Friday, December 30, 2005

Break out the checkbooks

I have a big announcement today, my fellow creations of the intelligent designer that is Allah. This is an opportunity that many of you will not want to pass up. At long last, enrollment has begun for the first annual Ayatollah Mugsy's Youth Indoctrination Camp. This summer camp will take place July 8-15 at and around my Texas compound. Among the activities that await the first 40 lucky children and puppies to sign up:

  • Dog-paddle races across Lake Lewisville.
  • Archery. Children will learn to shoot an apple off of their fellow campers' heads. Of course, they will all be wearing turbans as part of their camp uniforms for added safety.
  • Multiple daily nap times.
  • Printmaking.
  • Intense religious instruction, with severe penalties for laggards.
  • Sumo wrestling.
  • Knitting-for-dogs lessons.
  • Daily rawhide-chewing sessions, to promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • Tug-of-war competitions.
  • Hazing.
  • Firearms training.

The camp's top performers may be eligible for membership in the prestigious Mugsy Youth. All campers will be expected to memorize the Quran and Mugsy's Manifesto, an 800-page treatise on canine Islam and pug nationalism, in advance. The fee is $550 for human children and $75 for puppies. Enrollment ends March 31, so don't delay. Space is limited. E-mail me or leave a comment for further details.

Ayatollah Mugsy and Pug Life Ministries are not responsible for the safety and welfare of campers. Additional fees for uniforms, food and rawhide apply. All payments are nonrefundable.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Duck hunt

With all due respect to Mallard (to whom I paid tribute in my last post), I predict that the Ducks are in for a de-feathering tonight. May Allah bless the Sooners.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ode to friendship

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize one of my dearest friends. There is no special occasion, no big event serving as a catalyst for my remarks. I simply want to tell Mallard how much I appreciate his friendship. Mallard has led a rough life, and I cannot help but feel at least partly to blame. But through it all, Mallard has remained a loyal friend. When I need a shoulder to gnaw on, Mallard is there. When I need to hear a friend's voice, he is always quick to quack at me. Most of my friends fall silent after a few weeks, but Mallard remains as loquacious as ever. You wear the scars of friendship well, Mallard. The next time we go out to eat, I'll pick up the bill.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Oh, mother

My mother found a way to lock herself out of the house on Friday. On top of that, her car battery was dead. Were it not for the kindness of a pair of FOPs (Friends of the Pug) who came to her rescue, she would have probably frozen to death -- if she had not starved first. While mother was enjoying a bountiful feast at the stately FOP manor, I was stuck inside the ayatollah compound for about 12 hours straight -- with no dinner until the wee hours of the morning. It is not an experience I wish to repeat. At around 9:30, I prayed that Allah would grant me opposable thumbs so that I could open the door and step outside. But the evening did not leave me bitter. In fact, in the spirit of the season, I left mother a present on the rug.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The latest buzz

Today's lesson, my friends, is about a small but fast-growing sect of Islam. You may have heard of some of the faith's larger branches. There are the Shiites and the Sunnis, the two main divisions, who split over the leadership of the faith centuries ago. There is the Nation of Islam, the 75-year-old sect born in the holy Motor City of Detroit. There are the Sufis, a mystical bunch known for their twirling meditative dances (the phrase "whirling Dervish" originally referred to the Sufis, and if I ever figure out how to post a video, I will show you a whirling pug Dervish in action after taking a bath). And finally, there are the Pugbees of Portugal.

The Pugbees have garnered little attention from the mainstream media, but their ranks are growing rapidly. They are known for their strong moral character, their magnificent costumes and their undying devotion to Pug Life Ministries. Under the direction of the charismatic JB, these Pugbees have pledged to defend Pug Life against all enemies, their stingers at the ready.

To learn more about the Pugbees, click here. As of this writing, the site contains photos of three Pugbees -- all majestic, proud, utterly adorable servants of Pug Life. You'll want to scroll to the bottom to see them all. Who knows; perhaps it will inspire you to become a Pugbee. The site also includes a special tribute to a great and wise leader. Pugbees, I salute you. We all salute you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Blame it on 'Earl'

As you know, I take my duties as a leading pug religious scholar very seriously. So it is with great regret and embarrassment that I come to you now. You see, the biggest scholarly event of the decade took place last night, and I missed it. Did anyone happen to tape the Barbara Walters special "Heaven: Where Is It? How Do We Get There?"?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Best wishes, Bud

I would like to share with you the inspiring story of Bud, a loyal pug who is learning to walk on his new prosthetic paw.

Click here for the story.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pay no mind to that clicking on the phone

It has come to my attention that the news media have been reporting some unflattering things about me. They say I've been spying on my congregation, using illegal wiretaps. An abuse of my immense power, they call it. My lawyer has advised me not to address these outrageous charges directly. But I will say this: I would not think of employing such methods if I did not believe they were in the best interests of Pug Life Ministries. There are many who would do us harm, so we must take mosqueland security seriously. Hypothetically speaking, it might become necessary to monitor the communications or food intake of a suspected enemy of the congregation to ensure our safety. It is understandable if this sort of talk frightens you, for it is unsettling to think of such evildoers. But you can take comfort in the knowledge that I am here to protect you. If necessary, I will do what the legal authorities will not. Why? Because I care about you, and I care about this congregation -- the greatest interfaith, interspecies ministry in the world. God bless Pug Life.

Mideast summit wrap-up

Greetings, my faithful flock. I am sure you have all been eagerly awaiting a recap of this weekend's Mideast peace summit, so I will jump right into it. As I last reported, I placed an urgent phone call to George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton. The summit was not going well, and I thought that perhaps this humanitarian duo could help. Unfortunately, they had a flat tire near Conroe. Then, upon realizing that their AAA membership had lapsed, the former presidents got into an argument over who had forgotten to pay the bill. It escalated into a fistfight, and, suffice it to say, they never arrived. (For those who are curious, I hear that Clinton landed a few good blows but that the 81-year-old Bush was the clear winner. And they called him a wimp ...)

So it was up to Rabbi Jake and me to straighten out these feuding factions. And straighten them out we did. Rabbi Jake went to work on the Israelis, using his icy stare to restore order and quell their in-fighting. I delivered a powerful sermon to bring the Palestinians in line. Then we sat back down at the table and went to work. The talks dragged on into Sunday morning, beyond our scheduled ending time. But tremendous progress was made. In fact, I believe we were no more than a half-hour away from signing a full-fledged peace treaty that would have given the Palestinians land and sovereignty and guaranteed the Israelis peace. However, as visions of the Nobel peace prize danced through my head, we received bad news.
Ariel Sharon had suffered a mild stroke. The Israeli delegation had to leave quickly, and Sharon's German shepherd was visibly shaken. So Mideast peace will have to wait for another day. I am already working to organize a second summit. God willing, I will win that Nobel prize. Oh, and we'll have Mideast peace, too.

Incidentally, Shimon Peres' pug, Shlomo, tells me that Sharon is expected to make a full recovery. This is good news, but I would feel much better about Sharon's situation if his medical team included a dog or two.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

On the brink

The talks have degenerated into little more than growling and baring of teeth. I must summon all of my diplomatic powers to keep this peace process from falling apart. Rabbi Jake and I have pulled out all the stops, placing a phone call to our secret weapon. As I type this, the humanitarian odd couple of 2005 -- George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton -- are speeding down the highway in their jointly owned Winnebago. We must pray that they arrive before it is too late.

