In April of 2008, Larry and Jodi, found their beloved Montana, a red tricolored Australian Shepherd, on a farm in south eastern Wisconsin when he was 8 months old. “From the moment we saw him, he was a member of the family” Jodi said. He was so young and full of life, he immediately won their hearts and that of their two young children, and they couldn’t imagine Montana ever getting old or infirmed.
When Montana was 10, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The vet said, “With his condition, he could live four more years or die tomorrow, you just never know.” As a member of their family, Larry and Jodi wanted to take care of him the best way they could. Larry remarked, “Our goal is to have four more good years with him.”
Like anyone thrust into their situation, they went to the internet to find products for Montana, but were disappointed at the lack of products for older and infirmed dogs.
As an engineer, Larry was not to be deterred. He started working on ideas to help Montana maintain a better quality of life as he aged. Larry would go to his shop and build products for Montana. Some worked and some were total failures, but he continued to improve the device with each iteration.
By age 11 year, Montana could no longer walk down stairs to do his business, and getting back up them seemed like Mt. Everest to him. Larry explained, “The first thing I did was to design and build Montana a ramp so he could traverse the stairs to more easily. It worked great for him and served him for the rest of his life.” Larry worked on other ideas to assist Montana with his challenges, creating prototypes to help Montana live with comfort and dignity.
After Montana passed, the family was filled with grief. When things calmed down, Larry contemplated about the last three years. He shared, “I thought about other families who might be in the same situation we were in, struggling with their aging pet family member. I thought about all the designs I created to help Montana, and if those ideas might be able to help other families in the same boat we were in.”
A short time later, Love Wink Products was born….