Hiker, explorer, mountain biker, river-runner, traveling companion…Otis was truly a dog on the go. He was a constant companion to Patrick Kruse, Ruff Wear Owner and Founder, along their shared outdoor adventures. Traversing fourteen states, one province, and two countries gave Otis every opportunity to test Ruff Wear performance dog gear.
Indeed, Otis was a key member of the research and development team at Ruff Wear. He was the inspiration for many gear items, and instrumental in the development and improvement of each prototype. Much of the dog gear Ruff Wear makes today was inspired by Otis and his unique canine needs out on the rivers and trails.
An active Australian Cattle Dog, Otis was an enthusiastic tester of float coats, dog boots, dog backpacks, and pet first aid kits. He was always willing to prove or disprove the durability of our dog toys.
After many years of faithful contributions to Ruff Wear, Patrick, and the lives of his other human companions, Otis passed away on August 30th, 2007. He swam in the Pacific Ocean, traveled to the Atlantic, and ran/kayaked many rivers in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado (Otis even has a drop named after him on the Upper North Fork of the Kaweah River in California…the Otis Slide). He’s been eye to eye with spy hopping Orcas in the San Juan Islands, plucked oysters from Westcott Bay, and run amok at Chrissy Field under the Golden Gate Bridge. Otis stood on the top of mountains, and explored deserts, lakes, and oceans. He was equally at home in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Portland, Oregon as he was in small towns like Bliss, Idaho or Davenport, Florida… as long as there were places to go and people to see.
Many Otis-tested products have assisted and enhanced the lives of humans and canines during world events. Ruff Wear products were put to use in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, the war in Iraq, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Individual guide dogs, assistance dogs, and avalanche search and rescue teams now rely on Ruff Wear products every day. And the thousands of dogs and their humans out for a run, swim, hike or game of fetch have all been a part of what Otis helped to create.
Otis will live in our memories as an attentive, inquisitive companion with a zest for life. He made the most of every adventure, while inspiring his humans to do the same. His spirit lives on at Ruff Wear as we find new ways to enhance outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions.