Why I chose a mutt

I grew up with a breathtakingly beautiful German Shepherd, so I always thought I’d get a purebred myself. But when it came time to getting my own dog, I didn’t have much money. I decided to look for my dog at a local shelter, and fell head over heels in love with a fluffy gray adult of indeterminate heritage.

He was seriously matted and after I took him to a groomer I discovered his hilarious underbite. Friends stuck out their lower jaw to ask, “How’s your dog?” Bruiser was so sweet; I miss him still.

When it came time to get my next dog, it was a sense of urgency that drove me to the shelter again. I didn’t care anything about the breed. I cared about getting a companion for Bruiser who was so anxious he was shredding my house, and I didn’t have time to wait for a litter to be born.

That’s when I adopted a Husky mix who looked like a small coyote. I named her Berkeley. She’s gone now but today, when I see a dog who looks like her in the park, it takes my breath away.

Along the way I’ve discovered that mutts appeal to my sense of humor, particularly those dogs with identifiable aspects of different breeds jumbled together, like a Lab’s big head stuck on a Corgi’s long short body. Purebreds are beautiful (see Why I chose a purebred), and I adore them too, but their appearance doesn’t make me laugh.

I suppose there’s a social element to my preference as well; I like saving a life and it’s mostly mutts who need to be saved.

But mainly, I like the idea of a casual dog with no fanfare, a no big deal dog. A mutt is reproduction without interference from man, a nod to Mother Nature’s true control. A mutt feels like wearing jeans instead of a suit,comfortable and down to earth — and that’s just like me.

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