This old friend isn't a dog. It isn't a person. It isn't even a living, breathing thing at all.
This old friend is a leash.
I've owned this leash for almost 20 years. A good friend had a dog supply booth, and carried this type of leash for a few years.
I bought one to try it out, then liked it so well that I bought another. One day, the whole pile of leashes were put in the closeout bin. Another friend and I bought the whole lot.
They are all the same martingale style, in different colors and patterns. It's soft on necks, not too thin or thick, and easy to tuck into a pocket.
It doesn't get loose when they're wearing it, but slips on and off easily. I've never had a stitch come out, and I have used the heck out of them through the years. It's the perfect leash.
Each dog has their own pattern, and there have been enough different patterns that this is the first repeat. This leash, that Kimchi wears now, was worn for years by Snap, my Boxer.
I've bought other leashes over the years, but always come back to these leashes. They're like an old friend, full of memories.
Memories of the dogs that have worn them. Memories of the friends that I've competed with. Memories of the rings I've run in. Memories of handing the leash to the leash runner as we stepped towards the line. Memories of reaching for the leash at the end of the run, hurrying to get the reward. Memories of tucking the leash away when the decision is made to retire a dog. And memories of slipping the leash over the head of my newest dog, ready to start all over again.