Mike Leon’s “A-ha” Moment
One hard-to-tire dog plus a personal knee injury--sometimes inspiration strikes where you'd least expect it
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, many Americans felt driven to give back to their country in any way they could. For Mike Leon and his family, this meant volunteering to raise service dog puppies for those with disabilities. In honour of those who lost their lives, they named their first puppy—a black Lab—Tribute.
Though smart and adorable, six-month-old Tribute was also a crazy ball of energy. Service puppy trainers are responsible for socializing their puppies in preparation for the extensive training they'll go through. They take them everywhere—visiting, out to dinner, you name it. Tribute needed A LOT of exercise before she could be relied upon not to upset the dinner table. But Mike had suffered a serious knee injury, making exercising Tribute a challenge. Not to be deterred, Mike, with his background in product development engineering, set out to find a solution. If Tribute could safely keep pace with his bike, he figured, she'd get a much better workout in a significantly shorter time—in a way that was also low-impact and fun for him. Perfect for tiring out a peppy puppy!
Mike got to work on his dream of bike-leash attachment, designing it to make biking with a dog pleasurable while eliminating all safety concerns for both rider and dog. The very first prototype of the 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash, as he named it, was a success: Tribute loved it, as did the rest of Mike's pack.
The 15 years that have followed have seen dogs around the world benefit from Mike's "a-ha" moment. Along the way, smart design evolutions have been implemented—the Bike Tow leash is now adaptable for mobility devices such as wheelchairs, and the newly invented Dog Coupler allows you to ride with two dogs on a single attachment. To date, dogs have collectively run off hundreds of thousands of miles worth of excess energy with the Bike Tow Leash. If you have a hard-to-tire dog, the Bike Tow Leash may well be the solution you're looking for! You can find out more at biketowleash.com.