Founder. Eddie built his first dog cart for Buddha, his companion Doberman in 1989. A mechanical engineer by trade, he brings his lifetime experience as mechanical designer, welder and inventor to the task of designing a mobility cart that supports pets in a bio-mechanically sound way. Ed’s previous incarnations included 10 years traveling the world designing and installing machinery for the corrugated box industry; he’s worked as a hydraulics engineer, an electrician, welder, designed packaging for Nestle, built custom motorcycles, raced for Harley Davidson, was a self-employed contractor and stonemason, arborist and dog trainer. Ed’s childhood was on a Nmikeew England dairy farm; he has always lived with dogs and cats, as well as an occasional raccoon and skunk. He also designed and built pottery kilns when his wife, Leslie, was a studio potter. Recently, Ed became the certified animal control officer for Buckland and Shelburne, the 2 small villages that comprise Shelburne Falls. In this capacity, he enforces local animal control laws, provides boarding for lost dogs and cats, and is on call for animal control emergencies.
Sales and Marketing, Animal Caregiver. Over the past 20 years, she has personally cared for a succession of disabled dogs including Buddha, Hardy (a Doberman with Wobblers), Autumn (a Dobe with spondylosis), Toby (a Rotti mix with torn ACLs), Nick (a boxer with spinal fracture), Daisy (a dachshund with IVDD), Sweet Pea (a paralyzed pitbull), and Nelix (a 3 legged cat). Currently, Leslie is the caregiver for Willa and Webster, a pair of chi-weiners born with no front legs, who get around in their front wheel carts, and Beau, a beautiful one year old pitbull with three crushed vertebrae. Leslie has worked with canine rehab practitioners and holistic vets to help her own pets and shares her experiences of living with disabled pets with our customers. Prior to founding Eddie’s Wheels with her husband, she was a successful studio potter and teacher, and a co-founder of Shelburne Arts Coop.
Carole is the sales director for Eddie’s Wheels, and is a certified animal massage therapist. She is also a Master Reiki practitioner. Previous lives: environmental educator, elementary school teacher, veterinary office manager and vet tech, sales and customer service in natural vitamin industry, housepainter, and mother of Sophie. Carole recommends animal massage for most our clients and is available here to give massage and massage tutorials for our customers. She lives with 2 cats, Lily and Oreo.
Lisa works in customer service and sales. She is the mother of Brady, a yellow lab. Among her many interesting past jobs were teaching physical education and working as a zipline guide at Berkshire East.
Becky is our shipping/receiving department. She performs the final quality control check on each cart before packing and shipping it to our customers. Becky’s advanced computer skills allow her to shop for the best price from the various shipping options we offer our clients. Becky lives in Shelburne Falls with her boyfriend and some cats. In her time off, she is a gamer. She has a degree in Animal Science and loves being part of a business that helps animals.
Nina is a graphic designer and artist, and designed our logos, brochures and advertising. Visit her website, www.ninastudio.com and check out her industrially inspired artworks. She is also the mother of two sons. Nina has an adopted dachshund and a cat. She cared for a disabled dachshund, Sarge, for 9 years.
Cart designer has been with Eddie’s Wheels since its inception in 1999. Hayley does it all, from designing carts to fabricating them, to working with our customers for custom fittings. Hayley’s high standards of craftsmanship and her commitment to each animals care and comfort has given her a special place as mentor to the crew. She has worked in all aspects of this business – building parts, assembling carts, answering phone, doing sales and providing customer service. Hayley has also worked as a vet tech, is a devoted cat lover and is studying beekeeping.
The daughter of Leslie and Ed, Chris has grown up watching the business evolve from a single work bench in our basement, to the full factory in Shelburne Falls. Chris is working towards taking over the business when her parents retire, and is currently doing our purchasing, working as an assembler and doing customer service on weekends. Beyond the family business, Chris has been working in restaurants for 9 years as a barista, line cook, and bartender. She’s also a published writer and tattoo enthusiast.
