A brown and white spaniel named Maddie is lucky to be alive after going overboard while at sea.
Maddie was on her owner's recreational boat in Penobscot Bay near North Haven, Maine, when she either jumped or fell off without anybody noticing, the Daily Mail reports.
Fortunately, lobsterman Corey Beverage spotted her treading water and came to the rescue. In an effort to reunite the dog with her owner, the Maine Marine Patrol was contacted, and the owner was soon found.
The Marine Patrol posted a reminder on its Facebook page to “keep a very close eye on your pets if you bring them on board this summer!”
One Facebook commenter added, “Animals should always have life jackets while underway. Just like everyone else.”
Apparently, boaters are increasingly aware of this, because the market for canine life jackets has grown dramatically over the past dozen years, reports Boat US magazine.
Although it is commonly believed that all dogs are great swimmers, the fact is that some take to water better than others. Skinny dogs, like Greyhounds, don’t swim as well as breeds with more body fat. And of course, older dogs and those with health issues can have difficulty swimming, too.
Life jackets for dogs are designed to keep the animal afloat in a horizontal position, and also serves as a retrieval device, notes the website Discover Boating. The site also gives some helpful life jacket purchasing tips:
• Make sure it’s a secure fit.
• Make sure it’s comfortable.
• Make sure it has lifting handles for easy retrieval.
• Choose a bright color so it will be easy to spot in the water.
• Allow your dog to practice swimming with the jacket before going aboard.
After all, there won’t always be a friendly lobsterman handy if your dog ends up in the ocean like Maddie!