‘Mutts’ Creator Says Goodbye to Dog Muse

Cartoonist pays tribute to the real-life pet who inspired the "perfect little dog.”

“Mutts” cartoonist Patrick McDonnell paid tribute to his late dog and muse Earl in Monday’s comic strip.

Earl, the real-life terrier mix who inspired the kindhearted cartoon dog Earl in the long-running comic strip, died earlier this month at the age of 18. In Monday’s strip, Earl is seen in the arms of his pensive-looking owner, who’s standing in a snowstorm. The caption: “Snow Angels.”

Earl joined McDonnell’s household before the “Mutts” comic started in 1994. The strip now runs in more than 700 newspapers worldwide.

Even the late “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schulz had high praise for “Mutts,” calling McDonnell’s work “one of the best comic strips” of all time.

“It’s hard to believe that after 100 years of comics, Patrick could come up with a new and perfect little dog,” Schulz wrote. “I like everything about ‘Mutts.’”

McDonnell’s real-life cat, a Calico named MeeMow, inspired Mooch, the kooky feline foil to solid, loving Earl.

For more information on Earl’s passing, visit www.muttscomics.com.

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