Monday, November 4, 2013

Keys Stories, Part 4 - SUPing the Mangrove Wilderness & FUN FUN FUN at the Moose Lodge!

Our fourth day in Key Largo was the best day EVER, because we got to see my old friend Moose and meet his new sister Pixie.

We began the day with a paddleboard ecotour with PADDLE! the Florida Keys. This time we started at their shop, which is conveniently located on a canal, and paddled up Tavernier Creek. As we paddled along the canal, I lost my footing and went for an involuntary swim. I swam toward the mangroves (because trees mean land, right?), but there was no land, just trees growing up out of the water. This really confused me -- how can trees grow without land? -- but mom paddled over, grabbed the little handle on my PFD, and just pulled me right back up on the board, no problem.

Once I was back on the board, we paddled out of the canal and under the bridge and up Tavernier Creek a little ways. Then we went through a little opening in the mangroves, and paddled through a thick mangrove forest. The opening in the mangroves got smaller and smaller and the mangroves grew lower and lower over our heads, until we all had to sit down on the boards and duck under branches, and there was barely enough room to use a paddle. It was like exploring a wilderness, where no human or doggie had been before.

Follow her, momma

I see a parrotfish

Exploring the mangrove wilderness

Garth the Explorer

After a morning of exploring uncharted territory, I needed a nap. So we went back to the hotel and I napped while mom and dad went snorkeling.  

After my nap, we got in the car and went for a ride. I didn't know where we were going. I was very excited when we pulled up to the MOOSE LODGE, where my old friend Southernmost Moose lives with his momma and his new sister Pixie. I hadn't seen Moose in two whole years, and I'd never met Pixie or been to the Moose Lodge, so I was super excited. First I sniffed and explored the yard a bit with Moose, then Pixie came out and we ran around a little, then we all went inside to play with their toys. 

I think Pixie liked my daddy
(note blurry tail)

. . . and so did Georgie

Pixie with one of her babies

"Hey Big Boy"

Clearly Georgie was smitten

Snuggling up to Moose & Pixie's momma

Moose was very happy to see us 

I made myself completely at home, exploring all the rooms and pulling all the toys out of the toy box one by one. Their little house guest Georgie was quite taken with me, and she followed me everywhere I went. Moose and Pixie were wonderful hosts -- they even let me play with HippoPig and sit on their nice couch.

I'm a happy boy --
I've got HIPPO-PIG

We all enjoyed catching up, so we hung out and visited for a long time.  Then mom & dad & Pixie & their mom & I went to Yappy Hour at Snook's.  We try to make it to Yappy Hour every year, because it raises money for the local rescue Marrvelous Pet Rescues, and it's fun to hang out with the local doggies.  Pixie and I got lots of attention from the waiters, and we stayed so late we closed the place down.

We were so happy we got to see and spend some time with Moose, Pixie, and their mom. Moose is a legend, and one of the inspirations for my blog. He was the first dog blogger we followed, and his momma gave us some great advice the first time I came along with mom and dad to the Keys. We LOVE Moose and we fell in love with Pixie from her photos, so it was wonderful to meet her in the furs.

I can't believe mom didn't manage to get a photo of me and Pixie and Moose together. So here are a couple photos of me and Moose from Yappy Hour a couple years ago.


  1. Replies
    1. It's salt water so no gators. We do not paddle where there are gators.

  2. Garth you have such cool adventures on your vacation. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Sounds like the most amazing time!

  4. Moose sure lives up to his name. He makes you look like a pixie dog.
    I was scared reading about your swim. Aren't there gators and other things in the water? I'm glad your momma saved you.


    1. We don't paddle where there are gators. Gators don't live in salt water. There are fish & sea turtles & manatees, but nothing that could harm me or momma (or we wouldn't paddle there!)

  5. I love all those big doggy smiles! How fun to meet up with old friends!

  6. What a fun time! Seeing old furiends and making new ones at the same time -- score!!

  7. FYI - any time you SUP, there's a good chance you may fall off. This goes for humans as well as dogs. For this reason, we don't SUP in waters where there are things that want to eat us, like gators. Gators can be found in fresh water in FL but not in the salt water canals, creeks, & mangrove hammocks in the Keys where we paddle. Lots of pups seem concerned about this but I wanted to reassure you everyone - there are no gators & falling off is okay. In fact it feels good when it's warm out.

  8. Garth, your adventures in the Keys are terrierific! I am so glad you got to see your pal Moose too! Sounds like ya'all have a great time together!
    *high paws*

  9. Very cool Garth! Have lived in the States forever and never seen the Florida Keys. Lucky you. And best wishes to Moose too>
    BabyRD & Hootie

  10. How awesome. I love it. THANK YOU! I live in Florida, and this is something I'd love to do. I didn't know it was possible to do with my dogs. I have German shepherds. Travelling with big dogs can challenging (i.e. "Dog friendly hotel" of means "only if dog is small enough to fit in your pocket"). I'm excited now.