By Hayley Pugh and Charles Wade-Palmer
From the Statue of Liberty to the Great Wall of China this lucky pup has seen it all thanks to a globetrotting couple who have embarked on a round the world trip with a cuddly toy.
Raymond and Natalie Milne, from Aberdeen, started their adventure nine years ago and have since visited a whopping 53 countries with the stuffed dog in tow.
The rambling hound has visited dozens of famous landmarks including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome and the Sphinx of Giza.
The globetrotting couple, who also travel with their two daughters, four-year-old Ashlyn and one-year-old Leoni, have documented Rufus’ extraordinary journey with a series of hilarious snaps.
But the trip, which started as a prank, has now turned into a serious expedition for Raymond who plans to visit every country in the world with his cuddly canine companion.
Raymond, 35, said: “It all started in January 2008. My friend, Frances, heard that my wife Natalie and I were embarking on a round the world trip and she saw it as a good opportunity to play a prank on her boss, John.
“Rufus was a gift that John had received and lived on his desk at an oil services company in Aberdeen.
“Frances ‘borrowed’ Rufus and asked that I take him with me and send postcards and photos back to John.
“This then progressed to a Bebo page being set up, followed by a Facebook page.
“Initially it was just to have fun, see the world and broaden my horizons. But since then, I’ve enjoyed travelling so much that I’ve set a goal to visit every country in the world during my lifetime.
“When people realise what we’re doing it more often than not leads to laughs.
“On many occasions, it has led to striking up conversations with people, often other tourists, who are interested in Rufus, his story and his travels so far.
“Many of the people that we have met along the way are now Facebook friends that follow his ongoing adventures.
“My favourite place so far has been New Zealand. We went on a road trip from the South to the North and it is possibly the most beautiful country in the world.
“The Kiwis know how to have fun and we took part in a few adventure sports along the way.”