Christine sent us this wonderful note about her rescue Sheltie, Sabrina. All Shelties should be as lucky as her…please consider bringing a rescue Sheltie into your life.
This is my beautiful Sabrina. I rescued her in California 5 years ago. When I first got her she was paralyzed with fear from abuse and skinny and smelled like urine from neglect. She was used by a backyard breeder to attempt to crank out many puppies…and still fears most men. When she came to live with me she would not go potty for 5 days out of fear. It was the most heartbreaking thing you have ever seen.
Now 5 years later, she is happy and healthy. I had to teach her how to play, and that it is ok to relax and have fun. When she dissected the bathroom garbage for the first time I cheered because she did something “doggish”. (BTW she has now perfected the art of the bathroom garbage inventory, so anything resembling Kleenex is now stowed safely away under the cabinet.) She is still quite shy, but no longer hides between my legs when another dog or person looks at her, and she loves treats and the beach. She has a vertical leap of about 5 feet from a stand still, most often witnessed upon any kind of real or accidental jangling of leash, in the anticipation of walk time. Or when I walk through the door. Could be 2 days or 2 minutes. All the same in a Sheltie mind!
When I tell people Trevor has a life jacket, the response usually is “what…a life jacket?” Then the conversation usually degrades to some chuckles and a statement about how dogs don’t need them. I politely remind them that Trevor is my child and you wouldn’t let your kid go splashing without one, right? If the analogy of dog=kid doesn’t work, I usually come up with this… “Have you ever tried swimming in a wool sweater? That’s what it’s like for a Sheltie!”
Regardless of the breed (or coat on that breed), all dogs who swim should wear a life jacket. It just makes it easier and safer for them. I had bought the one you can get at your local pet store and it doesn’t work well. How do I know? I put Trevor in the water wearing one and the coat floated on the surface, and he began to sink – opening up a gap between him and the vest. (OK, he isn’t the best swimmer, but the vest clearly wasn’t comfortable and didn’t keep him up.) All the buoyant material was above his back, so his body weight was pushing down on those two belly straps. Not a great design.
Enter the K9 Float Coat.
Brilliantly designed and ergonomic cut, much of the flotation cells are under and along the sides of the dog’s ribcage. These buoyancy cells help keep your dog upright and level – making swimming easier. The cut also allows complete shoulder freedom, but supports the dog’s head and neck. Its made from brightly colored 1680-denier ballistic nylon to give visibility in low light situations – contrasting against neutral backgrounds and making sure your pup stands out. High luminescence reflective trim is added to the sides as well as to the top. It looks pretty darn cool.
Take note of some of the finer details: Side release buckles for easy on/off and helps keep that long Sheltie hair out of the clips. A hidden D-ring attachment point for your leash. A low profile assistance handle for help in getting your dog out of the water – very handy!
K-9 Float Coat by Ruffwear – A very enthusiastic four paws up!