Själavårdshunden. Hundens medverkan i själavården
The Pastoral Care Dog. The dog’s involvement in the pastoral care
This thesis will discuss the pastoral care dog and the dog's role in the pastoral care. I will focus on the pastoral care within the Church of Sweden. Since the dog’s history has developed from living beside humans for shelter and slaughter waste for food, to become a beloved family member, I find the development of the relationship between dogs and humans fascinating. Nowadays the dog is also active in many professions whose main purpose is to provide health and social care. Many studies show that dogs are excellent caretakers who provides comfort for the client. Therefore, I will study how the dog is a good pastoral care taker and how the dog can be helpful in the church’s work. The purpose of this thesis is thus to examine how the dog’s pastoral care characteristics can be helpful within the pastoral care. The method for this thesis is a literature study and further a scientific procession of the material. The material will mainly be interpreted and analyzed based on a hermeneutical perspective. Since my work will touch a new field of research, there is no current studies on the pastoral care dog. I have therefore chosen to focus on studies that partly illustrates the health effects of living in relationship with dogs as well as research concerning the work of the therapy dogs. This thesis will also use literature that discuss the pastoral care mission and how that mission can be executed. The thesis has discussed which components that are needed to make a pastoral care conversation to be pastoral caring for the client. These are for example when the client experience that one is heard, listened to, confirmed and comforted. These components can, theoretically, result that the client experiences the effects of pastoral care. One of the pastoral care givers most important components is to be responsive and listen to the client's story to make the client safe enough to express their feelings. The dog seems to have the ability to introduce conversation between humans, therefore the dog’s work is quite rewarding within the pastoral care. The dog can in many ways be helpful within the pastoral care and the dog has an ability to see and confirm the client and is therefore a good compliment within the pastoral care.