetup.Andyou gearyourwhole life around this, IfI’ve gotan appointmentwell I’ve gotto getupearlyso the dog can go first.” Fortheireveningwalk Doralikesto take Shastato the park:I like to go outlaterwhen itislight. Late because ifyou go earlyallthe people areinthe parkplaying. Ifyou go a bitlater thenitsclearandthere isnotso many dogsaround, This is one ofthe thingsthatamazes me. I go outin summerorwintersay about8 o’clock, . or I can go outlater 9 or 10 o’clockatnightand I’m neverafraidwhenShastaiswith me. I go there and I walkallaround the park. It’s notthatshewoulddefend me I don’tknowwhatitis. ButifI was to go on my own andwalk aroundthe parkI would be scaredsilly. But I go, I neverthinkofit.108Doralikesto go to the parkwith Shasta,butgetsannoyedwhen peopleare inconsiderateofothers:Itannoysmewhen I go to the park andsomebodytakesup thewhole parkthrowing theball andthen all the dogs getaggravated....I’veoften saidvhata pitythere’snotafencedin areain the park thatyou could gowith the dogsandnotbeworried bytheseotherthings.When the parkis full, “Itmeansyou’ve gotto keep the dog on the leash allthe time. I do formy own protection andthatbut I likeherto have arun too. A dog needsto run,”Doramakessure Shastagetsherwalksrain orshine:Ifitis pouringfainyou’vestill gotto go. So the onlything to do is to buyalotofraingear. I knowshe’s gotto go out. Andifyou are sick, andfortunately I’mnotsickverymuch, butyou knowyou’ve still got to go. And they’ve got to do their jobsand thisisallpartofthewalk. You knoweven ifyou arehalfdeadyou’ve gotto go. Andoften thisisthe best thing to do,Doraconsidered thevalks to be apositivething:Health wiseitisthe bestthing thatcouldhappen. I mean itkeepsyou active. Theykeepyou young becauseyou have to walk. I mean I wouldn’t go outandwalkaroundthe parktwo orthree timesadayifI didn’thave Shasta. I might, sayanythinghappenedtoShasta, I mightsayatthe beginningwell I’m still going towalkandthiswould go on foralittlewhile andthen I wouldthinkoh I don’twantto go outtonightbecause thereisashowon tvoritsrainingorit’s cold orit’s hotorsomething. And thesame thingin themorning. I don’tconsiderit, I getoutofbed and getdressedand then I take her. I don’tshowerordo anything untilshe hashadherwalkyou see.Walking isalso positive in that:When I amoutwith Shasta I meetso many people. I’malwaysmeeting people so therearelotsofpeople around. Mostofthe people I’ve gotto knowareyoung. Thatiswhat109has made life so good forme because ithasbroughtyoung people into my life, whereasinstead ofmixingwith alotofelderly people all the time.Dorasaid these people “are people I can talk to andittakesthe lonelinessoutoflife.” Shefeelspeople are more approachablewhen they are with a dog. Aswell, the conversationsshehaswith these people are happy.Becauseyou’ve gotadog everytimeyou go outpeople talk toyou. Ifyou are alone theydon’tknowyou. But I mean I really never go outwithoutsomebodyhasalittle dogconversation. Nowifyou go to visitfriendsyou getpoliticsandthatsortofthing. And Idon’twantto talkaboutitbecause I don’tagreewithwhattheysay to startwith. Butwhen you go outwith adog you getdog talk,whatdoesyour dogdo andall this. Younever getpolitics. . . . You don’ttalkabout those things to people with dogs. You talkaboutdogsandthattype ofconversation. Youvery seldom talk aboutpoliticsor religionsorracesthatupset, everybody gets upsetaboutone way oranother becauseyou canneversolve them.. ,. Itis alwaysahappyconversation. Theseotherthingsjustgetyoudown, they make you miserable.Doraalso feelssaferwhen she’soutwith Shasta:I knowin the middle ofthe night, 10 o’clock and it’s jetblackand people willsayhiandhow isyourdog tonightorsomething like thatwhereasifyou were alone nobody, you’dcross the StreetSO you couldn’tbe nearthemor something. I feelsaferand I’m scared togo on myown.LaterDoraadded:Theactualwalking isa big job. Lotsofpeople hardly botherwith thatthey just go up thelane or putthemoutthe back.. . . I knowthatifI go outwith somebodyforthe evening,go outforsupper, wellthen I have to walkherfirst. These are all thingsthatotherpeople don’treallyunderstandthat. But to meitisimportant. Thewalking isveryimportantbecause I started heroffthatway.110Dorathoughtthat“lotsofdogsdon’tneed theexerciseShastagets. Lot-s oflittle dogs the yardwould be plentyofexercise.’ Dorahasarthritisin herlegsand because she can notdrive shecan nottake Shastaup to UBCany more:She loves to go to the forestas I callitup to UBC oh she lovesitup there. We used to gothere quite abit., butwith mylegsnowthey’ve gotweakerand I can’twalk thatfar, Iwould like to itgrievesme that- I can’t. You’ve gotto walk up therefirstandthen walkin. Butmy legshave gotbetteragain anyway. ButI like the exercise. The exercise isgoodfor me. I mean ifI didn’thave Shasta I wouldn’twalk. I wouldn’thave the friendsthatI’ve got,Itwasagreatconcern to Dorawhen herlegswerereally bad:I had agreat problem thisyear because I hadavery painfulknee,arthritistheysaid.Eventually I wentto the physiotherapistand I gottreatmentandexercisesanditisalotbetternow. But I stillhad to walkShastaanditwasveryhard because she is so strongandshe pullsand everytime I putpressure onmyknee itwasso painful. Thepain wouldshootup and down my leg but I decidedwellwhathad to come first. I had to leave thehousework, I had to leaveeverything else, Shastahad to haveherwalks. And thatiswhy I gotverydepressed because I feltifitdidn’tgetbetter I had to make adecision.Ieitherhad to getrid ofShastabecause I couldn’twalk....I’d have to have herputtosleep I couldn’tstand to thinkthatsomebody else hadherand I thinktheymightbecruel to herorsomething like that... .Butone thingthe physiotherapisttoldmealthough itis painful,walkingwith the dog is probably the bestthingyou could do togetyourleg better. - . , She said she advises people to getalittle dog becauseyou’vegot towalk themandthisiswhatmakesyou go out.Dora thoughtadog walker is a good ideabut “notwith her becausewell I guessifitwasa dogwalkerthatunderstoodher butshe’s so naughty sometimes.” Doralaughedas she said, “Insome ways I wouldn’tmindhaving apuppy again so I could bring itup properly.” Shasta is astrong dog and:111She pullsall the time. And ifshe seessomething food wise she can nearly pull you over,That’swhy I feel I couldn’thave awalker now, I wouldn’twith Shastabut I thinkifyourdog waswell behaved then I would. But I can see I thinkthatwould be averywise idea.from my pointofview. People are much happierwith an animal. Life would be dreadfulwithoutan animal.Dorathoughtthe costwould also be aconsideration for some people:I mean ifsomebodyis apensionerthey are too expensive. Unfortunatelywhen peoplegetolderthey getverysortofscroogyaboutmoney too because when you don’tearn anymore itisverydifficult to acceptthe factthatyou’vegot to spendyoursavings.Shastahas though “in the lastyearand ahalfreally changed completely becauseshe wasalwaysrunning away. If I tookher to the park andletheroffshe would run away.” Now,exceptifshe smellsfood, “she only goesacertain distance away andthen she’ll look back andshe comesracing backagain which isa boom.” Dorasaidafriendwho hasatrainedDalmatian “he didn’tthink I’d everkeep her. Butthen I would neverpartwith a dog. Icouldn’t give adog to anybody I don’tthink.” One characteristic ofthe Dalmatian istheirdifficultyin being trained:According to the dog booksthis isthe Dalmatian thatyou can teach themwhatyou likeand thinkthatyou’ve gotthemtrained butwhen it comes to ittheyare the boss, Theyare stillthe bossand they dowhattheywant. And I metaladywhen shewasapuppy.andthislady said theyhad two.,. . Thisladywassaying wellwe had two and mydaughtertook one and I took the other one to obedience classesandtheywerejustperfect, theywere the beststudentsin the class. Butwhen they had the testtheydidn’tdo athing,theyboth failed because theyweren’t going to be told whatto do.Anotherdailyactivityisfeeding Shastatwicea. day. Because Shastahadabladderproblemsince she was apuppyshe has been on aspecial diet:She wenton thisspecial food and she’snotto have meatandall that. Mind you she getsit.. , . There again you can’tconvince people. Like thisJoan shewill bring herbitsof112meatyou see. Well I justgive heralittle bitandwhen she’sgone I throw itall away. Butyou see Shastaknowsthatshe brings it. Butreally I don’t give hermeat, She’shappywith spaghettiandvegetablesand all that.type ofthing.Dora giveshervegetablesand cookiesastreats, There are severalreasonswhyShastaisspoiled. “Partofthe reason she gotso spoiled and gotbad habits is because ... my husband heused to feedheror give herthings,and to keep the peaceI used to give in to hersortofthing. And really feeding, thissitting byyou when you eat, itissuchanuisance and now Icantbreak her. I find itreallyhard to be unkind,what I think is cruel.It.isn’t I’ve beencruel giving herthings” And Dorawas theotherreason, “I shouldneverhave startedthiseither, giving