That’s what an international panel of veterinary experts has been secretly debating for the past couple of weeks. Having recently realized that Pluto (left, below) has a number of characteristics not ordinarily found in Canis lupus familiaris, the members of the panel — after much heated discussion — arrived at the following consensus:
1. All dogs must have at least four toes on each paw (not including the dewclaw).
2. All dogs must have at least two distinct eyes.
3. All male dogs must possess external genitalia (or, if neutered, visible remnants thereof).
4. If its tail resembles a flagellum, it ain’t a dog.
On the basis of these criteria, it was determined that the Disney icon is not, in fact, a dog, and belongs in a new class of caninoform organisms, to be known henceforth as “Pludogs.” The scientists hinted, but did not confirm, that Goofy (right, above) would be considered for entry into this category as well, but noted that since the buck-toothed, jovial, mentally challenged upright quadriped has never been seen without shoes or pants on, it may be difficult to determine exactly how many toes, phalluses and testicles he possesses as well as the structure of his tail.