Sunday Countdown: The best dogs from comic strips

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Snoopy visits NYC ASPCA Adoption Center at ASPCA Adoption Center on October 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Snoopy visits NYC ASPCA Adoption Center at ASPCA Adoption Center on October 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) /

There is a long history of well-loved canines in comic strips, but who do we rank as the top five?

From nearly the beginning of comic strips, dogs have been either primary, secondary or minor characters in numerous strips, from Little Orphan Annie’s Sandy and The Adventures of Tintin’s Snowy to Rover of Red and Rover and Earl of Mutts, there are tons of great characters.

5 – Dogbert, Scott Adams’ Dilbert

I think you have to work in an office environment to fully appreciate Dilbert’s humor. I haven’t, so I don’t get it most of the time. Dogbert is an evil genius, plotting to rule the world, fond of insulting his coworkers and perhaps serving as inspiration for Rainn Wilson’s character Dwight Schrute from The Office. (Come to think of it, I don’t fully get that show all the time, either.)

4 – Odie, Jim Davis’ Garfield

Poor Odie. How can a dog be that dumb, or that lovable because he’s that dumb? He’s probably the second-most well-known canine of the comic strips, which is saying something, but he isn’t that interesting a character in my opinion – or maybe it’s just that I’m not much a fan of Garfield.

Also, my great-grandparents had a bad-tempered dog named Odie, so that might have something to do with it. At least Garfield’s Odie is cute, with his yellowish fur and floppy brown ears.

3 – Hobbes, Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes 

Yes, I know Hobbes is a tiger. But he functions like a dog, at various times serving the roles of Calvin’s best friend, babysitter, playmate, conscience, sounding board, voice of reason, and partner-in-crime. Plus you have to love his dry wit and feline attributes.

2 – Farley, Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse

One of the things I like about Johnston’s For Better or For Worse, besides its essential grounding in the real world pretty much as we know it, was that the characters aged in real-time. That includes Farley, the Pattersons’ pup for much of the strip, who died of a heart attack at 14 after saving April from drowning  Can any other character claim the distinction of legitimately saving a life?

dark. Next. Sporty Pups: This is Dog Agility

1 – Snoopy, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts

Naturally, it had to be Snoopy to go here. Aside from being imaginative, persistent, occasionally caring, he is athletic – we’ve seen the beagle golfing, playing hockey and figure skating, not to mention his abilities as shortstop on the baseball diamond – and will one day get his novel written. Really, Snoopy deserves his own article, and likely he will get many on this site in the future.

Aside from the comic strip, Snoopy is the mascot of Metlife insurance, one of the favorite balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the subject of at least one game-show question, just to name a few distinctions. (The show was the original run of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, when Regis Philbin was hosting, and the question was about Snoopy’s origins).

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