I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar

When we got Cookie, she was wearing a nylon collar. We generally like those. Washable, durable, easy to maintain.

Cookie also had some bald areas on her neck, clearly wear and tear from life on a lead line.

I don't know how often she was doing that but when she saw us she was trying to get to us and was pretty much in the air, hanging by her neck.

That is not good for the neck.

During the walk that followed the first greetings—to get the guys to bond and also to get them tired for the long trip to Jasmine's ranch—Cookie demonstrated her high prey drive and tendency to take off for extended periods of time.

That didn't really surprise us—with so little freedom, she'd want to make the best of it. Makes sense.

However, we didn't want the first thing she'd do with us to be getting lost. 

So while working on bonding and recalls, Cookie had to be tied up. I didn't want to tie her up to something again, so I tied her up to me.

Fortunately I took a long lead we had from way back when, so she'd still have some freedom.

All was going well until both her and JD spotted something.

We didn't see anything but they certainly did and tore off after it, Cookie still tied up to me. Needless to say I was going along with her. Not just going, I flew.

Literally, I flew before I hit the ground.

They both responded to recall but all I could think of was that all that load—turning mom into a kite—was carried by Cookie's neck.

Fortunately, I had Jasmine's old harness with us because I take it with me everywhere. Right then and there we switched Cookie's collar to Jasmine's harness, so her neck wouldn't take any more beating.

The harness will stay on until we probably get one of the easy-walk types.

Cookie likes her new life and she is very excited about everything. In the city, there are so many things go chasing after - joggers, bicycles, cars ... and the odd critter. And Cookie finds them all worthy of chasing.

Working with her to curb her instincts aside, she will never see a collar again.

To protect her neck, her trachea, and possibly her thyroid as well. We would have had JD on a harness as well, but he chews through them too quickly. So now we use the Thunder Leash, which turns a regular collar into a harness but doesn't need to stay on long enough to be eaten.

Hubby really enjoyed the picture of me flying through the air. But I just want to see the neck being safe.


Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie


  1. Cookie sounds so sweet and happy! I'm really glad she ended up with wonderful people like you and your husband. Are you okay after your flight? I certainly hope you didn't end up too beat up!

    1. She is very sweet and VERY happy. A little too happy perhaps ;-)

      I was ok after the flight, I fall relatively gracefully ;-) Plus it wasn't really a fall, more of a landing LOL

  2. Oooh, now that's a little TOO exciting! I'm glad that she's taken to wearing a harness all right.

    1. Yep. Losing her mind is a short trip for her. She didn't mind getting the harness instead of the collar at all. So that's a good thing.

  3. Funny story, so now you fly without straining her neck?

    1. Pretty much, yeah. Until we can teach her otherwise.


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