Dogs fall into one of two groups: mixed breeds and purebreds. Some people believe that purchasing a purebred means purchasing a guarantee of temperament and health, but the only thing that “official papers” from a purebred dog registry organization certifies is that the reported lineage and identity of the dog is recorded, and the fact is that many puppy mill dogs are registry certified. If you are looking for a loyal four-footed companion, it will not matter whether you choose a purebred or a mixed breed dog. Your health maintenance and training will modify the future of any dog, whether purebred or genuine mutt. In fact, there are advantages to getting mixed breeds that you may not even realize. A mixed breed will have the benefits of different breeds , and will be less prone to genetic imperfections common to some purebred dogs, and a mixed breed may have a less extreme temperament than some purebreds. With consistent, loving training, almost any kind of a dog will grow into a uniquely brilliant magnificent friend.

A GENUINE MUTT (with selections from Jim Willis)

Dudley wasn’t sure how many weeks he’d been in the animal shelter, but it seemed forever. Each day was the same as the one before, and he spent most of his time sitting on the palette in his pen. He heard some of the dogs barking a greeting to the old bloodhound Humphrey, mascot of the shelter, as he made morning rounds. Humphrey paused in front of Dudley’s pen , making Dudley uncomfortable. He hung his head a little lower, and avoided Humphrey’s stare.

“You, boy…look alive!” Humphrey ordered….”It’s opening time and the people will be coming.”

“Alive? Alive for what. Nobody wants me. “

“Harrumph!” grunted Humphrey. “Why you’re a fine specimen of a …well, anyone can see that you’re obviously a…um…”

“A mutt,” sighed Dudley. “Nobody wants us.”

“Just a mutt!” Humphrey sputtered. “Why there’s nothing better than a mutt. Mutts are healthy, intelligent and brave. Mutts are some of the most cherished members of the canine community, but it takes more than Mutt Status to get into the right home. Do you do any tricks?”

Dudley looked down again. “Not really. I can have a conniption fit…at least that’s what my former owner called it.”

Humphrey tried hard to not look at the concrete and wire that made up his world, where lace curtains and a comfortable couch used to be before his former owner had died. “You need to put your best paw forward, show your best qualities. You are brave, aren’t you? And honest and sincere? Now I hear some humans headed this way… Just remember that you are a uniquely brilliant , magnificent mutt…..chin up, chest out, show ‘em what you’ve got” and with that Humphrey went on down the hall.

The human couple seemed kindhearted, quietly discussing the various dogs as they walked down the aisle. They paused in front of Dudley’s pen to read the ID card. “Huh, he is rather cute, but he appears to be a mutt.”

Dudley’s ears pricked up for an instant…they were talking about him. “Yes!” he barked. “I am a magnificent mutt, and I’m intelligent and loyal and brave.” Dudley barked again, standing up to get their attention. I am uniquely brilliant and can jump, and chase my tail, and roll over, and dance on my hind legs, and….” he toppled over from the effort.

“What was that?” the man asked

“I believe that’s what my grandmother would have called a ‘conniption fit,” the woman laughed. “Isn’t he precious?”

“I think we’ve got ourselves a genuine mutt,” the man answered with a smile.

Dudley beamed with joy as his new humans filled out necessary paperwork, and danced as he went with them to the parking lot. Humphrey watched as the humans picked up the little dog, and gently loaded him into their car. He turned, trying to ignore his aching joints, and walked back down the bleak kennel aisle, pausing just long enough to wipe at his eyes with a paw, thankful that he had helped save another magnificent, genuine mutt.