Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Flexi-Leash

So I nearly gave Jason a heart attack a couple of days ago. He got the bright idea to bring the flexi-leash to work. You know the kind of leash that rewinds itself and maybe has 15 or 20 feet of lead? They are great most of the time--but maybe not for hearding geese.

I was having a great time until Dr. Butterfingers (that's Jason) lost hold of the leash. It was so scary! The thing came flying after me! No matter where I ran, the handle of the leash chased after me. I tried so hard to get away from it but nothing worked. I ran faster as my panic increased and started for Memorial Drive. If you dont know it, Mem Drive has a 35mph speed limit. Most people go 60mph.

Dr. Butterfinger's got scared and no matter what he said, he couldnt get me to listen. He finally got some sense: he ran in the direction he wanted me to go, faked that he was happy excited, and started waving his arms around in a playful way. I was still scared, but I followed him.  This took me away from the street. When I got close he stepped on the leash and grabed me.

This was a close call. I really could have been seriously injured or even killed. Jason learned a few lessons. First, he needs to practice my emergency recall more. Do you have a good emergency recall with your dog? It's a good thing to practice. Regardless, even if I was an expert at it, I probably would not have come right to Jason when he called. I was just too scared. Second, Jason learned that the flexi-leash isn't a wise idea in crowded or other areas that have a good deal of distractions in them. I'm a hound and am designed to chase after things that look like they need to be caught. The flexi-leash just doesn't offer enough control like a regular leash. As I pointed out to Jason, he never has dropped my regular leash--even the big ten foot one. Third, Jason was reminded that in an emergency situation he needs to become a larger than life stimulus to me. When he became very big, very exciting, and ran away from me I am much more likely to run toward him--even when terrified of that terribly frightening flexi-leash chasing after me.

Pay attention to all of this--it could save the life of your dog someday.


  1. This was both frightening & funny...I guess you could say it was frighteningly funny! First of all, what a terrifying experience it must have been for both Maggie & Dr. Butterfingers. However...I would have given anything to see the larger that life Dr. Butterfingers earnestly playing the role of Mr. Look-How-Excited-I-Am as he frantically ran in the opposite direction waving his arms & vocalizing his excitement! I think this falls into the category of I will do anything to ensure the safety of my dog bravery. What a testimony to Jason's resourcefulness & to the bond that Maggie & Jason have.

  2. lol. My grandma does this to her dog all the time! Unfortunately because the dog is half blind, poor thing never sees it coming! We've tried to convince her not to use these leashes! What is the best way to teach an emergency recall? Mandy sometimes has trouble.

  3. Since the unfortunate incident with the flexi-lead I've heard stories about people loosing fingers. Just yesterday someone at the park told me that a dog owner got a serious laceration from the flexi-lead. Who knew they were so dangerous?!

    How to teach a good emergency recall? I'm glad you asked. I started typing it here but I liked my answer so much (plus it got so long) that I'll make it into a blog post of its own. Watch this space! I'll post it before Monday.