(Maple Ridge Museum)                                Bernard Hawley and Mary Hawley on the porch of Haney House with their pets in the mid 1920s.

(Maple Ridge Museum) Bernard Hawley and Mary Hawley on the porch of Haney House with their pets in the mid 1920s.

Looking Back: For the love of pets

Haney House was home to many pets over its century as a family home

From our windows in the old brickyard manager’s house here at Jim Hadgkiss Park, we at the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives see an endless and repeating parade of people walking and playing with their dogs.

There are people who come with their tiny energetic puppies, their fiercely devoted companions always walking at pace, and their old buddies complete with ramps to get out of the car.

The mutual love and respect between people and their dogs is a constant companion in our little park and makes us ponder the history of people and their pets in our town.

Historically, dogs are such an obvious companion to humans that it is hard to believe a life without them. For at least 10,000 years, we have been each other’s hunting companions, security, friends, and, for many of us, family.

We often get or come across photos in our archives collection that have dogs, cats, rabbits, ponies, and all sorts of pets. They are often unnamed and simply add character to the photo.

One such image is of a group of Maple Ridge men posing with what is described on the picture as a taxidermied cat. The story behind this odd photo and why these men are posing with a taxidermied cat is unknown and will probably always be so.

Despite the challenges of tracking animals in the historical record, we do know about some local and well-loved pets of our past.

Haney House was home to many pets over its century as a family home. We see in the picture here that dogs and cats alike found a loving home in the Haney household.

Dogs were their constant companions, including English setters “Meter” and “Tuffy,” and a beagle named “King.”

The Haney and Hawley families had many beloved cats, as well, our database being littered with Haney cat pictures. Most are of Mary Hawley-Isaac holding different cats in her arms as a child, young woman, adult, and senior, the pictures telling a beautiful story of a lifetime full of the love of pets.

The Haneys, however, were far from the only pet lovers in town.

Norm Pelkey of Ruskin was just nine years old when he started delivering groceries for his family store in Ruskin, accompanied by his two dogs and his rather small pony pulling his cart. His pony and two dogs were dear to him and, despite his young age, he was allowed to keep his small menagerie of pets if he could take care of them himself, which he happily did.

To feed them out of his own pocket, he worked making deliveries and used the money he made to feed the dogs and pony. For him, it was a labour of love, and I’m sure for many of us we recognize the devotion and commitment to our furry companions.

Shea Henry is curator at Maple Ridge Museum and Archives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. Wendy Mehat. (Black Press files)
Insp. Mehat officer in charge of Ridge Meadows Detachment

Takes over for Jennifer Hyland, who has gone to new Surrey Police Service

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Staff at Bruce’s Country Market are being asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 after an exposure at the Maple Ridge grocery store. (The News files)
Employee at Maple Ridge grocery store tests positive for COVID-19

All other staff in the department have tested negative for disease

Alouette Heights.
Fire at Alouette Heights in Maple Ridge puts half of residents out of their units

Coast Mental Health said fire was small, but sprinkler system caused damage

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read