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Pet-facilitated therapy : the Maples project Copley, Erica Amy 1992

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PET-FACILITATED THERAPY : THE MAPLES PROJECTByErica Amy CopleyB.A. in Ed., Western Washington University, 1982THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Counselling PsychologyWe accept this thesis as conforming to the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust, 1992© Erica A. Copley 1992In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDepartment of Counselling PsychologyDateDE-6 (2/88)iiABSTRACTThe value of pet-facilitated therapy is explored in this study.The interactions between visiting dogs and the adolescents in atreatment centre are examined. An ethnographic/participantobservation method is used. Subjects also complete an open-endedsentence questionnaire and participate in an interview. Severalthemes pertaining to the pet-human interactions are extracted. Asummary of the perceived benefits of pet-facilitated therapy andrecommendations for further study are provided.TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract 	 iiTable of Contents 	 i i iList of Tables 	 v iAcknowledgements 	 v i iChapter 1: Introduction 	 1Key Definitions and Constructs 	 1PFT 	 1The Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre 	 1Rationale 	 2Significance of the Research 	 4Methodology	4Procedures	6Chapter 2: Literature Review 	 9The Role of Pets in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 	 9The Role of Pets in Child Therapy	11The Role of Pets in Developmental Psychology 	 13Pets in Attachment and Use as Transitional Objects 	 14Animals as a Connection to Nature 	 17Levinson 	 17Pets and Child Development 	 17Animals and Psychotherapy 	 19Pets in Caretaking Institutions 	 24The Search for a Unifying Theory 	 26Chapter 3: Methodology 	 29Setting 	 29Subjects	31B.C. Interact and the Dogs in the Study 	 32Procedures	33Participant Observation as a Research Method 	 38Issues in Participant Observation 	 45Chapter 4: Results 	 48The Study 	 50The Introductory Meeting 	 50The Visits 	 51Visit #1	51Cottage 1	51ivCATC II 	 54CATC III 	 57Issues 	 58Visit #2 	 60Cottage 1 	 60CATC II 	 61CATC III 	 62Visit #3 	 63Cottage 1 	 63CATC II 	 64CATC III 	 65Visit #4 	 66Cottage 1 	 66CATC II 	 67CATC III 	 67Visit #5 	 69Cottage 1 	 69CATC II 	 70CATC III 	 71Visit #6 	 72Cottage 1 	 72CATC II 	 73CATC III 	 74The Interviews 	 75Cottage 1 	 76Gary 	 76Joe 	 78Max 	 79Peter 	 80Nadine 	 82Justin 	 82Sharon 	 84CATC II 	 85Ross 	 85Rob 	 86Shelly 	 87Alexis 	 87Myron 	 88Darren 	 88Darla	89Don 	 90CATC III 	 90vJoan 	 90Tara	90Sandy 	 91Ann 	 92Delbert 	 93Andy 	 93Ray 	 93Emergent Themes	 95Abuse	 95Abuse of Animals 	 95Animal Abuse as an Analogy	 95Death, Loss, and Aging 	 96Biological Functioning 	 96Ingestion and Elimination 	 96Sexuality 	 97Anatomy 	 97Acceptance Versus Rejection 	 97Acceptance by the Animal 	 97Acceptance of the Animal 	 98Perceived Rejection by the Animal 	 98Rejection of the Animal 	 98Nurturance 	 98Power and Control 	 99Power Over the Animal 	 99The Animal as a Symbol of Power 	 99Control Over the Environment 	 100Freedom Versus Confinement 	 100Anthropomorphism and Projection 	 100Anthropomorphism 	 100Projection 	 101Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations 	 102Overview of the Maples Project 	 102Recommendations 	 105References	108Appendices	113LIST OF TABLESTable 1 : Identification of Subjects and Non-SubjectsInvolved in the Visitations	 43viACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank the residents of the Maples AdolescentTreatment Centre for their participation in the study, and for theircourage in sharing their innermost feelings and ideas. I also wish toextend my thanks to the Maples management, to the supportingprofessional personnel (the social workers, psychologists, andpsychiatrists), and particularly to the 'front line' staff.I am also greatly indebted to the individuals at B.C. Interact,who provided much support and offered needed research materials.Special thanks are relayed to Bob Meiklejohn and his dogs, Buddy andShadow, for their many hours of quality visitation time.My heartfelt appreciation is extended to Dr. Norm Amundson,whose calm yet encouraging manner kept me on task.I would like to thank my father, Professor Richard Copley, forhis scholarly example and his gentle ways, and my mother, JeanCopley, for her unfailing support and encouragement. A great manythanks are given to my husband, Bruce Cuthbertson, who spent vastamounts of time typing, editing, and cheerleading. Finally, I wouldlike to acknowledge my cat 'Boris,' for once again showing me theincredible value of pets.viiCHAPTER I: INTRODUCTIONThis thesis will explore the advantages of pet-facilitatedtherapy (PFT) in an adolescent treatment centre. I observe andinterview residents at the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centreutilizing a qualitative ethnographic approach to extract psycho-social themes. Although research has been done on the use andbenefits of PFT in residential treatment centres, the reasons whyPFT can be so beneficial have not been understood. This is thereforean exploratory study which utilizes an ethnographic researchmethodology and tells the story of how PFT affected one populationin one setting.Key Definitions and ConstructsPFTPet-facilitated therapy is the introduction of a pet animal intothe immediate surroundings of an individual or a group as a mediumfor interaction and relationships, with the therapeutic purpose ofeliciting physical, psychosocial, and emotional interactions andresponses. Pets act as mediators, social catalysts, aids to therapy,cotherapists, pet companions, mascots, and psychological supportsystems (Cass, 1981).The Maples Adolescent Treatment CentreThe Maples is located in Burnaby, B.C., and provides psychiatricresidential care for adolescents aged twelve to seventeen. Thesubjects in this study involved self-selected residents from threeof the units; thought disordered clientele from Cottage 1, and1conduct disordered youth from Contained Adolescent TreatmentCentres II & Ill.The visitation project consisted of one hour per week caninevisits to each of the three units, for a total of six visits. The sametwo dogs were used for the duration of the project. The dogs whoparticipated were screened by B.C. Interact, a society for human-animal companionship. B.C. Interact supplied the dogs and thevolunteer in order to conduct these visitations.RationalePFT is currently being practiced in a variety of settings, bothnoninstitutional and institutional. Outside of institutions, PFT isutilized with the physically disabled (the blind, the deaf, thewheelchair confined), and with those who are at risk of becominginstitutionalized (the physically or psychosocially impaired, thementally disturbed, the elderly). Pet therapy is also used ininstitutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, psychiatrictreatment centres, schools for the learning impaired, and facilitiesfor the chronically ill and dying.Although many studies have demonstrated the various benefitsof PFT (such as increased physical health, increased socialinteraction, increased emotional well-being, decreased need forpsychotropic drugs among psychiatric patients , decreased violenceamong inmates, etc.), researchers are still finding difficultypinpointing the underlying psychological factors which explain whyPFT is so effective.23In this thesis I test the probability that 	 a pet -facilitatedtherapeutic program at the Maples will be beneficial to theresidents. 	 Do the residents report increased self-esteem andincreased social interaction? 	 If so, why? 	 How do they viewthemselves in the world? 	 Do they feel bonded/attached tosignificant others? Perhaps an existential loneliness pervades. 	 Ifso, how do the animals help?To answer these questions, several themes emerge from areview of the literature. Pets are often thought of as havingRogerian qualities such as unconditional positive regard, respect,genuiness, and empathy. Michael Fox (1975) suggests that animalsare perceived as empathic whether or not they actually are. Thebenefits of touch, idle play, and the sense of security with pets havealso been noted.In a study done by Mugford (1979), companionship emerges asthe most significant reason for acquiring and maintaining pets. Thetwo measures of companionship--affiliation and self-esteem--aredefined by Mugford. Affiliation refers to the desire forcommunication, friendly interaction, and close physical proximity toother living things. Self-esteem refers to contentment with one'sself and being appreciated, wanted, or loved by others. Mugford'sstudy demonstrates that the presence of pets improved morale andcreated a sense of being needed. Playfulness and increased humorwere also reported.Intraspecies attachment is noted by Voith (1981). Some of theparameters considered as mechanisms of attachment are proximity,care-soliciting behaviors, feelings of joy or happiness evoked bybehaviors of another, and tactile stimulation. Attachment, at leastamong human beings, can result in altruistic behaviors.Significance of the ResearchI speculate that many of the residents at the Maples may feelalienated and alone. Residents often experience few outlets forself-expression of an altruistic nature. By playing with the dog,they develop a sense of commitment to a task, and inadvertentlydevelop a sense of community with other residents in the program.The animals do not judge or reject. Yet they will not allow thepeople to abuse or mistreat them, reacting quickly with a growl or anip. The residents are not able to manipulate or lie to the animals--the dogs do not respond to incongruent behaviors. This forcesresidents to be truthful and honest with the animals, and, byextension, with themselves. Because one of these particularanimals in the Maples Project was unloved and unwanted (comingfrom the SPCA), the residents may identify with him.By demonstrating the benefits of pet programs at the MaplesAdolescent Treatment Centre, this study hopes to encourage the useof PFT in mental health facilities and elsewhere.MethodologyI use a qualitative approach utilizing ethnographicmethodology and a participant observation design for this study. Irecognize that this design provides theoretical replication as Idescribe and analyse the effects of PFT on the thought disorderedand conduct disordered residents of the treatment units at the4Maples. Using this design, I was able to base my evidence ondocumentation, archival records, direct observation, participant-observation, and physical artifacts. It is important for a researcherto use multiple sources of evidence to create a case study data base,and to maintain a chain of evidence. I do, however, restrict my datacollection (as it could become grossly out of hand and develop a lifeof its own) to direct [participant] observation techniques, currentpertinent 'progress notes' in the child's chart, psychiatric diagnosesand any history referring to animals, and to an interview at the endof the pet visitations. This interview included a sentence completiontask, and involved consulting with the participants to determine'truth,' or at least agreement or lack thereof, with my conclusions.At this juncture I should explain that I am employed at theMaples and work as a counsellor in Cottage 1. This 'closeness' tothe research environment proved helpful as I was aware of theunderlying rules and modalities of the facility, and was able to moreeasily understand the 'cultural' effects of this institution (i.e.particular language usage, Maples procedures, etc.). As I am anemployee of this facility, I had easy access to needed information--information that may have remained confidential (and thereforeinaccessible) to the 'outsider'.Specifically, I visited each of the units (Cottage 1, CATC II andCATC III) for one hour per week for six visits. Accompanying mewere the dogs and the dogs' person. My rationale for bringing thedogs' owner was two-fold: 1) I was able to observe and recordfreely, and 2) the owner was able to answer pertinent questions thatthe children may ask about the dogs, was able to handle the animals5better, and was able to model the appropriate relationship andnurturance behaviors seen in people/pet partnerships.The adolescents who resided in these units were briefed aboutthe program and were informed of what would be asked of them.They were told that it was volunteer participation only and thatconfidentiality would be assured. Those who chose to participatewere informed of the request to answer open-ended questions andparticipate in an interview at the end of the visitations. Thecomments from the interviews are included in the study and serve toenhance accuracy and increase construct validity.ProceduresThe following is a 'recipe' which outlines the procedures usedin the Maples Project:1) Receive approval from management to run thestudy.2) Ensure that B.C. Interact can supply an appropriatedog for the study. Interview and select the specificvolunteer person and dog who will be involved in thestudy.3) Set up an appointment to explain the study to theprospective subjects. Explain what is needed fromthem if they agree to participate (1 hour/week for 6weeks, 1 hour interview time). Broach the topics ofconfidentiality, the purpose of the study, the disposalof the data after the study is completed, etc. Have theparticipants sign the research consent form and set up6scheduling for each unit. The above is explained to thestaff members as well.4) Begin visitations. 	 During each visit 	 (1 hour)record all noticeable events and key statements. Usethe 'group note taking techniques' which reflect notonly subjective statements but also behavioralobservations and analyses of the situation.Specifically record changes in behavior andinteractional style. Both the insight of the staffmembers and the information in each subject's chartwill provide a strong data base for past and presentbehaviors. With these added tools, the impact of PFTshould be clearly noted.5) After the visitations are completed, categorizeobservations and begin analysis of data. 	 Checkperceptions with staff to see if they would categorizeobservations in the same manner.6) During the interview session, use sentencecompletion forms and open-ended questions about thestudy to determine perceptions. Interview theparticipants to determine if the participants agreewith the 'conclusions' that I have arrived upon.As mentioned above, I chose three treatment units for thisproject. The reason for this was two-fold: 1) The length of stay issubstantially longer in these units than in the response units, and 2)these clients had been at the Maples long enough to have developedrelationships with the staff--they were a 'known' entity in which tocompare and contrast behaviors.7Admission into the program was clearly defined. Animal abusewas not tolerated, and would result in immediate expulsion from theproject. Participants were self-selected by their expression ofinterest in the program. The project may also have inadvertentlyserved as a unit incentive program. Hopefully, further steps maynow be taken to implement pet visitations, dog grooming, andperhaps dog training as part of the canine service at the Maples.8CHAPTER II : LITERATURE REVIEWThe use of animals as psychologically therapeutic agents hasbeen around for a long time. Much has not been properly documented;the benefits of pet companionship have always been merely assumed,accepted, and innately 'known'. The first documented case of pet-facilitated therapy was in the 1780's, in which a psychiatric clinicused 'rabbits and fowls' as instruments of therapy to help patientsdevelop self-control and accept responsibility (Brickel, 1980). Manyother such findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the use ofpets. Pets have been used in a variety of settings, such as inpsychiatric hospitals, on cancer wards, in prisons, and in geriatricnursing homes. Several studies and theories will be discussedbelow, with an emphasis on pet-facilitated therapy in psychiatricsettings.The Role of Pets in Psychiatry and PsychotherapyCorson and Corson (1980) and Corson et al. (1977) emphasizethe importance of animals (and dogs in particular) as co-therapists.Often, mentally distressed patients perceive negative non-verbalsignals from their therapist, which may exacerbate feelings ofmistrust, self-doubt and suspicion, and may create social isolation,Dogs are generally thought of as open, honest, and without ulteriormotive. In therapy, the dog co-therapist is seen as a partner whohelps generate the crucial non-verbal communication process. Thistype of communication creates trust, confidence, assurance, andenhances self-esteem, thereby diminishing the suspicion, shyness,social isolation and lack of self respect. The 'existential910significance' (Bergler, 1982) of non-verbal communication in humandevelopment--stroking, touching, eye-contact, mimicry,gesticulation, pantomime, etc.--has led to the use of dogs as co-therapists with patients who have deficient or non-existentcommunication skills (Corson and Corson, 1980).Pet-facilitated therapy (PFT) is designed to supplement, notreplace, other forms of psychotherapy. It is a tool to assist in thepsychotherapeutic process, and to encourage resocialization. Thesuccess of PFT is measured by the fact that patients often accept'love' from a pet more easily than from humans. PFT is regarded as aform of 'reality conditioning'--"not only is the patient's own self-esteem enhanced and stabilized through interaction with the animaland its reactions, but he is made aware of the limitations of his ownbehavior and the modalities of mutual dependency (Bergler, 1988, p.40) IICorson et al. (1977) describe a study in which dogs wereintroduced to withdrawn children in a psychiatric centre. Everyencounter between dog and child was recorded on video tape, and thetapes were played back to each patient. The researchers noted rapidinitial success--the young patients began talking to other childrenagain, asked to see the dog more often, and inquired if they couldhelp look after the animals. As the patients grew more accustomedto the dogs, their radius of movement became progressivelyenlarged. In some cases, patients actually moved freely around theclinic with their dogs, striking up conversations about the dog withpeople they came across. (This is an example of the pet acting as asocial catalyst.) A quantitative analysis of the video material11revealed that patients were more immediate and direct in theirverbal reactions both to the dog and to other people when the dogwas present. There was also an increase in the number of wordsused per response. Of the fifty patients in the study, all those who'accepted' a pet (three refused) showed increased self-esteem, adesire for independence, and an increased sense of responsibility.These feelings were strengthened by the degree of care andresponsibility assumed by the patient for the care of his dog.Brickel(1982) suggests that some of the positive effects of apet in psychotherapeutic treatment are caused by an 'attentionshift'. The animal diverts the patient's attention, therebydiminishing an undesired behavior. A possible anxiety reaction in acrucial situation is rendered less likely by the patient's growinginterest in the pet.The Role of Pets in Child TherapyLevinson (1962,1964,1965,1969,1970,1972,1975,1980), a NewYork psychoanalyst, was one of the first to study the psychology ofthe relationship between pets and humans. His main focus has beenon the use of pets in child therapy with children who have beendiagnosed with perceptual, experiential, or behavioral disordersrooted in a lack of emotional security. Levinson notes that theimportant difference between playing with dolls or other toys andwith an animal (particularly a dog) is that the child becomes awareof the fact that his feelings are reciprocated. In Levinson's work, adog is used as a co-therapist in his sessions. The child first12interacts with the dog. Slowly the therapist is drawn into theinteractions between the child and the dog as the child's desire toplay with the dog fades into the background. The focus of theattention gradually shifts to the interaction between the child andthe therapist. Through the relationship with the dog the child gainsvaluable emotional support. The child develops confidence in thedog, and hence develops self-confidence. Making contact with otherpeople (in this case with the therapist) becomes much easier. Thechild eventually becomes able to relate to experiences outside thetherapeutic sessions in an equally well-adjusted manner (Levinson,1970).Levinson (1970) applies a psychoanalytic approach to his work.He states that the function of the animal should be to give the childpure pleasure, and not to impose constraints like some kind ofsuper-ego. Other researchers have suggested different theories toexplain the effectiveness of PFT.Kusnetzoff (1982) reports on the role played by