If you’ve ever walked your dog, or had a Firefly Wonderland session, at the Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, you might have seen Moss, the border collie. Or you’ve at least seen the sign as you pulled into the visitor parking lot.
Moss is an actual employee of the Ford House, and his official title is Director of Wildlife Management. He has a very special job, chasing the geese from the property. And yes, Moss attends the team meetings at the office, but he’d much rather be out patrolling.
As a border collie Moss is especially suited for this role. A working dog needs a job and Moss takes his very seriously. I was able to follow him on his rounds and interview him for this feature. His handler, Karl, came along to interpret for me.
One of the first things I learned about Moss is that he doesn’t work for traditional treats – his work is his reward. I’m so used to giving lots of treats to my dog models that it was hard not to give him the occasional snack but I don’t think he would have accepted it anyway, he was in march-mode!
Moss was itching to get to work the minute I arrived so we headed out for his routine patrol. He was alert and ready, searching ahead of us for any sign of a goose. Moss is so good at what he does that he can tell the difference between ducks and geese, and he only occasionally tries to chase a squirrel or deer. He doesn’t mind meeting other dogs and humans on his route, but don’t be offended if he doesn’t stay to chat. He is on the clock, after all.
Occasionally as we walked I asked Moss to pose for a photo, which he did, begrudgingly. Can a dog roll it’s eyes? I swear I felt like the pupperazzi hounding a celebrity! I had to work fast because Moss would only give me a few seconds before he was looking for permission to get working again, and since that’s his reward I didn’t want to hold him back.
We made a wide circuit, circling the main house. Sometimes Moss would run ahead and then stop and wait for us. I think he prefers it when the humans are in a golf cart and can keep up! Karl and I chatted as we followed Moss.
I learned that Moss isn’t the first goose dog at the Ford House but he was born and bred for that specific job. His training is reinforced by having one handler, Karl, and I could see that their bond was incredibly strong. Moss was always checking in with Karl and waiting for his cues. While he lives with Karl and has the comforts of a family and home he truly is happiest when he’s working.
While Moss was focused on his work, your pup can also enjoy a more leisurely stroll around the beautiful grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. Dogs are allowed on the grounds (with the exception of Bird Island), but not in the buildings.
You can purchase a daily grounds ticket, but I recommend getting the full membership here. Plus if you’re a member your pup could join the Moss Pack and win a prize! Just take a photo of your pup while at the Ford House and post it to your Instagram page with the hashtag #FHMossPack and tag @eefordhouse. Winners are announced in the monthly member newsletter.
You can also schedule a Firefly Wonderland photography session for you and your dog with me at the Ford House! It’s one of my favorite locations for a photoshoot, schedule a quick discovery call with me today.