I Had a Dog – Song and Video

I had a dog cover image

“Good Therapy” by Amy Saint-Pierre 2016

Humans can feel alone or disconnected for a variety of reasons and animals can be a way to open up lines of communication. The song, I Had A Dog, and accompanying video with lyric sheet are made to encourage conversation between service providers and their clients, teachers and students, or other engaged learners from all walks of life.

This resource can be used by service providers with older adults as a way to encourage conversation, bring about past memories, or uplift mood. Viewers may find comfort from simply hearing the song and watching the video. The resource can also be used across age groups to promote engagement between different age groups, guide discussion about memory loss and long-term care programming, or promote an understanding about the role of relationships with humans and other animals in wellness.

The resource can also be used for educational purposes, whether in a health care setting or a classroom. Topic area suggestions include aging, clinical practice methods, grief and loss, total health care, mental health and problematic substance use, and so much more. This resource promotes strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and ecological perspectives for learning engagement, asking learners to think about the nature of relationships that impact our health and wellbeing.

Sharing the song and video in your workplace with colleagues can also provide the opportunity to explore the potential benefits of animal visits for your organization, your programs, or your daily practices.

Individuals and families can watch the video and listen to the lyrics in their own ways – the possibilities are endless.

You can listen to the song here:

Or download the song for free by visiting our Bandcamp site.

You can watch the music video here:

A second version of the video, with all the song lyrics on screen is available here. While a French-language subtitle version of the video is available here. To review all three versions of the music video please visit the I Had A Dog playlist on our YouTube channel.

You can also download the lyric sheet and accompanying handout available in English or French language.

The I Had A Dog News Release is also available for download.

This project was funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, with a grant through St. John Ambulance Canada and local Therapy Dog participation from the St. John Ambulance Saskatchewan. The development of the song and video was supported with a University of Saskatchewan One Health grant.

News Coverage

“It took them into a different state of mind”, U of S research shows war veterans benefit from therapy dogs – Saskatoon StarPhoenix, April 29, 2016

“Therapy dog research has encouraging findings for war veterans” – Global News, April 30, 2016

“Research shows therapy dogs help veterans” – Regina LeaderPost, April 30, 2016

The Research Project that Studied the Health Effects of Therapy Dogs on Elderly Veterans – Calgary Herald, April 30, 2016