We Like: Portage Bay Float Coat By Ruffwear

Summer is almost here and that means humans & their dogs will be on or around the water. We often ask our dogs to do things that their instincts haven’t prepared them for, like boating. I don’t think dogs come equipped with sea legs or the ability to judge whether it’s safe to jump in a river to go after water fowl. Most dogs can swim, but even the best swimmer can be crippled by strong currents, hypothermia, or panic and end up drowning. A good life jacket could make all the difference. Keep those pups safe!

With a good life jacket, dogs with amputated limbs or mobility problems could still benefit from water exercise.  You won’t have to worry about your dog sinking or her head going under water.

We have the Float Coat which I love.  RuffWear designed a great canine life jacket.

We like the life jackets by RuffWear because:

  • it’s one of the few with foam under the body & under the head, providing much better buoyancy than jackets with foam just on the back, & it keeps dogs horizontal in the water
  • it fits very snugly & securely with wide sections across the chest and under the belly, 3 adjustable straps/clips, and velcro at the chest. This jacket won’t twist or cut into your dog the way jackets with unpadded nylon straps can.
  • it has a handle on the back making it possible to grab a dog to lift it from the water
  • the different foam thickness and the ergonomic tailoring makes for a comfortable fit and allows for good rang of motion, in particular, the front legs (Saffron actually seems to like wearing hers even out of the water.)
  • highly reflective piping and bright yellow material makes your dogs more visible (I recommend the yellow instead of the red, since yellow provides a stronger contrast)
  • there’s a D-ring for a leash and a loop to attach a light beacon
  • fabric on underside has tight weave so dog’s fur won’t get knitted into fabric
  • super easy to keep clean and dries quickly


Determined Pup Protects Injured Mom In NYC

This story is an amazing example of the bond between animals and thankfully has a happy ending.  When Chile, the yellow lab mix, was hit on the Deegan Expressway, her son, Husky, came to her rescue.  He fended off traffic keeping her from being struck again.  When police and animal control arrived, Husky held his ground and made sure no one messed with his mom.  After several attempts, Chile was loaded into a vehicle.  Police then herded Husky down an off-ramp and he was eventually reunited with his owner.  Chile is being treated for a broken leg and is expected to be fine.

It’s certainly reminiscent of that remarkable dog that tried to rescue an injured dog on a Chilean freeway by dragging it to the shoulder.

Still Life With Animated Dogs

I’ve watched Still Life With Animated Dogs several times on Independent Lens and I still love it.  It’s autobiographical and starts in Stalinist 1950’s Czechoslovakia with Paul Fierlinger and his first dog, Roosevelt.  You can read more about the film and the filmmakers on the PBS site.

Fierlinger does the animation and narration.  I find his voice & story mesmerizing and I love his observations about himself & dogs.  At turns, heart breaking, funny, and joyful, the film is a fascinating study of the different roles different dogs played in Fierlinger’s life and of how important they can be to our growth and our very survival.