Welcome and Thank You
Hello, everyone! For those of you who may not recall, my name is Melissa Marie Legge (I go by emmy), and I am a doctoral student at McMaster University in the School of Social Work. You will have received an Email directing you to this page if you were a participant in (or expressed interest in ongoing updates about) my dissertation research project, regarding the wellbeing of dogs who work with social workers in therapeutic settings. This initial message will serve as an update and an apology for the delay in communications! Unfortunately, following my data collection in November 2017 to January 2018, I encountered a family emergency, and ultimately took a 12 month leave of absence from my studies.
I am happy to report that as of May 2019, I have returned full time to my doctoral program, with shiny new SSHRC funding! As such, things are in full swing on my end! Since my data collection was completed in 2018, I am now working on transcribing and coding all of my interviews, visualizing the data from the sensor packages that many of your dogs obliged me by wearing during site visits, and I am in the beginning stages of writing the theoretical and methods portions of my dissertation paper.
I will be sending out more updates as my project progresses, and as findings begin to emerge. My current plan for moving forward is that I aim to complete a draft of my dissertation paper by the end of 2019, and defend some time in 2020. This paper will be about 200 pages long, and will include theoretical foundations, the findings of the research, and a discussion of how these findings can be implemented to improve wellbeing of working animals within the social work field. After my defense, my long term goal is to turn my dissertation into a publishable manuscript about the relationship between animals, humans, and technology, particularly as these relationships affect working dogs.
Thank you all so much for your ongoing support of the project, and for your patience. I look forward to having more salient details to share in the coming months!