a dog intherapy with an adolescent for whom the parental home was asource of identification conflict. Sherick (1981) emphasized thetherapeutic value of dogs in the treatment of children who havedifficulty freeing themselves emotionally from their mothers andbecoming emotionally self-sufficient. Frith (1982) was able toshow that dogs and cats help handicapped children experiencefeelings of emotional attachment and fulfillment. In a more generalway, Teutsch (1980) noted the positive impact of pets in therapywith behaviorally disturbed children.13The Role of Pets In Developmental PsychologyLevinson (1972,1978,1980) assumes that the role of animals isage specific. According to Levinson, children in their first year oflife need a special 'cuddly animal' (a soft toy) that is always thereto act as a bridge between them and the world around them. Thishelps children develop confidence in the world and in themselves.As children mature, they are expected to develop a measure ofindependence, and are more likely to succeed if they are able toexplore the world from a position of independence. If accompaniedon their explorations by a pet, they are less likely to be afraid. If achild is responsible for looking after and training his or her pet,he/she will accustom his/herself to the discipline of a fixedroutine. He/she will also learn to accept the animal's individualpeculiarities, which can lead to greater tolerance and acceptance ofone's own weaknesses. If one loves a pet and wishes to 'read' itsfeelings, one must place oneself in the pet's position (i.e., becomeempathic). Constant association with a pet shows the child how thebehavior they employ affects the animal and vice versa. The childcomes to understand what it means to co-exist in a state of mutualdependency. The sense of being the pet's 'master' helps the childfeel on a more equal footing with his/her parents, and increasesfeelings of independence (Levinson, 1978,1980). As a childcontinues to mature, the pet can facilitate contact with others andsecure social recognition.Pets can also serve as a point of reference which parents canuse as a basis to discuss difficult topics such as sexuality and basicfacts of life and death. A pet can be the medium through which the14child learns to witness and comprehend the process of procreation,birth, and death. During times of transition ( a move, for instance),pets are able to give a child stability and reassurance. If a newsibling is born and the parents seem to focus all their attention onthe baby , the child can turn to his pet for emotional support.Wolfe (1977) focuses on the 'mediating function' of pets inadolescent relationships. Pets can satisfy the need for consolationand facilitate adjustment to other people. A mediating function isalso apparent in the way pets are perceived and experienced. Petsare perceived as having desirable social and personalcharacteristics such as friendliness, warmth, constancy, reliability,sympathy, and empathy. According to Wolfe, the 'value' of the pet tothe adolescent consists of the mediation of characteristics that aredesirable and necessary for that person's psychological stability.Pets in Attachment and Use as Transitional ObjectsRynearson (1978) suggests that the nature of the human-dogbond is one of basic reciprocal attachment. Both dogs and humanslive in 'packs,' with attachment being of crucial importance. Thedrive and need for attachment is a biological instinct separate fromthe instincts of sexuality, aggression, dominance, and territoriality.It is an instinct based on nurturance, care-giving, and emotional andphysical closeness.Bowlby (1969) believes that bonding is an instinctual ratherthan a secondary drive. When these natural needs for attachment arenot met, there may be regressed attachment needs from this period.These needs show themselves either in anxious attachment behavior,15such as over-dependency and clinging, in anxious attachment becauseof fears of abandonment, or by a reaction formation of excessivecare-giving. 	 Cases of obsessive care-giving to pets symbolizeprojective identification; the caring for the pet	represents anattempt to care for the self. In the early attachment betweenmother and child, there has to come separation to allow for growthand development. Separation and growth are ongoing aspects of ourhumanity, and the experience of separation from the pet (throughdeath, for example) can allow for healing earlier experiences ofseparation. If there is a fixation at some point in development,situations may develop in which a person becomes a compulsivecare-giver to pets and is therefore inconsolable at the time of thepet's loss.Pets too can become transitional objects--intermediaries forexpressing wants, fantasies, and aggressive ideas. Levinson (1969)believes that pets (especially dogs) can act as transitional objects,as the original 'not me' possession. Because a dog lives in a naturalway, interaction with a dog provides children with a way ofresponding to and accepting sexual feelings, sibling rivalry,aggression, and bowel habits. As children learn tolerance of thedog's difficulties, they develop tolerance of their own inabilities.A dog also allows the child to be master. Close identificationwith humans has often made the dog a scapegoat; humans derive egogratification by passing onto the dog the indignities they receivefrom others. In scolding a dog, these grievances can be dissipated,but this displacement can also be a source of animal abuse (Bossare1944).16The use of pets as socializing agents has been suggested bymany researchers, mainly through anecdotal accounts. Katcher(1984) used more 'scientific' (or at least quantitative) techniques tomeasure this phenomenon. He found that keeping a pet is bothstatistically normal and culturally normative, and that over one-halfof the families in the United States keep pets and feel that they areimportant in their lives. In a study with children, Katcher found thatboth pulse and blood pressure were lowered significantly in childrenwho were brought into a room for an interview in which a dog wasalso present (ibid). He found a similar decrease in the heart rate andblood pressure of people petting dogs (in Fogle, 1981). Men pet dogsas much as women do, leading Katcher to conclude that perhaps inWestern culture this is an acceptable way for men to openly expresstheir affection. We know that people who are single, widowed, ordivorced have a higher death rate than those who are married, butKatcher also showed that in white subjects hospitalized forcoronary artery disease the presence of a pet was the strongestsocial predictor of survival for one year after hospitilization.Katcher also measured the blood pressure of individuals talking totheir pets, and found again a decrease in blood pressure. Hisfindings showed that eighty percent of people owning animals talkedto their pets. From these studies, Katcher concluded that safety andintimacy are the organizing concepts behind our bond to dogs,reminiscent of a time when our ancestors could feel safe when theysaw a resting animal--a sign that there was no danger present.17Animals as a Connection to NatureSearls (1960), as well as Rynearson (1978), Bowlby (1969), andLevinson (1969), views pets as transitional objects. Searls, as wellas Katcher (1984) and Lorenz (1953), sees pets in a mediating rolebetween humans and nature. Psychoanalytic literature usuallystresses the importance of pets as substitutes for other humansthrough transference and projection. Yet Searls (1960) points outthat dogs are of real significance to human beings and that they areable to enter into human emotional relationships bilaterally. Thedog is the object that we can relate to transferentially. Yet it isalso a living being that eats, bites, destroys, urinates, lavishesaffection, has a sexual life, and is subject to many human-liketravails between life and death. Through the dog we can relate tothe non-human environment, which paradoxically gives us a sense ofunity to all living things (Woloy, 1990).LevinsonAs noted above, Boris Levinson has made huge contributions tothe field of PFT. Because his contributions are so great, and allsubsequent PFT studies spring from his initial research andtheories, I would like to use this section to further review his work.Pets and Child Development Levinson (1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1980)believes that in today's troubled family systems a pet is often theonly common interest uniting parents and children. Our therapieshave become more 'scientific,' and the intuitive, emotional aspects18of living have been neglected. Introducing a love object in the formof a pet can help restore the balance between the external and theinternal world.Pets can help children develop their potential without unduerestraints placed on them by parents or peers. Pets have beenproven to alleviate stress and to act as therapeutic agents and asaids to normal childhood development. Taking care of a pet is thebeginning of assuming responsibility for someone else. And bybecoming an authority figure by being 'in charge' of the pet, childrenlearn to accept authority more easily.As children explore their environment accompanied by a trustedanimal friend, they are able to shed some of their dependence onadults and broadens their social skills. If a child is foiled orrebuffed in his/her attempt to make friends with peers, he or shecan always find acceptance from his/her pet. The pet will notdisappoint him/her or make excessive demands. The child is in noway vulnerable when he or she expresses his/herself to a pet. Thepet may also help in the formation of the child's identity, as identityformation is dependent upon the opportunity to interact and to learn."Play and constructive leisure activities are one essential elementin this needed interaction (Levinson, 1969b, p. 81)." As the childplays with a pet he/she can learn about his/herself. The handling ofa pet can be a reflection of the child--something that a perceptivechild can recognize. Is he/she cruel or kind? The pet is helpless inmany ways, and cannot berate the child or underscore the child'skindness or cruelty. Because the child is in control, he/she is unable19to excuse his/her behavior by claiming a lack of responsibility forhis/her actions.The child also learns that there are limits to what can beaccomplished either with his/herself or with the pet. Acceptance ofthese limitations can enhance the sense of reality and strengthenthe ego of the child. The child's realization and acceptance of thenegative sides of his or her personality will also facilitate theacceptance of the negative aspects of other individuals. Thisencourages the development of empathy toward people as well asanimals.Children experience 'love' of a pet in different ways. Somechildren see their pets as an extension of themselves and treat theanimal in the way they themselves would like to be treated. The petmay also unconsciously symbolize a liked or disliked person, andwill be treated accordingly. Some children like or love their petsbecause these are the only living things they can relate to, havingexperienced so much hurt at the hands of people. Often only afterthey have had a satisfactory relationship with an animal can theymake a start at developing human relationships.Animals and Psychotherapy The use of animals in psychotherapy is rather extensive, yetuntil recently it has not been recognized as a viable adjunct totherapy. Levinson 'stumbled' across the therapeutic benefits of petswhen his dog, 'Jingles,' happened to meet one of his child clients.The unexpected positive results of this interaction led Levinson tobegin including his dog in therapy sessions.2 0Levinson believes that pets, particularly dogs and cats, areuseful in psychological evaluation, in psychotherapy (child, group,and family), and in work with mentally or physically handicappedindividuals.In psychological examination, the presence of an animal createsa more natural and relaxing environment for the child underobservation. The child's interactions with the pet and his/herconversations about the pet can provide important diagnostic cluesto his/her personality and problems. The pet acts as an 'ice breaker'and helps the therapist establish the beginnings of rapport.In therapy sessions, pets help children modify theirmaladaptive response patterns. For very young children, pets offer anatural prop for the acting-out that precedes verbalization ofexperience. In the same way, children fixed at early developmentallevels can gratify their regressive needs through play with the pet.Eventually they will achieve a measure of maturity which willenable the therapist to reach them.For the child who is disorganized and fears losing his/herself,working with a pet means a setting of limits (there is just so mucha pet will allow!) that protects him/her against possibly destructiveimpulses and aids in bringing some organization into the thought andbehavior of the child. By contrast, the submissive, withdrawn childfinds that through a pet's acceptance, he or she is able to better takeon life's challenges.21Acting-out children also benefit from the influence of a lovedpet, as in the example below:Donald, the younger of two children in anemotionally disturbed family, had multipleproblems which had gotten him into trouble athome, at school, and in the neighborhood. Diagnosedas exhibiting a psychotic reaction, he wassuspended from school at eight years of age afterdisrupting the class with his aggressive, bizarrebehavior. Tests showed him to have mild organicbrain damage, a moderate hearing loss in one ear, asevere loss in the other (he wears a hearing aid),and borderline intelligence, although the school'simpression was that his intelligence was normal.Donald played the role of scapegoat in his family,being the target of both physical and verbal abuse.At the end of a successful season in summercamp, Donald was rewarded by his family with adog, Brownie. The dog was also intended to teachDonald responsibility and provide him with somecompanionship, as he was unable to keep friends.Donald fed the dog when reminded and accompaniedhis father when the latter took Brownie outdoors.The dog helped to unify the family members byproviding opportunities for them to work togetherin caring for it and teaching it tricks.For the most part, child and dog got along welltogether. When Donald was overaggressive with hispet, Brownie snapped at him and put an end to thebehavior, thus providing more effective controlthan human beings had been able to achieve.Brownie also provided his young master withphysical contact and affection which the childcraved but was afraid to accept from people,against whom he struck out when they attempted to22come close. The dog's love was not threatening,and Donald could love his pet in return, thuslearning that affection and companionship can beenjoyable and not destructive.The animal also served as a nonreactivelistener, and in Donald's opinion, a comprehendingone. The role diminished in importance as Donaldlearned to make friends and communicate with hispeers. The dog served as a link to other children byarousing their interest, which then came toencompass Donald. Donald still does not like adultsas much as he does his pet, but Brownie and otherchildren are now on a par in his affection.Brownie helped Donald develop patience andself-control as he cared for and trained his pet anddiscovered the limits of permissible behavior withher. She was a valuable adjunct in bringing aboutimprovement in this severely disturbed boy(Austin, in Levinson, 1972a, p. 138).PFT is especially helpful in the treatment of the nonverbal,severely ego-disturbed child whose contact with reality is tenuous.A therapist often has trouble entering their fantasy world andgaining their trust. The pet has no such problem; the child quicklyaccepts it as a real playmate and accompanies it into the real worldso that the therapist can make contact.Disturbed children generally have a great need for physicalcontact, yet they fear human contact because people have hurt themso much and so often. Often children are able to tell the pet theirtroubles. The pet, of course, asks no questions and makes nodemands. Schizophrenic children, especially, fear physicalcloseness to the therapist as they are so unsure of their own ego23strength that they fear being overwhelmed by the ego of thetherapist. 	 In playing with a pet co-therapist, the child is able tocreate his own boundaries. The child may be asked to imagine thathe is a dog, and encouraged to act like a dog (bark, walk on all fours,and so on), which helps the child orient himself to his surroundingsand reach into the real world. As the therapist is a participant inthis common adventure, rapport is established and the doors tocommunication are opened.Pets can satisfy a number of needs. "For a child who needs loveand something to cuddle, the pet provides much solace. For the childwho needs to dominate, to master the situation, the pet serves as anobedient slave. For all disturbed children, who fear being rejectedand criticized, the pet offers unfailing, nonthreatening acceptance(Levinson, 1972, p 142)."Sometimes a pet can even serve a useful but unexpectedpurpose by eliciting unforeseen responses. 	 The case of 'John,'summarized below, illustrates this point:John, an eight-year-old adopted child who wasmuch disturbed by the fact that his real motherhad deserted him, could not accept his fostermother's reassurance that he was indeed a"chosen" child, that he was really wanted andloved. He felt that he had been taken "on approval"and feared he would be returned if he misbehaved.He threatened to kill his sister (also an adoptedchild) and himself because he was convinced thatthey must be very bad to have been surrendered foradoption.My cat had been sleeping in her basket in theoffice for a few sessions before John noticed her.24He began to fondle her and wanted to feed her. Heasked questions about her, wanting to know whereshe came from. I explained to him that weacquired her at the ASPCA, where she had been leftas one of a litter of abandoned kittens. I told himhow much we loved her and how my two sons oftenfought for the privilege of having her in their roomat night.At first John found it difficult to accept theidea that an animal that had been abandoned by hermother and her owner could be loved and acceptedby others. He kept returning to this subject; heobviously began to see an analogy between thekitten's situation and his own, and to consider thepossibility that he actually was loved by hisadoptive parents. His recovery seemed to beginwith our discussions about my "adopted" cat(Levinson, 1965)."Pets in Caretaking InstitutionsMany institutions have concerns about having pets. Managementand staff worry that the pet may scratch or bite, may cause healthproblems (such as allergies), or may be sadistically treated by theresidents. The idea of PFT has historically not been accepted as aviable form of treatment in such facilities.Residents, especially children, need love objects. Many of thechildren in institutions are depressed, have poor self concepts, andare distrustful of close relationships. In many institutions, staffturnover is great and the children feel continuously abandoned.Alternately, staff may become too close to residents (counter-transference issues, boundary problems), and may make a child feel25uncomfortable and/or arouse jealous reactions from the otherchildren. A pet can help in these situations and can become a lovingand forgiving companion.A pet can also serve as a source of constant stimulation. Beingaround a pet tends to decrease behaviors such as head-banging,excessive masturbation, rocking, and finger-sucking. When the childfinds adequate pleasurable tactile contact and activity with the pet,he/she no longer has to seek these needs through his/her own body.A well trained pet can help children abort such behavioral'deviations,' and can aid in the creation of positive relationshipswith staff and peers. Often, in a residential setting, preparationsfor sleep are anxiety-provoking. Taking a pet to bed, or havingcontact with the pet just before bedtime, can help ward off thefears and nightmares that disturb sleep.In implementing a PFT program in institutions, staff should bewell informed about the role pets play, and about behavioral changesto be expected in the children. The children should also be informedof the new program. Levinson (1972a) believes that the introductionof pets into an institution breaks up the sometimes monotonousroutine of institutional life and adds spontaneity.In choosing the type and character of pets to be utilized in aPFT program, the psychological and physical needs of the clients areconsidered. Levinson lists the following guidelines for chosing theanimals, in this case for selecting dogs:261. They should relate equally well to allchildren and adults and not tend to become a one-master dog.2. They should be sensitive and yet be able totake rough play in their stride, whether fromchildren or adults, without resorting to biting orwithdrawal.3. They should be good looking, intelligent,alert, 	 inquisitive, 	 of a 	 happy 	 disposition,affectionate, and willing to please and to serve.4. They should know a few tricks such asfetching, "shaking hands," "dancing," and "begging."5. They should obey the therapist's ordersimplicitly and should be able to remember theseorders for quite a while (Levinson, 1972a, p. 180).Much of my work has been based on the views of Levinson. Hisbasic beliefs will be supported by my findings presented in thispaper.The Search for a Unifying TheoryResearchers in the field of PFT have been accused of having notheoretical foundations on which to base their work. Yet, whilethere is no overall inductive, deductive, or functional theory(McBurney, 1983) to explain PFT data, there are three basic modeltheories: animal/animal, human/human, and human/objectrelationships which are analogous to human/animal relationshipsand attachments (Kidd and Kidd, 1987).The animal/animal model has limited application foranimal/human attachments. 	 