The Moogster








We don’t know any of Moogies history as we rescued this gorgeous boy from the pound in September 2006.  Moogie is the most amazing dog, in fact we think he is so amazing that Shawn has penned a few stories about this gorgeous boy - read on below.

Finding Moogie - September 06


It started off like any new day, busy feeding the monster dog, trying to get ready for our own work and gearing up for the chaos about to greet us on the motorway.  But this was not going to turn out to be a straightforward day as we thought. 

Like any good movie such as, Ice Age, Shrek, and Finding Nemo, this day would bind our family, test our reserves, and make "Babe" look like a disturbing Paris Hilton flick.  This day had the makings of a great blockbuster movie and I hope Peter Jackson is reading this right now and asking himself "King Kong, who the hell is King Kong, I want Finding Moogie"


And why not? This movie plot has desperation, scandal, sex, or de-sexing depending on how you look at it. A beautiful heroine, (Sarah) and a rather dashing hero (Me) and a story line with more twists than John Travolta prostate on a porcupine. It also has love, devotion, a special friend in need and most of all a fairy tale ending.  You just can't beat it.


Finding Moogie is, in a way, a true tale of chance and fate.  So take a seat, grab your popcorn, put your feet up, turn off your cell phones and enjoy.




"Finding Moogie"
Sarah arrived at her work around 7.30am and was delighted to receive an e-mail from Cheryl - the breeder of our bullmastiff girl Lottie, asking us if we were able to look at a big boy who was in the local pound.  Cheryl had attached a photo of this boy and when my Sarah opened it up, it was like a Guppy to a Harpuka - yep - her eyes sparkled and she wanted him.  I'm sure she was dialing my number before she had finished reading the e-mail.  I got the call within seconds of my Sarah seeing this lovely boy appear on her screen.  I'm also certain I heard a whimper in her voice as she told me of this boy's plight, pleading down the line for me to read the e-mail as quick as I could.  I was rather busy, but we had both wanted a boy to add with our big girl, Lottie.  So I rushed back to the office to read the e-mail.  I was really busy at work, but like Sarah, when I opened the photo? I was hooked, lined and sinkered. This big black snotty nosed, drooling, slobbering mess of a boy with big brown sad eyes, was staring at me from my desk.  I sat for a second, took in this amazing creature, studied his mask and like a Guppy to a Harpuka - I knew he was for us.  Next was the quickest conference call you have ever witnessed, a family discussion, my Sarah was jumping from the other end of the phone, yelling at me to get my backside down to the pound.  I was already driving like a mad man to the pound anyway, because -wait for it (here is the desperation part of the movie) - we only had 48 hours to seal the deal - or - HE WAS OFF TO THE SPCA.



I rang ahead at around 8.15am and it went straight to voice mail. "Sorry the pound does not open until 10.00am".  Bloody District Councils, what ever happened to office hours?  I started to panic as around that time I was meant to be in a meeting.  I quickly shifted things around and made arrangements to have cover so I could attend the Pound.  And wouldn't you know it, I couldn't bloody find the pound.  When I did find it, it was stuck back from the street and looked like a hostel for backpackers, not the Pound I'd expected.

I arrived at the pound by 10.05am and was met by Linda in the office.  I didn?t need to explain who I was, as the 50 phone calls and messages were enough to give them an idea of my fanatical mentality.   I was told this big boy was in the playpen.  So in my best working wear, I walked through the endless gates and pens heading towards Moogie.

As I walked, I became aware of little eyes watching me, flaring nostrils punching the air, pushed up against mess walls.  The number of dogs looking at me from behind mesh walls saddened me.  I saw dog 16 was due to ship out that day. 

All of a sudden, I came to this big dry concrete floored room and looking through the walls, I saw this big boy.

He was lying in the shadows and I could just make out his line.  His chin seated firmly between his paws, his head huge in size and darkest colour, pushed down towards the floor. It sort of looked like a bowl of black mince had been dropped and lay splayed out on the ground.  I stopped, took a beat, and softly called out "hello big boy".  With this, what was previously a pile of mince raised itself up and formed this enormous head; the lumber sized tail began to beat from side to side.  He effortlessly pushed his frame from the floor and stood tall, looking at me.  His face full of wrinkles and history, lit up and started to shine.  But, the first thing I noticed about this big boy was - the slobber, it was everywhere, down his front, on his paws, in his ears and it was still attached to his joules leaking outward towards the ground.  It looked like a centipede had set up a ladder and continually wanted to run up and down it.  But -  he was beautiful. 

