Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Robert Nash


In this thesis I share stories of my journey to make meaning in my life, and explore how my relationship with dogs has helped me to overcome personal challenges. I break these experiences down into what I call my five Fs: family, faith, food, fear, and fido. After giving a history of the human-dog relationship, I extrapolate from my experiences ways in which I believe students and teachers could benefit from interactions with therapy dogs and other comfort animals within the public school day. Specifically, I examine the role dogs can play in helping students and teachers reduce stress and increase self-efficacy. I include the sample animal procedure I drafted for the school at which I teach. I also include some data from my time working with students and my dog. Written in Scholarly Personal Narrative format, I look to weave together my own realizations about anxiety, choice, and identity, with a call for others to find what self-efficacy strategies work for them to make meaning and purpose in their own lives.



Number of Pages

90 p.