Once upon a time in a town not very big at all lived a little boy named Ricky. He lived with his mother and father, his older sister having married. Life was quite boring in this little town and Ricky decided he needed a playmate.
Since he had no money to spend on a pet he decided to search for someone who was giving away free puppies. He asked all around town and finally a lady told him her female was about to give birth but she had no idea what the puppies would be like. The mother dog was a white furry Maltese and the father dog was a Yorkshire breed. So Ricky decided to take one of the pups as soon as they were born.
Everyone Ricky talked to told him he should not get a mixed breed dog. They told him they were not nearly as smart and could have all sorts of health issues. Rick talked to his dad about it.
“Dad I want a dog and the only one I can find is going to be a mixed breed. The owner doesn’t know what color the puppies will be or if they will look like the mother, father or a combination. Since I don’t have money to buy one I am looking for a free one. Do you think a mixed breed pup is as smart as a pure bred dog?” He asked in a very serious tone.
“I’m sure if you spend time with any dog, you will be able to train it to do just what the pure bred dogs can do. Don’t worry about the breed. Just concentrate on feeding, training, and loving the dog. You must be sure you will do these things or the dog will not be able to stay here. Your mother and I both work. We do not have the time to take care of a dog. It will be solely your responsibility.” His father lectured.
“Well I will take care of him. I do hope the mother dog has some boy dogs. I think I’d prefer a boy dog.” Ricky added.
So Ricky waited and in a few weeks he got a phone call. The baby pups had been born and he was asked to come and pick out the one he wanted.
“Dad the mother dog had her pups. Can you take me over there and help me choose one?” He asked his father.
“After dinner we will ride over there and take a look.” He father answered.
So after dinner Ricky and his father drove over to the ladies house. In her barn curled up in fresh hay was a mother dog with six little puppies. There were four girls and two boys. Ricky chose the boy pup that was white in color and looked like a snowball.
“Do you want his tail clipped? The lady asked.
“No I don’t want to hurt the dog. It would be cool to have a dog with a stump tail but I think I’ll keep him just like he is.” Ricky answered looking up at his father for approval.
Weeks passed by quickly and soon it was time to get his dog. The new pup was very playful and Ricky spent lots of time teaching him simple things.
He called his new playmate Sput the Mutt because he was not a pure breed dog. He was simply a mixed breed dog. Sput the Mutt grew quickly and looked a great deal like a Maltese dog. He was very strong and loved to run over the town following Ricky’s bicycle.
It wasn’t long before everyone in the town was familiar with Sput the Mutt because everywhere Ricky went Sput was sure to follow. He followed Ricky to school and waited outside patiently until his master returned. He slept at the foot of Ricky’s bed playing the role of protector.
Sput loved to get wet. So Ricky filled a big tin tub with water and placed it under some shade trees. He put a couple caps full of his bubble bath that was tearless in the water. It didn’t burn his eyes so he was sure it wouldn’t hurt the dog. Everyday Sput would go for a run, come back and jump in the tub of water. He would splash around and completely submerge himself in the water.
“You are a crazy dog Sputt!” Ricky laughed as Sput came up out of the water snorting water everywhere.
He stood still a moment then began to shake his body furiously to dry himself.
“At least you are a clean dog.” Ricky laughed. “Mom will pitch a fit if you get dirt all over my bedroom rug. I have to remember to put your flea treatment on and give you your heart medicine pill. I gotta keep you healthy!”
Ricky taught him to roll over, to play dead, to fetch a ball, and to stay put when he told him to. He knew how to get the morning paper and keep all the cats away. It was quite obvious that Sput the Mutt was not a stupid dog. He was as smart as any dog around.
“I don’t think brains and intelligence are born in a dog necessarily. I think the time a person spends training a dog is what makes a dog either smart or not smart. Sput might be a mixed breed dog but he sure is the smartest dog in these parts.” Ricky told his father who was reading the newspaper.
“Sometimes mutts make better pets.” His father replied. ” You didn’t come from royal blood but you are just as smart as the next guy.” His father winked. “I think mutts get a bad rap myself. If you take good care of a dog he will take care of you. It is as simple as that!”
On any given day you could see Sput the mutt sliding down the sliding board at school or riding on the see saw. Just because one is not of pure blood doesn’t mean they cannot be taught just like anyone else. Some of the most intelligent dogs in the world are mutts and so are people!
Question: Are mutts as smart as pure bred dogs?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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