Dressed for safety in their
'Large' size life jackets



The case of the vanishing background!

Here's the original photo of our lab Phoebe in her 'Large' size life jacket. This is the image you'll have seen on our publicity material - before we got to work with Photoshop and surrounded her with an intimidating sea!

On the right, half out of the photo, is Daughter No. 2 - still in her pyjamas mid-afternoon! (It was half-term though!)


Steve and Leanne Brown of Walsall were concerned that Buster, their five year old border collie who loves to swim in the sea, would have problems with the currents on a holiday to Cornwall. His 'Large' size dog life jacket put their minds at rest!

"The only problem we had was keeping him still long enough to take a photo", reports Leanne. "I lost count of how many people asked us where we got his jacket from, as there are so many people who have the same concerns we used to have."


Ming and Mads

Ming baths
Confucius he say:
"If a pun needs explaining it must be a rubbish pun"

Ming, a bearded collie, has had serious pastern surgery; swimming was recommended as an effective rehabilitation routine by Ming's surgeon to owner Shelagh Needham of Ightham, near Sevenoaks in Kent.

Which is how Shelagh ended up taking these photos of Ming, wearing his 'Large' size life jacket, together with dog nannie Madaline Carter, in the hydrotherapy pool. Shelagh reports that Ming loves the exercise which is proving extremely effective.

Every year Shelagh and Mads take Shelagh's four bearded collies to Crufts - look out for them next year!


Aeros - and Arion29!

A Ghent gent!

Koenraad and Cathérine De Waele - and not forgetting daughter Sorenza of course! - of Ghent in Belgium made sure their seven year old bearded collie Aeros was wearing his 'Large' size life jacket before they left Brouwershaven, Grevelingemeer, Holland for a sailing holiday on the 29 ft sailing boat Arion 29.

Trivia Corner:

In June 1969 NASA and the German Ministry for Scientific Research (BMwF) reached an agreement on a cooperative project that would orbit in the earth's upper atmosphere a German scientific satellite which was designed to investigate particle behaviour.

Earlier in 1969 BMwF had named the proposed satellite 'Aeros', after the ancient Greek god of the air.

A 'Large' size dog life jacket on Jane's large dog! A 'Medium' size dog life jacket on Jane's medium dog!

Life's challenges (1)

Jane Forrester, of Upper Beeding in West Sussex, has two particular challenges in life.

The larger of her challenges, in a 'Large' size life jacket, is photographed above learning the 'Stay' command.

Life's challenges (2)

And here's the other of Jane's challenges, also wearing a 'Large' size life jacket.

I can (almost) hear the voice to which the disembodied hand belongs:"Leave." - pause - "Leeave!" - longer pause - "Leeeeave!!!"


More Lucy!

Who agrees I'm chocolate?

Jane Folly of Bletsoe in Bedfordshire has kindly sent in these photos of Lucy, her 18 month old chocolate labrador, dressed for some water-based action in her 'Large' size life jacket.

So the Bristol Channel held no fears for Lucy as she romped in it (and posed alongside it) at Tenby beach in south-west Wales.

(Editor's note: Ahhh, Tenby! Home of Kiln Park - a caravan site that's bigger than the town itself! Spent many childhood holidays there. Memories, memories...)

Cacao podsTrivia Corner:

Chocolate is produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. The photo alongside shows a cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Native to lowland, tropical South America, the seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavour. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground and liquified, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor.

Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar.

Chocolate contains alkaloids which have physiological effects on the body; it has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Scientists also claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has from time to time been promoted for its health benefits. However, the presence of theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some animals, including cats and dogs (I knew we'd get back to dogs eventually!)

Lip-licking fun!

Jet, the 10 year old lab-cross of Glenn Thompson from Dromore, County Down in Northern Ireland is suitably kitted out in his 'Large' size life jacket as he stands on the beautiful white sand of one of the beaches of Caherdaniel, County Kerry in the Republic of Ireland and salivates at the prospect of an (apparently) endless game of fetch-and-carry in all that lovely wet water.

In the montage above I've ruined Glenn's perfectly composed sea-and-landscape by overlaying it with a photo of Jet swimming, toy in mouth, back to shore (Jet's jacket really is raising him in the water that much!).

I'd have loved to display Glenn's landscape in all its unadulterated glory, but I'm trying to sell dog life jackets, not holidays in Ireland!



