Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A show of strength

My faithful flock, we are at a crossroads in the Pugistan liberation movement. I wish I had time to tell you more, but all will be revealed in due time.

For details on the historic "Day Without Pugs" boycott, click here.

Something's brewing

I have been working feverishly on a project that will forever alter the pug way of life. Details to come ...

Monday, May 29, 2006

For the birds

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday on Monday. I used the occasion to get some much-needed rest and relaxation. But that doesn't mean I let my charitable duties fall by the wayside -- an ayatollah's work is never done. With my parents' help, I went out to feed the hungry neighborhood ducks, who sadly are not covered by the federal Women, Infants and Children Program. As you may know, I am quite fond of ducks. In fact, one of my best friends is a mallard. In my experience, they are a spiritual bunch, always eager to discuss the Quran and the Hadiths. So I ministered to them while they ate our old hotdog buns, and I believe I made a difference in their lives. I also spotted a large contingent of turtles poking their heads out of the water, but they were too far out for us to reach. God willing, we will feed them next time.

In the evening, my parents cooked out in the back yard, grilling hotdogs and corn on the cob. Unfortunately, my earlier lesson of charity did not rub off on them. After all my efforts to feed the neighborhood waterfowl, what did I get? Not a single hotdog. Not one piece of corn. It was only by the grace of Allah, who granted me these sad puppy-dog eyes, that I was able to lick my father's plate clean.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Been there, done that

Fellow religious leader and amateur meteorologist Pat Robertson claims he has leg-pressed 2,000 pounds. Only a ton, Mr. Robertson? Isn't that cute. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pull a garbage truck out of a ravine with my teeth.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, 76, says he has leg-pressed 2,000 pounds, but some say he'd be in a pretty tough spot if he tried. The ''700 Club'' host's feat of strength is recounted on the Web site of his Christian Broadcasting Network. According to the site, Robertson worked his way up to lifting a ton. Clay Travis of CBS called the assertion impossible, writing that the leg-press record for football players at Florida State University is 665 pounds less.

Click here for a full version of the story.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mugsy declares holiday

As promised, I have decided to honor your many contributions to the ministry. I hereby declare Monday, May 29, 2006, to be Ayatollah Mugsy Readers Day. You are all excused from work* or school on this date so that you can spend time reflecting on your allegiance to me and your dedication to the Pugistan secession movement. This will also give you ample free time to add to my vote total in the World's Hottest Pug contest. Sadly, an adorable upstart has passed me by. Enjoy your upcoming three-day weekend; you've earned it!

* Firefighters, police officers, air-traffic controllers and rawhide deliverymen should first check with their supervisors.

Update on Ibrahim Wata

It has been a while since we made our final offer to Ibrahim Wata -- the African banker who promised me the opportunity of a lifetime via an unsolicited e-mail -- so I feel it is time to give you an update. As you may recall, the congregation voted by a rather wide margin to demand that Mr. Wata send us 500 pounds of rawhide before we would agree to send him our bank account details. This struck me as a risky move at the time, but I followed the wishes of my beloved flock. Here are the next two e-mails in our negotiations:

Dear Ayatollah Mugsy,
Thanks for your last mail. I have heard all what you said, But mind you that this fund has lyied dormant for many years, How due you think that i will send you £500 first? Note that this transaction is not force, if you feel that you are not capable to follow it up, Is better you back out. You just went and exposed this business to your friends, Sorry to inform you that we can not continue.

Best regards

Mr.Ibrahim Wata.

Ibrahim, wait! I didn't mean 500 pounds as in British currency. With the current exchange rate, that would be absurd. I meant 500 pounds of rawhide, for canines to chew on. Please reconsider your stance. I will breathlessly await your reply.

Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

We exchanged a few more e-mails after this, but two points became abundantly clear:
1. Mr. Wata was not happy that I had told you about the deal.
2. Mr. Wata was incapable of grasping the concept of rawhide.

So, unfortunately, the deal fell through. Some ayatollahs would undoubtedly feel bitter after coming so close to such a financial windfall and then having it ripped away by the greed of their congregations. Indeed, I had a deal in place that would have netted me millions of dollars. All I had to do was send Mr. Wata my bank account information. But you wanted more. And because my allegiance is to my congregation, I went along with your ill-advised demand for rawhide.

