The continuing expansion of The Llama Sanctuary has certainly curtailed our travelling, but once in a while something crops up that we don’t want to miss. One such occasion arose last year when our daughter zipped over from her home in Australia on a business trip to the United States and we all arranged to meet in San Fransisco for a weekend.
I’m not a city boy; too many people, too many buildings and cars; too much noise and usually by the second day, an overwhelming claustrophobic sensation is leaping around inside me, looking for the nearest escape route to find some air that is actually breathable …and no, I don’t want to do anything about that sensation; city-phobia is my friend!
But San Fransisco had something unusual: interesting people; people who appeared to be a little more awake than the average; a little more connected to the planet and with an obvious desire to change the way we live. Among the socially awakened people we spoke with as we strolled through the huge farmers market, mostly organic!!! … that spilled out of the quayside and blended with the streets, one young chap displayed a passion that really touched us, and all he appeared to be offering was dog leads. In fact what he was offering was a whole lot more.
A free spirit, looking for a way to make it in this world, affected by the departure of his long-time canine companion, Ryan was making dog leashes from old climbing rope that he collected from sports club climbing walls and rock climbers in the region. Money raised from the sale of the leads is channeled to charitable causes; mostly animal oriented and donors have the opportunity to nominate recipients of the funds raised from the sale of the leashes made with their donated ropes.
The leads are really well made, with strong fittings and handles securely crimped and protected by heat-shrink sleeves. We bought one lead with a real climbing karabiner attached, to try it out with the llamas. Dogpatch Leads was swift to add The Llama Sanctuary to its list of charitable causes and a few weeks later, we received a package containing a donation of four more leads.
11mm kernmantle rope is about as perfect as you could want for lead ropes, chunky enough to make handling pleasant, strong and resilient enough to hold a climber falling 200 feet or a wild llama with ticklish feet and the ropes also look good.
I’ve made a slight alteration to ours, whipping a steel D-ring onto the lead to make a Catch Rope and I usually have one of these tucked in my pocket when working outside …just in case! We’ve gathered and used a lot of different lead ropes over the years, but the Dogpatch Leads are now easily the favourites and I don’t imagine that we’ll be needing to replace these anytime soon.
Ryan, you rock! That’s the kind of spirit that will bring about the changes necessary for man to survive and become free once more. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s really not about dog leads, it’s about having the right mixture of creativity, intention and most importantly, the drive to take action.