Panel: Human relationships with dogs, from the home front to the wild side

Network Node: 
Sat., Jul. 13, 2013, 7:30pm

Human relationships with dogs, from the home front to the wild side
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 7:30pm
Coburg Coffee House
6085 Coburg Road
Open Academy panel (and audience) discussion (free event)

This event is part of the Human Animal Relations invitational workshop.

World renowned expert on coyote (and canid) behaviour, Dr. Marc Bekoff, will lead a panel that addresses the emotional lives of canids as well as the character of human-canid relationships. Audience members will not only have access to recent scientific findings about canid behavior, but also social science perspectives about the importance of dogs in human family life and an artist’s account of representing a dog’s perspective. By bringing artistic, sociological, and ethological approaches together, this panel offers a rare opportunity for members of the public to re-think their own relationships with domestic dogs and their wild kin. Dr. Bekoff will be joined by Professor Matthew Reichertz and Dr. Cassandra Hanrahan.

In 2005 Professor Reichertz was the Eastern Canadian winner of the RBC Canadian  Painting Competition and in 2006 was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. He has had numerous exhibitions nationally and his work can be found in a number of institutional collections including the Nova Scotia Art Bank and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Currently an Associate Professor at NSCAD University, Professor Reichertz’s interests are in story-telling and in painting. In the summer of 2012 he was the Halifax Regional Municipality’s Artist in Residence at Point Pleasant Park.

Dr. Hanrahan teaches critical anti-oppressive social, cultural and social work theory, and policy analysis in the BSW and MSW programs. Her research interests include human animal bonds, ecology, and spirituality in social work, as well as narrative theory and practice. In 2011, Dr. Hanrahan was awarded a Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation grant to conduct a provincial study on what practitioners know and are doing about human animal relations in practice.

Dr. Bekoff will talk about what we can learn from dogs and other animals in terms of respect, dignity, cooperation, empathy, friendship, loyalty, peace and love.  Dr. Reichertz will talk about the production of his work DOG PARK, which was created as a memorial to his dog, Georgia, with whom he spent many hours walking through Point Pleasant Park. In the summer and fall of 2012 Dr. Reichertz worked in Point Pleasant Park making one long painting revolving around sites of interest to Georgia’s nose. Dr. Hanrahan will discuss some of the results of her research into the integration of knowledge about human-animal relationships into social work practice. Dr. Hanrahan’s study (funded by Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation) surveyed social work practitioners in Nova Scotia to measure their knowledge of human-animal bonds and the integration of this knowledge into practice.

After short presentations by each presenter the audience will be invited to join in an open discussion with our experts. Refreshments will be available.

Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and a former Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior and in 2009 he was presented with the Saint Francis of Assisi Award by the Auckland (New Zealand) SPCA. Dr. Bekoff has published more than 500 scientific and popular essays and twenty-three books including Minding Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), The  Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals Matter, Animals at Play: Rules of the Game, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of AnimalsThe Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint, Ignoring Nature No More: The Case For Compassionate Conservation, Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears, and two editions of the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, and the Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. In 2005 Dr. Bekoff was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners as part of Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program. His websites are and, with Jane Goodall,

Links to magazine articles of interest:

A Universal Declaration on Animal Sentience: No Pretending

Compassionate Conservation: A Discussion from the Frontlines With Dr. Marc Bekoff