Thank God Jagermeister was wearing his life jacket.
The little Jack Russell Terrier spent a harrowing few hours lost at sea last weekend and was rescued by passing boaters lucky enough to spot his little nose poking out of the water, Fox 13 reported.
According to Time, the dog and his family went on a boat ride in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. Around 9 a.m., they went below deck, and when they emerged, couldn’t find Jagermeister anywhere.
It seemed as though the dog had jumped overboard, and they searched the ocean for hours, to no avail, and resolved themselves to a sad truth: Jagermeister was gone, likely never to be found again.
They were wrong. A few hours later, around noon, he was rescued by passing boaters, The New York Daily News reported.
Those boaters were Shawn Sahr and his husband Michael, and Bruce Knecht and his wife, Robin. They were on the water for an annual double-birthday celebration, floating happily about five miles from Hernando Beach.
Then, Bruce spotted something in the distance which at first looked like a buoy. They circled around and got a bit closer and soon realized it was moving. They’d found a pup, lost at sea.
“You just saw his little nose sticking up out of the water,” said Shawn Sahr.
“It’s like a needle in a haystack and the waves were pretty choppy,” Michael added.
The little Jack Russell terrier was wearing a tiny life vest and was floating — and in much distress — along with the waves. The couples said they could easily have missed the pooch and only saw the “needle in a haystack” because they happened to be so close.
When the boat got a bit closer, he paddled over, and Michael rescued him. Robin recalled he was “shaking life a leaf.”
“We got towels wrapped around him and got him calmed down — it took about 30 minutes.”
Since finding man’s best friend lost at sea in the Gulf of Mexico is quite unusual, they promptly radioed the Coast Guard to figure out who the pooch belonged to. And lo and behold, the agency had received a report of a pup overboard — three hours earlier.
They described the rescued pooch as a little Jack Russell in a tiny life vest and that confirmed it: the dog was Jagermeister. They provided the coordinates of their boat and were asked to stay put while they contacted the very worried owner.
It was 2 p.m. before he arrived, so in the meantime, the boaters relaxed with the rescued pup and realized just how comfortable he was at sea, Knecht observed.
“He was very friendly, very sweet — you could tell he had been on the water. After he got calmed down he hopped up on the top deck of our boat and sunbathed.”
The Coast Guard called them soon after to say the owner was en route to the nearest station. The boaters started up their motor and headed out. Now recovered after being rescued, Jagermeister immediately ran to the back of the boat.
“I guess he likes watching the motor and the waves going. He’s definitely a sea dog,” Knecht said.
The boaters, worried owner, and lost terrier all arrived at the same time, and the reunion was dramatic. Bruce said the owner was “screaming the dog’s name.” Shawn recalled the interaction.
“He had tears. He said, ‘I had given up. I had searched as long as I could and we just couldn’t see him, and we just thought we lost him.’ [The owner] said, ‘it’s my baby and I’m just so glad.'”
It’s likely that the lost dog only survived his ordeal at sea because he was wearing a life vest.
[Photo By KalypsoWorldPhotography/Shutterstock]