Birds of spring

Robin? Check.

Red-winged blackbird? Check.

Morning doves cooing the sun up every morning? Check.

Big helping of crow? Sigh - check.

Yep, that is Kip on a retractable leash. Yep, a RETRACTABLE leash. Re. Tract. Able.

The leash I hate. The leash I tell everyone NOT to waste money on. The leash I despise for the lack of control it provides. The leash I bought almost 2 years ago, and used only once or twice before consigning it to the "Why did I spend my money on this?" dog supply bin (which, I am ashamed to say, is really large).

So why?

Since getting Kip, I have been VERY fortunate to live in areas where there are great dog-walking areas and where I can (although against city by-laws, strictly speaking) let Kip run off-leash. I love letting him run off-leash. It allows him to run-and-run-and-run-and-run-and-run-and-run, and it also allows us to work on recalls, distraction proofing, etc.

I moved here in November, and I have been really happy with our dog-walking area all winter.

But recently, something happened.

It got warm.

And people started appearing in greater and greater numbers. People walking, on bikes, with strollers, and running children and other dogs...

And suddenly, having an off-leash dog doesn't seem to be a fantastic idea.

But having a dog continually on a 5' leash seems equally "unfantastic".

Hence, the re... the ret.... the retractable {shudder} came out of the "Wasted Money" bin.

And I admit it - I was wrong. It's not that bad. I still think it limits the control the walker has on the dog. I still think most people can't use it properly. I still think for training, it's the worst leash you could use. But to allow a (somewhat) well-trained dog some freedom on a walk, it can't be beat.

And it lets Kip safely explore the slowly melting ice piles without getting my feet dirty.

Some more pictures:

I can't do justice to the size of the piles of ice and snow thrown up on the lake shore in the winter. But, for the first time, I can provide a reference - those stick figures are two adult humans walking on that pile. And all that snow and ice is on land, not the lake. There is an amazing amount of power in that there water.

And this is taken in a similar location to one taken a mere 5 weeks ago. The snow really is melting. Winter really is going, even if spring isn't fully sprung.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya! I think dog owners should have to pass a test before using a retractable leash. I know a woman with a large scar on her calf from a moron who had zero control over her dog on a retractable leash.



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