Moose is a handsome Malamute mix who shares a loving home with some unconventional roommates – including his “girlfriend”, a domestic fox named Juniper.
The internet abounds with photos and videos of unlikely animal friendships. Cats and pigs, goats and camels – even giraffes and ostriches. But no animal has made more interspecies connections than the domestic dog. Bonding with birds, tigers, deer and countless other critters, dogs have proven themselves to be the least prejudiced when it comes to making friends, and this impartiality never fails to tugs on our heartstrings. So it’s no surprise that Moose, a handsome Malamute/Australian shepherd whose “girlfriend” is a fox, has achieved social media stardom.
Moose’s early days weren’t happy ones. Seven years ago, when he was just a puppy, he was dropped off after hours in front of a veterinary office, along with his mother and five siblings. They were discovered the next morning, cold and wet, and veterinary staff immediately saw that the mother was in poor condition. Further evaluation revealed she was suffering from parvovirus. Unfortunately, she did not recover. But Moose and the rest of the litter survived. Before long, they had all found loving homes – in Moose’s case, with a teenaged girl who volunteered at the clinic.
Jessika was only 18 when she adopted Moose. Though she now has a household full of different creatures, Moose was her very first animal companion. “I knew that taking him home would be rewarding,” says Jessika. “And yet, I had no idea how thankful I would be for him, or that Moose would see me through the most crucial years of my life.”
Moose quickly became Jessika’s rock. He was her roommate at her first apartment, a shoulder to cry on during her first heartbreak, and even her protector during a break-in. “He was my constant companion and I genuinely feel we grew up together,” Jessika says. “He’s been there for everything. And he looks after me just as much as I look after him.”
Moose and Jessika have been through a lot together over the years, including many additions to their little family. Today, their ever-growing clan has expanded to include a cat, two sugar gliders and Moose’s aforementioned unlikely partner – a domestic fox named Juniper. Hyper, edgy and independent, Juniper is Moose’s other half.
Juniper went viral over a year ago,” says Jessika. “The couple made appearances together on social media and quickly became an Instagram iconic duo.” Even without Juniper, Moose is more than deserving of his devoted Instagram followers – which total 163,000 to date. Posed with or without his foxy friend, his photographs garner the attention of fans, and it’s fair to assume many of them consider Moose the true star of the show.
“People fell in love with his patient, laidback personality,” says Jessika. And indeed, every one of Moose’s pictures portrays him as the most gentle, caring “boyfriend” any fox could dream of having. When he’s not good-naturedly entertaining Juniper, he’s sitting regally in the woods, lounging happily around the house, or calmly waiting to be fed – a perfect picture of the well-mannered behavior every pet parent covets.
Moose is also the perfect picture of health. Besides being raised in a home full of love and quality care, this healthy pooch is fed a wholesome raw diet from WeFeedRaw. “He is in great shape for his age and I fully believe his diet is the main contributor to his vitality,” says Jessika, who switched Moose to raw food to help with the skin issues he was experiencing. “His coat was always incredibly dry and he would get easily fatigued whenever we went out hiking,” she says. “After switching him to a completely raw diet, he no longer has any skin issues, his coat is always silky, he sheds way less, his teeth are healthier, and even after hiking for miles he still has ‘zoomies’ when we stop for a break. It’s been amazing watching him act like a puppy again, even though he’s seven.”
So what does the future hold for a dog who already has it all? According to Jessika, the plan is to expand their mismatched family even further. “I’m currently in the process of fulfilling my lifelong dream of opening an exotic animal sanctuary,” she says. When Jessika was only 13, her mom began enrolling her in volunteer programs that allowed her to work with both domestic and exotic animals. That passion followed her into her adulthood. Some of Moose’s four-legged housemates came from neglectful circumstances, and Jessika’s goal is to use her experience to open a fully functional facility to care for more like them.
Luckily, Moose is fully on board. “He’s like a guardian for smaller animals and children,” says Jessika. “He’s very empathic and does everything he can to comfort the living things around him if they’re in distress.” Without a doubt, Moose will continue to help Jessika rehabilitate more animals, including the newest member of their family – a baby rescue fox named Fig. But no matter how many animals Jessika takes in, Moose will always hold a special place in her heart. “He’s been an astounding companion over the years,” she says. “I can’t imagine life without him.”