Felton man finds new best friend for Christmas


Bill Moser and Lynn Lofthouse with Buck. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Bill Moser and Buck, a nearly two-year-old Great Pyrenees, are living proof that Christmas miracles can happen.

It certainly does appear as if fate — or just plain good luck — brought man and canine together last Friday.

Consider that Mr. Moser, of Felton, was forced to have Ace, his former faithful friend and Great Pyrenees, euthanized at the Middletown Animal Hospital on Nov. 15 after the dog experienced organ failure at the age of 13 years, 11 months old.

Meanwhile, Buck had gone through a pair of homes over the past month and was about to be placed in an animal shelter, which can be a difficult proposition for such a large breed of dog.

Against incredibly long odds, Mr. Moser and Buck were introduced at the perfect time in each other’s lives. It turned out to be love at first sight.

“A guy had (Buck) and his little daughter tried to feed him and he growled at her and he couldn’t take any chances, so he had to get rid of him immediately,” Mr. Moser said. “Over the past month he’s been through two homes and two families.

“I called them and said, ‘Let’s do a meet-and-greet.’ So we called the guy and they brought him over last Friday.”

He found that Buck weighed only 85 pounds when the nearly two-year-old dog should have been tipping the scales at around 130 and stood about 5-feet-10-inches tall on his hind legs.

However, the resemblance to Ace was uncanny and Mr. Moser immediately knew he had found a new best friend.

“I took him out into the yard where I have a big pen and I just let him loose and he was very friendly,” he said. “He jumped right up. The guy said ‘Hugs!’ and he jumped right up.

Bill Moser and Ace, his Great Pyrenees, had become a regular fixture at SPCA fundraising events throughout Delaware over the past seven years. (Submitted photo)

“We’re still working on trust issues, but that’s easy to see because he’s been dumped twice in a month.”

One could see the excitement in Mr. Moser’s eyes as he proudly showed off his new big fluffy white companion on Tuesday afternoon. He was preparing to take Buck to the veterinarian for the first time to get all of his shots updated and to get treated for ticks and fleas.

Mr. Moser and Ace had become a familiar duo at fundraising events for the First State Animal Center (FSAC) and SPCA over the past seven-plus years. Ace, with his friendly personality and outgoing demeanor, proved to be a popular ambassador for the SPCA.

Now, almost unexpectedly, Mr. Moser has a new partner to help promote rescue dogs.

“I had no idea,” he said of how quickly he would find a new acquaintance. “I was still paying off what I spent trying to save (Ace).

“I was going to wait until that got paid down a little bit before I got another one but, you know, this is the way it happens. I had to rescue (Buck). I couldn’t let him go to a shelter.”

Dr. Lynn Lofthouse, an associate professor of speech communications at Wesley College who also does volunteer work for the SPCA, said that she indeed believed it was a Christmas miracle that brought the two together.

“We think that Ace kind of brought them together and Ace is whispering in (Buck’s) ear from beyond Rainbow Bridge telling him how he had to act and to take care of Bill and what’s expected of him,” she said, with a smile. “Well, that’s our little dream there.”

In all seriousness, Ms. Lofthouse did say that it does appear to be a perfect match made at the perfect time.

“I am so delighted and (Buck) really is a dog who was needy and needed someone,” said Ms. Lofthouse. “A big dog like this, let’s face it, I’m probably not going to adopt a dog like this because it’s too much for me and most people … Bill is perfect.

“He knows so much about Great Pyrenees from Ace that this is just perfect. Obviously the man who had Buck did not do research on this dog and did not know much about him, but Bill knows a lot, so he knows how to take care of Buck and it’s going to be a long wonderful relationship.”

For Mr. Moser, who had grown accustomed to playing Santa Claus along with his sidekick, Ace, at dog rescue events the past several years, Buck turned out to be the absolute best thing he could have ever found under his Christmas tree.

“I’m single and this gives me somebody to come home to and somebody to care for,” he said. “My old dog (Ace), he was short and kind of meandered when he went for a walk … Now this guy goes for a walk.

“Before (Ace) was the old guy with tired joints. Now, I’m the old guy with tired joints.”

But with a new best friend and a smile that won’t leave his face.

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