An American family miraculously survived a fire that broke out in their houseboat, thanks to the dog Moose, who took them in two days ago. “This could have gotten out of hand. If the moose hadn’t woken us up…”
Chris Kushna, 54, and Sheila Gaines, 49, thought it would be fun to pick up a dog from the shelter for one night. This can be done through a special program of the Portsmouth Humane Society, which encourages people to take a dog temporarily into their home to ease the suffering of shelter staff and introduce people to animals for adoption. “It allows the dogs to de-stress and get away from the shelter,” explains Amanda Macquarie, director of the Portsmouth Humane Society. Washington Post.
Kushna’s children, Logan, 12, and Anya, 10, and Jens’ granddaughter, Luna, 8, spent the weekend with the couple on their houseboat in Portsmouth, Virginia. When the family of five stopped at the shelter in early August, they all agreed it must be a moose. “He was in the last cage and had a very friendly face.”
The moose was abandoned by his previous owners because they couldn’t take care of him. His temporary family took the four-legged friend to a local ice cream parlor and showed him off to passers-by. The family had so much fun with the moose that they decided to keep the dog for one more night.
Little did they know that Moose would rescue them the next morning. A fire broke out on a nearby boat Sunday morning and Moss alerted the family to the flames. “The moose saved our lives,” says Kushna.
At about 7:30 am, the 8-year-old Moose started moving around the nursery while the whole family was still asleep. He was panting and walking incessantly, and the kids thought he had to get out. But once they reached the top, they soon realized that the boat next to them was on fire and the fire was spreading rapidly. The children wake the rest of the family and they all narrowly escape with Moss. “This could have gotten out of control,” said Jens. “It was really scary. The time has come for the core. Surprisingly, no one was hurt. If Moss hadn’t woken us up, we would have been woken up by fire. We commend Moss for getting us out.”
The couple, owners of a music store in Portsmouth, had been living full time on the houseboat before the fire, but it has now been completely destroyed. Though saddened by the loss of the houseboat, Kushna and Janice are happy that they are alive. “Moose is just a hero,” said Kushna.
This boy deserves a steak.
The couple had wanted to adopt Moose, but now they don’t have a permanent home. “We don’t have the capacity to keep a large dog as a pet,” said Jens. They want moose to be able to roam freely in the yard and get lots of attention.
Eventually, Moose was taken in by a family who lived nearby on a five-acre farm in Franklin, Virginia. Ciara Hill and her husband saw Moss’ story on the Portsmouth Humane Society’s Facebook page, and were immediately intrigued. “That boy deserves a steak,” Hale told her husband. “We’re going to catch him.”
Kushna and Jainice are thankful that Moose has found such a sweet home. “Moss is living his best life,” said Jens. “It really is worth it.”
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