I rang Sarah from the pen.  She had already made arrangements with her work to take a long lunch and was on her way to the pound to see this boy.  We had to introduce the big girl Lottie to Moogie to see if they got on and Sarah picked her up before coming down.  As per usual, when Lottie met Moogie, she wouldn't leave him alone.  She was all over him, but Moogie just took each nip, paw, push in his stride.  We knew they would get on and so we started the paperwork. Sarah had already made a list of the things we needed and the budget for the month had just gone out the back door.

But now comes the twist.  We would not know if Moogie was going to become part of our family until after 5.00pm on the Wednesday as that was when his time for ownership was up.   Sarah and I both understood that if the owners of Moogie did show we would be disappointed, but still he had been in the pound 5 days already and we wondered if Moogie was that loved, why did the owners not find him.  I know that if Lottie had gone missing I'd be on national TV proclaiming her as kidnapped and willing the FBI to get involved.  We just had to wait. 

Wednesday 5.00pm, Moogie was officially ours.  I can't explain it, but I know you will understand how it feels.  Sarah was a mess, rushing around organizing everything, sending out lists of things to do, re-arranging the sleeping arrangements for Lottie and Moogie.  We were running around getting food, a walking leash, a collar and chew toys, finding extra blankets and water bowls.  It was pathetic.  But Moogie was special. We had no idea of his history and we wanted to make him part of our family.

Moogie had to be checked by the vet and it was found that his left eye had an ulcer and he needed surgery.  We got a call from Linda telling us of the cost and we didn't care.  We still did not have ownership of Moogie but we didn't care, he needed it and he was going to get it.   Now here's the scandal part.  That night, on Wednesday the 13th September, the day after we had met Moogie, the pound had been burgled and dogs had been stolen. How did I know this?  I heard it come over the Police radio!   I'd been working in the area and recognized the address straight away.  I was on the phone, ringing the young constable who had attended the pound.  I was relived to find that a number of pit bull terriers had been taken, but our Moogie was still in his pen.  We still had another night to go before we could pick him up. I went to the pound to fill out more forms and was unable to see the big boy.  That hurt Sarah, as she wanted to know how he was getting on. We still had to wait.

Moogie needed to be de-sexed and have his eye lift done.  He was off to the vets on Friday morning and I will admit this, on the Thursday night I'd asked one of the local Bobbies to keep good tabs on the pound.  The last thing we wanted was another twist to this story.  That was a rather sleepless night for Sarah and I as we just had to wait.  I know you don't know my Sarah, but patience is not one of her virtues, so waiting was causing her some concern.

The night went by without any problems and Moogie went off to the vets.  We received the call that things went well and we could pick him up at around 3.00pm. 

We arrived early and waited like patient parents, well one of us was patient, I am sure you can figure out which one.    I think I heard him before I saw him.  His snorting and snuffling from behind the door was as recognizable as a pointing sign saying, "I'm here dad, over here dad".  The door opened and although he was very sore, his face lit up and that big tree sized tail was playing disco inferno furiously thrashing out a tune. He was beautiful, "Time to take you home Moogs".

Moogie has now been with us for seven days and he is a treasure.  He and Lottie get on well although at times we have to give Moogie a break and put Lottie in her kennel, as an eight-month-old puppy does tend to wear him down.  He has quickly taken to us, as we to him.  He is part of our family and we love him dearly.  The last seven days has been a whirlwind of anticipation, hope and trust.

I know that taking on a dog with no history is challenging, but "Finding Moogie" is priceless. 