hera bitofwhat I eatlateron.. , It’s gotten to be a bad habit. These are allthingswhere I waswrong” Because ofgetting too manytreatsDorasaid she is “too heavy”and “I’m justweakasfaras saying no to them.”Because by natureDalmatiansarescavengersDorahasahard time with Shastaaroundfood. On theirwalksshe pullsveryhard i.fshe seesorsmellsfood, Dorafindsitannoyingwhen people putfood outon the boulevard or throwleftoverfood outatconstruction sites:There is ahouse down here and itis averyneattidy house and they do a beautiful job butthey putall there old food outon the boulevardyou know back bitsand ham rind andthingslike thatfor the birdsand bones, But she picksitup and she’s gotitbefore Irealizeit... But to me it’sagainstthe law to putfood out on the boulevard butwhat canyou do aboutit I mean all you can do isavoid those places.Andathome she willsteal food. “She getsup atthe counterand eats things.” Doralaughinglyrecalledan incident:Well I don’tknow ifitwasfunny, butmy friend’schildren think itisfunny. Anyway, itmust be threeyearsago now andMarthahad asked me out to supperand I said. . I wouldmake Paviova because I had some canned passion pulp that I had broughtback fromAustralia. Anyway itis ameringue base and then you putwhipped creamalloveritandyou putfruiton top. Anyway I didn’tputitin thefridge because I never likedthem so113much when theyare ice cold so I putitin on the dining room table andI hadshutthedoor because I knew whatshe wanted. And something happened, somebody cameorsomething, and forsome reason the door gotopenedand she ate nearlyallofit. Shelickedall the cream, she licked itallout. Andyou know itwasa pie plate like this.Dorasaid she has to be careful with whatshe leaves outorwhatShastacangetinto. “I cantkeep potatoesunder the sink because she would eatthem alL” Doradidn’t. consider this to benegative because itisa characteristicofthe breed.“Other people wouldthinkitwasdreadful. But I can’tstop heranyway because itis food. If I doanythingaboutitshewouldgo forme because itis herwayofsurvival I guess.”Another characteristic ofthe breed is thattheyarevery clean:I don’thave to groom hervery much and she doesn’thave to be bathed. Dalmatianspreen themselves like cats, They lickthemselves so itsays in the booktheydon’t.reallyneed grooming. Andshe’s getting betternow, shewillletme touchher a bit. And I’malmostthinking I wonderifthey putamuzzle on herwhether I could haveherbathed. Idon’tbatheheroranything. Well she getsinto the waterin the park.Shastaalso rollsaroundin herplastic swimming pool in the backyard.Because ofhaving a big backyard Dora’sweekendsare always busywith other peopleand theirdogs:You see all these people come to myyard because they’ve gotnice lawnsand they can lettheirdog do whattheylike in myyard. Well nowifmyhusband‘was alive I wouldneverhave done that, But I findon Sunday, Sunday’stheworstday, Saturday too when peoplearen’tworking. IfI’m outside I can nevergetanything done because one after the otherarrivesand comesin foraminute and sitsand chats. And many thingstheyare alldifferentthingsthat I talkabout.Having these friends gives Doraan ease ofmindknowing thatshe could counton themifshereallyneeded to:114And I knowall these people would ifI neededanything would do itforme. But I figurethere mightcome adaywhen I would have to ask themso if I can walkand lookaftermyself I do. But people saywhydon’tyou letmetakeyou. butthe time comeswhenyou mighthave to do that. There comesatime when you will have to relyuponothersand this must be verydifficult. I don’tknow how I’llbe but itmust be.Because these people bringtheirdogsoverShastahas company on weekendsaswell. ‘Lotsofpeople drop in Saturdayone aftertheotherwith theirdogsandthey playin theyard. She isnotso good atplaying now butshe loved to play.”Shastais goodwith people:She is goodwith children although she doesn’twantto be bothered with them,Butwhenshe was little oh theywould all say can we pether. And nowshe has gotin the habitthatifshe is good shewant.s a cookie andshewantsto go nearthe ownersmore thanthe kids.Butwhen shewasyoungertheyalwaysused to make such afussofher. She doesn’t bitechildren ordo anythingwrong like that.., . But I am careful because I don’twantchildren to be scared byher. The kidsnextdoor come over but I always say I mustbetherewhen Shastais there because I would hate her to bite themandthen theyarescared ofdogsfor the restoftheirlives because I have neverbeen afraid ofadog in anyway.Another thing Doradoeswith Shastais talk to her. “She understandseveryword I saybecause I talkalotto her.” Athome Dorasaid, “I talk to her aboutthingslike Shasta I’ve gotto getthis cleaned up and I mustdo thewashing and thattype ofthing.” Doraalso talks toherwhen they go outfortheirwalks. “I seem to always be talking to her. When I go forawalkwith Shastaifsomething ison my mind I’m talking itoverthe prosand the cons.”Shastawillrespond to whatDorasays by lookingather, wagging her tail, running to thechair to look outthewindowifDorasaid she is going out, or getting excited andwagging hertailifDoramentions food.115In relation to thisDorasaid, “1 thinkEnglish people reallyaresillyaboutdogs. I am Iknow. I talk to herall the while. Perhapsthat’sall partof it.” Doradid notgetthis samefeeling aboutanimalsfromCanadians:There isdefinitely adifferentfeeling. , . . IfEnglish people are cominghere I neverhave any qualms I thinkoh theylove dogs. ButCanadiansalthoughI have been here alltheseyears I thinkoh I hope theydon’tmindthe dog. .. .English people are veryfondofanimals. You know treatthemmore like humans.DoraexplainedthatinEngland, “You don’thave plain carpets. You havedesigned carpetssomarksdon’t.showin the same way,” andthey ‘nevertake theirshoesoff.”Here, ‘mostCanadians take theirshoesoffwhen they go in the house” and “mostpeople have plaincarpetsthatanymarkwould show,” Dorasaid, “No it’s adifferentwaythatEnglish peoplelike theirhomes, That’swhatitwashere, therewasn’tamark anywhereand I guessthisisbecause my husbandwasCanadian and had these ideasyou see. He didn’tlike dogs peeing onthe lawn oranything to make patches,” Dorasaidanotherexample ofthe differencesbetween Englandand Canadais thatinEnglandyou couldtake dogson the train and in stores:My mothersaid I would ratherhave some dogs in storesthan I wouldsome people. Shewas mostindignantaboutsaying this,., ,Butthatis the differencehere, you wouldn’tdreamoftaking adog on the bus oron atrain unlessitwas crated.As wellDorafeltdogswere more accepted inEngland:I neverknewanybody in Englandwhere you didn’tknockon thedoor and take yourdogin buthere I wouldn’tdream oftaking my dog to other people’shomes. I don’tknowthere isa completelydifferentfeeling to me.Dorasaid she has “neverbeen much ofaone to play” with dogs. In addition to thewalkand talking to herDoralikes to “fondle, love them, and cuddle them,”Doraused to have to do alotofwashing because ofShasta, Rightfromapuppyshe usedto have abladder problemthatwhenshe wassleeping shewould relieveherselfandsoakeverything. Since being diagnosed she hasbeen onpillsthatcontrolthis problem. “But116because ofthe wayshe is getting up on things I do quite abitofwashing and thatforher.”Butnotasmuch aswhen she had herbladder problem. Dorasaid shevacuums “twiceaweek”butshe would do thateven ifshe did nothave Shasta. “She is quite good hairwise.Butmostpeople with adog have to vacuumeveryday because ofthe hairand thattype ofthing makesmorework... She is pretty clean, butlots ofdogs getdirtywhere they lay andwhentheybrush againstthe wall itallmakesextrahouse work,”In talking abouther lifestyle Dorasaid:Butasyou can see itfillsyourday., Basically I don’tdo very much withoutShasta. Thereason being the same old story. Shastadoes take up alotofmytime. Perhapslotsofpeoplewouldn’tmake adog so much work as I do.Doradid feel that, “I think adog makesmore work because you can’tsay to adog like a childdon’tjump on thisor don’t do that, orstayoutofthere. They gowheretheywantto.”Aftertalking abouttheir lifestyle togetherDorasaid, ‘Itjustseems to be just so muchpartofmy life. I would like to have more I know.” Atone pointDorahadsaidshewanted two,“I reallyfeltthatifI had two theywould keep each other companyandexercise themselves”butsome friendshad said, “theywonthearofit. They say Shastais too much foryou.” SoDoraneverdid getanotherdog to keep Shasta.company.In addition to Shastathough the neighbor’scatcomesover quite often. “Tia comes inhere all the time but I reallywish she wouldn’t. She getsallaround me andhair getsin mymouth.” Dorasaid, “I putup with cats” but “to be truthful I amstrictlydogs. I can be nice tocatsorthingslike thatbut I wouldn’treallywantthem. Itis dogs. Yesand I do love puppiesoh and theysmellso nice.” Dorapreferreddogs because “I think theyare betterthan catsthatroamallover the neighborhood anddig in your garden and thingslike that.” Aswell,Dorasaid, “I think maybe itis because