photodeanA remembrance is the type of post that you hope to never have to write. Yet, as a member of the outdoor community, you know all too well, that accidents happen in the mountains.

Last Saturday, May 16th, Ruffwear lost a friend and Ambassador – Dean Potter. Dean and his flying partner that day, Graham Hunt, were killed in a wing suit BASE jumping accident in Yosemite.

Most people know Dean Potter by how he has been portrayed in mass media outlets. As a daredevil, an “extreme athlete” and someone “flirting with death” on a day-to-day basis. In many regards, Dean was a little of each, and none of each at the same time. He was a little daring – daring to push human capabilities to a whole new level and celebrate every breath of life through the mastery of his arts. He was an athlete – achieving feats that only a well trained and tuned machine could. And he may have “flirted” with death, but never in a reckless, uncalculated manner. He respected the consequences.Dean2

As an Ambassador for Ruffwear for many years, we were fortunate to get to know a whole other side of Dean. A side that focused solely on him and his relationship with his best friend Whisper, a mini blue heeler who was rarely seen anywhere but by Dean’s side (or in his pack). When talking about Whisper, Dean lit up. He was completely dedicated to her in ways that truly we wish everyone was with their dog. To Dean, his companionship with Whisper was apparent in the way that they communicated, the way that Whisper looked at Dean, and even more apparent in the way Dean looked at Whisper.

“I bring Whisper with me as much as possible. I don’t feel right leaving her in the car or at home. Whisper accompanies me on most climbs that I do” said Dean on “Whisper is tuned into my emotions and is always trying to figure out what I need and how she can help me in her own doggie way. Whisper is always ready for an adventure and all that she wants is to be with her pack and keep her family safe and together.”

As we frequently say at Ruffwear, the relationships we have with our dogs are unique – shaped by the adventures we share. Knowing that to be true, the relationship that Dean and Whisper had was full of adventures. Adventures that very few others will ever experience. Their human-canine bond was one of the most genuine, sincere relationships that we have had the pleasure to witness.

Thank you Dean, for trusting Ruffwear gear in your pursuits, and for showing us how to dream big and question mental boundaries. More importantly thank you for sharing a life of adventure, love and understanding with Whisper. Fly free. We will miss you dearly.

~ The Ruffwear Pack

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3 thoughts

  1. Tragic. Rest in peace, Dean. I hope Whisper finds peace and love with a member of her pack while she battles this loss as well — the chasm he left will be largest for her.

  2. a sad and terrible loss. You’re right, the media LOVES to twist things around and blame the victim. Shame on them.
    May he rest in peace, and may Whisper find another human to love as much as she loved Dean.

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