All dogged up in their
'Small' size life jackets

Molly and George


Double vision

Molly and George, the two 11 year old westies of David and Jill Ash of Rayleigh in Essex, adopt Nelson-esque poses as they look inscrutably into the mid-distance whilst showing off their 'Small' size life jackets as they cruise the South Oxford Canal near Napton in David and Jill's narrowboat, 'Theddingworth'.

David proudly reports that this pretty pair walked off with the 'Cutest on The Cut' Award that week!

Something to tickle you

Poppy is a 15 month old Welsh terrier - a complete bundle of dynamite loved to bits by owners Phil and Vivienne Tickle, of Weir Village, Rossendale, Lancashire. The photos of Poppy in her 'Small' size life jacket were taken on board ĎTustií (Vivienne's sister's boat) on Windermere in the Lake District.

(Editor's note: All captions supplied by Phil and Vivienne. That's it, hands very clearly wiped of any responsibility!)

Tilly and Penny Penny

Deep conversation

"What's that stuff then?"

"That's water."

"What's 'water'?"

"The stuff we drink."

"What, we've got to drink all that?"

Photographed above alongside, Tilly, an 18 month old Norfolk terrier cross and Penny, a seven year old Patterdale terrier, contemplate the River Thames at Oxford as they stand in their 'Toy' and 'Small' size life jackets, obediently awaiting instruction from owners Mary Hopkins and Peter Banham of Stockton, near Southam in Warwickshire.

Above, back on solid ground (or as solid as a settee can be), Penny - still wearing her 'Small' life jacket - poses for the camera.



"Look into my eyes, into my eyes!
Not around my eyes, into my eyes!"

Penny and Allan Bates of Liverpool sent in this mesmerising photo of their 2 year old westie, Daisy, in her 'Small' size life jacket. 

Daisy was just trying on her life jacket for size, because since the picture was taken she has had her right knee operated on so the jacket isn't going to get much use for a while. Having said that, anyone who knows how to stop a two-year westie from bouncing around - operation or no operation - should make themselves known to Penny and Alan immediately!

Spa-rkling swimming!

When Richard and Chris Faerber of Chessington, Surrey splashed out on a spa, its primary use wasn't intended as somewhere convenient for Sky, their 10 year old Italian greyhound, to learn to swim!

The photo above shows Sky perfecting her doggy-paddle in her 'Small' size life jacket. Richard also reports that the water-based exercise is helping her shed a few surplus pounds, too.

Richard and Chris other pooch, Tiggy, is featured on the 'Toy' size life jackets page.

Monty Monty

Posing pooch!

Monty is a 20 month old rescued Jack Russell cross. Owner Kevin Harborow of Trentham, near Stoke-on-Trent, sent in a few photos of Monty modelling his 'Small' size life jacket.

A few owners have commented that you have to make sure the jacket is short enough to let your pooch sit down. Monty demonstrates how he can not only sit in his jacket but also beg (try doing that whilst wearing a too-long jacket!)

Will your pooch be able to lie down in comfort whilst wearing the life jacket? Have a look at Monty - doesn't look too distressed, does he! 

This is Monty's second jacket - he's grown bigger than Kevin expected! He has a really long body for his girth (that's Monty, not Kevin), but Kevin reports that the 'Small' size fits him (again, that's Monty, not Kevin) really well.

Dillon Hardy

wearing his 'Small' size life jacket

Dillon is a 12 year old mongrel - terrier / jack Russell / dandie dinmont / scruff mutt. He lives near Bristol and is very happy with his new lifejacket, he is not quite sure of its purpose but he just knows that he looks mighty fine when wearing it! He gets loads more looks from the local girls and this lifejacket makes a great first impression for any hound. Would recommend for any dog needing a boost in their love life.

Yet, for us it will be very useful because we can now do home based hydrotherapy which helps Dillonís arthritis and our bank balance! We will also use it when we go canoeing so Dillon can cool off in the river without getting too tired too quickly because of his old age.

Great product, great quality, great service.
Thank you.

Narrative kindly supplied by owners Heather and Anthony Scott of Yatton, near Bristol

One hardy soul

Louise Harvey and Rupert Charman of Biddisham, near Axbridge in Somerset are the proud owners of two dogs on these pages - here's Hardy, a puppy Springer Spaniel they recently re-homed after he had broken his elbow with his previous owners, leaving him with a very weak right foreleg.

To rebuild the muscles Hardy is currently on a course of hydrotherapy physio, together with any other opportunity to swim.

As suggested by the photo of him sitting on the reservoir steps wearing his 'Small' size life jacket, Hardy remains a little unsure of the water - it's fortunate that Storm (who's featured on the 'Medium' jackets page) is generally on hand to entice him in!

Molly Molly - more!

Borne optimistic!

Claire van Wingerden of Christchurch in Dorset sent in these photos of Molly, her border terrier / working cocker spaniel cross (more conveniently referred to, I'm informed, as a 'corder bocker') in her 'Small' size life jacket.

Molly sails with Claire's children on an optimist sailing dinghy; as a result, she's acquired the alternative name of 'Oppi-dog'.

Molly / Oppi-dog is perfectly happy in her jacket - although she grows a little apprehensive when the children pick her up like a bag!

Trivia Corner:

Always wondered how a type of boat got called an 'optimist'? Well...

