Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 26: Liz Rubinstein of GingerLead had trouble helping her golden retriever get around post-surgery. Instead of putting up with less than impressive solutions, she and her husband invented a new tool to help dogs and their owners get around safely and comfortably. We talk about how she partnered with their vet to develop the product about 10 years ago, and how the company now prepares for large conventions like SuperZoo.
Liz Rubinstein is the co-founder of GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harnesses. She and her husband invented the GingerLead to help their dog, Ginger, recover from multiple orthopedic surgeries. They’ve helped thousands of dogs around the world with mobility issues including senior dogs and dogs recovering from orthopedic injury or surgery.
In addition, Liz is an attorney. When she went to DU Law School, she brought her Great Dane and Dalmatian with her and arranged her class schedule around them. After law school, she practiced law in Denver Colorado.
She now lives in Denver with her husband, Barry, and their Golden Retriever, Jake. Jake is currently enrolled in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Cancer Study. They are also supporters of rescues and shelters throughout the United States.
Tori: Would you please tell me about Ginger and how GingerLead was created?
Liz: When our dog Ginger was diagnosed with hip dysplasia as a young dog she had a surgery to repair the hip. We thought the surgery would be the hard part to deal with. But afterwards we had to limit her exercise and support her weight when she walked. The vet gave us a bath towel to loop under her belly. There’s no way to get in and out of our house without steps, which Ginger loved to run down! Exactly what she wasn’t supposed to do! When Ginger was 6 she needed another surgery for her knee. This time the vet provided a sling to support her weight. It was better than the towel, but still cut into our hands and didn’t do anything to prevent her from running. That’s when I started to work on the Ginger Lead. I sewed the first ones myself at home.
Tori: The Ginger Lead is patented. How did you do that?
Liz: We have 3 utility patents on the Ginger Lead. It was a process of submitting forms, doing searches, getting statement from the veterinarian and working with the attorney for a while. Part of our uniqueness is having the leash attached. We also have male and female designs. Then the patent attorney work with professional patent searchers who go out there and look for similar products to see if your design really is unique.
It took years to get our first patente. But once you file, you have priority based on your file date. So we worked on product development and manufacturing at the same time as trying to obtain our patent. It all took longer than we anticipated!
Tori: Where are GingerLeads sold?
Liz: GingerLeads.com is the main place where we sell our product. We also sell to veterinarians and pet stores. And at this point we sell all over the world. One of the main ways that we got off the ground at the start was by attending veterinary and pet industry conferences. For SuperZoo this summer we did more PR than ever before. So we’re always trying new things!
Tori: What do you have in common with your dogs?
Liz: Ginger loved her spa day! And now that I’ve had to carry around boxes and inventory for GingerLead I’ve come to love my own spa day, too.
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