Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

History

First Advisor

Christopher Conte

Abstract

This project combines history and folklore to illuminate the concept of liminality and the human-dog relationship as it has evolved since the species domestication. The lore highlights the permanent liminality of the dog, the use of the species as remedies in Folk Medicine, and the dog's shift from secondary participant to active agent in contemporary medical fields. The informant data and the context of the lore provide the basis for a historical analysis on how the human-dog relationship has evolved, from the past to the present, and inform how this relationship will progress into the future. Furthermore, the lore supports the argument that the culturalliminality of the dog enabled the species to adopt the role of therapy animal and actively initiate and continue to engage in the healing process.

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