Happy National Mutt Day!

Posted by Amy Hempe on

This year, the final day of July 2020 is National Mutt Day. Now if you are like me, every day is Mutt Day. My two puppers are extraordinarily spoiled mixed-breeds - I can't say definitively what they are since I have yet to DNA test them. But whatever their mixes are, they are perfect.

National Mutt Day was created in 2005 by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige, and is actually recognized twice a year: July 31 and December 2. Paige wanted to bring attention to the amazing qualities that mixed-breed dogs have as well as the fact that mixed-breeds are euthanized in shelters at a far higher rate than pure-bred dogs. You can read about here.

Now while those of us with magical mutts might not be AKC eligible, we know that our dogs are phenomenally special. We get a dog who is unlike any other pup. A boxy head and a fluffy tail with some random spots make for a uniquely stunning pooch. We can play "Guess the Breed" with our friends and know that nobody will deduct any points anywhere for a little splash of white across the chest, or for an ear that sticks up while the other one sticks out.

Now some may argue that a mutt could be unpredictable - they prefer knowing what they're going to get. We answer that we aren't opposed to purebreds at all. If that's your jam, then go for it. But quite often, one can figure out more or less what a dog's genetic influences are.  And more than that, training will help alleviate any fears of a "crazy" dog. Keep your dog busy and exercised, and teach him commands to know not to jump on people but to sit and wait. 

Growing up in a very doggy family, we had both mutts and purebreds. I loved them all, of course, but my super special dog was my little terrier mutt, Poncho. He was a mix of Cairn and God knows what else. He went after mice and snakes in the back yard, and was the best watch dog in the house, despite two other dogs nearly three times his size. I had him from first grade to eighth grade - he'd been abandoned in my neighborhood and of course, we had to take him in. He taught me loads about unconditional love.

If you are in the market for a new dog, please consider visiting a local shelter and checking out their mutts. Or if there is a breed you are fond of, contact a rescue organization and ask if there are any mutts available with that breed present - you'd be surprised by the number of mixed-breeds taken in by breed-specific rescues. Ask for a meet-and-greet and check out the chemistry. You just might find that having a mutt or two can greatly enhance your life and make you smile just about every day.

Who are the mutts in your life? Tells in the comments.

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