My kids pretty much know the songs and dialogue from the musical Snoopy by heart. (It’s not my fault; I married a musical theatre family.) In the show, Snoopy sings his big number, The Big Bow-Wow, after being chosen Head Beagle. The lyrics include the lines “Snoopy, it’s your night to howl / now I’m the Big Bow-Wow!” As if being selected to be the Head Beagle wasn’t enough, now Snoopy has another reason to celebrate — he’s been named the Top Dog in American pop culture by the American Kennel Club.
As part of their 125th anniversary celebration, the AKC conducted a poll that asked people to select their favorite dogs from among pups in television, film, literature, sports and art. More than 75,000 people weighed in on their favorite canines and Snoopy emerged the popular choice, despite there having been no new Peanuts comic strips since Charles Schulz’s death in 2000. Still, it seems clear that the lovable characters Schulz created will live on.
Other V.I.P.s — Very Important Pups — include Scooby Doo, the painting Dogs Playing Poker, and the songs How Much is that Doggie in the Window and Who Let the Dogs Out. There are plenty of other note-worthy pooches — 125 in all (PDF) — but even so, there were a few that didn’t make the cut. The Clampett’s old hound dog Duke from The Beverly Hillbillies comes to mind, as does Nana, the sheepdog/nanny from Peter Pan. I’m sure there are others, but when all is said and done, I have to agree with their #1 pick. So go ahead, Snoopy, sing it: “Now I’m the big bow-wow / Bigger than Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie, / Bigger than Benji, twice as classy.”