Guard Dog, Mooch, Earl, and Shtinky Puddin'

If you’re a regular MUTTS reader, you’ve likely heard of the MUTTS Manifesto by now. But perhaps you’re new here, or haven’t yet had the chance to check out the Manifesto in full.

Hey, no problem! This month marks the 22nd anniversary of MUTTS, and we’re taking the opportunity to inform all of our readers, new and “old,” about our history and philosophy.

Patrick McDonnell started MUTTS on September 5, 1994. Throughout the years, the stars of the strip — Earl, Mooch, Guard Dog, Shtinky Puddin’, and all the rest — have warmed readers’ hearts and helped raise awareness about a wide range of animal and environmental issues across the globe. This gentle social commentary is now a regular theme in the comic, and one of the many reasons MUTTS is lauded by so many animal advocates and organizations. But Patrick didn’t plan it that way.

As he once noted in an interview with Spot Magazine, he initially set out to create a strip about animals enjoying the simple things in life. And then, he explains, “In trying to see the world through their eyes, I think I just got more and more educated about how tough it is for a lot of animals on this planet. And as I got educated, that crept into the MUTTS narrative.”

Eventually, in order to bridge those two concepts — simple pleasures and tough issues — Patrick created the MUTTS Manifesto, a 12-step guide for living happily and compassionately. The steps are straightforward. Number one? “To be kind.”

The Manifesto also includes animal-related objectives, like: “To encourage rescues and adoptions” and “To make humane choices.” Fittingly, September’s Manifesto is “To be a positive force.”

Positivity takes many shapes and comes in many sizes, and is always freely available — though at times it can be difficult to spot. (Sounds a bit like the answer to a riddle, doesn’t it?) Here at MUTTS, we aim to spread positivity in everything we do — whether we’re admiring cute photos of puppies, partnering with an animal shelter, or suggesting recipes for plant-based meals. We believe in being inclusive, not exclusive, and in celebrating small acts of kindness and compassion.

We’d love for you to embrace the MUTTS Manifesto in your own life, or to simply refer to it as a pick-me-up on days when you need just a little extra inspiration. Share it with a friend, print it out and stick it to your refrigerator, or purchase an official Manifesto (printed on recycled paper) to hang in your home.

Most of all, we’d love for you, readers and animal guardians, to know that you’re appreciated. It’s because of your support that the MUTTS Manifesto and comic strip have had the opportunity to positively influence so many lives (of so many different species) around the world.

To stay updated about MUTTS news, visit our homepage to sign up for our daily email, plus a monthly “Newshletter” including interviews and Q&As with Patrick McDonnell himself.

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