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Share Guard Dog’s Story for Unchain A Dog Month

It’s Unchain a Dog Month! Have you been following Guard Dog’s story in MUTTS? After being neglected and chained up outside for decades in the comic strip, Guard Dog has finally been set free. ❤ Leading up to his rescue, MUTTS has been sharing the stories of people who have saved real-life guard dogs around the world. And, we were honored when they shared ours.

Image © Patrick McDonnell used with permission from MUTTS.

This really hits home for us here at Tripawds since our own Spoksedawg II Wyatt Ray lost his rear spare due to being tethered and neglected as a puppy. His life began much like Guard Dog’s. His people left him chained up and alone in the yard. This happens all too often. A chain or rope will wrap around the leg while the dog is neglected and unattended, cutting off circulation. See photos and get the whole story in our article about why we need to Break the Unsupervised Chained Dog Tripawd Syndrome.

Wyatt Ray
Wyatt Ray – Post-amputation, July 2009

Guard Dog’s Work Continues

In November 2024, Guard Dog was rescued and adopted by Doozy. Released just in time for Unchain a Dog Month, he is now known as “Sparky” – this is a nod to Charles Schulz who was a long time mentor and friend to MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell. Although now freed from the chains that bound him, our favorite MUTTS character will surely be back occasionally to keep up the good work as ambassadors to real life guard dogs everywhere.

The MUTTS archives include numerous strips depicting Guard Dog left alone on his chain and neglected. Patrick believes that Guard Dog’s job was always to remind people why it’s wrong to neglect any tethered dog. We often had Wyatt on a tether, but only when he was within our sight.

Now that “Sparky” is free, we hope he’ll continue to remind people that every voice matters. We all have the power to make a difference. Real life guard dogs around the world often have people who care for them, but are ignorant of the dangers of chaining and ignoring a dog. Their neighbors, compassionate friends, and family members can work together to help these owners understand the harm, and to speak up on behalf of these dogs.

The recent MUTTS Newshletter said it all:

In honor of Unchain a Dog Month, we encourage you to find ways to help chained dogs in your community.

You can advocate for anti-tethering legislation. If you’re able, you might support a local nonprofit through volunteering or donating. If you personally know someone who tethers their dog, you might offer guidance or resources to help them give their dog a better life.

Patrick McDonnell
Patrick McDonnell meets Wyatt Ray, September 2009

Together, we can break the chain.

To commemorate Unchain a Dog Month and celebrate the freedom of “guard dogs” everywhere, please take the time to learn more. MUTTS shares various resources with tips for how you can help support the cause, including:

Whether you share on social, speak up, help advocate for legislation, or donate to support the cause, neglected real-life guard dogs deserve to hear your voice. You can start helping to spread the word by sharing this post, the MUTTS page, or your own guard dog story for Unchain A Dog Month with the tag #unchainadogmonth.

👍 = ❤️

Together, we can break the chain so all guard dogs can run free…

unchain a dog month
Run Free Dear Wyatt Ray
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