After reading a recent review on the blog for an expensive retractable leash for two dogs, an Anne Arundel reader wanted everyone to know that he's devised a much simpler, much cheaper leash built for two.
Robert Winchester wrote to me after reading our review of the Freedom Leash, a gadget the reviewer found quite exciting as a concept, but lacking in convenience and reliability.
"I too, have had made attempts to simplify the process of walking two or more pups and never had much success until in a moment of unusual clarity, arrived at a novel (and inexpensive) solution," he told me.
The epiphany struck at Home Depot. Winchester and his wife, Joanna, who live in Odenton, are the proud owners of two Daschunds. On walks they need to manage Peanut, a 13-pounder with back issues and his sister, Gretel, a five-year-old rescue.
Here's how it happened, in Winchester's own words:
"While standing in the hardware aisle at the local big-box home improvement store (orange and white variety), I spied a large faux aluminum carabiner with a foam wrap on one side. Then ... as if by divine intervention (or direction, if you prefer), my eyes tracked over to the swivel hooks. Problem solved.
"The swivel hook attaches to the carabiner and the existing nylon leashes can be clipped into the swivel hook. There's no retractable function; and if one of the dogs gets behind you, it is almost guaranteed they will come back around on the opposite side of where they started - just a function of Murphy's Law / Canine Chapter.
"In any case, it does work well with two leashes; not so well with three or more as the standard jockeying for sniffing position on dog walkabouts will inadvertently lead to braiding of the leashes."
Winchester figures the whole contraption will run someone fewer than $10. Not bad, considering the leash we reviewed retailed for $60.
"I'd be happy if you would share the idea with other multiple dog walkers on the blog," Winchester wrote. "As John Goodman said to Nicholas Cage's character in "Raising Arizona," 'I'd rather light a candle than curse your darkness.'"
I can't wait for someone to try this out and report back!