theydon’tansweryou backorsomething or other. Buttheyare verydedicated anyway.” Doraalso thoughtthatitis because ofacertain feeling shehaswith dogs and she:117feels comfortable. I would probably be like a bitafraidofotheranimals. I don’tquitetrustcats. Well catsare adifferenttypeofanimalaren’tthey. Theyare veryindependentand theyare loners. Butno it’s hard to expressit. I would much ratherbewith adog thanwith childrenand thattype ofthing.Dorahasalso “lookedafter quite afewdogs here since my husband died.” One doginparticularshe used to take care ofquite abitwas Zac. She used to take careofhimwhen hisowner‘was away andtheywould often gettogetherandletthe dogs play.When itwas time tohave Zac putto sleep because itwas so hardon Jessy, DorabroughtZac overto herplace andhad him putto sleepforJessywhen hewentoutoftown. Thinking aboutthis Dora said:I knowitis hard to think aboutwhen I think ifanythinghappened to Shasta.... My ideawasthat I feelthatifI had to partwith Shasta I’d like to hold her but I don’tthink Icould.. But I knowitwould, gee itwould be an emptyhouse againIn addition to the onesshe hadalreadymentioned throughoutourinterviews, Doraidentified anumberofpositive aspectsassociatedwith Shastaandwithdogsin general. Shefeltthatdogs “made me considerate ofother people, unselfish becauseyou have to considerthem.” She said, “To me it’sveryimportantinlife I think to have an animalaroundyoubecause it givesyou something to live for. Even to getthe meals. There is companyalways.’Shastawas companyin manyrespects. She wassomething to do something withandfor,“It’s justlike having another body in the house,” “when yougo to do something theyarealwaysthere,” and by “having another body around not being lonely.” Doraadded:There is alwayssomebodythere pleased to see you orwaiting foryou when you comehome and humansaren’tnecessarilylike thatbecause ifyou are late home forahumanthey’ve beenworried aboutyou so assoon asyou come in theyreactto being madwhereasthe dog is justso pleased to seeyou.Doraliked the affection andthe “cuddling and stroking,” She said, “It’s something thatmakesme feel good, warm, and comfortable,, , .Having adog makesyou feel better,”In addition to feeling saferwhen going forwalksDoraalso feelssaferathome:118They do guardand theymake anoise ifsomebody comesnearthe house. They warn you,I probablyfeelsafer in the house because I knowwhen I take her to the kennel Ithinkoh Im going to be alone in the house tonight.Doraalso identifiedsome negativeaspectsassociatedwith Shastaor dogs in general. Dorasaid her “only real problemreallyis to go on aholiday.” She elaborated by saying;And I’ve adjustedto thatnow butitwashard atfirstwhen I used to takeherto thekennel, Once she is there I am okay. And I thinkifI drove and hadacarand could takeher I would be okay but I’m dreading itfor daysahead oftime.InitiallyDorasaid, “I would do more travelling.” Butthen added, “Yeah Iythatwhether Iwould ornot because there isfinancesinvolved too.” Aswell she said, “ButShastahas been abig excuse because I have been able to say to people I can’t come I’ve gotthe dog.’ She isagood excuse because, “I am asuckersort ofthing. I couldn’tsay no.”Aswell, itrestrictsthe length oftime Doraisaway from home. ‘I couldn’tleave hershutup in the house forhourson end. Thatwould reallyworryme.” Doraadded:Andreallywhen I worked I neverthoughtofleaving the dog all day butnow I wouldn’tdream ofleaving Shasta. I feel mean everytime I go out. Butthisis because ifyou goeveryday they knowyou are going outeverydaywhereasifI go outit’s quite ararityand I’m sure there is no reason why I can’tleave herforeighthours.Doradid say that, “I leave hermore now than I did.”Anothernegativeaspectishousing. Because she hasalwayshad ahouse Dorasaidthiswasn’taproblem. Butnowthatshe is getting oldershe said;I couldn’tmove into an apartmentbecause ofthedog... . I wouldn’tmove now because ofthe circumstancesbecause I have so manyfriends, and I needaplaceforthe dog. I usedto say I would go into an apartment. Ben used to feel we wouldhave to when we gotto a,certain age.119Dorawasn’tsure though because ithasalways been importantto herand herhusbandto‘own yourown home” and because Dorahas lived in herhouse foralong time she said shehasalotofmemoriesand itmeansalot to her.Another concern isifsomething happened to her, Doradoes, however, have people whowould help her. “Joey thisside he could come to do thingsforherin an emergencyand I’vegotquite afewfriends.” As well, Dorasaid, “Most people knownowthatifanythingwere tohappen to take Shastaover to the kennel.” However,Doradoes “worrythatyou’re going togetold and leave themalone.”When Shasta getssick is also abitofaworry:I finda problem isifthey getsick they canttellyou like ahuman whatiswrongwiththem. And I thinkyou need a good understandingvetwhich I have. But it’sratherworryingwhenan animal get.ssick because they can’ttellyou anything.Aswellitis a‘worrythatyou are “doing therightthing for them.”When Shastaishealthythough Dorasaid she does notworryabouthergetting sick eventhough she hasa bladder problem:I said I can onlylook atitthisway. I can appreciate thatI’ve hadhersixyearsandifanythingwaswrong with her I could acceptthat I had to partwithherwhereasperhapsother people couldn’tdo this. But I would ratherpartwith themthan see hersuffer.Related to thisnegative aspectis the factthat, “they don’tlivelong though. You do wish butthen it’ssomething you accept.”Anothernegative aspectassociatedwith Shastaisrelatedto herstrength. Because “she ispowerful anddartsoffsuddenly” thishas created problemsinanumberofsituations. Onetime itwasamajor problem waswhen itled to Dora getting hurt:myaccidentwith Shastaitwas two years ago lastFebruary. I have afriend I walkwith in the morning and I hadherdog here. She had gone down to Las Vegas andtheyhad come back thatnight, itwasaFriday, and so I took the two, shewas aShasta too,Shasta’soutandthatShastais aDoberman. I wasn’t going to take herhome andthen I120thoughtoh she would like to go and see hermotherso I walkedover to Ruth’s. And I putmy Shasta, I had putherleash over the fence and then I took the otherShastaup to seehermother. Well as soon asShastaheard. . . she started to do all thisbarking. SoI wentback down these wooden stairs and tried to stop herbarking butshewanted to seeRuthso I slid the leash offand forsome reason I slid itover mywrist. And she pulled, and youknowshe isstrong. And 1 twistedaroundand I landedon my kneesatthe bottom ofthestairsboom like thisand I was like thisand she was pulling and my headwentdown onthe stairs. I’ve gotabad knee still, And 1 smashedrightacrossthere[herface]. Thebone wasstuck out. This the nerve is cuthere and that’swhy I have funnyfeelingshere. But I had 16 stitches, AndRuth saysshe stillhas nightmares. She said I looked upand there was blood gushing outofmy nose and the bone sticking up.Butthatwas thebadexperience. Fortunately I apparently gotthe bestplastic surgeon in Vancouverandhe did awonderful job on my face.Dorasaid asaresultofthisaccidentshe is more cautiouswith her. “Butshe isaverypowerful dog. People don’trealize howstrong she is.”Herstrength isalso aproblemon theirwalkswhen she seesorsmells food she willnearlypull Doraover, And itis also a problemwhen theyare around little dogs,She doesn’tlike little dogs. She used to be very good butshe hateslittle dogs. , . . She usedto be fine butshe fights, she goesforthemnow,,, That’swhy I don’t like anybodyelsetakingheroutbecause I’m afraidshe will getinto afightwith them.Dorarecalledan incidentaboutayearago:She isunpredictable. You don’tknowwhatdogs she issniffing and thenrurrshe goes.And I think itisn’treallyfighting it’s probablyletting themknowwho is boss. Butpeople are so possessive oftheiranimalstheythink my dog attacks them. And I hadanepisodewhereshewasoffthe leash in the park over hereand alady came along she wasacrossthe road from me andherdog wason one ofthose extended leads, And I calledoverto herwhich wayare you doing because I thoughtifshewas going thisway I would121go thatway to keep Shastaaway from the dog. I was thinking butas I getolder I don’tputthingsinto practice properly. And she didn’tanswer me, perhapsshe wasdeaf.insteadofthatthe dog racedacrossthe roadand Shastawas in the fieldin the parkandof course when the dog raced over the road, itwas justalittle thing, she raced towards itand then she attackeditbasically Well of course this poorwoman was inaterriblestate.Well I was upset. And anywayshe reportedme to the poundand he cameand I told him.I told him I didn’tthinkshe was going to I mean because I said ifthere’sanythingwrongwith the dog I gave her my name andaddress and I saidyou know I’ll payforanythingbuttherewasn’tany sign ofbloodoranything like that. But I was reallyupsetbecausethe dog was justadearfriendly little dog and itwasShastathatwas nasty.Butyou knowhow friendlyshe iswith you. She isveryfriendly. So