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On the last day of July, we get to celebrate our four-legged heroes with National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day. This celebration takes place twice a year on July 31 and December 2, and raises awareness for mixed breed dogs in shelters around the nation. Approximately 80% of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds!
While not all the dogs featured here come from mixed lineage, all of them prove their intelligence, strength of spirit, and willingness to share the trials of life with their human companions.
While working his beat, British Policeman Geof Grewcock inspected a shed and found a skinny-to-the-bone, filthy greyhound inside. He took the abused female to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Preserve to rehabilitate her. And ever since, Jasmine has repaid that kindness by the ton.
Geoff founded the wildlife preserve as a place for sick and injured animals. Jasmine fit right in.
"When I first met Jasmine, you could tell she had been emotionally devastated but was a gentle dog by nature," he said. "And soon, she started nurturing the other animals."
During her life with him, Jasmine stepped in as mother to puppies, foxes, a fawn, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, 15 rabbits, a deer, and her favorite, a goose.
Jasmine died in 2011, but her legacy lives on through her story and the animals she nurtured.
Another magnificent mutt, Pearl, escaped a bleak fate at a Los Angeles animal shelter and went on to save lives around the world.
Initially, a group that trains seeing-eye dogs saw potential in the beautiful black lab but found her too hyper for the job. But her I'm-just-getting-going attitude made her perfect for the National Search and Rescue Dog Foundation.
Pearl passed the intense training program for these four-legged heroes and found herself in Haiti in response to the earthquake of 2010 and Japan in 2011 after the tsunami.
From rescued to rescuer, Pearl proves the power of our amazing friends!
Just like their humans, not every dog earns the title of amazing for training-intensive, spectacular feats. Rancho helps his owner with the laundry and even knows how to fold. Check out this beautiful shepherd pulling his weight around the house here.
Imagine falling from a fishing boat and becoming lost at sea. That's what rescuers from an oil rig 135 miles off the Thai coast believe happened. This brave little fellow swam up to their boat without a sound of complaint or suffering. The crew used a rope to pull him from the water and gave him the only name that fit: Survivor. Click here to have a look at the pictures of this lucky dog and his new family in the comments.
Chancer changed the life of his humans within 24 hours of joining the family. His first night in his new home, Chancer crawled into bed with the family's adopted teenage son, Iyal, who displays symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. After years of round-the-clock care and little rest, the entire family got its first good night's sleep. Iyal's new companion keeps him calm and lessens the severity of the symptoms that do slip through, Iyal's mother says.
All mutts are amazing. They just need the opportunity to prove it. Like people, every dog has a unique personality. These differences make them perfect and especially ideal for their owners. When choosing your new family member, please consider adoption!
If you want a hero, best friend, soul mate, and protector in your life, considering adopting one of the many dogs that find themselves in shelters through no fault of their own. Check out this list of animal shelters by state to help get you started.
If you want to help but can't adopt, never fear. Agencies large and small, national and local, always need supplies like dog food, collars, and leashes. Check out their websites or call them to see how you can give back to our marvelous, four-legged companions.
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