Disaster averted ... for now

Moments ago, the Palestinian delegation stormed out of the talks, angry over the Israeli stance on canine refugees' right of return. They were halfway to the street before my mother was able to lure them back. She had to resort to yelling, "Want a biscuit?" while shaking my treat jar vigorously. She coaxed them back to the bargaining table, but it is a tenuous situation at best. Pray for us. More to come ...

We may be at this all night

What a tense day of negotiations. Although it is far too early to say whether this summit will lead to a breakthrough in the Mideast, I know that the world is eager to learn what has transpired thus far. Our first few hours were spent discussing the proposal by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to move the Jews to Alaska or Canada. But it became clear that the Israeli delegation was adamantly opposed -- it seems they are not fond of wearing doggie sweaters. I cannot say that I blame them. In the afternoon, we engaged in team-building exercises in which each attendee would leave a dog biscuit in the middle of the floor and turn his back, trusting that no one would take it. That did not go well. I am strongly considering canceling Saturday's tug-of-war trust exercise. The future of Jerusalem was also a major topic of discussion. I must go now; our 15-minute rawhide break is nearly over. More to come ...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A momentous weekend approaches

Greetings, fellow creatures of Allah. I have begun to make preparations for a great meeting of the minds. This weekend, my schnauzer friend Rabbi Jake is coming to Texas. I have known Rabbi Jake since he was a young pup, and I am looking forward to visiting with him again. But it will not be all fun and games. No, we will have serious work to do: Rabbi Jake and I are hosting a two-day forum on Mideast peace. And my optimism is as boundless as rawhide is delicious. You see, Jake and I did not get along so well when we were younger. Anytime I would enter his house, he would yap with unrelenting and ear-splitting fury. But as Jake has aged and mellowed, I believe that he has come to appreciate my pugly qualities. He now enjoys (or at least tolerates) the soothing sounds of my breathing. If the two of us -- a Jewish schnauzer and a Muslim pug -- can find friendship, then, God willing, the Israelis and Palestinians can forge a lasting peace.

Though Rabbi Jake and I will be moderating the discussions, we will not be alone. Ariel Sharon's German shepherd will attend, as will Mahmoud Abbas' miniature pinscher. And Shimon Peres' pug, Shlomo, will be a special guest speaker. I have heard Shlomo bark, and I promise you, it is something to behold. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are boycotting (big surprise), but that's OK. They aren't much fun to hang around with anyway. And I always feel like I have to hide the valuables when they come over.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Winter cleaning

It's been a slow couple of days around the ayatollah household, aside from the whole IAEA hostage drama. I've been trying to do a little cleaning and reorganizing. One by one, I've been gathering up all the shoes in the house and taking them to my father in the living room. But he doesn't seem to get the message. They would look perfect if he would just stack them all on the mantel, but he keeps thanking me and then taking them to the closet. These humans can be really dense sometimes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A second open letter to Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei
Director General
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5, A-1400
Vienna, Austria

Mr. ElBaradei,

Well, my old nemesis, I believe I have let you sweat this out long enough. I must say, I am rather impressed that you have been able to keep the press from finding out about your latest misstep. Your powers of media manipulation are almost as great as mine. Almost.

But on to the point: You have no doubt noticed the absence of three of your top nuclear inspectors. I am sure that you recall dispatching them to my residence during last week’s ice storm. Had you heeded my earlier warning, you wouldn’t have had to go into full cover-up mode, trying to keep the world from finding out that your trespassing operation had met with a disastrous end. But fear not, Mr. ElBaradei. Your inspectors are alive. Thanks to the subarctic temperature, my in-ground sprinkler system and pug ingenuity, this trio of interlopers is now cryogenically frozen. Their pulses have slowed to a faint blip; their brain activity has all but ceased. But we pugs possess the technology to safely thaw them. That is where you come in, Mr. ElBaradei.

I propose a trade. I will return your inspectors, and you will never again trouble Pug Life Ministries. Really, what concern is it of yours if I use a light-water nuclear reactor to power my blogging station? In addition, I want a briefcase full of unmarked rawhide left in the recycling bin outside my residence. You have 24 hours to agree to my demands. Don’t even think about sending a rescue mission; if you do, I may accidentally drop your inspectors on the hard tile floor of my kitchen. And I would hate to have to make my mother clean up such a mess.

You have been granted an opportunity to save face, Mr. ElBaradei. I suggest you don’t blow it.

Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Monday, December 12, 2005

Give the pug its due

The most tragically underused mascot in all of athletics has got to be "Pugs," and this has long vexed me. Pugs are noble creatures who will bring honor to any team they represent. Pugs are fearsome when provoked, capable of literally running circles around their competition. Pugs are a handsome breed, and the pug visage would certainly look sharp on any uniform. Yet no major American sports team has chosen this proud mascot. Instead, we have the NFL's Cleveland franchise, named after the color brown. We have the NBA's Indiana Pacers, named for one of the auto industry's less-than-shining moments. We have not one but two Major League Baseball teams named after smelly footwear. Pugs are equally absent from the college ranks. Not a single Division I-A team calls itself the Pugs, yet countless schools would benefit from making the switch. How many Wildcats and Tigers do we really need?

The only team I have found that carries the proud Pug moniker is from a small high school in Oklahoma. But look at the symbol of the Paoli Pugs above -- that is not even a pug! It is clearly a bulldog. So I am launching a petition drive today to right this wrong. It is time for Indiana's NBA franchise to stop paying homage to the most underwhelming design of the American Motor Co. I propose that the next time Ron Artest brawls with a fan, he does so as a member of the Indianapolis Rampaging Pugs. Your comment below will serve as your signature. Through this grass-roots effort, we will properly recognize the pug breed's many contributions to mankind.

The war on Christmas?

There has been much ado in recent weeks about the "war on Christmas." Bill O’Reilly, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and others have done their best to persuade us that this nefarious plot threatens the American way of life, that ACLU storm troopers will descend upon anyone who dares to utter the phrase "Merry Christmas." As a leading religious scholar, I feel that it is my duty to tell you the truth: It is all hogwash.

If a store chooses to wish you "Happy Holidays" or "Season’s Greetings," how can you possibly interpret it as an attack on Christmas? There are several perfectly legitimate reasons why a store might choose to use these generic holiday greetings. For one, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Why would a retailer want to risk offending its Hindu or atheist or canine Muslim customers? I am not suggesting that retailers should avoid saying "Merry Christmas" – in fact, a cashier at Wal-Mart wished me a Merry Christmas on Sunday, and I returned the greeting. But "Happy Holidays" is an inclusive greeting, and it is perfectly understandable if businesses prefer to use it. Another reason stores may prefer "Happy Holidays" is that this is truly a season of holidays -- plural. It begins around Thanksgiving, runs through Hanukkah and Christmas and Kwanzaa and Festivus, and concludes with New Year’s. And the bowl games. One of the rallying cries of this "Save Christmas" movement is that "It’s OK to say Merry Christmas." I think we can all decide for ourselves what we would like to say, thank you very much. To presume to put words into the mouths of others is arrogance, pure and simple. And as regular readers of this blog know, arrogance is not tolerated here.

I read on another fine blog the story of a shopper who was so offended when a Lowe’s employee wished her "Happy Holidays" that she lectured the store manager on the true meaning of Christmas and returned all of her merchandise. Even President Bush has been assailed because his holiday greeting cards do not explicitly mention Christmas (though they do contain a verse from the Old Testament book of Psalms). "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it," Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site, told the Washington Post.

