MUTTS © Patrick McDonnell, Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
You never know where you’re going to find your soul’s wisdom. Sometimes it can even show up on the comics page! That’s where I discovered mine recently when I read Mutts. www.mutts.com
If you’re familiar with this wonderful comic strip, you’ll know why it’s one of my favorites. It’s a hilarious and often heartwarming commentary on life and the goings on in the world through the voice of many endearing characters led by: Earl—the sweetest mutt with a big heart, and Mooch—a very canny and intuitive cat.
The particular Mutts comic strip I’m talking about—published on June 2nd as pictured above, definitely touched and resonated with me in so many ways.
In the first panel, it shows pet owner/guardian Ozzie waking up in the morning. As he peeks out of one eye, Ozzie sees his loving dog Earl on the bed right next to him, wagging his tail and eagerly waiting for him to get up. In the second panel, Ozzie is settled in bed for the night and his faithful Earl is lovingly lying next to him. Within these panels reads a beautiful affirmation: “My day begins and ends with gratitude,” from the one and only Louise Hay!
This Mutts comic strip also made my heart melt! Not only did it capture my own mornings and evenings when my precious dog Koda follows me around, wagging his tail and reminding me of how grateful I am for having him in my life. It also let me know that our beloved mentor Louise Hay still comes around and taps us on the shoulder—reminding us to take time when we wake up in the morning and before we go to sleep at night to be grateful for all the gifts that life brings us. Talk about synchronicity straight from the soul!
After contemplating the wisdom of this powerful comic strip, I decided to visit the Mutts website and read more about the creative person behind it. I knew I’d find a kindred spirit who has a passion for animals, but I didn’t realize that I’d meet one of the kindest souls who raises awareness for animal welfare around the globe, encourages more people to take care of our planet and each other…AND just happens to be a fan of Louise Hay and her work!
This kind, spiritual soul is Patrick McDonnell. He’s a renowned author, painter & illustrator who first created the MUTTS comic strip in 1994—and it’s now published in over 700 newspapers in 20 countries. His two main characters are actually based on real animals. Earl the dog was inspired by Patrick’s late Jack Russell terrier, who lived with Patrick for more than 18 years and Mooch—the cat with his funny way of talking (Yesh!), is based on several of Patrick’s cats.
MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell and his adorable rescue dog Amelie
Patrick is such a devoted animal advocate that every year, he dedicates two weeks of the MUTTS strip to what he calls his ongoing “Shelter Stories” series. In these special comic strips, Patrick spreads the good word about our local animal shelters, animal safety and the joy of adopting rescue animals. Last month, Patrick even started a program to help provide MUTTS pet bowls to Ukrainian refugees and their furry family members who have been displaced from their homes.
I also read that when he’s illustrating MUTTS, Patrick has found that sitting at his drawing table is like a meditation and the comic strips are like “little prayers to the Universe.” How beautiful is that!
Recently, I had the sheer pleasure of personally connecting with Patrick to hear more about his love of animals, and how his soul has led him not only to the wisdom of such mentors and teachers as Louise Hay, but also to serve the world through his inspiring comic strip.
Patrick has a drawing board in his office where he often tacks quotes and affirmations that inspire him. You may have seen some of these quotes from familiar authors (including me!) on Patrick’s Instagram and Facebook pages. “I am well aware of Hay House and many of the books and audio tapes that Louise brought into the world,” Patrick told me. “She was truly a pioneer in self-help. My wife Karen is a long-time fan.”
When I asked about his June 2 comic strip featuring Louise’s heartwarming affirmation, Patrick explained, “With MUTTS, and in my life, I am always looking for strong, positive quotes to inspire. Louise’s quote reminds us all that gratitude is the key. It’s akin to one of my personal favorite quotes, which is from Meister Eckhart: ‘If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.’ Louise beautifully echoes that sentiment. It’s perfect for MUTTS.”
Gratitude is one of the many soulful messages that readers can take with them when reading any of Patrick’s heartfelt MUTTS comic strips. As Patrick so aptly added, “We have so much to learn from our pets. Who could be consistently more grateful than an unconditionally loving dog?”
As I watch Koda’s tail wagging, all I can say is: Amen to that!
By the way, Patrick is also a fellow author of dozens of books. He illustrated a wonderful book about living in the moment and our oneness as souls with Eckhart Tolle called Guardians of Being. Patrick is now working with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Heart to Heart, a book centered on the environment, animals and compassion, scheduled to release this Fall.
I want to personally say thank you to Patrick for all the soul work he’s doing to inspire us to help each other, our planet and all the animals that bless our lives—and for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share some of his wisdom with me, so I could share it with all of you.
This week, let’s follow the example of Patrick, his MUTTS characters and the powerful mission of his comic strip…to be kinder to animals, our beautiful planet and each other…by doing one kind act each day this week.
Hug your pets and appreciate what a blessing they are in your life. Bring an extra trash bag with you the next time you take a walk and pick up any debris you see. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while or write a letter to a relative who may be feeling lonely or under the weather. Visit your local animal shelter and see how you can help or volunteer.
Have you been on the fence about adopting a pet? Today may be the day! If you need more ideas and inspiration, check out the MUTTS Daily Comic Strip here >>
Remember, one kind act can change the world!
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