Did you see the new robot dog that Sony has created?

I know, you’re thinking the same thing I did: “Finally, a robot dog! Our prayers have been answered!”

Here’s what the Sony PR team has been barking about. The battery-powered robo-mutt is named

AIBO. It has sensors to keep it from walking into walls, a mechanical tail to show that it’s happy, and green LEDs for eyes. It can dance, sit up and beg.
Beg for what, a bowl of cyber-alpo?

Granted, there are a couple of benefits to having a dog that’s a machine. No fleas. No pooper-scooper. Although, as Woody Allen joked in “Sleeper,” it may leave a trail of tiny batteries on the floor. And if you think bathing a real dog is tough, try the shock of sticking this electro-pooch in the tub.

AIBO’s creators have programmed it to enjoy being petted. A sensor in its head can “tell the difference between a friendly pat and a scolding slap.”

Now, just how frustrating does your life have to be to slap a mechanical dog? What was it doing, sniffing the rear end of your computer? Lifting its leg and leaking oil on the carpet? Mocking Astro while you were trying to enjoy a “Jetsons” rerun?

AIBO will be sold only over the internet — naturally — and will cost about $2,500. That’s way too much, and besides, you’d be doing a lot for humanity if you’d get yours at the robo-shelter. There are always dozens of compu-canines who desperately need a home. Won’t you please pick one up there and plug it in at your house (note: some assembly required).

I’m surprised that Sony hasn’t arranged for AIBO to be the spokes-machine for the big event coming up on June 25th: Take Your Dog To Work Day.

That’s the day that you’re supposed to bring your pooches along with you to the office, so they can see that there are a lot more career options available than just sitting at home staining the rug and scratching up the inside of the door.

What dog wouldn’t love the opportunity to be shoved into the corner of your cubicle with nothing to do except listen to you bitch about the boss all day? It is also the perfect way to say to your co-workers, “Here, have some dog hair on your pants, just like me!”

Once you open the floodgates by urging people to bring their dogs into the office, it’s inevitable that other pet owners will want to bring theirs, too. Where do you draw the line? Cats? Birds? Fish? Guinea pigs? Rhesus monkeys? Giraffes?

On the other hand, we’ve allowed jackasses for years, so the precedent is already there. No, I’m not talking about the person down the hall from you. I’m talking about the one who can’t wait to buy AIBO, bring it to the office, and then show everyone how it can fetch a virtual stick (sold separately, batteries not included).