A Letter From Chief Mutt

Paul Fehrenbacher News Leave a Comment

Hello there,

Welcome to Mutt Jackson! You’re probably wondering, who/what or when/where is Mutt Jackson?

A great question with no simple answer! Mutt Jackson’s story is in many ways my life story. And, in many ways, it’s humanity’s story. Those stories are complicatedly beautiful.

We could simply say Mutt Jackson is aiming to make Montrose Dog Beach, which is already the go-to destination for Chicagoans and their beloved pups, even better. When we say better, picture:

  • State-of-the-Art Self-Serve Dog Wash Stations Say goodbye to dirty, sandy cars and homes after your visit to the dog beach!
  • A Large Deck with Lounge Chairs, Tables and Umbrellas Let’s hang and organize unique, fun community events!
  • A Dog Training and Agility Area Where our friends at Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center will be offering their most popular classes at the country’s most popular dog beach!

Then, imagine friendly Mutt Jackson staff serving you tasty beverages while you relax and enjoy your pup playing with their new favorite toy or treat that you selected from our storefront. When you decide to show off you’re part of the Mutt Jackson family, we’ve got killer apparel at the ready.

That is what we’re doing, and it’s just the beginning. Learn more about what’s happening at Montrose Dog Beach.

I want to spend the rest of this Chief Mutt letter sharing why we’re doing it. The Mutt Jackson team is working our tails off to make your life, our lives, and our world better. We’re building more than a structure at a dog beach. We’re creating a lifestyle brand founded on love. In fact, our motto at Mutt Jackson is “Just Love.”

And, when we say “Just Love,” we don’t mean romantic love, we mean the types of love that our ancestors in Greece referred to as philia (deep friendship), ludus (playful love) and agape (love for everyone).

It’s a paradox. Our world is more connected than ever by technological advancements. Yet, in the ways that matter, we’re disconnected. And, that disconnection leads to lack of understanding and divisiveness, which lead to the ugliness that dominates our daily news.

Sadly, empathy in the U.S. and beyond is at an all-time low.[1] Something must change. Somehow we need to relearn how to “Just Love.”

Mutt Jackson believes that the relationship we have with dogs, whether our own pup or someone else’s, provides important clues on how to make that happen.

We ask that you join us on our exciting journey to explore those clues.

We’re also going to ask along the way that you start to share what you’re learning from our pups:

  • How is man’s best friend teaching you to be man’s best friend?
  • How’d your dog make a stranger smile?
  • Why does your canine friend lower your blood pressure more often than not? And, on those rare occasions when that’s not the case, how do a wag of the tail and a lick of the face lead to forgiveness?
  • How are you meeting lifelong two-legged friends and even spouses through our four-legged buddies?

We call those times—that our pups make us smile, laugh, cry, think, and love—”#MuttMoments.”

Dufresne outside Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Dufresne outside Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

I’ll leave you with a Mutt Moment that occurred a few weeks ago. Dufresne, my ten-month-old pittie mix rescue, and I live a mile west of Wrigley Field. We took a break from work and decided to jog to the Friendly Confines and back—our “Wrigley Run.”

When we approached Wrigley, I could tell that Dufresne was overheating, so we started to walk. It was midday, and the Cubs were a few innings into the game.

Dufresne needed water fast. I foolishly did not have cash or a credit card on me to purchase some. So, I went up to a middle-aged, gentleman who was selling water bottles out of a cooler. I asked if I could borrow some ice. When he saw Dufresne panting, he insisted that I take one of his waters even though I had no means of paying. Just Love.

Dufresne and I then found a cool place under one of the big trees across the street from the Wrigley outfield bleachers. Sitting there on the shaded grass, every type of human being you could imagine came up to say hello to Dufresne and then me. No matter the age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, or MLB affiliation, people could not resist wanting to connect with my lil’ monster and me—a 38-year-old, Caucasian, middle-class, Cardinals fan. Just Love.

So many people were taking the time to say hello that a CSN Chicago film crew shot video of Dufresne basking in the attention.

Needing to get back to work, Dufresne and I circled Wrigley. At the bar that’s attached to the outside of the stadium, I thought it’d be a good idea to get a cup of water for the rest of our mile walk back home. I approached the burly, tattooed up bouncer at the bar entrance and asked for a cup of ice water for Dufresne. Without hesitation, he immediately went to the bar and came back with water and a smile. Just Love.

On a weekly basis, we’re going to share more of the who/what and when/where’s of Mutt Jackson, so please join us on the journey via this blog (subscribe to our email list here) and follow us on social media.

Just Love,

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