Ethologists (Tinbergen, 1951; Lorenz,271952; Griffin, 1976) hypothesize that animal social behaviorendures because it has survival value for the species and for theindividual. 	 The focus is on intra- or species-specific rather thaninter- or cross-species behaviors and characteristics. Theappearance and helplessness of very young animals elicit nurturingand care-taking behaviors from the adults. In the domesticationprocess, animals are bred to retain infantile characteristics whichelicit a care-taking response from humans. In this theory, thehuman/companion animal bond consists of care-taking responseselicited by the neotenized (infantile) features of the animals.The human/human inter-relationship analogy is explainedthrough psychological and cultural factors. Leisure theory(Neulinger, 1980) holds that as leisure time increases, more timecan be spent on personal interests. Crandall (personalcommunication to A. H. Kidd and R. M. Kidd, 1986) notes that petsprovide one type of important human leisure activity, since pets maybe useful in reducing the stress that increased leisure can produce.Brickel (1982) applies Learning Theory to view pets as a formof stimuli for humans, and views the pets' behavior as a form ofreward for the humans' behavior toward the pets.Developmental psychology suggests models based on touch andplay (Montagu, 1971; Jourard, 1974). With this theory, as withLearning Theory, it is assumed that models developed to explainhuman interaction also apply to the human/animal bond.Social psychology indicates that people select mates andfriends on the basis of 'birds of a feather flock together,' similarity(Murstein, 1970), and 'you have what I myself lack,' complementarity28(Winch, 1958). Kidd and Kidd (1984) found that pet selection isbased on the above characteristics, yet these researchers believethat it is difficult to attempt to find parallels between thehuman/human and the human/animal studies.Kidd and Kidd (1987) believe that the analogies betweenhuman/human and human/animal relationships merely provide alimited utility model. The model is further distorted by'anthropomorphism,' the attribution of human mental and emotionalcapacities to animals. These researchers suggest that PFT should befurther investigated 'scientifically' in order to generate 'valid' and'valuable' theories.Many others believe that the conclusions derived from utilizingonly 'scientific' quantitative methodologies will not adequatelyreflect the human/companion animal bond. Herzog and Burghardt(1987) believe that our lack of a unifying theory is not surprising,and that the construction of any all-encompassing theory will onlyend in failure. They ask:Doesn't a science need to go through initialstages of observation, description, and taxonomy,along with seat-of-the-pants generalization andspeculation before donning the mantle of theory ormodel with all the quantitative precision thisimplies (p. 130)?To conclude, Rollin (1987) comments:Our relationships with animals are important--common sense, art and literature all attest to this.Animals are beneficial to humans--again this isunquestionable... I submit that the area ofhuman/animal relationships needs less, not more,scientism (p.131).CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGYThe Maples Project was created to provide pet visitationswithin the walls of the institution. The interactions betweenresidents and the visiting dogs were observed. The study includesthese observations plus data derived from completed open-endedsentence forms and from respondent interviews. Subjects wereasked to share their perceptions of the pet project with theresearcher. The methodology is described below, followed bydocumentation from the literature which supports the choice of theparticipant observer research method.SettingThe Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre is a residentialfacility that services teens aged twelve to seventeen. The Maples,located in Burnaby, B.C., is a large self-contained complex, whichboasts a school, full food services, and complete recreationalprograms. Three residential treatment units and two response unitshouse the adolescent clients.Of the three residential units, two service 'conduct disordered'youth; children who 'act out' and have become management problemsfor their families and their communities. Many residents areinvolved with the court system; some have been ordered to reside atthe Maples in lieu of sentencing to Willingdon Youth DetentionCentre. The conduct disordered youth generally have little or nofamily contact, and the majority of these children have been abusedsexually, physically, and emotionally. In addition to anger29management difficulties, many have substance abuse problems andact out sexually. Some have organic problems such Fetal AlcoholSyndrome or Attention Deficit Disorder. Others reside in thesesecure units because they are at high risk to themselves or others;some of these clients are certified. The two units for conductdisordered adolescents are located in the locked unit buildingreferred to as the Contained Adolescent Treatment Centre, or CATCfor short. The two CATC units included in our study were CATC IIand CATC III.The other residential unit used in the study was Cottage 1.This cottage is 'open,' i.e. the doors are not locked. The clientele arediagnosed with 'thought disorders'--illnesses that are psychiatric innature. This program is presently situated on the Maples Complex,but at the time of the study it was based at Inman House, a grouphome located in a neighborhood setting two kilometers from themain complex. The relocation of Cottage 1 took place toaccommodate rebuilding after one of the other units was destroyedby fire.Cottage 1 children have a range of problems includingschizophrenia, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, andborderline personality disorder. Medication is used more frequentlyon this unit than on other units, and the behaviors of the residentsseem more 'bizarre.' To the lay person, residents of the CATC unitsappear as 'juvenile delinquents,' while Cottage 1 residents appearpsychiatrically ill.The average stay in the residential units (CATC II, CATC III,and Cottage 1) is one year. The two response units were not30included in this study since these children stay for a shorter thirtyday assessment period. I focused my study on the residents whowould 1) reside at the Maples for the duration of the study, and 2)have significant data backgrounds and have formed interpersonalrelationships from which inferences could be drawn.SubjectsAs the setting and the subjects are often inseparable, muchabout the subjects has already been discussed. All three units usedin the study are co-ed, and each resident has his/her own room. TheCATC units house a maximum of eight residents at one time, whilethe cottage has a capacity for twelve residentsIn the following list of subjects, as in the rest of this paper,the subjects' real names have been replaced by pseudonyms to ensureconfidentiality.At the time of the study the numbers were as follows:Cottage 1 : Two females:	 Sharon and NadineFive males: 	 Justin, Joe, Max, Peter and Gary(Justin was admitted after firstsession had taken place)CATC II 	 Three females: Alexis (in detention, attendeda few sessions, then discharged)Darla ( AWOL the whole time)Shelly ( committed suicide )3132Five males : 	 Rob, Ross, Darren, MyronDon (unable to take part due tocadets)CATC III 	 Four females : 	 Joan, Tara, Ann, SandyThree males :	 Ray, Delbert, Andy(two were discharged during thestudy)The total number of residents qualified to take part in thestudy was nine females and thirteen males, or twenty-two subjectsin all.Because this is merely an exploratory study, I considered allthe subjects one group and therefore did not try to differentiatebetween the three subgroups when analyzing the data.B.C. Interact and the Dogs in the StudyB.C. Interact is a non-profit society whose purpose is toprovide and encourage human-animal companionship. B.C. Interacthas many volunteers who visit various homes, hospitals, andinstitutions with their pets. The organization is also involved inlobbying for legislation to promote healthy living with ourcompanion animals. An example of proposed legislative changes isthe recent effort to allow seniors to keep their pets (bring theirpets with them) when they move from their home to a seniors'complex. B.C. Interact is also involved in educating the generalpublic about the benefits of pet animals. Through B.C. Interact, Iwas able to secure a volunteer named Bob Meiklejohn, who offeredhis two dogs for the study. I accompanied Bob on an earlier visit toRiverview Psychiatric Hospital, and was impressed by theprofessionalism of both Bob and his dogs. The original draft of thestudy proposed that just one dog be involved, but since Bob workedwith his two dogs together, the study was altered to incorporateboth animals. As it worked out, the change from one dog to two dogsadded unexpected elements to the study.Bob is a man in his mid-thirties with an outgoing personalityand an honest, straightforward manner. His dogs are Buddy, a fiveyear old male Doberman-Labrador cross, and Shadow, an adult maleRottweiler-Shepherd cross (age unknown). Both are large animals.Buddy is energetic and enjoys rough-housing. Shadow is morerelaxed and somewhat aloof. Both dogs have been screened by B.C.Interact for their suitability as visitation animals. They listencarefully to Bob, are affectionate, and show no signs of aggression,nor are they fearful of interactions. They are able to 'shake a paw,''sit,' and 'lie down.' It appears that both Buddy and Shadow fit thepet profile for visitation animals as suggested by Levinson (1972a,p. 180).ProceduresTo implement the Maples pet visitation project, I first soughtresearch approval from the Forensic Psychiatric ServicesCommission. The subsequent approval may have been eased by thefact that I am employed by the Maples as a counsellor, and amtherefore already permitted access to confidential informationregarding the residents. Having worked at the Maples for the last33four years, I have an intimate understanding of the institutionalrules, both explicit and implicit. I have worked extensively withboth the conduct disordered and the thought disordered clients.Because I am familiar to the residents, the subjects were more openand trusting of the research process. Also, my involvement in theirlives on other levels somehow made the practise of research seemmore humane and less intrusive than if an 'expert'-- with no otherconnection to the children-- had conducted the study.On the other hand, because of my existing relationships withthe children, the interactions with the pets could be 'contaminated'by the fact that the children knew this was my project. Somechildren may have tried to please, while others may have tried tosabotage the research because of my involvement. This issue wasaddressed by me and acknowledged by several of the residents.Permission was granted by U.B.C. Ethical Approval, and by B.C.Interact. I received parental/guardianship approval and writtenpermission from each resident who took part in the study (AppendixA). Before the visitations began, I spoke with each staff andresident group regarding the study. Each resident was informed thatinclusion in the study was completely voluntary, and that one couldwithdraw from the study at any time. Each resident was alsoinformed that I would be taking notes during the visits, and wouldrequest that they fill out an incomplete sentence form andparticipate in an interview. They were told that the only rule of thestudy was that they could not hurt the animals. The staff wererequested to note any behaviors or comments made by the children34regarding the pet visitations. A recording pad was left in each unitfor this purpose, alongside a copy of the project proposal.The visitations were organized on Wednesday evenings for sixconsecutive weeks. Due to illness in Bob's family, the actual studytook eight, not six weeks to complete. (Sufficient warning was givento the units regarding the cancellations; I don't feel these delayswere detrimental to the study.) On Wednesday evenings, the visitsbegan at Cottage 1 from 1800 to 1900 hrs., then moved to CATC IIfrom 1900 to 2000 hrs., then lastly to CATC III from 2000 to 2100hrs. Thus, each visit lasted approximately one hour.While the visits took place, the unit environment remained asnatural as possible. The visits were designed not to interrupt anyother regular activities. All visits took place in the living roomareas of the units. Due to B.C. Interact policies, the dogs remainedon a leash at all times.As Bob and the dogs visited and mingled with the staff andresidents, I sat with the group as a participant observer and tookextensive notes. I also made comments and participated by pettingthe animals, speaking with the residents, making eye contact, andsmiling. Bob, with his dogs, conducted visits as he had in manyother situations before--by talking idly with clients, by movingfrom one resident to another, by allowing the residents to approach,by answering questions, and by responding to comments.My recording style was similar to the 'SOAP' charting used atthe Maples. 	 SOAP stands for Statement, Objective observablebehavior, Analysis, and Plan.	 My recordings quoted specificcomments (statements) and listed observable behaviors.	 I also35noted the overall situation at hand. Analyses were formulated andchecked with each resident during the interview period after thevisits had been completed.The entire process of the research was open and shared withinthe Maples community. The residents were aware of the researchprocess and understood my note-taking behavior. Many askedquestions about what I was writing.The residents were reminded on the fifth visit that the nextone would be the last. This was done so that they could prepare fortheir good-byes and ease the separation process. The subjects werealso told that their involvement in the project may help pave theway for a more permanent pet visitation project at the the Maples.About a week after the last visit took place, I began to meetwith each resident to discuss their perceptions of the dogvisitations. Each interview took place privately in the unitsupervisors' offices. Two of the residents were in Youth Detentionat the time, and were interviewed in a private office at the facility.One resident was undergoing assessment at Riverview PsychiatricHospital. She was interviewed in the commons room.The interview process was altered somewhat from the initialproposal. Because of the childrens' resistance to scheduling theinterviews, I decided to combine the open-ended question answeringinterview (Appendix B) with the perception checking interview.Originally, responses to the open-ended questions were to beanalyzed in an initial interview, followed by a second interviewwhich was designed to check with each subject to see if myperceptions of their views were correct. However, as I became more3637acquainted with my subjects and more aware of schedulingproblems and their resistance to formal interview time, I changedthe procedure and conducted a dual-purpose single interview foreach subject.The interviews were conducted as follows: I often arrivedwithout an appointment as I found that spontaneous interviewsprovoked less anxiety in the residents than did scheduledinterviews. This approach also seemed to lessen the 'powerstruggle' dynamic in which many of the residents engage. Theinformal approach seemed less structured, less 'authoritarian,' andtherefore less threatening. The residents were asked to completethe open-ended sentence forms. I stressed that honest answers wereneeded, and that my feelings would not be hurt by negativeresponses. Most responded to the written section readily, althougha few refused to write. Those who refused to write did, however,allow me to write responses down as they dictated their answersorally.Before I went into these interviews, I carefully reviewed allthe data I had gathered that pertained to the child during the sixvisits. After the child completed the open-ended sentences, I askedhim/her if I could read their answers. During the process, Iremained extremely gentle and communicated that there were nowrong responses. As I read the answers they had written, I askedfor clarification or elaboration, being careful not to appearjudgmental or negative about their work. After we had reviewed thesentence completion exercise, I then used my notes (which I hadsummarized in preparation for the interview) to relay myobservations to the child. Often the child was able to clarify myperceptions, and was able to add pertinent information.During the first interview I conducted with a subject, Ichanged my tactics slightly from what I had originally planned. Thisfirst subject, a very articulate and intelligent young man namedGary, brought to light some areas which otherwise would have beenexcluded. As a result of my initial interview with Gary, Iincorporated two structured questions at the end of the perceptionchecking portion. The questions were: 1) What would you dodifferently if you were implementing a pet program at the Maples?,and 2) What is your one specific memory that stands out in yourmind about the visits? Both of these added questions garnereduseful information.I concluded the interview by extending my heartfelt thanks tothe subjects for sharing their thoughts and feelings with me, and forcontributing to the field of pet-facilitated therapy.Participant Observation as a Research Method.The Maples Project has been described and the procedures andimplementation of the study have been communicated to the reader.I will now use this section to support and substantiate my chosenmethod of inquiry.The participant observer observes the interactions of people insituations; how they behave, what they do and what they say. Thetask of a participant observer is more than just gathering data--he/she also interprets events and makes decisions about what topursue. The participant observer is an active researcher in the field.38The following features distinguish participant observationfrom other research methods:(1) This method does not require the researcherto have a clearcut research problem, or a set ofhypotheses prior to doing the field work. 	 Themethod is appropriate for the type of research inwhich the researcher does not feel comfortableenough to develop hypotheses because he does notknow enough about the group or organization hewants to study. In the course of conducting fieldwork, the researcher hopes to develop, as well astest hypotheses.(2) Participant observation allows a researcherto observe social events as they take place in theirnatural setting. 	 This type of observation isdifferent from observations in laboratories whereconditions are artificially contrived.	 Unlike asurvey researcher who usually asks therespondents questions related to their pastexperiences, a participant observer participates inthe life of people he studies. He has an opportunityto observe an event before, during, and after ithappens. He can also find out from the participantshow they feel about the event, and how theirinterpretations may change in the course ofdevelopment.	 In brief, participant observationgenerates rich data for understanding socialsituations.(3) Rather than collecting one type of data, aresearcher using participant observation gathersall kinds of information which are related to thegroup he is studying. A participant observer writesfield notes, conducts interviews, collectsmaterials such as minutes of meetings, by-laws ofa club, notices, and correspondence. All these39materials constitute the data base for the crossreference of events to check their consistency andreliability.