“Moose ’n Me”

“Moose ’n Me”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Kenny Loggins
“Moose ’n Me”

Written by Kenny Loggins and Scott Bernard
Recorded by Kenny Loggins

I started this song as an 18-year-old, about a year after I got my first dog. I had just moved out of my parents’ home, and was living in East L.A., a notoriously rough part of town, renting half a duplex for $65 a month, behind a high school that had a far from stellar reputation. Coming home early one afternoon, I startled a burglar in my kitchen, who crashed his retreat out the back door. And that’s how it dawned on me I wanted a dog, for both protection and companionship.

The next day, my mom and I went to the home of a friend of hers to select a puppy from a litter of new-born “beagle/mutts.” I picked the biggest one, the one who climbed over his siblings to get to the food first, my logic being his natural survival instincts could serve us both, and named him Moose.

Moose and I quickly bonded, and I took him everywhere with me, even recording sessions. I confess, however, that being your basic, air-headed hippie singer/songwriter, I would sometimes forget he was with me, and leave a party at 3:00 AM without him. Moose figured out right away that one of us had to be the responsible one, and it probably wasn’t going to be me, so he’d camp by the door and practically sleep with one eye open. I guess I was as much “his boy” as he was “my dog.”

Back in early 1971, Jimmy Messina and I had just started picking songs for what was to be our first album together, “Sittin’ In.” Out of the many song ideas I showed him, Jimmy was always partial to the one about Moose and me. But I wasn’t so sure. I thought it was incomplete and not quite right for Loggins and Messina. Too simple, too childlike.

37 years later, when I recently decided to do a “Family Album” for Disney, it struck me that Moose’s time had finally come. I could complete it based, in hindsight, on a bittersweet memory. I wrote the new bridge and last verse remembering how, even though I had been on the road, many miles away from him when Ol’ Moose passed away, I could feel in my gut the night that he left.

But hearts stay connected wherever they roam

One night miles away

Somethin’ told me

He was gone.

Thus the song was reborn, this time with a subtle sense of a higher purpose.

Interestingly, just before I finished the song, my youngest son, Luke, and his little sister, Hana, lost their dog, Sprocket. The first thing I heard myself saying to my children to explain what had happened was simply, “Sprocket’s gone to heaven.” It was the one thought that calmed Hana the most, and I suspect what most parents say in such a moment.

I read once that the first to greet us when we pass over are our pets, then perhaps a loved one or close family member. My dad, my mom, and my big brother, Bob, have all passed away, but I know that even if no one else is there to meet me, Moose will be.

People talk a’ how we’ll all be reunited

When we pass through the Pearly Gates

Mom and dad and Bob ‘are gonna make it

’N you can bet we’re gonna celebrate.

We all believe we’ll be meetin’ our maker

When it’s long past time to spare

(But if) His angels can’t make it

I know the one who’ll meet me there.

Moose is a good dog.

My highest hope for this song is that parents might use it to aid their children through the mourning process, when that time inevitably comes.

“Moose ’n Me”

Me and Moose were heading down the river

Makin’ for the delta line,

All our friends were back up in the mountains

Where me and Moosie had spent our lives.

Pappy say “no lazy hound dog is ever gonna

Stray from where he’s born.”

But moose is crazy —

Moosie thinks that I’m his home.

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog,

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say,

A good dog Moosie is.

Captain Ferguson was waitin’ by the river

Where me and Moose had planned to stay

But before Cap n’ I could make a connection

Some fella’ said I was in his way.

He came at me with a crazy eyed stagger

But the Moose just growled him down

And I smiled and whispered

As my foe turned around.

Moose, you’re a good dog,

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is.

Moose is a good dog

Yes he is

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is.

Backroads and Highways

so go the years

And a young man must follow his dreams,

But hearts stay connected wherever they roam

One night miles away

Somethin’ told me

He was gone.

People talk a’ how we’ll all be reunited

When we pass through the Pearly Gates

Mom and dad and Bob ‘are gonna make it

’N you can bet we’re gonna celebrate

We all believe we’ll be meetin’ our maker

When it’s long past time to spare

(But if) His angels can’t make it

I know the one who’ll meet me there

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog,

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say,

A good dog Moosie is.

Moose is a good dog

Yes he is

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is.

Moose is a good dog

Yes he is

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is

a good dog Moosie is.

Moose is a good dog

Yes he is

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is.

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

Moose is a good dog

And I’d like to say

a good dog Moosie is.

Written by Kenny Loggins and Scott Bernard. © 1970 Universal Music

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