How it all started

Ryan Norbury

Our lives were forever changed for the better when little 8 week old Teva (pronounced TEH-VAH, meaning 'Nature' in Hebrew) became part of our family. When we first saw her that night, she was the most beautiful little brown fur ball either of us had ever seen. It really was love at first sight. We hopped in the car and she proceeded to let out the most gentle, heart-tugging whines and whimpers as she must have been wary of this long drive with two giant strangers. As soon as we got home little Teva warmed right up to us and started to show how much of a happy and loving creature she is.

 Teva Chocolate Lab Puppy


As the first few months went by, filled with the all the excitement of puppyhood and continuous strengthening of the bond between these peculiar humans and a jubilant canine, we started to realize more and more how devastated we would be if Teva ever managed to find herself in the dreadful situation of being lost. Sure, Teva had been implanted with a microchip to help identify her and reunite us with our fur child if such a situation were ever to occur. But, what if those who found her were unable to access or read said microchip? What then? Well, of course we also made sure Teva was always outfitted with a pet ID tag attached to her collar which included a contact phone number. Most pet owners know that the quickest, easiest, and most reliable way of retrieving a lost pet is facilitated by a phone call from a kind passerby who discovers the out-of-place wandering critter. The only problem here was the engraved metal ID tags we purchased from the local big box pet store evidently had some fundamental flaws that left us unsatisfied, and frankly, worried about using them.


Once our third set of metal engraved tags had vanished off our enthusiastic pup after another day at the beach, we knew we had to find an alternative. These tags were just plain unreliable. Aside from the fact that the metal tags would regularly break off, which rendered them completely useless, they would also start to rust after one quick swim in the ocean. It was around the time of this realization that I had acquired a new type of material for use in my 3D printer, and I figured I would design and print off a custom ID tag with Teva’s name and our phone numbers on it. I was instantly amazed at the strength, resiliency, and durability of this thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material. This first TPU tag held up to daily puppy abuse for months, often ending up in another dogs mouth during a rough play session, and every time I thought it would for sure be ripped off, it would stay firmly attached to Teva’s collar. This is when I decided we were going to use TPU for our ID tags from here on out.


Prototype Pawshhtag ID Tags


I proceeded to get a little more creative with the idea, and I designed some different styles which I distributed to various friends and family members to try on their pets. Everyone loved the durability and simplicity of these ID tags, so we decided to create a new brand and offer them to pet owners from far and wide. That is the story of how Pawshhtag was born!

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