In 1930, a young American astronomer, Clyde William Tombaugh, discovered a moving object somewhere out beyond the orbit of Neptune, the eight planet in our solar system.
The shadowy object turned out to be another planet. In May of that year, it was named Pluto, based on a suggestion from an 11-year-old English schoolgirl. At that time Pluto was best known as the Roman god of the Underworld. That would soon change.
In September, animation visionary Walt Disney would release a little film, The Chain Gang, featuring a new character, a Bloodhound named Pluto. That year’s news from astronomy circles had inspired the name of this Disney dog, just in time to ride on the comet’s tail of publicity that accompanied the scientific discovery.
The cartoon dog is an oddity, the only one of the filmmaker’s major characters that is not anthropomorphized. Pluto never wears human clothes, stays on all fours, and, with the exception of a few words early on, he has always communicated through barks and other kinds of canine vocalizations.
Pluto didn’t utter a word of protest when, in 1992, scientists downgraded his namesake to the category of “dwarf.”
Scientists say they see a heart-shape on the surface. Disney fans know better.
It’s definitely Pluto the dog, they contend. Disney wasted no time in staking its claim, posting a video on its Facebook page, proving that it’s none other than the famous hound’s face. They call it “A Pluto sighting that’s out of this world.”
It may have taken a $700 million space project to locate Pluto, but AKC Reunite offers earth dwellers an economical way to keep tabs on your dog.