The impact of human-dog bonds on sense of place

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Coulbourn, Cayley
This study used a photo-ethnography mixed method to determine how participants' sense of place is impacted by their relationships with their companion dogs. Study participants submitted photos and joined semi-structured interviews to share the ways their dogs shape their experiences of meaningful places. The results revealed that participants perceived that their human-dog relationships enabled them to be more deeply aware of their surroundings, and reflective about changes that occur within themselves and those places. These findings expand the concept of sense of place to include how a person’s sense of place is shaped by their own perceptions and experiences of natural and built environments, and also by their relationships with other sentient life. This work highlights the importance of considering how best to create, use, and value outdoor spaces that are shared between people and their dogs as a means to foster environmentally responsible engagement.
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