2019 was a rough year for dogs in the Ittmann household. Today, Moose joined his brother Chunk in puppy heaven. He was 9 and a half years old (6/19/2010 – 12/23/2019). Having been through this with Chunk less than a year ago, I thought we’d be better prepared, but telling Moose good bye still devastated us. If anything, our 5 year old handled it the best.
Moose was the sweetest, kindest dog around. His goal on earth was to make us happy. For him, just being by us was all he needed. Those were the traits I remembered from our mastiffs when I was young, and Moose lived up to it every bit. He was loud and made a mess just about everywhere, but that was part of his charm. There were several times friends would be over and would just start laughing. I had no idea what was going on at first, but it turns out we were so used to Moose snoring in the middle of a room like a grown man that we didn’t even notice it. Obviously, everyone else did.
Alyce flew to California to pick up Moose nearly a decade ago, but it seems like recent memory. This was the first of many times his momma spoiled him. He was in a travel kennel for the flight but managed to convince his mom to let him out on the plane to visit…only leading to a big mess developing mid flight.
When he got home, he was just about potty trained immediately and rarely misbehaved. Coming from Chunk as a puppy, this was shocking. Really, Chunk never stopped mis-behaving, he just got too lazy to get into trouble. Moose on the other hand listened from day 1.
Moose took to Chunk the moment they met. Chunk was a little slower to warm to this new energetic (relatively speaking) puppy, but he did after a brief adjustment period. From then on, they were best friends. Chunk would push his limits, and Moose gave him a ton of slack considering that he was much, much bigger and stronger. Many nights, Chunk would just go straight to Moose’s food bowl and start eating. Moose would look around a little confused then just start eating Chunk’s food. None of this made any sense, since they got the exact same food and never really were running short. But that’s just the way Chunk was sometimes. Moose just adjusted and went with the flow of things.
While they both wanted to be by us most of the time, Moose had a bit of a more independent streak than Chunk. Chunk seemed to have a sensor that would go off when you closed a door blocking him out, at which point he would show up and bark endlessly. Moose on the other hand, was much more independent. He was happy laying in our room during the day by himself. Sometimes he just liked the quiet. When we moved to the new house, my office was upstairs. Moose never once tried to come up, nor did he fuss at the bottom of the stairs. Had Chunk been around, he would have chewed through a gate at the bottom to come up (assuming we even would have bothered with a gate).
Anyway, that’s a lot of talking about Chunk in a post about Moose, but that’s the way it has to be. They were a pair pretty much Moose’s whole life.
Things obviously changed greatly in our lives when James arrived in 2014. As stated in Chunk’s post, they both handled the transition as well as could be expected. Chunk and James always got along, but James and Moose really had a close relationship.
James called Moose his “Super-Dog.” Moose could handle anything in James’s eyes. As James started getting older and occasionally being scared of things (like going to bed in the dark), we’d have to bring in the Super-Dog to sleep in his room to help James fall asleep. As Moose got older, he liked young kids more and more. This became extremely obvious as many of our friends started having kids and Moose would just go kiss and lay by the babies.
Moose’s last year with us, he got to experience the only dog life – and most of it in the new house. He missed Chunk but definitely enjoyed getting 100% of the attention. He got more treats, went in and out just about as much as he pleased, and really lived the life.
His favorite thing to do at the new house was sit out on the porch with us. It was Alyce and I’s favorite thing to do as well. He was so happy to just be sitting out with us, and it was great to have him there without having to worry about him at all. That’s one of the things we’ll miss most with him gone.
I could type on and on about Moose, but there is not much more to say than he is all you could ask for in a dog. He would have done anything for us.
He lived a great life. 9.5 years for a mastiff is a good run. During that time he was nearly perfectly healthy – he had an occasional ear infection, but that was it. We could not have asked for more, and Moose never wanted for anything. It’s still difficult to say good-bye regardless of those realities. It’s rough.
With Chunk, time has healed the wounds. He is gone, but definitely not forgotten. Moose will certainly never be forgotten either and will remain a member of our family forever. I know we’ll feel better with time, and Moose will live in our memories. We’ll love him always.
And as with Chunk, here are a bunch more because that’s what I want to post.