What would Jesus do? Throw a temper tantrum because people were trying to be respectful of one another? I think not. Wasn't it just a few years ago that the big complaint was that Christmas was too commercialized? And now these busy-bodies want to marry Christmas and commerce? Methinks somebody is just out to stir up trouble.

If Falwell, O'Reilly and the other organizers of this nonsense were really interested in doing something positive (rather than fomenting conflict and lining their wallets), they could urge their fans and followers to tackle any number of real problems. Feed a hungry child. Help a poor family stay warm this winter. Adopt a dog from a shelter. Tithe 10 percent of your earnings to Pug Life Ministries. (It's really quite easy, you know. There is a PayPal button to your right. Or I can help you arrange an automatic deduction from your paycheck. That way, you won't even notice the money is gone. And through the power of compound interest, it will grow and grow in the Pug Life coffers. Did you know that Albert Einstein once called compound interest the greatest mathematical discovery of all time?)

I fear that I have already devoted far too much space to this silly manufactured controversy, this feeble attempt to embrace victimhood. But if anyone would care to take issue with my teachings or boycott Pug Life, I would welcome your comments. And if you'd care to protest, well, you bring the picketers and I'll supply the blank signs and markers. Merry Christmas, all.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Winter has finally arrived in North Texas -- with a vengeance. The temperature has fallen below 20 degrees, and it has been sleeting on and off since Wednesday afternoon. It is times like these when I envy you humans and your indoor restrooms. I had important Pug Life business to attend to in downtown Dallas yesterday, and I did not begin my drive home until after 11 p.m. At this point, the roads were a slippery mess. I believe it would be safe to call the journey back to my suburban compound a white-knuckle ride, though I cannot be certain of this. My fur prevents me from discerning the true color of my knuckle skin at any given time. In any event, it took about twice as long as usual to make the trip, because I didn't exceed 40 mph on the highway.

Upon my return to the ayatollah estate, I heard a strange clicking noise coming from the back yard. I crept around the side of the house for a closer look, and what did I see? A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, scanning the frozen ground with a Geiger counter. Curse that
Mohamed ElBaradei! But it was I who would have the last laugh -- thank Allah for my in-ground sprinkler system.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Jockeying for the next Nobel prize

A human researcher has discovered that dogs laugh when playing together. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me. What's next? Will humans discover that we canines like to sniff each other's behinds? The researcher also found that when a recording of canine laughter was played in a kennel full of barking dogs, it caused the dogs to go silent within a minute and then seem completely at peace. This makes sense. It is the equivalent of letting human prison inmates watch Chappelle's Show on their cable TV.

In another breakthrough, humans have developed a
cell phone for dogs. I'll pass; the last thing I need is another way for telemarketers to reach me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mugosaurus update

Thanks to Friends of McDougal, the great question has been answered. As this mysterious, faceless character said: "That is clearly a salamander." Specifically, I believe, it is the barred tiger salamander, the official state amphibian of Kansas. Friends of McDougal, I thank you for your service to the ministry. If you would like to receive an autographed photo of me as a token of my gratitude, simply send an e-mail to with your contact information.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mugsy issues fatwa

It is time to right one of the great wrongs of modern society. For the betterment of all man- and pugkind, I must issue a fatwa! I hereby declare that it is impermissible for anyone to take a baby with a propensity for crying to a theater for a grown-up movie. Last night, I went to see Pride and Prejudice, and the movie was repeatedly interrupted by a crying baby in the front. (I know what you must be thinking: Mugsy must have really liked that little beagle he met at the dog park to let her drag him to such a chick flick. But the movie was all right.) Pug Life faithful, there is no chance that a baby will enjoy such a movie. Leave the child with a babysitter, or stay home and rent a DVD. Do not subject the rest of us to the dangers of this ticking baby timebomb. A few weeks ago, I witnessed a similar transgression. While engrossed in the R-rated Marine movie Jarhead (no, I am not making this up), I was repeatedly distracted by a baby's wailing. Clearly, the parent of the year was at the AMC Stonebriar 24.

Those impudent enough to defy this fatwa shall face consequences most severe. Violators are to have their heads dunked repeatedly in a vat of the semi-viscous liquid that serves as movie-popcorn butter. The dunkings shall stop only after the offender's head has turned bloated and jaundiced. At this point, the offender shall be placed in the stocks in a public square, and I personally shall lick all of the movie-popcorn butter from his or her pores. And make no mistake; this will be a harsh licking. God willing, I will see my next movie in peace.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Let the pug take you away

Throughout recorded history, few phrases have evoked more groans than, "Let me show you my vacation photos." Nonetheless, I have created a blog of travel photos. It's something that I've been wanting to do for a while, because I've enjoyed looking at similar Web sites as I plot future vacations and military conquests. I've been on two vacations this year -- one to Las Vegas and one to Europe. I didn't bother posting any photos from Las Vegas, because it was more of a working vacation. Rather than sight-seeing, I spent most of my time prudently investing mosque funds at various casinos. But I saw many a sight in London and Paris, and through it all, I had my camera in my paws.

If you're interested in visiting The Ayatollah's Travels, you can
click here. There's also a link in the right-hand rail. You can enlarge the photos on the travel blog by clicking on them.

Friday, December 02, 2005

What is it?

Does anyone know what this lizard/amphibian/dinosaur is? I spotted it in my grandparents' driveway in Oklahoma City a few days ago. I tried to minister to the roughly 8-inch-long creature, but it adopted a rather menacing pose when I approached it, its tail arching upward. Needless to say, my hackles shot skyward. It didn't look like the typical Oklahoma City wildlife, so I surmised that perhaps it was an escaped or abandoned pet. Surely one of the amateur herpetologists of the congregation can identify this monster.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My life: A vision of vengeance

Previous installments of this autobiographical series are available in the right-hand rail, under the heading "Mugsy's Biography."

Chapter X
The trap had been set hours earlier. I had my girlfriend at the time, pop singer Mariah Carey, call Galvez. "I'll be lonely when they send my pug-man away to prison," she told him. "You wanna get together tonight?" Galvez was always interested in taking what was mine, and he'd had his eye on Mariah for months. It was an offer he couldn't refuse. Mariah's cell phone rang while they were at dinner, and she told Galvez that it was her uncle. He had asked her to pick something up at his auto salvage yard nearby. "It'll only take five minutes," she told Galvez playfully.

And now they were here. The black Mercedes slowly crept up to the salvage yard's main office. Mariah jumped out of the convertible and skipped toward the door. "I'll be back in a sec, baby," she said, looking over her shoulder as she spoke. Then she disappeared into the office. I sprang into action, using the salvage yard's crane to position a massive container over Galvez's car. He looked up, startled. But it was too late for Galvez. I pulled back on a cable, causing the contents of the container to spill out. Hundreds of gallons rained down on Galvez, filling his car and pooling on the ground around it. Then I manipulated the crane's controls some more, causing my second ghastly ingredient to fall down on Galvez.

After descending from the crane, I strode toward my old nemesis. He was coughing violently. Feathers flew forth from his mouth as he struggled for breath. Finally, he cleared his throat, but he remained dazed. The warm tar coated his entire body. The feathers clung to him. Vengeance was sweet! But I wasn't finished yet. "Mugsy? Is that you?" he said, straining to turn his head. "I'm sorry, man. I never meant to betray you." I put on thick gloves and boots as I walked up behind him, not wanting to get any tar on my fur. I clamped my paws around his neck, ready to deliver the coup de grace. "Mugsy, please ..." he whimpered. But I wasn't in the mood for mercy. A loud "SNAP!" echoed throughout the salvage yard, letting all within earshot know that pug justice had just been delivered -- with extreme prejudice.

