Moose Farm

img_4131Funny thing about Facebook. It reminds you of days long gone. Today, it reminded me of camping at the Moose Farm.

I don’t recall how long ago this was. Facebook tells me it was in 2009. Some co-workers had recently purchased a plot of land that was perfect for camping. Being a bunch of software and office geeks, we loved the idea of spending time in the great outdoors. Especially when it was 5 minutes away from civilization. It wasn’t long before a plan was hatched to have a campout at the new plot of land, informally called Moose Farm after their dog, Texas. (I think Moose was his nickname).

This wasn’t a great place for camping, mostly just an open field. But it worked. We set up the tents on one hill and left the rest for roaming and exploration.

The dogs had a lot of fun exploring. The ironic part was Josie. At home, she rarely left the deck. But once she was in unexplored territory, she would roam. She did her best to keep up with Yeti, a young white German Shepherd.  Bear, went along with them. But I think he just followed because he didn’t want to be left alone in a strange place.

img_4143After Bear and Josie had tuckered out (it didn’t take long) the resident German Shepherds, Yeti and Texas, still had fun playing in the field. They had a unique way of playing. I think it usually involved Yeti’s owner doing anything and everything to tucker him out (and failing), and Texas trying to get Yeti to play with him.

img_4156Where were my dogs? Well, they have never been very energetic. Apparently, one short stroll in a field really wiped them out. Bear feel asleep while we were around the campfire, and I’m sure Josie was sleeping somewhere as well, probably by food.

It wasn’t long until the sun started to go down, the moon came out, the dogs got really tired and the people got tired too. The campfire was going, food was cooking and people just had fun sitting around not thinking about anything else other than just relaxing.


Josie and Bear had never slept in a tent before. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much. And by the time morning came, I was still pretty tired. So were they. And surprisingly, so was Yeti.

To this day, I don’t think Yeti’s owner has ever seen him sleep for more than a minute or two. But this day, this morning, he was out while breakfast was cooking.

Speaking of breakfast, Josie didn’t let being tired distract her from her one mission in life: FOOD.  She set up shop under the table, waiting for any scraps that would come in her direction.

And where was Bear?  Glad you asked.  He was over it. He spent the morning by the truck. He wanted to make sure I didn’t leave him behind.


When we got home, we all had one thing on our minds: sleep. Josie was the smart one in the group. She took over the couch.


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One year

img_6768There are few days throughout the year that mean much to me. October 3rd is one of them.

It’s the day I said goodbye to Josie.

Here I am, a year later, and I still can’t believe she is gone.

Bear keeps me company and reminds me every day of life with Josie around the house. But, sadly, his health has started to decline and I do worry about him. I bring him to work as often as I can just to keep him close.

Our new addition, River, reminds me of Josie too. She has some of her traits, such as barking and cuddling.

Not a day goes by that I don’t look at Josie’s spot on the couch, or by the door and miss seeing her there.

One year.

I can’t believe its been one year already.


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Dogs that love clutter

My house is in a constant state of clutter. At times, it tends to accumulate on the couches. Back in 2010, I had two. What usually happened was one was completely empty, the other was filled with junk. Guess which one Josie preferred?


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This won’t end well

Years and years ago, as I settled into bed for the evening, I looked on the floor to see if Bear and Josie had settled down. They had, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work out well for Josie.


Silly puppy had her head under an end table.

Needless to say, when she decided to get up, she had forgotten she was under an end table and knocked her head a bit.

Wish I could say it was the only time my dogs settled in a little too close to that piece of furniture. A couple of years later, Bear had his own adventure – that also did not end well.


Silly puppies.

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I’ve been back to the dog shop that helped me figure out what to feed Josie a handful of times since she passed. Although I haven’t frequented it as much as I would like to, I have followed their story on Facebook.

Shortly after I discovered them, I learned one of their dogs, Nova, had cancer. Shortly after, their dog with the speckled ear, Piglet, became sick as well with a heart condition.

Nova passed shortly after Josie did.

After months fighting, Piglet followed Nova across the rainbow bridge.

Even though I’m not a regular customer, those two dogs reminded me so much of Josie. One with cancer, another with the speckled ear.

Piglet – if you can – find Josie.  Keep her company for me.


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Water dog

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Originally posted on The Admiral vs The Dogs:
As you might recall, none of my previous dogs have been water dogs. In fact, they were adamantly not water dogs.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t have one in the family.…

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Winter’s past

I’m from New York.  That means I expect snow in December.  However, I live in Virginia. That means I expect temperatures ranging from 80 to 20 in December.  I’ve adapted.

But I still remember the one December that was awesome. It was 2009. It snowed.

And snowed.

And snowed.

Did I mention, we had snow?

It was awesome.

Josie did not think it was awesome. She acted like she hated the snow (secretly, I think she loved it). It made her wet. And cold. Bear was different – it stuck to him like glue – completely covering him.


I recall this one particular storm lasting overnight, from Dec 19 through the 20th. I kept watching it accumulate, amazed this was happening in Virginia of all places. By morning, my deck was buried. I was worried it might not hold (not really – I built a strong deck).


In the morning, I let the dogs out to do their business. Bear wanted nothing to do with the snow. He even found the only patch of grass to be found.


It wasn’t the only snow we got that year, more on that later. But the pups did get a bit of a break. We went south for Christmas. And as much as the dog’s complained about the snow, they did not want to enjoy the warmer weather. I practically had to bribe Josie to sit still for this Christmas Eve picture:


She should have enjoyed it more – because that year, once we got back to VA, the snow came back in full force.

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A new chapter

Shortly after learning of Josie’s nasal tumor, I accepted the fact that she would leave us sooner rather than later. Knowing that, and knowing this is a dog’s house, I knew it wasn’t a matter of if, but when to introduce a new dog into our lives.

Well, here she is. Meet River.


There is lots to tell about River and how Bear is doing. But this page is all about Josie and in her memory I wish to keep it that way. So if you want to follow all the adventures of Bear and River, follow us at AdmiralvDogs.

As for HappyWiggleButt – I’ll still share fond memories of Josie from time to time. I think of her often, and love sharing them.

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IMG_4202A few days ago, some old pictures of Josie popped up on my Facebook page. Apparently, 6 years earlier I had given her a tennis ball and shared it with my world of friends.

It reminded me of playing fetch with Josie in her younger days. As you might recall, when I first got her my yard wasn’t fenced in. And not wanting a young puppy to go running off, I played fetch in doors with her instead of outside.

We had a blast.
I had various versions of fetch I would play with her.  Some days, I would throw it in one direction clear across the house, then lay down – blocking her path. She’d jump over me as she came running back full speed.

IMG_4203In another version, my personal favorite, I would throw it against the wall. Being a dog, she figured the closer to the wall she was the better for her. But I’d throw it high and with enough umpf that it would sail over her head – forcing her to jump for it and when she missed, run after it.

I still remember playing this version when my parents came to visit. My dad immediately scolded me for throwing a tennis ball against the wall. I politely reminded him it was my wall, my house, my rules. Plus, it was a great way to get the energy out of a young puppy.

As Josie aged, she stopped playing fetch. That didn’t stop her love of tennis balls. She loved grabbing a hold of them in her paws and ripping ever single piece of fuzz off of them.

That’s what she did six years ago. And you can tell, she loved every minute of it.



(Side note – someone needed to trim those nails!  Sheesh!)

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It’s cold out there

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Growing up, my family had a dog. She taught me a lot about dogs: they hate blankets, like to be left alone and run away a lot. Josie re-taught me that dogs are so much more. First, she loved snuggling. And … Continue reading

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