thisotherside ofheris sostrange. Anywayassoon as the guy came I saidoh yes my dog definitely did it. And Iwassorry. So he justsaid he had to give me awarning thatifithappenedagain thatshewould have to weara muzzle andalso ofcourse she wasoffthe leash you see.So thatiswhy I’m more careful now.Doraalso findsitnegativewhen people come overand Shastawill notleave them alone:You knowwhen people come to visitand she jumps up atthem and wants to lickthem....Itannoys me. . . . She does stop butshe’svery affectionate towards people and lots ofpeople I feel don’tlike it. They don’tlike touching dogs because they’ve gotto wash theirhandsbefore theytouch theirfood andall thisstyle ofthing.Dorafeltother people mightnotbe asunderstanding and considerthe Dalmatian’sscavenging characteristic to be negative. Dora said, “She’s gotamean streakunderneath”because “she wouldneverlet me take food away shewould attack me.” Ifshe picks up a bonein the park I’ve justgot to getherhome shes going to eatitone wayoranother,”Another bad habitDorafindsannoying is barking:I get crosswith Shastaaboutbarking. This is something thataggravatesme. Butwhenshe ‘wasyoungershe didn’t barkalot. Butwe have adog over the backandhe tells122Shastaeverything thatis going on so nowshe barks and tellshimthings. . . . I reallywish she didn’t bark butifyou have aprotection dog it needs to bark.She willalso barkwhen she wantssomething. “I never taughther to bark to getsomethingbutwhen Ken came to live with me that’s the firstthing he did andI’m notvery good attelling people notto do things,” Doraalso findsitannoying when shewants toleave heroutsideastore. “I’ve gotto tie her up outside then she doesall thisbarkingwhichisadarnnuisance.”Doradid notconsiderthe costofkeeping a dog to be negative:Well no because ofmyfinancialsituation they aren’tanyworry to me but theywould beyesif I was on limited money theywould be because vetbillsare quite high. And this isitaboutputting your dog in akennelthat’snotcheap either.. . and then I’ve got to getoverthere and back. Yesitis quite an expense. The dog food I have to buy isexpensiveit’s twice the price oftheotherone. I say it’s notsomething thatworriesme becauseofthesituation and I don’thaveotherexpenses. Nowifyou had ahusbandandchildrenitwould be a big expense. In fact I say thisaboutShasta she istreated betterthan alotofchildren. I spend more money on herthan lotsofpeople spend on theirchildren.Anothernegative aspectis damage. Onething isin relation to outside:Some people have alotoftrouble in their gardens, wetting on the lawn ordigging holes.I don’thave any ofthattrouble. The onlything she does isshewants to help me andthat’swhy I had to have the fence putup aroundthe vegetable garden because shepulledall the corn outand ateallthe beans, The firstyear,you knowhowyou see abirdwith aworm pulling it, wellshewaslike thatwith the corn. Andthen when I cutit backin the fall, butshe chewed itall because ofthesugartaste to it. Butshewants to help meiswhatitis. I lether come in the garden in the spring.Aswellshe used to pick the bloomsoffflowers thatwere in bedding boxes so Doraplanted lessflowersand putmostofthemin hanging basketsin the tree. “I justrealized I couldn’thavethingslike that. Butalthough itsaved abitofworkwith all the wateringin the long run.”123Shasta.also caused some damage inside aswell. Dorasaid ifshe can getaholdofthingslike egg cartonsorkleenexshe will tearthem up. Doralaughed asshe recalledan incident:The firstexperience I hadwith thisbusinessof pullingoutthestuffing waswith aboxofkleenexwhen shewasapuppy. Therewas aboxdownstairsin the bedroom. Shastawentdown there and I realizedshewas quiet. Itwasso funny I wish I could have hadacamerabecause shewasjust pulling themoutone byone andtheywere alloverandsheupsetthewhole box andas one came outanotherwould come upandtheywereallaroundher. And I’m kindofeconomical aboutthingslike that. I hatewasting things.And then she could getunder the bed so she racedand gotunderthe bed. I justregretneverhavingapictureofthem becauseitwas the funniestthing really. I was mad atherbutitwas so funnyso see these things.Dorathoughtthissortofthing wasfunnyratherthan negative:I don’tsay I’m right. I mean I think I amverywrong. 1 thinkwhen you read the booksthatdogsshouldbe disciplinedand theyshouldn’trun the house but thisdog runsthehouse. Butthen I’m thatwaywith children too. I’m notastrictmothertype. I couldnever be like that. I don’tlike upsets. I don’tlike arguments. I don’tlikeall thisdissentionand itis the same with adog. .. . They know thattheycan take advantageofme because she isdefinitely the bosswhen she makes up her mind aboutsomething anditisonlyif I getreally mad andyell thatshe knows.Shastawill also damage hertoys bychewing them. One time Doraboughtheratoythatwassupposed to be indestructible and “within two hoursitwasall chewed up. And thiswassomething theysaid oh shellnever chew this butshe justworked and workedandworked onituntilshe haddestroyed it.” DorabuysShastasoftplush toysand she chewson those so shecan pull the stuffing outofthem. “She didn’tdestroythem butshe had to chewatsomething,chewthe tag offor chew the nose off.” Aswell Dorasaid, “She takesthingsthatare mine likeshe takesknivesand chewsthe handle and things.” Andshe still takesthingsoffthecounter:124Yes thatisanegative butthen thatis bad training. That’s my faultbecause I haven’ttrainedher properly. This is the way I look atit. And itis negative in the factthattheyare an animal andyou can’tneglectthemitslike ahuman. Even achild can speak upandsay theywantsomething butwith adog you feel responsible and perhapsmore sothan achild inaway.Anotherwayshe causesdamage is by “rubbing herselfallalong the chesterfield andhe hadto do so much workon it. That’swhy I’ve gotthisthing on itbecause she rubsalong thereandscratchesher back.”Shastaalso scratchedthe windowseal anddamaged it. A lotofit Idamage] wasdonewhen she wasapuppy,” and “it’s all partofhaving adog,” Doraadded:Butyou knowshe chewedalotwhen she wasyounger. Butshe is good now. I mean somedogs do damage ifyou leave themwhereasshe doesn’tshe justsitsand looksforyou tocome home. Butyesit isaproblem butthere was alotofthings it’s like achildyou haveto thinkahead.In talking aboutall ofthese negative factorsDorasaid, “We owe them because we areresponsible forthem.” She added:I think people thathave dogshave them because theywantthemanddon’tmake hardwork ofit. I mean they adjustto all these problemsthatyou have. It’sonly people thatdon’tlike dogsanddon’twanta petthatdon’tadjustto things.Doraalso said, “I wouldn’tadvise people to getone thatdidn’tunderstand them or love thembecause of being cruel to them.” And:I wouldhave said to everybody getadog butnow I’m much more weary because I thinknoteverybody likesdogsorappreciatesthem. They getannoyedwith theminstead ofunderstanding thattheyare onlydogs. Theyarenothuman beings.. .. And itmightnotalways be a good time to getone especiallyifyou are going to be out alotandyou arebusy.125Dorasaid she isveryattached to Shasta. Dorasaid she expressedheraffection bycuddling and stroking, feeding her, and giving her cookies. Doraslove forShastaand fordogs in general is so strong she said:I like dogs more than children sortofthing. I’m nota child lovereitherbut I amdefinitelya dog lover I’ve neverlonged to have children or have alotofchildrenaround me butdogs I could have awhole lotofdogs and be quite happy.Because Shastameans so much to herDorasaid, “I sortofdreadwith Shastathe dayshehastobe putto sleep. I know the day is to come but I mustadmitthat I dread itcoming.’ButifShastagotsick Dorasaid she would puther to sleep:I’ve had six wonderfulyears thatifthere wasanythingthatitwas going to make herunhappythen I would have to puther to sleep. I wouldn’tmuckaroundanything thatcaused her pain or unhappiness because you can’texplain to adog to stay still yeconvinced myselfnow thatifanything happened to herthatcouldn’tbe helpedin anyway then I, you may think this is cruel to thinkof havingthe dog putto sleep but.. it’sthe lastkind deed you can do for them to putthem outofanymiserythattheyare in.Dorafeltlosing a petisverytraumatic and that“there is maybe notthe importance thatthere could be placed on “how difficultitis and howmuch itcan affectpeople.” Doraadded,‘It’savery traumatic time. . . . Itmustbe as big awretch aslosingyour husband because youmake them so much partofyourlife, Like I sayyou centeryour life around them,”Should something happen to ShastaDorathoughtshe would experience loneliness:1 mustadmitthatwhen I thinkaboutit I think, I’m greatforthinking ahead ofwhat’sgoing to happen anyway, but I do wonder how, you knowthe day is coming and I mean Ihope Shastawilllive to be13 or 14 but I sortofprepare myselffor the factthatwell I’vehad sixyearsso ifanything did happen thatitwould be averylonely life.Dorathought:126Itmustbe hard foranywidowifthey’ve hadadog andthen