July 31st is Mutts Day, a day to snuggle up to your favorite “Heinz 57″, “All American”, or whatever favorite nickname you have for your mixed breed pup. While many pet owners prefer the prestige and certification that accompanies a purebred dog, mixed breeds are growing in popularity in part due to their longer life spans, variety of size and shape, and what some trainers describe as higher intelligence and trainability. With their increasing popularity, mutt lover’s have created a variety of events and organizations, including the American Mixed Breed Obedience Registry (AMBOR) and the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America (MBDCA). In fact, there is a “National Mutt Day” celebrated in December, but here at The Year of Living Unofficially, we just couldn’t wait another five months to spend a day celebrating and pampering our pooches!
I’m a big advocate of animal adoption, which is one of the ways this house ended up with so many dogs. Chris and I have three rescue dogs — two from my previous marriage and one we rescued together — and one purebred boxer who joined Chris’s family when he was leaving college. I’ve never been one bit ashamed of our mutts’ unknown ancestry…only curious. They’re the best dogs ever, but I can’t help but wonder where they came from. At one point I considered trying one of the relatively new doggie DNA tests that can sometimes determine which breeds your mutt may be descended from, but it just seems a little ridiculous for the cost. But no matter their origins, we love our pups, and wanted to share a little information about each of them:
Sage: I adopted Sage, a skinny and adorable lab mix, with my ex-husband on February 16, 2002. She was about a year old and full of energy, always jumping up on visitors and getting into trouble. One day I walked into the living room to see that she’d eaten her way through all of my VHS and DVD covers! But it didn’t take long, or much training, for Sage to calm down. Now in her senior years, she is probably the best behaved of all of our dogs, and the only one we’re able to consistently let off leash. It’s been a long time since her “skinny” days, but she’s still able to keep up with the younger dogs. Sage is a sweet girl and there’s nothing she wants more than non-stop pets and constant love and affection. She hates halloween and balloons, but be careful if you spill a beer around her…we think a hidden alcoholic resides somewhere within her. Also, when Sage is speaking to either of us (via Mom or Dad, or course), she has a french accent. Maybe she was born in Paris.