Again this year Macy’s grand balloon parade was headed by Snoopy, America’s most famous canine. But how did he get to be that way, and why?
When Charles Schultz created the Peanuts characters, a rather colorless canine he named Snoopy quickly became the Top Dog. Not willing to settle for the ordinary life of a yard dog, Snoopy changed the image he and everyone else had of him. He began seeing things not as they were but as he wanted them to be.
He transformed his non-descript doghouse into a showcase for never seen art treasures. Other times it served as a fighter plane, the “Sopwith Camel”. Pictures of Snoopy sleeping on the peaked roof of his dog house, with no concern for the weather, helped to make him the world’s most recognizable dog.
This canine extraordinaire imagined himself navigating the globe, and with a little assistance from NASA, Snoopy walked on the moon. We embraced Snoopy’s zany antics and simple philosophies: “My life is going too fast…my only hope is that we can go into overtime.”
At whatever he attempted Snoopy saw himself as “The World’s Best”, and so did we. Much to Charlie Brown’s chagrin, Snoopy was the best player on his Little League team.
Without ever uttering a word Snoopy spoke volumes using gestures and expressions; he communicated with the other Peanuts characters—and us--with thought balloons.
Snoopy’s only real concern seemed to center around his food, which was usually served late and seldom appeared exciting. Yet he danced exuberantly for that dinner with anticipation and appreciation. In true dogged fashion Snoopy accepted the failure of several love affairs by sighing deeply and “going back to eating”.
Snoopy was the author of a 227 word novel that never sold, yet achieved world-wide popularity. He developed several alter-ego personalities like Joe Cool, Vulture, and World War I Flying Ace. When Snoopy declared he would read Tolstoy’s War and Peace-- one word a day –we decided we could too.
The dog with no real pedigree became a breed onto himself. He loved everyone and everything, except The Red Baron and cats! By breaking the rules of confinement Snoopy captivated our hearts.
In Snoopy’s world the only Impossible Dream was one in which he didn’t believe. We fell in love with him because he represented everything we aspire to be.