Long before Jack Russell Uggie, the star of The Artist came on the scene, there was Moose.
Moose, better known as ’Eddie’ in the sitcom Frasier, was born in Florida on Christmas Eve 1990. In hindsight, his date of birth should have been a sign that this dog would not only become a shining star, but an absolute scene stealer.
Although Moose was the youngest puppy of the litter, he was the biggest in both size and character.
However, before landing his starring role which was to make him famous, Moose was not always the perfect pooch. In fact, from a young age he was very boisterous and given to excessive barking, chewing, chasing cats, escaping and climbing trees; so much so that the original owners gave him up for adoption because he was too hard to handle. This is how he eventually came to be in the care of trainer Mathilde De Cagny, Florida manager of Birds and Animals Unlimited, a company which trained animals for parts in TV shows and movies.
It was Moose’s need to be forever active, and for his sharp mind to be kept constantly occupied, which made him take to training like a duck to water.
After only 6 months of training, Moose won the role of Eddie in the NBC sitcom Frasier starring alongside Kelsey Grammer. It was Moose’s quizzical stare along with his ability to upstage actor Grammer which was to become a long running sight gag of the show.
Moose played the role of ‘Eddie’ Crane who was Martin Crane’s (John Mahoney’s) dog and partner in crime. He superbly played a constant irritant to Kelsey Grammer’s pompous character; Dr Frasier Crane.
During the height of his career, Moose was receiving more fan mail than any of the other actors in the show, including offers to breed.
This charismatic little dog was popular not only with fans but loved and respected by his fellow costars too. He did many interviews and was a cover boy for Entertainment Weekly and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.
In addition to all this he had a book written about him ’My Life as a Dog’ by Brian Hargrove.
Moose gradually retired from the show as he got older having been with the show for eight seasons. But the doggy acting dynasty didn’t end there; this ’tail’ of rags to riches was passed on.
Moose had a son called Enzo who successfully acted as his stunt double in later years, and starred in the feature film My Dog Skip (with Moose playing the older Skip in several scenes).
Moose had a log and happy retirement and eventually passed away on June 22, 2006 at the age of 16. His son Enzo died of cancer at the age of 14 on June 23, 2010, one day after the fourth anniversary of Moose’s death in 2006.
Moose is a wonderful reminder of what a dog given a second chance can achieve, and that you can teach an ’old’ dog new tricks.