Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

No, I’M cuter! Meet ‘cuddle monster’ French bulldog Maurice vying for Manchester's cutest canine crown

No, I’M cuter! Meet ‘cuddle monster’ French bulldog Maurice vying for Manchester's cutest canine crown

| By Helen Le Caplain

Mancunians issued a collective squeal of adoration when they laid their eyes on Dita Von Pug, a gorgeous black pooch with a penchant for novelty jumpers, clandestine cake eating and part-time modelling.

But now one dog owner is challenging Dita’s supremacy as cutest dog and is throwing down the gauntlet in a bid for blue French bulldog Maurice to become Manchester’s top dog.

Maurice Gee is a 'Frenchie' who sports huge bat-like ears, velvety fur and an adorable expression that would melt even the coldest of hearts.

Although he’s only five months old he’s no young pup in the world of business having forged a career in PR as Client Services Director, or client licker and cuddle monster supreme, at award-winning Manchester PR and design company Jam PR.

Jaime Gee, Managing Director at Jam, explained that Maurice is a valued and much-loved member of the close-knit team.

TOP (OFFICE) DOG: Maurice showcases his exceptional IT skills

She said: “It was a bit difficult at first having him in as he was the most adorable thing running around the office – we kept getting distracted by him.

"But now he’s not literally part of the furniture – our clients love him!”

When he’s not ‘truffling’ around the office sniffing out whatever he can get his little paws on you’ll find him curled up in his basket snoring up a storm.

A couple of weeks ago he managed to muster up the energy to follow in the tiny mischievous paw prints of the infamous Andrex puppy.

Jaime explained: “He managed to sneak past our desks without anyone noticing and truffled into the office toilets.

“The next thing we knew he came flying out of with lots of tissue stuck to him and we had to wrestle it off him!”

HANDYPUP: Maurice isn't afraid to get his paws dirty and help out with a spot of DIY

But Maurice has proved to also be a big hit outside the office, 32-year-old owner Jaime revealed she now has to set her alarm even earlier than usual in the morning just to ensure she gets to work on time.

She explained: “The walk to work should only take 10 or 15 minutes but it takes nearly an hour as people stop us in the street to fuss him.

“When we are out walking he thinks he’s a rock star and that everyone in Manchester is a fan!”

And it’s not just us mere mortals who can’t resist those beautiful blue eyes; even celebrities go weak at the knees when in the presence of ‘the original space cowboy’.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Maurice loves the Manchester sunshine

Last December Maurice was out with owners Jaime and her husband Dave as they grabbed a quick post-work drink and bumped into Take That’s Jason Orange who couldn’t resist introducing himself and having a cuddle with him.

But despite the adoration from all and sundry in Maurice’s eyes there are just two top dogs, Jaime and Dave, and the feeling is certainly mutual as 'mum' Jaime revealed that having him is a childhood dream come true.

She revealed: “I always wanted a British bulldog – they’re so ugly they’re beautiful – but they’re quite big and we live in a small apartment.

“A French bulldog like Maurice doesn’t need as much space as they are physically smaller.”

The build-up to his being welcomed into his new Manchester pad was a nervous time for Jaime and Dave.

“He came from Wythenshawe and was living with his mum and brothers and sisters. We visited him every day before was ready and then as an 8-week pup was able to bring him home," she said.

ADORABLE: First trip to the vets for a health check up

“It was incredibly nerve wracking bringing him with us. We don‘t have children but it felt like we were bringing a baby home from the hospital!

“He was so quiet at first and would sit in his basket and wouldn’t move. He was missing his mum and siblings which was breaking my heart.

“I worked from home for a couple of days to keep him company as he was so young. Eventually he got out of his basket and sat on my foot and looked at me, and that was that."

BATH TIME! Maurice jumps in the tub to get clean

Abundant in charm this cheeky chappy shows no sign of his earlier bashfulness as he now bounds around the office and greets everyone with great enthusiasm.

However there are two things that Maurice is less than enthusiastic about  doggy clothing and rain.

Jaime said: “He’s not a fan of clothing or his harness and lead – he’d much rather be free. 

“We tried him in a hoodie and coat to try and keep him warm and dry, especially as he’s still a puppy and hates the rain. How can you live in Manchester and hate the rain?”

ONE IS NOT AMUSED: Maurice (reluctantly) models a parka Liam Gallagher-style

But there was one occasion that no matter how much he pulled that face was not going to get him out of donning certain festive attire.

Jaime revealed that the whole family wore their gariest Christmas jumpers on December 25 and Maurice was no exception.

"It was a Christmas jumper theme – my mum thinks he’s her grandson and we all had to wear one!" she laughed.

HO HO HO! Maurice showcases the latest in festive canine couture

He may not be a dedicated follower of fashion but he certainly has jumped on the healthy eating bandwagon by embracing a paleo diet. 

Most dogs salivate at the thought of a juicy bone or a handful of doggy biscuits, but Maurice goes weak at the knees for... raw carrots.

"If you give him a carrot stick he will hold it in between his little paws until he's all finished – what can I say? He's a very healthy dog!

PALEO POOCH: Maurice embraces a healthy lifestyle by snacking on raw carrots

In addition to his healthy eating regime, Maurice is keen to get out and about with plenty of walks and loves exploring the countryside.

Jaime said: "He doesn't need massive amounts of exercise but he loves bouncing around in Sale Water Park, loves playing ball and hunting for sticks."

CAN WE GO OUT AND PLAY? Maurice tries to convince owner Dave to take him out

And after the end of a hard day in the office or a long countryside walk Maurice loves nothing better than to snuggle up and catch up on his beauty sleep.

NAP TIME: Maurice catches up on some well-earned rest

So Manchester, who do YOU think is top dog? Does Dita still reign supreme or has Maurice claimed the cutest canine crown? Have your say below.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.