Dreams are really coming true for me… Being selected as “Doer of the Week” for the Doers to Dreamers group is an honor that takes my breath away! I am proud to be part of such a diverse and talented group of women.
The fact that I can wear all my hats at one time has been the best part of the past year. The different activities of my life are now able to compliment and help each other. My dogs and I work as Therapy Dog teams visiting patients in the hospital - from the Heart Center to the Pediatric ICU. I am also a licensed Instructor and Evaluator for Delta Society - teaching other people how to be successful as Therapy Dog Teams. Our favorite weekly visit is to the ASK Clinic where we help Pediatric Oncology patients pass the long hours while they undergo procedures. The children know the dogs are coming and look forward to seeing them do their tricks
or just having them sit in their laps and snuggle.
The idea for Puppy Bumpers came about when I needed to solve the problem of keeping my Daisy, the youngest and smallest of my three Therapy Dogs, from escaping through the baby gate. I tried taping Styrofoam between the slats and several other, very unsatisfactory, methods to keep her contained. One day at a friend’s house, Daisy was wearing a life vest in anticipation of a boat ride. I noticed that she couldn’t get through their wrought iron fence when she had it on… and that got me thinking. As one of my customers said, “if you can’t make the fence smaller, you have to make the dog bigger”, and the idea for Puppy Bumpers was born!
Before I was able to do anything with my new invention, Daisy had a terrible accident. A heavy metal gate that was acting as a trellis was leaning unattached against our garden fence. During a frantic squirrel chase – a common event at our house – the big gate fell forward, landing on my 5 lb. Daisy! We knew she was badly hurt and rushed her to the emergency vet. Our worst fears for her were realized when they told us she had a broken vertebra, L6. The surgeon assured us that he could operate, but there were no guarantees that she would walk again. After much debate and consultations with our regular vet, we went ahead with the surgery. All in all, it took 6 months with 4 different operations and complete bed rest (yes, I carried her in a pouch!) but now, 2 years later she is as good as new!
When Daisy could get back to work, visiting patients with my other two Therapy Dogs, life settled down again. I was able to look at Puppy Bumpers with a new passion. While Daisy hadn’t fallen through balcony rails, her injuries could have happened that way. I decided to “go for it”, trying for a Patent and marketing Puppy Bumpers to the best of my ability. My hope was to possibly save someone else from going through what we had. A year later, Puppy Bumpers, patented and award winning, appear in several national catalogs. We’re going to our first Trade Show in Las Vegas in September and Daisy is our beautiful model on our website at www.PuppyBumpers.com.
Due to the success we’re having, I was no longer able to produce enough Puppy Bumpers in my kitchen. I was determined to find a manufacturing facility in the United States. I also wanted this to be an opportunity for people with disabilities to make Puppy Bumpers. I was lucky enough to find just such a facility in Farmville, VA., STEPS, Inc., where Puppy Bumpers are now being manufactured. Also, because the kids at the ASK Clinic are so dear to us, we give a portion of every sale to ASK, an organization that gives support to families of kids with cancer.
I can only thank Dreamers to Doers for all their support in our efforts and we look forward to being able to continue our work for all the special people and cute dogs in our lives!
Puppy Bumpers, Inc.