In 1947 in Clearwater, Florida, the Clearwater Optimist Club wanted to do something for the kids of the community. A number of members pushed the idea of promoting racing in soapbox derby cars - a bit of a non-starter in an area with no hills. Other members suggested sailboat racing.

They asked a local boatbuilder named Clark Mills to come up with a children's boat simple enough to build at home at a cost of no more than $50 - which he did. The Optimists sold plans for $2.50 a copy, and a fleet of 'Optimists' - as the boat had almost inevitably become called - was soon sailing on Clearwater Bay.

Morgan Morgan poses off Ras Al Khaimah

Lawrence of Arabia?
It's Morgan of Rakabia actually!

Annie (originally from Glasgow) and Paul (originally from Yorkshire) Clark and both previously from the Lancaster/Morecambe area, have for the last two years been resident in Ras Al Khaimah (just 40 minutes from Dubai) in the United Arab Emirates. They kindly emailed these photos of Morgan, their four year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in his 'Small' size life jacket.

In case you don't quite recognise the breed from the photos, Morgan's hair is not cut in the usual style for the breed - it's just too hot in the Gulf and it wouldn't be healthy for him to be running around with huge long-haired ears and lots of hair on his body.

In the panorama above Morgan poses aboard Annie and Paul's Bayliner, Light Series, powerboat in front of the towering Ras Al Khaimah waterfront.

In the small inset, Morgan checks the course on the Bayliner's Garmin GPS navigation system.

Morgan's jacket is currently our most distantly-photographed life jacket, bobbing around in the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Come on all you happy customers in Australia - let's be having those piccies you've promised!


Molly Molly - and her friend!

Just chillin'

Gary and Lynne Shulman of Blackburn are the proud owners of nine year old Yorkie Molly, shown here wearing her 'Small' size life jacket on a day out in the Lake District, Cumbria.

In the photo above right, taken on Windermere, on a sharp spring day Molly is insulated from the cold by her life jacket, and Lynne is insulated by Molly. Which left just the photographer (Gary) shivering!

Trivia Corner:

Talking about the Lake District, here are a few interesting facts about the UK's Lake District which you'll have forgotten by the time you've finished reading them. Actually, there's only one official lake - Bassenthwaite Lake. All the others are 'meres' or 'waters'.

Windermere (note the 'mere' on the end), is the longest lake, Wastwater (note the 'water' on the end) is the deepest.

Forgotten yet?

You too, Bono?

Oh, joys of joys! A pooch called 'Bono'! This narrative is going to be just the easiest to do, ever! A paragraph or two of pun-ish humour based on U2's songs and home in time for the golf.

So here's Bono, a two-and-a-half year old tricolour Jack Russell/Parson terrier cross in his 'Small' size life jacket. Bono was on a seaside holiday at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, with owners Maggie Jones and Clive Sanderson of Lighthorne, Warwickshire, Where (some of) The Streets Have No Name; he's just preparing to go sailing in the Severn estuary (on a beautiful day, unlike what was to descend on his home area a few weeks later in the summer of 2007)...

...and licking his lips at the prospect of future water-adventures when he'll be going sea kayaking.... apparently he's very keen and will be going, as his eyes implied to Maggie, With Or Without You.

I Will Follow with a summary. Oh my goodness, this attempt at punning humour is on The Edge of acceptability! In fact, it's Bad. Luckily, Quality Control has nipped off to watch the cricket - where's the 'Publish now' button? I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Ah, there it is...

Editor's note: If anyone can work out how Pride (In The Name of Love) could be seamlessly woven into the narrative please email me.

Ellie and Molly go sailing Ellie watches as Molly goes up in life

Double trouble!

Ellie (foreground), a two-and-a-half year old yorkie/fox terrier cross and Molly, a four year old yorkie/Jack Russell cross, go canoeing at Fool's Nook on the Macclesfield Canal in Cheshire in their 'Small' size life jackets.

On a bitterly cold day owners Elaine and Alan Davis of Macclesfield report that their two pooches seemed to be the warmest animals on water! 

In the photos above Ellie, struck rigid in amazement, watches as Molly goes up in the world. ("Me next, me next!")

Meanwhile Molly, impressively and impassively, appears to have fallen asleep in the act. Nice trick!

Many compliments were paid on how good they looked (referring to the dogs rather than the owners, I presume!).

Toby Daisy

Computer wizz!

Toby, a four year old bichon frise, emailed in this photo of himself on behalf of owners Brenda and Terry Leman of Bolton. (This is getting surreal! Ed.)

Beautifully turned out in his 'Small' size life jacket (presumably Toby took the photo himself using a self-timer) Toby said:

"Thought it would be nice to send you a photo of me wearing my new life jacket.

"It fits beautifully and may save my life one day."

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do!

The answer from Daisy, the pooch of Gary Hipwell of Crick, near Northampton was a great big thumbs-up (dogs haven't got thumbs! Ed.) after Gary thoughtfully bought Daisy a 'Small' size life jacket.

In the photo Daisy has her first fitting of her jacket - and doesn't it fit her perfectly! - prior to her first venture afloat.

Wouldn't she look sweet on a bicycle made for two! (See what I've done there? Started and ended with the opening and closing lines from a well-known song - how inventive! Wasted on readers under 50, I fear!)

