FSD3139 Pets as Family Members 2014-2015

The dataset is (C) available for research only (including Master's, doctoral and Polytechnic/University of Applied Sciences Master's theses). The dataset may not be used for teaching, study (e.g. seminar papers, essays) or other theses (Bachelor's theses or equivalent).

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  • Finnish Literature Society (SKS)
  • Lauren, Kirsi (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Niemelä, Reetta
  • Schuurman, Nora (University of Eastern Finland. Karelian Institute)
  • Syrjämaa, Taina (University of Turku. Faculty of Humanities)


animals, dogs, domestic animals, household pets, oral history


This dataset contains written responses about Finnish people's experiences with pets in childhood and in the present. Most of the memories concern cats and dogs, but stories about other pets are included as well.

The respondents wrote about the role of the pet in the family and interaction with the pet, for instance. They also wrote about having to give up the pet or put it down as well as emotions relating to these situations. Many respondents reminisced pets in childhood homes and how their attitudes towards pets had changed over decades.

The dataset comprises 72 responses. Some respondents also attached pictures of their pets. The data collection was organised by the Academy of Finland's research project "Animal Agency in Human Society: Finnish Perspectives, 1890 - 2040", Human-Animal Studies network at the University of Eastern Finland, author Reetta Niemelä, and Finnish Literature Society.

Background information includes age, gender, occupation and place of residence. The data were organised into an easy to use html version at FSD.

The dataset is only available in Finnish.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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