Moose is the son of a full blooded, registered Dalmatian and a North Georgia, dirt road, feral mountain dog (his mother) that showed up at our home years ago, uninvited and unwanted. She was seriously attracted to Jesse (being in heat as she was) and moved in despite our objections. Now after several years she has become an integral part of our family. It was this Romeo and Juliet relationship that produced Moose. He is unique as dogs go and has been a great deal of company and pleasure for me since he was born under the front porch in the middle of the night a number of years ago. Like many Dalmatians (even a part Dalmatian) he is more or less a one person dog. Moose does however really love Linda too. Every morning after I feed him and let him into the house he rushes to her side and loves on her until she spends a moment caressing him and giving him attention. He is dedicated and interested in whatever I am doing all ways ,no matter what time night or day. In the afternoons he comes out to the front porch and jumps onto the sleeping couch at my feet. While I am reading my latest book he naps, ever listening and smelling, even when sound asleep. He is aware of what is going on all the time. Frequently while he is sleeping I see his moist black nose twitching, picking up strange odors and fragrances while he is unconscious. It is as though all things in our area are telegraphing signals directly to his unsleeping nose. All at once he is up on his feet stomping his way across me, pillows being thrown asunder leaping to the floor and racing through the house for reasons unknown to me. He can transition from being sound asleep to tearing through the house barking hysterically in a matter of nano seconds. This occurs when anyone, friend or foe comes to the house, driving or walking. J.D. (his mother) frequently barks at something unseen outside on the road or in the bushes and he rushes to her side assisting in the chaos of alerting the house. Sometimes it is a person, an animal, a deer, a snake or even a turtle that is causing all the commotion. We never know but almost always get up to see just in case it is an ax murderer on the loose coming down the driveway.
Moose played in the creek when the grand boys were here and was very social, all things considered. Moose was raised almost totally without children and doesn't know how to act when they bound from behind a door, leap into the air and scream at him. Linda and I almost never do that sort of thing. He has enough of his daddy (Jesse, the Dalmatian) in him to be somewhat cantankerous and does upon occasion growl and gives strangers (and family members) nasty looks. He has never bitten or even nipped anyone. I cannot say that about his father. Moose looks very much like Jesse but with many, many more spots. He is about 3/4 of Jesse's size but personality wise he is way more sociable and a much sweeter, happier dog. Living with Jesse was kind of like living with a relative who was always in a bad mood and was always critical of everything you might do. Moose’s favorite activity is getting into the creek and wading up and down looking for frogs. He does this for hours on end. This might explain why he has been bitten by copperheads twice in his life here at Big Creek. It is impossible to keep him out of the creek on the off chance of him being snake bitten however small, is worth the risk. It does happen but his life spent running free with wild abandon is a big payoff for a relative small risk. There is a community over near Blue Ridge called “Snake Nation.” For Moose’s sake I am certainly glad we do not live there.
Most people who meet Moose comment on what a nice, beautiful and friendly dog he is. A friend, Ed Whorley who lives fairly near us on Pisga Road commented one day when I dropped by to see him with Moose in the front seat, “That is how all dogs should look”. I took it as a great compliment.