The fairy tale ending, Take care 



The Adventures of Moogzilla - July 2007




As we enter this epic novel I can't hide the fact that I'm a Star Trek nut, sorry about that, but can you see the humour in the introduction, if I'd started off with once upon a time you would have thought it was Little Red Riding Hood all over again.   But this isn't about Star Trek or fairy tales, it's about our Moogzilla or as my Sarah would put it, the adventures of Moogie.  After penning "Finding Moogie" I was asked to keep everyone up to date with our Moogs and it was interesting to be given some very positive feed back on the "Finding Moogie" novel. So seeing as you have been patient, I've sorted some time and I will apologise now for this next literary pen-tathlathon as it is a mixture of our Moogzilla and Ciaobella Carlotta's (Lotties) excursions. 
But to set you in the right reading mood, I sit here, cradling my stomach because as I write this epic novel, I do so with a heavy heart.  Why you ask, well -  I've just ingested a full packet of chocolate macaroons and can now feel my arteries throwing a cholesterol party in my honour. It's all self inflicted I know, but an ancient ritual passed down through generations of fathers and sons, which is needed in order to some how kick the intellect into gear. 
But Moogs, as he is so fondly referred too has once again given me food for thought and a wealth of material to write about. He continues to grow with us and I do mean grow as he has ever so slightly, increased in girth and gone from saucer cup sized paws to dinner plate size ones.  He and Lottie rule their own areas, and we have had our troubles, hence the Moogzilla conundrum.  
Moogs has learned to do forward rolls and if you can imagine a fully grown male bullmastiff with an extra winter coat rolling around the lawn doing his Cirque Du Soleil impression you will understand the hilarity that comes with it. One minute he's 58 kilos of man beast - the next he's Mikhail Baryshnikov with teeth. 
His willingness to be independent is evident by his ability to push the boundaries.  He knows he is not allowed outside the gates without a nominated chaperone. But with Moogs being in his late, to early twenties I believe his hormones are playing pass the testosterone.  Which is unbelievable seeing as his privates don't do house calls anymore.  As oh, so recently, he escaped.  "How" I hear you say, well by using his newly shaped body to his advantage, he pushed, pummelled, call it how you like, his way through the automatic gates. He was out and doing forward rolls down the street, visibly happy to be out, "yippee, I'm free, I'm free".  Funniest thing you have ever seen.  He was in full escape and evade mode, ducking in and out of shrubs, trying to look like a lamp post, "no - no one here but us lamp posts", tucking his tail between his legs hoping to invisibilize himself from his pursuer. It was so pathetic it was ingenious, I even felt sorry for him, for all of two seconds.   Another adventure cut short Moogs.
We go visiting our newest best friends ever, called Ponsonby Veterinary services, never met them before, but all of a sudden we visit them more times than we visit our children.  And that's not good because our children still live at home.    And every time we do, we leave with more stuff for the beasts and our pockets are a lot lighter.  I was wondering if we could buy shares in the clinic as I'm sure by now we must own some of it. Or maybe at least have a frequent flyer chair situated in the waiting room with our name on it.  The worst thing is; Moogs and Lottie are sick right up to the point where you walk into the vets and then, bloody hell, they perk up like Elvis is in the house, and the vet thinks you're a hypochondriac.  But then - the Vet gives you that look - you know what look I mean - yes that look.  That look that says, YOU'RE A PLONKER......it's that look that turns perfectly rational people into those other people.   So you desperately begin to look for the rash that was there last night, pointing pathetically at any pimple or red marking that may resemble sickness of any sort.  Rubbing Lotties tummy a little too rough in the hope glandular fever may appear or anything mystical, "please let there be sickness somewhere".  Then you give up and hope the frequent flyer chair is still in the corner of the waiting room so you can hide under it.
