Thursday, June 29, 2006

These restrictions are all wet

I have just finished washing my car. It is a task that I would prefer to do at another time -- when my mother is home to help me -- but I am not allowed to. My city has imposed restrictions, allowing outside watering only once a week on residents' trash days. So rather than wash the car on Sunday with my mother's help, I had to go it alone. Do you know how difficult it is for a pug to reach the roof of a full-size automobile? Let me tell you, it took a while.

I am not a fan of these water restrictions. I recently had to spend an hour and a half watering around my home's foundation with a hose because the ground was so parched (this is allowed). But it would have been far easier to turn on my automatic sprinkler system. An ayatollah has better things to do than stand around with a hose all day. Doesn't the city understand that lives are at stake here?

Do not get me wrong; I support many environmental causes. I have not only hugged a tree; I have also slow-danced with one. (I then urinated on it, but that is another story.) But I find it hard to get behind the concept of water conservation. We are not talking about fossil fuels, which will someday run out. We are talking about a liquid that covers two-thirds of the Earth's surface. I pay my water bills every month, so I believe I should be able to use whatever water I choose to pay for, whenever I choose to use it. I would not wash my car more than once a week anyway. The commercial car washes in town aren't forced to close six days a week, so why should I be limited thusly?

This water shortage is not the fault of the water-consuming public. It is the fault of a city and water district that have not kept up with demand and that have failed to live up to their obligations. They have left me no choice but to issue a fatwa! I hereby order whoever is responsible for such matters to dig a new lake, build a new water treatment plant, or do whatever else is necessary to provide me the water freedom I deserve. So it has been decreed, so it shall be done.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Well-wishes pour in

I have been receiving notes and phone calls all day to congratulate me on this blog's first anniverary. I thank all of you who have taken the time to send your well-wishes. Several of my closest lady friends and I have been celebrating at my home with a massive feast of rawhide. Just moments ago, Connie Chung stopped by to perform a song-and-dance routine for me. Here is a sampling of the messages I have received:

Your Excellency,
All praise to Pug Life Ministries, which together with you, its distinguished leader, has helped to save the lives of hundreds of millions of children and millions of mothers, which has relieved the suffering and saved the lives of many more millions of human beings. Know that the people of Cuba support you in your fight for independence from the running-dog capitalists of the U.S.A. (that is just an expression; no disrespect intended). I look forward to congratulating you on your second anniversary.
- Fidel Castro

Pyongyang, June 28 (KCNA) -- Pak Pong Ju, premier of the DPRK Cabinet, on Wednesday sent a congratulatory message to Ayatollah Mugsy, on the occasion of his blog's first anniversary. Expressing the belief that the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries would continue to consolidate, the message heartily wished him good health and happiness as well as great success in his responsible work for development of Pugistan. Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun also sent a congratulatory message to Brody the Bulldog on his development of the world's preeminent military power.
- Reprinted with permission from the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Congratulations, Mugsy! I knew you could do it. I miss you. Call me! xoxoxo
- Mariah Carey

Your Holiness,
I have read with great interest your teachings over the last year, and I hope you will be around for many more. And although I cannot say so publicly, I wish you luck in your Pugistan independence movement. The British people stand behind you.
- Tony Blair

Congrats! It's been a great year, my friend. I've led a charmed life, but it wasn't complete until I found your teachings. (Although I still want to see what goes on inside your harem!) Hope to see you at the grotto on July Fourth. Hef loves ya, baby!
- Hugh Hefner

Honored Imam,
The people of Sudan stand ready to assist you as you embark on your second year. May Allah watch over you as you impose Sharia law on the people and canines of Pugistan.
- Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, president of Sudan

Assalamu alaikum, beloved Ayatollah Mugsy. The Kingdom has sent a planeload of rawhide to honor you on this special occasion. Enjoy it, for you have earned this treat.
- Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Hola, amigo,
The Mexican people send their regards and their utmost respect. We are willing to forget the incident with
El Terror Minisculo, and we hope the friendship between us will flourish.
- Vicente Fox, president of Mexico

Mr. Ayatollah,
Your stance on civil rights for canines has served as an inspiration. All across this nation, canines, subject to segregation, unable to cool off by perspiration, only panting. No vote, forced to wear tags across their throat. Barred from eateries, accused of having fleas, it just ain't right. No, it ain't right. But you, Mr. Ayatollah, give us hope. Hope for a bold solution. Hope for a revolution. Hope for a change, my friend. Happy anniversary.
- The Rev. Jesse Jackson

