'Little Brown Jobs', hereafter referred to as 'LBJs'. A phrase I often hear bandied about when people make references to brown mutts that find themselves in shelters waiting for homes. Whilst at first glance it may seem that all brown dogs look the same, I'd like to challenge you to observe more closely this selection of brown mutts and see if you still agree.
All of these gorgeous and incredibly unique LBJs were photographed by yours truly either for 'Mutts the Book', or the spin off Sandton SPCA 2018 'Mutts Matter' calendar. Both projects are fundraisers for two charities I support, who frequently find themselves unwittingly in possession of brown dogs and know all about the subsequent struggle to home them because of their perceived lack of individuality.
Excuse the high horsery, but I am on a mission to do everything I can to breakdown and change misconceptions that often abound about shelter mutts.
Getting people to change their attitudes about adopting shelters dogs (it probably won't be good with my kids, I don't know what's happened to it before so I'd rather not take a chance, it's not a pedigree, it might suddenly turn on me or my kids, its bound to have behavioural problems, blah, blah, blah) is an agenda I'm keen to push. Granted one has to proceed with eyes open when adopting and some of the above preconceptions might occasionally be true, but, most often shelter dogs integrate brilliantly into their new homes. Buy my book and you'll find out all about how great mutts are.
My passion for mutts stems from my own experience visiting shelters. On the occasion that a pure breed dog finds itself homeless and unwanted, invariably they are snapped up in a heart beat. I can only assume that this is because of the connotations associated with the particular dog breed and how lovely it looks. It makes me very sad that there seem to be lots of homes available when a Bulldog ends up at Sandton SPCA, but those homes evaporate when it's a mutt that needs to be adopted. Sob stories and heartbreaking tales of abuse up the odds of a mutt getting adopted, but how about an LBJ being chosen because he or she is a cool looking dog with a quirky personality?
I'm always thrilled when someone who's had a pedigree dog and then adopts from a shelter tells me that their mutt is the best dog they've ever had and that they'll never go to a breeder for a dog again. Happiness. I'd like more converts please.
Don't get me wrong, I love all dogs and I understand that some folks have a real penchant for a particular dog breed, if that's you please google to find a rescue organisation for your particular breed of choice and adopt your next dog rather than buying from a breeder. If however, like me, your requirements for a dog are to keep you company, be your friend and share your life and you care not about their outward design, please check out the mutts at your local shelter. I promise that you won't be disappointed.
Mutts the Book is available to buy here - www.emmaobrien.photography along with a selection of other doggy goodies. Sales proceeds from the book are being split 50/50 between CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) and Sandton SPCA
In case you were wondering, I have 4 mutts ranging in size from 5kgs to 33kgs and they are full of fun, personality and incredibly smart.
Mutts the exhibition. I'm planning to put together a photography exhibition in the next couple of months, so if you have an LBJ from a rescue centre, please send me an email with their photo and adoption story for a chance to have them included.