So I guess it all depends on how we define "work" then.
For the sake of this discussion The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines work as:
1 : activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a : sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result b : the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood c : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity
According to this definition above. I think not only does therapy qualify as work (c), so do the events I typically consider performance or sports (1, a). The work we define because they are JOBS would be (b). Would they not?
I have done therapy too. Although I understand your argument Michelle you have to admit that there are (some) dogs who do therapy who provide this service without any particular physical or mental effort or training to provide this type of service.
My friends Newf provides the same service to his pillow at home that he provides the patients he visits, yet the patients are no doubt better for it. If we stuffed him he would provide the same service (usually you can barely tell he is awake)... is this work?
By definition, yes.
So then are sports... since they are"'exerting strength or faculties to perform something, overcome or achieve a result". The result of the desired task. The dog is working for US. Isnt what sports my dogs play for me at LEAST as important as what they provide to a stranger in therapy? I think so. My dogs each assist me to teach my obedience students. Isnt that work? Or do they have to understand or complete a specific task.
Was the Newf?
Am I working by sitting in the sun, because I supply the grass beneath me with shade?
Yet we deny the intention and work a dog puts in for us by the training that is put into performance events because it doesnt provide a service?
Human athletes may disagree. Arent sports also professions... work?
I am not disagreeing with anyone here... this is a good thread
... just making an argument.