Your teachings provide the high point of my every day. I hope you are able to attend my party in your honor.
- Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei

Happy anniversary! Your
travel blog has served as an inspiration to me in my role as host of the best travel show on TV, the Travel Channel's Passport to Europe. Why does that boring Rick Steves guy get all the attention? What a snoozefest. Can you put a curse on him or something?
- Samantha Brown

Way to go, Ayatollah Mugsy. You've really taught that canine Islam in a great way. The team really looks up to you. Thanks for the pep talk during spring ball. Boomer Sooner!
- Bob Stoops

Mr. Mugsy,
I know we haven't always seen eye to eye, but I wanted to congratulate you on this great milestone. If you need any political advice, any at all, do not hesitate to contact me. W is a lame duck now, and I'm looking to hook up with a winner.
- Karl Rove

Congratulations on your first anniversary! Say, I've heard rumblings that you may be starting your own book club. Is this true? I don't know if I could withstand the competition, but I wish you the best nonetheless. The invitation to appear on my show stands.
- Oprah Winfrey

Congrats, Mugsy!
I so should have picked you over K-Fed. Can I please, please, please move into your harem? I can totally leave my kid at home. :-)

May you have many more years, great ayatollah.
- Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi, leader of Libya

Mugsy, you are one bad mother[expletive deleted].
- Richard Roundtree, actor

ANNIVERSARY: A year of Pug Life

One year of The Ayatollah’s Teachings. Can you believe it? A year ago, I took my fledgling ministry online in hopes of reaching -- and helping -- a wider audience. And now, after more than 230 nuggets of puggish wisdom have been disseminated via the Internet, it is time to celebrate our first anniversary.

In my first post, I promised happiness to those who visited this blog regularly. I vowed to provide insightful answers to your questions. And I offered to enlighten your minds while lightening your wallets. Judging from my empty puggy bank, it is clear that the best I can hope for is two out of three. But I pray that you have found my unique canine Muslim perspective on theology, culture, world events and rawhide to be informative and enlightening. If so, perhaps I will see you here again next year -- your wallet a little slimmer -- as we celebrate this blog’s second anniversary.

Allahu Akbar!

To commemorate this special occasion, I have created a new rail section: Historically Significant Posts. It features some of my most influential early teachings, and I will be adding to the list from time to time. Requests are welcome.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Let's kick it

Brody the Bulldog, ARF military mastermind and athlete extraordinaire, is organizing a soccer team to represent Pugistan in the 2010 World Cup. Stop by his blog and leave a comment if you're interested in competing. God willing, this congregation's superior athletes will help Brody bring home the championship.

I'm getting a headache

So help me Allah, if I see this commercial one more time, I am going to chew through the television's power cord.

Ugly, thy name is Archie

Congratulations are in order for devoted Pug Life Ministries follower Archie, who has been crowned the world's ugliest dog. The Chinese crested, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., topped 16 worthy opponents and one pug to claim the title. Let us all congratulate Archie and remind him to tithe 10 percent of his $1,000 prize to the ministry. And remember: Ugly is only skin deep.

Click here for a video of Archie's shining moment.

Dog tired

As you may have heard, Rabbi Jake and I were able to persuade the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah to agree to recognize Israel. Of course, the big question now is, "Will this be enough? Will this baby step toward Mideast peace help Mugsy win the Nobel Prize?" This remains to be seen. Pray for Rabbi Jake and me; after pouring our heart and soul into these marathon talks, we were exhausted.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nailing down some answers

I am pleased to announce that my good friend and business partner, er, fellow religious leader Pope Pius Pug (he's the one on the left) will be in town Saturday for a very important forum. The pontiff will join me and a handful of local religious scholars in "Nail Trimming: Is it God's Way?" The interfaith forum will tackle a ritual that is of pressing concern for many canines, and the conversation is certain to be most enlightening.

The event at the Granada Theater is already sold out, but if I receive enough money in the PayPal virtual offering plate this week, I will make the forum available as an iTunes Pugcast.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

How lucky these mortals be

Last night, I went to Dallas to watch the Shakespeare in the Park production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Musical." With go-go dancers and funky bass lines, this faithful reproduction appeared just as the original play did in the Bard's time, some 400 years ago. But can you imagine how special it must have been to see this classic in its original form? Imagine William Shakespeare himself standing backstage at the Globe Theater, directing his young charges as they recite his brand-new dialogue. How much money would one pay today for the opportunity to travel back in time to experience such a transcendent moment in literary history?