Wrinkly when wet.
Just as wrinkly when dry!

Sumo, the 18 month old Sharpei of Richard Whiteman of Cardiff, models his 'Large' size life jacket in the comparatively dry environment of Richard's kitchen.

Sumo isn't yet familiar with the water but Richard's confident that, with the support and assistance offered by his life jacket, Sumo will be able to iron out any wrinkles in his swimming style during the summer.

Springer the Springer

Steve Wain of Doncaster sent in this photo of his 13 year old Welsh Springer spaniel, Springer (Steve's happy to admit where the inspiration for such a great name came from!) wearing his 'Large' size life jacket.

Steve is expecting his big-boy's-toy (a boat) soon and promises to send more nautically-flavoured pictures of Springer when it arrives.

If I counted the promises of photos I've been made...


Mitzie - in the swim!

Little and a 'Large'

Julie and Chris Potter of North Walsham, Norfolk just couldn't decide whether their lab Mitsie needed a 'Medium' or 'Large' life jacket. As Julie explained: "Mitsie is what I would say is a small dog for her breed. Her chest is 73 cm with a length of 53-55 cm. I realise that she does seem smaller than a lot of other labradors when I take her out.

"She is 3, nearly 4 so she should have stopped growing. I think that it is best for you to decide which size to go for as I know she falls on the border of sizes. Whichever size is most appropriate, I will let you decide as you have the experience with the life jackets."

A few days later, with Mitsie very comfortable in her 'Large' size life jacket, Julie was able to email again: "I just wanted to say that we are most grateful to you for being so helpful. As a dog owner, you know that a dog isn't just a pet - it's part of the family and we've been saying for a while about getting her a life jacket, but you don't tend to see any decent ones around in the shops locally.

"We do value and love her so much that we would never forgive ourselves if anything happened to her in the water. Mitsie loves to go swimming when we have been kayaking, but does have a tendency to keep going even when she is tired. I am sure that it's just the labrador water-loving syndrome, but hey!"

Saffi and Sage Sage

All aboard the Skylark!

Gary Fitzgerald, of Fleet in Hampshire, is photographed by wife Alyson as he checks what's behind him before navigating out into the Norfolk Broads for what transpired to be a fabulous two-week holiday.

And viewing the Broad with apparent distain are Saffi and Sage in their 'Large' size life jackets.

Both dogs managed to fall in (not so distainful then, I presume!); at one stage a dangerous situation was relieved by being able to hook Sage out with a boat hook using the handle on top of the life jacket. (That's what it's there for!)

In the montage above, Sage clearly demonstrates how important it is that the jacket isn't too long in relation to the back (never seen a pooch sitting quite like that before!). The sequence on the right shows Sage discovering the joys of (relative) weightlessness.

Alyson reports that a number of people thought it was quite amusing seeing dogs in life jackets, saying that the jackets aren't needed because dogs are really good swimmers. As Alyson is happy to note, yes, they are generally good swimmers - it's getting them out is the problem!

Based on their experiences on the Broads, Alyson hopes her observations will encourage other owners to ensure their dogs are appropriately guarded against the perils of water.


Meg - far from shore!

Meg afloat in her mega-float

Dave and Jan Kemp, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, kindly sent in these photos of their two year old yellow labrador Meg in her 'Large' size life jacket.

Meg was one year old when the Kemps fell in love with her at a rescue kennel.

The Kemps consider themselves very fortunate to have the Lochore Meadows Country Park nearby. It's on the Park's Loch Ore that Dave goes kayaking - with Meg swimming alongside - which is where these photos were taken.

Dave doesn't take Meg with him when he goes whitewater kayaking - but he's sure she's mad enough to join him if he took her!

Alfie Alfie and friends

What's it all about, Alfie?
(And Jake!)

Before taking them on a narrowboat holiday on the Grand Union Canal, Kay and Mike Holleran of Rugby wanted to be sure of the safety of their two Irish setters - Alfie, a three year old, and Jake, seven months old - so the dogs were kitted out in our 'Large' size life jackets.

It was when they were at the Bascote staircase lock, near Long Itchington in Warwickshire, that the wisdom of Kay and Mike's forethought for their dogs' safety was revealed.

Kay takes up the story: "Many of my friends wondered why I had bought the life jackets as they felt they were a waste of money because they thought all dogs can swim.

