Jan. 10 2020 08:39 AM

The latest canine to wear the cape is enjoying her new role as TurfMutt.


In case you’ve been wondering what Mutt Mulligan, the mixed-breed pup who became the new spokesdog for the TurfMutt Foundation has been up to, the Foundation has offered a full report.

Mutt Mulligan has been growing into the superhero cape that Lucky, the original TurfMutt, left behind when he passed away last fall. She was adopted by Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Alexandria, Virginia-based TurfMutt Foundation and Outdoor Power Equipment Institute at the 2019 Lucky’s Mutt Madness Adoption Event held last October at GIE+EXPO. Since then, the pooch has been busy learning the TurfMutt tricks of the trade and preparing for her role at the TurfMutt Foundation.

Mutt Mulligan has found that being a pup can be exhausting with so many new things to experience and learn, from potty training and basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “heel” and “leave it,” but also how to be a superhero on the go. Going on car rides, working at the TurfMutt Foundation office, attending industry meetings, visiting schools, starring in video shoots and making media appearances are all part of her new gig. After a long day of training and learning the ropes, Mulligan likes to curl up on a cozy bed and catch some z’s.

“Loving the living landscape” is a TurfMutt watchword. This is an easy one for a dog; after all, the backyard is every puppy’s favorite “room” in the house. Mutt Mulligan loves learning about her living landscape and is getting more curious about the green spaces around her every day. One of her many jobs is encouraging people to take the lead from their family dogs and cultivate a natural interest in the living landscapes around them.

Mutt Mulligan wants everyone to know that a home’s yard is also an important part of the local ecosystem, offering food and habitat for all kinds of backyard wildlife, insects and pollinators. She urges everyone to take steps to support biodiversity in the plants, trees and shrubs that provide food and habitat.

She also wishes to communicate that there are many benefits to being an “outsider” who spends time getting lots of exercise outdoors, year-round. It’s a great way to improve physical health and emotional well-being for both people and pets.

Our living landscapes extend to public spaces like community parks, schoolyards and nature areas. Mulligan loves a walk as much as the next pup and exploring the green space in her community is one of her favorite activities. In the wintertime, that means her human, Kiser, must check her paws for snow and ice accumulation and wipe her off each time she comes indoors to make sure no anti-icing agents remain that could irritate her skin. In the hot summer months, she avoids going on walks in the heat of the day. Before she steps outside, her human checks the pavement temperature by placing the back of his hand on the sidewalk. If it’s too hot to hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for Mulligan.

Mutt Mulligan isn’t just Kiser’s pet — she’s an ambassador for the entire outdoor power equipment industry. She will represent the TurfMutt Foundation in all sorts of situations and will be exposed to all kinds of people — children, adults, the able-bodied and those with special needs. Mulligan has been well-socialized since she was rescued by the Kentucky Humane Society and will continue to be throughout her TurfMutt tenure. She reminds those who want to bring a dog into their family to consider adopting from a local shelter or rescue organization.

Starting with the Lucky’s Mutt Madness national adoption event, Mutt Mulligan got an early start in getting exposure to all ages, types and personalities of canine companions. Throughout her life, Mulligan will continue to be around other dogs, and training is underway to make sure she is comfortable and well-behaved in these situations.

As an ambassador for the outdoor power equipment industry, Mutt Mulligan lives in a home with a lot of outdoor power equipment — lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow throwers and more. Kids and pets love to play in the living landscape, but when the machines are running, the best place for them is inside. She reminds everyone to be like TurfMutt and keep safety in mind when operating outdoor power equipment and engaging in other yard activities.

It takes lots of energy to be a backyard superhero, so proper nutrition is a must. Mutt Mulligan has plenty of food and access to clean water to keep her fueled up for her TurfMutt job. Puppies like Mulligan also need to be taught that sticks and rocks aren’t chew toys — and their human friends need to know about plants that are toxic to pets, so they can avoid planting them in their living landscapes. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has a list of toxic and nontoxic plants to help you plan.