A half-millennium from now, humans will no doubt have the same envious feelings about you, dear readers. For you are able to read these teachings straight from the ayatollah's lips.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My meeting with Condoleezza

As I mentioned last week, I have been engaged in talks with Condoleezza Rice. The secretary of state told me that President Bush was "extremely concerned" about Pug Life's efforts to enrich rawhide. Yet for all her apparent concern, she offered remarkably little to persuade me to give up this program. As a starting point for these talks, I suggested that the White House cede Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California for the formation of Pugistan. But she would not bite.

Over the weekend, we traveled to Oklahoma, where my good friend and business partner Rabbi Jake joined in the talks. I thought it important to get a schnauzer perspective on this issue. Well, the rabbi and I both agreed that this rawhide-enrichment program holds too much promise for dogkind to simply quit now. I told Ms. Rice in no uncertain terms that we would not be cowed by her threats or deterred by her efforts to deprive the world's canines. I always suspected that she was a cat person.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Round and round

Whew! Let me catch my breath. I have just completed a series of wild circular sprints around the living room. My father, whom I was running around, is no doubt dizzy now. That will teach him not to try to touch my paws while I am working on a sermon. As your spiritual leader, I believe it is my duty to maintain peak physical performance; I know that you are counting on me. So I regularly engage in such circular sprinting and change-of-direction exercises. And though I may be a graybeard, my friends, I've still got some moves that would make Barry Sanders proud. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go sleep for the next 12 hours.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

Take a close look at the 14 contestants in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest, to be held Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair northwest of San Francisco. Personally, I believe that all canines are beautiful, having been created in God's image. But come on; this is just wrong. That last one looks like me!

Leave no pet behind

The lawmakers in Washington, who are keeping the seats warm for when we canines take over, have been working on some important legislation for a change. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act would require that pets be included in disaster evacuation plans. I was saddened after Hurricane Katrina to read the stories of humans forced by rescuers to leave their pets behind, and I have signed this online petition supporting the PETS Act.

For years now, we have had the No Child Left Behind law. And let's face it; some of these children deserve to be left behind -- screeching tail-pullers, juvenile delinquents, street urchins. Let us instead focus our energies on ensuring that no pet is left behind. They deserve no less.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crash course

I have been in heated talks with Condoleezza Rice today. I must soon get back to these talks (I hesitate to call them negotiations, because some issues are simply non-negotiable from a pug perspective.) God willing, I will fill you in later on the details of my visit with Condi. But for now, I will share with you a story from one of the local newspapers. As usual, the news media got it wrong. I spent at least 40 minutes engaged in the "laying on of tongue" ritual.


DALLAS -- As the ambulance pulled up, it was a chaotic scene. The Honda Civic was badly mangled, its front end crumpled under the weight of an overturned semi-truck.

"I thought, 'There's no way the driver could have survived,'" said emergency medical technician Joey Redd. "It was the worst I've ever seen."

As Redd and fellow EMT Craig Goss approached the crash victim at the side of the Dallas North Tollway, they were stunned to see a small dog feverishly licking his belly button. The pug appeared to be wearing a blue turban, the paramedics said.

"I started to move the dog so that we could gain access to the victim, but then someone yelled for us to wait," said Goss. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was as if the life went right back into the victim's eyes as that little pug was licking him."

Witnesses say that after 15 minutes of nonstop licking, the pug stopped and sat upright. The dog then barked once, prompting the victim to rise to his feet.

"That guy got up and walked to the ambulance. We checked him out, and he was in perfect health," said Redd. "Just a few cuts and bruises. Somehow, that pug healed him."

Police sought to question the pug afterward, but witnesses said the dog vanished into the night. He is believed to be the enigmatic Ayatollah Mugsy, who is thought by followers to possess mystical healing abilities.

Representatives of the ayatollah's Pug Life Ministries did not return calls seeking comment.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006

Up and running

It appears that is working once again. Unfortunately, problems with this Web site prevented me from posting details of the Pug Life Ministries Million-Dollar Giveaway on Tuesday. The deadline to enter the sweepstakes passed at noon today (Central time), and it appears that I have received no entries. But if you remain pious and continue your dogged support of Pug Life Ministries, perhaps you will have better luck next year.

My 75-child sweatshop has turned out its latest design for our new online gift shop (which is having a Father's Day sale today). For any baffled blue-staters out there, this new design is based on the official state bumper sticker of Texas.

