January 23, 2011
Reaction paper on “Afternoons with Puppy”
“Afternoons with Puppy” provides insight to the human-animal bond within a therapist setting with children and within the family setting of the Fines’ family. The book is driven between the bonds of several species of animals but mainly focuses on that of the canine companion. In Dr. Fines’ practice he sees “all types of children with varying degrees of need; they are troubled abused, or have physical and emotional challenges” (Afternoons with Puppy 103). So in a therapy setting Dr. Fines’ canine friends enable for children to open themselves up in a different manner. He discovers that the relationship between therapist and patient “develops at an earlier stage when animals are present than in conventional treatment” (5).
Within the Fines’ family their canine companions provide comfort in times of need, a sense that you are wanted, relieve from life, a time for reflection, teach children about death, and most importantly set an example of how our lives should be lived. At times we must refocus our lives and live simply like our animal friends. “We need to simplify rather than complicate; otherwise, we’ll live a life full of regret rather than passion” (193). “Afternoons with Puppy” shows the dynamic roles that animals play in our lives at the worst of time and the best of times.
One of the many stories that caught my attention is the story between the relationship of John, an eight-year-old boy, and an injured duck. John was a boy who experience extreme traumatic experience as a toddler with one of the events including being submerged into a bath filled with scalding water by his mother. He was taken away from his mother and put into a foster care system. However due to his psychological issues and being deaf it caused for him to be place into a children’s shelter due to his disruptive behavior. John unfortunately had so many disadvantages in life however with the...