Pets and Their People: Mooch and Lois Hurt

Mooch enjoys some quality time with his adoring owner, Lois Hurt, at home in Lake of the Woods. 

Last year, on her birthday, Lois Hurt decided to get herself a gift, and the gift she chose was Mooch, a large and gentle pit bull at the Orange County Animal Shelter. While you might think he got his name due to a love of mooching snacks, that’s not the case. Hurt, a registered nurse who works at Dogwood Village and lives at Lake of the Woods, said when her daughters were little, she used to say to them, “Give Mommy a moochie”—a kiss. It turns out Mooch, now 6 years old, loves putting his nose up to Hurt’s face and giving her a gentle nuzzle, much like a kiss. She describes him as “incredibly well-mannered and so soft-hearted,” and, indeed, Mooch lived up to that description during a recent visit. As Hurt gazed at him and called him “a big ol’ love bug,” Mooch settled down for a rest before happily posing for photos with her. Although people often assume pit bulls are aggressive, Mooch is quite the opposite. Hurt said he gets along exceptionally well with her two little dogs, a 10-year-old Yorkie named Khloe and a 6-year-old dachshund named Lucy. “I’ve never had to scold him,” Hurt said of her sociable pal who likes to play catch and go on walks through the woods when he’s not snuggled up on the couch with her.  

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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