Baby Moose came to my house to live on December 13, 2016. On December 13, 2021 big Moose left my house for the last time. But he will never leave my heart.
He spent the day with the neurologist undergoing a series of tests. On the way home he started breathing heavy which he often does on long car rides. He normally calms down quickly when he gets out of the SUV. But this time was totally different. He got worse. My wife and I did everything we could to help him breathe. I called Dr. Larsen and followed all her instructions and tried several more things. I loaded him up to go back to the ER vet. He breathed his last within a few blocks of the house.
Why? WHY?? I don’t have answers. But here is what I know, and what even gives me the tiniest comfort today. Moose has always been so active. He loved mile-long walks. He loved running zoomies all around the back yard. He loved roughhousing with his boys. He loved jumping up on the furniture to snuggle. But recently that all changed. As it progressed he even struggled to walk without falling down. Sometimes it was a struggle to stand. Yesterday’s tests confirmed he has a congenital malformation in his thoracic spine that was pinching the spinal cord. The prognosis was not good. Medication would slow things, but eventually he would be unable to walk, and would most likely lose bowel and bladder control. All these things were already beginning. There would be lots of crate rest, no more walks, no more zoomies, no more roughhousing with the other boys. That would not be Moose.
He had such a depressed look on his face in recent weeks because of how he felt. He had a strange look in his eyes as he was gasping for breath. I wish I knew what he was saying, but I think I know.
Moose grew up in rescue. He trained countless fosters how to walk on a leash. He taught the shy ones how to play. It was a love for the ages. He knew it and I knew it. Today he is better off and I am heartbroken. But he is running zoomies everywhere and playing with his first real buddy, Winchester. Moose, I will love you forever, you big ole knucklehead!
I cannot believe my 16 pound puppy is now six months old and weighs 51 pounds, has been neutered, and is ready to be adopted. It was decided within a couple of weeks that Moose would find his forever home with us. I could not keep him three months, see him through so much, and let him go. So yes, I am a foster failure once again. He is such a help in rescue. I take him everywhere I can. He is a great conversation starter and ambassador for rescue. He is also a great help with fosters. He tests them out, sees how they love to play, and teaches them the basics. He doesn’t matter how young or old, big or small, he loves them all. Rescue has brought a lot of surprises and blessings. None have been greater for us than The Moose. We are blessed to have him join our Bulldog family.
Rescue is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get on any given day. Welcome little Moose, an 11-week-old, 18-pound wrinkly nugget of love. His owners bought him from a local breeder we do not know. They are recent empty nesters and have experience raising another breed. They thought they would try a Bulldog this time around, but they weren’t quite prepared for some of the things they encountered. They said he was nothing like the other dogs they had raised and decided a Bulldog was not for them, so he was surrendered to us. He will get more shots in early January and be neutered in mid-March. Then, he will move to his furever home! Moose already has an adoption pending.
12/19/16 Update: Moose is just amazing! He has had a couple of accidents in the house, but foster dad is mostly to blame. He forgets that a little puppy needs to go outside more often. Moose loves, and I mean LOVES, to play with his foster brother Frenchie. They would never stop if you did not make them do so. He loves his foster brother and sister Bully and follows big brother around constantly. He is getting excited about Christmas and looking forward to all the gifts he will get.
12/26/16 Update: Moose really enjoyed the Christmas party last week and getting to meet everyone. He LOVED being the center of attention! He also wants to thank all our wonderful supporters for all the gifts he received. While he got to wear his new jacket for a few very cold days, he is so glad that it is now warmer and he can spend more time outside playing with his foster brother and sister. This week, he has learned to sit when receiving a treat and he is walking very well on a leash. Our next goal is to work on shaking hands and learning how to tell foster pops when he needs to go outside to do his business. He just continues to be such a delightful little boy. We will see if turning 13 weeks old is lucky for him.
1/3/17 Update: Little Moose is not so little anymore. He had his last puppy shots this week and weighed 29 pounds. This is up from the 16 he weighed three weeks ago! He is definitely a growing boy and he eats like it. He eats like a teenage boy—every 30 minutes and never gets full! Dr. W. says he is looking great and will not need to come back until late March for his neuter. Moose loved being back at the clinic so he could show everyone how well he walks on a leash, and how he can sit and shake hands on command. They were very impressed! At home he loves playing with his foster brother and annoying his foster sister. And he loves to chew—on anything! For some reason he much prefers foster mom’s shoes (with her feet in them) and her hands to the dozen chew toys he has. He will be a puppy for a while longer, so it is just something we will continue to work on.
1/17/17 Update: I don’t know how much a moose eats, but this Moose eats like a horse! And he has gained the weight to prove it. He gained 16 pounds in the past month, yet he acts like he is starving all the time. I guess this is the life of a growing puppy. He is an amazing little guy and learns so quickly. He is just a sponge soaking it all in. It is fun watching him follow and try to imitate his foster brother and sister in everything they do. He has really become attached to them. The most fun thing, however, is watching him run and play with my other foster dog. They will run, play and wrestle until they are both exhausted. He enjoys long walks in the neighborhood, sitting by you chewing one of his bones, and playing with the other Bulldogs.
1/22/17 Update: Moose had an absolute blast at the event Saturday. I was curious how he would do with his first time out around so many dogs and people, but nothing seemed to phase him. He was a perfect little guy and certainly drew his portion of attention. He continues to grow and learn new things every day. He is now 17 weeks old and has two more months until his neuter, but he may need it sooner. He discovered humping this weekend. Just makes you want to laugh watching him! His favorite thing to do is play and roughhouse with his foster sister.
2/27/17 Update: This is Moose. Sorry there has not been a report about me recently but foster pops has been very busy so I am helping him out by writing this report myself. It has been busy around the house as several new dogs have visited, some for a night and some for a few days. I have loved making so many new friends. Dad took me to see my new friend Maverick on Saturday, and we had a blast playing (wrestling).
But my best friend right now is Noel. She LOVES to play with me and we run, and wrestle a lot. Sometimes I win and sometimes she gets the best of me. I want her to live with us forever, but dad says she will go to a special family soon.
Do you know what a steer is? Foster pops asked me that the other day. I am not sure what that is, but I don’t think it is good. He said we would talk more about it in a couple of weeks. My friend Hudson said dad asked him the same thing when he went to see the doctor. He said I did not want to know what they did to him! I guess I will find out soon!
In the meantime, I’ll just keep doing my favorite things: eating, running, eating, sleeping, eating wrestling, eating, napping, eating……