He's the toast of Hollywood, this little dog.
This fall, he made his television debut as Eddie, the bad-boy dog who stares at Frasier Crane, the psychiatrist on NBC's "Frasier." Then came a segment on "Entertainment Tonight." Now his snout is gracing the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
Not bad for a dog who used to roll in cow dung in Lake County, Fla.
The Jack Russell terrier, whose real name is Moose, was born on Christmas Eve 1989, the last puppy born in the litter but oddly the biggest. His owners, Sam and Connie Thise, sold three of the puppies but kept Moose.
"He's wild. He can climb trees, straight up for about 6 feet," says Connie Thise, a veterinary technician. "And he loved to roll around in cow manure -- especially after we bathed him."
The Thises couldn't handle Moose, so Connie Thise searched for someone who could. One day last year, while Moose was with her at the vet's office, she offered him to Cathy Morrison, manager of Birds & Animals Unlimited, a group of animal trainers who operate the Animal Actors Showcase at Universal Studios Florida.
For a year and a half, Ms. Morrison trained Moose. "He was hard to train because he was incorrigible," she said. "You'd come home and you'd find him up on the table. He would have eaten something on the table. Or he was ripping into something. All the time, some kind of mischief."
But that spunk convinced her he would make a great show-business dog.
Just as Ms. Morrison was about to start marketing Moose as a movie dog, the producers of "Frasier" put out a casting call for a small dog.
Moose quickly landed the role of Eddie, the pet of Frasier Crane's father. It's a job that consists primarily of glaring at star Kelsey Grammer.
Now Ms. Morrison's star pupil is getting the star treatment. Entertainment Weekly calls Moose "the hottest pooch to be unleashed on the airwaves in years." He dines on hot dogs, stew beef and chicken. He gets recognized in public. The NBC mailroom receives hundreds of letters for His Dogginess every week -- with everything from breeding requests to job offers.