Then my cell phone rang. It was Johnnie Cochran, delivering urgent news about my trial. After hanging up, I walked around to the front of the Mercedes to admire my handiwork. There was Galvez, tarred and feathered, straining to see over the cone that I had snapped around his neck moments earlier. "Galvez," I said gruffly, "now you know what happens when you mess with the pug."

After giving Mariah the all-clear to leave the office, we were on our way to the courthouse. We had 20 minutes to get there. The verdict was in.

To be continued

When the acting roles dry up

Dick Van Patten eats dog food. I believe that nothing more needs to be said.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My life: Interlude for revenge

Previous installments of this autobiographical series are available in the right-hand rail, under the heading "Mugsy's Biography."

Chapter IX
As I waited at the run-down auto salvage yard, I thought back to the events that had led me there. Earlier that evening, I had been nervously pacing in my living room. The jury was deliberating my fate, and my defense team, friends and relatives were all nearby. As I paced, one thought kept gnawing at me. If I were to get a life sentence in the pound – a distinct possibility given the serious panty-larceny charges against me – I would have one great regret: I had never avenged my betrayal at the hands of Juan Carlos Galvez.
His treachery a year earlier had left my knee shattered, my head imprisoned for weeks in that damn cone. As I left the house that evening, my attorney Johnnie Cochran ran after me. "It’s too risky, Mugsy!" he cried. "You can’t do this!" "Sorry, Johnnie," I replied. "It’s payback time."

I was soon at a farm in Wylie, the town of my birth, where I met with an old family friend. I handed him a wad of cash, and he handed me the keys to a pickup truck. The attached trailer was filled to the brim with wooden crates. My second stop was an industrial park in East Dallas. The sky was pitch black as a crew of nervous workers loaded my pickup with the second ingredient in my vengeful brew. Their boss, a shady character with darting eyes, opened the briefcase and began to count the unmarked bills inside. "Five-hundred, six-hundred …" he muttered as he examined each bill under the blue glow of a bug zapper. "All right, Mugs, it’s all here," he said. "You sure you wanna do this?" I simply nodded.

That brought me to this grimy auto yard in Oak Cliff. The trap was set; now I could only wait for my prey. It wouldn't be long. The rumble of the gate inching open roused me from my reflection. A black Mercedes convertible entered the salvage yard. It was time for Galvez to meet his gruesome fate.

To be continued

Monday, November 28, 2005

News we can use

Fox News claims to offer "fair and balanced" coverage. But do you ever hear about the burgeoning fundamentalist Islamic canine movement on Fox? Does Fox News report on the plight of disenfranchised dogs? No. There is no balance. And make no mistake; Fox is not alone. You will not hear CNN reporting on the many charitable activities of Pug Life Ministries. Nor will you see a story on MSNBC or ABC News about a charismatic pug ayatollah's mystical healing abilities. The New York Times has never called to request an interview with me, and even the local media outlets have ignored the meteoric rise of pug nationalism. Clearly, these news organizations are not serving the interests of their customers. They are instead letting their anti-dog biases shine through. "If we ignore this growing canine movement," they reason, "it will fizzle out." But let me tell you, my faithful flock, Pug Life is like a snowball roaring down a mountain. We are gaining followers with each passing day. And we must turn to media outlets that recognize this sea change in the American way of life. So I would like to direct you to the news page on Scroll down a bit, and you'll see what I'm talking about. This news truly is fair and balanced.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

7 things

Pug Life follower Leslee at Fresh-Cut Flowers has tagged me to do this. As pyramid schemes go, it seemed harmless enough, so I'll play along.

Seven things I want to do before I die:

  • Gain enormous wealth
  • Use it to build the Dogloo compound
  • See the world
  • Write a book
  • Establish an autonomous pug homeland under my authoritarian rule
  • Erect giant monuments to myself in every city of the pug empire
  • Retire to my harem

Seven things I cannot do:

  • Vote
  • Dunk a basketball
  • Turn a door knob
  • Understand advanced calculus
  • Understand cats
  • Bench press (my legs don't bend that way)
  • Resist the temptation of rawhide

Seven things that attract me to the ladies of my harem:

  • Their silky-smooth fur
  • Their sexy barks
  • Those puppy dog eyes
  • Their compassion
  • The aroma of their hindquarters
  • Their cooking ability
  • Their undying devotion to me

Seven things I say most often:

  • God willing
  • Peace be upon you
  • Rawhide
  • Milkbone
  • Donate
  • Harem
  • Ruff

Seven books or authors I love:

  • The Quran
  • Mark Twain
  • The Satanic Verses (favorite for burning)
  • Mario Puzo
  • Bootlegger's Boy by Barry Switzer
  • Our Dumb Century by The Onion
  • George Orwell

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

  • The Adventures of Milo and Otis
  • Airplane!
  • Training Day
  • Ocean's Eleven
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Spies Like Us
  • That movie with Jay Leno and Mr. Miyagi

Seven people or dogs I want to join in, too:

  • The first seven who read this and haven't already made a list

Thursday, November 24, 2005

What I am thankful for

On this Thanksgiving Day, I would like to share with you some of the blessings for which I am most thankful:

  • I am thankful for the 60 seconds a day -- 30 in the morning and 30 in the evening -- when I can savor my daily meals. I enjoy the texture of each individual piece of Eukanuba, the sublime sensations of flavor escaping every last morsel.
  • I am thankful for the readers of this blog who take the time to share their comments. And I am also thankful for those who stop by to soak up the pug knowledge but never let their presence be known. Perhaps at some point, Allah will move them to join in the discussion.
  • I am thankful that Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson have split up, opening the doggy door for the first human female to join my harem. Resistance is futile, Jessie.
  • I am thankful for those delectable yet dangerous turkeys. Americans are expected to eat 525 million pounds of turkey on this holiday. And yet I worry about the threat of avian flu. By eating all this turkey, are the humans exposing themselves to the virus? My offer still stands: You may send me your poultry. God willing, I will single-pawedly eliminate this menace.
  • And finally, I am thankful that the enemies of Pug Life Ministries are being systematically vanquished. These threats to the pug way of life must fall in line or face the consequences, like Blue Bull. Remember: If you're not with us, you're against us. Take that to heart, Mohamed ElBaradei. I would hate to have to leave you hanging from a banana hook.

May you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You say you want a revolution?

I was lying on the floor near our window overlooking the creek, soaking up the sun. It was a rare moment of calm in the busy life of an international canine religious icon. I stretched out slowly, my legs shaking with satisfaction as I let out a big yawn. My gaze turned to the yard outside. I felt such contentment that I didn't even bother to bark at the passing ducks. As my eyelids grew heavy and I laid my head back on the soft rug once again, I heard something from the other room.

"Mugsy!" my mother exclaimed. "It's time for revolution!" I sprang to my feet and ran a quick circle before bounding toward the living room, adrenaline coursing through my veins. "Yes!" I thought. "Today is the day for revolution! We shall overthrow this human-dominated government. We shall install pugs and terriers and bulldogs in positions of power. We shall make the humans wear leashes for a change." I rounded the corner, running in place for a moment as my paws sought traction on the tile floor. "Yes, Mother," I barked, "it is time for revolution! Summon my followers. We shall convene at the mosque in 15 minutes." But then she grabbed me by the collar and held a small bottle between my shoulder blades. "There you go, Mugsy," she said." There's your
Revolution. Now you won't have any fleas."

