Friday, September 16, 2011

Leashes and Leash Bags

it's really difficult to simultaneously hold a leash, take a picture, and get a dogs attention.

I hate to run.  Absolutely hate it.  It hurts my knees and I don't like how it works my body.  Walking?  Love it.  I would rather walk five miles than run one mile.  My husband says I "Yankee walk" because my normal walk is so much faster than his Southern stroll (after trying to walk in the Southern summer though, I've started to understand that).  When I'm walking for exercise though, it's even quicker than my normal "Yankee walk."  When I was in jr. high, I would get up at 5:30am to work out before school.  I have no idea where that motivation came from; these days I barely have the willpower to get up at 8am to go walking (keep in mind, I am jobless so getting up at 8am on a daily basis IS early for someone that has very little to do all day).

Enter Puppy Dog, our newly adopted 8.5 year old mixed breed.  Some days, she is as lazy as her 8.5 year old bones will allow.  Other days, I think she takes us literally when we called her "Puppy" because she has energy that absolutely amazes me.  We take her for several walks a day, but I know she's living a different life than she's used to.  She grew up on acres of land and could go indoors and outdoors as she chose to play with her nine kitty friends.  Here, she has more rules we need her to follow to keep her safe.  She isn't allowed outside without a leash on because we have a decently busy road outside our house and if she goes off to wander like she's used to doing, we could lose her.  We have woods behind our house that we're slowly trying to carve paths into, but it's brambly and very difficult to go after her if she takes off after a scent.  

I love taking Puppy Dog on walks.  She even gets me to jog and sprint a bit.  It's always easier to walk farther with a companion and she keeps me motivated because I know that she needs a good walk for her mental health (we're big Cesar Millan fans).  I usually walk her after my husband has gone to school, so of course I need to bring a key with me.  And while the presence of a dog (even one as sweet as Puppy Dog) will probably keep anything threatening away from me, I think it's good to bring a cell phone and ID.  Being a responsible human being, I need bags to pick up after my pet.  Basically, a short outing means bringing a good handful of stuff. Have you ever held a plastic bag in the heat while running?  It's gets super sweaty.  Also, I usually forget the bags until I'm half way down the driveway and she doesn't like it when I tempt her with a walk and then have to go back. 

Pet stores sell a lot of plastic bag dispensers, but we don't use roll bags; we prefer to reuse grocery bags, so those are out.  There are some ADORABLE ones on Etsy, but I'm a bit cash strapped, so I decided to make one.  I really wanted to make this one, but I couldn't figure out how to do the lining and double sided and arg.  I fussed over making a mock up of it for about a day.  So I simplified it.

- holds multiple grocery bags
- holds cellphone, keys, id
- lightweight and attaches to leash/collar (ended up using rip stop nylon)
- neutral colored on the off chance my husband might use it (luckily the only color of ripstop nylon I had was beige)

the cellphone/keys pocket

the trash bags pocket

it's basically a tiny pillow case with a pocket.


At first, I put it on her collar, but when she put her head down to sniff at everything, it dragged a bit.  It works much better on her harness. There's a loop on top so it can attach to the handle part of the leash using a small carabiner, but we only had one so right now the leash and bag attach to the same carabiner.  Oh and I got to use my new serger!!  Before stitching it up, I serged all the edges to prevent fraying.  It was delightful. 

Puppy Dog also needed a new collar (her's is getting worn and stretched out).  I realized we could get her a collar for cheap by reusing the hardware on her old collar and just replacing the nylon.  Unfortunately, I didn't take her collar with me - she was wearing it, it seemed wise to leave her ID tags on her.  Well, the narrowest width they had at the store was 1" and compared to all the other widths, it seemed the right size.  I was wrong.  So now I had a yard of nylon and still needed a collar.  I made the next best thing: a leash.  We have a 6' chain leash, but we tend to keep her much closer to us and have to carry around half the heavy chain.  I only got a yard of nylon and it ended up being the perfect size.  If she's much farther out in front of us, she's trying to lead and not listening to our commands.  If she's much farther behind us, she's dawdling and not listening to us.  This length keeps her close and (hopefully) listening.

double stitched EVERYTHING

we only had one carabiner

Of course, she still needs a new collar.  

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