One of the most popular dogs to ever be on a television show was a naughty little Jack Russell Terrier named Moose. Moose played a dog named Eddie on the show Frasier, the much beloved pet of Frasier's father, Martin Crane. He was very much a part of the brilliant cast and often stole the show with his deadpan stares at Frasier. There is little doubt that he was a part of the show's success.
Photo via BBC
Moose was born in Florida one Christmas Eve and he turned out to be just too much to handle for his first family. In particular it was chasing cats (and killing one) that put him in the dog house. He also dug, climbed trees, escaped, and, well, did whatever he could to have fun and drive everyone else nuts. He even created a big fuss by chasing horses in a field. He was eventually given to the Florida manager of Birds and Animals Unlimited, a company that trains animals for TV and motion pictures. At the tender age of 2½ he was put on a plane and headed for Hollywood. There he met Mathilde DeCagny, a dog trainer for the company.
Photo via BBC
After only six months of training Moose was ready for stardom when he won his role on Frasier. If you think he would have been fun to have around at work, think again. For Moose, DeCagny was the only human in the world. When he needed to kiss or lick a costar sardine oil was smeared on their faces as an added inducement. When he had to cozy up for a cuddle or nuzzle a bit of pâté was rubbed behind the ear.
Image via Pinterest
He was best known for his long, concentrated stares that drove the character Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) nuts. Though Frasier purportedly "hated" Eddie, there were moments in the show that revealed that Frasier did have a soft spot in his heart for the precocious pooch. Check out Moose as Eddie in the video below.
At the height of the show's popularity Moose received more fan mail than any of his costars. When Kelsey Grammer won an Emmy in 1994 for best actor in a comedy series he acknowledged Moose's major contribution to the show during his acceptance speech. Grammer then thrilled animal-loving fans everywhere by holding up the award and exclaiming "Most importantly, Moose, this is for you."
Image via BlogSpot
Even though episodes with Moose took longer to shoot, his costars gave him glowing praise. John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, said "He was probably the most disciplined cast member." Jane Leeves, who played Daphne said "He's amazing, the things he can do." The one hold out was rumored to be Grammer, but this stemmed only from his rather strident opinion that Moose was not an actor, but a dog.
Image via YouTube
The producers of the show had realized that the show just might last longer than the dog and Moose began to sire puppies in the search for his replacement. From this project Enzo was born. As Moose got older, and started showing signs of deafness and dementia, Enzo inherited the family business and took over the role of Eddie. The two looked so much alike that it was virtually impossible to tell them apart, especially for TV viewers.
Enzo first appeared on the show in a box of puppies that had been sired by Eddie. As Moose got older the two shared the role so that Enzo could perform the more physically demanding moments. Eventually Moose retired and Enzo took over the whole part. Moose and Enzo also starred together in the feature film My Dog Skip.
Image via YouTube
Unlike other animals she trained, DeCagny had Enzo living in her home right from the start. Moose also lives with her and that can cause some problems. Like many fathers and sons, the two couldn't stand each other and often fought. Another son, Moosie, was given to actress Peri Gilpin who played Roz on the show. A daughter, Miko, was given to one of the show's technicians.
Moose's life story is recounted in the (auto)biography entitled "My Life as a Dog." Moose retired at the age of ten and passed away in 2006 at the age of 16. Enzo developed cancer and passed away just four years later at the age of 14.
Image via Amazon
Their legacy as Eddie Crane will live far into the future. Television viewers will continue to enjoy seeing them as the foil to Frasier, the sidekick of Martin, and the adored pal of Daphne, Martin's live-in caregiver. Eddie was often featured in the short vignettes that closed the show in which he finished off one of the earlier jokes in the show -- or at least an uneaten meal left over in the aftermath of some bit of chaos that had arisen during the rest of the show.
Without a doubt Moose and Enzo will both go down in television history.