Mongrel. Mutt. Mixed breed.
Referred to using different names by different cultures, a mongrel is just a dog of mixed or undetermined breeds. Unlike purebred or crossbred dogs, mongrels can often be bred without human intervention or design.
Like mushrooms, mongrel puppies pop out of street dogs that mate. The results can be quite surprising.
Take for instance Donna’s family tree. If there was no record, I wouldn’t have guessed that Donna’s grandmother was a brown dog!
As far as we can trace, Donna’s family descended from a brown dog three generations back.
Locally, we sometimes call these dogs the Singapore Special and deem them as truly local.
Regardless of what lies in their DNA and how different they look, these dogs seem to have some commonality in terms of the general long muzzles, medium to large sizes and slimmer, short-haired physique. (I’m not an expert so don’t quote me on that HAHA!) But yes, these are very general attributes.
Once you start looking at them as individuals, they start to look like very different mushrooms from one another.
Different faces of the Singapore Special
Certainly Trip the dog (left), Chase (top right) and Donna (bottom right) have differences in just their faces alone and I’m not just talking about their eyes. What other differences can you see?
I have never volunteered at a shelter so my scant knowledge of mongrels come from Donna and also aimlessly liking mongrel photos on Instagram, haha :D and of course, chatting with some of the mongrel owners.
The Singapore special is not just limited to tan, and black and tan dogs. They can be black or pale in colour too like Bosco the Mongrel here with his bushy tail. Donna’s tail is not so fluffy-looking.
And just because I thought them to be short haired, it doesn’t exempt them from having fluffy, furry ears should nature design them so. I adore Zuma’s furry ears.
And certainly nothing is stopping Pebble from showing off his tummy that reminds me somewhat of a marble cake!
I did read that these dogs were more commonly brown previously.
The Singapore Special isn’t a breed, but I would say more a look. Short-haired, brown, skinny, medium-to-large-sized, black-muzzled, pointy ears…
Well then, that would make pretty Leah the bona fide Singapore Special, wouldn’t it?
The truth is that definition seems to have broadened quite a bit. Floppy eared Skippy would agree :P
Regardless of how these dogs have developed, living with a dog sometimes can make one view life differently.
Like how optimistic these dogs can be, forever giving you eyes and hoping to get something :P
How they make you regret how quickly time passes when they sprang so quickly from puppyhood into full grown adults.
How they remind you that despite what they say about the hybrid vigour of mixed-breeds, sometimes there are exceptions that remind you how short life is.
And how life is a big surprise depending on the mongrel dog you bring home.
In Donna’s case, I spent a significant amount of time managing thunder phobia in a dog that is otherwise perfect. I, of course, never even heard of thunder phobia as a condition before I adopted.
In Dara’s case, this girl has a rather consistent and committed love of rolling around in poo and dead animals. I have read some working dogs do exhibit that sort of behaviour, whether it’s to better camouflage themselves when hunting or chasing prey or making the lifestock they are herding feel safer.
It’s genetics and probably a behaviour that will be hard to remove and so Dara’s human has the unexpected “pleasure” of cleaning a stinky dog more often than you and I.
Mongrel. Mutt. Mixed breed.
Regardless of how they look like and how they behave, these are the lucky mongrels of Instagram who have found a home.
Shamelessly copy and pasted the below from Three Legs Good facebook page :P
Three Legs Good is proud to announce our third annual exhibition MONGREL 2014: #mongrelsareawesome from 20-30 Nov 2014, at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Filmmaking (56A Arab St)
In addition, there will be a video installation of selected Instagram photographs submitted by you during our social media campaign promoting the hashtag #mongrelsareawesome!
Mon- Fri 11am-7pm
Free Admission (sorry, no dogs allowed at venue)
We’re going because Donna’s photo is in the video installation I think. Haha!