(4) Unlike a cross-sectional survey (as opposedto a longitudinal survey) in which a researcherusually has only one chance to gather data from therespondents, a participant observer stays in theresearch site for an extended period of time, andobserves the participants in a variety of situations.If he discovers that some points are neglected inone field trip, he can always check with theparticipants the next time he returns to the field(Li, 1981, p. 57).This list of features supports the research design of theMaples Project.The Maples Project observes the subjects in their natural setting(the study is interested in reactions to PFT within the MaplesAdolescent Treatment Centre). I, the researcher, participate in thelives of the subjects as I am present during the visitation sessionsand am, in a larger sense, a participant in the institutional milieudue to my position as a counsellor. The data gathered for the studyare varied--field notes, informal and structured interviewquestions, incomplete sentence forms, case histories, and staffperceptions are used. The study allowed for data to be gathered onmany occasions, from the introductory discussion of the project ,through the visits, to the interview process.In participant observer studies, the researcher must determinewhether to be an observer, a participant, or both. the researchermust also determine whether or not the respondents will be madeaware of his/her identity. In order to fully understand the group, a40researcher has to be included to some degree in the group. It isimportant, however, that involvement in the group not change thedevelopment of events in a radical way (Li, 1981).Li (1981) appears to support, when possible, sharing withsubjects information about the research. If the members of thegroup become aware that the researcher is studying them, then theresearcher's task becomes easier as he may ask questions, writenotes, etc. without appearing too inquisitive. "By telling people whohe is, a researcher can legitimize his presence among the members,especially when the group accepts the presence of a researcheramong them(Li, 1981, p. 58)."I believe that, especially in this study, it was extremelyimportant to share my reasons for conducting the study with thesubjects, and to put everything 'on the table' as it were. Thesubjects have had many negative life experiences and are thereforemistrustful and wary of the intentions of others. My approach,therapeutically and ethically constructed, has been to remain asopen and honest as possible. This manner tends to promote therespect that all human beings cherish. Li (1981) agrees that it isbetter to be forthright about one's identity and purpose. Although itmay take longer to gain the confidence of the group, it is easier (andethically more correct) to operate in one's true identity. It shouldbe noted that since many of the subjects already knew me, severalinstances of pleasing or sabotaging behaviors occurred.In determining what role I should play (participant, observer,or both) I discovered myself wearing both hats simultaneously. Iobserved (recorded objective comments, behaviors, situations ),4142participated as part of the group, 	 analyzed situations andcausations, and formulated possible theories. 	 I worked on manylevels, but found this process quite comfortable due to my manyyears of group-work experience, during which I performed much thesame function. As there are no definitive procedures for usingparticipant observation as a research method, this relatively loosestructure allowed me to mold and shape the study to best extractpertinent themes. The 'openness' to change allowed for the inclusionof important elements which would otherwise not have beenmeasured had I stayed with the original format.	 Naturally,procedural changes were applied equally to all subjects.	 Theapproach felt commonsensical, addressed the uniqueness of thegroup, and allowed for a more 'natural' research environment.Participant observation is effective in observing the events ina relatively small group of people. With three small groups totallingtwenty-two subjects in the Maples study, the participantobservation method worked well. Since the Maples Project is but anexploratory study on the impact of pet visitations at a treatmentcentre, I have grouped the three units into one group for the purposeof analysis. A further breakdown of data regarding the differencesbetween conduct disordered and thought disordered populations, or astudy on the different interactions between the male and femalesubjects would be interesting, but is not within the scope of thisstudy. Further research needs to be done to examine more fullythese interactions, or antithetically, to generalize the findings ofthe Maples Project to other populations.43The choice of research topic is largely subjective. I chosepet-facilitated therapy because of my personal interest and mybelief that pets provide therapeutic benefits for human beings.Because of my familiarity with the Maples, the site for my researchbecame obvious. In fact, Li (1981) recommends that the researcherbecome familiar with the site and have some background knowledgeof the social milieu. "The more background information a researcherhas prior to entering the field, the less time he will take to learnabout the group, and the earlier he will be able to raise meaningfulquestions for his research (p. 61)." In addition to already having anunderstanding of the workings of the institution, I took time to readclient histories, psychiatric reports, and other pertinentinformation regarding each child in the study. I was allowed accessto confidential files because of my position at the Maples.A participant observer is looking for facts that tell him/herabout the lives of the people, how they behave in various situations,and how they interpret events. The researcher hopes to developmore general concepts from these facts and come up with summarystatements about the group-- statements which are supported byevidence. Therefore, even studies that are basically descriptive innature can provide themes and support theories. Evidence can takemany forms--in the Maples Project field notes, unstructured andstructured interviews, staff opinion, family histories, sentencecompletion forms, and psychiatric summaries were all used as data.To increase the reliability and validity of my field records, Itook copious notes during each visit and reviewed them immediatelyafter the evening visits were over. At this time I filled in any44useful information that I had missed during my initial note-taking.The immediacy of this review increased accuracy in recording. I didnot discuss my findings with anyone until my daily record wascompleted in an effort not to become confused or be undulyinfluenced by others.I also took pains to record statements and events asaccurately and as precisely as possible. Quotes were madeverbatim--I recorded not only what was said but how the statementwas made This record is important, as a specific word or phrase,particularly the way in which it was expressed, may have specialmeaning. Any queries or analyses were recorded separately--what I'thought' was kept apart from what I 'observed.' All notes weredated and events which may have had effects on the milieu (such asthe suicide of a resident) were recorded. I kept my notebooks withme at all times so that I could record accurately any informationshared outside of the visitation or interview sessions. Any staffcomments were also written in my recording notebooks.The analysis of field materials and notes was conductedthroughout the process of the field research. I looked for conceptsand statements which best summarized the group situation. I beganby searching for similarities among the cases in order to makegeneral statements about my findings. Some statements could notbe applied to all cases, yet these 'deviant' cases are equallyimportant to note. I looked for underlying norms, relationships, andstructures (Strauss, 1990). Field notes were used to illustrate andsupport my analyses and to provide contextual meaning for thereader.Interviews consisted of a sentence completion exercise andstructured and unstructured questions which checked fieldperceptions against the actual perceptions of the subjects. Toproperly conduct the unstructured interviews, the researcher mustconstantly evaluate the respondents' answers, make decisionsregarding the direction of the interview, and draw tentativeconclusions during the process of interviewing (Li, 1981). One mustcarefully guide the interview, and continuously create contingencyplans. I felt as though many of my counselling skills were calledupon to conduct these interviews appropriately. Language was keptat an understandable level--throughout the interview I checked forcomprehension and encouraged the subjects to ask me forclarification.Issues in Participant Observation Although there are numerous advantages in participantobservation as a research method, one must also acknowledge itslimitations. It is not designed to generate data which are suitablefor statistical inference. Field materials are qualitative in natureand are therefore difficult to quantify in a systematic way.Respondents and observations are selected on an informal basis, andare not chosen by probability sampling. For this reason, participantobservation often yields results which are tentative and exploratoryin nature. It is also more difficult to assess the reliability ofmeasurements in participant observation due to the subjectiveinterpretations of the field workers. Yet if one is aware of theselimitations, acknowledges them, and deals with them honestly, they45need not become liabilities. In the Maples Project, I admitted to mybelief that pets are an asset to the quality of human life, yet I wasstill able to observe and record interactions with this bias in mind.Because of the research design, I had no preconceived notions orexpectations of the study outcome, which eliminated any directingof the results. The participant observation design is very useful fordeveloping concepts and hypotheses, and has become a widely usedresearch method among social scientists (Li,1981).To conclude, I refer to Dabbs (1982) who expertly summarizesthe essence of qualitative research methodology.Dictionary definitions are useful: Quality isthe essential character or nature of something;quantity is the amount. Quality is the what;quantity the how much. Qualitative refers to themeaning, the definition or analogy or model ormetaphor characterizing something, whilequantitative assumes the meaning and refers to ameasure of it. The difference is related to Tukey's(1977) distinction between exploratory andconfirmatory analysis. The difference lies inSteinbeck's (1941) description of the MexicanSierra, a fish from the Sea of Cortez. One cancount the spines in the dorsal fin of a pickledSierra, 17 plusl5 plus 9. "But," says Steinbeck, "ifthe Sierra strikes hard on the line so that our handsare burned, if the fish sounds and nearly escapesand finally comes in over the rail, his colorspulsing and his tail beating the air, a whole newrelational externality has come into being."Qualitative research would define the being of46fishing, the ambiance of a city , the mood of acitizen, or the unifying tradition of a group (p. 32).47CHAPTER 4 : RESULTSIn this chapter, I describe the nature of the visitations and theinterviews.	I also compare my observations with backgroundinformation about the subjects and the social milieu. 	 Severalthemes are extracted from this process, and are discussed in the'conclusions' section in terms of their application to pet-facilitatedtherapy.As there are three units and twenty-two subjects involved inthe study, the reading of the 'results' section can become quiteconfusing. In an attempt to try to clarify and organize the subjectsfor the reader, I shall provide a 'cast of characters' which can beutilized as a reference tool to keep track of those involved.Table 1Identification of Subjects and Non-Subjects Involved In the Visitations.ResidentsCottagel    Name Sex 	 Age 	 Diagnosis Comments Gary 	 M 	 17 	 Depressed. Substance 	 Intellectualizes issues. Often playsabuse issues. 	 adult role. Little interaction with peers.48Delusional persecutory episodes. Maybehave in a threatening manner.Misogynist beliefs.Very personable, yet can't be touched,even accidentally. History of animalabuse.Often hyperactive/hypersexual.Mourning the losses which his illnesshas caused.Joe 	 M	17 	 Paranoid Schizophrenic.Max 	 M 	 15 	 Asperger's Syndrome.Obsessive CompulsiveDisorder.Peter	 M 	 15 	 Bipolar.Cottage 1 Cont.Name Sex Age DiagnosisNadine F 16 Schizophrenic.Justin M 15 Obsessive Compulsive.Conduct Disordered.Sharon F 15 Borderline Personality.49CommentsDelusional at times. Believes she is hermother. Takes on different personas.Aggressive, manipulative. Harmful toothers. Interested in negative peerculture.Histrionic. Can develop relationshipswith staff & others who care for her.Black and white thinking.CATC IIRoss M 14 Tourette's Syndrome Unfocused. Short attention span.Requires much staff attention. Highenergy. 	 Impulsive. Affectionate.Rob M 1 3 Conduct Disordered.Sociopathic.Aloof. Poor impulse control. Verballyabusive. Often aggressive/hostile.Shelly F 15 Depressed. Suicidalgesturing.Intelligent. 	 Creative. 	 Artistic. 	 Veryisolative. Well defended. Closed.Alexis F 14 Borderline 	 Personality. Street focus. Long AWOLs.Either submissive or rebellious.Identity 	 crisis.Myron M 14 Conduct Disordered. Very sociable. Manipulative/charmingGood sense of humor.Darren M 1 5 Conduct Disordered. Detached from other youth and staff.Darla F 1 5 Conduct Disordered. Self abusive. Puts self in victim role.Borderline Personality Manipulative. High AWOL risk.Engages in high risk activities.Don M 16 Anxiety 	 Disorder Independent. Isolative. Goal oriented.CATC 	 I I 	 IJoan F 16 Post Traumatic StressSyndrome. Depressed.Attention seeking. Resented by peersfor extra staff attention she receives.Self abusive, Suicidal gesturing.Tara F 14 Post Traumatic StressSyndrome. BorderlineAttention seeking. Sexualizesrelationships. AWOLs frequently.Personality. Self abusive.CATC III Cont.Name Sex Age Diagnosis CommentsSandy F 14 Borderline 	 Personality,sociopathic tendencies.Attention seeking. Tests relationships.Little interaction with peers. Drugfocused. AWOLs frequently.Ann F 15 Post Traumatic StressSyndrome. BorderlineHistrionic. Creates crises. Amoralqualities.Personality, 	 sociopathictendencies.Delbert M 15 Borderline 	 Personality. Structure and limit focused. Dismissingattitude toward peers. Increasingalcohol/drug use.Andy M 1 5 Conduct Disordered. Challenges peers through streetknowledge. Violent temper outbursts.A loner.Ray M 1 7 Bipolar with episodesof psychosis.Volatile mood swings. Narcissistic.Experiences flight of ideas.Aggressive.Non-ResidentsName 	RoleBob	Dog owner. B.0 Interact Volunteer.Erica 	 Researcher. Counsellor at Cottage 1Buddy 	 Dog.Shadow 	 Dog.The StudyThe Introductory MeetingA few days before I began the pet visitations, I met with thestaff group during their 'shift change' discussions, and described thespecifics of the study. The 'OK' for the study had been provided by50the Professional Advisory Committee and by the unit supervisorslong in advance of this shift change meeting. After meeting with thestaff, I then met with the residents of the units. At Cottage 1, Garyexpressed concern regarding confidentiality issues. Joe made 'shoot'em up' gestures while I discussed the pets. In CATC II, both Rossand Myron expressed interest in the project. In CATC III, Delbert,Ann, and Joan were present. They mentioned that they would like acrocodile, guinea pig or an elephant to be the visiting pet.The VisitsVisit #1 Cottage 1 On our first visit, Nadine approached the dogs and greetedthem. Peter asked Bob how one could tell Buddy and Shadow apart,then commanded the dogs to 'sic.' Max stated that he wouldn't touchthe dogs because Nadine had touched them. He did, however, breatheinto the dogs and command them to sit.Peter stated that he wanted to ride Buddy, and Max volunteeredthat he used to ride his dog, who would chase after trucks with Maxon his back. Sharon tried to pet the dogs, but Max insulted her bytelling her to "Fuck off." Nadine continued to give the dogs gentle,sweet hugs.Nadine mentioned that she had had two dogs and that one haddied. Peter said that his dogs had been run over. After Peter shookthe dog's paw, Max followed suit but told the dogs, "I touched youlast." (Max must always touch people and things last.) Max tried totouch the dog's tongue with his tongue and got licked. Max then51attempted to run outside to spit but was sent to the bathroominstead. When Max returned he said, "I kissed the dog," and gaveBuddy a backwards pat (using the back of his palm and strokingagainst the hair growth of the animal).Peter began to scream and yell (in jest) because he waswrestling with the dog and the dog was playing back. Max lookedover at Sharon who appeared to be pouting, then told the dogs to"lick her cuts." (Sharon had open sores from chicken pox at the time.)Max then picked up Buddy's front paws, but Buddy collapsed androlled over. Max again picked up Buddy's front paws and did the 'OogaBooga Dance' with the dog. In this dance that Max developed, onechants "ooga booga" while stepping in beat side to side across from apartner. The partners join hands across from each other and dance inunison. This dance has often been the only time that Max will allowstaff or others to touch him. After the dance, Peter resumedwrestling with the dog and pinned him.As Max left, Sharon approached and rubbed Shadow's belly andtickled his paws. Max returned from the kitchen and fed the dogsfrench fries. Gary kept coming into the room and looking, but did notapproach the animals. Peter declared upon inspecting Buddy'sunderside, "He has pimples." Bob replied that they were nipples andthat there were six of them. Max retorted, "Oh, a six pack." Sharoncontinued with gentle petting while Max and Nadine began their 'Mr.McNee' chant. (The chant repeats the name of their teacher over andover in unison. It is chanted loudly and with specific inflections andtone. This chant was created by Max and other peers join in.)52Max then scurried out the door and Sharon mentioned thatShadow looked bored. Max returned from outside where he had beenlooking for a ball for the dogs to play with, and began to talk abouthis dog who had been killed by a porcupine. Apparently, the quillshad become lodged in its mouth so it couldn't eat. He shared thatboth he and his brother were very sad when the dog died.Max called Shadow a lazy bum, while Sharon stated thatShadow was just bored. Sharon made cat sounds and giggled whilePeter demonstrated how his father lifts up his Shar-pei (like gameon a stick). Sharon stated that her "American Sanford Terrier" hadbeen run over. Peter added that his last two dogs were run over andthat they were expensive animals.As Sharon petted Shadow, Buddy put his paw on Sharon's face.Sharon commented "I think he's a little jealous." While staffconversed about the pets they used to have, Sharon continued withquiet, slow petting. Both Sharon and Peter found a tickly spot onBuddy's underside.Peter searched for fleas and found another ticklish spot onBuddy's back. Peter asked about feeding, suggested the dogs beshaved to resemble a punk 'do' and performed the Heimlich Maneuveron Buddy. He also began massaging the dogs explaining that he was'channelling energy' as they do in Chinese movies.The dogs wandered over to Bob, who pushed them away,explaining that he was not being mean, but that he could see his dogsat any time. Peter then examined Buddy's teeth and explained thatdogs throw up if they are fed the wrong things. He also stated thatwhen his dog hears things his ears perk up.53The discussion then turned to Shadow. Peter observed thatShadow had white hairs and inferred he was getting old. Bobexplained that he did not know how old Shadow was because he gothim from the SPCA. As Peter looked in Shadow's ear, he noticed atattoo. Bob then talked about the meaning of the identificationtattoo, and how it also prevented Shadow from being used for animalexperiments. A rather gruesome discussion of animal experimentswas discussed among the adults--the children seemed to tune thisout.Sharon rubbed Shadow's ear as he leaned into her, and askedBob where else he takes his dogs. Bob told her that he takes themto Riverview and to rest homes and hospitals. The visit ended in aslow and quiet mood -- the dogs were resting as Sharon and Peterpatted them. There was no talking when the dogs left. Peter beganfake crying.CATC II As Bob, the dogs, and I approached from our cars, a residentyelled, "Fucking mutts!" from the outside airing court. Once insidethe unit, however, it turned out that Ross, the boy who made thecomment, was really excited about the visits. Rob laughed about thedogs "sniffing each others bums," and Ross brought out his stuffedcat to play with the visitors.Ross explained that he was trying to get a puppy on the unit.Myron petted the dogs briefly, smelled his hands, said, "Yuk!" anddisappeared. Rob and Ross told the dogs to 'sit,' 'shake a paw,' andthen said, "Good dog!" after the trick was