By Alex Jones
THIS ADORABLE pooch has parts of his brain missing, a crooked nose, and a huge underbite – but he does have an ever-present smile and an owner who describes him as the “happiest dog in the world”.
Charming Moose, a three-year-old blue heeler or Australian Cattle Fog, was born with a deformed skull and several complications which only made themselves apparent after he was six months old. Faced with these difficulties, some dogs may have been abandoned by their owners or perhaps even put down.
Fortunately for Moose, his squished brain and distinctive looks only ever made him more loveable in his owner’s eyes. Delightful photos of Moose show him as a tiny puppy with his striking, mismatched eyes; showing off his permanent grin; and donning a pair of novelty spectacles.
Moose’s mom Jennifer Osborne, 26, from Ohio, found Moose in a pet store in June 2016. Although now an advocate of adoption rather than buying, Jennifer was pleased to take Moose home as she fears the worst would have happened if he hadn’t come home with her.
“While I didn’t technically adopt Moose because I got him from a pet store I know I saved him,” explained the college student/canine saviour.
“I’m thankful I got him rather than someone who would have abandoned him or put him down. We believe Moose was born this way. We know that Moose’s nose was pushed into his skull which caused the underbite, crooked nose, deformed skull, deformed brain and eye issues – probably when he was still in the womb.”
Alongside the physical deformities which give Moose his unique good looks, Moose also suffers from a range of other ailments.
“He also turned out to have seasonal allergies and cherry eye – a condition that causes a dog’s tear ducts to protrude from the eyelid,” Jennifer continued.
“Moose began having grand mal seizures in April of 2018 – they affect the body and the brain and left his whole body twitching and him foaming at the mouth. At his worst, he had three in 30 hours. He has been on a low dose of Phenobarbital that has kept grand mal seizures away since he started the medication. But he continued to have focal seizures every so often and they can last hours.
“Shortly after we got Moose an MRI showed that Moose had no forehead, no sinuses, missing parts of his brain – particularly the part that helps him smell-, and a cyst in his brain where the deformity is. The front of his brain is squished together too. Only the front area of his brain is affected and his seizures will likely get worse but his neurologist doesn’t believe it’ll shorten his life.”
Despite the difficulties Moose has faced so far in his life, he remains a loyal pet to Jennifer and his canine siblings, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“He is amazing and a blessing on my life,” enthuses Jennifer.
“He is the happiest dog I have ever met and I’m thankful he’s my dog. By the way Moose acts you wouldn’t think his brain had any issues. He is extremely intelligent, has so much personality, and loves everyone especially his momma. He loves to play with his toys but doesn’t understand sharing toys with his siblings. He believes they are all for him. He knows he’s a special boy!”
One downside to Moose’s condition is the extra vets bills that Jennifer and her family must pay – costing over $2,000 last year. As Jennifer has her own disability which makes it difficult to work – her knees are “not quite right” – she has started her own range of Moose Merchandise to help cover costs.
But Jennifer wouldn’t have it any other way.
“With everything that’s happened to Moose, we’re very lucky he survived, period,” she added.
“He is literally a miracle.”