they’ve lostitbecause you’rebound to getolderand then you thinkoh I cantstartafresh again now, Or ifyou are inan apartmentitshard to train adog so itbehavesand doesn’tbark.Dorareflected on alotoffactorsasshe wasthinkingwhetherornotshe would getanothercompanion animalifsomething happened to Shasta:I knowdifferentfriendsofmine whose dogsare sick 10 yearsold andespeciallythe onewho’salab. And I knowCindywants to breedBopper so maybe she’d have one ofBopper’s puppies. I don’tthink I would do that. No I think I would juststartafresh. Ithinkyou become attached to any dog in time.. . . Especially ifyou had them asa puppy.They do grow on you. Even ifyou had amale andafemale andyou bred themso youwould have the puppies, they have their own personalities. AnotherPalmatian won’tbeShasta.Dorafeltthatwhile “Shastais mywhole life” so were Saraand Diana.So I’m sure when she is goneif I hadanotherone in time they getused to you. You arejustas attached to them. I’m notsaying you don’tlook back and say oh Dianaused to dothisorsomething like that but I thinkyou can adjustto itifyou letyourself, So manypeople fightthisall the time.Atthe beginning ofreflecting on whether shewould getanother dog Dorasaid:Well I say no now because thereagain about going back to the lifestyle ofwhen I didn’thave to worryabouta dog. I think I would try to getalong withoutone because ofthethingsthatworriesme would be supposingyou getold and decrepitand couldn’tlookafterthe dog, I know my parentswhen they gotold gave up having an animal becauseofthat. They didn’twant to think ofthe animal being leftalone. So I say no I wouldn’tbutthe only thing somebody may come along and saywould you take our dog... Youhave to think ofthem too I think, You have to think asyou getolderwhetheryou will beable to give them the walksandwhattheydeserve, So itwill be soul searching but Iknowitis hard to thinkaboutwhen I thinkofanything happening to Shasta.127Upon furtherreflection Dorasaid:Depending upon myleg I probablywould atthisstage ifitwas asearly as this perhapslook foradog thatneededahome more thatstyle ofthing notstartwith apuppyagain.Butdependinghow old I wasthe closeryouwere to 80 the lesslikely I wouldwantto startbecause I wouldn’twantto leave apuppy again. Mindyou I’ve more experiencewithShasta.then I would startoutdifferently.ButDorathought:I would getan older dog if I could give itahome. As amatteroffactin away older dogsare easier because puppiesarealotofwork aren’ttheyand theyneed alotoftraining.That’swhat I find. With an older dog you knowtheirpersonalityand habits.Ifshe did getanotherdog Dorathought:I think I would take amuttanothertime, a mixed breed. I don’tthink I would go allout togetanotherDalmatian necessarily. I would rather go 1.0 the pound and see adog thatappealed to me to give itahome. I think that’show I would feel. Mind you I can see I’dhave to thinkofafew things like long hairsand big pawsandall thatbut I expectatthetime I would justwantitifitappealed to me.As farasgetting a purebred ornotDoraadded:I didn’treally care but I alwaysdid have a mongrel more or less. And I’ve alwayssortoffeltamongrelwas lessworry because they are notso susceptible to things to abreed.Butthen on the otherhand I do admire the breeds. . . with amongrelyou’re notexactlysure whatitwill be like.The size would notreallymake adifferencealthough Doraneeded to think aboutthisfactoraswell:I can see thatwell little dogswouldn’tneedall the exercise, And reallywhen you getolderyou wouldn’t be so keen on a big dog. Oh I don’tknow I say that, Because I hadalwayspreferredbiggerdogsthen I stillwould.. . .Butthereagain thoseare all things Ifindlotsofthingslike thisin lifethatpeoplefightagainstand refuse to acceptandif123they did acceptthem theywould be alothappier. Theywould still have adog. Butthereis lotsofthingslike thatthatyou’ve got to accept. . . . So I know because I know lotsofsmalldogs I could be just ashappywith asmall dog.Upon additional reflection Dora’s concern wentback to herage:You realize asyou getolder thatyou don’t.knowwhats going to happen to you. Youknowyou see thingshappen to people around you.. . . in mythinking I mean from thepointofviewofyou thinking ifthe dog would live as long asyou. I wouldn’twant to getapuppy because Im 70 and by the time I’m 80 the dog would be 10 yearsold butwould Ibe able to look afteradog. You do realizeyourdaysare numbered more. More for thepointofview ofthe dog. Itwould hurtme to thinkadog was left. But perhaps I’mwrong. Perhaps I make too much ofanimalsand I think I am hurting them... . It’s justsomething in my mind.In herfinalreflection nearing the end ofoursecondinterview Dorasaid:I’ve thoughtmore from my age pointofviewifthe dog would outlive me thatstyle ofthing. Buttalking to you I wonderwhether I amwrong aboutthat. If I had another dogand I trainedita little bitdifferentfromShastaso it could go to somebody else. I’vethoughtofthatwhile I’ve been talking to you and the same I say thingslike I wouldn’tgetanotherdog because then I could traveland do things I wanted to do butthen I thinkas I getolder do I reallywantto travel. I don’twant to travel so much now because I’vedone the things I wanted to do. Thereall these thingsmake adifference. Itwoulddependon when ithappened. Ifithappenedsoon I think I would getanotherone but Idon’tthink 1 would geta puppy. I think I would getan older dog.SummaryDorais awoman in herearlyseventieswho has been widowedforfive yearsafter 45yearsofmarriage. She is atender-hearted, independent, easy going person.Dora comes from asmallfamilywith only one brotherwho seemed more like afather toher. Because ofthe warandthe ensuing tough timesattheyoung age ofseven Dorawas129responsible forpreparingsuppersforherfamily anddoing otherhousehold tasks. Evenwith thisresponsibilityDorahadahappychildhood with herfamily, friends, andaveryprotective family dog who still means agreatdeal to her today,After completing schoolat 16 Dora gotclericalworkwith the airministry. During theseteenage yearsDorahad anotherfamily dog which she leftbehindwhen she and herhusbandand little babyimmigrated to CanadafromEngland.The next20 yearswere spentworking, raisingtheirson, and saving fortheirfuture.During this time theyhadacouple of dogswhich Dorafondly remembersandhascherishedmemories of. Like her parents, Dorasaid she hasalwayshadalove ofdogsand hates toseethem being mistreated,Untilhercurrentcompanion animalDoradid nothaveanother dog from the agesofabout 50 to 70. During thistime she andherhusbandwereworking, theyhadan activesociallife, she did afairamountoftravelling, she wentto Englandseveral times to visitherparentsandeventually to settle theirestate, and they became house proudwhere nothingwasoutofplace.Oneyear before herhusband passed away due to illhealth from strokesDora gothercurrentcompanion animal. The intention was to have adog thatDora’shusband could pet soas to make himfeel better. ItturnedoutShastawas too energeticfor him butshe helped toease Dora’sstrain ofconstantly caring forasick husband.Shastawasacomfortduring the transition to widowhood because Dora could cuddle andstroke her, talk to her, go forwalkstogether, andshe metotherdog peoplewhowereyounger. She was also a comfortand agreatcompanion duringthattimewhich helped toease Dora’slonelinessand getoverherhusband loss, Although shewas glad she had hadShastaduring the transition she thoughtthatifwidows did nothave a dog itwould be betterto waitforawhile before getting a dog. However, she thoughtthiswas an individualthing.Dorafeltwidowhood requiredadramatic adjustment, Because shewasalone forthe firsttime in herlife she had to learn how to standon her own two feetand make herown130decisions. Dorafound the adlustmentdifficultbecause she missed having someone to talk to,yourmentaland physicalworkload doubles, andshe did nothave acar so gettingaroundwasmore difficult,Widowhood was also positive in thatshe could eatwhatandwhen shewanted, go to bedand getupwhen she wanted, she couldwatch whatshewanted to on television, buywhatshewanted, go on aholidaywhen andwhere shewanted to go, andshe could stayoutwithoutfeeling guilty aboutleaving ahusband athome.Dora’slifestyle changed in thatshe did alotmore thingswith Shastaandspentmore timewith her. Because ofShastashe metalotofdog people who still come over to visitandletthedogs play together.Doraisveryattached to Shastaanddreads being withouther. Doraspoke ofmanypositive aspectsassociatedwith Shasta, dogs in general, and previous companion animals.Dorafeltthatthey: were asource ofcompanionship; because theywere protective Dorafeltsaferathome and going forwalks; theyweresomething to cuddle, stroke, and love;something to take forawalkand getexercise; amusing; makeyou more considerate ofotherpeople andthingsand be lessselfish; makeyour life happier; give you alotofpleasure;makeraising children easier; help make the transition to widowhood easier:are