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The Moo


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Dear Mossy Moo,


Nearly a year has gone since Moss suddenly passed  at 12 years old. Sounds like a good run to some, but not for The Moo, who I thought would make 16 easily. Even the vet on her last visit thought she was the healthiest 12 yr old she had seen and doubted her age, saying she looked great to her, though I had noticed a slow down, not her usual appetite. it was a very aggressive fast and untreatable cancer. 

Not even grey, just a coat not quite as bright anymore.

Still leaping the fences and streaking around.  


Offered my pick of 14   6 week old pups, I looked for a girl actively seeking to bond and She found me, claimed me, and would not allow another to try.  A scrawny little dot beside her mentor Lou at home. Clumsy and demanding, she out grew her clumsiness to be the best dog athlete I had known, but by 6 months My O.H was saying 'Rehome! She will never make a farm dog!"

I considered it, but decided we were her best hope and home because The Moo WAS Bossy. Domineering, could enjoy a fight and hyperactive, super high and complete prey drive, she would have excelled at security work, but not with multiple handlers and new homes because she needed that special bond with a single handler. Not a breed now recognised as a suitable security candidate. excellent body awarness and incredible agility, bouncing off walls or leaping into trees. Moo was good with other dogs.......IF they accepted her dominance.  Moss liked to make things happen. But  she tried, so hard to please. 'She tries' was a catch phrase in the early days, when the   simple phrase "Good girl!" would send her into a frenzie of uncontrolled excitement and bad behaviour. Leerburg was invaluable.


Other dogs toys were stolen and buried. Goose was picked up by the collar and swung like a pendulum. bottles were banned in the house after being bounced off the walls so fast it sounded like fire works and the windows were at risk. Then squeaky toys for emitting unending wails instead. Moss was our Yucky girl. The lovable Psycho.


1/2 Doberman,  Rotty and a lot of unknown, I some times think there may have been a little Dingo there. Moss was an accomplished and deadly hunter. Magpies in the kennel, rodents 'round the farm, and a habit of finding or flushing prey on the shortest walks. She would have had no trouble feeding herself. (Oh is that a.....Never mind, its gone now and we will never know) Yet she loved the cat we brought home and guarded him from the curiosity of all other dogs for 3 days. She lived with free range chooks with never an accident.....3 gone deliberately after she saw me have minor run ins with them.  Moss was unforgiving of any one who challenged her bosses. We could guard the chook who transgressed and she would seem to forget, but only until we relaxed our guard.Then it was gone in an instant. Always the one who challenged her boss.

 The Moo taught us a lot and became the best trained dog on the place. A training session was the best cure when Moo forgot her impulse control and was impressive to watch with her responses so crisp and snappy it looked like sarcasm. Moo didn't just sit, she slapped her paws on the ground. She didn't lay down, she slammed her body down.

We learned that we had to guard our emotions. Moo would pick upon them and act on them.It wasn't good enough to pretend to like a person, you had to feel it too or you would have the Moo growl or bark and jump between you and that person moving suddenly towards you. Yet never  a snap and wonderful with children. 


She and her mum had extreme bonds to their people. I appreciated it most the time we were looking after her Mum for a few months. They were kept separate, both very jealous of their place as 2nd in command.   I was home alone and indoors with a total of 5 dogs when Moo managed to jump from her yard and wandered in to see.... THAT bitch! and it was on.. I grabbed Moo, because I knew she would be hardest to get under control and ended up sat on an arm chair holding her for all I was worth on my lap with the slightest move sending her struggling to free herself again and my foot pressed against her mothers chest saying 'back! Back! as she waited for that false move to pounce again. They were eye to eye, inches apart and me hauling back and pushing forward at once. The older girl backed. Very slowly.  I managed to get Moo across the room, her mum 4 ft back all the way.  Out the door then into the other kennel while I shook!


Visitors often commented that "She  is very friendly". Easier to agree than explain no, she was very naughty! If she wasn't watched, she would drink from their glass or climb on their laps to sniff ears, knowing very well she was being disrespectful and enjoying it. Moo didn't mooch for food , she would scold us very vocally for not sharing, but would not steal.


Moo was a forceful presence, an event whos purpose in life was to enforce her boss's  dominion over all. We miss our one in a million 'farm dog after all'. Our grinning streak of lightning, the lovable Psycho whos presence you could not afford to forget. I don't know that rest in peace is what she would want. Go in passionate Joy Moss. We loved you as fiercely.

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Edited by moosmum
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