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'Frasier' Canine Actor Moose


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'Frasier's' Eddie Canine Actor Moose

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Moose aka 'Eddie'

It may have been a dog's life, but Moose, the Jack Russell terrier of "Frasier" fame, wasn't one to complain. Kelsey Grammer's canine sidekick, known as Eddie on the long-running show, died Thursday, June 22 at the ripe old age of 16 and a half, his trainer, Mathilde Halberg told People magazine.

"[H]e just had an incredible charisma and was such a free spirit," Halberg told the magazine of the dog some called the Lassie of the '90s. Moose played Eddie for 10 years on the former NBC must-see TV staple and was known for his ability to steal scenes from his human costars.

"He was always trying to put Frasier in uncomfortable circumstances," Halberg said. Other career highlights included landing a starring role in the film, "My Dog Skip," as an older version of Skip, who was played by his son, Enzo.

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Frankie Muniz and Moose in 'My Dog Skip'

The canine graced the covers of Life, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. He was also an unlikely author, penning his autobiography, "My Life As a Dog," with a little help from TV writer Brian Hargrove of "Wanda At Large" and "Titus."

In 2003, Animal Planet ranked Eddie the Dog fifth in its "50 Greatest TV Animals" special, behind only Lassie, Kermit the Frog, Flipper and Mr. Ed. However, the precocious pup wasn't always destined for greatness.

His first family found him to be more of a challenge than they were willing to handle, as the youthful Moose was destructive, barked a lot, refused to be house-trained and even killed a neighbor's cat. When he was two and a half, Moose was put on a plane from Florida to Los Angeles.

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'Frasier's' Kelsey Grammer with Moose and the rest of the 'Frasier' Cast

The canine got a second chance under Halberg's tutelage. "I saved him from the pound. His owners called me as a last resort," Halberg told People magazine in an interview. "He was extremely mischievous, always escaping, chewing up things and running off." After six months of training, Moose proved he had what it took to make it in Hollywood.

Moose beat out his canine competition when he went on his first audition for the "Frasier" role. "Moose had a great disposition for training," Halberg said to the Animal Press in a 1994 interview. "He loved it right away . . . it calmed him down a little. It's as if all of a sudden he had a purpose in his life."

At the age of 10, Moose retired from show business, turning over the role of Eddie to Enzo and settling into doggy old age. "The retirement of Moose was gradual," Halberg said to The Pet Press in a 2002 article.

"For a couple of years Enzo was doing all the fast-action, jumping up and down, retrieving or running moves," Halberg added. "Anything that I thought was becoming a little too strenuous for Moose." Even so, Moose still managed to outlive the Emmy-winning series, which came to an end in May 2004.

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