I was left with nothing but a tuft of spiky fur on my back. Why must I fall for this ruse every single month?

Sam: 1990-2005

Sam, the champion of ugliest dog contests who was featured on this blog in July, has died. The Chinese crested became an international celebrity after winning the ugliest animal contest at the 2003 Sonoma-Marin Fair in California -- a victory he twice repeated. Our prayers are with Sam's caretaker and his siblings. As they undoubtedly know, there is more to a beloved dog than a pretty face.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just in time for the holidays

Pug Row Records has released a digitally remastered deluxe edition of my landmark gangsta rap classic Tha Doggfather. In addition to its astounding nine No. 1 hits, this deluxe edition includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks: Mo' Rawhide, Mo' Problems; Lick the Police; and Get Panties or Die Tryin'. This album would make an excellent stocking stuffer for your significant other or your young children. As you may know, I got out of the rap game while incarcerated in the pound. After trading in the violence and misogyny of gangsta rap for the peace and gender equality of Islam, I vowed never to take my hip-hop bark to the stage again. But I have consented to this re-release because it is for a good cause. One dollar from every album sale will go toward
Sister Bella's Children's Charities. The charity, in the Catholic wing of Pug Life Ministries, is in dire need of Milkbones and Snausages to feed the puppies and human children of the congregation during the holiday season. Tha Doggfather is available at record stores everywhere.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


As you may have noticed, this blog has undergone some changes over the last week. I pray that they don't turn any of you off, for it is the Pug Life faithful whom I am blogging for. First, I turned on word verification. I hated to make it more difficult for you to comment, and I hope it won't deter anyone from posting. I greatly enjoy reading what you have to say. But I felt that the spam was getting out of hand, and it was too much of a hassle to delete it all. However, even though the spammers had been warned, I began to feel a twinge of guilt. One of the biggest offenders no longer has this site as a forum to advertise his services. "What if I am taking rawhide off of this man's table?" I thought to myself. "What if he will now have to live under a bridge? What if he will have to sell his children?" These thoughts began to gnaw at me. And so I would like to offer him one last advertisement, for the sake of my conscience and his children:

Are you looking for Dallas/Allen/Frisco/Plano carpet cleaning? Are you willing to let a quasi-illiterate spammer who writes in gibberish sentences into your home? Do you want to "compleatly elimate" pet odor? Do you want to be able to meet all of your home cleaning and online gambling needs on the same Web site? Then visit Sterling Carpet Cleaning on
the Web, or call 214-348-3438. Check out the "competors," then call Sterling Myers.

There. I feel better now. The second change involves some attempts to generate revenue in hopes of building the
Dogloo compound more quickly. I'm not entirely pleased with the results so far, so I will continue to tinker with it. My hope is that the new ads and Google toolbar will not be too obtrusive and that some of you will find them useful.

Larger than life

I delivered my first sermon behind the white sheet, and I must say, this is something I could get used to. By moving some audio-visual equipment and a crate of rawhide backstage, we were able to boost my silhouette projection to 45 feet high. However, I missed being able to look out and see the sense of awe on the faces of the faithful. An ideal balance will be struck when Pug Life Ministries makes the move to the Dogloo Mosque. Then, I will have unobstructed sight-lines to all 65,000 in attendance, and they will be able to watch me on a pair of 90-foot-high Jumbotrons. I salivate just thinking about it. With your financial help, God willing, we will make the Dogloo dream a reality. Remember the words of the Quran: "And whatsoever you spend in Allah's cause, He will replace it."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Heel, then heal

A new study has proven that canines are imbued by Allah with mystical healing powers. At last, the humans have discovered what I have known all along. The findings indicate that humans with severe heart disease showed marked improvement after the mere presence of a dog in their hospital room. Their anxiety levels decreased 24 percent. Given this indisputable evidence of the healing power of dogs, a question naturally arises: When will you humans end this chauvinistic, self-defeating process of denying canines admission to medical school? Honestly now, who would you rather have holding the scalpel as you're wheeled in for emergency surgery: a well-trained pug or that goofball Patch Adams?

I recommend this article to those interested in learning more about canine healing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My life: Trial of the century

Previous installments of this autobiographical series are available in the right-hand rail, under the heading "Mugsy's Biography."

Chapter VIII
After being booked and having my
mug shot taken, I was locked in a cage. With my one phone call, I had commanded my agent to put together a legal dream team the likes of which this country had never seen. Having been caught red-pawed, I knew I would need it. Within an hour, they began to arrive from around the country: F. Lee Bailey, Harriet Miers, Alan Dershowitz, Jackie Chiles, Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran. If these legal masterminds couldn't help me, no one could. Johnnie Cochran took the lead, going over every last detail of the Great Panty Raid with me. He spent countless hours running through different courtroom scenarios, preparing to poke holes in the prosecution's case. Johnnie interviewed witnesses and took a team of forensics experts to the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the scene of my arrest. After months of preparation, the trial began.

To say it was a media circus would be an understatement. Reporters and camera crews from around the world converged on the
Old Red Courthouse, the landmark building where my trial took place. Johnnie's strategy was to use what he called the cross-dressing defense. I remember well the day that he famously told the jury, "If the panties don't fit, you must acquit." Then he had me try to squeeze into some of the tinier pieces of evidence. I, of course, made a show of my curly tail getting hung up on the waistbands. But the prosecutor, no legal slouch himself, argued that I was stealing the panties to chew, not to wear. He brought in a slew of witnesses -- roadies, club promoters, fellow rappers -- to document my panty habit.

The prosecution had made a compelling case, showing that DNA evidence connected me to fur and saliva found at the hotel. The city of Dallas -- clearly embarrassed by the Mary Kay scandal -- was pulling out all the stops, eager for a conviction. After shooting down my suggestion to bribe the jurors, Johnnie said that our only chance was for me to take the witness stand. With the star-struck jury hanging on my every word, I did as Johnnie had instructed: I let my innate charisma shine through. I stayed cool under the prosecutor's relentless questioning, offering an explanation for every piece of evidence, a well-thought-out answer for every question. But would it be enough? The defense rested. My fate was in the hands of the 12 human jurors.

To be continued

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No hiding

I went today to be fitted for a prosthetic wrinkle. I felt that my newly Botoxed face might frighten worshippers at this weekend's services, so I was looking for a way to disguise the temporary damage. But as I browsed the selection of ready-made wrinkle masks, I realized that this would be yet another act of vanity. So I left the prosthetics store, empty-pawed. I will wear this look of toxin-induced surprise as a reminder of my moment of weakness. And to avoid scaring the Pug Life congregation, I will simply preach behind a large white sheet, with my silhouette projected 40 feet high.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Oh, the vanity

Today's lesson, dear Pug Life faithful, is about vanity. And I am ashamed to say that the subject of this sermon is none other than your faithful leader. Foolishly, I put my personal vanity before my obedience to God. I disregarded the wise words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said, "Verily, God instructs me to be humble and lowly and not proud." You see, in a moment of weakness, I used Botox. I began to feel self-conscious about my appearance several weeks ago, when I received a less-than-impressive rating on a hot-or-not Web site. My self-image deteriorated further when I failed to receive even a third-place ribbon at Pug-O-Ween, despite an obviously superior costume. Add to those two events the fact that my beard is showing a little more gray lately, and perhaps you can understand why I would undertake this rather drastic cosmetic procedure. I sought the fountain of youth in a bottle of botulinum toxin, and let me tell you, friends, Allah has made it clear to me that my act of vanity was a mistake. I now see that a pug has wrinkles for a reason. Without them, I carry a look of perpetual surprise and astonishment on my face.

