On yesterday morning’s walk my fox-colored dog, Betsy, suddenly became free of the leash.
Luckily I managed to capture her before she went too far. (My fear is that she will wander onto a nearby farm and get shot, being mistaken for a fox. Everyone around here owns a rifle and you hear gunfire often.)
Back in the house, I examined the leash to figure out what happened.
The snap hook failed. Not the bolt-spring mechanism, but the eyelet that captures the thicker part of the stem and allows the snap hook to rotate.
The eyelet appears too worn to capture the stem any longer.
The stem appears only slightly worn, but is just a tad out of round.
I then purchased a new snap hook at the local farm supply place, intending to either sew up a new leash, or unstitch the old leash, insert the snap hook, and sew it back together. These are time-consuming tasks but do-able.
My wife suggested simplifying the task with a carabiner. One potential problem is that since the carabiner has no rotating mechanism, the leash would twist. This is problematic since I walk two dogs at once.
But the carabiner was perfect for simply attaching the new snap hook to the old leash. It’s a little heavier on the dog’s neck, but seems to work fine and allows rotation.
In any case, this is the first time I’d ever seen a snap hook fail in this fashion. I can’t tell if this is normal/acceptable wear from use (I’ve owned this leash for about ten years), or if the cold had something to do with it; the past few mornings it’s been about 10F degrees (-12C).
Either way I’ll likely replace the snap hook on the other leash, or build in some kind of redundancy, just in case.