Moose's story began in the spring of 2014. He was surrendered to Lab Rescue of NC after living outside with another dog. The woman who had him was moving out of state and she didn't want to take him. Sad as that day probably was for him, I think it may have been one of the best days of his life.
At the time, I volunteered with Lab Rescue of NC. When he was surrendered his name was - wait for it....... Duke. Anyone who follows me or knows me, knows I am an avid UNC Tarheel fan. That other school just a few miles down the road from Chapel Hill is bad (BAD) news. Jokingly I emailed one the of the rescue group's members that I know is also a Tarheel fan and said, "You've got to change that dog's name" and Duke became Deuce. (btw - sometimes based upon a dog's background I think it okay to change a dog's name. In my opinion, it has had no adverse affects on this guy what so ever!)
Deuce went to live with a foster family in Winston Salem.
Fast forward 6 months and we have become a one dog household so we are searching for another dog to adopt. Deuce shows up in the searches. I have all of my email exchanges about him. They are saved in a folder titled "our next family member."
We'd just lost my heart dog Buddy. This is the initial email I sent to the rescue group:
Buddy has been the best dog I’ve ever owned. And he’s been my shadow. He was the perfect dog to come into our lives after our chocolate lab Sloan died. I know I can’t replace Buddy just as I knew I couldn’t replace Sloan but there is going to be a void and I’m going to need another dog.
We want one that will get along well with Willow so probably best if the new dog doesn’t have a desire to be the dominant dog. Willow likes most other dogs and I think she may enjoy playing some (for very short periods of time.) Willow does like stuffed toys and I am afraid she probably won’t like to share them so that’s something we will have to watch. Buddy hasn’t had an interest in toys in a long time.
I would love to find another dog that will follow me around (like Buddy) and if he/she wants to be a lap dog, I’m okay with that too (that is not Buddy.)
He (or she) will get 2 walks / day and sometimes 3 but otherwise will be inside so one that is good to just chill out most of the time works well for us. If the dog would like a little more exercise, I would love a dog I could take on a 20 min jog a few times a week but I’m okay if that isn’t possible too. We do have a fenced area of our yard but it isn’t big enough for running and playing.
Open on gender. I have a preference to black or chocolate. Open on age except that we don’t want young / high energy. I might prefer an adult or younger senior but if a senior is the best fit, we are okay with that too I think. (We really are okay with an older senior but it’s just hard right now to think about going through this again anytime soon.)
We will love them and do our best to take care of them and make them feel safe and loved.
In my email correspondence with this foster, this is some of what she told us that I passed along to Don:
She said he has a strong need to please. However he has a mischievous side. He likes to counter surf so food left out on the counters is not safe with him around. He was also very jumpy when they got him – they’d walk in the room and he’d jump up continuously to greet them. He has done that to guests who come over too. She said it has gotten better.
There was also one incident where they got home and the dogs had gotten into the pantry. She said one of her dogs knows how to open the door and she said it was a big mess. They do keep their dogs baby gated in a portion of their house.
We packed Willow up on the car one Sunday morning in September 2014 and drove up to meet him. He was very sweet and a little more high energy than we were certainly used to. The rescue group has a 24 hour cooling off period so we drove home and talked about Deuce. We decided he might be the right dog for us. If I am being totally honest, we both had some reservations.
So on Thursday October 2nd, I drove to Winston Salem and picked up Deuce whose name we immediately changed to Moose. I'd brought a kong stuffed with peanut butter for the 90 minute ride home. After he stuck his nose in every crevice of my car, he settled down for the ride home and he didn't miss a beat with his name change and trust me, he is a Moose.
He was nervous and unsure the first few days and about 3 days in, I thought Moose's story with us might come to an end. Don and I had both been at work and Moose found his food bin in our laundry room. He proceeded to open it and eat til he could eat no more. He then vomited all over the laundry room. We'd kept the bin of food behind the door so in the course of his delight in finding his food, he closed the door and locked himself in the room. Once he discovered that he must've panicked because he proceeded to try and claw is way out.
When I got home, he was a mess as was the laundry room. He required a bath and the laundry room required a lot of work too. It also needed a new door and door frame. You'd think a laundry room door would be a standard sized door, right? Well, not in our house. We had to have one custom made.
After this incident, it became clear to me that Moose was suffering from separation anxiety. We didn't leave him alone again for awhile. I hired a dog sitter to come and stay with him while I worked (walking other people's dogs. Ironic, huh?) We started baby gating him in our front two bedrooms with the shades open to he could see out. Since then, we've not had anymore incidents.
Fast forward 2.5 years and he has settled in and has become my model, my shadow and my lap dog. Literally. If I sit down on the dog sofa in my office, he will lie with his head in my lap and fall asleep. He'll stay that way for hours. He follows me everywhere. If I get up, he is right behind me. I think if he had his way, he'd be with people 24/7 and he's not picky. He LOVES everyone.
That is Moose's story and I got what I wanted: a big ole' lap dog and one that will follow me around. He's even turned into a pretty cooperative photography model although I do think unless he has a ball in his mouth he tends to look a bit bored. He's also predictable. Typically the next few photos are of him on his back, rolling around, and doing something to entertain himself. He certainly entertains us. We are happy you are in our lives Moose.