I traveled to the
Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth on Sunday to view an exhibition of works by the acclaimed photographer Richard Avedon. His "In the American West" features photos of oilfield workers, miners, drifters, carnies and other decidedly unglamorous humans. Their piercing eyes and haunting stares held the rapt attention of all in attendance -- until I entered the room. My taut brow instantly drew stares. My large eyes, usually minimized somewhat by the folds of loose skin surrounding them, stood out like saucers. As I rounded a corner into the exhibit, a young girl actually screamed in terror. This was my punishment. For the next three to six months, I will pay my penance. Every time I venture out in public. Every time I look in a mirror. Fortunately, this toxin that was injected into my head will wear off, and my rugged yet handsome features will be restored. I just thank Allah I didn't opt for the laser hair removal.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A dream come true?

Forget about the recall; does anybody know where I can get some of these?

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli.

The full story is here.

Thanks a mill, Rick

Please write your Congresshumans and ask them to support Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's effort to crack down on high-volume puppy mills. If pugs controlled the Senate, these overcrowded, filthy breeding centers would have been shut down years ago.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The boycott is working

Shares of Comcast (CMCSA) hit a new 52-week low on Tuesday, proof that our boycott is working. The share price tumbled after the company's earnings report last week, falling over 5 percent in a day. The pug-induced death spiral will surely continue until this overcharging criminal syndicate has either repented or is out of business. Among the information the company reported (and we should remember that Comcast is prone to lying, so its situation could be far worse):
  • Free cash flow is down 35 percent in 2005.
  • Expected capital spending will rise 20 percent, in an apparent effort to combat the effects of the pug boycott.
  • The company lost a whopping 46,000 customers during the quarter. Analysts had expected a small increase in the customer base; these analysts were obviously not aware of the Pug Life boycott.

Time is running out for Comcast and its corrupt leadership. If you own any shares, I urge you to sell them before it is too late. Don't be fooled by any hiccups on the path to Enrondom.

INCOMPETENCE UPDATE: I officially switched my phone service to SBC on Oct. 25. Two days ago, I received a bill from Comcast for the period of Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. And not only was Comcast attempting to charge a noncustomer; the corporate buffoon also overcharged, yet again. The correct monthly bill, were I still a customer, would have been $22.54. This latest bill was for $37.09. A month ago, I spent over an hour on the phone with a Comcast employee, going over every bill I had received since April. She assured me that the company had made repeated mistakes, that I owed no money, and that the problem would be taken care of. It was yet another Comcastic lie.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Full house

What an exciting weekend it's been. Civil unrest has gripped France, and a cruise ship was attacked by real-life pirates. But at the ayatollah household, most of the excitement stemmed from another phenomenon: houseguests. Several humans stayed over, using up my hot water and mooching my Milkbones, as usual. But this time, they brought a dog. Ditto, a Boston Terrier, came to me Saturday with wide-eyed excitement. "Ayatollah Mugsy," he said, "I have come to learn from you. Please show me the path to righteousness." After sniffing young Ditto intensely to gauge his sincerity, I said to him: "I will teach you, my son. What better time to learn about Islam than during Eid ul-Fitr?" For the next 32 hours, we studied. Ditto had a voracious appetite for knowledge. And for Snausages. And so we had much in common. Ditto, my friend, you're welcome to come back anytime.

I'd like to wish Bobby and Gracie a lasting, happy marriage. Some would say that the odds are against them, having married so young. But I think these two crazy kids just may pull it off, God willing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

An open letter to Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei
Director General
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5, A-1400
Vienna, Austria

Mr. ElBaradei,

When I accepted your recent invitation for lunch, I assumed that it would be a cordial meeting. I thought that you would want to tell me privately what you have refused to say publicly -- that the Nobel committee had made a huge mistake in selecting you and your inept inspectors over me for this year's peace prize. So imagine my surprise when you made no mention of your undeserved award and instead insisted that I reveal to you classified pug information.

As you know, it is a long-standing pug policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of a nuclear program. This policy of strategic ambiguity has served us well over the years, and I do not intend to change it. Furthermore, you demanded that I open up pug facilities to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Against my better judgment, I had already allowed your inspectors to tour the foyer, dog run and restrooms of my headquarters. But now you ask me to grant your inspectors full access to sensitive areas including my blogging station, my inner sanctum, my harem and my hall of centrifuges. Rest assured, Mr. ElBaradei, this will never happen. It is my sacred duty to defend pug sovereignty, and defend it I will.

I suggest you put an immediate halt to your futile demands and cease making empty threats about U.N. sanctions. Your actions are the height of arrogance and an affront to the pug nation, and we will tolerate no more.
Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Send me your poultry

The news media have been abuzz with talk of a potential avian flu pandemic. Although the much-feared influenza strain has not proven capable of easy human-to-human transmission, scientists fear that it will mutate and wreak havoc on a population with no built-up immunity. The scientists will say that you have nothing to fear from eating poultry, provided it is well-cooked. But is that a chance you really want to take? Do you really want to play chicken with such a frightening virus? As a compassionate religious leader, I feel it is my duty to do whatever I can to protect my loyal human followers. And so I offer you the opportunity to send me your poultry. Whether it be chicken, turkey or quail, I will eat it, thereby removing any threat to the human population. The H5N1 virus is not believed to be a threat to the canine population, so I can safely dispose of this tainted meat. It is the least I can do.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One last hurrah

In recent weeks, I have increasingly found myself chewing on paper -- primarily magazines, newspapers and book jackets. Perhaps some of you readers in the medical field could tell me: Is it possible that this is a symptom of a pulp deficiency in my diet? Speaking of diet, I helped many of my neighborhood's youths avoid starvation last night by plying them with candy. The children also had the opportunity to see me in my Batpug garb, as I got into the Halloween spirit by donning the costume one last time. My ministry now plans to retire the legendary jersey and hang it from the rafters of the Dogloo Mosque. This seems like a good time to remind the Pug Life faithful that donations are accepted via the PayPal icon at the right side of the page. Masterpieces of pug/Inuit architecture don't build themselves, you know.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What's in store for you?

Some of you may not have accepted Allah into your lives. You may be on the fence. Heaven sounds nice, you may think, but Hell can't be that bad. Well let me tell you, friends, today I visited perhaps the closest thing this mortal coil has to Hell. And I would not wish such an eternal fate on anyone. You see, Wal-Mart Supercenter on a Sunday afternoon is pure Hell on Earth. If you want to see what awaits you should you live out your days as a heathen, venture to the house that Sam Walton built. And do so on a Sunday afternoon. You will surely shudder. Don't spend eternity waiting for a large woman on a cellphone to move her shopping cart out of the middle of the aisle, narrowly avoiding being crushed by oblivious store employees hauling a pallet of paper towels, listening to children scream, cringing as husbands cry. Live a righteous, God-fearing life, and then you can look forward to a Wal-Mart-free afterlife.

