The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have tells the touching story of a boy who turns to his imagination to ward off loneliness. This activity can help children learn to use their imagination when lonely or bored (and it can also be used as a Halloween prop).


  • Round dog leash (or round rope to use as a leash)
  • Sturdy wire (12 gauge wire)
  • Smaller craft wire (38 gauge)
  • Dog collar
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue
  • Wire cutters
  • pliers

Step 1: Estimate the amount of sturdy wire you will need to run the entire length of the leash. Err on the side of too much wire. I used 12 gauge wire, and you probably shouldn’t go any thinner than this. The stronger the wire, the better your leash will hold its shape.

Step 2: If the leash has removable clasps, remove or move them temporarily so you can see what you are doing.

Step 3: Feed the sturdy wire through the center of the leash along the entire length, including the loops at both ends. (Make sure the wire stays in the center and does not poke out the sides. No wire should be visible.) Keep working slowly and steadily; it takes a lot of patience!

Step 4: Once the wire is through the entire leash, fold the ends so they don’t scratch anyone. Now reattach the leash clasps if you removed them. Your leash is complete.

Step 5: Tighten the collar so it is double-layered for its entire length.


Step 6: Measure the length of the dog collar and cut the thinner wire to that length. (Remember that it’s better to have too much wire than not enough.)


Step 7: Feed one end of the wire though one of the end loops of your collar. Wrap the end of the wire around the bar of the collar snap on the inside of the loop, then continue feeding the wire along the length of the collar. Make sure your wire stays between the collar’s two layers.

Step 8: When you get to the opposite end of the collar, wrap the wire around the bar of the collar snap on the inside of the loop.

Step 9: Using a hot glue gun (or glue of your choice), place a bead of glue along the length of the wire between the layers of the collar. Make sure the wire stays in the center of the layers. This will prevent the wire from being seen. (Be careful not to burn yourself, especially if you adjust the wire after applying hot glue.)

Step 10: Once the glue has cooled (or dried), snap your leash to the collar, then bend your leash to your desired look. Now you can take your invisible dog on a walk!


Note: It is recommended that this activity is done with adult or parental supervision. Feeding the wire though the leash can be difficult at times and may require the strength or help of an adult. Also, cut wire can have sharp edges, so use caution when cutting or handling wire.