Lexi Lexi aboard!

Love life - love water!

When your owner is the administrator of a sailing club it will make your leisure time a whole lot more enjoyable if you enjoy the water too!

Debbie Wood, of Gosport in Hampshire, administrates the Stokes Bay Sailing Club and so it's as well that her four year old Jack Russell terrier, Lexi - photographed here in her 'Small' size life jacket - loves the water.

Stokes Bay Sailing Club was formed in 1938, shortly before the outbreak of World War II.

By 1939 a wooden hut had been acquired as the first Clubhouse.

In 1942 the Club records were destroyed in an air raid, and in the same year the Club hut was requisitioned for the war effort - reputedly ending up as a shed in the garden of a senior officer.

Membership of the Club now stands at over 700.

For more about Stokes Bay Sailing Club click here. (It's worth a visit just to view the photo of their Social Secretary - scary!)

Molly Mollie - with and without her life jacket

Out of depth - but not out of sight!

Molly is the six year old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who lives with Ann Madeley (Alison's mum, see above!) in Upminster, Essex.

Molly doesn't see the point in getting wet for fun but, to test out her new 'Small' size life jacket, took a quick dip during the holiday on the Norfolk Broads.

One photo Alison sent (the top half of the above image) showed Molly doggy-paddling through an expanse of grey water. Although the surface of the water is calm her visibility is hugely enhanced by the neon orange life jacket (the photo hasn't been retouched - the jacket really is that bright!). To illustrate how difficult it would have been to spot Molly without a life jacket, even in the same calm conditions, in the bottom half of the image I've retouched the photo, removing the jacket. Now imagine trying to spot Molly without a life jacket if conditions weren't so favourable!

Dylan in his 'Small' size life jacket One Man and His Dog
Dylan strikes out... One Dog and His Man!

To begin at the beginning
(with apologies to Dylan Thomas)

Dylan, the seven year old Jack Russell terrier of Ryan and Amy Chadd of Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, appears to be modelling for a swimwear catalogue as he poses in his 'Small' size life jacket at Broadhaven South in Pembrokeshire (the bottom south-west corner of Wales that sticks out towards southern Ireland).

It wasn't long before Dylan discovered how easy surfing can be when you're wearing a life jacket - you don't even need a surf board! Here Dylan's captured striking out to find the next breaker.
Unexpectedly, a benefit which quickly became evident to Ryan was the confidence in water that the life jacket gave Dylan.

As can be clearly seen in the photo above, wondering around the kayak in deep water held no fears for Dylan!

In the lower photo the grizzled old sea dog looks happy enough; and Dylan seems to be enjoying himself too!

Want to see Dylan surfing in his life jacket?
View a 30 second video clip here!


More Minton!

Ready - and waiting...

Steve Jones from Kidderminster had the good sense to make sure Minton, his 12 months old border terrier / Jack Russell cross, was kitted out with our 'Small' size life jacket in preparation for an up-coming boating holiday.

Trivia Corner:

Mintons was a major ceramics manufacturing company in Stoke-on-Trent (at the heart of 'The Potteries'), established by Thomas Minton in 1793.

Their standard domestic tableware included the still-ever-popular blue Willow pattern.

Our mystery soft-coated wheaten terrier

Our mystery soft-coated wheaten terrier - again!

Rover? Fido? Buster? Molly?

In a rare moment at the Crick Festival 2008 when it was neither blowing a gale nor were the heavens emptying, we snatched these photos of a soft-haired wheaten terrier who had just had the good fortune to be bought a 'Small' size life jacket by his caring owner.

Before we could get any details about dog or owner the downpour started again, everyone ran for cover, and that's the last we saw of this pretty pooch!

One day, perhaps the owner will notice our website address on the jacket's packaging, drop in for a browse - and recognise her dog. If it's you, please get in touch!

Ian's pooch

Ian's pooch - again!

Speaks for its Self

Ian and Caroline Self of County Wicklow in Ireland kindly sent us this set of photos of their one year old pooch Quazzy in his 'Small' size life jacket. 

Quazzy is clearly a professional - striking and holding an elegant pose with ease during the Selfs boating holiday on Upper Lough Erne in the north-west of Ireland. (On a very wet day, I'm told, so special thanks from me to the photographer!)

Dale's foot! Herbie (and the gang!)

(the sequel to 'Jaws!')

Dale Rodgers of Solihull kindly sent us the above photo of his foot.

Also shown in the photo taken in Helston, Cornwall, aboard the inflatable is Sadie, Dale's Jack Russell, wearing her 'Small' size life jacket.

Although now getting on a bit Sadie loves swimming - the life jacket gave everyone the confidence to let her have the run of the ship (well, dingy).

More of Dale - or to be more precise, Dale's wife Anne's foot! - on the 'Toy' jackets page.

The Mad Hatters Sea Party

Owner Dean Simpson, of Chichester, West Sussex, wears the happy face of a man resigned to his lot as he poses with his sons, Jed (left, wearing the silly hat) and Zac (centre, wearing the even sillier hat). Meanwhile, suspended in mid-air three year old westie Herbie wears nothing more than an extremely sensible 'Small' size life jacket, and a bit of a vacant look. Can he be blamed?

