My dog's retractable leash finally gave up the ghost the other day. It was a few years old when we got our current dog, who is almost ten now, so it was time to buy a new one. It came in the mail yesterday, which was great, and my dog and I were happy.
Until I happened to read the insert that came with the leash. Now I'm feeling lucky to be alive, considering how long we've been using retractable leashes. Apparently any of the following can (and probably will) happen when using the leash:
- If the leash or collar breaks, the cord can "snap back with enough force to cause serious eye damage, broken teeth, cuts and bruises" (note to self - buy mouth guard and safety goggles before next walk)
- If the cord runs across skin, it can cause abrasions or severe cuts. Cuts and burns are more likely if the cord wraps around any part of the body (but can apparently happen even if it doesn't - like a surprise attack)
- Because the leash is longer than regular leashes, my dog can build up speed and pull really hard, possibly pulling me to the ground (perhaps dragging me on my belly behind her like Indiana Jones - but probably without the panache)
- I most definitely must not use the leash while on wheels (for example, a bike, skateboard or roller blades) - this totally kills all the plans I had for this leash
- If I allow slack to build up in the cord, I'm likely to get tangled up in it (causing rope burns, abrasions, and -- for those not faint of heart -- see the next bullet...
- If the cord wraps around fingers or catches on a ring, a hard pull on the leash can amputate fingers or break bones!
- To avoid this painful amputation/bone breaking, I can remove my rings and wear heavy gloves (should be fun this summer)
- Bystanders are also at risk for any and all of these injuries! "In particular," the insert continues, "they can be cut by the cord if they contact it" (must be the retractable razorblades embedded in the cord) "or if it wraps around them. " They might also (gasp) "trip on the leash." Yes, let's worry about tripping because amputation and fracture are not enough.
- I can't even tell you what it says about going near small children in strollers. I imagine I'll have to struggle valiantly with this homicidal leash to prevent it from randomly attacking toddlers
- And last, but not least, I must not attempt to open the plastic housing and fix the leash myself should it break. "The leash housing contains a pre-wound spring that can cause injury if opened." It probably is designed to aim for the eyes.