Mulligan, the mixed breed pup who is the new voice for the TurfMutt Foundation, has been growing into the superhero cape that Lucky, the original TurfMutt, left behind when he passed away last fall. Mutt Mulligan was adopted by the TurfMutt Foundation’s and Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) President and CEO Kris Kiser at the 2019 Lucky’s Mutt Madness adoption event held at GIE+EXPO. Since then, Mulligan has been busy learning the TurfMutt tricks of the trade and preparing for her role at the TurfMutt Foundation.
Here’s a look at what it takes to “grow up TurfMutt,” and some inspiration for how you and your dog can love the living landscape and be like TurfMutt, too.
Learn the Basics
Being a pup can be exhausting with so many new things to experience, not to mention all the “firsts” – seasons, holidays, and activities galore. Many rules must be learned. Mutt Mulligan isn’t just mastering potty training and the basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” and “leave it.” She also is learning to be a superhero on the go. 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 the 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.
Be Like TurfMutt: Work hard, play hard, and rest easy!
Love the Living Landscape
Loving the living landscape is a TurfMutt trademark. This is an easy one for a dog. After all, your 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.
Be Like TurfMutt: Take the lead from your family dog and cultivate a natural interest in the living landscapes around you.
Share Your Green Space with Backyard Friends
Mutt Mulligan isn’t the only one who loves her family yard. It is also an important part of the local ecosystem, offering food and habitat for all kinds of backyard wildlife, insects, and pollinators. She’s already learning to share her outdoor space with these backyard friends.
Be Like TurfMutt: Understand that nature starts in your own backyard and take steps to support the biodiversity with plants, trees, and shrubs that provide food and habitat.
Get Lots of Exercise Outdoors, All Year Long
There are many benefits to being an “outsider” by spending time in nature. Being active outside is a great way to improve physical health and emotional well-being for people and pets. Whether it’s sunny and hot or gray and blustery, Mutt Mulligan is committed to (safely) getting lots of exercise outdoors, year-round.
Be Like TurfMutt: Remember, you can enjoy the living landscape in all kinds of weather.
Walking is Wonderful
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 checking her paws for snow and ice accumulation and wiping her off each time she comes in from being outside to make sure no anti-icing agents irritate her skin. In hot summer months she doesn’t go on walks in the heat of the day. Her human, Kris Kiser, checks the pavement temps by placing the back of his hand on the sidewalk. If it’s too hot to hold for five seconds, it’s too hot for Mulligan.
Be Like TurfMutt: Take a walk (safely) in your living landscapes throughout the year.
Be Good with All Kinds of People
Mutt Mulligan isn’t just Kiser’s dog – 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, 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.
Be Like TurfMutt: Share the benefits of our living landscapes with your friends and family.
Behave Around Other Dogs
Mutt Mulligan’s journey to the TurfMutt Foundation started at the Lucky’s Mutt Madness national adoption event at the industry tradeshow, GIE+EXPO. She had an early start 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.
Be Like TurfMutt: If you want to bring a dog into your family, consider adopting from your local shelter or rescue organization.
Be Safe Around Outdoor Power Equipment
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.
Be Like TurfMutt: Keep safety in mind when operating outdoor power equipment and engaging in other yard card activities.
It takes lots of energy to be a backyard superhero, and that means 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. Additionally, there are certain plants that are toxic to pets, so owners must be careful to avoid these when planting in their living landscapes. Check out this list of toxic and non-toxic plants from the ASPCA to help you plan: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants.
Be Like TurfMutt: Familiarize yourself with the list of toxic plants and keep them out of your living landscape to keep your pets safe.
To learn more about outdoor power equipment, go to OPEI.org. For more about the value of living landscapes year-round, go to TurfMutt.com.