A mutt featuring characteristics of the hunts-tooth wolf and Waco terrier breeds, Mr. Rufflufigus perished this past Labor Day at a barbecue in Prosser, Wash., at the age of 84 (in dog years).
Mr. Rufflufigus was the fourth in a litter of six to burst forth from a half-breed Appenzell mountain dog named Millie. Mr. Rufflufigus and his siblings never knew their father, a wolf hybrid named Coltrane who is alleged to have abandoned Millie shortly after humping in an abandoned lot on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tenn., where Mr. Rufflufigus was born.
As a pup, Mr. Rufflufigus grew up poor, occupying his time with crossword puzzles and foraging for muskrat in the woods near his mother's Smoky Mountain doghouse. When Mr. Rufflufigus was in his teens, Millie passed on, compelling Mr. Ruff-lufigus to join the famed Tuskegee Airmen. After flying in multiple operations over Europe in the '40s, Mr. Rufflufigus returned home for a spell, only to hitchhike to Detroit, where he was taken under the wing of a young paperboy from Trinidad named Tino. At dawn, Tino and Mr. Rufflufigus would deliver the Detroit Free Press together, followed by a post-route breakfast at a diner called the Boneyard.
After arguing over tips, Mr. Rufflufigus and his adoptive owner had a falling out, at which point Mr. Rufflufigus, a hobo's satchel hanging from his powerful jaws, hopped a boxcar to Butte, Mont., and spent several years in the coal mines before contracting black lung. His supervisor at the time, Sven Torborg, bought him a one-way bus ticket to North Bend, where he befriended the cast of the hit television series Twin Peaks. Still, Mr. Rufflufigus was a drifter, feasting almost exclusively on Kraft Services leftovers in Kyle MacLachlan's trailer. There, dog and actor grew close, feeding each other red grapes and sharing opinions on wanderlust and the legalization of LSD. Eventually, MacLachlan went back to Hollywood—but not before hooking his canine pal up with the Stone family of Prosser, with whom Mr. Rufflufigus would spend his golden years before succumbing to a collapsed lung. He is survived by his siblings Crenshaw, Hula Girl, and Spot, as well as his young master, 'lil Tommy Stone (pictured).
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