But fear not; I won't hold it against you. I won't blame you for yanking $5 million from my puggy bank. I forgive you, my faithful flock -- you know not what you do. But if you'd like to try to make it up to me, the PayPal virtual offering plate is to your upper right.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Momentum is building

DALLAS (AP) -- In a scene repeated in cities across the U.S., millions of pugs took to the streets Sunday to demand full voting rights and universal access to rawhide. The protests, organized by the enigmatic Ayatollah Mugsy, were seen as the latest step toward a possible declaration of pug independence. The firebrand cleric exhorted the pug nation to rise up and let their barks be heard. Because of the heat, however, the pugs only protested for about 15 minutes before returning to the comfort of their air-conditioned homes.

(For a great photo of the Dallas demonstration, visit this fine purveyor of fair and balanced news.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'll be brief

Last night, my mother attended the bachelorette party of a woman whose underwear I once liberated from her suitcase. I hope this did not make for any awkward moments between them.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Comcast has suffered enough

Although it was not an easy decision, I have decided to call off the boycott of Comcast. Our collective economic might brought this corporate giant to its knees, and for that we should be proud. The numbers speak for themselves: In the first quarter after the boycott was announced, Comcast lost 40,000 subscribers. Just imagine the damage we could have wrought if more doghouses had cable. I want to make clear that I am not letting Comcast off the hook. The company is not yet fully in the good graces of Pug Life Ministries. It remains on probation, and the boycott could resume at any moment.

You may wonder why I have had this apparent change of heart, so allow me to explain. As a technologically savvy evangelist, I rely on the Internet to help me spread my message. And my dial-up connection was just not cutting it. For months, I have been tormented by my phone company, AT&T (formerly SBC). Every week, it seems, the company would mail me a new offer for DSL. “Only $12.95 a month,” it would say. Yet every time I called to sign up, I was told that the service was not available in my neighborhood. Recently, I learned that Comcast offered high-speed Internet in my area. And for the good of the ministry, I decided to give Comcast a second chance (although not the inept phone division, which initially ignited my ire).

Do not let me down again, Comcast. Next time, I will not be so forgiving.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Charitable deeds

Here at Pug Life Ministries, we are committed to providing a wide range of social services. We feed the poor. We give belly rubs to the elderly. We offer counseling for unwed mothers (and sadly, there are many in the canine community). As the Prophet Muhammad said, "Charity is a necessity for every Muslim." And we take this important lesson to heart. Just moments ago, our social services program was able to reunite a runaway with her parents. I was returning from a trip to the library when I spotted Molly wandering my neighborhood. She was all alone, so I invited her to stay at the mosque for a while. I gave her some cold water and food. She happily drank the water but declined the food, so I made sure that it did not go to waste. After giving Molly a thorough sniffing and praying with her, I was finally able to contact her parents, who did not realize that she had run away. Molly's mother rushed over to retrieve her daughter, and Molly seemed quite happy to see her. Chalk up another tail-wagging victory for Pug Life Ministries. To contribute to the many charitable efforts at Pug Life Ministries, please click on the PayPal icon to your right.

I'm all ears

I apologize for missing this weekend's services at the mosque. I trust that my protege did a fine job filling in for me while I was away. You see, I was busy going through millions of hours of phone records and taped conversations. You may have heard about this from the liberal, anti-pug news media, which have threatened our very freedom with their careless "reporting." The so-called privacy advocates would have you believe that I am somehow violating your civil liberties by listening in on your conversations. They say that I should not know the details of every phone call you have made over the last five years. But you must believe me when I tell you that I am only doing this for your safety. As we have learned time and time again, the enemies of Pug Life Ministries are many. This surveillance program is designed to stop those enemies, thereby defending your liberties.

Some would also try to tell you that my actions are unconstitutional. Clearly, these infidels have not bothered to read the Constitution. Let me assure you, it includes exceptions for those in positions of power. You need not worry about me listening in on your every phone conversation. I am a busy ayatollah, and I have millions upon millions of hours on tape. So it is imperative that I only fast-forward to the good parts.

