Our SATORI Story
One day we, the two founders of Satori Pets, volunteered to take my sister’s Lab/Bulldog mix, Cooper, to the park to play with our dog Lila, a black Lab.
In the parking lot, with the dog park in sight, 75-pound Cooper got so excited that he dragged me across the parking lot in a super-excited, leaping, pulling, tugging mad dash – probably in panic and fear of being a second late to the dog park.
I was bent over, straight armed and yelling (near) obscenities.
Under extreme tension and with all thumbs I hurriedly got Cooper un-hooked from the D-ring on his collar - then away he went like a dot on the horizon.
Myself panting like a dog, I looked around slyly to see if anyone witnessed this fiasco.
This was not a Zen experience...
Under my breath I resolutely determined to find a solution to this moment of shame and embarrassment.
A memory came to mind from many years ago of being amazed when I saw a professional dog trainer demonstrating a “check cord” on a hunting dog at a local Sportsman’s convention.
The trainer used the check cord in such a way to instantly train a dog to heal.
I remember that I was so amazed I bought his little book of training secrets along with the bright florescent orange check cord that he used for the demonstrations. I didn’t even have a dog at the time.
I no longer had the book or the orange check cord, so I went searching but couldn’t find anything that would work either in pet stores or anyplace online.
The dog hunting stores and websites had check cords and leads but they were all stiff rope with no handles – good for hunting dog training, but not good for everyday walking pet dogs around the neighborhood.
After searching with no luck, I thought I could make a good no-pull leash on my own.
I had to come up with a solution quickly because there was no way my sister could safely walk Cooper now that he was 11-months and quickly growing into an 80-pound Lab-Bulldog powerhouse.
We researched various materials and chose the soft, braided flat rope and hardware that our leashes are now made out of.
The first leash was for Cooper of course...
We again volunteer to take Cooper to the park, with his new leash wrapped around his waist as he got out of the car.
We were nervous that he’d try to leap to freedom possibly injuring himself with the leash squeezing his belly and pulling on his hind legs.
But nope – not at all!
With the leash attached – Cooper stood motionless, panting, and waiting…
He lunged and tugged a few times at first but then he seemed to instantly understand that if he pulled the leash would tighten more and be uncomfortable around his belly.
He stood in anticipation next to my side staring ahead at the dog park, but also aware of me and what the leash was communicating to him, perhaps something like, “Protect my belly, don’t pull, wait, walk alongside, stop, wait for the leash to be removed”.
Once I unhooked the new leash from his collar, he then he bolted after the other dogs and throw-toys.
After we were done playing in the dog park with the new leash re-attached, I was able to smugly walk Cooper on the trails with “one finger” control…
When I would tighten the leash a bit, he would slow down or stop.
I’d loosen the leash and give a verbal nudge, “let’s go”, or “let’s walk”, and he’d continue shadowing my walking pace. Before this he was constantly pulling.
This same experience was repeated the next time, so we took some pictures and videos of Cooper on the leash and posted them on our personal Facebook page.
The response was amazing – the next day we had 20-30 comments – friends and family asking, (some of them gently pleading), for one of our leashes for their dog.
We started off making four leashes for those who lived nearby and asked for comments.
Based on feedback we started to sew the leash and glue the whipping cord to make the leash stronger and more durable.
Word about our leash continued to spread and we created a separate Facebook page, called Satori Pets, so we could show and explain the leash to other dog owners.
In about a month we sent out 30 leashes.
People with larger dogs just loved the leash.
Honesty, we were amazed.
We all know that there are so many leashes on the market both in pet stores and online.
There are 79 dog leash and collar brands on Chewy.com alone, and countless on Amazon.com.
But there were no leashes that used this technic – compression around the belly – to prevent dogs from pulling and lunging.
All the other no-pull products attempt to prevent pulling by poking, controlling or compressing the head, neck or chest of the dog.
(These are called prong collars, martingale collars, muzzles, and various types of side attachment or compression harnesses)
The “around-the-belly” technic is commonly used for Pointers and other hunting dogs because the head and neck control collars, leashes and leads can interfere with the dog’s “pointing” stance and looking out ahead for the target or prey.
Like us, many people with pet dogs just have an innate aversion to preventing pulling with the head and neck controllers.
We think there are several reasons for this.
For one people fear head, neck and throat (trachea) injuries to their dog.
Plus, like with the Pointers, people prefer that the dog’s head is free to move, whether the dog is looking, smelling or exploring.
The word about our new type of leash continued to spread beyond our neighbors, friends and family so we started to offer the leash to anyone who was interested.
Several people paid us double the price of the leash – they were so happy to find a solution to their dog pulling and they wanted to support us….
We loved getting messages of joy when people could instantly walk their dog in peace and safety.
One neighbor who got leash #2 sent a text message saying that her chronic wrist, elbow and shoulder pains were finally reducing because her 45-pound dog was no longer constantly pulling and tugging during walks.
Another neighbor who got leash #3 came back a few days later to get another leash.
She had two Golden Retrieves, the older heavier female pulled, but she wanted a matching leash for the younger pup who was growing and starting to pull.
The leashes solved the pulling issue on both her dogs.
Leash #4 went to a nice lady in her early 60’s who had a large German Shepard mix that bounced and squirmed when seeing other dogs and people.
The dog must have weighed half as much as she did.
I noticed she had a wrist strap on. She said she had carpel tunnel syndrome in her hand and wrist from trying to control her dog.
I showed her how to wrap the leash on her dog – and amazingly the dog instantly stood quietly. She thanked me profusely and calmly walked her dog to the car.
Solving these dog pulling problems for people is why we continue to make more leashes and make them available to everyone who needs them.
Soon we plan to add a utility version of the leash made from strapping that will have a lower cost.
The utility leash will be good for dirtier, more every-day occasions.
The current premium leash will still be made by hand out of the soft, flexible, woven rope.
Perhaps if there is demand we will make collars and harnesses that match the leashes.
Our hope is that our leash will continue to be a great alternative to the head and neck control and compression type collars, leashes and harnesses.
We want everyone to be able to walk their dogs safely, controlled, in peace, while fully enjoying the experience of being with and walking their dog.
Satori - Zen masters use the word satori to describe a sudden and instantaneous flash of insight, a moment of no-mind and a state of total presence.
In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to the experience of kenshō, "being into one's true nature".
Dogs are a great example of satori in action – dogs exist in a constant state of satori – they live completely in the present moment – they don’t hold baggage about the past, and they are never concerned for the future.
When they are having fun – dogs are totally focused on the fun.
Dogs are a living metaphor and reminder for us – to be completely present in every moment – especially when we are with our dog.
We named our first pet dog Satori, a beautiful black Labrador Retriever, and now our company Satori Pets was named in his honor and as a reminder to fully immerse in the present moment and minimize the distraction of the past and worry about the future.
As a thank you for reading Our Satori Story - please use this one-time discount code on checkout for 10% off your entire order:
Our deepest wish is for you to experience Satori with your dog...
Russ & Hector
Founders of Satori Pets