performed.54Ross asked Bob what kind of dogs they were, and expressedconcern about Buddy's leg being caught in the leash. "I won't hurtyou," Ross said as he untangled the lead. The boys moved onto thecouch and Buddy jumped up and lay across both of them.Ross became excited about feeding the dogs and brought outtwo bowls of chili for them. Ross worried about the dogs getting'gas' and talked about a St. Bernard he knew who took 'big dumps.'Rob commented that they were going to be "farting all night." AsRoss brought out a huge bowl of water for the dogs, Rob said that itwould be funny if it was juice or beer instead.The boys asked if they could go outside into the airing court--the fenced outside area adjoining the unit. Bob gave each boy a dogand the dogs ran around in the court, yet the dogs looked to Bobcontinuously for reassurance. We returned inside and the boyswrestled with the dogs.Ross discussed Shelly's rat who had died. Ross said that shehad killed it by throwing it across the room, while Rob said that shehad accidentally killed it while she was having a 'fit.'Rob stated that he has a hamster and a Siamese cat, whileRoss said that his mom has a cat who drinks hot coffee. Rob begandancing with the dogs and put a sock on Buddy's back. Ross remarkedabout how he used to throw puppies down the hill in the snow. Rossthen pretended to be a cat, then a dog. While inspecting Shadow,Ross asked what was wrong with his eyes, as he 'looks stoned.'Ross asked Buddy, "Wanna fight?" as Buddy pushed him over andlicked him. Ross said, "Whoops. Oh God!" and giggled. While pettinghim he said, "You like that, don't you?"55Rob returned from the kitchen with peanut butter and jamtoast, and fed the dogs, commenting on how the peanut butter stuckto the roofs of their mouths. Ross then ran into the kitchen andreturned with cold cuts. "Take it nice!" he said to the dogs. At thispoint Bob said, "Enough food guys." Myron returned and petted thedogs again, and stated that licking was "gross."Rob said that he used to have birds at home, and that his cattook care of the mouse problem. Myron shared that he had cats athome. Rob went into the kitchen and snuck more cold cuts for thedogs.Ross called Shadow an "old fart," and encouraged Buddy towrestle with Rob and him. Both boys started giggling and Ross said,"You think you're tough!" to Buddy. Rob said, "I'll have to take ashower after this." The boys kept talking 'tough' with the dogs, then,when the dogs displayed their strength, Ross said, "Whoa, they'repretty strong!" Myron, meanwhile, was in the washroom washing hishands.The boys became distracted by what was on TV, and the dogslay down to rest. Buddy was panting and Shadow was restingquietly. After a few minutes, Ross pulled on Buddy's paws to pullhim up on the couch and yelled, "Tickle him!" With Buddy sitting ontop of the boys and wrestling, Rob fell off the couch and Myron said,"Get them away from me." Ross asked Buddy, "Why do you like ears?"as Buddy nibbled on Ross' ear, and asked Shadow, "Do you feeljealous?" Ross gave Buddy 'trouble' for 'eating' Ross' earring.As the visit progressed, the interactions became lessboisterous and there was more quiet petting. Rob got down on the56floor and asked Shadow in a concerned manner, "What's wrong,Shadow? You're a little grumpy." Ross asked Bob about muzzles andabout his other pets.Rob insinuated that CATC II already had a pet rat indicatingRoss. ('Rat' is a colloquialism for informer.) Ross lookeduncomfortable but smiled. Ross then asked Bob what he fed thedogs, and talked about his web-footed Labrador. He commented thatShadow looked sad. When Bob and the dogs took leave, Ross called tothe dogs, "You guys be good. See you next week!"CATC III As we entered CATC Ill, Ray was reclined on the couch,smiling. Shadow sniffed around the floor in search of food-- Rayhelped him retrieve a cracker that was out of reach.Ann came to greet the dogs with her face all made up. She wasworried that they would eat her makeup off. She then took off allher makeup with makeup remover. Ann asked, "Why are you lookingat me, dog?" Ray responded, " 'Cuz you look like food." Ann punchedhim and they fought with him for possession of the preferred TVwatching spot.As the TV show 21 Jump Street aired, Ray said that his dadhad a shepherd that was a guard dog. Ann exclaimed, "I think thisdog kinda likes me!" as Buddy licked her hand. Ray was busy playingwith Buddy's ears. "He's smiling," Ann said.After a few minutes, Ann and Ray began to fight again andswear loudly at each other. Although this was done mostly for ourbenefit (to impress us), the feigned punching and yelling resulted in57both Buddy and Shadow slinking away. A staff member told the kidsthat the dogs were not used to violence and were afraid. Ann thenrushed over to the dogs, and, in a very concerned manner, pleaded,"Please don't go away." The dogs then came back and re—engaged.As Ray was eating Jello, Buddy kept staring at him andfollowing every movement with his eyes. Ray tried to get him tostop but kept laughing.The shift supervisor then returned from an outing without thekids. Both Delbert and Tara had AWOLed while on the outing. Theother residents absent from this session were Joan, who was at thehospital, and Sandy, who was also AWOL.Ray began playing floor hockey with a ball. He said he likedhaving the dogs watch the ball. He then had the dogs follow hisfinger with their eyes, and he rolled the ball to Buddy.By the end of the visit, the dogs were low-key and resting. Theresidents were petting the dogs quietly while watching television.Ann gave Buddy a big kiss on the nose.The subject of the Riverview visitations also arose in thisunit, and Ray stated that Ann belongs there. This prompted anotherpunching and wrestling display. The staff then set some limitsregarding horseplay.Issues A number of issues arose after the first session took place;issues which I believe are necessary to include in this study. I willmention each briefly.58CATC II staff stated that the visits were 'great,' but allowingpets to live on the units leads to disaster-- animals get killed. Theywere referring to the demise of Shelly's rats.Ann initially refused to sign the consent form, but later signedit when she witnessed other residents signing the forms readily.The Cottage 1 social worker informed me that we wereadmitting a boy named Justin. His parents had bought him a dog onrecommendation by their therapist. The dog apparently is useful incomforting Justin.Two of the staff had mild allergic reactions to the dogs beingon the units. One of the staff was able to take her break at the timethe dogs were visiting, thus avoiding potential problems. The otherstaff member worked on a unit that the dogs did not visit and onlyhad problems while visiting CATC II.Gary from Cottage 1 was asked by staff why he did notparticipate in the first dog visitation. He stated that he thoughtthis was animal abuse, as "animals are being put on display forhuman pleasure." He asked the staff member, "Would you let yourkids do this?" He also expressed concern regarding my analysis ofhis refusal to participate. "Did you think I was scared or what?" heasked.The mother of Nadine (Cottage 1) warned us that Nadine maysexually abuse the dogs, as she had allegedly been found trying toFrench kiss a poodle. She also informed us that Nadine had sexuallyabused a bird. The social worker thanked the mother for thisinformation, although we were aware that the mother's perceptionsare at times questionable.59Shelly (CATC II) committed suicide before the second sessiontook place. Her death greatly affected all of us.Visit #2 Cottage 1 Justin was immediately concerned about jealousy issuesbetween the two dogs. "My mom pats me on the head and my dog getsjealous," he stated as he petted Shadow and ignored Buddy, causingBuddy to nudge for attention. Justin was also curious to know if thedogs were neutered, and stated that those who weren't neutered maybe more aggressive.All the kids talked about past pets, and Joe shared with us howhis family had to shoot one of his dogs because the dog attacked hismom. "We took it out and blew its brains out," he related, lookingdirectly at Buddy.Bob talked about his last dog who passed away, and how hefound Shadow on 'death row' at the SPCA. All of a sudden Peter, whowas petting Buddy, 'freaked out' screaming and ran upstairs. As theothers continued talking about the dogs they had, Peter returned andtold the group that he "got 'come' on him" from Buddy. The boys thenhuddled around and talked sexually with each other, laughinguproariously.Everyone began encouraging Max to do the Ooga Booga Dancewith Buddy. He refused, so Peter did it, then Max decided to do italso. Sharon played with the dogs with staff encouragement andthen said, "OK, I've played with them," and went outside.60Buddy had to go to the bathroom, so Bob took him out. The boyslaughed and acted embarrassed. Max followed Bob and the dogoutside to watch.Once inside, Max clamped his hands over Buddy and triedkissing him. "Oh, his first ever kiss," Joe said. As Buddy lay down,Max allowed him to rest on his feet.Nadine talked with staff about her pets and spent time pettingthe dogs. Gary participated in the discussion, but did not pet theanimals. Joe, watching all the attention the dogs received, stated,"Boy, I wish I was this popular."When Bob told us how much the dogs ate each day, Joe said, "Ifmy dogs ate that much they'd be shot." Peter made shootinggestures.As the dogs left, Joe said, "See you, Buddy. Goodnight!" Garyfollowed me outside and asked me exactly what I wrote.CATC II Ross was watching a show about animals and their matinghabits. He was excited about the dogs and introduced them to a newstaff member. The dogs were busy licking up Jello from an earlierJello fight.Ross invited Alexis over to play with the dogs. Myron ignoredthem. Rob wandered by, but looked in rough shape. This is the unitwhere Shelly had resided and the resident appeared very shaken bythe suicide.Ross told us, "My dog used to drink out of the toilet. If he washungry he'd eat shit out of the toilet." While watching the natureshow, Ross said, "I'd take an Uzi to the hyenas." He then began6162playing and wrestling with Buddy. He was much gentler withShadow. Rob came over and Buddy jumped up on him and they beganwrestling. Darren came in, did the splits and put some cigarettes onthe floor. "These are only cigarettes, nothing to eat," he explained tothe dogs. "This is my food. You touch, you die."CATC III Tara exclaimed, "Hi, puppies!" and wanted to know why they hadto be on a leash. Joan thought they must hate being on a leash, andwas concerned that the leash was choking them. Joan was veryclose to the dogs, petting them gently. Tara wanted them to comeone more time, since they missed the dogs last time.Sandy said to Buddy, "You smell like a street kid, but that'sOK." As she gently stroked Buddy she said, "I like animals. They'resmart." Sandy asked Bob if he ever hit his animals, and talked abouthow her brother broke her dog's ribs.Tara investigated the dogs from nose to tail. "What are these?"she asked referring to the pads on Shadow's feet. "They're likeNikes."Bob showed the kids how to tickle the dogs' noses and makethem sneeze. The kids laughed. Tara gave Shadow a big kiss.Sandy tried to engage Shadow, but Shadow did not respond asSandy wished. "I hate you!" Sandy cried, pointing her finger atShadow as she left the room.The residents asked if the dogs fight. Bob said no, but that hemade sure to give them each a bone so that they did not have tofight. "You don't torment them," Joan said, referring to the fact thatBob did not set them up to fight. She then curled up beside Buddy asshe watched her video Dying Young . "They look dead," Joan said,watching the dogs sleep. "Do they run with you? Do they run free?"she asked. As we departed, Joan said, "So you're coming back nextWednesday? Good!"Visit # 3 Cottage 1 Peter began playing quietly with the dogs. "Drool, it's OK,'cause I drool too, " he told Shadow.Justin wandered in, asked, "Which one is jealous?" andimmediately began playing with the other one. Gary was invited topet the dogs, but he quickly said, "No, no. I have to go to a meeting."Nadine stated, "This time I'm going to do the Ooga BoogaDance," and then performed the dance with Buddy. Next she recited apoem as follows: "Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic,and so am I." Max also did the Ooga Booga Dance. At this time,Sharon came storming out of her room and out the back door.Max tried to kiss Buddy, and shook his paw. Max then patted astaff member on his back while the staff member patted Buddy.Sharon came back and went wailing into her room. Justin took thesleep out of Shadow's eye, as Max talked about his brother's friendwho nailed a frog up on the wall and then shot at it with a pellet gun.He laughed at this, 'farted' at Nadine, then told Shadow to 'sit.' AsShadow lowered himself slowly to sit, Max said, "He's going to poop."A few minutes later Max said, "God made man in His own image. IfHe can see the future, so can we."63Max pulled Buddy's face back so that his eyes were slanted."Chinese dog," he said. He then pushed Buddy's eyes closed. Bob andthe staff were talking about Shadow's past and how he may havebeen abused.CATC II Before the dogs arrived, Ross told the staff, "Fuck, I hate thosedogs! I wish those dogs would stop coming!" Once we came onto theunit, Ross introduced the dogs by name to a staff member who hadnot yet met the dogs, and explained when they come, what they do,and so forth. Ross began to play with Buddy, who licked Ross' hairand ears. Myron wandered over and asked for a staff to take himoutside for a cigarette. Buddy put his paws on Ross, then Ross putBuddy's leg, and then his tail in his mouth.In the other room, there was much screaming and yelling. Thestaff were talking with Alexis and Myron about the suicide. Rob wasin seclusion and could be heard banging and shouting. Myron thenthrew a laundry hamper across the hall. While Ross gave the dogspeanut butter, the staff were strategizing on how to stabilize theunit. One staff member was concerned for the dogs and how the dogswere handling the stress on the unit.Alexis walked over and talked to Buddy. "You're such abeautiful puppy, you remind me of home." She became tearful andkissed Buddy. "I don't understand how people can abandon animals orhurt them," she said, as she reminisced about her dog, Sheba.Rob was let out of seclusion and came over to Shadow. "I'llcome pet you. I've been ignoring you. I can't believe how good these64dogs are!" He talked about his dog at home, and how his dog meetshim at the door and jumps on him and licks him all over.CATC IIISandy met us at the door. "Which one is the cuddly one?" sheasked. Tara squealed, "Oh, it's Wednesday!" and gave Buddy a big kisson the mouth. The new resident, Andy, said, "Oh, puppies. Comehere..." He hung up the phone, ran over, and gave the dogs big hugs.Delbert declared, "The dogs are here," and Tara retorted, "No, they'rerabbits." "I like dogs," Delbert said.Tara called Buddy over. "He's my friend," she said as Sandylooked on sweetly. Ann bounced in, petted the dogs, and left again.Bob helped Buddy up on the couch to be with Sandy. Sandy's wrists,the back of her hands, and her neck were recently cut from self-inflicted wounds. Sandy and Tara tried tickling the dogs so that thedogs would sneeze.Joan sat down on the floor and the dogs came over to her. "Yousmell," she said as Buddy licked her face.Sandy lay on the couch with the dogs on the floor beneath her.She had her hand resting on Buddy. Sandy then went down on thefloor with Shadow, and performed slow spider-crawl motions withher hand across Shadow's fur, staring at her hands. She looked sad,and wandered off with her blanket to her room. A few minutes latershe returned, sat by Buddy and stared at him intently as she pettedhis nose and forehead and played with his ears. Joan was on thefloor too, lying close to Buddy, intensely and quietly stroking him.65Visit #4Cottage 1 Justin met us in the office and told us he had just returnedfrom a ten mile hike with his dog. Max didn't want to see the dogs atfirst but staff convinced him to visit for a while anyway. Justinplayed with Buddy and wrestled. After Buddy licked his face, Justinleft to wash his hands. Max then went over to blow on Buddy.Joe said, "I had the loyalist dog. He waited for me 'til seven atnight until I came back to the school and got him."Nadine petted both Buddy and Shadow and recommended thatthe staff also do this. Peter was out with his 'one-on-one worker,'and Gary was focused on cleaning his room. The living room wasvery quiet and the kids were low key.Joe looked down on the floor at Buddy. "How's the temper onthis one?" he asked before petting him.Justin held on tightly to Shadow then called Buddy and asked,"You jealous now?" He asked Bob if he was married because hewondered if Buddy and Shadow would try to bring him and his wifetogether if they walked apart from each other. He said that his dogdoes this; his dog grabs his dad's leg gently and tries to bring himback towards his mom and him.Sharon was in hysterics in her room dealing with past abuseissues. Gary had to leave for his meeting.Max was encouraged to do the Ooga Booga Dance with Buddy,and did so. He also touched Shadow's stomach, and stated, "He's gotstrong stomach muscles." As Bob and I left, Max told Bob, "She's66Wonder Woman. Erica's Wonder Woman. Don't you think she's WonderWoman?"CATC II Ross came out immediately to meet us and Buddy followedRoss to the couch and jumped up. They began wrestling, with Rossgiving Buddy 'noogies.' Ross gave Buddy the paper, but then said, "Youpaper trained? I'd better not give you that [the paper]. You mightknow what that's for!" Rob looked on, somewhat despondent.Ross then brought out his stuffed rabbit and rubbed him allover Buddy. "Where's your rabbit hole?" Ross asked. "Rabbit's goingto beat you up. " He put the rabbit on Buddy's collar. "Ride him," hesaid.Rob sat back on the couch and shared his peanut buttersandwich with the dogs. He threw pieces in the air and the dogscaught them. He began giving Buddy a tummy rub and shook his paw.Then both boys lifted Buddy up onto the couch. Rob gave Buddy a bighug and got kisses. Buddy lay down on Rob who began giving him atummy rub.CATC III As we entered the unit, one of the boys was in seclusion. Thestaff explained that the girls were really looking forward to seeingthe dogs, and that this visit helped as an incentive to keep the unitcalm while the boys were explosive.Tara immediately began interacting with the dogs, while Sandycame over and gave the dogs quiet, still pats. When one of the boys67became verbally abusive to the staff, Sandy put her hands overBuddy's ears and said, "Don't listen, you shouldn't hear swear words.""I have a cat and two rats. My mom killed one of the rats byaccident," Sandy said. As the noise from the boys continued, Sandyadded, "The dogs are more civilized than the people here." Shecontinued, "I brought home a dog from AWOL and my mom didn't likeme and she 'lost' it."Tara played with the pads on Buddy's feet. "He's dead," shesaid, "I can't feel him breathing... No, he's not dead." Tara asked Bobwhy Shadow's 'weird.' Bob explained that it was because he wasmistreated before Bob got him. Perhaps he was beaten or not fedproperly. Sandy said, "Aww..." Tara thought it was 'cool' when theywere told that Shadow was from the pound. Sandy gave Shadowkisses.Sandy became worried that there were only two sessions left."No," she said. "I love you," she told Buddy. She then disappeared intoher room and re-emerged in her pyjamas and was all wrapped up inher blanket. She sat down on the floor and cuddled the dogs. "I wishthey could stay here longer," she said. Then, to Shadow, she askedsoftly, "Were you abused as a child?"Bob answered, "We'll never know. But he couldn't have had thatrough a life 'cause he's a pretty good dog..."Sandy sighed, "Yeah..."Joan came in briefly and looked at the dogs. Ray brought out atoy gun and said, "I want to shoot everyone in the world."As we walked out, Sandy touched Bob's arm and smiled at him.68Visit #5 Cottage 1 The boys asked Bob about his visits to Riverview. 	 "Didanything scary ever happen there?" Peter asked as he strokedShadow."It's kind of a village there," Gary added as Bob described theinstitution.Justin was busy 'training' Buddy not to lick. "No," he said, andsmacked him on the face. "Shake a paw," he said, "No, the other one!"He asked Bob if he tried to teach him not to lick and Bob replied thathe'd tried but it hadn't worked. "He probably knows what he'ssupposed to do, but he pretends he doesn't," Justin responded.As Peter and Justin cuddled the dogs, Justin said, "Sometimeswhen I cry, my dog likes to lick my tears."	 Justin continued todiscipline Buddy. "I'm going to muzzle you.	 