New Publication from Dr. Haney – The Human-Canine Bond: A Sacred Relationship

Colleen Haney

Dr. Colleen Haney
Department of Educational Counseling Psychology and Special Education

Abstract: Human beings attempt to find meaning in their everyday lives. The relational significance of the human-animal bond is no exception. This article draws upon a qualitative study examining the subjective experience of living with a companion dog. Dog owners (n=27) were invited to participate in focus groups. Based on a thematic analysis, three themes are highlighted: (a) this is a sacred relationship; (b) all we have is today; and (c) I’m going to fix you, hang on. Discussed in light of interdisciplinary perspectives, these findings may lead to a deeper understanding of the human-animal bond in research and clinical work.


Maharaj, N., Kazanjian, A. & Haney, C.J. (2016). The Human-Canine Bond: A Sacred Relationship. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 18(1), 76-89. DOI: 10.1080/19349637.2015.1047922

Click here to access the article.