After my harrowing excursion to Wal-Mart, I treated myself to a trip to the dog park. Following a hard week of fire-and-brimstone evangelizing, it's good to go someplace to let off some steam -- to sniff and be sniffed. I made some new friends, including a fuzzy black dog that was kind enough to chase me, a rambunctious boxer puppy and a pug named Elmo with a monstrous underbite. For the most part, the dogs were friendly and respectful. But to that little white dog with the black face, remember: No means no.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Big news from across the pond

It is a proud day for Pug Life Ministries. One of our own, Torres, has been named the Westminster dog of the year. The competition pitted the dogs of 16 British politicians against one another, with the canines judged on their good deeds and behavior. Conservative Parliament member Tony Baldry, Torres' caretaker, described the champion pug thusly: "Torres is a great dog who loves to be fussed over and make people smile. ... I find him very useful when I visit elderly people's homes as he is a very good hoover for crumbs." Torres plans to attend theological school and eventually become a cleric in Pug Life's Muslim wing. May Allah continue to smile upon you, Torres.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New hope for Lance Ito

Harriet Miers is no longer a Supreme Court nominee. I am pleased with this development, as it will allow her to devote more time to her TV roles.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A good time was had by all

Pug-O-Ween was Sunday, and it was everything I'd hoped for. I won over scores of new converts to the Pug Life way. However, I did not win a trophy. The "iPug," a dog dressed as an iPod, won the prize for best costume in my age group. Naturally, a horde of angry Pug Life followers gathered in the corner of the gymnasium, torches and pitchforks in paw. But I persuaded them to forgo their righteous vengeance. The human judges were clearly trying to divide us -- to take our minds off the struggle for voting rights -- and we could not allow that to happen. My grandparents and great-grandmother attended, as did a couple of my human friends. I consider all to be honorary pugs, and it was good to see them. I was particularly enthralled by a young black pug dressed provocatively as a hula dancer. The harem invitation is in the mail.

Friday, October 21, 2005

They deserved better

They circled you excitedly after you picked up the leash, eagerly awaiting their jaunt outdoors. They could barely hold still as you clasped the leash to their collar. This was the day they had been waiting for. You had to open the door slowly as they strained to get out, a glimmer of daylight beckoning them onward. They kept a quick pace as they strode down the sidewalk, blocking out the smells that would normally distract them. They would not stop at that light pole today; they were on a mission. As they rounded the corner and spotted their destination, they began to pull. You nearly lost your grip on the leash and had to jog a few steps to keep up. A kind man in a suit held the door as they walked in, their eyes wide with excitement. They smiled broadly, in that way that only a dog can, as you picked up your ballot. "What, just one?" they thought. "Well, I'm sure I'll be next." Then you walked into the booth and made your selections. "Come on, boy. Let's go," you said. They tried futilely to hold their ground, their nails scratching the tile floor. But you pulled too hard on the leash. Dejected, they followed you home. They thought it was their time. They'd spent months researching the issues, getting to know the candidates. But you, the fool who voted for Gerhard Schroeder -- they would have never voted for Gerhard Schroeder! -- were the only one who would cast a ballot. Shame on you, Germans.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Not that I'm hoping for another ...

It has come to my attention that the formation of Hurricane Wilma has exhausted this year's list of assigned storm names. Should Allah decide to swirl up another storm, it would be given the uninspiring name "Alpha." This is fine for a tropical depression or a tropical storm, but for anything stronger, it simply will not do. I propose that in the event of another mighty tempest, we use the name "Hurricane Mugsy." It has a nice, ferocious ring to it, doesn't it?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cat chase fever

While conducting services at my mosque over the weekend, I was asked by a young pug if it is permissible for a good Muslim dog to chase cats. This young pug was quite energetic, as puppies generally are, and he chased the family cat as a way to let off some steam. I told the pug -- and I will tell you now -- that it is, indeed, permissible under Islam to chase cats, provided it is done in moderation. As we know, cats tend to be lazy creatures who lie around all day. Their intelligence, when compared with the noble canine, is also sorely lacking. So it is our duty to ensure that these cats get their daily exercise. It is also our right to use these dumb animals for our purposes. But we must not go too far. As the Prophet Muhammad said, "Fear God in treating dumb animals, and ride them when they are fit to be ridden, and get off them when they are tired."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Opportunity barks

Greetings, my faithful flock. I am hurting today. I believe I pulled a muscle in my back while changing my mother's tire early Saturday. Why she would call a pug to fix her flat tire, I do not know. But there is some good news that has kept my spirits up. My sources tell me that the alluring Shelby, that lovely German giantess, has moved into a palatial new home. I am quite happy for my behemoth beauty, and I look forward to visiting her at her new estate. But that is not all. My operatives also tell me that Shelby appears to be newly single. Her old flame, Gorilla, was spotted nursing a nasty wound, his face apparently bitten off by the enchanting Shelby in a fit of rage. And this ayatollah is ready to swoop in to comfort her in her time of need. Certainly, seeing Gorilla's mangled mug is reason for pause. Shelby does outweigh me by well over 100 pounds. But I don't believe that such violence will be an issue. Once she has realized all that my harem has to offer, she will come around. And besides, I am far more charming than Gorilla. Honestly, I don't know what she ever saw in him.

So hungry

I know I shouldn't be saying this, but I despise Ramadan. Ten hours until sunset, and I'm already starving. I'm sure Allah will not mind if I just chew on this bone ...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Batpug unveiled

As requested, here is a preview of my Pug-O-Ween garb (my cowl is slightly askew in the photo on the right). I thoroughly enjoyed wearing this costume over the weekend -- so much so that I donned my Bark Knight uniform last night and thwarted two muggings and a carjacking. Of course, there is still work to be done. I need some velcro to keep my cape in place and some additional accessories for my utility belt -- perhaps some rawhide Bat-a-rangs. But this should give you an idea of what you'll see if you attend Pug-O-Ween and look toward the winner's circle. And fear not, ladies, the beard will grow back quickly.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Costume is ready

I have chosen my Pug-O-Ween garb, and my team of personal seamstresses has tailored it to my exact specifications. The costume performed well in two separate focus groups.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mugsy declares national day of mourning

Saturday was a tragic day for our nation, a day the likes of which we had not seen in this millennium. The Oklahoma Sooners lost to the Texas Longhorns. And it was ugly. And so I hereby declare Sunday, Oct. 9, 2005, to be a national day of mourning. We shall reflect upon this most humbling of events, and we shall pray that Bob Stoops has not lost his mojo but has merely misplaced it temporarily. And then we shall move on to the Jayhawks and thrash them mercilessly. Enjoy it while you can, Longhorns, because next year, God willing, we start a new winning streak.

Friday, October 07, 2005

What to wear?