Oh well, this is what we do for family. Speaking of which all our children have grown to love these two bundles of gymnastic glory just as much, if not more than we do, and it really is noticeable when the first thing they do is seek them out for their daily diet of slobbering happiness.  It is a real art getting to Moogs before he slobber shakes in the house. I've become quite apt at reading the signs of the pre-slobber twitch and grab the slobber cloth as the massive head begins its propeller fling.    
Moogs also uses the fish pond as his own private drinking vessel but fails dismally with table manners, disgracefully leaving a waterfall trail from the pond, through the lounge, past the fridge and right up to the sofa, where he happily yawns, opening the flood gates from his mouth tanks.  But you have just got to love the boy; he does this with no malice or intent, his big mastiff eyes just staring back at you telling you he loves you back. 
I often see what those big eyes are trying to tell, "if only I could fly", I hear him whimper. Which brings me to his next act.  He can fly, only thing is it?s a very short flight from my truck window and downwards to the roadside.  (Wait for it...........I'll do my best to see the funny side of this!!!!!!)
I'm sure we have all heard of these canine attempts at being super dogs, but to have my Moogs actually provide me with a first eye view was not the prettiest sight for anyone. One second he's on the back seat fanning his extra layer of face in the wind, and providing an unwanted window wash for the car behind.  The next he's throwing himself out the window in an attempt to prove, he too can be weightless. (I had just started out, travelling at 10 kilometres, when he spied a small fluffy thing on the side of the road, and he wanted it).
Now, I don't frighten easily, but when I looked back and did not see him sitting behind me, everything just froze.  A time warp opened up, a slowing of a movie scene, and a fast realisation of what had just unfolded.
I believe I jumped out of the truck before it stopped. I looked back and saw Moogs picking himself up off the roadside.  I got to him in seconds, his face was covered in blood, he didn't yelp or cry out, he just lay there with his head on my lap, his paw cupped over my forearm.  I was frantically wiping his muzzle looking for where the blood had come from. His eyes were looking at me, his tongue trying to clear his nose way.  I picked him up like he weighed nothing and ran with him to the truck.  I was on the phone to Sarah spilling out the events that had just happened and as I drove down my street, I could see Sarah pacing the roadway waiting for us.  I'm not totally sure how Sarah got in the truck, because I'm sure I didn't slow down. Moogs just lay on the back seat, his big head breathing heavily, I could tell he was not well and Sarah was upset and so was I.  This big bundle of lard was our mate, and he couldn?t tell us where he was hurting. 
We arrived at the vets and the first thing Moogs does, is try to eat their pet parrot.  Not so hurt after all, are we Moogs!  It was quite a struggle to keep him away from the damn birdcage; he just wanted to eat it.  Not sure of why that was, maybe he was delirious or suffering from a delayed concussion or something.  This was the most energetic I'd ever seen Moogs.
But on a more serious note, he had to have a few teeth pulled; he had facial grazing and a very sore head.  A bit like the injuries you get after a good night out on the town.    We left Moogs with the vets and got him back that afternoon.  After all this excitement Moogs is much better today; he has a new couch, (guilt buy).  Unlimited brisket bone, (guilt buy), and more cuddles and hugs going his way than a puppy bullmastiff with chocolate mousse.  (The cuddles are to make me feel better).
I won't even try and explain the guilt reaction on this one, and I'm sure you will line up and throw your own vegetables at the bad mastiff owner in the stockade, but rest assured, Moogs and Lottie are well loved and no one feels guiltier than I about the flying lesson.  I can only tell you that these two bundles make us laugh, get Sarah and I out of bed in the mornings, even if I've had a busy night shift.  We feed them, walk them in the rain and hale, wash their kennels and bedding, tend to their numerous needs.  And we do this all because - THEY'RE FAMILY. 
Until next time



