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 New 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 make 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.
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. Recently, Leslie has gone back to working in clay, making a series of canine inspired sculptures she calls “dog-oyles”.
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.
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.
Shop forewoman has been working for Eddie’s Wheels building custom wheelchairs since 2001. She is responsible for the work flow – from ordering parts to making sure that carts are built and shipped on schedule. A graduate of Smith College, she designed our logo and our brochures, and decorates the shop with paintings of our shop dogs. Nina is a freelance artist who works in all kinds of media – visit her website, www.ninastudio.net. Be sure to check out her handbags made out of recycled tires from Eddie’s Wheels.
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.
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. Currently, she works part time providing customer service and book keeping, although she’s been working here on and off for 15 years and has a little experience in nearly every aspect of assembly.
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 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 and his wife are cat lovers.
Wayne worked for years at Clark Corvair, rebuilding the classic American cars of the 1960′s. He is our overall shop person, building frames, assembling carts and assisting the machinist.
Wayne is married and has a daughter, Eloise. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, and gives lectures on local history and geology. He also lives with several cats.
Kelly started out in our shipping department and has moved into our production team, fabricating custom carts. 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 recently adopted Abby, a lab.
Chris is our primary frame builder. Using a hand bender, he fabricates individual custom saddles and frames, for every pet wheelchair. He also helps Keira stay on top of padding saddles prior to final assembly.
In his off hours, Chris is a Business Administration student at Greenfield Community College. He enjoys all sports, especially playing basketball.
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 customer service, and book-keeping.
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.
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.