Image Number 4 for United States Patent #6523500.
The present invention provides a device for tethering an animal such that it has freedom to roam, yet is confined in an area that is devoid of fencing. A common problem with tethering is that the animal wanders, dragging a rope behind him, becoming entangled in the rope himself or the rope becoming entangled in objects within the animal's range. A common remedy of this problem is a retractable leash attaching to a tethering post. While prior retractors have solved the problem of entanglement, they had done little to resolve a second problem with tethering, that of an animal running to the limit of his tether only to be jerked by the neck when the tether suddenly becomes taut. The present invention offers a solution to both the entanglement and the jerk stop problems. To alleviate these two problems, the present invention is equipped with a recoil spring retractor in combination with a braking shoe which engages the retractor reel to gradually slow the play out of the line as it reaches its limit. A further improvement that the braking shoe offers is that of being able to adjust the length of deployable tether line by adjusting the point at which the brake engages. The present invention can also be used as a leash for walking an animal.