comforting;aresomething to talk to; are something to come home to; are somebody to greetyou: ease thestrain in difficulttimes; don’tansweryou back; are alwaysfaithful; giveyou alotofpleasure:are alwayspleased to seeyou; never berate you foranything; giveyou a good, warm, happy,comfortable feelinginside; are something to love; make ahome feellike ahome; provide anexcusefornotgoing placesordoing thingsyou do notwantto do; keep you active; keep youyoung; take the lonelinessoutoflife; make people more approachable; are asource ofprotection; are acatalystforhappy dog conversations; Shastadoesnothave to be groomedverymuch: Shastais goodwith people; theymake you feel better:and they give you areasonforliving.131Doraalso identifiedsome negativeaspectsaswell: itwasabitofaworryworking andleavingadog home alone all day, dogs restrictyou fromdoing alotoftravelling, the costwould be negative ifyou hadfinancialdifficulties, when you go outadog restrictstheamountoftime you stayaway, othersmay view breed characteristicssuch asdisobedienceandscavenging to be negative, theyareaworrywhen they getsick to knowwhatiswrongandifyou are doing the rightthing forthem, dogs have ashortlifespan,Shastaisso strongsometimesshe ishard to control,fighting with little dogs, sometimesbeing overaffectionatewith people, barking when shewantssomethingor isleftoutside astore, anddoing damage.Doraconsideredalotofthese negativeaspectsherfaultbecause ofimpropertraining. Shealso thoughtthatifyou haveand loveacompanion animalyou adjustto these things.Thereare aspectsorservIceswhich could make owning adog easierormore enjoyablesuch as: havingaplace to letyourdog run freesuch asafencedyardin the park: havinglessrestrictionsso dogs would be allowed into more public places; people notletting theirdogsbother yours; people notputting food orbones outin public places; affordable medicalinsurance foryour companionanimal;havingagood vetclose by; having apettaxi: havingspecial dog foodavailable; dog walkers: housesitters;andhaving areliable, trustworthy,affordable kennel.Although DoralovesShastaverymuch and is stronglyattached to hershethoughtthatifsomething happened to herbecause ofherage she mightnotgetanotherdog, or getan olderdog because itwould grieveher to leave adog behindifsomething happened to her.While Shastagivesherareason forliving and isamajorpartofherlife, Dorathoughtthateach person would be differentandtheywouldhave to decide iftheywantedacompanion animalandwouldlove it. iftheywere too busy to have one, andifthey couldaffordto keep one.ThemesWhen reflecting on our conversation aboutthe meaning ofcompanion animalsin Dora’slife I identified28 majorareasorthemes:1321) Independence. Dorahasalways been an independentperson. As ayoung child shewasgiven alotofresponsibilityin having to prepare mealsfor the familyandotherhouseholdtasks. Throughoutheradultlife Dorasaidshe liked doing thingsforherselfandshe dreadsthe daywhen she will be unable to do so.2) Compassion and caring. Dora is compassionate and caring for people and companionanimals. Thiswas evidentin anumberofways, In relation to people Doralookedafterhersickhusbandforseveralyearsathome, she flew back andforth to England to look afterherparents, she had afriend’s dog putto sleepwhen itwould have been too painfulforhim to do,and shevoluntarilyparticipated in thisstudy providing asmuch information as she couldwith no concern for the amountoftime itwouldrequire. In relation to animals, compassionand caring wasevidentin Dora’s dislike of cruelty to animalswhetherit be on television, incircuses, orin petshops. Itwas also evident in thewayshe took care ofShastamaking sureshe hadenough exercise even in illhealth andinclementweather, buying herspecialfood,talking to herasifshewasanotherperson, notwanting to leaveheralone for too long,making sure herneedswere taken care ofbefore Dorawentout, andifanything happened toShastaherdecision to puther to sleep so she wouldnotsuffer.3) Optimistic and positive attitude. Thiswas evidentin Dora’spreference that people getalong andnotargueorfight. Aswell, during the transition to widowhoodand in the yearsfollowing Dorasaid she had to startafresh and set up anewlife andnotlook backand live inthe past.4) Previouslove ofdogs. Dorasaidshe had always loved dogs, thatitwas afeeling she hadinside ofher.)Familyoforigin. Doraconsidered herselfto be an only child butshe was notlonelybecause she hadalotoffriendsin childhood and growing up. Even though she hadalotofresponsibilityatayoung age Dorasaid she had an extremely happy childhood.6) Parentslove of companion animals. Dorasaid both ofherparents lovedalltypesofcompanion animals butthey especially loved dogs.1337) Companion animalsand childhood. Dorahad quite afew companion animalsin herchildhood. In addition to the family dog Doraused to playwith and walk otherdogsand theirfamily used to care fordogswhen people wentaway.8) Companion animalsduring marriage. When theywere firstmarried they did nothave adog oftheirown but. Dorawasstillable to playwith hermother’s dog. ShortlyafterDoramoved to Canadawith herhusband andyoung son they got.theirfirstdog. During thoseearlyyearsofmarriage Doradid notwork. Theylivedon afarmand the dog went.everywherewith them. When theyhad theirsecond dog they lived in thecity, the dog didnot go out.with them as much, and Doraand herhusbandwere busyworkingandsaving fortheirfuture. As aresult, Doradid nothave asmuch time to spend with thisdog.9) Companion animalsand children. Dorafeltevery child should have a companion animalbecause they provide companionship to the childand they teach them how to be moreconsiderate ofother people andthings.10) Companion animalsduring middleyears. Between the agesof50 to 70 Dorawaswithoutacompanion animal. During these yearsthey did nothave adog because Doraand herhusband wereworking, they had an active social life, Doradid afairamountof travelling,she wentto England to Lake care ofher parents, and they got house proud.11) Grieving and companion animals. During her childhoodwhen the familydog diedDorawasheartbroken because she had no othercompanion animaland she feltmore alonebecause she did not.have anybrothersorsisters to playwith either.Dorawasalso heartbroken when herfirstdog had to be put to sleep. Dorastill feels the effectsofthis lossasshehasnevereaten crumpetssince thatday. She was able to get.over the lossofthis dog easierbecausewithin ashorttime they gotanother dog. Dorasaid itwas terrible when thisdog diedbecause they did notgetanotherone. Dora found thatthe house was lonelyand there wasnobody there to greetyou. Dorafeltlosing adog isaverytraumatic time. As awidow shefeelslosingyour companion animal must.be as traumaticaslosingyour husband because youmake themsuch a partofyour life. Dorasaid yourlife is centeredaround them.13412) Reason for getting her currentcompanion animal. Dora gothercurrentcompanionanimal because she thoughtitmighthelpher husband because he had responded toafriend’sdog. Doraalso gotShastabecause ofherlove ofdogsand Dalmatiansin particular.Had herfriendsnotmade the arrangementsDoradid not.thinkshe would have gottenadogon herown.13) Influence ofpreviouscompanion animals. Previous companion animalshadinfluencedDorain anumberofways. Afterseeing aDalmatian forthefirsttime Doraalwayswantedone, and the personalityofthisdog aswell. Dora namedherfirstdog afterhermother’s dogand Shastaafterthe Shasta, on the farm. Aswell, Dorahad reallyliked a Chow Chow as a childand asan adultshe said thatbreed would be hersecond choice because ofthis dog.14) Type of companion animal. Dorahad always been adog lover. Althoughshe wouldneverhurtan animal she did notwantanothertype of companion animal. She would putupwith catsbuttheyare very independentand she doesn’ttrustthem, theyroamaroundneighborhoods, and theydig in gardens. She did nothave much to do with birdshermotherhadhadwhen shewasa child. In relation to dogs Dorasaid itwouldn’tmake adifference ifitwas amale or afemale, apurebredoramongrelbreed, asmall dog or alarge dog.Althoughshe had preferredalarge dog she thoughtshe could acceptasmall dog ifitmeantshe wouldnothave adog atall.15) Companion animalsandthe transition to widowhood. Having a companion animaleasedthe transition to widowhood because Shastawas asource ofcomfort, companionship, she wassomething to cuddle and fondle, something to take care of, somebody to do something for, andsomebodyelse in the house. She eased the loneliness because ofher presenceand becausewhen theywentfor theirwalksDorametotherdog people to talk to.16) Acquiring acompanion animalduring the transition to widowhood. IfDorahad nothadacompanion animalshe did notthinkthiswould have been a good time to getone. Initiallythe widow hasalotto do and isnotlonely forawhile. Although having Shastaeased thetransition andwasabig excuse for notgoing places ordoing thingsshe didnotwantto do135she thoughtshe mighthave travelled