Only a mutt

3 dogs looking at the camera with open mouth grinsWhen people call me to ask about boarding their dogs or for information regarding working with a timid dog, early on in the conversation I will ask what kind of dog it is. It helps me to have a picture of the dog, in the case of boarding it may determine whether the conversation needs to continue or not. Two 9 month old Saint Bernards are probably not a good fit for my in-small-home, kennel-free boarding set-up, but 2 seniors might be. A fearful Yorkie is likely experiencing life very differently than a fearful rottie. When it is not a pure-bred dog, owners will often reply, “He’s only a mutt.”

Only a mutt? You mean your dog might share some of the same genetic coding as a regal German Shepherd AND a goofy, coffee-table-clearing-tailed lab? Or the giddiness of a Maltese and the can-do attitude of a terrier? The easy to care for coat and beautiful musculature of a pitbull and the affinity for water of a Newfoundland? Or perhaps they are living with a dog that has figured out how to open cabinets to get at the trash, or can map the path of a frisbee or ball and know just where they need to be in order to snatch it out of mid-air. Some are living with dogs willing to run for miles along side them when they jog or ride a bike or will happily and gently eat the ice cream cone from the outstretched, chubby hand of a toddler going by in a stroller (unless they’ve been trained not to!). The dog will wait for hours in the car while they work or shop and cuddle up with them on the sofa in the evening, always keeping an ear on alert for anything that might be worth noticing out in the world. Only a mutt?

Dogs, like all the other creatures in existence are nothing short of a miracle, or if not a miracle, one of the best birthday presents ever in the history of the planet, regardless of when they come to live with us. Only a mutt? I don’t think so.


25 comments so far

  1. honeysjourney on

    Mutts are great, I married one part German, American Indian, Scottish, Irish and mixed breed of some sort. I need not worry about coffee table clearing, she hasn’t found a dust cloth to her liking as of yet.

    • fearfuldogs on

      You are a hopeless romantic by the sounds of it George 😉

  2. kenzohw on

    Categorizing in breeds should be done more the way you just described, as a set of predicators for behavior. And not some kind of quality trademark for looks.

    • fearfuldogs on

      It would be great if behavior pulled as much weight as looks in the show ring.

  3. Candy Blakeslee on

    When people ask me what breed Betsy and Norman are…I reply that they are “wonder dogs”! We not only wonder what breed they are they are also wonderful!

    • fearfuldogs on

      Cute. I’m going to try to remember that answer.

    • KellyK on

      That is a great answer!

  4. Ettel E on

    That was so sweet!

  5. Sue on

    I’ve kind of had a reversal of the mutt thing. I’ve had someone with a mutt make a snide comment about my posh breed dogs.(both with fear problems) I have a yorkie who i adopted when she was 2. She was rejected as a breeding dog because she was too feisty for the little male dog. (good girl Molly!)My other dog Poppy is a bichon who spent 6 years of hell in a puppy farm. My dogs may look good to passers by, but that is because i work hard every day to make sure they now have the best possible life. I rarely have evenings out, i only have holidays that the dogs can go on, and most of my earnings are spent on them!
    Never judge a book by it’s cover….whether its a mutt, a pedigree dog or a terrifed little soul struggling with the big wide world, they are all special.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Your story is another that confirms that people are willing to go to incredible lengths for their dogs.

  6. Kim on

    I rather prefer the APDT designation of All American (or CARO designation of All Canadian). Asher is an All American and I am very proud to have the privilege of calling him part of my family.

  7. fearfuldogs on

    Ok we’ve got

    mutts, mongrels, all Americans (Canadians), designer dogs, mix breeds, heinz 57s, wonder dogs, family….any others?

    • KellyK on

      Question mark dogs, American Shelter Dogs, models of genetic diversity

  8. Lizzie on

    I have two Bitzer’s! Bits of this and bits of that.

    I frequently have people remark how attractive they are and ask about their breed and how alike they are and that they must be brothers, but they are in fact from different parts of the country and are 18 months apart in age. Both rescues, (of course) . I could not tell you what breeds are in them, but they are as different as chalk and cheese.

    Oh, and then there’s Gracie, no mistaking her heritage, but as Sue says, looks can be misleading. Physically she’s as fit a Labrador as I have ever come across, but emotionally she’s a mess. Still that’s what makes her special 🙂

  9. Tracy on

    Cader has a mohawk. It is bright white and she is a dark gray dog. She certainly stands out. More of a “what happens if you mix a weimaraner with something fuzzy”. Mutts are unique, and that is the best!

    • fearfuldogs on

      Picture please.

      • Tracy on

        working on figuring out how to get one up here. fortunately, one of the first successes we have had with densistization is cameras….Cade used to hide if you so much as picked one up.

    • fearfuldogs on

      I’m not sure if you can, but if you email me a jpg I can at least see or share.

  10. Amy@GoPetFriendly on

    You’re post reminded me of a walk that Rod and Buster took shortly after we found him wandering the streets of Philadelphia. A counter clerk had come out of a store and settled himself on the front step, about to enjoy a soft pretzel covered in mustard. As Buster walked by, he turned his head, inhaled the pretzel, and left the guy sitting there with his pointer fingers and thumbs still holding an invisible pretzel. Rod rarely carried any money when walking the dogs at night in the city, so he couldn’t even buy the guy another pretzel.

    • fearfuldogs on

      I’ve had a few of those myself. My cockers were pros at pretending to be interested in the humans eating the cheese and sandwiches when we were out hiking. They were fond of pnut butter and jelly.

  11. Donna and the Dogs on

    My Leah is “just a mutt” and I always tell her she is unique – a one of a kind. She is so beautiful everyone asks what she is a mix of. Although we suspect Dobe, German Shep, and Akita – no one knows for sure – and that is the fun of it! As compared to my two rescued purebred dogs, a Lab and a Vizsla, Leah is by far the healthiest of the three and is still going strong at 11 1/2 years old – not bad for a ninety lb dog!

  12. Deborah Flick on

    Indeed, dogs of all varieties are miracles. There is no such thing as “just a mutt” or “just a dog”, but there are people who “just don’t get it.”

  13. KellyK on

    Thanks so much for this post. I have an “I Love My Mutt” sticker on my car, and my little mutt is an awesome dog. She has shar-pei wrinkles, cute little ears, a long waggy tail, a short coat, a gorgeous black/brown/blonde brindle that looks like tiger stripes, and a strong build.

    The only thing we’re sure about in her background is the shar-pei. Pit mix is a lot of people’s guess, but that may just be because people associate brindle with pits. Lab and boxer are the other two that come up a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: