Dr Chris Blazina talking about the psychology between men and their dogs.

Dr Chris Blazina chats to Anna about his work as a professor, researcher, writer, and psychologist and 15 years-ago his focus was on the psychology of men and masculinity.

But when his beloved dog Kelsey passed away and he experienced profound grief, his research took on a new path. And the results could benefit men everywhere.

 

 

He said: “She was my best friend and portable family through graduate school and the early part of my career. It involved 14 years of making a bond that did in fact change my life. 

“When I started grieving the loss of my old friend part of that process was to understand why Kelsey was so important in my life.

“I revisited all the old psychological theories (and newer ones too) about how people handled grief. However, there was only a little bit available about how people deal with the loss of an animal companion---an animal or pet that is like a friend or family member.

“One of the realisations was grief involving people was a lot like grief with an animal companion.

“We build an attachment, we deal with loss, and we try to preserve some parts of our bond. The later part is sometimes referred to as a continuing bond.

In one nationwide study in the US males were asked to compare their closest human and animal companion upon how secure their bond felt.

In 62 per cent of cases, an attachment with an animal companion was labelled as ‘almost always’ a secure one.

By comparison, only 10 percent of men labelled their closest human companion in the same way. Instead, the most common classification for a human bond was ‘sometimes.’

That is, men perceived that the attachment, even with their closest human companion, was sometimes secure and sometimes not.

Talking to host, Broadcaster & Author, Anna Webb: “Dogs are like chapters in our lives. They teach us so much and the continuing bond can be represented by other dogs as we move forwards with grief managed as a continuing bond”.

 To listen to the episode click here

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