Maybe a Mutt or Mongrel
July 31st is Mutts Day.
What is a mutt, anyway? Is it the same creature as a mongrel?
Traditionally, a mutt is a mixed-breed dog, also known as a mongrel or a Heinz 57 pooch. Canine breed enthusiasts may bark about their favorite pedigrees, but many dog lovers actually prefer those of assorted or even uncertain parentage.
Our family, for example, recently added an adorable and sweet puppy to our fold (see photo). We know she comes from several different breeds: Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Labrador and God-only-knows what else.
Etymologists trace the word “mutt” to the 18th Century term “muttonhead,” which referred to slow-witted or foolish person.
Perhaps this meaning is linked to the nickname of cartoonist Bud Fisher’s syndicated cartoon strip, titled “Mutt and Jeff,” which started in 1907 and still reprints in some American newspapers.
Is a mutt a muttonhead?
We beg to differ. Our mutt is a dear dog, not a dolt. And she is the smartest, most trainable up we have ever had.
Who’s your best friend on July 31st?
By the way, July 31st is also Friendship Day, a doggedly delightful reason for tossing a Frisbee or just hanging out with a favorite pup … especially a marvelous mutt.
Puppy photo copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson – Nickers and Ink
“Mutt and Jeff” cartoon – Fair Use
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