Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't Buy From a Puppy Mill, Charlie Brown!

I thought I was really cool and came up with this correlation on my own, but The Examiner did beat me to it: Charlie Brown's Snoopy is from a puppy mill.

Sure, it was called Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, but even such a pastoral-sounding name isn't really all that great once you think about it. Where do puppies come from? The puppy farm. It's suspect to me, especially with the apparent prevalence of Amish puppy mills, ostensibly on their farms.

Snoopy lucked out, really. Charlie Brown clearly loved him, his dog house was apparently totally sweet (many strips refer to billiards rooms and such), he had his own typewriter, and a very rich imagination. Really, if you think about Snoopy's behavior in the context of a real Beagle that you might keep as a pet, he was kind of a, well, freak. I know he's an anthropomorphized comic strip Beagle, but really, he was sometimes paranoid and erratic, and unpredictable. Not qualities you really look for in Man's Best Friend, especially in the context of the 42 pointy teeth they keep in their mouths (best case scenario, anyway; puppy mill dogs are not known for their exemplary dentition).

So, why did Charles Schultz write Snoopy in quite this way? Especially, as The Examiner article I linked above describes, with him having been given up once (his owner moved to an apartment) and trying to visit the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where he came from and finding only a parking lot. Was this some of Schultz's dark humor, where the Farm was shut down for being a mill? Were things like that even considered "bad" when Schultz was writing? Was it really just the normal Peanuts bittersweetness, and I'm reading too much into it? I don't really know. I know it's like the reason that Family Guy had an episode where Brian discovered that he was from a puppy mill, though we typically can't look to cartoons to be historically accurate.

Really, when we expand, where did Lady from Lady and the Tramp come from, other than being what might have been a bad surprise Christmas present? And what did Lady and the Tramp's owners do at the end, with their mutt (I mean "designer breed") puppies? Of course, this isn't an example of puppy milling, but rather what might be called "backyard breeding", but also,  Lady and the Tramp were in love, weren't they?

(a quick Google search tells me that 1. Tramp was apparently a "Schnauzer mix" and 2. A Cocker Spaniel + a Schnauzer = Schnockers. I am so freaked out by this.)


  1. Schnocker... that's a new one.

    Great post... I was thinking about the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm connection last month, actually. I never even thought about it as a mill until now.

  2. I had an epiphany several months back about it, and then forgot. And then had the epiphany again, only to realize I'd been beaten to the punch a few times. Ah well!

  3. Schnockers? Good lord, we have got to knock this naming crap out. I mean whatever happened to "MUTT"? Embrace it!

    Interesting post! I never thought of it that way. To me growing up, it was just a cute cartoon with a rockin' cool beagle.

  4. Oh, growing up, I had no idea what a puppy mill was. Heck, ten years ago I didn't. Now, though...oh my.

    I agree, I just call them mutts. It's not derogatory in my mind.

  5. I've had issues with Lady and the Tramp for a while. Especially given that cocker spaniel bite statistics and the numbers in shelters skyrocket in the year or two directly following every re-release of the movie, as people bring home a cute little puppy just like in the movie, then realize they don't want to deal with it or aren't ready for a long term commitment.

  6. Really, looking back, I'm frequently horrified at the things that happen in Disney movies, especially with regards to animals (granted, many were based on books written prior to the adaptations, but still)..

    And really, how many chihuahuas are overpopulating shelters now because of Disney movies? We're lucky it didn't happen with Great Danes, after Marmaduke came out. Their size probably protected them!

  7. Just found this blog from a link on Dogster. One thing about Snoopy's temperament -- ostensibly, he was a beagle. But Charles Schulz had dachshunds IRL, and Snoopy has many, many doxie attributes. His personaliy is definitely dachshund. We had a doxie who did the Snoopy vulture look perfectly!

    1. Holy smokes, you had a dog who did the Snoopy vulture thing? That's amazing and hilarious!

      It never occurred to me to wonder what kind of dogs Charles Schultz had, if he had any at all. That's interesting to know.