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  1. I walk Blue—my 8 month old smooth coated male—twice a day in a nearby public park where he has amassed an embarrassingly large fan club. Most of the time, I walk him on what started out as a 16’ long retractable Flexi Leash. Blue loves to play with the leash while we walk. This involves wrapping it around his snout, his legs, and his body all the while nipping at whatever part ends up close to his apparently razor sharp teeth. I know it’s not the best behavior and we do have obedience laps on a short lead from time to time but, frankly, it is cute as hell and he really enjoys it. Needless to say, this activity often results in the lead being severed in the middle of our walk. After taking the Flexi assembly apart and reattaching the bolt snap to the remaining webbing a couple of times, I started doubling the webbing up and putting it inside a section of heat shrink tubing on the section nearest his head to protect it from his teeth. Pretty soon, he learned to pirouette a single turn catching the lead under his tail and bringing the unprotected part in range of his treacherous fangs. Not to be outdone by a mere stupid dog, I purchased an inexpensive six foot lead from my local big-box pet store. I cut it in half and fastened a bolt snap to one end and a D-ring to the other end of each half thus creating two “sacrificial” sections I could fasten to the end of the Flexi and simply replace when his teeth had done their job. This morning, in a first real-world test, I fastened one end of the sacrificial section to Blue and the other end to the Flexi and loaded the whole affair into my car for the five minute drive to the park. After arriving at the park, I opened the back door of the car, reached in and grabbed the Flexi handle, and watched Blue go streaking through the parking lot before making a victory lap around his waiting and delighted fans. He had chewed completely through the “sacrificial” link in the space of a five minute car trip and was still proudly wearing the tag end of it fluttering from his collar. I’m new to Border Collies but am very much of the opinion that this whole leash thing is a game Blue has devised to keep both of us busy. I spent the rest of my morning investigating high tech webbing material like Kevlar® and Dyneema®. I think there is just a little bit of goat in both of our DNA.
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