Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Let the redemption begin

We can all breathe easier now; Bella has been returned to the Pug Life fold. She showed up at my doorstep last night after many weeks of pillaging the Mexican countryside. Although the 10-million peso reward was tempting, my loyalty to the Pug Life faithful is unwavering. And the Mexicans believe I am responsible for her abduction, so they wouldn't have paid, anyway. Now, God willing, we must turn Bella's life around. We must halt her criminal tendencies and show her that there is a better way.

After giving Bella a nice lukewarm
shower, we locked her up in one of the Pug Life holding cells. Though I have high hopes for Bella, I harbor no illusions. I realize it would be insane to let her roam freely in her current maniacal state. This will be a slow, grueling process. But I will leave no puppy behind -- Bella will find redemption.

End of an era

Farewell, my not-so-trusty steed. Hello, $150.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Great expectations

I've been spotting this campaign sign around town lately. Perhaps we should give this justice of the peace candidate some credit for keeping his campaign goals realistic, but I just don't think local voters will go for his message of drugs and truancy in our schools.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Aye, Chihuahua!

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico (AP) -- Mexican authorities were scrambling for answers Saturday after a squad of black-clad bulldogs made off with the suspected El Terror Minúsculo, who had been captured only hours earlier.

The daring daylight raid dealt a major blow to the Mexican law enforcement community, which had been celebrating its most high-profile arrest in years. Bella, the Chihuahua accused of terrorizing the Mexican countryside for the last several weeks, had been captured early Saturday in a sting operation outside of Villa Matamoras. Authorities said they were certain that Bella was the gang leader known as El Terror Minúsculo.

But joy over the canine's capture quickly turned to frustration. As Bella was being transferred to a maximum-security holding cell in Chihuahua, her convoy was ambushed by the bulldog attack squad. Details are sketchy, but officials believe the bulldogs were hiding out in the back of a semi-truck that was driving in front of the convoy.

"The truck slammed on its brakes and blocked both lanes of the highway," said one high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Then the bulldog assault team came streaming out like a pack of stocky ninjas. They incapacitated the guards and absconded with the prisoner. We have reason to believe it was an inside job."

He also said the attack bore the hallmarks of the Armed Revolutionary Forces, a fundamentalist canine fringe group linked to Pug Life Ministries.

Mexican troops were combing the area for signs of Bella or the bulldogs, but one official said they were having no luck.

"It's like they vanished into thin air," said Pedro Almodar, a prosecutor in Chihuahua.

Mexican authorities are offering a 10-million peso reward to anyone with information leading to Bella's recapture.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The long-eared menace

An urgent message for our sled-dog brethren: Watch out for giant, aggressive rabbits.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dog power

Do canines hold the key to solving our energy problems? San Francisco seems to think so. The city is teaming with Norcal Waste to harness the power of dog poo, making my back yard a potential energy goldmine. I whole-heartedly endorse this effort. If successful, it will prove once again how important dogs are to American society. And it will add fuel to the growing canine suffrage movement.

I am rather alarmed, however, by another apparent effort to harness canine power. Judging from
this headline, it appears that a French automaker is planning to mix diesel fuel and live pugs in the gas tank of its new hybrid car. I must strongly condemn this outrageous plan.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oral persuasion

Today, friends, I want to share with you a family story. Years ago, before I was born, my human great-grandparents inherited some money. Such events are documented at the local county offices, where a certain mass-media evangelist had his operatives posted. Shortly after receiving the inheritance, my great-grandmother got a package in the mail. It contained a vial of holy water and a note from Oral Roberts, urging her to share her new windfall with his ministry. This was years before his famed 1987 announcement that if he didn't raise $8 million, God would "call him home." My great-grandmother wasn't happy about this package. Roberts had never been in contact with her before, so it seemed unlikely that this vial of holy water was sent out of the goodness of his heart. As time passed, more packages arrived, including one that contained a small piece of fabric. A letter instructed my great-grandmother to put the fabric in the heel of her shoe to help her "stamp out the devil." Fed up, she called the evangelist's offices to demand that she be taken off his mailing list.