My excitement is building, oh furry and not-so-furry disciples. Pug-O-Ween is just over two weeks away. The annual event is a fundraiser for the DFW Pug Rescue Club. I have wanted to attend in the past, but I have always had other commitments -- sermons, rap concerts, panty heists, etc. But this year I have cleared my schedule, and, God willing, I will be there on Oct. 23 along with a couple hundred other costumed pugs. My grandparents and great-grandmother are even talking about coming from out of town to attend. But here's my problem: I don't know what to wear. Some have suggested that I simply go as myself, with my trademark turban and distinguished beard. Frankly, I found this a bit offensive. No, I will wear a costume, and if I need to shave my beard to complete the look, I will do so. After all, it is for a good cause. So I come to you, dear readers, to seek your suggestions for a prize-winning Pug-O-Ween costume. I have a couple of ideas, but I'd like to see if anyone can come up with something better. If I use your costume idea, you will receive a personalized, autographed photo of me in the championship garb.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I have just hung up the phone after another infuriatingly pointless call from the Great Satan that is Comcast. My frustrations began in May, when I was overbilled by more than $200 (the Great Satan charged long-distance for all the local phone calls). Comcast's incompetence has continued unabated. Every month, I am incorrectly billed. Every month, I call, wait on the phone and am told, "Oops. Yes, just pay the $22.54." Now I am told that I have an overdue balance, though the caller could not articulate exactly what that balance encompassed. Has anyone else had problems with this shoddy operation? Needless to say, I have arranged to switch to SBC. I only wish that I had done so sooner. I urge all other Comcast customers to join me in boycotting this corporate buffoon. May Comcast feel the wrath of the Pug Nation!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The word is spreading

I spotted this story on the news wire:

RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) -- For the first time in decades, Eugenia Jenkins is standing up straight. And she says she owes it all to a mysterious local cleric and her experience in a sweltering pup tent.

Jenkins, 68, said she had suffered from acute abdominal pains since the late 1960s.

"The doctors were baffled," the Allen resident said. "They said there was nothing they could do. I was in such pain, I prayed every day for the Lord to take me. Then Ayatollah Mugsy came along and saved my life."

Jenkins, who says she is now completely pain-free, said she met the imam at Ayatollah Mugsy's Islamic Revival and Carnival, a traveling road show that set up on the University of Texas at Dallas campus in Richardson on Sept. 25.

"Some friends urged me to try it," Jenkins said. "I was skeptical, but I was willing to try anything."

She said that shortly after her arrival at the Dogloo-shaped tent set up near UTD's School of Management, she was taken to an altar in front of the crowd.

"The crowd began to chant, "Mugsy! Mugsy! Mugsy!" Jenkins said. "Then smoke filled the stage, and out came the ayatollah. He was much shorter than I expected. He barked, and the room fell silent. His helpers lifted him up onto my table, and he loomed over me. He nudged my shirt up, leaving my midriff bare. Then he began to lick my belly button intensely."

Jenkins said the licking continued for at least five minutes.

"It tickled at first, but then I began to feel the pain leave my body," she said. "When he finished and jumped down off of the altar, I was healed. I had forgotten what it was like to stand up straight, with no pain."

Bob Mungro of Garland, who attended the revival, said that Jenkins wasn't the only person healed by the ayatollah.

"Mugsy cured a blind man. He healed a boy with leg braces. That pug is the real deal," he said.

Ayatollah Mugsy declined to comment, but a spokesman for his ministry directed readers to his Web site,

The revival, sponsored by Pug Life Ministries, will be at the University of Texas at Arlington campus on Saturday.

Future revivals are planned in Norman, Okla.; Oklahoma City; Edmond, Okla.; Tulsa; Lawrence, Kan.; Columbia, Mo.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Shreveport, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; and College Station.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

So touching

This poem brought a tear to my eye.

Bennett's comments

Former education secretary William Bennett provoked quite an uproar recently when he said that the crime rate could be reduced by aborting black babies. Would such an unthinkable action really reduce the crime rate? Maybe; maybe not. In my view, we've overlooked what is truly important by focusing on these comments. If people of all races were to abort all babies, would that reduce the crime rate? Certainly; the crime rate would eventually reach zero. But again, that's not really the point. The important thing to remember is that if we were to abort all of the puppies, this world would be a much less happy place. Remember that, humans, and then give us the voting rights that we have been deprived of for so long.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Happy birthday, grandma!

I would now like to ask the congregation to join me in wishing my grandmother a happy birthday. Grandma has always been there when I needed her. When my deadbeat parents abandoned me to go on their trips, grandma and grandpa took me in. And boy, did she make sure her grandpug was well-fed. When I was released from the pound and needed money to travel to a madrassa in Pakistan, grandma wrote the check. Were it not for her kindness, I would not be the great religious leader you see today. So may Allah bless you with a happy birthday, grandma, and may the sweet taste of rawhide never leave your mouth.

Now that's progress

At times, an event will occur that leaves me no choice but to act. Like when my belly is rubbed in just the right spot, and I can't contain the wild flailing of my back leg. The spirit of Allah simply fills me, and I am His conduit. Such an event has occurred in New Zealand, where a dog has registered to vote. Toby, a Jack Russell terrier, was signed up by his caretaker to vote in the country's general election. His occupation on the voter application was listed as rodent exterminator. Toby could be our Rosa Parks, my furry brethren. He has revived in me a desire to right the wrongs of the past. For 85 years, women have been allowed to vote. And yet the noble canine remains disenfranchised. Tell me, friends, where is the fairness in that? Where is the logic? Man has not been kind to his so-called best friend. And so, with renewed vigor, I will push for the passage of the 28th Amendment. It's time to awaken the four-legged sleeping giant. It's time to take this country back, as our founding fathers intended. More to come ...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The ayatollah needs your help

Oh, the shame. To have fallen below an 8 is truly disgraceful. Lift me up, Pug Life faithful, as I have lifted you up in the past. Surely I merit at least a 9.2.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My life: Busted

Chapter VII
As I walked the hallway of the third floor one last time to make sure I hadn't missed anything, I heard a loud "clank." The lights went out, and a voice boomed over a loudspeaker, "We have you surrounded! Come out with your paws up!" I dropped my bag of panties and sprinted down the hall toward the stairway. Then a pair of German shepherds rounded the corner ahead, growling as they rushed toward me. I skidded to a halt. "How could you?" I cried. "You're traitors to the dog race!" One leaped toward me, snapping at me as I narrowly ducked under his sharp teeth. I juked the other and took off down the hall in the other direction, my body a compact ball of pug energy.

As I neared the elevators, the hallway split off in two directions. Without slowing, I zoomed around the corner, my paws pushing off on the wall as I ran. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a janitor's closet. I quickly ducked inside and climbed a steep set of shelves. After tucking my body into a tiny crease between a large cardboard box and a stack of custodial uniforms, I pulled one of the shirts over my head and held still as I heard the German shepherds approaching. The sound of their barking grew louder and louder before trailing off. They had run right past the closet. Then I saw flashlights in the hallway. The police were out in force. I heard them kicking down doors, yelling at each other, urging me to give up. But there was no way they could spot me on my perch high in the closet. I felt confident that I could wait them out. Soon, they would give up the search. They would assume that I had escaped, I thought.

Unfortunately, my pugginess betrayed me. "What's that noise?" one officer said. "Over here!" The barrel of an M-16 pointed into the room, and members of the S.W.A.T. team poured in. Though I tried to stifle my trademark labored pug breathing, it was to no avail. Centuries of breeding had conspired against me. "It's coming from up there!" one of the officers exclaimed. The flashlights illuminated my position. "Give it up, pug," a voice commanded. "We know you're up there." For a moment, I considered trying to fight my way out. But the odds were heavily against me. I raised my head, defeated. "Put your paws up where we can see them!" an officer yelled. Then the dogcatcher walked in, carrying a long stick with a net on the end. In one swift motion, he brought it down over my head and swept me off of the shelf.

They threw me into the back of a van and hauled me to the city dog pound, where I was booked and put into a cage. My freedom -- like that 3.5-ton pile of panties -- was but a memory.

To be continued