Meet Rufus, a Regular at the Montgomery Dog Park

Rufus is a part of many people’s lives in Old Town. When he goes on official walks to the bank or dry cleaner, the staff always have treats waiting for him.

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What DNA doesn’t say: Rufus is 100 percent loving devotion. (Photo: Rosemary Guerguerian)

Alexandria, VA – Rufus is a giant, black, fluffy sweetheart. He likes wrestling and romping, and he’s always up for a good roll in the dirt. Rufus has best friends and definitely plays favorites. His signature move is the “pal of mine” paw over the shoulder (see photo).

Rufus loves going to the beach to play in the sand, which doesn’t just get between his paws when he’s digging, it also gives him the zoomies.

Rufus is a tall boy who likes to counter surf, especially for food that isn’t his. And he like junk food (a.k.a. treats).

Bur Rufus has dislikes, too: Anybody who passes by the front door or misses with his friends. And he’s not crazy about heat, much preferring cold, so winter is just right.

Rufus doesn’t like Hugo, the German Shepard mix who’s another dog park regular. According to Hugo’s owners, Rufus disliked Hugo the moment he saw him from across the street. But word in the park is that the rift is over a certain furry-tailed lady named Morada.

Rufus snuck into the hearts of D.C. and Briana Drake by pretending to be a Labradoodle. “We both agreed we wanted a dog, but I’ve had dog allergies ever since I was a kid, so we were looking for a dog in one of the four hypoallergenic breeds. We settled on a Labradoodle,” recalls D.C.

“Briana found a family with puppies on Craigslist, and they said ‘oh, yeah, he’s a Labradoodle!’ We wondered about it for over a year,” he adds.

They tried to contact the family again, but their calls went unanswered, so they decided to get a DNA test. Which revealed that Rufus’s is part Great Pyrenees, part German Shepard, part Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Mountain Cur, and Chow.

Also, as the Drakes already knew, he is 100 percent loving devotion.

Rufus works with D.C. (“my only office staff”) at Drake Immigration Law on N. Washington Street. He spends the whole day in the office, greeting clients. Should a client be afraid of dogs, Rufus retires to a separate room, but most just love him.

D.C. and Bri came to Alexandria separately. D.C. worked at a law firm in Pentagon City when he decided to start a practice of his own. He loved Old Town, first opening up shop on King Street, then moving to its current location. Briana is an attorney, too, originally from Southern California. They met at a conference in Las Vegas.

When D.C. and Bri decided to marry, they knew Rufus was too much a part of their family to leave him out of the wedding, so they asked him to be their ring bearer. The wedding took place on a farm in August 2019. The wedding party started at the top of a hill about a 100 yards from the ceremony.

When it was his turn to come down the aisle, they called and Rufus ran down the hill. And although he’d performed perfectly during rehearsal, on the wedding day he got briefly distracted by a big water bucket. But he eventually made it down the aisle and sat like a good boy for the rest of the ceremony. Of course, during the reception, he managed to escape from the farmhouse and burst into the tent—just in time for dinner.

Rufus is a part of many people’s lives in Old Town. When he goes on official walks to the bank or dry cleaner, the staff always have treats waiting for him.

Rufus has also snuck into the hearts of the crew at the 5 O’Clock Club, where his friends can be heard shouting “Ruuufffus” whenever he appears.

The Montgomery Dog Park is at the corner of Fairfax and 1st Streets. It is just one of many dog parks in Alexandria. To find a park near you, go to www.alexandriava.gov/Dogs.

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