How Our Dog's Near-Death Experience Inspired the Forever Leash

How Our Dog's Near-Death Experience Inspired the Forever Leash

Walking your furry friend should be enjoyable for both you and your pet. In 2022, walking our Goldendoodle, Macy, was the opposite of enjoyable. I dreaded it, constantly worrying about her behavior. Would she react aggressively to other dogs? How many cars would she lunge at? How hard would she pull? The last thing on my mind was the possibility of her leash clip breaking. What follows is the story of our journey with our reactive dog and the creation of Carmella & Rose. 

One evening after dinner, I took Macy for a walk. Unfortunately, after dinner is a busy time in our neighborhood, but it's the only time I could get her outside to burn off some energy.

Our neighborhood has a main road shaped like a large horseshoe, with side streets that form smaller horseshoes. While the side streets are quiet, the main road is quite busy. That evening, another dog was enjoying its yard behind an invisible fence. We were walking on the opposite side of the street, and the situation that would change my life happened very quickly. The dog in the yard started running and barking, causing my nervous Macy to react. She bolted to the end of her leash, and to my horror, I was left holding a leash with no dog on the other end.

I ran as fast as I could, but there was no catching up. Macy was heading straight for the main road. She ran across the busy street, and luckily, a driver saw me running and waving my arms like a lunatic. He slammed on his brakes, and Macy was inches away from being hit.

Macy eventually stopped running, and I brought her home. I went through a whirlwind of emotions: relief that she was alive, frustration that walking her was something our kids couldn’t do (and apparently I couldn’t either), and mostly, deflation. Macy was our children’s dog, but not only could they not walk her, they needed supervision when playing with her because Macy might react and bite. This was far from the “family dog” we had envisioned.

The kids sensed my frustration and grew anxious, fearing we might rehome Macy. Their anxiety was compounded by the fact that Macy had bitten our oldest son, drawing blood, shortly before the walk incident. My oldest son said, “Dad, you solve problems every day at work, why can’t you solve this?” His words stung, but they motivated me to take on the challenge.

That night, I designed the first version of what would become the Forever Leash. At the time, it wasn’t called the Forever Leash, nor did I think I’d ever make more than one. The initial version was strong but didn’t help much with controlling Macy. Over the following months, I tweaked the design repeatedly until I got the length, the location of the control handle, and each component just right. The real test came when my daughter, who weighs as much as a wet noodle, could walk Macy without getting pulled over. She maintained her balance! While the leash didn’t train Macy, it was a confidence booster and a great tool. Knowing Macy was safe and under control allowed us to focus on understanding and correcting her behavior. I swear Macy sensed our newfound confidence because once we had the leash, our confidence soared, and Macy’s behavior improved.

Soon, my sister-in-law asked for a leash to help with her Pitbull, who was becoming irritable in his old age. Then my neighbor requested one for his boxer with a bite history. They loved the leashes. I thought, “Maybe I am onto something?” I mulled over it for a few weeks and decided this might be the sign I needed to finally act on one of my ideas. When I asked my wife what she thought, she said I had been talking about starting something of my own for years, so it was only a matter of time.

We named the company Carmella & Rose after our grandmothers, who were hardworking women who valued quality. At the heart of our mission is helping people enjoy their walks and providing high-quality products backed by excellent customer service.

What started as one leash has evolved into a range of products, each designed by me with the goal of lasting forever. Will we ever get rich from this venture? No. Will I someday be able to work solely at Carmella & Rose and not need a second job? That’s the dream. I will keep listening to our customers and improving our products. Our mission of creating “peaceful walks for everyone” and hearing positive stories keeps us going.

We appreciate everyone who has trusted their pets' safety to us. We will work hard to not let you down.

If you're interested in why dogs pull on walks and what you can do about it, check out our blog post on that subject.

President/Founder and proud dad of Macy the doodle.