"I was very concerned about the locks however. I was proved right as Alfie, the older of the two dogs, tried to follow a member of our party and get across the lock gate and actually fell into a 26 foot deep lock. He slipped midway and fell about 12 feet into the lock. If he had not been wearing his life jacket he would definitely have drowned.

"Thank you so much - without your life jackets I would be grieving for my beautiful dog right now."

Molly Molly. And Kay. And Rob!

First day fun!!!!

Just as soon as the 'Large' size life jacket they'd bought for Molly, their eight year old English bull terrier, arrived Kay and Rob Lewis of Calne in Wiltshire headed for a day of fun at Cotswold Water Park (between Cirencester and Swindon).

At it was the Lewis family's first day out in their new canoe Molly was little nervous (as were Kay and Rob) but Molly's new life jacket seemed to make her more confident.

Molly loves the water but has to date only managed vertical, rather than horizontal, swimming. The hope is that the extra buoyancy of her new jacket will encourage Molly to start moving through the water laterally!

A word of apology to Rob for almost squeezing him out of the picture completely. From one man to another, I can say that it's like so much else in life - constantly squeezed to the edges. Long-suffering souls, aren't we Rob!

Honey Solomon


Honey, the six month old golden retriever of Marie and Bob Gathercole. Photographed here in her 'Large' size life jacket, Honey thought she'd try her hand at writing her own narrative. Here's what she's supplied.

My mad parents, who live in Suffolk, decided to buy a wooden boat for their retirement and decided I must have one of these blasted jackets when I'm in the Marina and on the boat - what a wally I look!

As you can see from the first photo I'm thoroughly fed up with it, but in the second one I decided to grin and bear it - just to keep them happy (but can't help wondering why mum keeps laughing at me!!!!!). They've told me that the jacket is of excellent quality and such great value that I should be pleased they found it for me on their beloved eBay!!!!! I've got very strange parents.....but I do love them!

Happy Dog Days to all my doggy friends.

Honey xxxx

The wisdom of Solomon

Solomon is the one year old border collie of Sheila Wilson of Scunthorpe.

Wearing his 'Large' size life jacket, Solomon is photographed during the Wilsons holiday on the Fen waterways - giving everyone peace of mind, particularly on the tidal River Ouse.

The family is planning to do a lot more tidal river cruising; in Sheila's opinion, besides being a potential life-saver an Up-Buoy life jacket is a must-have fashion accessory for the canine fashionista.

Jump!... Vinnie

3... 2... 1... hold it...

Vinnie is the 10 year old staffordshire bull terrier of Alison Madeley of Accrington in Lancashire.

Alison reports that Vinnie thinks he's a fish and would rather swim than walk! He's pictured on a recent holiday on the Norfolk Broads, just about resisting the impulse to jump off the boat and christen his new 'Large' size life jacket!

Trivia Corner:

The original town football team, Accrington F.C., were amongst the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, before resigning from the league after just five years. A team called Stanley Villa already existed at the time, named as such because they were based at the Stanley Arms on Stanley Street in Accrington. With the demise of Accrington FC, Stanley Villa took the town name to become Accrington Stanley.

With the formation of the old Third Division North, along with the other top Northern non-League clubs the club re-entered the Football League in 1921. In four decades of league football they never achieved promotion from the Third Division, resigning from the recently-formed Division Four in March 1962.



If it's not one...

Justin Smith of Summertown, near Oxford, kitted out his dogs with 'Large' size life jackets.

On the left Orrin takes a breather after swimming for almost a mile alongside Justin's canoe and, above, Aslan asks Justin when it will be his turn!


George again!

By George, he's got it!

These photos of George, a three and a half year old boxer shown wearing his 'Large' size Christmas present, were kindly sent in by customer Kaz Traverso of Surrey Quays in London.

George is owned by Kaz's girlfriend's parents, Dave and Sue of Reading.

I've been trying to work out the title of the magazine lying on the coffee table just behind George; Could it be 'Heat'? (geddit?)

Trivia Corner:

'Surrey Quays' is the name of a largely residential area of Rotherhithe in south-east London, occupied until 1970 by the Surrey Commercial Docks.

After their closure, over 90% of the docks were filled in. The only surviving areas of open water were Greenland Dock, South Dock, remnants of Canada Dock (renamed Canada Water) and Norway Dock, and a basin renamed Surrey Water.

A massive building programme took place in the area during the late 1980s and early 1990s with 5,500 new homes being built, ranging from individual detached housing to large apartment complexes, such as Baltic Quay. South Dock was converted into a marina - now the largest in London - and a watersports centre was constructed on Greenland Dock. The northern part of Canada Water and the infilled Russia Dock became wildlife reserves.

Loki Loki - and his toy!

No close shaves for this Brazilian!

Cati and Selan Valadão live with their two year old labrador Loki near the beach in Natal, in the north-east of Brazil.

With the sun shining all year around (dream on, UK-dwellers!) trips to the beach are frequent. Loki really loves swimming, especially when fetching one of his toys thrown far away in the water.

A year ago Cati and Selan discovered Loki has hip dysplasia. They assessed that a life jacket would give Loki extra buoyancy, allowing him to swim for a longer time and thus providing him with extended exercise without becoming overly-tired.

Now Loki, photographed in the Atlantic Ocean, wears his 'Large' size life jacket every time they all go swimming.

Meg (and Paul!)


"Wish you were here"

Paul and Maggie, of Swineshead, near Boston in Lincolnshire took Meg, their five-and-a-half year old labrador, for a week's holiday by the sea.

Meg absolutely adores swimming but was recently diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. As a consequence she now has weekly hydrotherapy sessions in a heated pool and wearing a life jacket, which - together with the upcoming holiday - led Paul to buying Meg her 'Large' size life jacket.

In the photo on the left Meg pleads with Maggie to throw her toy just once more.

The other photo shows Paul frolicking on the beach with Meg in typically balmy mid-November Lincolnshire weather, as the North Sea gently laps the shore. (Use your imagination!)

Paul reports that Meg "adores her high quality well fitting jacket and was able to swim every day with one exception because it was too rough, sadly the same day that a young grey seal was watching her and would probably have had a good play!".

On the 'Large' side of the Border

Kep is a six-year old border collie - and certainly among the bigger border collies we've fitted with a life jacket. Kep popped in to the buy1or2.com stand at the Beale Park Boat Show where he posed for long enough to be snapped in his new 'Large' size life jacket.

John Noakes (left) and ShepTrivia Corner:

Border collie Shep (1971-1987) was the most famous of the series of pets featured on the long-running UK children's TV programme 'Blue Peter', and is most remembered by viewers as inseparable from Blue Peter presenter John Noakes. Shep was excitable, and Noakes would often have to restrain him. Noakes' frequently-heard admonishment, "Get Down Shep!", became a national catchphrase.

When Noakes left the BBC in 1980 the BBC offered Shep to Noakes as a gift, with the proviso that Shep couldn't be used for advertising or commercial purposes. Noakes didn't agree to this, and as a result didn't get Shep.

Not long after leaving, Noakes appeared in a series of TV ads for dog food, with a similar-looking dog similarly-named 'Skip', further souring the already-strained relationship between Noakes and the BBC.



Ruby - Sharon's treasure

Sharon Goddard of Romford was kind enough to send us this pic and text:"Here's Ruby, my treasured cross collie/cross bitza/cross Heinz57 proudly wearing her new 'Large' life jacket for our forthcoming trip on a narrowboat. The jacket's a necessity as Duncan Goodhew she aint!!!  It also puts my mind at rest enormously. Thanks for providing such a prompt, friendly service".

Ruby is approximately nine years old - she was estimated at being 'about two' when Sharon had her as a rescue dog. Sharon says that: "She's one of those dogs that looks older than her years, but I often tell her that maturity can be a mighty attractive quality in a female!!" Women who are themselves of a certain age often say that!

Speed freak

Anchored off Hurst Castle, Keyhaven, Hampshire, the Stewart family (Ian, Barbara, Anthony and David) of Steventon, near Basingstoke prepare to wash down Harvey, David's two year old golden labrador.

Harvey sits wearing not only his 'Large' size life jacket but also a coating of Keyhaven mud from an earlier expedition ashore as he waits for David to finish swabbing the decks. Although a teenager, David takes his duties seriously - up early every morning to walk Harvey before school. (Could do with one like that in our house! Ed.)

Harvey has a need for speed - he's always the first into the boat or car, but also capable of high speed under his own steam.

As you can see, the jacket allows Harvey to sit comfortably and, Ian reports, causes no restriction to movement.

Additionally, Ian has found that the jacket provides body protection for Harvey in the boat which can 'slam' against the water at speed.

Neda - and Eugenio

Neda and Eugenio

Making a splash in the Med

Eugenio Berlini moors his sailboat in Rimini on the eastern Italian coast. He often dives into the Mediterranean for a bit of fun with Neda, his 18-months old labrador cross.

Neda enjoys swimming but at 30kg it was always a bit of a problem when the time came for her to climb back on board. Eugenio reports that assisting her weight by using the lifting handle enables Neda, photographed in her 'Large' size life jacket frolicking with Eugenio, to climb the ladder directly out of the water.

Mystery lab


Mystery lab

At the Inland Waterways Association's 2008 National Festival and Boat Show in Wolverhampton this lab appeared and was fitted with a 'Large' size life jacket.

Safe senior! 

Angela Tibbs of Spalding in Lincolnshire bought a 'Large' size life jacket for her lurcher Shona. The photo shows Shona wearing her new jacket for the very first time.

"She was not fazed by it at all and was soon running around with it on", reports Angela, who goes on to say that she will feel much happier as 14 year old Shona isn't as sure-footed as she used to be and they will be going on some big rivers this year.



From the Adams family

Sylvia Adams of Brigstock, near Corby, obtained a 'Large' size life jacket for Jack, the family's English Pointer.

Sylvia reports that the jacket did help Jack in strong currents and deep water and that whilst it fitted well it allowed him lots of unrestricted movement and made the family more at ease whilst they were out in the canoe with him.

As illustrated in the photo above Jack couldn't wait to try out his new buoyancy aid and agreed that it helped to keep his ears dry whilst perfecting his stroke!


Portuguese Water Dog

First Family favourite

This Portuguese water dog (as seen on the White House lawn) collected his 'Large' size dog life jacket from our paws-things.com stand at the 2009 Beaulieu Boat Show.

American bulldog

English pointer

Trad Jazz

How appropriate that Steve Ross of Manchester should choose a 'Large' size dog life jacket from our Classic range for Jazz, the Ross family's 12 month old American bulldog.

A pointer to the future

Photographed on our stand at the 2010 Welsh Game Fair was this English pointer in his 'Large' size dog life jacket.

Springer spaniel/Border collie cross


No worries for Poppy

Andy Grainger of Felixstowe finally got around to sending in a pic. But what was lacking in speed was more than made up for in prose:

"Sorry about the delay in getting back to you but we had to wait for work to be done on the boat before we could introduce Poppy to the water and her life-jacket.

The pic shows Poppy, an eight year old springer x border collie taking the air on the River Ant in Norfolk on our Bounty 27 'No Worries'. We've not had to test the flotation properties yet, but the handle has been very useful passing her from bank to boat and vice-versa. we're very pleased with the jacket - she's not too sure yet but got happier as the weekend went on. I've already recommended the Up-Buoy to a few folk on the Broads as she's generated a lot of interest.

Thanks again,

Andy Grainger and Kathy Little (and Poppy, of course)

Good buoy!

Simon Beaumont of Pershore in Worcestershire was kind enough to supply the heading for this profile of Stanley, the Beaumonts' 15 month old, 36kg, black labrador photographed in his 'Large' size life jacket.

Simon also supplied this (on behalf of Stanley, I hope):

"This product fits nicely. Looks so smart may just wear it around house and forget this canoeing lark!"

Springer spaniel/Border collie cross

Welsh border collie

Springing up!

One of the bigger springers to spring up at our stand!

Whilst springers - almost without exception - are best-suited to our 'Medium' size life jacket, this unusually-large example of the breed was better-suited to our 'Large' size life jacket, as photographed.


Unusually, whilst most collies are better-suited to our 'Medium' size life jackets, this large example of a Welsh border collie is photographed in our 'Large' size life jacket.


German Pointer

Lurching to the water's edge

A visitor to our stand at the 2010 Inland Waterways Festival at Beale Park was this lurcher, suitably attired in a 'Large' size life jacket.

Good points

This particularly attractive German short-haired pointer called in on us at the 2011 Hampshire Country Fair and left with a 'Large' size life jacket.


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


This labradoodle was photographed at the 2011 Crick Boat Show in his 'Large' size life jacket.


This Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was also snapped in a 'Large' size life jacket at the 2011 Crick Boat Show.

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Last updated: 26 September 2016

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