then. Doradid feel thatthiswould depend on theperson, Also, Doradid notthinkitwasa good ideaforsomeone to getacompanion animalfora.recentlywidowed person becauseafteratime the widowmay notwantit, theymightnothave the time or the money forit, and then the companion animalwould suffer.17) Increasing importance andattachmentto companionanimalduring widowhood. Dorasaidduring the transition to widowhoodherattachmentto Shastagrewstrongerand shealmostreplaced the affection she gave to herhusbandbecause she was all Dorahadandshehadmore time with her. Herimportance grew becauseshe took herhusbands place. Dorasummeditup when she saidherhome became hersanctuaryand Shastahersalvation,18) Widowhood. Widowhood is atimewhen yourlifestyle changes completelyandyou haveto startafresh. Dorasaid you become more independent, stand on your owntwo feet, andmakeyourown decisions. Because nowyou centeryour life aroundyour companionanimalbecausethere is nobody else, theirimportance andyourattachment to your companionanimalsgrowsstronger.19) Companion animalsandwidows, Dorafeltthis isan individual thing and peopleshouldconsiderifthey love them ornot, have time to spendwith them, andtheirfinancialsituation.20) Currentlifestyle, Dora leads quite an active lifestyle. Doratakes care ofherown house,plantsa garden, makesmostofherown food, watchestelevision, visitswith neighborsandfriends,has alotoffriendsvisitand stay over,writesalotofletters, goeson yearlyvacations, goesfor two to three hourlywalksadaywithShasta, takes care ofShasta, andtalksto her.21) Importance ofcurrentcompanion animal. Doradreadsthe dayanythinghappenstoShastaandsaidlife would be dreadfulwithouta companion animal.22) Strong attachmentto previousand currentcompanion animals. Doraisstillveryfond ofherprevious companion animals. Sheis more fond ofKipper, herfirstcompanion animal,than ofhumansshe remembered fromher childhood. Doracried when talking abouthowmuch Kipperandherother companion animalsmeantto her. Dorasaidshe loved themall136and she wasattached to them in differentways. Dorasaidshe expressedherattachmenttoShastaby cuddling andstroking her, feeding her, giving her cookies, and takingherforwalks.23) Positive aspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Doraspoke ofmanypositive aspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Dorasaidthey: were asource ofcompanionship;because theywere protective Dorafeltsaferat home and going forwalks; are somethingtocuddle, stroke, and love; are something to takeforawalk and getexercise; are amusing;makeyou more considerate ofother people andthings and be lessselfish; makeyourlife happier;give you alotofpleasure: make raising children easier: help make the transition towidowhood easier:are comforting;are something to talk to; are something to come hometo;are somebody to greetyou; ease the strain in difficulttimes; don’t answeryou back; arealwaysfaithful; give you alotofpleasure: are always pleased to see you: never berateyou foranything; giveyou a good, warm, happy, comfortable feeling inside; are something to love:make ahome feel like ahome; provide an excuse fornotgoing places ordoing thingsyou donotwantto do; keep you active: keep you young; take the lonelinessoutoflife: make peoplemore approachable: are asource ofprotection; are a catalystforhappy dogconversations;Shastadoesnothave to be groomedvery much: Shastais goodwith people; makeyou feelbetter: andthey give you areason forliving.24) Negative aspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Doraalso identifiedsome negativeaspectsassociatedwith companion animals. Costhadnever been an issue because in the pastthey did not go to thevetor getshots. In recentyearsithasnot been a problem becausefinancially Dorahas noworries, Aswell, in the pasthousing hadnotbeen a problem becausethey had always owned their own home. Doradid thinkthatas awidow it could be a problemifshewanted to move into an apartment. In the pastitwas abitofaworryworking andleaving the dog home alone all day. Dogs could be potentiallyrestrictingwhen married hadtheywanted to travelor go outalot. A dog isrestricting in the middleyearsifyou wantto domore travelling becauseyou couldafford to do so. Asawidowdogsrestrictyou from137travelling and thelength oftime Doraisawaywhenshe goesout. Dorasaidothersmayviewcharacteristicsof the breedas being negativesuch as theirdisobedience and theirbeingscavengers. Dorasaid she vacuumsasmuch asshe would even ifshe did nothave adog sothiswasnota problem. DoradidsayItisabitofaworrywhen Shastagetssick because shecan nottellheranything andDoraworriesifshe isdoing therightthingforher. A dog’sshortlife span isnegative butitis something you accept, Shasta’sstrength isnegativebecause at.timesshe ishard to control. Othernegative aspectsarewhen Shastafightswithlittle dogs, sometimeswhen she isoverlyaffectionatewith people thatcome over,when shebarkswhen shewantssomething, andwhenshe barkswhen leftoutside astore. Doingdamage, such as pulling thingsoutofthe garden, shredding things, chewing things, takingthingsthatare nothers,rubbingagainstthe couch,andscratching thewindowsealarenegative. Dorafeltthatalotofthese bad habitswere herfaultbecause ofnotproperlytraining her. Aswell, she feltitisallpartofhaving adog, we owe them because we areresponsible forthem, and ifyou wantthem and love them you adjustto allthese things.25) Societalaspectsofservices. Thereare aspectsorserviceswhich Dorausesthatmakeowning adog easier. These included: havingagoodvetwho is close by; being able to givethe care they have now because ofvetsand medicine; havingareliable, trustworthy,affordable kennel;special dog food;adog taxiservice;and dog walkers. Thereare otheraspectsorserviceswhich could make owningadog easierormore enjoyable. These include:more considerate people who don’tlettheirdogs botheryours; people notputting food andbonesoutin public places; aplace where dogs can run free such asafencedareain parks;lessrestrictionsso dogs would be allowed in more places; affordable petinsurance;andaffordable, trustworthy house sitters.26) Age. Asshe getsolderDorais concernedifshe can remain independentand properlytake care ofa companion animal by giving themthewalksandwhattheydeserve. Dorathoughtthe closershe gotto 80 the lesslikelyshewouldwantto getapuppy. Asyou getolderyou do notknowwhatis going to happen to you andyou realizeyour daysare138numbered more. For these reasons Dorathoughtshe mightgetan olderdog insteadofapuppy. One ofDora’s fearsisdying and leavingadog behind. She thoughtwith differenttraining perhaps the dog could go to somebodyelse.27) Socio-economic status. Doraconsideredherselfto be economicalasaresultofgrowingup with shortagesduring thewar, beingEnglish, and the wayshe was broughtup. BecauseDoraand herhusbandworked hardandsaved for the future, asawidow Doradoes nothaveanyfinancialworries.28) Companion animalsandethnicity, DorafelttheEnglish have a greater fondnessfordogsandtreatthem more like humansthan animals, Dogs are more acceptedin public places inEngland and in the homesofEnglish people.CommonThemesReflecting on the themesderivedfromeach participantthereare a numberofthemescommon to these participants;1) All participantswere independentandwanted to take care ofthemselvesandtheircompanion animalsin theirown home foraslong as they could.2) All three participantswere compassionate and caring towards people andanimals.3) All participants hadhad apreviouslove ofdogs stemming from their childhood.4) All participantshad parentswho loved companion animalsand particularlydogs.5) All participantspreferreddogsoveranyothertype ofcompanion animal.6) All three participantshad an absenceofcompanionanimalsduring theirmiddle yearswhen theywere busyworking,raising a family, havingan active sociallife,and/ortravelling.7) Forthe two participantswho had experiencedthe loss ofa companion animalthiswasverytraumatic and they said a person neverreallydoes getoverthe loss.1398) Forthe two participantswho hadacompanionanimalduring the transition towidowhood theythoughtiteased the pain and the companion animalwasasource ofcomfortand companionship duringthisLime.9) All three participantsthoughtifaperson didnothave acompanion animaltheyshouldwaitalittlewhile after being widowed before getting one Theythoughtinitiallyapersonwas too busywith otherthings,you mightwantto travelforawhile, andyou need time togrieve and decide to establish awholenew lifestyleforyourself, Atthistime,whichwouldvaryforeach individual, the person could considerwhethergettingacompanion animalwasappropriateforthem.10) All three participantsfeltthatcompanion animals Lake on agreaterimportanceandyourattachmentto them growsduringwidowhood because theyare the main partofyourlife andyou do more thingswith themandspendmore timewith them, All three feltthattheir companion animal gave themareason for living and life would be dreadfulwithoutthem.11) All