Blew the remainder of my January pet budget on new leashes for Betelgeuse and Lulu. Their old leashes were frayed and nasty because we like to "drop the leash" and let the dogs run free at parks and on back streets and the India Street pier at night. So for 2012 (and thereafter), I invested in two seriously awesome durable leashes made right here in Brooklyn.
The Found My Animal leashes are made out of all-weather, UV-resistant marine-grade rope (the rope is handmade by professional New England rope-makers). The ropes are hand-spliced to withstand thousands of pounds of pull -- in case I need to walk a GIANT Pomeranain -- and, for added durability, the ends are "whipped" (an old nautical term) -- i.e., NO MORE FRAYING! The metal hardware is all marine-grade as well, and the leashes are hand- and machine-washable.
Found My Animal makes both a standard and adjustable version of its rope leash. I like the adjustable leash, which has two solid brass o-rings and two solid bronze clips. The adjustable leash is more expensive than the standard one but offers a lot of versatility. You can change the length of it when using it as a hand-held leash, meaning one leash does the job of two: make it short for walks on narrow NYC sidewalks or long for strolls through the woods. You can also hook it around your waist, over your shoulder, or across your chest, so on cold nights, you can keep your hands in your pockets or around your hot cocoa. Running into a coffee shop? Quickly clip your pup to a fence, tree or post, and don't worry about the security of your knot or untying the knot with a coffee cup in your hand. You can even clip your dogs to each other (a great joke).
The leashes come in a variety of thicknesses from S (1/4") to XL (1/2"), which you select from based on the weight of your pooch. I like the look of the thick rope leashes, but that would be too much leash for Betel and Lu.
For Betel, the Adjustable, Hand-Spliced Rope Leash (solid brass + natural rope), 7 ft., size S (1/4" rope diameter), $56, purchased from Unleash Brooklyn during an all-day Saturday stroll around Greenpoint and Williamsburg -- it's been so unseasonably warm this winter, and we've been taking advantage of it.
For Lulu, the Adjustable, Hand-Spliced, 100% Recycled P.E.T. Rope Leash (solid blass + black rope), 7 ft., size S (1/4" rope diameter), $43, purchased from PS9 Pet Supplies on the same stroll. The recycled P.E.T. rope is lighter than the natural rope for the smaller pup, although the brass hardware is still a bit heavy for such a petite creature.
These leashes seem a bit pricey, but they also seem like they will last. We've gone through quite a few cheaper standard nylon leashes -- they end up frayed, knotted, and filthy. My 2012 philosophy: pay more, but buy it just once. These leashes are beautiful, high-quality, and locally made and purchased. If that's not enough: Found My Animal does so much for rescued animals. And lest you forget who was rescued...
Oh man. Lulu.