By the way, I've noticed that a few of you forgot to call your mothers on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Delaware: Maybe it's not so boring after all

Delaware, the first state in the union, may be on the verge of becoming the first state to officially recognize the magnificence of the pug. Legislation introduced Thursday would make the pug the state dog of Delaware. I believe this would make me the de facto spiritual adviser of the second-smallest state. Rep. Robert Valihura, the bill's sponsor, said he introduced this progressive legislation at the request of a pug-caretaking constituent. According to the bill, the pug is "a small, intelligent, and much revered dog" that is "an excellent representative of the state of Delaware." I cannot argue with that.

In case you were wondering, here is a list of state dogs:

Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog
Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Massachusetts: Boston Terrier
North Carolina: Plott Hound
Pennsylvania: Great Dane
South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel
Virginia: American Foxhound (state animal)
Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel

Are you mascot material?

I thought my canine friends would be interested to know that Old Navy is looking for a furry mascot. You can enter for your chance at superstardom at Click on the link in the lower right of that page and you can upload your best photo and enter some information about yourself. If Morgan Fairchild could do it, so can you. Let's make sure the winner is a Pug Lifer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My life: Hard time, easy target

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

Chapter XIV
The Dallas Pet Penitentiary had never seen an inmate like me. With three platinum records and a Grammy, I was a celebrity behind bars. I was also a target. And for a thug trying to boost his rep among the other inmates, I represented a golden opportunity. I was an icon in the
gangsta-rapping, panty-raiding pug community. Take me down, and you had instant respect.

Such was the goal of Hedgie, leader of the Chew Toy Mafia. The CTMs were some of the baddest prisoners in the pound. The group was made up of thieves, biters and carpet-shredders. They were more cunning than the Bloods and the Crips, more vicious than the Aryan Yorkie Brotherhood. Hedgie expected everyone in the pound to live by his rules. When he ambled down the hall, others stepped aside. When he went to the cafeteria, he moved to the front of the line. And everybody was expected to pay him a weekly rawhide tax. With that rigid stance, there was bound to be friction between us. You see, nobody – nobody! – came between me and my rawhide.

When Hedgie’s goons showed up at my cell to collect, I told them to scram. When they balked, I raised my hackles and kicked my back leg to let them know I meant business. "Don’t make me puncture your squeakers, punks," I growled. They got the message. After a couple more days, Hedgie knew he had a problem. I was challenging his authority – and earning the admiration of the other inmates in the process. Finally, he came to my cell to issue an ultimatum. "Pay up, pug," he said, standing outside my locked cell door. "You owe me five sticks of rawhide – plus interest. Deliver it to my cell by noon tomorrow, or else. I’ll be waiting."

I let out a low growl as my natural rawhide-defense mechanism kicked in. "You’ll be waiting a long time, Hedgie," I barked. "You want my rawhide, you’re going to have to take it."

Furious, Hedgie marched back to his cell. The fur was about to fly.

To be continued

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I owe it all to you

Dear readers, I came to you several months ago with an appeal. Now, I have discovered that our hard work has paid off. If you visit this site and scroll down a bit, you will see that I am now, officially, the hottest pug in the universe. Thank you all for your support; it is almost humbling. To show the depths of my gratitude, I will soon declare a national holiday in your honor. But please remember to keep those 10s coming. The margin between first and second place is a thin one, and I'm still hoping to reach a 9.2. With your help, God willing, we will achieve all our goals.

A peaceful, easy feeling

It was a nice, relaxing day at the ayatollah compound. I chewed a little rawhide, wrestled my friend Mallard, and did some research for a scholarly article I'm writing on whether Greenies are halaal. But mostly, I just slept, savoring the silence. There is nothing like curling up on my favorite blanket and catching some snore-filled Z's. Why was I able to enjoy such sublime household tranquility, you ask? Because my parents found tickets to the Tool concert at SMU.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I can cotton to this

Today, I joined the elite few who can say they’ve played in the Cotton Bowl. There were no cheerleaders, no fans in the stands to marvel at my athletic exploits. But I played my heart out. And as the saying goes, I left it all on the field. Although the Oklahoma Sooners will own that storied turf in October, it received the Mark of the Ayatollah on this day. In several places.

