top of page
  • odawaraetsuko1

Having a dog as an occupation


I have written about how Jim’s experience of having a dog has promoted

Jim’s health and wellbeing.

Having a dog was one of Jim’s most important and meaningful occupations.

Today I want to share with you about a view of having a dog as

an occupation from these angles:  

           the form of the occupation of having a dog,

           the function of the occupation,

           and the meaning of having a dog as an occupation.

To look at having a dog, in a big occupational picture, let’s imagine Jim

engaging in having a dog.

Having a dog as an occupation

Life situation

Jim was a retiree, seventy years old, living in California.

He adopted a Shih Tzu dog, called Jackson,8 years ago.

Jim lived a full life with Jackson but Jackson died in seven years.

Jim has lost Jackson depressed.

The loss of Jackson was the challenge to Jim from the environment at that time.

Jim started searching another Shih Tzu dog, in 11 months,

for him to share his life.


The form of the occupation

Jim adopted an old Shih Tzu dog, Jackson.

It took time for Jackson to be close to Jim then he has followed him

and spent 24hours with Jim.

Jim had a full life with Jackson.

Jackson died in seven years.

Jim suffered from the loss of Jackson.

In 11 months, however, he chose to adopting another Shih Tzu dog,

planned to get euthanasia.

Jim named the dog Daisy and started living together.


The function of the occupation

Having a dog is living daily life together.

Having a dog is responsible for the dog’s life: feeding, preparing bed,

grooming, walking and medical care if needed, including physical and

psychological activities.

Having a dog is also having a partner who tries to be close to you,

trust you and be royal to you.


Jim gave Jackson a good life with food and bed.

Jackson has been close to Jim, followed him and spent 24 years with him.

Socialization with people through such a friendly dog gave Jim

opportunities to get a smile.

Jackson was a good partner in good time and bad time for an old man

who wasn’t sociable but loved animals.

Having a dog promoted Jim’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

Living with Jackson supported Jim, so the loss of Jackson damaged

his wellbeing.

That was the challenge to Jim from the environment at that time.


Jim was depressed but he decided to adopt a dog and started living

with another dog of the same breed as Jackson.

The “punch” of adopting another dog appeared to start a new life with

a partner to promote his wellbeing.

Jim used the function of partner as an occupation.

He has learned that living with a dog could promote human wellbeing

from his life with Jackson.


The meaning of the occupation

Having a dog is living with a partner to Jim, that means supporting

each other in good time and bad time.

When he lost his dog, he was depressed but after a while, he decided

to have another dog.

He punched back to the environmental challenge to adapt to it,

for his good condition and wellbeing, because he knew the meaning

and importance of living with a dog.

Living with Daisy means starting a good life promoting wellbeing to Jim.


bottom of page