When did Squamish open his first pet store?

The story of our relationship with dogs – and a little about cats.

Loving animals is almost a prerequisite for living in Squamish.

We love our wildlife and our pets, especially dogs.

We have our pick of pet shops, groomers, trainers and dog walkers.

As of April 1, 1,593 valid dog licenses have been issued in Squamish, according to the district, but the actual number is certainly much higher.

And dogs have long been Squamish residents’ best friends.

Shop for Fido

Squamish historian Eric Andersen says he doesn’t think there was a pet-only store in Squamish until Station Square Mall opened in the early 1980s.

That store was where Bosley is today, he said.

“However, the Stedmans [Variety] Store owned by Jim and Thelma Kilburn from the late 1960s to the 1970s – later operated by Jim Mulholland – and located in the Behrner building where Pearl’s [Value and Vintage] Today there was everything, including small pets – hamsters, goldfish, birds,” he told Chief Squamish.

While off-leash dogs are a hot topic today, in the 1960s “the expectations and habits of many visitors to off-leash dogs were something new,” Andersen said, in an article. entitled pound law that he wrote about this story and passed on to Chief Squamish.

There were incidents that generated a lot of discussion.

“In 1962, the Chamber of Commerce sent a delegation to the town council to ask the village council to act on off-leash dogs. The Dentville neighborhood and the geese on Mr. Bailey’s little farm across from the high school were being terrorized by badly behaved dogs,” Andersen wrote.

In 1971, Dr. Stein Hoff, then based in West Vancouver, established the first part-time veterinary clinic here. Dr. Hoff was to be a highly valued adviser to the district council for years to come, according to Andersen.

Check out the Squamish Public Library’s animal photo archive to learn about the furry inhabitants of yesteryear.

(Read Andersen pound law complete document under the story.)

All about the dog

According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), there are 7.7 million dogs in Canada and 8.1 million cats in 2020.

Dogs, which are primarily descended from wolves, were the first domesticated animal, according to Greger Larson, director of the University of Oxford’s Paleogenomics and Bio-Archaeology Research Network, which has led a large international project to determine the origins dogs.

According to Larson, dogs and cats were buried with humans 12,000 years ago, but we don’t know exactly why.

(There is some dispute over when the first dogs appeared, with some claiming it was much earlier.)

“It has been to the benefit of people and dogs to work together – to be together and to live together,” said historian Katherine Grier, author of the book, Pets in America: A History.

At first, the dogs acted as “garbage collectors” for humans and were used for hunting, she said.

“And then over time, I think they were domesticated because the nicer ones were kept and bred,” she said.

Pets have long been a part of man’s private leisure, she added, but not as much as they are today.

“18th and 19th century Euro-Americans kept pets, but they also lived in a world where they relied on animals as workers and as a source of raw materials – there was no getting around that,” she said.

“The variety of these relationships has diminished in modern industrial societies where you no longer have a horse, you no longer have a cow in your garden that gives milk… We have really done that in the years 1930.”

Grier noted that while we don’t think of it that way, what we’re doing when we choose certain animals as pets is choosing to identify them as individuals.

“That’s why, for example, a squirrel or a domestic chicken or something like that is looked at somewhat differently than a wild or farmed animal, because of how you look at it. And the way you you’re ready to intervene in his life journey, the resources you’re ready to put into it, aren’t you?”

While pet stores weren’t on every street corner, pet stores appeared as early as the 1840s in major American cities, Grier said.

“But in the 1890s you really start to have – they called them bird shops because a lot of what they sold was caged birds and birdcages and bird food and stuff like that, but they were selling other animals. And then in the 1890s in the United States you started to see what I would consider the first really modern pet stores with a wide range of foods and supplies, patent medicines for people to treat their animals when they were sick, beds, coats, you know, all that kind of stuff. “

Before World War II, however, there were not the plethora of consumer goods that we associate with pets today.

“The pet industry…realizes that you have a prosperous post-war middle class, where having a dog or a cat or guinea pigs or parakeets…was associated with a happy family life. It was definitely associated with some sort of outlook on family life and childhood.

Grier says she collects vintage pet items, including a ruffled rubber underwear for post-WWII female dogs in heat.

“One of the things about the consumer market is that it always comes up with things that we’re not sure we need or didn’t think we needed,” she said.

“My childhood dog had her ball toys, and then they would take used socks, and we would tie them together and make a tug of war toy. And that’s what she had.

The Canadian Connection

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, dogs were first kept in Canada by Indigenous peoples.

“They had various uses: transport and draft work, hunting, clothing and sometimes human food. Inuit dogs are still used to pull sleds and carry backpacks; they are also used for sealing and provide protection from polar bears,” reads the RD Crawford Encyclopedia article.

There are 187 dog breeds recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. Of these, five are Canadian: the Tahltan bear dog, the Canadian Inuit dog, the Nova Scotia duck retriever, the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever.

Dogs are popular pets because “they’re really good at understanding emotions or how to interact with you,” Grier said.

It took the invention of cat litter to make cats popular indoor pets, she noted.

“The rise of the indoor cat was not possible or very difficult before the invention of cat litter after World War II. Before that, if you wanted to have a cat that was completely indoors, you ended up with a box of ash or sand or torn paper and it was a mess.

The story of kitty litter is that a man named Ed Lowe sold granulated clay as an industrial grease remover to pick up grease from industrial floors, Grier said.

He knew a woman who complained about having to use sand for her cat. And so he gave her a bag of his product. She was thrilled and Lowe realized he could sell things to cat owners.

The rest is history.

Grier notes that while the pets are fun, many are still abandoned in shelters across North America.

People need to understand the power they have in their pets’ lives, she said.

“You shape the course of his life. You do everything from controlling her fertility to managing her health or well-being. And then there is also some psychological well-being, in the case of many animals,” she said. “The thing is, they have emotions. They have an emotional life and they have psychology. And so, I guess that’s it. It’s about figuring out, you know, how to be responsible in that way.

Find Grier’s Book Pets in America: A History on Amazon or visit their website.

by Eric Anderson pound law information:

Pound Law Story by Eric And… by Jennifer Thuncher

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