In the background the casually-attired Captain Birdseye starts to prepare lunch for the intrepid sea-farers, ready for their return from an expedition on the Chichester Ship Canal. (Seeing ths size of the box I hope Herbie likes fish fingers!)


Gus (and Sachi)

Bonny border and Clyde 

When Angela and Pete McLean of Strathaven in Lanarkshire take Gus, their border terrier and Sachi, their Japanese akita, out on the tidal River Clyde (and beyond!) they knows danger lurks nearby and make sure the dogs are safe.

Gus and Sashi contemplate the depths as the McLean's yacht eases out of the Clyde into the Firth of Clyde (just around the bend from Kintyre, and its 'Mull' and Paul McCartney).

Angela reports that both dogs love being on the boat - the minute she picks up the jackets they go mad!


Jonathan Coles of Cropwell Butler, near Nottingham, kindly sent us these photos of his five month old fox red labrador Jess, looking very comfortable in her 'Small' size life jacket as she catches up on some zed-time.

Jonathan recently returned to to make sure Jess's next jacket - a 'Medium' size - is ready and waiting for her.

A special deal awaits Jonathan when he's back again before long (well, Jess is a lab!) for a 'Large'!


Ginny posing!

A small Gin' and orange for Melanie!

Not being absolutely sure which size would be the better fit, we encouraged Melanie Eddis of Hampstead Garden Suburb to try both the 'Small' and 'Medium' sizes on her small, approximately-ten year old, Border Collie cross Ginny, rescued about a year ago.

With an upcoming canal boat holiday looming, deciding which would be the better size to ensure Ginny's safety was an important decision. Melanie chose the 'Small' size, reporting that the 'Medium' size forced Ginny into an unnatural sitting position. (Looks lovely and comfy in her 'Small' size life jacket though, doesn't she!)

One month later, and Melanie, Ginny, and the other boatmates were to be found enjoying the delights of the Birmingham canals.

Ginny and the ducks!

Melanie reports a faultless performance by the jacket - less so by Ginny who experienced at least half a dozen topples into the water; the lifting handle proved to be an especially useful facility! (Joining in the fun with those ducks must have been just tooo tempting at times!)

Melanie reports that the 'Small' size jacket - which does look a bit on the short side in the photos - is the ideal length, finishing short of Ginny's waist and therefore not impeding her movement in any way.

Ginny in the mistsAnd another benefit discovered by Melanie of using a jacket on the small side of what might be expected is that the shorter the jacket, the tighter the dog's turning circle; Melanie found this a great advantage during their narrowboat holiday - I'm sure it's equally beneficial in the often cramped areas on-board most sailing craft.

Before closing, let's pause to enjoy the outstanding example above of Melanie's excellent photography, capturing Ginny in contemplative mood against a delicate, mist-filled canalscape. Beautiful.

Pity the day-glo jacket spoils the effect, innit!

Spike Max

Spike it!

Pete and Claire Hirons of Smallwood, near Redditch in Worcestershire bought a 'Small' size life jacket for their little boy Spike, a 10 month old standard Jack Russell terrier.

Reporting that Spike looks fantastic in his jacket (as we can see!), Pete also noted that the choice of size was made easy "by your excellent size guide" (look at me - a man of my age blushing!) and that it "fits him a treat".

Pete closed by thanking me for supplying "a fantastic quality product". (Hey, I think a crimson face suits me!)

The Max factor

Kim Boyd, who lives on the Wirral, Merseyside ordered a 'Small' size life jacket for her 18 month old miniature schnauzer Max.

Within minutes of its arrival, the jacket was on Max and snapped for posterity.

Kim reports: "He looks soooo cute in it. He wasnít too impressed with me but if he is gonna come out with us on the boat then he will have to wear it. I have attached some photos for you, they are not fantastic as I took them with my phone but they are cute lol. Hope you like them."

Like 'em? We love 'em!


Archie and Skipper

Woof! Woof!

Renowned 'Classic Boat' contributor Liz Wright of Hove, near Brighton, was at the 2008 Beale Park Boat Show with her 9 year old son, Archie. They paused at the stand long enough to pick up a 'Small' dog life jacket for Skipper - their 18 month old basenji.

For more about Classic Boat click here. For more about basenjis, read on!

Trivia Corner:

Basenjis can't bark. Due to their unusually-shaped larynxes, they naturally produce a yodel-like sound!

Basenjis can also mimic sounds so, if raised in close proximity with other dogs, a basenji will learn how to mimic a barking sound.

It's this inability to bark which has led to the basenjis' nickname of the 'voiceless dog'.



Hello World! It's Chick!

Ros Kempe of Lymington in Hampshire is a dedicated canoeist - and is lucky to have such a thoughtful brother as Patrick, who as a Christmas present bought a 'Small' size life jacket for Ros's Border Terrier, Chick.

Ros is a big 'Hello World' fan - click here and a pop-up window will tell you more!

The accent's on growing!

Anna Goodhall of Edinburgh was planning for the short term when she bought a 'Small' size life jacket for Chloť, her 13-week old labrador puppy.

Although the adjustable fitting straps are currently on the smallest settings, Anna is confident that it's only a matter of a few months before Chloť will be ready for the next jacket size.

Leggy Jack Russell Padi - and Ali

Showing some leg!

Another customer at the stand at 2008 Beale Park Boat Show picked up a 'Small' dog life jacket for this basenji, showing plenty of leg.

Trivia Corner:

The meaning and origin of 'show a leg' dates back to Napoleon times or before, when men were pressed into service and taken forcibly from the streets and their homes.

Shore leave was impossible lest the men should desert, so as recompense, women were sometimes allowed to visit (it is recorded that at Spithead, the naval anchorage off Portsmouth, as many as 500 women might be entertained aboard one ship).

Naturally, in the mornings when work needed to begin much confusion existed. The petty officers way of sorting this out was to enter the sleeping quarters and shout 'Show a leg!'. Soft and curvy legs could stay where they were, hairy ones were kicked out of bed!

Diving dog!

Ali and Tink O'Connell run Liquid Divers, a scuba diving school in Southampton. When they're diving they quite often take their large Jack Russell Padi with them along the south coast so he can have dip between dives. Ali knows the jacket is improving his safety and thinks it's already improved his confidence while swimming about (although she's not sure if that's such a great advantage as at the best of times he won't sit still!).

To compliment the scuba diving Ali and Tink also organise adventure weekends; the photos were taken on one of those weekends, which included kayaking along Wareham River.

Padi was more than comfortable on his first trip and fell asleep on the kayak in his new jacket just two hours into the three-hour journey. Once they were back on shore Ali was amazed how many people recognised the kayaking dog from his little orange jacket - he loved all the attention!

Ali also told us that she found the design of the jacket "excellent, the handle really helped in controlling his occasional urges to fling himself into the river and unbalance the kayak!". Ali went on to say: "As there where no rough edges on the jacket I was surprised how comfortable I was with him sitting on my legs and wiggling around."



Look - no hands!

As Barney, the bichon frise of Christopher Stedall of Chigwell in Essex, thinks it's clever to take his paws off the steering wheel whilst driving his speedboat, it's just as well he's taken the precaution of slipping on his 'Small' size life jacket.

Why doesn't it surprise us to learn from Christopher that Barney has just turned two and that on his birthday he had a cake - with the requisite number of candles. (Can't believe he blew them out.)

Rain break

In the summer (what summer?) of 2008 Lee and Sally Martin of Swalincote in Derbyshire, took ChloŽ, their seven and a half year old collie cross, on holiday to Sandbanks in Dorset. ChloŽ is photographed on the beach in a rare moment of sunshine in her 'Small' size life jacket.   

The Martins are off to the Norfolk Broads on their second summer holiday in August (some people!) and promise more pics then. If dry.


Haggis - and Pipe Dream!

Haggis, anyone?

Tony and Lesley Capps of Henley-in-Arden in the West Midlands called in at the stand at the Inland Waterways National Show at Atherley Junction, near Wolverhampton, and picked up a 'Small' size life jackets for Haggis, their five year old female terrier.

Well, at least a mostly-terrier! Haggis has interesting parentage consisting of Jack Russell, Norfolk and Border terriers and a bit of whippet. (Tony thinks there may be some Yorkie in there somewhere as well!).

The life jacket was in readiness for the arrival of 'Pipe Dream' - a 60í narrow cruiser (just about visible in the inset above!), built by Amber boats in Poland and finished off at their base in Evesham, to be moored at Calcutt. Tony assures me the quality is amazing and represents superb value for money. The silver trim is a bonus - no brass to clean! 

A bit frustrating on their first weekend of ownership as the Avon was in flood and the Capps weren't allowed to leave the marina. As Tony puts it: "bit like having a new car and not being allowed to take it off the drive!".



Pep talk

The Gregory family were straying some way from Manchester when they called in at our stand at the Western Motor Home Show in Malvern, Worcestershire with Peppie, their 14 months old miniature/standard (a bit of both!) poodle and kitted him out with a 'Small' size life jacket.   

Lucky for some!

Lucky, a miniature schnauzer, picked up his 'Small' size life jacket at our stand at the Western Motor Home Show in Malvern, Worcestershire.


Zack - on Ullswater

Paddle power

Active members of their local canoe club, it was with a weekend's canoeing in the Lake District in mind that Albert and Kath Risely of Preston picked up a 'Small' size life jacket for their terrier Zack.

Albert reports that an enjoyable time was had by all on Ullswater (shown in the photo) and the following day on Derwent Water. 

Albert also reports that the jacket fitted perfectly - the plan is that Zack will now be able to share all the Riselys' canoeing trips.

Approximately-ten year old Zack was adopted by Albert and Kath in 2007 from the RSPCA. Albert has little idea on the breeds which constitute adorable little Zack; cairn, dandi dinmont, westie have all been mentioned (and I'd add Border and Lakeland to that lot!).


Alfie - again!

Part of the Union

Alfie, a two-year-old Border Terrier, is photographed in his 'Small' size life jacket on top of 'Starwood', the narrowboat of Alfie's owner Jean Bourne.

The boat is moored at the Old Union Canal's Society moorings in Market Harborough.

Miniature poodles Miniature poodles - going up in the world!

Getting a lift

Photographed at the 2009 Monmouth Country Fair were these two Miniature Poodles in their 'Small' size life jackets.

Mum was concerned how her poodles - who were usually quite nervous - would take to the jackets.

But fitting the jackets proved to be no problem whatsoever!

In fact, so comfortable were the dogs that mum couldn't resist the opportunity to test the lifting handle on her little boy, whilst his sister looks on, eagerly waiting for her turn!



Few nerves

Richard and Christina Few, son Simon and Simon's partner Deborah took seven and a half year old westie Archie - shown in his 'Small' size life jacket standing confidently astride their narrowboat - for a holiday on the Llangollen Canal.

Although initially nervous, Archie appeared to gain confidence when wearing his life jacket and was soon behaving like a seasoned sailor. (Excluding the rum.)


This cockerpoo collected her 'Small' size dog life jacket from our stand at the 2009 Beaulieu Boat Show.

And dad couldn't resist showing off his muscles!



Some dogs go to any lengths!

Bill, a dachshund, was fitted with his 'Small' size dog life jacket on the stand at the 2009 Canalway Cavalcade in Paddington, London.

Daxi anyone? 

Photographed in the 'Small' size life jacket at the 2009 Southern Motorhome Show in Newbury was this dachshund.



Mist again 

Photographed in the 'Small' size life jacket at the 2009 Southern Motorhome Show in Newbury was Misty, a whippet.

On/Off the scent 

Perhaps a smidge disparagingly, Mark Angelo-Gizzi of Knebworth in Hertfordshire thinks that his four and a half year old Parson / Jack Russell terrier cross Hunter is inappropriately named. "He couldn't find the floor of he fell over." Much use of Hunter's 'Small' size life jacket is anticipated on their forthcoming holiday on the Norfolk Broads.

Miniature poodle Archie

Poodle in miniature 

Six year old Toby, a miniature poodle, dropped in to the stand at the 2009 Crick Boat Show for his 'Small' size life jacket. Should be all the safer at Leicester Marina from now on!

Fall guy 

When Sarah Stuart of Saul, Gloucestershire, bought a 'Small' size life jacket for her cocker spaniel Archie, little did she know that within a few days the jacket would be coming in very handy.

Sarah reports that Archie is "on the small side for a cocker so it was helpful having the measurements to get the right size. The photo was taken just before he tried to drink from the canal, fell in and had to be hauled out using the handle!".

Figgy and Pie

Figgy or Pie

Figgy Pie 

Sally Hopkinson, who runs her own landscape design business in Snitterfield, Warwickshire bought 'Small' size life jackets for her cocker spaniels Figgy and Pie.

The photos show them on their first trip out in the canoe on the River Avon. Sally reports: "they loved it and the jackets were terrific - the handles very useful to lift them in and out and to hang on when they got a bit enthusiastic about ducks!"

Millie Millie (about to go over the edge)

Dynamic duo 

Whenever Neil Aherne of Cardigan, west Wales, goes carp fishing for the weekend you can be sure that Millie, Neil's faithful 16 month old Cairn terrier, will be beside him. Neil has just started fishing a lake which covers an area of 50 acres and is 20 feet deep in parts - hence Millie's new life jacket.

Apparently Millie has a great time when she camps out over the weekends with Neil and his angling friends, excitedly sniffing and chasing all manner of things which run, scurry, hop, fly or buzz.

Millie is pictured in her perfectly-fitting 'Small' size life jacket which initially puzzled (and possibly offended) her, but now that she's learnt putting on the life jacket means a trip on the boat she's more than willing to be dressed!

Moments after the photo above, where Millie is poised on the bow of the boat, was taken Millie leapt in for a paddle. (Must have veeeeeeeeeery long legs!)



Fit for a King 

Alison Odell of Towcester got husband Roger, children Alexandra and Merryn, father Rex and 18 month old Cavalier King Charles spaniel Tolly organised for a weekend's sailing on dad's boat on the River Orwell in Suffolk.

Tolly made no fuss about wearing his new 'Small' size life jacket - although as shown in the photo above Alexandra made plenty of fuss of Tolly!


Not at all foxed

After a phone conversation to make sure we had exactly what was needed, Simon brought Jim, his 18 months old fox terrier, to the stand at the 2009 Royal County Show near Reading for a 'Small' size life jacket. It was perfect!

There immediately followed a trip to the adjacent River Thames, into which Jim leapt. The jacket was perfect!


Tim Cowley of Chippenham in Wiltshire bought Pippa, his border terrier, a 'Small' size life jacket. They're photographed near St Maws in Cornwall in their canoe.

I'm told that in the large photo Pippa is guarding her treasure chest and in the inset she's on the look-out for pirates.

Sporting Lucas Terrier

Trivia Corner:

The Lucas terrier is named after Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas, MC, KBE, MP who, after returning from World War I, began breeding Sealyhams. Sir Jocelyn began crossing his hunting Sealyhams with Norfolk terriers. Thus emerged these small, workmanlike terriers, designed to work in a pack and push game from cover.

The Sporting Lucas terrier has no more than the most tenuous of links with the Lucas terrier.

Whilst the Sporting Lucas terrier has Lucas in its ancestry (Sealyhams and Norfolks) also used were Plummer and Fell terriers.

The Lucas Terrier Club did not want infusions of other terrier types introduced so in 1999 all dogs with terriers other than Sealyham and Norfolk in their bloodlines were de-registered.

Clubs were then set up to accommodate what became known as Sporting Lucas terriers.

Be a sport, Lucas

This Sporting Lucas terrier was photographed at the 2009 Midland Game Fair at Weston Park in Shropshire in her 'Small' size life jacket.


Bailey again

Sailor Bailey -
the Windermere Wonder!

Here's Bailey, a five year old Lhaso Apso / Westie cross, photographed in his new 'Small' size life jacket.

The photos - sent in by Bailey's owner Janella Feeney of Thornton Cleveleys, near Blackpool (also responsible for the caption title!) - were taken in late-summer 2009 on Lake Windermere. It was Bailey's first outing on the water - and he absolutely loved it!


Eastern promise

Marion McDonald reports from Bangkok, Thailand: "About 18 months ago we bought a 'Small' Classic life jacket for our dog from your website and offered to send a photo of him wearing it. Well, I'm a bit slow but the life jacket is still going strong! Here's Yuki, our 4 year old West Highland White Terrier, with one of his mums, Camilla, sailing in Hong Kong harbour all snug and safe in his jacket. We've since moved to Bangkok and now have a pool. Yuki enjoys swimming in it; his life jacket gives him much more confidence when he feels more buoyant. He's also worn it on boat trips to Phuket to swim in the ocean with us. Actually, he now gets excited when I get the life jacket out of its drawer. It's been a great purchase and very good quality."

Buddy Weeman

RNLI Patterdale

This wee man's a buddy

Teresa Walters and Andy Scanlon of Trentham, near Stoke-on-Trent, sent in these photos of Buddy Weeman, their five year old terrier of mixed parentage (mum was a Patterdale and dad was believed to be a Fox Terrier / Jack Russell cross) in his 'Small' Classic life jacket.

Buddy suffers from epilepsy so Teresa and Andy were understandably concerned at the prospect of taking him on a narrowboat holiday in a few months time. Worries over with that jacket! Buddy is wearing it for a little while each day while he gets used to it.

RNLI attraction (FYI)

At the 2010 British Leisure Show held at Windsor Racecourse this Patterdale terrier - a star attraction on the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) stand - was fitted out in a 'Small' size jacket.


Meg again

Narrow horizon

With a narrowboat holiday planned, Mandy and Jamie O'Sullivan of Scunthorpe made sure that Meg, their six months old Jack Russell terrier, was suitably kitted out in a 'Small' Classic life jacket.


Bonnie again

A Fuller Westie

It was with an upcoming holiday on the Norfolk Broads in mind that Sandra Fuller and family of Welwyn Garden City bought a 'Small' Classic life jacket for their Westie Bonnie.

Sandra had very warm words for both the jacket ("The life jacket was excellent and fitted her like a glove") and our sizing chart: "I must congratulate you on your very comprehensive website for measuring a dog - you can't really go wrong with all that info!".

Cairn Terrier

Border Terrier

Cairn care

Poppy, a Cairn terrier, displays the 'Up Buoy' badge of safety on her 'Small' Classic life jacket bought by owners Marion and Andy King of Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot in Devon.

Andy (provider of the muscle in the photo) reports: "perfect fitting, dog comfortable, really works when the dog falls in, dog got used to wearing the jacket straight away, easy fastening, excellent quality, we all love canoeing in the knowledge that Poppy is safe!"

Bow wow!

Aileen and Gudmund Friis Jorgensen of Winchborough, West Lothian bought a 'Small' Classic life jacket for Pippa, their nearly-two year old Border terrier, because "one of our previous Border's kept falling off the yacht and was so heavy that he could not swim up to the surface quickly enough, giving us a few anxious moments".

Aileen goes on to say that Pippa "is not too impressed with it and kept walking backwards trying to get out of it! We are planning to try her in the bath with it on, before taking her out on the steamboat - where she keeps trying to bite the bow wave! I'll feel happier having her in a jacket!"

Yet another Westie!


Broadly smiling

Julia Eaton, from Knaphill, near Woking in Surrey, sent this photo of the Eatons' one-year-old Westie Eddie in his Small life jacket which was put to good use during a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads.

Julia kindly commented: "Firstly, thank you for the amazingly quick service and speed that you sent out the life jacket; it fitted Eddie perfectly. I hope this helps other prospective purchasers size the correct life jacket for their dogs".

Every little helps!

A Tweed jacket!

2-year old Border Terrier Tweed is photographed by owner Lee Richardson of Heighington, near Lincoln, wearing his 'Small' life jacket on the steamer Lady of the Lake on Ullswater in the Lake District.

Lee reports that Tweed loves his jacket and is very proud to wear it. When they were disembarking, Tweed was getting tangled up in the many pairs of legs so Lee picked him up using the handle on the back of the life jacket. A guy walking behind them piped up: "Oh, look! A handbag dog!".



No Wallace, just Gromit

Sophie Phipps, from Bromley in Kent, had her Jack Russell Gromit, in her 'Small' Classic life jacket, suspended over a swimming pool for this photo. Sophie reports that Gromit: "gets very excited when she sees her life jacket as she knows it means it's time for a swim! We bought it to take on a canal boat holiday which was just as well as she did fall in.

"As you can see from the photo, Gromit starts swimming even before she gets in the water!"

Gromit is now 14 years old and her back legs don't work as well as they did. Sophie reports that until recent years she'd never have needed a flotation device but the jacket is now helping her exercise properly.