A good crowd turned out for the Dog Bowl, in which the Cotton Bowl was transformed into a 70,000-seat dog park. I sniffed canines of all breeds, including a fetching little pug lass in a pink collar. She was a bit young, so I gave her my business card and told her to call me in a few weeks. Because of a nonspecific security threat, I traveled incognito, leaving my turban at home. I tucked my beard into my collar so as not to draw a crowd. That’s me in the lower left of the photo montage. That big fellow on the lower right was able to snag a hat from someone’s back pocket. Unfortunately, my mother retrieved the hat and returned it to its human owner. I will have to have a talk with her about that. Her knee-jerk decision to side with the human in this matter was rather troubling.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A fiesta for the prisoner

Never let it be said that I am not a compassionate pug. I have decided to let Bella out of captivity for six hours tonight so that she can celebrate Cinco de Mayo. She will be wearing a tracking device at all times and will be escorted by a crack team of ARF guards. Still, you might want to stay home tonight with your doors locked unless it is absolutely necessary to venture out.

Tooling around

My father is driving me crazy. He has been playing the new Tool CD nonstop since its release Tuesday morning. Don't get me wrong; it is an excellent album. But a pug's got to rest. I need at least 16 hours of sleep a day. I have been trying desperately to find him some tickets for the band's sold-out show on Monday in Dallas. I think that may be my only hope of getting a few hours of peace and quiet around here. If anyone has a spare ticket or two that they'd like to donate to the ministry or sell for a reasonable price, please let me know. You would earn my eternal gratitude and a guaranteed spot in Heaven.

Final offer

After tallying your votes, I have made our final offer to Ibrahim Wata, the African banker who has given us the opportunity of a lifetime. We must pray that he will not be turned off by our rawhide demands. But if he is, fortune may be smiling upon us. I have received nearly a dozen similar offers since my first reply to Mr. Wata. Here are the most recent e-mails in our ongoing conversation:

Dear Ayatollah Mugsy,
Thanks for your last mail. I have heard all what you said, But mind you that you most keep this transaction as a top secret until the fund get into your account, as you know that we are the bank official here in this bank, we don't want my bank to know that i am involved in this transaction. So i will be waiting to hear from you then.

Best regards

Mr.Ibrahim Wata.

Greetings, Mr. Wata,
It is not my intention to introduce an atom of negative into our conversation, but I must act on behalf of my congregation. The members of Pug Life Ministries have voted, and they feel that to make this a fair transaction, it is imperative that you send us 500 pounds of rawhide. And not just one massive 500-pound bone; it must be in pieces that we can get our teeth around. The congregation feels that this is a fair deal, given the inherent riskiness of dealing with Internet shysters. Write me back urgently if this is acceptable so that we can exchange shipping details. Once the rawhide has been weighed and distributed to the congregation, we will move on to the financial stage of our dealings. May Allah watch over this transaction.
Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

A note to Dallas-area Pug Lifers

The Cotton Bowl, the famed football stadium where OU and Texas meet each October in a battle of good vs. evil, has gone to the dogs. Its storied field will become a free dog park from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. You can find details at this site. For some inexplicable reason, mimes will be present. I am hoping to attend, so maybe I will see you there.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Making progress

Our bizarre good luck continues, my faithful flock. I have heard back from Ibrahim Wata, our African banker friend. Although he did not directly agree to my Milkbone demand, I will take his continued correspondence as a sign that he is still interested. What a unique opportunity we have. Who else has had the good fortune of being approached in such a manner by an e-mailing stranger from Burkina Faso offering such a golden opportunity? Clearly, Allah is smiling upon the ministry. I will keep you posted on this matter. Below you will find our latest e-mail exchange:

Dear Ayatollah Mugsy,

Thanks for your last mail. I have made this transaction clearly to you that this is 100% risk free and there is no atom of negative on both side.

As regards to your question, your account using for the transaction is where you shall receive the fund, so be rest assured that nothing will happen to your account, If you are not asured of what am telling you, you can open a new account for the transaction, just to tell you that this is risk free. So send me yous banking details so that we shall proceed.

Best regards

Mr.Ibrahim Wata.


Mr. Wata,
I feel much more comfortable now that you have assured me that there is no atom of negative. Please allow me a few days to bring this matter before my congregation for a vote. I expect that I will get back to you by the end of the week with my financial information, provided you consent to the Milkbone request in my previous e-mail. Will you be needing my Social Security number, as well?
Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries