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In Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts, the Head Beagle is the apparent ruler of all dogs on planet Earth and, aside for the short while from February 16 to March 8, 1970 when Snoopy served as Head Beagle, this character has never been seen.
Known Head Beagles
Powers granted to the Head Beagle
The Head Beagle seems to serve as the all-powerful ruler of all dogs in the world. He or she is treated with great respect and even feared by some. When Snoopy is sent to the Head Beagle, he calls him, "Father of Us All."
Duties of the Head Beagle
- Judge: The Head Beagle seems to be able to solve disputes and cases given to him/her This seems to be his or her primary service.
- The Head Beagle can give out secret missions to other dogs, when he has too much to do.
- The Head Beagle can also punish dogs when they do not follow the rules.
Problems with being Head Beagle
As shown when Snoopy briefly serves as the Head Beagle, massive amounts of stress and headaches come with the duty. Much like the President of the United States, the Head Beagle is shown to be hated by some people for his or her decisions. In the strip from March 2, 1970, Lucy blames the Head Beagle for all the world's ills.
Position in the Peanuts universe
Power over dogs and other animals
Dogs are often shown to be terrified of being reported to the Head Beagle. When Snoopy refuses to chase rabbits in the strip from October 9, 1969, Frieda threatens to report him to the Head Beagle, which she eventually does. It also seems that other dogs worry about the effect it will have on their relatives if they are sent to the Head Beagle. This is shown in the strip from October 14, 1969, when Snoopy is miserably contemplating being sent to the Head Beagle, saying that this will bring shame onto the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Whenever Snoopy gets a letter from the Head Beagle, he always faints, because he says the rule is you have to faint if you get a letter from the Head Beagle.
Many dogs show great respect for the Head Beagle. However, due to the fact that the Head Beagle is not often seen in person, some believe that he or she does not even exist. In the strip from October 18, 1969, Snoopy supposedly goes to where he will meet the Head Beagle (which is apparently the middle of a forest), after waiting for a while, he thinks to himself, "Suddenly I have a terrible feeling someone is putting me on." Of course, it is possible Snoopy merely went to the wrong location.
As seen in the Sunday strip from January 8, 1970, in a parody of IRS tax forms, every January, dogs are required to send in forms to the Head Beagle detailing their activities, including their rabbit chasing quotas.
Respect from humans
The Head Beagle also seems to be treated with great respect by people as well. For example, Charlie Brown is very proud and honored that his dog is named the new Head Beagle in the strip from February 16, 1970. In the following day's strip, Lucy pretends to be comically terrified, claiming Snoopy will destroy them all. Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus watch Snoopy's inauguration as Head Beagle on television, the event being covered live by all three networks, in the strip from February 18, 1970.
In the strip from October 25, 1969, Linus contemplates the possibility that the Head Beagle and the Great Pumpkin could be one and the same. In the strip from October 29 of that year, Linus decides not to write his annual letter to the Great Pumpkin but to send one to the Head Beagle instead.