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Popeye's Pups unveiled: The latest statue on the Character Trail is at the fire station

  • "Popeye's Pups" was unveiled at 1 p.m. Saturday, featuring legendary Popeye dogs Fido, Snits and Chester.

    "Popeye's Pups" was unveiled at 1 p.m. Saturday, featuring legendary Popeye dogs Fido, Snits and Chester.
    Jim Beers photo

  • Members of the Chester Fire Department pose with "Popeye's Pups," the latest addition to the Popeye Character trail.

    Members of the Chester Fire Department pose with "Popeye's Pups," the latest addition to the Popeye Character trail.
    Jim Beers photo

  • Wimpy, Brutus, Popeye and Olive Oyl are delighted with the latest Character Trail sculpture.

    Wimpy, Brutus, Popeye and Olive Oyl are delighted with the latest Character Trail sculpture.
    Jim Beers photo

 
Herald Tribune staff report
updated: 9/11/2019 9:42 AM

The 15th sculpture to join Chester's renowned Popeye Character Trail went to the dogs on Saturday -- Popeye's beloved mutts, to be exact.

"Fido", "Snits" and the newest canine member of the Popeye family, "Chester," were unveiled on the lawn in front of the Chester Fire Department as the featured characters in the statue "Popeye's pups."

Assisting with the official unveiling were Mike McClure, the Popeye Character Trail founder and coordinator; Chester Mayor Tom Page; Chester Fire Chief Marty Bert and Ron Shemonic, the assistant fire chief.

"Fido" is the oldest dog of the group, and he appeared in Elzie Segar cartoons that predate Popeye. "Snits" appeared in early Popeye cartoon strips.

Segar never knew "Chester," the dog who joined the cartoon family in 1996, 58 years after Segar's passing. Chester was created by the current Popeye artist, Hy Eisman, as an homage to Segar's hometown. Eisman took over the strip in 1994.

The Popeye Character Trail now has 15 different statues that feature 25 Popeye cartoon characters. Placing "Popeye's Dogs" at the fire department was no accident ... it's another homage, to the American tradition of fire house dogs.