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After weeks at the shelter, Moose finally found his dream home when his new family journeyed 820 miles to adopt him.

When Moose, a Mastiff, arrived at Dutchess County SPCA, it was impossible not to fall in love with the 138 lb gentle giant. However, big dogs often have a hard time finding a home, and after weeks at the shelter, he still didn’t have an adopter. But Moose found a family from afar when DCSPCA’s Intake Manager spread the word about Moose through a big breeds rescue. His new family spotted him from 820 miles away, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and drove 16 hours to adopt him, confident that he was the dog for them.

DCSPCA: You live far away from DCSPCA, in Canada! How did you find out about Moose and what inspired you to travel so far to adopt him?

SARAH: We used to have a beautiful Mastiff named Zeus, who sadly passed away a couple months before we adopted Moose. Our daughter Ryan said: “We need to save another big boy like Zeus.” Through a big breeds rescue site, Carol [DCSPCA’s Intake Manager] had cross-posted Moose as needing a home and he won our hearts from afar! We got in touch with Carol to hear all about him, and were confident we could give him a great home with our other 3 rescue dogs. It was a 16 hour drive, but a road trip was in order to bring him home!

DCSPCA: How did Moose do on the trip to Nova Scotia?

SARAH: Our first stop was a pet store for bones and toys for the ride. He was a gentleman, meeting everyone who saw him calmly! The rest of the ride we couldn’t believe how quiet and calm he was, he slept most of the way and entertained us with drooly kisses, a lot of loud snoring, and a few farts to keep us on our toes! At every stop he was introduced to new people and surroundings and was fantastic the entire time.

DCSPCA: How is Moose doing now that he’s home?

SARAH: Moose is constant entertainment! He is two years old now and the first year was a lot of energy and setting boundaries—but he is always eager to please and a fast learner! Moose can now follow commands and is the star of every guest visit. We joke that he is an angel in public and when we have company, and when they leave he lets out his silly side. He gets along great with our other three dogs and any visiting dogs regardless of size.

DCSPCA: What are some of his favorite things?

SARAH: Moose loves his Christmas Pig, a squeaky toy he is happy to squeak for hours on end! His bestie is a 20 lb Jack Russell/Dachshund mix, Benji, who he enjoys chasing in the yard; he is convinced he is the same size and also a lap dog. He loves trips to the store with us, and sleeping in our bed. Despite his size (now 165 lbs and 37 inches at the shoulder) he is a scaredy cat with items that move when you touch them, any dog who barks at him, and water spray bottles. Moose loves to open doors on his own, especially my office door while I work, and the bedroom door when he wakes up (to make sure we don’t sleep too late!)

DCSPCA: Moose was recently part of your wedding! Can you please tell us about that?

SARAH: We recently got married and had a big wedding at our home. Moose is so well-behaved in crowds that he got his own tuxedo collar and walked down the aisle with Dad. After he was put in the backyard for the vows, Moose found an open door and surprised the crowd by hastily rejoining the ceremony for a big laugh. He got to stay for the afterparty!

DCSPCA: How has Moose changed your life?

SARAH: Moose keeps us laughing every day! His silly antics and cuddles make it impossible to be mad even when he occasionally chews a cardboard box or steals a treat. At night he cuddles like a 5 lb chihuahua and snores like a Mack truck—his heart is as big as he is and there is nothing as sweet as coming home to see him jumping on the front door to look out the window at the top to greet you (and then immediately running scared from a blowing leaf when you open the door!)

DCSPCA: Moose is a big guy! Any words of wisdom for anyone considering adopting a large dog?

SARAH: I have had big dogs all my life, and in recent years have adopted one small and two medium dogs. The big ones so far have all been less work and more confident! Research your breeds, but most large dogs after age two require less exercise, and can be great companions for kids (their size makes unpredictable toddlers less intimidating). A senior large breed dog could be a great companion for someone with less mobility. Be prepared to socialize them a lot at the start, as often other people are more afraid of large dogs than the dogs are of people. Be patient, they don’t realize they are bigger than average! They will cost more to feed, and any medications will be a bigger dose and cost—but the love and joy they bring far surpasses that. As with any rescues, give them time to settle in, adapt, and bring out their true personality and their needs. And most of all, don’t go buy a king size bed—you will still end up with one foot for you and the rest for them, regardless of the bed size!

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Val Keating
Val Keating
Nov 03, 2023

Best story ever!! You all made my day! On behalf of Moose thank you all for adopting, and thank you for another great job DCASPCA!!!!

Nov 03, 2023
Replying to

Hi Val! Thank you so much for your support. We're so glad you enjoyed Moose's story.

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