Six year old Fenway is lucky to be here. The black lab had a stroke last year and was paralyzed, leaving his owner faced with the heart-wrenching decision of whether to euthanize him or seek alternate measures to ensure his comfort.
“I did a lot of hiking, if I fell off the trail and hurt my back, he wouldn’t say, you know mom, you’re really nice, but you’re a lot of work, you have a broken back, so he would do the same for me,” says his owner, Susan Boreri. Boreri turned to one of the few options available for Fenway – she sought out Eddie’s Wheels in western Massachusetts to help her best friend walk again.
The Shelburne Falls mobility cart manufacturer has been helping thousands of animals like Fenway since owners Ed & Leslie Grinnell made a cart for their own dog Buddha back in 1989. A mechanical engineer by trade, Ed brings a lifetime of experience as mechanical designer, welder and inventor to the task of designing mobility carts that support pets in a bio-mechanically sound way.
Ed and Leslie not only built this company from the ground up, but they have four dogs of their own who use these carts. Leslie said, “I think they’re really inspiring, I think taking care of these dogs is fun and makes everybody’s life a little richer.”
The shop has now grown into the town’s largest company, employing sixteen people. Ed doesn’t make the carts himself anymore, but he still does the fittings for most of his customers. The carts generally cost anywhere from $300 to $600 dollars – a fraction of the cost for most animal surgeries, and more affordable than offerings from competitors.
Ed says, “We’re not getting rich but it’s great to see the smile on the animals’ faces and the people.”