I tell you this story to illustrate a point about my leadership style. You see, my tactics differ greatly from those of Oral Roberts and the other mass-media evangelists of his ilk. Unlike those opportunistic money-grubbers, I will never send you anything.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

My life: Introduction to the joint

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

Chapter XII
As the guards led me down that dark, dank hallway, it was really beginning to set in: These walls were the only ones I'd see for the next three and a half dog years. The other inmates stared as I walked by, keenly aware that a celebrity was in their midst. But here, in the pound, my gold records and Grammy statuette meant nothing. After fumbling with his keys, the guard slid open my cell door, took off my leash and shoved me inside. This was my new home. It was tiny, with barely enough room for me to do my daily circular pug-sprint exercises. One wall was covered with hundreds of little marks, each with four vertical lines and then a diagonal slash. Someone had been counting the days -- for a long time.

Then I was startled by a loud noise, a cross between a snore and a groan. I wheeled about. There, on one of the cell's two doggy beds, was the oldest pug I had ever seen.

To be continued

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mugsy's chariot awaits

Fellow Pug Lifers, our weeklong national nightmare is over. I have purchased a new car. This will, of course, require renewed vigilance from the congregation on the donation front. Pugmobiles don't come cheap.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Send me your young daughters

While trying to devise an insurance scam to extract some small bit of cash from the 4,000-pound paperweight that sits in my driveway, I was struck with an idea. But this will require some background information, so bear with me. As most of you probably know, there is nothing more obnoxious than a car salesman. They call you at home, even though they don't have what you're looking for. They hide your keys. They literally chase your vehicle as you circle the lot (this is the lone instance when you can have some fun at the salesman's expense). In short, nobody wants to do business with a car salesman. It is simply a necessity that some of us must endure. So, on to my stroke of genius.

On a recent trip to the local supermarket to purchase some matches and lighter fluid, I was approached by a young girl. "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?" she asked, in her sweet, lilting voice. Like nearly everyone else at the grocery store, I could not resist. "Oh, that's the first box I've sold all day!" she exclaimed excitedly, for probably the 100th time that afternoon. The Girl Scouts' adorable sales tactics, the polar opposite of the accursed car salesman, roped me in.

This experience led to a capitalist-pug epiphany. So I am here today to ask for your help in an exciting new endeavor. You see, I am in need of an adorable juvenile salesforce for the newly formed Ayatollah Mugsy Scouts. We will sell the same types of cookies as the Girl Scouts; in fact, they will even come in the same packaging. But we will charge $6.50 a box, a full $3 more than the Girl Scouts. And because our salesgirls will be so darn cute in their little turbans and their Mugsy Merit Badges, you will not be able to resist. God willing, we will make millions. And then I will be able to pay someone to do my car shopping for me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To my many Valentines

It's Valentine's Day, and love is in the air. And nobody has more love to give than me -- just ask the beautiful ladies of my harem. So I would like to take this opportunity to express my feelings for these very special women. There is not enough hard-drive space at Blogger.com for me to list each of them by name, so I must bark in generalities.

This poem's for you,
my sweet concubines,
I love your soft barks,
your puppy dog eyes

I love your tail,
or lack thereof,
the treats you feed me,
the belly rubs

The way you cared for me,
when my head was in a cone,
the way you're gone,
when I'd rather be alone

The way you chase your tail,
before I do the same,
the way you keep coming back,
to lose another board game

I love you all,
my many soul mates,
if the ad revenue picked up,
I'd even pay on dates

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A letter to Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney
Undisclosed Location
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Vice President,

It is with great regret that I must cancel the quail-hunting engagement we had planned for this weekend. Unfortunately, some unexpected mosque business has come up that I must attend to. But do not cancel your plans on my account; I have arranged for our mutual friend Mohamed ElBaradei to take my place. Please give the hunting dogs my best regards, and tell them that I am praying for their safety.

Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Friday, February 10, 2006


We knew this day would come. We knew you could not last forever. But it still pains us, knowing that this is most likely the end. We can see in that smoke pouring from the crankcase that you are probably destined for the great parking lot in the sky. You joined the family a few months before I was born, five years ago this month. Then, you were a shiny, hard-charging Buick. You were in the prime of life, having just ticked over 40,000 miles on the odometer. Your combination of full-size comfort and respectable fuel economy served us well over the years. We went on countless trips together -- to the dog park, the mosque, PetSmart. You took us to Chicago in style; it was your kind of town. You helped us see New Orleans before the floods came. You took us to Colorado twice, scaling the highest heights of Rocky Mountain National Park. If anything, your mighty V6 seemed to grow stronger in the thin mountain air. Your responsive brakes never overheated.

But now, after more than 100,000 miles together, it seems that you are able to run no more. I had a bad feeling when I saw that big cloud of smoke in the rearview mirror. It was your lifeforce, quickly draining away. Though you struggled mightily, your cylinders missing and your "check engine" light flashing, you brought me home safely one last time, reaching that familiar oil stain on the driveway. If it is truly God's will that this is the end, then I wish you well, Buick. Go onward to that great parking lot in the sky. And know that with that ever-present layer of pug fur on the passenger seat, you take a piece of me along with you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My life: The verdict is in

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

Chapter XI
vengeful satisfaction was fleeting. As I drove toward the courthouse, I knew that my freedom could be fleeting as well. My heart pounded in my furry chest. As we pulled up to the Old Red Courthouse in my vintage Amphicar, Mariah gripped my paw tightly.

Moments later, I was seated in the courtroom with my defense team. Sensing my nervousness, Johnnie Cochran gave me a rub behind the ears. "Keep your head up, pug," he said. "We're gonna get through this." Soon, the jurors filed into the courtroom, giving me uneasy looks as they took their places. My mind raced. I thought of all the hit songs I might never get to rap, all the panties I might never get to chew. Then my wandering mind snapped back to the courtroom.

"Yes, your honor. We the jury find the defendant guilty of grand panty larceny."

I was taken into custody, and my defense team began preparations for the sentencing phase of my trial. Although Johnnie had failed to secure my freedom, he did have one last stroke of genius. A week later, as the judge heard sentencing arguments, Johnnie persuaded him to convert my sentence to dog years. After my punishment was handed down, a pair of guards scooped me up and carried me away. My next stop would be the pound.

To be continued

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mugsy urges calm

Much of the Muslim world has been up in arms in recent days over a cartoon that first appeared in a Danish newspaper. The cartoon, later reprinted in newspapers across Europe, depicts the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Such images are forbidden under Islam. But allow me to step in as the voice of reason in this matter. The last time I checked, arson, bombings and killings were frowned upon, too. As a religious leader, I cannot condone these dangerous riots. I must also condemn the poor timing of this violence. The cartoons were first published in September. Is there not a statute of limitations on our anger?

I have not seen these cartoons, so I cannot comment on them specifically. But I do know what it is like to be deeply offended and disturbed by a newspaper comic strip. Every time I look at "Love Is," with those creepy naked children, I feel compelled to tear the newspaper to shreds and eat it. But that is as far as my anger goes. These depictions of babies having babies are shocking, and I am baffled that anyone would actually enjoying reading them. But I do not firebomb the British Embassy. So I urge you, fellow Muslims of the world, to relax. Take a deep breath. And follow the example of your canine brothers. After all, you don't see any dogs rioting.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A day in Grapevine

In need of an escape from the day-to-day grind of being the spiritual adviser to millions, I traveled to Grapevine over the weekend. It's a suburb not too far from my own that's known for its wineries and its old Main Street (above). Our first stop was the British Emporium, a shop on Main Street. It's filled with British food, gifts, magazines and newspapers, and there' s a corner dedicated to ugly English teapots. My date, an English bulldog, was thrilled to find some Hula Hoops potato rings, which she had enjoyed putting on her toes as a puppy in the U.K.

