When I found Lana online, I made an appointment to meet her, and the next day to meet a purebred Border Collie from the same rescue. I had already started to picture my life with Ferris, the Collie. I was sure he would be the one for me. But, obviously I chose Lana. There are plenty of dog breeds I adore. But to me, nothing beats a good old fashioned mutt. And I can give you ten reasons why.
–Mutts live longer. Mixing breeds allows the introduction of fresh, different genes to the gene pool. With more varied genes, dogs are likely to live longer, healthier lives. The average lifespan of a dog is around 11 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer, and larger dogs tend to have shorted lives. However, my parents’ medium-large mixed breed dog is a whopping 16 years old. There was no special diet, we were just awful about exercising her, and she spent several years of her life as an outdoor dog. (She was not unhappy, but I think now that she’s old she would be miserable outside.) So what’s kept my childhood companion around all these years? Damn good genes.
–Mutts are unique. Yes, I know everyone believes their dog is unique; and in reality, all dogs are. Not just their appearances, but their personalities differ greatly. Dogs have quirks, habits, and relationships that are irreplaceable. Even if you tried to clone them, they wouldn’t turn out the same. Even with the same DNA, the ‘nurture’ part of the nature/nurture cocktail could never be perfectly recreated. What makes mutts extra unique, is that mutts don’t even have a set of standards to live up to. There is no expectation of alertness, aloofness, energy, or any other qualities purebreds are designed to display. Which, in my opinion, not only makes them mysterious, but also makes them more unique.
–Mutts bring us back to natural selection. You may call her an accident, but I call my mutt a child of natural selection. Maybe I’m weird. Maybe I like science a little too much. But I feel like my girl is extra special because nature chose her. Or god. Either way, she was not the result of someone who said ‘I need money, let’s breed this dog and that dog’. She is the real deal. *That being said, the ‘real deal’ would best be prevented through spay and neuter, because euthanizing dogs is NOT natural selection.*
–Mix and match. Love one thing about one breed and something else about another? Mix and match! It’s like shopping for bikinis, but you never have to feel self-conscious about your weight. I got the Border Collie’s intelligence (and stubbornness) with the Labrador’s love of (dirty) water. The Great Pyrenees gave Lana her protectiveness, but something (probably also Lab) makes her love to cuddle with me. I’m not in love with the shedding, but I’m more than grateful I missed out on the Collie’s infamously high energy level and the Pyrenees’ tendency to wander.
–Mutts are usually cheaper than purebred dogs. (Unless your purebred is also rescued.) Owning a dog costs an arm and a leg, regardless of what it looks like. But, based on the diverse genes’ positive influence on dogs’ health and the initial cost of the dog being lower, I’d say money is still a good reason to consider choosing a mutt.
–Mutt are less likely to be dog-napped. This reason is actually really sad, and something most of us probably don’t think about, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Want to know another group of dogs less likely to be stolen? Because thieves can’t breed them and they are less likely to roam out of your sight in search of a mate, spayed and neutered dogs are also a bit safer.
–You can lie about your dog. You see, Lana is a mini Landseer Newfoundland. At the very least I see Great Pyrenees. And I dare you to prove me wrong. If you see a hottie with a Springer Spaniel, your dog’s spots no longer mean he’s a Heeler. He’s definitely a Spaniel. And like magic (or deception) you already have something in common! Just send me a wedding invite.
–You can make lame jokes like “I like big mutts and I cannot lie”. You can say your pack is a “muttley crue”. If you swallow your pride, you can use the pun “Mutt-ch obliged” or “thank you very Mutt-ch” when people compliment your super cute Heeler-sometimes-Spaniel-depending-on-who-is-asking. If you build a dog play room, you can announce to your friends that you’re “re-mutt-eling your home”, and then beg them to help in exchange for pizza and beer. Are you a fan of e.e. cummings? Hang a sign in your house that says “the world is mutt- lucious (and puppy-wonderful)”. I am seriously about to do this.
-I didn’t go out of my way to look for a mutt. But I when I found the one for me, I fell in love with her. She was cuddly, playful yet calm, and so stinking cute. I chose her for her, not because I wanted something specific. I just wanted a dog – it is that simple and that crazy. The number one reason I chose a mutt over a purebred dog is because I was lucky enough to fall in love with one!
Choose the dog you fall absolutely in love with, no matter what breed it is. You should never settle for a dog you feel like you should love. You have a shot at a soulmutt here.
Readers: I can’t help myself – I want more lame mutt jokes. If you come up with any, please leave them in the comments for everyone to enjoy!