Le Rog

Amanda McCaig, of Horsforth near Leeds, runs an internet business (Chocolate Fish Merino, fabulous New Zealand-made merino gear) and recognises how useful photos are in explaining products. So she kindly sent in these photos of Rog, the McCaig's tripehound in his 'Small' Classic life jacket on his summer holidays.

The photos were taken on Hourtin Lake in the Medoc region of France (dream on!).

Amanda reports: "Rog liked his little safety jacket - seemed to prefer swimming in it in fact! A great success!

Lunar and Tower Bridge

Lunar and The Dome

Lunar's orbit

In 2007 Jeff Snoxell and his fiancee Rose, both of Newholm, near Whitby in North Yorkshire, bought a yacht. Neither of them had any sailing knowledge or experience.

Eight months later (and with not much more experience), they bought a bigger boat and rented out their home, They now live, with Lunar, their Parson Russell, on Isabella in Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, Devon.

Jeff and Rose are marrying in autumn 2010, back in their home town of Whitby - so they're sailing there! (Then they're returning to Devon the 'other' way so they'll have cicumnavigated Britain.)

On their way to the wedding they paused in London - hence the photos above of Lunar, posing in her 'Small' Classic life jacket, in front of Tower Bridge (no, not London Bridge - that's now in Arizona) and The Dome (or rather, the O2 Centre).

Because they realised that there's an organisation in the UK (which amazingly is funded entirely by charitable donations!) without which their voyage would absolutely not have been a consideration, and which they'd like to do their bit to support and promote, Jeff and Rose have created a webpage for it. That organisation is the RNLI.

To visit their web page click here. And if you're so disposed here's an easy way to contribute to the RNLI.

Archibald Lankbeard

Archibald Lankbeard

The fall guy

"They laughed, they pointed at him, but Archibald Lankbeard had the last laugh when he fell in the canal - not once, but four times! And each time I merely leant down, grabbed the handle, and brought him safely to the deck. Brilliant!

"I have some good pics of him too if you would like to see them. This is a brilliant product!"

Yes, I did like to see them and here they are - the photos sent in by Anja Eccles from Bath of eleven-month old Archie (mum's a cocker spaniel, dad's thought to be Harris, the wayward Patterdale/Jack Russell cross - although that's merely village gossip) in his 'Small' Classic life jacket, cruising the canals.

Great text too, Anja!

Bonny and Ruby

Bonny and Ruby and Sara

Greco-roamin' dogs

Doug and Sara Vale live on a Greek island. During the summer they purchased a small Rib (rigid inflatable boat) for day trips.

Not wanting to leave their toy poodles Bonnie and Ruby behind they opted for a couple of life jackets for them.

Doug takes up the story: "What a fantastic purchase from your company. Arrived in Greece within 7 days! The jackets look fab, great quality and fit very well. Our doggies jumping ashore in their jackets certainly puts a smile on every face that see's them. Thanks for everything!"

Thank you, Doug!

Miniature schnauzer



This miniature schnauzer was photographed at the 2011 Crick Boat Show in his 'Small' size life jacket.


This Lhasa/Yorkie cross was also snapped in a 'Small' size life jacket at the 2011 Crick Boat Show.

Bruce, Dougal and SueRow or ski?

When Barry and Sue Curley of Ulverston took Bruce and Dougal (in their 'Small' size life jackets) kayaking on Windermere in January 2011, the ice-covered lake left them wondering if they'd have been better served by skis than oars.


Glenn Dalton and Sue Austin are the proud owners of not only Jim, their Jack Russell, photographed in his 'Small' size Classic life jacket, but also the narrow boat 'Onion Bargee'.

King Charles spaniel

King Charles spaniel

King-sized floats...

These two cute King Charles spaniels are photographed in their 'Small' size life jackets. Here's Jane...

...for two little ladies!

...and here's Jackie.

Border terrier

Border terrier


Sharon Davies of Norwich kindly sent us these photos of Boris, the family's border terrier. Sharon reports: "He loved wearing it and we felt happy that he was safe should he have fallen in (which he didn't)!!!"

Sharon continued: "It raised many comments and smiles. Thanks for a brilliant product and service."

I'm sure Boris will be raising a few more smiles now that he's online!

Standard daschund

Standard daschund

Stretching a point

Photographed at the 2011 British Jumping Derby Meeting at Hickstead was this standard daschund (don't see many of them these days) in a 'Small' size life jacket.

Life in miniature

This miniature schnauzer was photographed at the 2011 Barbury Horse Trials in his 'Small' size life jacket.

Shih tzu

Bichon Frise

Life on the road

Photographed at the 2011 Western Caravan and Motorhome Show at Malvern was this shih tzu in a 'Small' size life jacket.

From kennel to Kennet

Joanna Parry was kind enough to send us this photo of her regally-posed bichon frise in a 'Small' size life jacket cruising the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Two Cairns

Getting in hot (soapy) water

Together with this photo of their two Cairn terriers posing in their 'Small' size life jackets, Jim and Marilyn Coulthart kindly sent a note of their life-jacket-washing experiences. 40 degrees with Surf powder brings them up like new, apparently.

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Last updated: 26 September 2016

All content of is © Ian Evans 2011