Harness Files | How One Harness Saved a Dog's Life
Back in 2019, we introduced a new series to our blog called the Harness Files! This is where we reach out to customers who’ve made noticeable impressions to our team online and we ask them about their experience with the Joyride Harness (formerly known as Pug Life Harness) and their fur baby.
This Harness Files interview is unique. One of our support team members was connected with a customer, Samantha Griffin, and she detailed an experience that made our hearts sink and rise at the same time.
“I wanted to reach out with an extremely thankful and positive message, as the Joyride Harness literally saved my dog’s life this past weekend.”
The incident occurred several weekends ago when Samantha and her husband were walking their dogs Harry and Louie. Samantha was walking Harry while her husband walked Louie and they made their way to a pier and a seawall.
Samantha recalled, “Over the sea wall, the drop to the ocean appeared to be approximately 30 feet. There were huge rocks at the bottom. I even remarked to my husband that if someone ever attempted to jump off and go swimming, they would get quite hurt, as the rocks were extremely dangerous.”
They stopped to admire the view while walking along the seawall when Harry, to much of their horror, decided to be adventurous and jump over the seawall.
“I managed to hold onto the leash as Harry jumped (but I could not catch Harry). As we looked down in horror, we saw Harry dangling from over the sea wall, flailing in a panic. I still had his leash, which was attached to his harness, but he was too far down to actually touch or grab.”
Samantha continued holding onto the leash with Harry free-hanging from the other end of it. The only thing keeping him from the dangerous fall was the harness, with Harry’s weight weighing down on it. According to Samantha, once concerned pedestrians raced over to help about a minute later, her husband was able to let go of Louie to help her hoist Harry back up. As she described it, “equivalent to how a sailor pulls up a flag on a ship”.
Harry was pulled to safety and within seconds of being reunited with his humans, he began licking several concerned pedestrians with a tail wagging like it was powered by a motor. Samantha and her husband were still in shock.
Samantha then reflected in her message to us the moments that followed:
Thank you for making such a high quality harness and for literally saving our precious Harry’s life.
We’re so happy that Harry is safe and sound. We followed up with Samantha for an official non-incident related interview as well so we’re pleased to share with you more about Harry the brave seawall farer.
JRH: How did Harry get their name?
Samantha: My husband and I like having human names for dogs. We both like Harry Potter, and my husband is a huge fan of the soccer star, Harry Kane. We also felt that a name like "Harry" would fit a lab well.
JRH: How did they join your family?
Samantha: We got Harry as a puppy at two months old from a wonderful and caring dog breeder in Pennsylvania.
JRH: How would you describe the joy that they brings to your life?
Samantha: Harry brings us joy every day. He is the sweetest, smartest, and funniest dog. His tail is always wagging, no matter what is happening. If one of us is having a bad day, he will jump up on the couch and sit on our lap (all 75 pounds of him) and start licking us until we feel better. His ability to remember certain words and phrases never ceases to amaze us and bring a smile to our faces. He can be counted on to inevitably heavily drool whenever the refrigerator door is open, because he thinks he is getting cheese, which always makes us laugh. His sweetness and calmness towards all people that he meets, especially small children, is so touching. He loves other dogs and always wants to play with a fast wagging tail. He acts like every person he sees in the neighborhood is the best person in the world, and treats us like that every morning when we wake up. Every single person who meets Harry cannot help but smile. His ability to be so happy, just by being looked at, or sitting with a person, is so sweet.
JRH: How would you describe your walking experience before the Joyride Harness?
Samantha: Harry is very strong (he is 75 pounds of muscle) so even if he didn't fully intend to, he would pull us and tug a lot on his walks. The walks were not as enjoyable for either of us because he would be pulling us down, and nearly choking himself. Even with other harnesses, they did not work well, and we often finished the walks with Harry heavily panting, and us a bit frustrated.
JRH: How has the Joyride Harness improved your walking experience?
Samantha: The Joyride Harness helps us keep full control of Harry, while letting him have an enjoyable walk. It is harder for him to tug in it, he is not choking himself, and it also looks quite comfortable. We are able to pull Harry back if need be, and his tail never stops wagging. It allows us to feel like we have more control over the walk, but that Harry is having a great time too.
JRH: If your dog(s) could spend an entire day doing their favorite things, what would that day look like?
Samantha: Being pet and acknowledged by every person that walked by him, being fed many pieces of cheese, going to the ice cream parlor where they give him his doggie ice cream, going on a huge hike in the woods (with lots of new smells), playing with 20 new dogs, going to the park and chasing his frisbee, being given five new stuffed toys so that he can play with them and rip the stuffing out, cuddling with his favorite toy "Squeaky" (which is one of the only toys that has survived for more than a year), laying on our bed with us and being given permission to use one of the "human pillows".
JRH: If you were to cast an actor to do the voice of your dog(s) in a live action dog movie, who would it be?
Samantha: Owen Wilson
Thank you so much to Samantha (and Harry) for sharing this experience with us and for the lovely interview. Harry has more years ahead of him thanks to his loving parents.
If you’re interested in having your fur baby spotlighted in our Harness Files blog series, post on Instagram using the tags @joyrideharness and #JoyrideHarness for a chance to be featured and our Joyride Harness team will connect with you!