Rufus is the most decorated bull terrier in the history of the breed, a celebrity ambassador and one of the busiest therapy dogs in the country.
With his enduring popularity and hectic schedule of public appearances at age 10 (that's 70 in dog years), he's like the Betty White of the dog world, although at 88, she still has a few years on Rufus.
Rufus is a colored bull terrier with a head like an egg and a body like a torpedo, explained David Frei, director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club.
Owner Barbara Bishop of Holmdel, N.J., rejects words like ugly and weird, settling on different to describe Rufus. His sad look, funny eyes and big nose draw people in, she said.
"He's approachable. A lot of people might be afraid to approach Brad Pitt, but they would come to Adam Sandler. Anyone can pet Rufus. I think that's part of his charisma. You don't have to worry about touching Rufus because he's a wash-and-wear kind of guy. You can just love him," she said.
At hospitals or cancer centers like the Ronald McDonald House in New York City, "people think he's stuffed. He just lays there buried under 20 kids. People can't believe he is so used to it," Bishop said.