The Buddy Belt concept started in the summer of 1997, when Buddy, a miniature Dachshund came into my life. Buddy was just over a year old at the time and was soon to become the star of and inspiration for BUDDY BELT. Each time Buddy went walking, he would gag and cough. This made me realize that he needed something other than a neck collar. The harnesses available were difficult to use and did not always protect the neck. I then made the first Buddy Belt prototype using a piece of tire rubber. I took the prototypes to two different leather-workers to create a more refined form. After working with a leather designer for a day, I learned how to create patterns and templates specifically for leather. Next, I invested in tools, equipment and materials needed to create my own harnesses. The result of this endeavor was the creation of a harness that was easy to use and that reduced the stress on the neck. Essential to the design is a single buckle, like a traditional collar, except that this design is fastened between the shoulder blades instead of around the neck. The animal’s front legs extended through the two holes underneath.