I love cartoons. Like seriously love cartoons. I could be happy without a single live-action movie in my movie collection. Sorry…that’s a lie. There is one live-action movie that I need in my life, but that’s a story for another day. But other than that movie, I’d be happy to only watch animated movies.
There is one cartoon character that will forever be my favorite, and I am happy to say that he is definitely my life’s mascot. Snoopy!
Snoopy’s creator has been dead for 21 years at the time of this post. I remember because so many things happened in 2000. Y2K, Charles Schulz retired – then died shortly after, I graduated high school and all the things that happen when you become an adult. Snoopy had been a staple of newspapers for decades before I learned about him. I remember looking forward to getting the Sunday newspaper from the shopette (military base convenience store) for my parents just so I could read the comics.
But Snoopy isn’t my mascot just because he’s a cartoon character. If that were the case, I could pick from any number of the classics: Garfield, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Marvin the Martian, Donald Duck, and Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all favorites of mine too. I could also pick any of the other Peanuts characters. No, Snoopy will always be number one for me.
When I was little I enjoyed the antics of Lucy giving advice and always pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. But with one well-timed kiss, Snoopy could always bring her overinflated ego back where it belonged. He never slept inside his doghouse, but on top of it instead. As a kid I thought it was weird but funny. Even though I appreciate them now, I always thought the rest of the characters were superfluous when I was younger. Turns out that my brain just wasn’t developed enough to enjoy them.
Snoopy though…he had an imagination. He could be fighting the Red Baron from the top of his flying doghouse. He could teach birds to…well…bird. He could type on a typewriter and play baseball and walk on 2 legs. He could decorate better than anyone else, but still carried his food dish in his mouth. Snoopy was unapologetically himself and he didn’t care what anyone else thought.
But Snoopy was also compassionate. He made sure to listen to Schroeder play masterpieces on his little toy piano. He tried to help Linus become more secure in himself…ok, yes, he was actually just stealing Linus’ blanket just to mess with him, but I was trying to put a positive spin on it. Even I couldn’t swallow that lie though. But he did become the Easter Beagle. And he let Charlie Brown realize that dogs are man’s best friend.
As a young adult, I realized that there were some deeper truths layered into the Peanuts comic strip, but the biggest truth of them all is that Snoopy’s creator was a Christian, and that was never more apparent than in the Peanuts Christmas special when Linus recites the Bible verses telling of Christ’s birth. Mr. Schulz’s faith bled into his characters, but Snoopy learning the true meaning of Christmas and donating his decorations to the pathetic little tree that Charlie Brown bought, in addition to all the other reasons I’ve mentioned…THAT is why Snoopy is my life’s mascot.