Spring is the perfect time to get a new “leash”on life, and it is time for me to move on from the grief of losing my dog, Eloise, who was so often the inspiration for these projects and articles.What kind of “new leash”do I want for myself? Perhaps one that I can depend on so that I can depend on myself. I also want a leash for my new dog, Pippi; I want to train her so that she can be off the leash safely and be confident and comfortable when she’s on-leash.We both want to feel free and safe so that we can take advantage of what spring may bring our way. It’s up to me to find my own leash, but for Pippi—and for your dog—a new leash isn’t required. We can give renewed life to one we have on hand.
Any kind of trim or other decoration can be glued onto a leash. I use a tacky craft glue and weight it down (usually with a few heavy books) while it dries.
■ For the thin green leash, I used a flower trim on both sides, and glued a tape measure onto the thicker light-green leash.
■ For the thin black leash with the twisty chain, I used an extra-long necklace that I found at a dollar store. With pliers, open the first ring and attach it to the leash’s hook. Then twist the chain around as you thread the leash through some of the bigger links. Cut off the excess chain at the top and attach it by opening the last ring, pushing it through the nylon fabric of the leash and then closing it with the pliers. Any kind of light chain is suitable for this project as long as the leash can be threaded through some of the links.
■ For the thick black leash, I used nailheads and buttons on one side and reflective trim on the other. You can get decorative nailheads at arts-and-crafts or bead stores. Design a pattern and then mark the spots with a white pencil. Push the prongs of the nailheads through with your fingers and use pliers to fold down the prongs on the other side.With heavy-duty thread and a sharp, strong needle, attach the buttons; finish off the leash by adhering the reflective trim with tacky glue.