A couple weeks ago my families dog, Moose, died. I remember the day we brought him home. My mom, sister and I went to pick him up from the SPCA when he was 6 months old. His owned gave him up because his girlfriend didn’t like this giant Mastiff/Lab puppy. At the time we had filled out a form for the SPCA to call us whenever a larger breed dog came in because that’s what we were looking for. The day we got Moose, we paid for him in the loose change my parents always hoard, loaded him up in our truck and drove home. At the time his name was Brutus though. Like one of those crocodiles in the Disney movie the Rescuers and he had a Harley Davidson collar and obviously Moose’s previous owner was a douche canoe of the highest order. Anyway, the whole way home, we tried to figure out a name for him so we could suggest it to dad when we got home.
Except when we got home and Moose hopped out of the truck and my dad saw him for the first time, my dad yelled, “HE’S A MOOSE!” on account of his long legs and brindled colour fur. Thusly Moose became Moose.
Over the years, Moose developed the most personality that I’ve ever seen any dog have. He was my dad’s baby and he never spend a night outside in his life. Poor baby Moo had abandonment issues. I can remember coming home late from a basketball tournament with my family and Moose was tied up outside because his poops had gotten too big to let him stay inside and use newspapers to shit on. Seriously though, we could lay down a small square of news paper and that dog would never miss it. Though after we started putting him outside he had a few accidents and for some reason he’d always choose to take a dump in my moms room if he couldn’t hold it anymore and then he would bury it. He was a big dog who took big shits. Makes sense right? Well we called them “Moo Mines” because you could always smell them but they were so stinky that you could never really tell where they were because the smell overwhelmed you. Picture us smelling dog shit in our house and knowing that we had to go look for a giant poop Moose had buried somewhere. But I’m off topic. We came home late one night and Moose ran down his line to greet us and he was so happy to see us that he was literally peeing himself as he ran.
Oh, I should admit that one night around 3am, Moose woke me up because he had to pee real bad. It was summer so I just put him outside on his run (our dogs had long runs that we tied them up to so they could run from the back of our property to the front) and left him out there. I meant to go back outside and get him, but I more or less forgot because I fell back asleep. Moose was a little pissed off at me the next day and spent the day sitting on the couch glaring at me.
Seriously, he glared at me all day and back talked every time I said something. And yes, our dog back talked. His only chore in the entire world was to tell dad when supper was ready. So mom would tell him to “Go tell daddy supper is ready” and sometimes Moose was a lazy ass and he’d shake his head no and run and hide in my room with me and pretend to sleep. He even once whined at my mom “I don’t wanna” when she was telling him to do something. I’m not lying. That dog learned how to whine a few words. Like “I don’t wanna”, “mom” and “no”. Mostly he just learned to cry to mom so she’d let him in the house when he wanted.
I’m going to miss Moose. I’ve never met a dog that could ask for cheese on his chili, spell at a grade one/two level and tell time. He always knew when dad was home late for work. We couldn’t spell words around him like “truck”, “lake”, “Barriere” or any of the other places he liked to go. He also knew how to tell you he was cold so he could get covered up. Not that it was hard since he’d just lay in bed with you and shiver and look at you while he waited for you to share your blankets. I’ve also never known a dog so caring as he was. He always knew when you were sick and needed a good snuggle. I remember once when I was sick he pretty much spent the whole day in bed with me. He was a total bed hog and always stole all the blankets, but the thought was there.
My favorite thing in the whole world though was coming home from school and Moose picking me up from the Greyhound. I woke up this morning, rolled over and was about to text mom not to forget to bring Moose tonight…and then I remembered that Moose wouldn’t be picking me up from the Greyhound anymore. Nothing boosted my ego more than seeing Moose waiting for me at the Greyhound station and the way he danced around when he heard me whistle at him and he realized for the first time that I was home. He always looked ready to pee himself in excitement and always had the biggest smile whenever I came home. Then once he knew I was safe, he’d immediately turn to the other business of peeing on everything in sight, because that’s what Moo’s did.
I’m going to miss that dog.