Skip to Content

The story behind our logo

Many people have asked about the origins of LaundroMutt's logo and the "Lave Canem" motto. Both are derived from ancient Pompeii, specifically from the House of the Tragic Poet.

The house which you can still visit today, is filled with mosaics. The first mosaic, at the entrance, depicts a rather ferocious canine --it even has blood dripping from its jaws if you look closely-- and the sign along the bottom reads "CAVE CANEM", Latin for "Beware of the Dog". The LaundroMutt logo is an adaptation of that mosaic. Switching the first "C" to an "L" in the Latin phrase, fortuitously changes the adage from "Beware of the Dog" to "Wash the Dog".

Cave Canem, PompeiiA historical tangent 

Not long before Pompeii was frozen in time by the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., an ancient scribe wrote of the Cave Canem mosaic:

Gaius Petronius Arbiter was the party master and general manager of decadence for the emperor Nero, until he was requested by Nero to commit suicide in 66 AD. Only sections of Petronius' profoundly bizarre novel, the "Satyricon", survive today. The plot, such as there is, revolves around the picaresque adventures of a man named "Encolpius" as he makes his way around southern Italy. Encolpius narrates the novel himself.

A. Chapter 29.

Encolpius, currently living on the streets of the city (Pomeii), has happened onto a dinner invitation from Trimalchio, a former slave and one of the wealthiest and most eccentric men in the Roman world. He has just passed by the initial entryway to Trimalchio's home. "While I stared in stupefaction at all this, I almost fell over backwards and broke a leg. For just to the left of the entrance (not far from the porter's lodge), was the most enormous dog tethered by a chain -- painted on the wall under some large block letters that said: BEWARE OF THE DOG."

 

.