The term “sea dog” typically refers to an experienced sailor. But “sea dog” became a literal description on Sunday when a Jack Russell terrier – wearing an animal life vest – was spotted floating in the water five miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

Two couples boating off the coast of Hernando Beach, Fla., initially believed the puppy was a buoy, FOX13 reported.

“You just saw his little nose sticking up out of the water,” Shawn Sahr said.

The Jack Russell doggy-paddled to the boat and Michael Sahr, Shawn’s husband, pulled it out of the water. The Coast Guard later told the Sahrs that someone had reported a dog overboard three hours earlier.

“It’s like a needle in a haystack and the waves were pretty choppy,” Michael said.

The dog was brought to a Coast Guard station and the puppy’s owner rushed in to be reunited with his AWOL pooch – whose name was Jägermeister.

Said Shawn: “If we weren’t as close as we were, within five to 10 feet, we wouldn’t have seen him.”

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