We hear from our customers every day with their stories of joy and hardship. Some of those stories are worth sharing beyond just our own pack. Today, we’re sharing this story from Jan T. in South Carolina with a harrowing tale of survival during the devastating floods that struck the Southeast in early October 2015. Thanks for letting us tell your story Jan. We are so glad the entire pack (cats included) are safe.

I am writing to say THANK YOU for your product! I saw it save my dog’s life this week and am so grateful that not only did he have on a lifejacket but that it was a RUFFWEAR JACKET, which kept him well above the water and the best part was the handle on his back. Here is our story:

Cody is 1.5 year old, 75 lb German Shepherd. He is a rescue and is handicapped. He does not move his front legs independently, he holds them together and hops on them. As a result, he sinks if he tries to swim without a lifejacket. He has no fear and no clue that he is different from the other dogs. We live on a river, so from the time I rescued him, I had him using your lifejacket. When I bought the jacket I chose Ruffwear because of its chest and stomach flotation and large handle on the back. At any rate, he has always loved the water and is fearless of it.
We live on the Edisto River in South Carolina, which went into major flood stage last week. As a result I had to evacuate my house by boat when the river reached 16 ‘. My boat held me (54 yr old female), 3 German Shepherds and 4 cats. 2 of the GSD had been in boat before but it was Cody’s first ride. Long story short, the boat had engine trouble, I ended up drifting into a tree and tried to tie the boat off in the swift river currents; in the middle of all that, Cody jumped out the boat. I could not go after him because I was in chest waders and trying to hold the boat onto the tree to keep it from careening further down river. I yelled SWIM CODY SWIM – he does his modified dog paddle but he also has on his RUFFWEAR Life Jacket, so his head is well above water – he was able to get close enough to the boat that I could reach with the T on the end of the boat paddle and get it hooked into the handle on the back of his life jacket. Without that handle I could not have reached him nor had the ability to lift him into the boat. Without the RUFFWEAR lifejacket he know would have drowned – the design of the raised and strong handle on the back of jacket enabled me to reached him and lift him back into my boat.
I may have lost my house (don’t know yet), but I escaped safely with all my animals and I know for sure RUFFWEAR LIFE JACKETS saved my DOG!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


Jan T., Human
Cody, 1.5 yr, 75 lbs GSD, Mahoney, 9 yrs, 110 lbs GSD and Willa, 5 yr old, 65 lb GSD

P.S. – the 2 older dogs are good swimmers and never had lifejackets but after these they will be getting their’s soon.

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