Hi friends,

Lots of exciting things are happening at MUTTS. It’s an understatement to say we’re enthused about Patrick’s new project with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and — like you — we’re eager to hear updates about the book as it takes shape. Many readers have kindly taken time to send well wishes about the project, and we’ve compiled some of these messages in a blog post for you to enjoy, too.

The rest of the year will surely bring plenty of opportunities for reminiscing, as some favorite hand-picked MUTTS comic strips will make their way back to newspapers (and to your inboxes) during Patrick’s six-month sabbatical. We’re looking forward to taking a walk down memory lane with all of you.

On that topic, we’d like to thank those who wrote in to share feedback about the first set of “revisited” strips, which ran last week. This series of strips, originally published in July 2013, feature Mooch and Earl speaking with a “painted turtle” (a common nickname for the species officially known as Chrysemys picta, which often has red, orange, and/or yellow markings).

Many reptile experts and enthusiasts reached out to express their joy at seeing turtles featured (again!) in MUTTS, and some provided helpful reminders about turtle care and welfare, which we are happy to share:

  • First — although “painted turtle” is a common way of referring to these uniquely colorful creatures, no one should ever paint a turtle’s shell (or any other animal, for that matter). Sadly, according to reptile and wildlife rehabilitation experts, some people do paint turtle shells, which is extremely harmful and sometimes fatal to the animal. All “painting” should be left to Mother Nature.
  • Secondly, it is dangerous for turtles to be kept on their backs. As our friend Laura writes, “It is very dangerous for them to be on their backs (the top shell/back is called the ‘carapace’) for a prolonged time. They could either starve, get overheated, or their organs can get crushed from the pressure.”

Any other turtle care tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them; simply leave your comments below.

Strip-070921Republished July 9, 2021


Soon, a collection of Patrick’s paintings will be on display at the Urban Arts Space in downtown Columbus, Ohio. If you’re in the area, you can see the exhibition in person from August 10 through October 3. If not, you can still join in the fun by following Patrick’s artwork updates on Instagram at @_patrickmcdonnell.

We hope you’re enjoying your summer! Stay cool. Be safe. Do something today that brings you joy.

Your friends at

Comments (5)

When I was a kid, we had a number of turtle. At one point I had 6 turtles (different sizes from very small to medium size) – and my first and favorite turtle a little green one named Winky was apparently a very smart turtle somehow organized my other 5 turtles to stand on one another and she then climbed up to the top of our turtle tank and climbed out and disappeared into our apartment, Although my father and I looked all over my Bedroom where our turtle tank was situated, we were unable to find her. About a year later, something dropped to the floor off my night table by the bed, and rolled under it through an opening (the size was a little larger than my hand) at the bottom front of the furniture. I put my hand underneath to find it, and instead I found Winky hibernating, but still alive under the night table ,which was really amazing to us. We immediately put her back into her tank so she that could get water. Eventually once back in her safe place with water she revived, woke up, and then lived another year and a half or longer.My parents and I couldn’t believe that she had survived that long all that time apparently under the night table with no one seeing her in all that time. She was one amazing turtle, and a very cute turtle at that! I don’t suggest you take your turtles out of their habitats or let them wander around on their own. I used to take my turtles out for short periods and watch over them while walking around on the floor, and Winky liked her head gently petted, so Winky was sort of used to all that,. However, I didn’t know they could sleep a long period and hibernate, until this happened to us, so it was a surprising event for us that she was able to survive that long out of her habitat.

Carolyn J. Paurowski

Totally LOVING the old (new to me since I’ve forgotten seeing them so long ago!) strips!!!

Love Mutts!!!

Scott Cowden

Most probably know this, but it’s worth educating more, if you help a turtle across a road or path, move it in the direction it’s already going. Then be sure to sanitize your hands! Many turtles carry salmonella. Don’t pluck them from the pond or woods and keep as pets please. Turtles populations are struggling and if everyone lets their kid do it, that’s a lot of turtles that won’t reproduce!


One of the joys of my life has been “Mutts” and the wonderful parade of animals and adventures you have brought to us. The animals are cute, but somehow realistic, certainly their habits and characteristics are. My favorites are the main characters, Mooch and Earl, but I love the “secondary in name only” characters, both named and unnamed. Elephants, bugs, cows, a wonderful variety, all loved and valued. My favorite series is probably the one in March and whenever, about the animal shelter and
the dogs and cats who plan and wait and then succeed to get adopted into their own home. I wish all animals could have their own homes, undisturbed by humans in the wild, and tenderly loved everywhere. Thanks for the wonderful gift of love through Mutts.

allie werhan

I’ve had a number of turtles in my life, but this last one of my rescues, since I never bought one, is the longest I ever had. And I notice that he/she recognizes me at a distance! We actually make eye contact when I’m hovering over the very big tank! Its like the turtle is telling me, he or she wants food, which is true. When I worked in the NYC animal shelter, I couldn’t find a home for them, and I thought, well, they age gracefully, so that began my love affair with turtles.

joan silaco