That's it, I've hadenough!" Justin made grunting noises, whispered something sexualto Peter, and both boys left.Nadine sat on the couch staring. Gary was interacting withBob. Sharon stated, "Eww, they stink. Whenever it smells like feet,I know the dogs are here." Justin came back, looked carefully atBuddy's eyes, and said, "Yuk, it's gross, slimy stuff!""The pink thing popped out," Max said, referring to the dog'spenis."That's something you whisper to someone, and to someoneyour own age and sex," Justin coached.69Max asked which dog does the Ooga Booga. "Get up," he said toBuddy and did the dance. Buddy flipped over and Max wiped his feeton him.Joe said, "Touched you last," and touched Buddy. Max then hadto touch Buddy last.Justin came in with food and instructed Buddy to sit, andwalked away from him."You're setting him up!" Joe said.Max commented, "The pink thing's popped out," and added, "Whydo you let Nadine touch the dogs? She's touching the dogs!" Then hesaid to Buddy, "Bad doggy, you should be ashamed of yourself!" Whenasked why he said that, he replied, "I'm trying to make him feelguilty. I like doing that."Justin showered Shadow with affection. He looked to Buddy.He then shook his finger at Buddy. "Dogs hate it when I do this," hesaid, as he used his finger like a gun and said, "Bad. Bad!"Justin used the choke chain to 'train' Buddy. He then pretendedto shoot him, patted him, and walked away.Joe was the only resident left in the room. "What are youwriting, Erica? Let's give her time to write." As he played withBuddy, he said, "Dogs are so fun to play with." He added, "My otherdog saw my dad shoot the shepherd, so every time it hears a bang, itfreaks."CATC IIRoss invited Buddy onto the couch. Shadow came too. "You'refriendly today," Ross said to Shadow. The dogs left paw marks on70the sheet covering the couch. "It's OK, we change them every day.We usually throw food around here," Ross explained.He played with the dogs, blew in their noses, and checked theirfeet. Shadow went down and began licking the floor. One of thestaff asked what Shadow was finding down there. Ross responded,"It's probably the banana bread that Darren ate and threw at Rob whobreathed some in then horked it all over the floor."Ross continued playing with Buddy. "Are you a goat?" he asked,referring, I think, to a mountain goat. He began making meowingnoises.As Darren entered the room, Ross pointed out the soiled sheets."Ass wipe," he said. Darren asked, "OK, which one of you pups shitall over?" "The one looking the other way," Ross replied.Darren had Buddy upside down. "Is he a he?--yep, he's a he. Ican tell," as he examined Buddy's genitals.Ross came back with peanut butter and put it on the roofs ofthe dogs' mouths. Darren played with the choke chains and held ontothe scruff of Buddy's neck. He then patted Shadow's head and ears,and made loud 'yipping' noises as we left.CATC III Tara ran over to us and gave the dogs hugs. She then calledBuddy over to the couch. Sandy sat down on the floor with Buddy. "Isnext week the last week?" she asked, as Buddy gently licked thestitches on Sandy's hands. "They smell better this week," Sandycommented, smiling at Bob. She groomed Buddy carefully, as iflooking for fleas, then lay down beside him. As she stroked him she7172whined, "Eww," lifting up extra flaps of skin on his back. Bobpinched his arm to show that people have extra skin too. Tara andSandy continued to pet and caress the dogs. Sandy tickled Buddy'spaws, stroked Shadow, then slowly rubbed Buddy's tail back andforth under her chin for a long time.Visit #6 Cottage 1 "Remember when that pink thing popped out?" Max asked. Joeand Peter played with the dogs. Max made smacking noises atBuddy's mouth and blew at him. Buddy offered Max his paw. Maxasked, "Do you wanna do the Ooga Booga?" and danced with Buddy.As Nadine came from upstairs she asked, "Erica, are theyhere?" Max told her not to touch the dogs. "I won't touch themanymore if you touch them," Max said. Nadine patted them as Maxtried to block her way and blew on her.Sharon said, "Stinky dogs." When she was informed that thiswas their last visit she said insincerely, "Bye-bye dogs." She puther feet on Buddy to rest on him, then petted him.Justin came back from Kung Fu practice and lay on top ofShadow. "This guy doesn't like it," he said, referring to Buddy whogets jealous. "No licking!" he commanded Buddy. He then made a faceat Buddy and whispered to Joe, who said, "Do it. Do it!" daring him totouch Buddy's penis. Justin said, "It's disgusting." "Why look at it,then?" Joe replied. "It's funny too," said Justin. Peter chimed in,"You have one too." "Yeah, but dogs are different. Filthy animal,gross!" Justin replied. Justin hugged Shadow to make Buddy jealous.Nadine said good-bye to the dogs and left to go shopping. Garyshook hands with Bob and thanked him, then left for his meeting. Joetried to make Buddy chase after a hockey puck. Justin went upstairsto drop off some belongings, then returned and started to do Kung Fumoves on the dogs. "What are you trying to do to me? Maybe hewants me to rub him," Justin said as he pulled Buddy by the necktoward him. "Oh greedy animal. 'Harder, harder,' he says. Oh viciousan i ma I !"Peter put the dogs' heads together so they would kiss. He saidgood-bye to the dogs as did Joe. Justin said, "Nice meeting you Bob.Maybe I'll see you again sometime."QATC H The dogs came in and sniffed the floor. "They can't find anyfood. We just finished unit chores," Ross explained. Myron, Ray, andDarren were on their way out on 'dates.' Darren was on the unit andcame out to meet the dogs with an ice cream sandwich hidden behindhis back. "My dog was small and skinny. Now he's ninety-sixpounds," Darren stated.As Ross wrestled and played with the dogs, both staff and kidsreminisced about their pets. Ross talked about a dog he had who gotinto the medicine cabinet and ate vitamin C chewables. The dogalso drank Pepto Bismol, Ross said, "And his poop was pink."Darren was running around the unit with an imitation daggerthat the staff were trying to confiscate. He returned from his roomwith a 'Ken' doll dressed in an Islamic Warrior outfit. The doll wasshaped into what Darren called "permanent splits." Darren was about73to do the splits himself, but he had to go put his Spandex on to do so."Oh joy," a staff member said. Ross coached, "Put the pink ones on."Ross brought out his stuffed tiger. "Someone said you canmake candles out of ear wax," he mentioned. The two boys tradedinsults. As the dogs left, Ross looked at them. "You're not coming nomore," he remarked.CATC III Joan appeared with heavily bandaged wrists. Tara had asprained wrist from putting her hand through a wall. Tara asked, "Iwonder who I'm gonna hit tomorrow?" Sandy said hello, smiled atus, and petted the dogs. Tara bit Bob's knee and tried leaning on him.She was given a clear limit by staff about respecting boundaries.Bob looked quite uncomfortable.When the door opened as a staff member left, Joan wentrunning out causing several staff to give chase. The girlscommented on how Joan gets blood and 'puke' all over the place. AsJoan talked to a nurse, Tara said, "Maybe she's asking for Gravol." "Iwish I had some," said Sandy.Tara complained, "You can feel Buddy's ribs. You're not feedinghim enough! How come he's so tired? He's not breathing. He's dead!He's hollow!" Then the two dogs sniffed each other. Tara continued,"Oh my God! Keep your nose away from his mouth! Oh my God! That'snot normal--they're both boy dogs. They're gay!" And then, "I can seehis ribs. He's going to die. I'll have to keep him here. I'll have tokeep both of them." Tara asked if the dogs would eat her guinea pig74or her cat. Bob thought they might eat her guinea pig. "Oh no, notlittle Damien!" she squealed.Bob instructed the dogs to say their good-byes. Tara and Sandygave the dogs big hugs and kisses. Tara asked, "If you had to putthem to sleep, would you?" Bob explained under whichcircumstances he'd put an animal to sleep. Tara cried, "No, don'tleave. No, Buddy, he's my dog!" Sandy walked us to the door. Tarafollowed us through the locked door and had to be cajoled back ontothe unit.The Interviews Each subject was interviewed after the six sessions werecompleted. During this interview time, the subjects completed theopen-ended pet visitation questions, commented on my observationsof their behavior during the visitations, and responded to twostructured questions, namely 1) What would you do differently if youwere doing the pet program? and, 2) What was one specific memoryabout the pet visitations?I will summarize each interview, and will group the subjectsby their respective units. Copies of the completed open-endedsentence forms can be found in Appendix C. A box around certainanswers on the forms denotes my writing--the subjects have eitherdictated their answers to me or have expanded upon their answerswhich I then recorded.75Cottage 1 GaryFrom his answers on the pet visitation questions, Garyexplained that when he first saw the dogs, he was a bit afraidbecause he didn't know what to expect (fear of the unknown). Healso was interested in how others reacted to the dogs, and in theinteractions between the people and the dogs.I shared with Gary several of my observations of his behaviorduring the visitations. I listed his concerns about confidentialityand his interest in what I was recording. I also noted that he did notinteract much with the dogs but was part of the group because of hisinteractions with the adults. I also noted Gary's concern aboutanimal abuse issues, and his worry that the dogs were "on displayfor humans."Gary acknowledged that he was concerned about anonymity, butwas also very interested in the research process as he plans tostudy psychology in university.Gary shared that he was not too certain of how to interactwith pets. He believes that this is in his family background, as hismother used to be scared to walk home for fear a dog might run outat her. He said that he had had a small dog that he used to throwaround, and that he hadn't known how to interact with it.Nonetheless, Gary stated that he is interested in 'the idea ofanimals.' It seems he can talk about things intellectually, but hastrouble applying his knowledge and ideas behaviorally. "I do thatwith humans, too," Gary stated. "I can talk about things but if I don'tknow someone, what do I do? What do I expect? I guess I make76judgements." Gary also shared that he can hug a dog but cannot hug aperson as easily.On the topic of animal abuse, Gary said that his concerns aboutthe pet visitations came at about the same time that he wasinvolved in protesting against the aquarium and was affiliated withGreenpeace in a fight against extra packaging. He also spoke abouthis views on eating domesticated animals:"With cows, there's a reproductive system. If we don't usethem, they'd go to waste. Where would the cow go if it died? Intothe air? Like, when we die, we donate our bodies. Maybe one dayscientists will find better proteins than a cow will provide."Regarding pets, Gary felt that there are problems in keepingthem cooped up. He felt that they should be allowed to roam andhave freedom of movement. He stated that he is against cages. Hethen reflected on his statements:"Dogs--some should be leashed, and some shouldn't. Likehumans, If you do an assault, you should be jailed. A dog, if it bitesor something, it should go into a program to get discipline or go on aleash. But it shouldn't be shot like lots of people do."I asked if he believed in responsible dog ownership. "I believein responsible dogs, too," he replied. "We as a society want dogs tobe responsible so we depend on the owner. Like our government, weexpect people to be responsible, but we depend on the law to help usout."When asked what he would do differently if he were runningthe pet visitations, he stated that he would ask more questionsduring the visitations. He would become more involved in the77ongoing conversations and would ask the subjects how they feltabout the animals at the time.Gary's one specific memory was the Ooga Booga Dance.412gJoe stated in his pet visitation questions that the dogs madehim feel like a little kid again, and a little nervous. He liked thedog's friendliness, and felt that they were kind.I shared with Joe some of my observations of his behaviors. Inoticed that he too had concerns about confidentiality issues, andthat he mentioned several times that he had dogs that were 'shot ifthey were bad.' I also noted his comment, "I wish I was this popular[as the dogs were]."In response, Joe stated that he was edgy around the dogsbecause he thought they were going to "do something dumb." Hethought the dogs were lazy because "they were not allowed to be tooactive." Joe stated that he "could care less about confidentiality,"but was just curious to see what I was writing.If Joe were running the pet program, he would let the dogsroam around, and would do it on a live-in basis (for up to threeweeks at a time), "to see how people react in a natural environmentrather than in an artificial setting." He would also use only one dog.He also stated that it was "too concentrated with just the one hour--I'd want to see what it's like in everyday life."Joe's one specific memory was "when me and Peter weregoofing around telling jokes. They were not really related to thedogs."78During the interview process Joe was thoughtful andintrospective. I make note of this because Joe's usual interactivetone was quite arrogant and angry.MaxMax refused to attend the interview session. He stated, "No!"definitively many times, until staff 'bribed' him with a Slurpee. Hestated that filling in the incomplete sentences was "too hard," so Iwrote his answers down as he dictated them orally. During theprocess he was very nervous, constantly asking, "How long will thistake?"I decided not to share my observations of his behaviors withhim, as I felt he might find this too confrontational and leave thesession. Luckily he began talking about the pet visitation experienceon his own. He repeated many of the comments he had made duringthe visits, then added his recent experiences of abusing animals."It's funny the way you dance with a dog, because they havefour legs; I had a dog and I danced with it.""Remember when the pink thing popped out? That was gross. Ithought the dog was horny. Shadow wasn't playful because he'sneutered. My uncle told me that neutering's bad.""When we were still at Cottage 1, I killed a bird; a baby birdthat fell out of a nest. I hit the cat [kitten] at Inman. Once I threw acat off a bridge.""I like dogs. I wouldn't hurt a dog. Dogs are OK because they'remore intelligent. I hurt the other animals 'cause they run away whenI get close to them and it makes me mad."79When asked what he'd do differently if he were running theprogram, Max said that he'd have the dogs stay longer, for a week orso. "They could stay all day and go home at night. There should betwo dogs. Buddy can come, but not Shadow."Max's special memory was when the dogs first came in and hepatted them. He thought they were friendly.As I thanked Max for his participation, Max stated, "There's onemore thing I'd like to add. I didn't like it when Nadine touched them'cause she's ugly. I didn't want to touch the dogs after Nadinetouched them because I'd get Nadine germs. Nadine germs make haveto wash my hands."It should be noted that we (the staff group) were concernedabout Max abusing the dogs, given his history of animal abuse. As itturned out, other than an occasional wiping of his feet on the dogs,Max treated the dogs well. His reports of abuse are accurate. Whenhe killed the baby bird, staff had asked why. He had replied, "Becauseit's invulnerable."PeterPeter responded to the open-ended question, 'The mostimportant thing about the dogs was...' "having an owner, a lovingfriend." When asked to expand upon this, he said it's important tohave someone "to care for them so they won't be homeless , and tofeed them and to play with them."I shared with Peter my observations of his cuddling andwrestling with the dogs, his comments about the cost of the dogs,80his sexual comments, and his concerns about dirt and about the dogsgetting old.He told me he felt like a "lab rat" in the interview. Then hestated that he liked touching and wrestling with the dogs. He said itwould be nice to have a monkey. "They're so human-like. My uncle inChina has one.""If my dog was getting really old, I would try to give it awayor get rid of it 'cause I don't want to see it die. Once I saw a motherdog eat a puppy she had accidentally squished."On the subject of sexuality, Peter said, "Dogs have their ownpleasure. I accidentally touched his [Buddy's] privates, and Justinbugged me. It's nature when I accidentally put my hand under, butwhen Justin bugged me I felt grossed out. He asked me to touch--you know."If Peter were organizing pet visitations, he would bring onepet in for each resident--all different types of pets except fordangerous ones. The pet that works out the best (the residentsdecide) gets to be the unit pet for a certain amount of time (a monthor two). The staff should check on the pet "to make sure the kidsdon't kill it." If it's a dog, it should be brought out for walks. Thedog should be loose in the house unless a kid "spazzes out," thenstaff should take the pet away for awhile.Peter's one specific memory was the dog trying to lick hisface.As I gave Peter my thanks for participating in the project,Peter said, "Do I now get my twenty dollars? Just kidding..."81Nadine Nadine quickly answered the open-ended questions. In thediscussion portion, Nadine shared that she liked the dogs' faces; theywere cute. She stated that the dogs made her feel good because"they were there and you could pet them." She said she really likesanimals in general.If she were to conduct the pet visits, Nadine would haveshorter visits of approximately thirty minutes long. She wouldinvite different types of dogs--a "Lassie," or "ones more interesting,more furry." She would like to go for walks with them.Nadine's one specific memory was Buddy licking. "He was kindof cute, but I didn't like getting wet."I asked her if there was anything else she would like to add (asthe interview was very short). "Where are the dogs right now?" sheasked.Justin Justin completed the pet visitation questions. On onesentence, he wrote: "When I touched the dogs, I remembered my dog."I shared with Justin some of my observations, and asked himabout certain events. The themes I addressed were jealousy issues,sexuality, and training style (aggressiveness)."I teased Bud by playing with Shadow 'til Bud got upset, then Iplayed with Bud. It's funny. I do that with my dog--I pretend I'mmad at him then I hug him and his tail comes out from between hislegs and he wags it and he's all happy. It looks real funny to see hisreactions. I wouldn't do that with a pit bull though."82In regards to sexual commenting, Justin stated, "When dogshave erections, this pink thing comes out of his dick with stuffdripping out. I wanted someone else to see it to gross them out""Dogs do that when they get a lot of praise or they smellsomething good. One time my Mom was baking strudel and my doghad an erection. My dog doesn't play fight with you, he mounts you.My Dad reacts by laughing--my Mom says 'filthy animal'."In response to my comment about his 'aggressive' tactics (Ididn't use the word 'aggressive'; it's too judgmental), Justinresponded as follows:"First you use a ring choke chain when you train. You tug hardon it and tell the dog to sit. If that doesn't work, you twist its ear.""Be gentle at first, when first teaching it, then if the dog triesto slack off, you get a little rough but not rough enough to hurt it.""My theory is that you can be rough with labs 'cause they're agentle breed. My dog knows when he's bad. When he's good, I givehim lots of extra praise. Dogs like to please their owners."If Justin were setting up a pet visitation project, he would askthe kids what kind of dogs they would like, and ask them how manytimes a week they'd like to see them. He would find a dog who likesto play and knows a lot of tricks. Justin would use a puppy becausethey're very playful. "A puppy would be good for us and good forthem, especially Shepherd and Rottweiler pups. They need to besocialized when they're little or they'll be shy of people and theymight bite."83"The girls would go crazy over a puppy. I used to do thatdeliberately [walk around the neighborhood] with my puppy and thegirls would go crazy.""The owner and the kids should exchange ideas about dogs.Maybe we could walk the dog."Justin's specific memory about the visits was Buddy alwaystrying to lick him. "It was funny," he said.Sharon On the pet visitation questionnaire, Sharon stated that thedogs made her feel "unpreoccupied." She also stated that the dogsmade her feel "kind of important," because "they seemed to like me."When the dogs visited the other kids, she "thought, said , and feltnothing."I mentioned to Sharon several of my observations I had made ofher behavior during the study. I wondered how she felt aboutjealousy between the dogs and jealousy about the project because ittook so much of my time. Sharon was my 'primary resident,' and Iwas in the role of being her primary caregiver. I noted that Sharonoften ignored the dogs and regularly chose not to take part in thevisits.She explained 'unpreoccupied' as being able to block outthinking about problems for a while. She stated that the reason shedidn't interact with them much was because they were "all chainedup and you couldn't do much with them." Sharon stated that I was"way off key" when I asked if the reason she was not interested inthe dogs was because the study was taking my time away from her.84I asked her what she would do differently if she were incontrol of the pet visitation project. "I wouldn't be. What's thepoint? You already have enough information--you spent so muchtime on it," she said rolling her eyes. "OK, get a pit bull. Get avicious dog. 	 See how the psychiatric patients take that!"	 shelaughed."It might not be a good idea to have resident animals at theMaples 'cause the kids are not responsible," she continued on, moresomberly. "Kids like Max and Ross have anger management problemsand might be abusive. If we go as far as to have a dog in the house,why can't we smoke in the house?"When asked what her one specific memory might be, she said itwas the part when she was petting Shadow and he lifted up his chinand he looked so cute.CATC II Ross In answering his questionnaire, Ross wrote about giving thedogs food and playing with them. He responded that the mostimportant thing about the dogs was "to be gentle towards them."I mentioned that I had noticed him referring quite often tobodily functions. I also asked Ross about feeding the dogs, playingwith his stuffed animals, and wrestling.Ross spoke about Buddy eating his earring, and how the back ofhis earring got nibbled off once. He also listed the three differentanimal places he knew of; The Vancouver Game Farm, Stanley Park,85and the SPCA. He said that he had fed the wolves at the zoo byjumping into the cage with them.If Ross were doing pet visitations, he would let the dogs offthe leash and let them run in the airing court. He would bring in hispit bull to let people know that pit bulls can be really friendly iftreated right. "They are only mean if people treat them mean."Ross suggested taking the dogs outside before they come in sothey can go to the bathroom. "If they're puppies, you'll have to putdown a lot of paper."It should be noted that Ross usually has a very short attentionspan and needs constant adult attention. With the dogs he was ableto focus on the animals for an extended period of time (ten tofifteen minutes) and was able to do so without staff intervention.RobRob was interviewed at the Youth Detention Centre. He wassomewhat distracted by the photos he saw on the walls of thewarden's office--the office which I was given to conduct theinterview. Rob apparently recognized some of the 'inmates'displayed in the photos.In the questionnaire segment, Rob admitted that he felt "kindof jealous" when the dogs visited the other kids. His favorite thingabout the dogs was that "they were really friendly and would not tryto bite or harm me." He thought that the most important thing aboutthe dogs was "to treat them with respect."86I mentioned to Rob that I observed him making comments aboutbodily functions. I also noticed that he was very interested infeeding and wrestling with them.Rob confided that he did feel jealous when the dog walkedaway from him toward the other kids. "Like, why is this dog leavingme...?" Rob commented. When I asked Rob what he meant by'respect,' he replied, "Not to abuse them in any way or to hit them orsmack them or pull their ears."If he were to do the visits himself, he would "not have the dogson chains 'cause I think that's mean." He would try some differentanimals, like cats, and have them stay longer and come twice aweek.When asked what his one memory of the visits was, he said,"Oh, just that the dogs were playful."Usually on the unit Rob was aloof and uninvolved. He also wasquite abusive and hostile. When the dogs were visiting, Rob becameinvolved and socially appropriate. Although he at first 'tested' thedogs to see how far he could 'push' them, he soon learned their limitsand respected them.ShellyShelly committed suicide on the weekend after the firstsession of the pet visitations took place. She was not presentduring the first session.Alexis Alexis was discharged before the end of the study.87Myron Myron wrote that he ignored the dogs, felt bored during thevisits, and didn't like their smell. His answers seemed to reflect hisbehaviors during the pet visitations.He stated that he didn't want the dogs around because theywere too smelly and he didn't want to smell bad because he was"going out with some girls." (It is unfortunately true that Buddy andShadow did have a distinctive 'doggy' odor.) "I love animalsgenerally but these guys are just too strong smelling. I had to washmy hands."If Myron were to conduct the pet visitations himself, he wouldbring cats, whom he feels are more cuddly and playful. If he broughtdogs he would let them run outside. He would bring in kittens and abig snake--a new kind of animal each week. He would also bring inmore animals at a time so that the kids could share the animalsmore easily.Myron's specific memory was that of watching Cheers a n dtrying to avoid the dogs, who were sitting right beside him.Darren Darren did the splits while he answered the open-endedquestions. He yelled at the staff and residents to be quiet so that hecould concentrate on his answers. He wrote that the dogs made himfeel like he belonged with them, and that touching the dogs made himfeel more relaxed.Darren spoke a lot about a wolf pup he grew up with, and whotaught him how to track deer. The wolf's name was 'Kaivik,' meaning88"mixed wolf." He asked to borrow my notebook so that he couldaccurately spell the wolf's name for me. He looked for his photoalbum which had a picture of this pup, but he couldn't find the album."The dogs you brought were healthy. They had no film on theireyes, their fur was shiny, they were well groomed, their toenailswere the proper length, their eyes weren't glassy, their ears werepink, and their leg muscles were firm so they'd been hard trained.""I really appreciated the first question," Darren said. He hadresponded to the question 'When I first saw the dogs I...' by adding,"felt that my tension disappeared."If Darren had supervised the visits, he would bring his wolfand shepherd cross 'Magnum' in, and his pet rat. He would also bringin bats and jungle cats to visit.His one specific memory of the visits was of "the younger onelicking me in the face. I was soaking wet.""The worst thing was when the dogs had to go. I mean, theywere cute. Even the older one was cute."Darren's general demeanor on the unit was very detached frompeers and staff. Although he had limited participation in the visits,increased interaction with his peers and with Bob (the dogs' owner)was noted.Darla Darla remained AWOL during all the visits.89DonDon was unable to attend visits due to his involvement withcadets.CATC IIIJoanI visited Joan at Riverview Hospital where she was undergoinga psychiatric assessment. She appeared quite sedated during ourinterview, and asked me to write her answers to the questionnairefor her. She stated that the dogs made her feel good and cared about.Several of the answers were "I don't know."Because of her condition, the interview was very short. Joanstated that she really liked animals.When asked what she would do differently if she were runningthe program, she said "nothing." Then she added that she would usethe same dogs but would take them off the leashes, and would havetwo visits per week.Her memory of the visits was "Buddy licked me."TaraTara initially refused to participate in the interview process.Her staff tried to encourage her by stating that this study may helpto obtain a permanent pet visitation program at the Maples. Tarastill refused to come into the office for an interview, so I went toher on the couch. She refused to write any answers, but respondedorally to a few of the questions. She stated that she felt the dogs'fur and kissed them. She didn't like the way the dogs smelled.90When asked what she would do differently if she ran the petprogram, she said she would bring in "bunnies, a pussycat, achinchilla, a rat, a mouse, a snake, and a lizard." She would also dothe visits "way more than one hour per week." Her one memory ofthe visits was, "He [Buddy] kissed me!"SandySandy was very compliant and participated willingly in theinterview, which is unusual for her. Once in the interview office,she looked at the questions and said, "This is for kindergartners."She wrote in the open-ended sentences that her favorite thing aboutthe dogs was "they don't swear." She also wrote that the dogs madeher feel important and that the most important thing about the dogswas that they were "adorable."The issues I had noticed about Sandy's interactions during thevisits were shared with her. I listed her concern that the animalswere being abused and her reaction of getting angry at the dog andwalking away on the first visit. I also noted how she changed intoher pyjamas and brought out her blanket to cuddle with the dogs, andthe way she gave the dogs still, quiet pets. I asked her about herMom 'losing' a dog she had brought home.Sandy stated that she was worried about abuse becauseShadow had been in the SPCA. She did not expand upon this.She also stated, "I don't think animals have feelings for peopleother than the fact that they get fed."In response to my mention of cuddling the dogs with theblankets, Sandy stated, "I do this because they're so cute and sowarm. They're better than a person because they don't move."91"My Mom probably got rid of [the dog] on purpose, she's such abag," referring to the incident of the 'lost' dog.I asked what she would do differently if we ran the petvisitations again. She said she would use the same dogs. "They werejust perfect, so calm." She would also have them come at the sametime. "It was perfect, they came just before bedtime." She statedthat the dogs got to know the people here. For the next visitationproject, Sandy stated, "I won't be here, though."Sandy's one specific memory was of Shadow putting his headon her knee as she petted him. "It was so cute because he fellasleep."It should be noted that Sandy is generally very angry and oftenacts aggressively. She has little interest in interactions with peersand adults other than to set up negative situations. During the dogvisits, however, Sandy noticeably 'softened' and exposed thenurturing, vulnerable side of herself. This contrast was quiteremarkable.AnnI visited Ann in the Youth Detention Centre where she wasserving time for assault and armed robbery. When she spotted meshe squealed, "Oh, I've got a visitor!" While filling out thequestionnaire, she commented, "This is cool."Ann wrote that the dogs made her remember her dogs at home,and that the dogs made her feel "happy and loved." The mostimportant thing about the dogs was that "they were friendly."92I shared with Ann my observations. I noted that she seemedvery friendly with the dogs and kissed them. She also seemeddistressed when the dogs wandered away.She said that she really loves dogs, and that the kids should letthe dogs visit other people, "unlike Darren, who always stole themback."If Ann were running the program, she would let the dogs comewithout their owner because the owner made her feel that shecouldn't touch them-- "don't do this and don't do that..." She wouldalso bring other dogs, ferrets, mice and rats, and have visits aboutonce a week. She wouldn't let them out of their cages unless shewas sure that they were going to stay in control.Ann's specific memory of the visits was, "I liked it when theylicked my face. I liked it even though they stunk."DelbertDelbert was discharged before the end of the study.AndyAndy was admitted after the study began and was dischargedbefore it ended.Ray Ray answered the open-ended sentence questionnaire bywriting that the dogs felt "rough" when he touched them. He alsowrote that the thing that he didn't like about the dogs was "it was93just an act. They had to be given limits by their master becausethey're guard dogs."I shared with Ray my observations about him helping the dogsget food, and his interest in having the dogs follow his movementswith their eyes. He did not really respond to these observations.He did, however, expand upon his written answers. "Why Ididn't like them was because I saw them outside and they were guarddogs. They behaved in here 'cause [Bob] told them to--you could tellit in their eyes. When people came towards them, you could tell theydidn't trust anyone. They had to look back at their owner for a nod."Ray stated that their fur felt rough because it was "the fur ofa guard dog, always on edge." He liked that the dogs were quiet."Inside they didn't growl or anything. The owner never had to givethem limits."If Ray were to run a pet visitation project, he'd bring alldifferent types and temperaments of dogs, but the same dogs eachtime. He'd have the owner leave so that the dogs would actnaturally, and he would let the dogs go outside and play.His one specific memory was when he made eye contact withthe dog. "He looked so sad. He looked like he didn't want to be hereand wanted to be somewhere else. I felt bad that they were beingbossed around, but they had that commitment to their master."As we departed, Ray offered to help. "If you need any moreideas just ask me," he said.94Emergent ThemesThemes were extracted from the data that was obtained duringthe study. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does representthe main participant issues presented within the project. Thesethemes will be further discussed in the 'conclusions' section.AbuseAbuse of Animals Abuse of animals was a major theme throughout the study.Several subjects spoke openly about their own abusive acts towardanimals, while others reported on animal abuse that they hadwitnessed. During the interview segment, many residents suggestedthat the animals should be extremely well supervised during visits,so that no harm could come to the pets. Staff also expressed similarconcerns about residents abusing the animals.Animal Abuse as an AnalogyA few of the participants appeared to talk about animal abuseas an analogy for their own abuse. They were concerned that Shadowwas a previously abused animal, and that he had been in the pound(analogous to being in a placement). These same subjects seemedfascinated that Shadow could turn out 'OK,' even though he had beenabused. Perhaps these subjects thought, "If Shadow can do it, I, too,have hope."In this situation, as in others, information gleaned from thechild's interaction with the animal provided fertile assessment,diagnostic, and counselling material. Animal abuse may indicate95other forms of abuse within the family structure; information aboutanimal abuse can provide useful insight into individual and familydynamics.Death. Loss. and AgingDeath was a theme which emerged many times during thestudy. The death of some animals was seen as abuse (in cases wherethe animal had been shot), although in other cases, the death wasseen as a 'loss.' In at least one case, the animal was given awayagainst the child's wishes. In other cases, the subjects expressedconcern about the dog aging (and therefore approaching death). Inthese situations, many subjects wanted to 'get rid of the animalbefore it got too old, or, alternately, never allow themselves to getattached so that they wouldn't be hurt if the animal leaves or dies.This may be representative of the personal attachment andabandonment issues within the subjects. It may also indicate thechild's developmental stage, and his struggle to comprehend theinevitability of death.Biological FunctioningIngestion and Elimination Most of the subjects talked about feeding the dogs, while somehad actually fed them. Many asked questions about the type andamount of food the dogs ate. This interest in feeding could beviewed as an attempt to establish rapport with the animal, or as ana attempt to nurture (discussed below). A few of the subjects96performed 'experimental feeding' to see how the dogs would react tocertain foods.The subjects were also very concerned about the urination anddefecation habits of the dogs. For a few of the children this provedto be a prime focus.Sexuality The male subjects seemed interested in the sexual functioningof the dogs. The Cottage 1 boys in particular made many referencesto 'semen,' 'neutering,' and 'mounting,' and joked about the dogs'genitals.Anatom yThe children, almost universally, performed a carefulinspection of the animals. This is part of a tactile response, yetalso involved a thorough examination of body parts. Much of thiswas educational, as the subjects asked questions while theyscrutinized the animals.Acceptance Versus Rejection Acceptance by the Animal Most of the subjects reported feeling 'accepted' by the dogs.They attached positive human qualities to the animals, and felt thatthe dogs were 'good,' 'kind,' and 'loving.'97Acceptance of the Animal The subjects seemed to accept the dogs the way they were. Afew complained about the dogs' odor, but most seemed to overlookthis and other 'faults.' Many treated the animals as they themselveswould like to have been treated.Perceived Rejection by the Animal Only one subject felt rejected by the dogs, and this was,thankfully, short-lived. Because these clients have such low self-esteem, any perceived rejection becomes traumatic.Another subject expressed some anger that a resident kept'stealing' the dogs, but she did not seem to perceive this as arejection by the dogs. One boy discussed feeling 'let down' when thedogs walked away from him.A Cottage 1 boy attributed his abuse of animals (historic) tohis feelings of rejection by them. He stated that when theseanimals ran away from him, it made him mad so he hurt them.Rejection of the Animal Only one resident rejected the dogs' advances. He feared thatthe odor of the animals on his hands would 'turn off' girls. He did,however, state that it was 'nothing personal' against these animals.Nurturance As the children nurtured the dogs, they also appeared tonurture themselves (via the dogs). This dog-child bond appearedreciprocal in nature.98Nurturing activities took the form of feeding, grooming,cuddling, and playing. Close proximity and increased tactileinvolvement were noted. Many of the children went into a 'trance-like' state while petting the dogs. They also seemed to derive asense of security and serenity in the presence of these animals.During play the children became immersed in the activity, and werefree from judgement or repercussion from the animals.Power and Control Power Over the Animal Children need to have an effect on other things. Through thedogs, the subjects were able to instruct the animals to do specifictricks and respond in certain ways. They were listened to.The children also engaged in wrestling behaviors with the dogs.At first, the wrestling was quite aggressive, but as the dogs reactedwith similar force, the 'testing' ended and respect developed.The Animal as a Symbol of PowerMany of the subjects talked about owning or wanting animalswho were fierce and scary. Through these animals, the childrencould attain status and create a sense of physical security. Manychildren also mentioned unusual animals--having such an animalmeant being 'unique' and was seen as an attribute which forcessocial recognition and provides personal power.99Control Over the Environment A few of the subjects discussed having a fierce animal toserve as an extension of themselves, causing the subjects to beperceived as tough and therefore feared in their environment. Oneboy spoke about having a cute puppy to attract the girls, therebyusing the animal to control (manipulate) the interactions within hissocial environment.Freedom Versus Confinement A dominant theme was the concept of freedom. Many of thesubjects commented on how it was cruel to keep animals on a leashor in a cage. Some believed the the dogs were being oppressed bytheir owner. Many of the children, especially those in the lockedunits and at the Youth Detention Centre, had strong views aboutconfinement. Some felt that the dogs should be 'free,' while othersfelt that the dogs should be carefully supervised for their ownprotection. This group recommended strict control until the animalsproved that they were responsible. These comments appeared to beprojective statements reflecting the subjects' perceptions of theirown control needs.Anthropomorphism and Projection Anthropomorphism The subjects attributed many human-like qualities to the dogs.When the dogs performed human-like behaviors, they were perceivedas 'good.' Alternately, when they acted like 'animals,' theirbehaviors were judged 'bad.' Almost all the children believed that1 00the dogs had emotions and feelings of a human nature, and believedthat the dogs were motivated by such emotions.Projection One of the reasons that pet-facilitated therapy appears to besuch a valuable tool is because people project their desires, fears,and needs onto the pet. In this study, there were numerousexamples of the subjects' speaking on two levels; as they addressedthe dogs they also addressed their own issues. This type ofinteraction provides rich material for counselling.101CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONSIn this chapter, I will provide an overview of the MaplesProject and discuss the perceived benefits of the pet visitations. Iwill also offer recommendations for future programs and subsequentresearch.Overview of the Maples ProjectThe results of the Maples Project wholeheartedly supportedthe current theories of pet-facilitated therapy as presented in theliterature. 	 