After loading up on Hula Hoops, Cadburys and scones, we wandered down Main Street, browsing the other stores. We soon came upon a doghouse from the mid 1800s. Seeing how canines lived 150 years ago made me grateful for the amenities I have as a modern-day pug.

But we were quickly reminded that conditions have not improved across the board. Sadly, we canines are still the victims of discrimination.

Hungry and thirsty and prohibited from drinking the water on Main Street, we decided to go to the Gaylord Texan resort and hotel, a new spot on Grapevine Lake that we had been wanting to visit. Imagine Las Vegas without the gambling. The Texan includes replicas of the Alamo (above), the Texas Hill Country and the San Antonio Riverwalk, as well as a stuffed steer with a disturbing stare. This is all under a massive glass roof.

We dined at the Riverwalk Cafe, which is reminiscent of a Vegas-style buffet. If you have a pug-like appetite, you can't go wrong with all-you-can-eat.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I've been watching the big game, Puppy Bowl II. It will be on all day on Animal Planet, in case anyone is interested in tuning in. Aside from a few blown calls by the officials (that poodle should have been ejected for unsportsdoglike conduct), it's been an enjoyable game. I especially like the water bowl cam. I could have done without the feline halftime show, but at least they kept their nipples under wraps.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Catching up

Hello, my beloved disciples. It has been a terribly busy week, and I've been working long, stressful hours at the mosque. Such is the life of a firebrand canine cleric. This has prevented me from imparting to you my wisdom on many significant events. So let me quickly catch you up:
  • I really shouldn't have to say this, but it is strictly forbidden under Islam to implant heroin in puppies for smuggling purposes. This is reprehensible, and if the Armed Revolutionary Forces were ever to get ahold of these drug peddlers, we would show them what it is like to have foreign objects crammed in unnatural places.
  • In a clear victory for true canines, Sony has halted production of its robot dog. As the engineers at Sony have no doubt learned, you cannot improve upon perfection.
  • Dogs hold the key to improving the economy, a point that President Bush overlooked in his State of the Union address. According to a new survey, allowing workers to take their canine friends to work offers companies a huge competitive advantage. With their dogs around, workers are happier and have less stress, and a third are even willing to accept less money for a dog-friendly environment. So if your workplace is not dog-friendly, I implore you to take this information to your supervisors. And tell them Ayatollah Mugsy sent you.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bella the bandito

Oh, Sister Bella. Where did you go astray? I cannot bear to write about this. I will instead share this story with you:

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico (Reuters) -- Mexican law enforcement officials convened a special meeting Tuesday aimed at stopping the criminal spree of El Terror Minúsculo.

The Chihuahua, whose Spanish name means "the tiny terror," has led a team of thugs on a two-week rampage through the Mexican countryside. She was last spotted about five miles south of Chihuahua, where she torched a barn Monday and then yapped incessantly for three hours straight.

Federal agents have scoured the region in search of El Terror Minúsculo, but residents have been reluctant to offer any information out of fear that the bandito and her gang would retaliate.

Villagers in Villa Matamoras say that the Chihuahua recently kept them up all night with her horrific yapping.

"It was terrifying," said one woman, who asked to remain anonymous. Her ankles were ringed with bite marks. "It was never-ending. I prayed that God would strike me down, to ease the pain in my ears."

One official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that El Terror Minúsculo is aligned with a major drug cartel.

"She's ruthless," the official said. "Those teeth are tiny, but they're sharp as a tack."

U.S. officials believe El Terror Minúsculo was formerly a nun with the Order of the Sacred Chihuahua, a division of Pug Life Ministries. Representatives of Pug Life declined to comment, but they confirmed that Sister Bella, the prime suspect in the Mexican marauding, had been excommunicated and forced to leave her convent on Jan. 6.