Palates Moogs
Sizing up the opposition is one way of putting it but when the opposition looks like Jonah Lomu with big teeth, well that’s another story.  Palates Moogs is once again about our  Moogs who continues to provide us with all sorts of adventures, although I am happy to announce that these new adventures don’t include flying, as his pilots license was revoked, forthwith. 
Our Moogs has been keeping us fully entertained, from running at the fence and breaking it, (yes running), to unsuccessfully trying to eat the next door neighbors Pekinese.  I actually don’t blame him as this little dog sits on his side yapping furiously at Moogs and Lottie.  It would annoy the hell out of me as well, knowing that the only reason this little munchkin is being so brave is that there’s a Jurassic park safety fence stopping me from kicking the crap out of him.  The thing is Moogs has continued to grow and as much as we try to wane him off the solids and back onto little dots of lettuce and cucumber sandwiches, it’s just not working.  Which is why we thought dog Palates would be a good way of getting him to lose the weight?  We don’t say weight too loudly around him as he’s a bit sensitive about it.  Actually it’s me who does the biggest grumbling in defending him from those who may think he’s a bit chubby.  “It’s his winter coat, he’s big boned” - but at the moment everyday seems to be winter.
I know the extra weight is not good for the big slobbery blubber boy, but the love handles which were once slightly noticeable are now morphing with his backside and it’s a little difficult to tell where they start and end.  It’s become such a problem for the big guy that you can’t tell when he’s going to go poo’s as he doesn’t have the ability to do that abdomen crunch thingy that allows him to signal to everyone, “stay back I’m doing some business”.  And I have to say in his defense, when you’re big boned, what chance do you have of losing 10 kilos. 
And another thing, he’s a good looking boy. His distinguished features often cause unsuspecting individuals to part with their food without him even lifting a paw.  He has the gift this boy, of making those puppy dog eyes and poker face to feign malnutrition and although this does not work with me, his indulgence in different methods to extract food from visitors is talented and well practiced.   I often hear the Moogs monster grumbling at the meager morsels that are in his oversized food bowl, quickly followed by the constant showering of slobber as he frantically inhales his food, mainly to stop his sister Lottie from getting any of it.  Although Lottie has become quite apt at applying the faint to the left, and then in she goes, as it takes Moogs a large 6 point turn to get his frame to turn on its axis.   But don’t despair; he has worked out how to keep Lottie at bay by placing his head fully in his food bowl.  His jabber joules just fan out and fully encompass’s what used to be a very large dinner plate.  You have to look twice to see if there really is a bowl under that mass of black mask.   
It is amazing watching Moogs and Lottie running in the back yard, yes Moogs does run when it suits him, but it’s not pretty I tell you.  63 kilos, of rippling muscle, etched with hard granite dog abdominals (singular abdominal) rolling down the back yard gives you the picture of a well rehearsed script for a movie, but Moogs takes it all in his stride.  It also doesn’t last that long as he tires very quickly, most of the time he’s trying to fight off his little big sister Lottie as she constantly loves playing with her big brother.   Lottie is an opportunist, she sits at the top of the driveway watching Moogs as he slumbers into his sleep pattern of 19 hours a day, with the other five hours put aside for eating and crapping.  Lottie watches and as soon as she see’s him settling in, she’s off like a bouncing ball, running around him picking off a leg or two, nipping at him and taking off in the other direction before he can get a hold of her.  Funniest game I’ve ever seen, you see Moogs sleeps on his back with his feet in the air and those four legs give Lottie the best hold and grab game ever.  
These two are the best of friends and even though I’m the top dog in the pack I’m sure these two and Sarah put their heads together to conspire against me. Example, I found dog slobber on my pillow when I came home from a night shift. I put the question to Sarah and with the biggest eyes you have ever seen, she flatly denied that Moogs and Lottie had been inside over night.  There was enough DNA slobber on that pillow to make a well seasoned CSI detective wet himself with glee.   I’ve also noticed that my crocks seem to go missing.  I’m out looking for them grumbling as per normal and the next thing I find them in the spot I looked at first.  How does that happen? I have a theory and it all evolves around the mother in this family, protecting her children and I would not have it any other way.
Another thing is I seem to have an oversized shadow and although I’m a big boy myself, I don’t think my shadow should have an extra set of large ears.  I often find myself looking around to see this monster of a figure trailing me everywhere I go.  It’s got so bad now that if he’s not with me, I’m looking for him to see if he’s ok.  I find it hilarious  at times when I see peoples faces as they catch a glimpse of this big boy, the astonished look of “oh my god” someone call the park ranger there’s an escaped bear, with jowls and slobber tracks”.  But if you want to be historical about it, it’s even more funny to realise that Moog’s pedigree dates back to the Roman empire.  “True story” honest.  They only called it a Trojan horse because no one would believe it was really a MOOGS.
So as I sit here finishing off this tail of Roman History I’m watching the monster lying on his rug.  He’s big, full of belly and malting all over the place.  The window to his left has the added décor of running slobber, which incidentally looks very much like Elvis,   Wonder if I can sell it? 
Anyway, on a more serious note, there are times when I am really scared for my Moogs, he is getting slow and in the mornings he finds it a bit difficult to get off his couch.  His hips are giving him some trouble but after a big stretch and his daily meds, and some movement he gets into his stride and that big tail starts singing.   I watch Moogs face as I open the doors in the morning and he is so happy to see me, all he wants is a quiet voice, a pat and scratch and he’s happy.  His facial expressions are always the same, full, black, and large. 
One thing is for sure, we are the lucky ones, you see, Moogs chose us.  We asked to have him, but ultimately if he had not, placed that mutton head in my lap and  shown the staff at the pound that he had found his “forever home”, then we would not of been allowed to have him. So Moogs, thanks for taking a chance with us, we won’t let you down and we will always be part of your family.   


Contact Details
Sarah Bradford
Auckland, NZ
Email : [email protected]

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