That is, uh, 253 years old in dog years.  In human years he celebrates his 60th birthday today.  On October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premier, Snoopy made his cartoon debut in Peanuts as Charlie Brown’s Beagle puppy.  He is the most recognizable and the most popular of the Peanuts crowd.   He has had over 100 different personas and believe it or not, he is suspected to be the product of a puppy mill. 

Snoopy was born at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.  His original owner was a girl named Lila.  Soon after, Lila and her family had to move to an apartment that did not allow dogs.  He was returned to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where he was eventually rehomed to Charlie Brown.  Prompting Charlie Brown to lament the fact that he owned a “used dog”. 

I don’t believe Charles Schulz intended to have the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm a puppy mill.  I believe it belonged to a reputable breeder.  Why?  Because once Lila couldn’t keep him anymore, he was returned to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm and rehomed.  And according to this website, Trivia-Library.com, Snoopy’s biography appears written by Charles Schulz.   He paints a picture of happy summer days and nights of play and socialization.  

Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog and was a silent character for the first two years of his existence.  He then started to verbalize his thoughts in “thought balloons” until in 1958 his character really took off when he stood up on his hind legs and started to become more human-like. 

He was somewhat confined to sleeping in a dog house, but favored sleeping on its roof.  He was never tethered.  He also furnished his dog house lavishly including a TV, a clock radio, a ceiling mural of ancient civilization painted by Linus, a cedar closet, a pool table, a whirlpool bathtub, records and books, and even a Van Gogh painting.  He usually ate dog food but he had a passion for angel food cake with seven-minute frosting, pizza, doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, and root beer. 

Snoopy’s life was a dog-like version of Walter Mitty, assuming many identities over five decades.  Some include: 

The World War I Flying Ace,

The World Famous Tennis Pro,

The World Famous Hockey Player,

The World Famous Hockey Goalie,

The World Famous Figure Skater,

The World Famous Baseball Manager,

The World Famous Golf Pro,

The World Famous Wrist Wrestler,

The World Famous Rescue Squad Hero,

The World Famous Astronaut,

The World Famous Roller Derby Star,

The World Famous Superstar,

The World Famous Novelist,

The World Famous Quarterback,

The World Famous Skier,

The World Famous Grocery Clerk,

The World Famous Football Coach,

The World Famous Swimmer,

The World Famous Attorney,

The World Famous Beaglescout,

The World Famous Pirate (Blackbeagle),

The World Famous Orthopedic Surgeon,

The Masked Marvel,

The Head Beagle,

The Easter Beagle,

The Flash Beagle,

Joe Cool,

Cupid,

A penguin,

A vulture,

A helicopter,

A snake,

A sergeant in the French Foreign Legion,

A skateboard champion,

And a Zamboni driver. 

As The World Famous Attorney, Snoopy represented Peppermint Patty against the school board; the Bunny against Mr. McGregor; the scarecrow against the farmer’s crows; and Little Red-Riding Hood against the wolf who ate her grandmother.

As The World War I Flying Ace, Snoopy battled The Red Baron using his doghouse as a Sopwith Camel.  Snoopy was usually shot down behind enemy lines and spent time hiding in the French countryside drinking root beer in out of the way bistros.

In 1969, as The World Famous Astronaut, Snoopy became the first Beagle on the moon and was the mascot for Apollo 10.

As The World Famous Author, his novel, It Was A Dark And Stormy Night, can be read in its entirety here.   

You could also add Therapy Dog to Snoopy’s many careers.  He was given to Charlie Brown by his parents to cheer him up after another child threw sand in his face while they were playing in a sandbox.  In 1972, Snoopy returned to Lila (his original owner) when she fell ill and was hospitalized.  He spent three weeks keeping Lila company in the hospital while she recuperated. 

He is quite the dog, right?  He consistently reinvented himself adapting to the culture of each decade during the 50 some years the cartoon strip was in production.  Snoopy and the Peanuts gang were a part of my childhood as anything I can remember.   People of all ages and nationalities continue to recognize Charles Schultz’s most beloved character.  Even 10 years after Charles Schultz’s death, his popularity continues.  Snoopy’s next great adventure is no doubt The World’s Most Famous Dog.

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