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The Ruff Report: Tips for safe boating with your dog

Many dog owners take their companions on boats during the nice weather, but they need to take precautions to keep their pets safe, experts say.

The Hunt of Her Life: A book series about a rescue dog that will touch your heart

"There is no better way to enjoy the great outdoors than to go sailing or kayaking with your best furry friend,” Natural Dog magazine Group Editor Ernie Slone states in a media release. "But not all dogs take to the water.'' 

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A book series about a rescue dog
that will touch your heart

THE HUNT OF HER LIFE is a nonfiction book series about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This beautifully designed deluxe full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 vibrant color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life. While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.

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Dog owners must make sure their pets know basic obedience commands because they can be easily distracted and jump overboard when they see floating objects like a buoy, stick or water birds, Natural Dog magazine advises in its complete guide to holistic dog care. Natural Dog also says a dog must wear a life jacket, known as a pet flotation device. PFDs should be brightly colored in case the dog goes overboard in rough or low-visibility conditions.

Natural Dog magazine also advises:
  • Selecting a PFD with a locator beacon or device that triggers an alarm when it gets wet. If your dog goes overboard, you will know right away. 
  • Being aware of heatstroke symptoms, which include heavy panting, lethargy and drooling. If you see these signs, wet your dog with cool (not cold) water, head for shore and shade, and call your veterinarian immediately. 
  • Never hook your dog’s lead to the boat. This can be fatal if the boat sinks or capsizes. Attach one end of the lead to your dog’s harness or pet flotation device. 
Progressive Insurance offers these boating safety tips for dog owners:
  • Make sure your dog's personal flotation device has a lifting handle to make it easy to hoist your dog from the water. Give your dog time on land to get accustomed to wearing it.
  • Help your dog get his sea legs by gradually introducing your pet to the boat and the water. Give your pet a chance to explore the surroundings while the boat is docked. Turn on the engine so he get accustomed to its sound, smell and feel. Take short cruises and gradually build up to longer trips. 
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  • Protect your dog from the heat by providing shade and plenty of water, and wash the deck with cool water to protect his paws.

The Ruff Report is a column that appears on, a blog written by Joseph A. Reppucci, a retired editor from The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts. Mr. Reppucci worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years. He is the author of the book, The Hunt of Her Life, a heartwarming story about his once-in-a-lifetime rescue dog. Find it on


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Book sets signed by the author available here!

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SERIES: Order your set signed by author Joseph A. Reppucci! The Original will touch your heart and the Sequel will lift your soul. *The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Signed Set
*The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Holiday discount Book Sets

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SET (unsigned) is offered for a limited time each year at a special holiday discount rate of 25% off. The discount applies to orders received from November 1 through December 24.

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