Ralph von Wau Wau is a talking dog. Who works as a private detective. At which he is a master of disguise. He also seems to be immortal. And is the author of the complete works of Philip José Farmer (under an alias). It may or may not be a coincidence that he once won a contest for liars.

His career has been chronicled by the author Jonathan Swift Somers III, published from 1931 but set in what was then forty years in the future Some of the earlier stories were brought to wider public attention in the 1970s by Mr. Farmer. Kilgore Trout also discusses them in digressions in his celebrated novel Venus on the Half-Shell, and von Wau Wau appears as a character in Spider Robinsons Callahan's series.

Cordwainer Bird may be named for one of Ralph's sidekicks, to whom he is completely identical, so much so that one might almost think that Somers had written true accounts of events in the 1970s, back in the 1930s.

Eminent pulp scholar Jess Nevins has uncovered evidence that Ralph is actually a Wold Newton Family member, being descended from a dog named Juno that was present at the Wold Newton Meteorite strike. This would explain Ralph's human-level intelligence, which was supplemented by an experimental voicebox allowing him to speak.

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