With the exception of one subject, all the childrenreported benefits from the pet visitations. The staff were alsooverwhelmingly in favor of the pet visitation program, and providedinformation regarding the perceived benefits observed during thestudy.Many of the themes described above which emerged during thevisits and interviews perfectly matched the expected benefits ofPFT. The dogs in this study provided unconditional positive regardand acted as social catalysts. For many of the attention deficitdisordered children, the interactions with the animals divertedattention away from negative behaviors and increased theirattention spans.Throughout the visits, the subjects demonstrated their abilityto practice empathy and accept the 'faults' of the animals. They alsoexplored the issues of sexuality and the facts of life and death.Many of the children used the animals as transitional objects--as intermediaries for expressing ideas. They also projected manyof their traits and ideas onto the animals.102The dogs provided a needed vehicle for tactile stimulation andplay. They provided 'acceptable' touching for the males, aphenomenon noted by Katcher (1984). Several children reportedfeeling more secure when the dogs were present. Increased socialinteraction, increased play, and decreased limit setting were alsonoted.The dogs offered a nonthreatening relationship for thechildren. Many schizophrenic and otherwise thought disorderedclients find the therapist ego too strong, yet can enter into arelationship with a dog without being overwhelmed.The line staff at the Maples offered some specificobservations regarding the benefits of the pet visitations. Theynoted that the dogs greatly increased the attention span for theirboys. The presence of the dogs noticeably reduced the anxiety levelin the units, and the visits were particularly helpful if theyhappened right before bedtime. (Many 'disturbed' children have greatdifficulty settling in at bedtime.) The staff also noticed that thedog visitations acted as an impromptu incentive system for 'goodbehavior.' Apparently the children wanted to be in good shape sothat they would be able to visit with the dogs.The Maples staff also mentioned that the presence of the dogsencouraged social interaction in a natural way (the pet as a socialcatalyst). It appeared that the residents had a focal point andjointly shared this experience with one another.One staff member noted that the dogs could be utilized as ateaching tool to discuss biology and the facts of life. He also notedthat the dogs could be used to reflect back to the child the impact103that the child had on others. (The example this staff member gavewas when the dogs cowered while one of the residents screamed at apeer--the resident was appalled that she had scared the dogs withher behavior.)The areas which I found most fascinating and which weresomewhat unexpected were the many examples of clear-cutprojective statements. The children seemed to project their ownissues and concerns onto the animal. This 'projection' took place soopenly that a therapist could see these analogies clearly. Childrenwho were normally well defended seemed unaware that they wereopenly addressing issues which they had previously kept well hidden.As a counsellor, I found this opportunity to address crucial issuesinvaluable.I also realized during the study that PFT could be very usefulin the assessment process. The child's interactive style with thedogs seemed to accurately reflect his/her interactive style withothers, and could mirror family issues. "[Such] information could actas an external reflection of similar phenomena within the 'family'dynamic (Hutton, 1983)."I was surprised by the severity and sheer number of animalabuse stories offered by the subjects. In a study done by Robin(1983), the most striking difference between delinquent and non-delinquent populations was the number of delinquent youths whosespecial pet was killed accidentally or on purpose. In the Maplesstudy, the stories about the deaths of pets were mainly historical.Yet during my time at the Maples, I have heard of many instances of104105small pets being killed or tortured. 	 Fish, birds, and rats have allmet an early death at the hands of residents.Another major factor that I noticed during the pet visitationswas the intense neediness that emerged when the childreninteracted with the dogs. The animals seemed to provide some ofthe largely unmet emotional needs for these youth. The childrenappeared more sensitive and vulnerable when interacting with thedogs, as if the weight of their protective shields had been lifted, andthe 'real' person was allowed to surface.If I were to run another pet visitation program, I would becertain to play the role of 'counsellor' rather than that of'researcher.' I found the many 'missed' opportunities difficult, for Icould not follow up on important issues due to my 'researcher'position. The children's concern about 'being studied' would also bealleviated.I would make certain to run the visitation programconsiderably longer--for at least twelve weeks. This longer periodwould allow for stronger relationships to develop between the petsand the residents. It would also more clearly indicate whether theinterest in the pet visitations was because it was a new stimulus(through the introduction of Bob and the dogs), or because thechildren truly appreciated the time spent with the animals.RecommendationsIf one were interested in setting up a pet visitation programfor conduct and thought disordered youth in a treatment centre, Iwould strongly recommend large, durable dogs. Two dogs can offervaluable insight into how the children perceive relationships(jealousy, sibling rivalry, etc. ). The dogs should fit the profile for atherapy animal (Levinson, 1972a, p. 180). They should interact well,be sensitive and playful, behave affectionately, know tricks, and beobedient.My belief is that therapy animals must be strong enough todefend themselves to some degree, and must be highly interactive.Any animal who is vulnerable or unattractive to the residents maymeet with harm. I also firmly believe that the animals should becarefully supervised at all times. I do not necessarily believe thatthe animals should stay on a leash, but I do emphasize that theanimals should remain in control at all times.I recommend running the visits for a period of at least twelveweeks, as discussed above. I feel as though the one hour per weekvisitation schedule worked well.When issues arise while the pet visitations are ongoing, Irecommend trying to deal with the issues contemporaneously. Ifthe issues are a group concern, discussion could take placeimmediately. If they are more private or sensitive topics, perhapsthe individuals could be taken aside and the issues discussedprivately at the soonest convenient time.One element which should not forego mention is theprofessional recognition that the subjects themselves are perhapsthe best 'researchers' and 'program developers' available. It is theywho truly know if a project or theory 'works.' By asking theparticipants for their input, we not only gather 	 premium106information, but our interest in client views serves to empowerthese individuals.I encourage other researchers to replicate this study, perhapswith a larger number of subjects. It would be interesting tocarefully examine the differences between the conduct disorderedand thought disordered populations in terms of their interactionswith the pets. Analysis of the results across gender may alsoprovide new insights.On a broader scale, the effects of the human-animal bond needto be further researched. The formation of policies and lawssupporting pet ownership is imperative as animals become a moreintegral part of our living environment (Robin, 1983).I wish well all those individuals who continue to contribute tothe field of pet-facilitated therapy. The human-companion animalbond is a powerful phenomenon worthy of greater recognition andacceptance.107REFERENCESBergler, R. (1982). Psychologie in wirtschaft and gesellschaft. Koln:Dt. Inst. Verl.Bergler, R. (1988). Man and dog: The psychology of a relationship. New York: Howell.Bossare, J. H. S. (1944). The mental hygiene of owning a dog. MentalHygiene, a, 408.Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss. New York: Basic Books Inc.Brickel, C. M. (1980/81). A review of the roles of pet animals inpsychotherapy and with the elderly. International Journal of Aging and Human Development./ International Journal of Aging. 12, 119-128.Brickel, C. M. (1982). Pet-facilitated psychotherapy: A theoreticalexplanation via attention shifts. 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Beck (Eds.), New perspectives on our lives with companion animals.Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Rollin, B. E. (1983). Morality and the human-animal bond. In A. H.Katcher, & A. M. Beck (Eds.), New perspectives on our lives with companion animals. Philadelphia: University of PennsylvaniaPress.Rynearson, E. K. (1978). Humans and pets and attachment. BritishJournal of Psychiatry, 133, 550-555.Searls, H. F. (1960). The nonhuman environment. New York:International University Press.Sherick, I. (1981). The significance of pets for children: Illustratedby latency-age girl's use of pets in her analysis.Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 31, 193-215.Steinbeck, J. (1941). The log from the Sea of Cortez. New York:Viking Press.Strauss, A., Corbin, J. (1990) Basics of qualitative research : Grounded theory procedures and techniques. London: SagePublications.Teutsch, G. M. (1980). Kinder and tiere: Von der erziehung zumitgeschopflichem verhalten. Unsere Jugend, 32, 435-455.Tinbergen, N. (1951). The study of instinct. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Tukey, J.W. (1977). Exploratory data analysis. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley.Van Maanen, J., Dabbs,J. M. Jr., & Faulkner, R. R. (1982). Varieties ofqualitative research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.111Voith, V. L. (1981). Attachment between people and their pets:Behavior problems of pets that arise from the relationshipbetween pets and people. In B. F. Fogle (Ed.), Interrelations between people and pets. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Winch, R. F. (1958). Mate selection. New York: Harper & Row.Wolfe, J. (1977). The use of pets as transitional objects in adolescent interpersonal functioning.  Unpublished doctoraldissertation, University of Columbia.Woloy, E. M. (1990). The symbol of the dog in the human psyche: A study of the human-dog bond. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications.112Appendix A : Consent FormErica A. Copley, M.A. CandidateDepartment of Counselling PsychologyUniversity of British Columbia(604) 775-0701Dr. Norm Amundson, Thesis SupervisorDepartment of Counselling PsychologyUniversity of British Columbia(604) 822-6757Pet Facilitated Therapy: The Maples ProjectInformant Consent FormI, 	 , agree to take part in the Maples PetVisitation Project.I understand that my involvement in this project is completely voluntary (that Iam free to stop seeing the pet any time I wish and that doing so will not affect mytreatment at Maples), and that any information I provide will remain confidential andanonymous, so that no one (other than Erica Copley) will be able to find out what I said.All information gathered from this project will be destroyed after the report has beenwritten.I understand that the Project will take one hour per week for six weeks, in whicha dog will visit my unit at Maples. I also understand that there will be two interviews atthe end of the Project which will last about one hour each. The observations made andthe information gathered from watching you interact with the dog will be used to write athesis about 	 'pet-facilitated therapy'.I have received a copy of this form.Resident's signature:Guardian's signature:Dated:113(If you have any questions about this project, please call Erica Copley at thenumber shown at the beginning of this form.)Appendix BPET VISITATION QUESTIONSWhen I first saw the dogs I ....When I touched the dogs I ...The dogs made me feel ...When the dogs came towards me ...When the dogs visited the other kids ...My favorite thing about the dogs was...The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...114The most important thing about the dogs was ...Appendix C : Completed Questionnaires 	 115PET VISITATION QUESTIONS 	 GaryWhen I first saw the dogs I	 Iffy- f e,	 rq[few ckf 	 ci GI; 4- ki_oGi w 	 sex(ejWhen I touched the dogs I ... (hi It re 	 /Pi oitzThe dogs made me feel ... 040/1 rt"	 1131 O 4VWhen the dogs came towards me ... of rij h 1-When the dogs visited the other kids ...	 Gteit e-- 	 -Fec0000( -to	 see hokiz 0 -1- kter-	 e,opore o1My favorite thing about the dogs was... 01041 1- rtol /)7 ki4dThe thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...	00 1 1 re ot /r4o GyThe most important thing about therE a cf , F0 rreotdogs was ... 	 p tv-fro 5 e	-)-14e7— 	 Cliefacq I orsPET VISITATION QUESTIONS Joe 	 111147When I first saw the dogs I .... AjoigfiNeLio-S-When I touched the dogs IThe dogs made me feel ...	)AfL Ole Newoot-5When the dogs came towards me ...	1-e55	 4,7When the dogs visited the other kids ... (Dort ,*My favorite thing about the dogs was...	 r 	 _44,3c,..; 5-The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ... //krThe most important thing about the dogs was ...PET VISITATION QUESTIONS MaxWhen I first saw the dogs I .... f	 1-iWhen I touched the dogs I ... (A)\.ii-eD) 	 d6A.c.c --c-The dogs made me feel ... 1\qm 	ece,(J5Q. 	 FUG Fvf 	 c .IWhen the dogs came towards me ...	 /	 (A) ..-5".eCi] 4-zi ( c -c: 	 2a,-. -When the dogs visited the other kids ..My favorite thing about the dogs was... qe€, 	 6./eiet191,v,--10 1 .The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...The most important thing about the dogs was .. (1-61, (,- ,61,,,) 1PET VISITATION QUESTIONS 	 PeterWhen I first saw the dogs I .... reki wo,k,e,c1, 	 ctr\kWhen I touched the dogs I ...	 sa-s4\The dogs made me feel ... \iaiEk-.1When the dogs came towards me ... \ge.,\Coma	 'When the dogs visited the other kids ... j i\(\ 	 0\c(ke,	 1NQatMy favorite thing about the dogs was...The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...The most important thing about the dogs was ... \n, aAllin 0, tv,i AK aPET VISITATION QUESTIONS _	 Nadine	11CWhen I first saw the dogs I ....When I touched the dogs I ...The dogs made me feel ...When the dogs came towards me ...When the dogs visited the other kids ...My favorite thing about the dogs was... 	 tAcc,The thing I didn't like about the dogs was .../7k/ jkor)The most important thing about the dogs was ... 	 WUPET VISITATION QUESTIONSWhen I first saw the dogs I	Vs Q.( Nee.,When 1 touched the dogs I ... ruKtico& 	 AerThe dogs made me feel ... to&When the dogs came towards me ...412-421- 41-``%When the dogs visited the other kids ...AA44-taid.Justin 12CMy favorite thing about the dogs was... r..e0 ipar.1/ ig4"The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ... Y.P..(4y 4m.a.;(---trotThe most important thing about the dogs was ... 	 it,4,044My favorite thing about the dogs was...eL,d,PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Sharon 	 121When I first saw the dogs I .... "th-) 29 Thl"--ty\..utWhen I touched the dogs I	 b\r\OLkt/u as 2,0ii-nu	 ;--ic),The dogs made me feel ... ‘jur\ ir- 42. 0 CC-1-k. 	 -,,(-\c\ 	 04-When the dogs came towards me ...S.W\R 1413111 ) )°' C-05A.A.Lc) 	 K e- tr'Q' 'When^tlhe dogs visited the other kids ... ^ 	 ^( _ ^ k /-1-ekL	 •\o.ee.)-C) LCS 3 0 V -e-fr - 5n-2 C10The thing I didn't like about the dogs wmat2 CAP 	 0\ r\,t) di)as ... (t_e,5"e,a cl.,k 	 andThe most important thing about the dogs was ...(0 (1 1 th. 	 (‘ 	 'a- 4PET VISITATION QUESTIONS 	 Ross	 122When I first saw the dogs IWhen I touched the dogs I ...The dogs made me feel ...When the dogs came towards me ...When the dogs visited the other kids ...My favorite thing about the dogs was...The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...The most important thing about the dogs was ...PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Rob 	 123When I first saw the dogs I .... Ij ICf3 .0lern Cm0( 	 tolied#07 ctni 196May	 uv).1\)111,-tlyeeHeat -1-kernThe dogs made me feel ... 	 500AWhen the dogs came towards me ... T wool) wresffeWhen the dogs visited the other kids ... 	 1-Ceaku5'G 	 11 f1 ,e \\joie, 	 (ea y rye ,yk1O jov&(b( )e, or hqi,	iyteThe thing I didn't like about the dogs was ... 	 1.clvIst 	 r‘k 6\bit -The most important thing about the dogs was ... 	 t-yecAf t X12 	 .; 4-11fe5petf-When I touched the dogs I ...My favorite thing about the dogs was...PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Myron	 124When I first saw the dogs I 	 z	 TWhen I touched the dogs I	 LT 11K ETekEThe dogs made me feel ...	 ()When the dogs came towards me ... v•-i 1Z.L.-7-:-p 	 7-1-1-6711When the dogs visited the other kids ...	 N T-	ry CFTCMy favorite thing about the dogs was... "--(7F-c-(.).	Lc) o < SThe thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...	 cc' L—The most important thing about the dogs was ... NCI 7-7L1 	 C-7 	 1f'-t P0 R-rAki-PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Darren 	 125+h 	 09When I first saw the dogs I 	 '7" 	 -1,6ielgiir=s• 	 Y15 °Y1S appe-a re-A •When I touched the dogs I ... 	 MOT-e-The dogs made me feel ... Le.. T- 7,eloile4 1.u?-{-t\a r*5When the dogs came towards me ..1 11 iE61'''41,e!A *\-\s-k- 	v-•% e •When the dogs visited the other kids ... T -\--.\-A vif4 	 \ k A.,\.\e,c i7121he-s 	 -0-vc-k- -1-he 	 A5?& .My favorite thing about the dogs was... A--\-le Fr- 	 . ..-4e1/1 A-Po 17\s 	 F a " •The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ... 	 v\6A-A-ii3nThe most important thing about the dogs was ... Tr\ 2itt - 4-he_fj 4/gr 	 h ea I*h ,/019#0\ •1 Fii" 	 Lug-tr-N L 1PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Joan	 126C\ol:	 le. ,0,1„)When I first saw the dogs IWhen I touched the dogs I ...The dogs made me feelWhen the dogs came towards me ..I leG 	 i,„„1ce-eo5When the dogs visited the other kids ...My favorite thing about the dogs was... Fudd,i 11cieu hILThe thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...The most important thing about the dogs was ... dao PET VISITATION QUESTIONSWhen I first saw the dogs I ....[	 ki.oklWhen I touched the dogs I ...The dogs made me feel ...Tara	 127dOkl- kiN0k) ,When the dogs came towards me ...When the dogs visited the other kids ...My favorite thing about the dogs was...The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...The most important thing about the dogs wasPET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Sandy	128When I first saw the dogs I .... 	 50;d.	\\( 	 \\CN..} 5 w'-e-A"When I touched the dogs I ... A-A„,outv\_s The dogs made me feel ... T—iqes"C)04-N—.When the dogs came towards me ... \cD tA--Ick) v-y.c..\AAWhen the dogs visited the other kids ...€.01,,■1-5 c.ld	 .My favorite thing about the dogs was... 	 r‘,L,y 6 ,\ ,} 	 Su-1 NCAThe thing I didn't like about the dogs was ... 	 s e_∎-k— • v, 3 ■0;o Pce_ .e-e.The most important thing about the dogs w. s ' k\ast.due, 	 (Luz c),r_Levz-z1R.PET VISITATION QUESTIONS	 Ann	 129When I first saw the dogs I .... CaC: \	 \ICNiu\ /C\CX?When I touched the dogs I ... Co-mo.rc\kg6r rfm-'0CCIS) Ck 1S- \.1°1.1\sa. 'The dogs made me feel ... \c,,spp,4 omck	 \O\IaC• •When the dogs came towards me ...	 os,	 UkS0.1AWhen the dogs visited the other kids ...	 11cMy favorite thing about the dogs was... -AN& rCloteiut" /)911, hatd.5 ,The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...	 te)0,4z..\\The most important thing about the dogs was ... A\(\	kiA.311,CY11.1\dt-\13PET VISITATION QUESTIONS 	 Ray13DWhen I first saw the dogs I .... Pc k e, 6 	 .h,„ 0, 6 1 \. a fir`eel Q eiotusat,When I touched the dogs I ...	o-\ N.N-tc-‘r3 1) e-re- 	 2The dogs made me feelWhen the dogs came towards me ...	e 	 eWhen the dogs visited the other kids ... 'S.My favorite thing about the dogs was... V., e,	v`-C- 5 ° 6 )-°\The thing I didn't like about the dogs was ...	 s 	 u, 5 k A. 'A. 12`d.	t:)) 	 0.1/4 5t‘, 	 g- 6.° cS	\-A-\ 	 y-c h -Lc11\.The most important thing about the dogs was ...

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