Dr. Lincoln Parkes created the first dog wheelchair in 1961 and has not stopped innovating since. Throughout 40 years, he filed three different patents for pet wheelchair designs, and he is still making improvements on his masterpiece.
While being a highly successful veterinary surgeon, he established the K-9 Cart, a company which sells his inventions. Initially put up just to earn a little extra on the side, K-9 Cart monopolized the business for decades, and the demand for his dog wheelchairs skyrocketed even more. He wasn’t just earning “a little” — he was able to buy a couple of properties, including yachts. He was also able to purchase an island off the coast of Maine. His prototype was a bit bulky and heavy at first, but it worked, and the company sold them to thousands of customers every year.
In spite of all the money his invention brought in, the real happiness for the 90-year-old doctor is seeing the joy on a disabled dog who regained her mobility. “That’s my paycheck,” Dr. Parkes said. “It’s not all about the money.”
It’s a good thing that money was not an issue for this veteran, because after going through a divorce, his company went through a series of ups and downs as well. However, it has never stopped the kind doctor from inventing, inventing, inventing. Until now, he can be seen at his warehouse in Chesapeake Bay always tinkering: peering into his wheels, adjusting his straps, and assembling his alloys. He energetically speaks of a new invention which will “blow the wheels off the competition.” Who knows what the Father of Dog Wheelchairs has in store for us? Solar powered carts? Carbon fiber body? Remote-controlled canine vehicle? The possibilities are endless!
You can watch Dr. Parkes speak of his passion below:
Source: CBS Evening News via YouTube