Snoopy started out as a real dog, a remarkable and unusual tack- and razor-blade-eating wunderpup named Spike.

The mixed-breed, black and white pup was Peanuts creator Charles Schulz’s childhood dog and also the subject of Schulz’ first published cartoon. Schulz was just 15 when he sent a sketch of Spike to Ripley’s Believe it or Not, depicting his dog’s gastrointestinal feats. The dog was also, according to Schulz, pretty smart. He understood 50 English words.


Image: Charles M Schulz Museum

A look at the original Ripley’s drawing reveals a rather realistic-looking hunting canine. However, if you take a closer look, you may recognize features like the floppy black ears and large black spot on his back — elements that carried through all the way to 2000, when Charles Schulz delivered his last Peanuts strip Read more…

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Snoopy at 65: How an icon was born