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The Canine in Conversation
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Astro. The dog from the 1960's Hanna Barbera Saturday morning cartoon, The Jetsons. He was designed by Iwao Takamoto, and originally voiced by Don Messick.

The future isn't what it used to be. When I was a young, the future was a magical place in which all problems were solved--explicitly by technology, implicitly by consumer capitalism and white people. The Jetsons sold this image to children like myself who were already space enthusiasts. However, one thing that really could not be automated is that icon of the American family: the family dog. George Jetson, the typical sit-com dad, was dense about domestic life and tried unsuccessfully to placate his children Elroy and Judy with an electronic dog, “Lectronimo”. In episode 4, “The Coming of Astro,” the then stray Astro accidentally catches a burglar and upstages the automated dog. Apparently the Aibo predecessor was programmed to attack anyone wearing a mask. How this all would have worked out at Haloween is apparently not the kind of concern that the writers had. You can see that there was no equivalent to Asimov's Three Laws of Robitics in this future. Fortunately, the electronic dog was donated to the police force and Astro got a story line. In the fifteenth episode, Millionaire Astro”, Astro is discovered to be Trallfaz, the long-lost pet dog of zillionaire J.P. Gottrockets.reference 1

1. Mallory, Michael. 1998. Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Fairfield, Conn.: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates.

About the illustration:This image is copyrighted and unlicensed. I believe that the use of this low resolution image in the entry “Astro” to illustrate the subject in question where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.  
see also: moon dog; watchdog
: laika
Last updated: July 23, 2008
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies