To celebrate 25 years of MUTTS, we’re asking readers to tell us what the strip means to them, and to share some of their best memories of Mooch, Earl, and the rest of the crew.

We are appreciative of all the messages we’ve received, and we will continue responses throughout the coming months — so please comment below if you have memories to share. Thank you for the love!

“My father worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 42 years before he passed away in 2000. He introduced me to MUTTS when it first showed up in the paper and we would share that moment of reading ‘the most important small squared section’ every day possible. Besides adoring the strip and collecting hats, mugs, prints (Little Pink Sock hangs by my bed), and books, I read MUTTS for the connection it gives me to my dad who I still miss very much. Thanks for all the memories.” — Lettie M.

Published May 5, 1999

“About four years ago, my husband and I had become very active with Solano County Friends of Animals here in northern California. Our group has an annual ‘Pasta for Paws and Purrs’ benefit every April (obviously canceled for this year) which helps us raise much-needed funds for our animal rescue group. In 2016 or 2017, one of the items donated for our silent auction was an incredible Sunday panel Patrick had generously provided our group. In the last panel, Shtinky is heading to the animal shelter to visit his angels. Patrick had signed the panel, and when we first saw it, I cried. I asked if there was any rule against members bidding on the panel, and once we were told that it would be fine, we continued to up the bid until the panel was ours. It has been prominently displayed in our home ever since.” — Georgia B.

Published November 1, 1998

“I love my daily MUTTS! It greets me in my work email when I log in each day and I start the day with a smile. Working from home now due to the pandemic, with my own Tiger (cat) and Amelia (dog) and Sunshine (budgie). Lovely to be with them watching the birds at the feeders outside, and rabbits and squirrels visit too!” — Lisa M.

Published March 22, 2005

“As a teacher who frequently has ESL students, I love the illustrated idioms and figurative language. ‘Blanket of Snow’ is one of my favorites, and always gets the students talking about why we use images to describe our thoughts. I also use your quotes and cartoons as writing prompts!” — Beth B.

Published December 16, 2012

“As a lifelong animal lover, and cat rescuer/volunteer, Shelter Stories has a special place in my heart …especially the one where a cat is talking about the traits of a human rescuer, and ends with ‘… but sometimes I see her cry.” So spot on! Rescuing and caring for animals is something we are compelled to do and, although fulfilling, it can also be very painful. You just worry a lot, and the ones you can’t save haunt you forever.” — Kathy P.

Published November 11, 1999

“My favorite is the January 01, 2013 strip. We had just moved into our new home on December 12, bought our cats new ID tags, and then our beloved Bud who is a dead ringer for Mooch disappeared. We searched, made posters, went back to our old home 11 miles away, and could not find him. He woke us up on January 1, 2013 mewing at the front door!!! Best morning ever! The strip from that day was magic.” — Nancy S.

Published January 1, 2013

“Fourteen years ago, when I was undergoing cancer treatment, my best friend sent me the book I Want to Be the Kitty. It was my first taste of MUTTS and I fell in love with the adorable cast of characters and with the essential kindness of the strip. My self-care routine soon became lying in a hot bath reading MUTTS — the book still shows evidence of having been dropped in the bath once or twice. Now I’m well, but still a huge MUTTS fan, and still grateful for having been given permission to lie in bed and just ‘be the kitty’ when I needed it most.” — Catherine

Published October 14, 2001


Have your own MUTTS story to tell? Let us know in the comments! Want to read more stories from MUTTS lovers? Stay tuned for more posts like this throughout the rest of 2020.

Comments (14)

I just want Guard Dog to live with Doozy. When I was young, my neighbors had taken in their grown sons Black Lab Widetrack. He’d been tied out in their son’s small fenced yard and when the kids walked by too and from school, some had taunted him. He was anxious and stressed so he came to live in the country. When I walked home from school he’d run and bark and come at me. I was terrified until one day the neighbor lady was out with him and when he ran at me she said, “Just stand there and yell at him to sit!” I did and then we finally got to meet properly and became great friends. He’d run to greet me each day. It taught me the cruelty of tying out. That’s why all Guard Dog strips prompt a “FREE GUARD DOG NOW!” From me.