Dennis is Eddie’s Wheels’ Machinist. He makes all the quad carts, therapy stands and training wheels, as well as any custom-machining that needs to be done. Dennis has an extensive background in machining trade, built his own CNC machine for his own shop. His former business, Valley Woodworks, still makes lithophanes from your photographs – visit his website, www.luminescenttreasures.com Dennis lives with 2 cats.
Patti works in assembly and also does our IT work, keeping all our computers functioning well. She recently adopted Jack, a young pitbull from Out of the Pits Rescue. Patti has worked in technical theatre, sold premium dog foods, and worked as a groomer. She enjoys music and LARPing in her spare time.
Kelly is our shop forman, responsible for training new employees and getting the work out on time. Kelly has worked at a various local manufacturing businesses over the years, including Lamson Sharp Knives and Bittersweet Herb Farm. She’s the mother of 4, grandmother of 5, and a devoted animal lover. She lives with Abby, a lab.
Keira Woodhart is our custom sewing department. She designs and makes all the custom harnesses for our front wheel and quad cart, maintains the inventory of straps and stirrups, and designs and sews any custom sewn parts. An extremely competent all around worker, she can also assist in assembly. Keira is from Montana, where she was a cowgirl and horsewoman. She is mother to Gabriel, a teenager, and several dogs. Her husband is a fine woodworker.
The Shop Dogs:
Daisy – R.I.P.
Chief Executive Dog, Ret. Daisy was born in Ecuador, raised in Jersey City and became disabled due to four herniated discs in 2001. Judged not to be a surgical candidate, she was surrendered to the St. Francis of Assisi Shelter who contacted us about wheels. We adopted Daisy in September of 2001 from her family in Jersey City, NJ. She has been a brilliant ambassador for disabled dachshunds, demonstrating an irascible spirit and feisty attitude that challenges anyone who would dare pity her. Daisy was 16 years old when she passed on from a stroke on Jan. 15, 2011.
Sweet Pea- R.I.P.
Sweet Pea came to us in 2006, after being rescued on Animal Precinct NY and spending many months at the ASPCA awaiting resolution of her case against her abuser. She was a remarkable ambassador for the Pit Bull breed, a truly gentle soul who showed compassion to each pet who came here. She received hydrotherapy for 2 years, prior to her last bout of disc disease. She was completely paralyzed in the rear and was the inspiration for the first adjustable tilted saddle – designed to work with the scoliosis she developed due to her injury. Sweet Pea loved to play with Willa and Webster. She was their Nanny dog. Never to be replaced, Sweet Pea’s remains lie beneath our peach tree, and the Hawthorne tree planted in her honor by her caregivers at the ASPCA. Sweet Pea passed away in the summer of 2012.
Willa and Webster
Willa and Webster are siblings, born with no forelimbs. They were rescued by Mutts n Stuff Small Dog Rescue in L.A. This amazing group contacted us to build them their front wheel carts and gave them many months of loving care and good socialization. Willa and Webster have taught us so much of what we needed to learn about the special challenges of front wheel cart dogs. Teaching them to master their carts has been truly inspiring. Beau – our newest member of the Research and Development team We adopted Beau, an incredibly sweet one year old pitbull, to help us develop therapeutic protocols for our land-based adjustable therapy stand and treadmill. He has spastic movements of his rear legs due to three crushed vertebrae sustained during an accident. When we first met him, he had no strength in his pectorals, as a result of dragging and crawling during the months following his accident. He is slowly rehabbing beautifully and amazes us everyday with his progress and ever playful spirit. We’re all in love with him. Beau is a great sport, loves playing with Willa and Webster and is a wonderful new addition to our team.
Beau was brought in to Eddie’s Wheels in November of 2012 with a 3 crushed vertebra as a result of being used a bait dog as a puppy for a dog fighting ring. Scar tissue showed puncture wounds around the site of the crush and he also had a shoulder injury which made standing on his front legs challenging. We adopted him in order to give him a level of rehabilitation that only we could provide: traction on our therapy stand to straighten his twisted spine, and regular physical therapy with our rehab practitioner and acupuncturist. Beau has made remarkable progress and will continue to progress.