participantshadaverystrongattachmentto theirpreviousand currentcompanionanimals.12) Allthree participants gottheircurrentcompanion animal because oftheirlove ofdogs.Two ofthe participantsgottheircurrentcompanion animalforhealthreasonsaswell.13) All threeparticipantsidentifiedawide rangeofpositive benefits.14) While allthree participantsidentifiednegative aspectsassociatedwith companionanimalstheyallfeltthiswaspartofhaving the companion animal.15) Allparticipantsidentifiedsocietalfactorsthatwould help to make owning a companionanimaleasierormore enjoyable.16) All three participantsworriedaboutgetting older andnotbeing able to properlycarefortheircompanion animal.17) Allthree participant.shadenough financialresourcesto properly Lake care oftheircompanion animal.14018) All three participantssaid theirlifestyles changeddramaticallywhen widowed. Theyallsaid thattheircompanion animal became more importantduringwidowhood as theywere amajorpartoftheirlife. Theywereasource of comfortand companionship, something tocare forand love, and something to talk to. As well, theydid more thingswith theircompanion animaland spentmore time with them.19) All three participantssaid thatamajorpartoftheircurrentlifestylewasspentdoingthingswith their companion animal.141CHAPTER VDiscussion and SummaryThisstudyexplored the meaningof companionanimalsthroughoutthe livesofnon-institutionalizedelderlywidowsliving alone. The resultssuggestthatcompanionanimalsmean alotto these participantsand therewere anumberofthemes common to allofthem.This chapterwillpresentadiscussion ofthe study’stheoreticalimplications, limitationsofthe study, implicationsforfutureresearch, andimplicationsforcounselling.TheoreticalImplicationsItisapparentfromthisstudythateach ofthetheoreticalframeworksdescribedinChapter 1 are applicable to these three participants. Thesewomen each had the role ofcompanion animalowner, andforPam and Dora. becausetheywererecentlywidowed,thisrole took on greaterimportance when theywerewidowed. Although a companion animaldidrestrictthesewomen from travelling theyhadthoughtofthisaspartoftheresponsibilityofcompanion animalownership before theyhadacquired theircompanion animals. Aswell.theyallhadfeltthatthe benefitofhaving acompanion animalstronglyoutweighedthenegative aspects.Exchange theoryisapparentparticularlyin thewomen’s discussion on whetherornottheywould obtain anothercompanion animal shouldanythinghappen to their currentone.Although theylovedhaving adog andwouldwantanotherone theyhad to weigh thisagainsttheirability to take care ofitbecause oftheirincreasing age, how long theywould live, andwhatwouldhappen to their companion animalshould they getsick or die before theircompanion.Life span developmentaltheoryalso seemsrelevant. Forthesewomen early childhoodassociation/attitude andattachmenttowarddogsseemed to influence their choice ofacompanion animallaterin life. Each ofthewomen hadapreferenceforandlove ofdogssince childhood andeach ofthesewomenhad obtainedadog laterin theirlives.142Although I did notmeasure changes In health status, thereappears to be some supportforthe sociobiological perspective. This isseen in relation to Martha. Aftershe had astrokeshe had beenworriedshewould not bewellenough to take care ofherdog. To herreliefandthe doctorssurpriseshe hadrecoveredbetterandfasterthan had been predicted. AswellforDora, the exerciseshe obtainedfromwalking herdog helpedherknee to recoverfaster.These companion animals could beserving as atransitionalobjectforthesewomen.Aftertheywerewidowedthesewomen transferredmuch oftheirloveandattention to theircompanion animal. Because ofthis, according to thistheorythesewomen can learn to loveothersagain by loving and caring fortheir companion animals.Supportforthe animalsasaconnection to nature theoryisgiven by Dorawhen she saidthatherdog hadtaughtherand helped her to be compassionate andunderstanding withothers.Allthreewidowsprovidedsupportforasocialinteraction theoryin thattheircompanionanimalssatisfyinteraction needs by providingsustained companionship,something to talk to, and something to playwith, Aswell, interaction needs can be metbycommunicatingwith others because companion animals, and particularlydogs. facilitatesocialinteractionwith others. In addition, when people interactwith othersthey gain agreaterunderstanding ofthemselves. By talking to their companion animalsthesewidowsmayhave enhanced theirself-conceptasworthwhile and lovable individuals because thecompanion animalstheyhave been caring forlove theminreturn.While the purpose ofthisstudywas notto determine the applicabilityofexistingtheoriesorto formulate anewtheory,theresultsofthisstudyseem to offersupportforeachtheoreticalframework. Itappearsthatfurtherandmorein-depth research into thesetheoriesisneeded, Itmay be thateach ofthese individual theoriescould be incorporatedintoamore comprehensiveorall-encompassing theory.143Limitationsofthe StudyThe resultsofthisstudyarenotdecisiveasnostatisticalhypotheseswere formulatedandtested, norwasthe dataobtainedfromthe participantsverifiedwith externalsources. Thereisnowayofknowing ifthe dataisan accuraterepresentation oftheirlife experiencesorifparticipantswanted to presentthemselvesmore favorably, The purpose ofthisstudywas toexplore themeaning ofcompanionanimalsthroughoutthe livesofelderlynon-institutionalizedwidowsso asto gain a greaterunderstanding ofthistopic. Subsequentresearchwith aquantitativemethodologyisnecessaryto produce conclusive results.ImplicationsforFuture ResearchThe resultsofthisstudyidentifiedawiderangeofthemesforthese participants. Futureresearch could explore the meaning ofcompanion animalsto other groupssuch asnon-institutionalizedelderlywidowers, Aswell, futureresearch could explore more in-depth oneorseveralofthe themesidentifiedin thisstudysuch as grieving and companion animals,companion animalsandthetransition to widowhood, differenttypesofcompanion animals.ethnicityand companion animals, levelofattachment,andso on.Qualitative research generatesinformation forsystematictesting. To extendthisresearchstudyand to provide conclusiveresults anumberofquantitativeresearch studiescould be conducted. For example, research could look atthe meaning ofcompanion animals,using the common themesfromthisresearch,in relation to agreaternumberofwidowsoradifferentpopulation such aswidowers, AIDS patients, children,andavarietyofethnicgroups,ImplicationsforCounsellingThe resultsofthisstudywillhopefullyassistcounsellorsin gaining agreaterunderstanding ofthe importanceandvalue ofcompanion animalsto non-institutionalizedelderlywidowsliving alone. Thisstudyhasshown thatcompanion animalscan serve asawidow’sreason forliving and can become amajorpartofherlife. Asthisstudyhasidentifiedanumberofthemes, andmany areasrequiredmuch contemplation andreflection144on the partofthe partIcipants,acounsellorshouldappreciate the complexityofthis topicand explorethisissuewith theirclientson an individual basis. 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New directions: Challengesfor human-animalbondresearch and theelderly. Journal ofAppliedGerontology. 189-200.Woloy,E.M. (1990). The symbolofthe dog in the human psyche: A studyofthe human-dogbond. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications.151APPENDIXAParticipantinformedConsentFormI agree to participatein astudyexploring the meaning of companion animalsto non-institutionalizedwidows65 yearsofage and olderwho areliving alone. I understand thatIam required to participate in two interviews(each 2-3 hoursin length), and in brief(halfhour)sessionsto provide feedbackon dataanalysis. I understandthatallinterviewswill beconductedin private in amutuallyagreedupon location, andwill be audio taped. Tapedinterviewswillthen be transcribed. I understand thatthe interviewsare labelledwith arandomlyselected number,andallofthe information collectedwill remain confidentialandunderno circumstanceswill I be eitherspecificallyorindirectlyidentified. Atthe end ofthe studythese tapeswill be erased.I understandthe benefitsandrisks to be: byparticipatingin this studymyexperiencewill allowanin-depth understanding ofthemeaning ofcompanionanimalsin mylife. Aswell, my participationwillhelp to increase people’sunderstandingofthevalue ofcompanion animals. Although notan objective ofthisstudy,reflection on experienceinsignificantlifeareasenhances selfawarenessand personalinsight. My feedbackwill beused tovalidate theinvestigatorsconclusions.I understandthatmy participation in thisstudy isvoluntary. I mayrefuse to participateorwithdrawatanytime. I am also awarethattheinterviewer(TeresaStokowski, 263-8645) orDr. N. Amundson (822-5259)willanswerany questionsthat I mayhave atanytimeconcerningthisproject. Underthese conditions I agree to participate in this projectand Iacknowledgehavingreceiveda copyofthisconsentform.Signature Telephone Number Date


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