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


Crazy 2 Weeks At PetProject

Sorry for the lack of posts.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks—hit & run to our parked car, our cat Sage was diagnosed with an inexplicable sudden onset of diabetes, and all four furred ones are taking medications to name a few things going on.  But, we’re feeling Spring in the air and that’s a good thing!

We Like: Dog Years: A Memoir, by Mark Doty

dogyearsDog Years is a remarkable book that is hard to categorize.  It’s prose written by a poet that has a refreshing spareness of language.  And like poetry, just a few lines can take your breath away with their sharp insight.  This isn’t an overly sentimental “dog book”.  (One reason may be that Doty also has cats, though they’re only mentioned in this book.)

Doty writes about his partner’s death from AIDS, 9/11, death, and depression, but also about love, life, hope, and joy.  Through it all, he looks at what our dogs mean to us and what we mean to them.  What it means to love a creature we know we’ll outlive, how happiness can walk so closely with loss, what an indelible presence our dogs have in our lives, and how their very need for us can keep us alive at the darkest of times.

Don’t think Dog Years is a gloomy book. Reading about Arden and Beau’s personalities is like getting to hear about wonderful people you just know you’ll be good friends with when you meet.  Doty’s musings on dog parks, the community of dog owners, and the stress of leaving our dogs in another person’s  care are spot on. It’s funny and touching and, at times, heartbreaking.  Hopefully, Doty will write another book about his cats.  Until then, I think Dog Years will be a book I return to.

Happy News

I have some nice news to share with you.  PetProject has gotten some attention lately and I wanted to let you know and to thank you for sharing the site with your friends.  Your support means a lot to me!

Last month PetProject was linked to on:

This week the site was linked to on StumbleUpon.

And, finally, I just learned PetProject was listed on the Top 10 List of DIY Sites on PlanetGreen, a Discovery Network website.

What an exciting way to begin the year.  I started PetProject to share my interest in and enthusiasm for companion animals in the hope of improving both their lives and ours.  It’s neat to see that people are are getting something from the site.  Thanks!