Click here to view the children's handiwork.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My life: The showdown

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

Chapter XV
Word spread around the pound that the Chew Toy Mafia had issued an ultimatum. As I walked to breakfast, all eyes were on me. Would I give in to Hedgie's demands? Do you really have to ask? I wasn't about to surrender my hard-earned rawhide. The deadline came and went, and nothing happened. Sure, the CTMs gave me some menacing stares. But days passed, and they did nothing. Life seemed to be getting back to normal, or at least as normal as it could be behind bars. But I suppose I should have known that Hedgie wouldn't simply let it slide.

1. I had just finished pumping iron in the rec room, giving my "guns" a nice workout. I was about to head back to my cell when Hedgie appeared before me.
2. I could see the rage in his beady little eyes. He was taunting me with his stare. This could only end one way.
3. It was on! I leapt forward, my legs flailing as I locked onto my target. He rushed forward to engage me in combat.

4. In one swift and savage motion, I clamped down on the back of Hedgie's head. My adrenaline was coursing through my veins. I was going to do whatever it took to defend my rawhide stash.
5. I twisted, tightening my grip on his neck. Hedgie's fearsome reputation wasn't doing him much good now.

6. I worked my way around his body, my jaws clenching. He kicked at me in a last-gasp attempt to escape. I grabbed his leg and began to gnaw.
7. Finally, I dropped his limp body to the rec-room floor. I spat out his front leg and swallowed the tiny cotton fibers that clung to my razor-sharp teeth. One of Hedgie's underlings frantically ran to his side. "Somebody get a medic!" he cried.

8. Does anybody else want a piece of me? I didn't think so.

The moral of today's story: Stand up for yourself, and don't ever let anyone bully you -- especially when the bully is a 10th your size.

To be continued

All things are possible

I recently spotted a car with a Hawaii license plate near my North Texas compound. That must have been some road trip.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lazy Sunday

There are times when an ayatollah just needs to unwind and leave behind the pressures of leading the world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry. Today was one of those times. My day so far:

1:30 p.m.: Got out of bed; stretched slowly
1:35 p.m.: Ate breakfast
1:35:30 p.m.: Took a nap
1:45 p.m.: Nap briefly interrupted for a belly rub
1:55 p.m.: Woke up and scratched on the back door
1:56 p.m.: Lounged in the sun, adding to the uneven tan on my stomach
2:10 p.m.: Came inside to watch parents leave for lunch; didn't bother barking
2:13 p.m.: Took a nap
3:10 p.m.: Parents return, spoiling dream of pug world domination
3:38: p.m.: Parents go to the mall; I get back to that dream

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mugsy issues fatwa

I come before you today to address a most egregious offense. The basic laws of civilized climate control have been violated far too many times. Too many dogs have panted; too many drops of human sweat have been needlessly shed. I have been left with no choice but to issue a fatwa! When the temperature outside is above 90 degrees, it is absolutely forbidden for any building to have its heater turned on. If you work in an office that engages in such misery-inducing tactics, you are fully within your rights to take up pitchforks and demand the air conditioning that God intended for you to have. I realize I may sound a bit hot under the collar, but such climatic transgressions must not be tolerated.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Why my tail is wagging

My friends, I am very excited today. The Pug Life Ministries Gift Shop has been remodeled and now features a wide range of products featuring a stunning portrait of yours truly. This portrait was created by Kevin McCormick, the artist behind the popular site and an ally of Pug Life. It was not easy to sit still while Kevin worked on this masterpiece, but the finished product -- and the Milkbone dog biscuit that he held up the entire time -- made it all worthwhile.

Even if I do not sell a single product (not my preference, mind you), I will treasure this design always. It has captured my authoritarian charm, my worldly wisdom, my ultra-virile beard. The Dogloo Mosque, long a dream of mine, is featured in the foreground. And with the bone dropping in the background, the portrait shows my long-standing desire to spread the joys of rawhide the world over. Universal access to rawhide is one of the pillars of the Pugistan movement.

I invite you all to visit the gift shop and have a look at the high-quality stationery, clothing, posters and other products available. In addition to the Ayatollah Mugsy goods, the store includes my new design featuring that most existential of questions: Got Rawhide?

CLICK HERE to embark on your shopping journey at the Pug Life Ministries Gift Shop. Tell your friends; tell a stranger. God willing, we will outsell Old Navy and The Gap combined.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Kevin is a longtime supporter of the pug-rights movement and the world's leading purveyor of canine propaganda. His powerful designs provide a rallying cry for dogs of all breeds. After you spend this week's paycheck at the Pug Life Ministries Gift Shop, I urge you to visit his site and spend next week's paycheck (that is what credit cards are for). His online store can be found at