I absolutely love “today’s the Day.”


My beloved cat, Mary Jo, used to wake me up every morning at 4 am yelling her head off. We called her “The Screamer.” Even if I left food out for her overnight or gave her extra treats at bedtime, she still came at 4 am to make sure I was at her beck and call. She was 17 years old and in kidney failure and passed on April 23 of this year. On April 28, the Mutts strip featured Mooch screaming for breakfast. My sister purchased the comic and it now hangs on my bedroom wall to remind me of the Screamer who I miss every day.

Robin Craft

I discovered MUTTS in December, 2019, and fell in love with the strip. I had never come across it before that. We have three very social cats (for several years) and a Great Pyrenees that we adopted in May. We lost our previous Great Pyrenees that we had for 7 years on January 18 this year. Shortly after that I found the Valentine’s Day strip from 2003 and it touched my heart and made me smile. Ever since, I look forward to my daily MUTTS. Patrick, you always hit a chord with how Mooch and Earl react to things; very insightful. Thanks! By the way all of our pets have been adoptees. Love ‘em!

Jon Anders

It’s so hard to pick just one strip…shelter stories and thanksgiving strips are favorites…however, the strip that shows Ozzie and Earl walking on the beach, with their footprints in the sand, and it becomes one set of footprints as Ozzie carries Earl…always touched me…our little Tucker went blind and did really well for awhile…but as he got older it was harder and harder for him to get around…and that strip took on new meaning…thank you for the years of joy you have brought!

Margaret Garwood

I love mutts mooch an earl are the best. An mr McDonnell thank u for bringing us such wonderful gifts of these characters love love earl an mooch to but earl is my favorite just because of my special lil dog I had that look exactly like earl so amazing an ziggy a lil Jack Russell won my heart just like earl an losing my zigg in 2012 earl has been my lil ziggy so thank u for ur work u do for us an the fun of mooch an earl an pray we will always have mooch an earl to read. Blessings Mooch an earl r the best ever very touch to our hearts thank u mooch an earl love u both

Susan neely

Long-time MUTTS fans, the “NOW! NOW! NOW!” strip on March 4, 2008 touched my wife Rene and I deeply, right when we needed it most. Our dog Jerry lost a leg to cancer more than a year earlier, when we sold everything and bought an RV to travel the country together, enjoying every last moment we had together with Jerry. That morning of March 4, we were distraught and upset, having learned the day before that Jerry’s cancer had returned.

The strip explained what Jerry was telling us all along on our travels. The time is NOW, that’s all that matters. A few months later, I mentioned that strip in the PBS Documentary, “Why We Love Cats and Dogs.” The next year, Rene and I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick, who recalled seeing us in the episode of “Nature.” Years later, we told the story of our travels with Jerry – and the Tripawds community he inspired – in our book “Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now.” We have the ultimate honor of Patrick creating the foreword for our book, and will be forever grateful. That strip is still inside our medicine cabinet, as daily reminder of what time it is…NOW.


I adopted my current dog in 2014. I saw your shelter strip “Today’s the day” and it always made me think of the hopefulness of being found in a shelter. Thankyou for your animal advocacy


Ever since reading it in one of the comics, I have adopted the phrase “cat busy” when I need some quality time with myself. And OMG, the SQUIRRELS series is HILARIOUS! Yesh, I am shouting with enthusiasm for their hilarious nut antics.


For me a favorite MuttsMoment is the color Sunday strip where Mooch and Earl are walking in the snow and Earl points out the falling snowflakes. “Shtar dust!” proclaims Mooch with simple words but profound observation. I miss the snow with all of my heart – it figured prominently so many years ago when I was something and someone who mattered – who had the possibilities of the stars still before me. I have the yellowed and faded strip on the wall in my den. It is a comforting reminder of the wonder and beauty of life – not diminished by the not so great times. Thank You.

Russ Dillard