Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Once again, celebrities have taken a cue from yours truly. As you can see in this photo, Kate Hudson appears to be conducting research on feral children.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My favorite holiday

Our long drive finally over, I bounded out of the car. We had arrived at the social event of the year: Pug-O-Ween. I quickly donned my Pugly Duckling costume in the parking lot, and we made our way into the Elzie Odom Recreation Center. Inside, I was greeted by a glorious sight, a veritable feast for my oversized eyes. For the first time since my last Hajj trip to Mecca, I felt as if I was home. I barked a silent prayer of thanks to Allah.

I was accompanied by my parents and a pair of relatives from out of town. My grandmother and great-grandmother made the trip to take in this spectacle, as much an auditory experience as a visual one. A symphony of snorting and grunting filled the gymnasium, which must have held at least 200 costumed pugs. I quickly went to work, sniffing out prospective congregants and donors for the ministry. Pug-O-Ween is the only place in Dallas-Fort Worth -- at least until the Dogloo compound is completed -- where one can find such a grand concentration of pugs.

The costumes this year were outstanding. My personal favorite was the Bride of Puggenstein, but the Herbie the Love Pug and I Dream of Jeannie costumes were excellent as well. (All three are pictured above.) The doggle-wearing bodybuilder was also most impressive. And for the second year in a row, I was smitten with a hula dancer. There is just something about those grass skirts. I chose not to enter any of the costume contests this year, to give my pug brothers and sisters a chance. I am nothing if not benevolent.


Among the scores of attendees at this worthy fundraiser was Eagle, Pug Lifer and blogger extraordinaire. We chatted briefly.

"Mugsy," he said, "I have heard that rawhide is the opiate of the masses. Is this true?"

"Yes," I replied. "Let us go find some."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gone in a flash

I am worried about Gordon, the gecko friend I met early this month. For a while, he was a regular at the ayatollah compound -- either on the garage wall or on the outside of the garage door. I got to know Gordon, becoming his spiritual adviser. He was an eager student, and I bought him a tiny Quran to aid his studies. He began to talk about running away to Yemen to enroll in a madrassa, as I had done years earlier. "But Gordon," I said, "it is very hot there. Even hotter than Texas. I do not know if the Yemeni climate is suited to a Mediterranean gecko such as yourself." That was two weeks ago, and I have not seen him since. If anyone has any information on Gordon's whereabouts, please let me know. I pray for his safety.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mega-dittos (whatever that means)

A recent story caught my eye. A broadcaster, who over the last two decades has built a media empire that nearly rivals my own, said something that was hard to believe. He criticized a man with Parkinson's disease for shaking. And not just any man; this was Michael J. Fox. The lovable Alex P. Keaton, Marty McFly. This statement was so outlandish -- and the ensuing "apology" so insincere -- that I had to investigate. The Armed Revolutionary Forces' intelligence wing pored over reams of data, analyzing facial movements, voice inflections, radio hiss. The ARF operatives then gave me a thorough presentation of their findings. And now, I am ready to release the results of this analysis.

No man -- regardless of how many illegal pain pills he was high on -- could be doltish enough to call Michael J. Fox "shameless" for displaying the symptoms of a disease he was diagnosed with 15 years ago. Rush Limbaugh must have been faking.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wild child

I have been watching a fascinating documentary about feral children that I recorded from the Discovery Channel. It details the stories of several children who were raised by animals. I think I find this so interesting because I am a pug who has been raised by humans. In a sense, it is almost the same thing. So I have been doing some research to try to find an instance of a child being raised by pugs. I suspect that such a child would be, in many ways, more advanced than a typical human child. But so far, I have not found any such cases. I have been perusing this database, however, so I may yet stumble upon an instance of pug-raised children.

In the meantime, this documentary has set my normally subdued imagination into overdrive. I have many experiments that I wish to conduct on the feral-child phenomenon. Perhaps, God willing, I will try some of them out at the next meeting of the Ayatollah Mugsy Scouts.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monumental find

EULESS, Texas (AP) -- Pilgrims from around the world descended upon a Texas park Monday to see what they believe is a sacred object -- a potato chip bearing the likeness of a canine religious leader.

Debbie Wilson, who discovered the chip, says it features an unmistakable image of Ayatollah Mugsy, her spiritual leader and the head of Pug Life Ministries.

"I was having a picnic Saturday," Wilson said, "and a chip fell out of my bag and onto my blanket. I looked down, and a ray of sunshine was illuminating that perfect image. It is so clearly the ayatollah. This is a sign from God; I just know it is."

Reluctant to move the chip, Wilson hired a security firm to watch it 24 hours a day.

Word spread quickly via Internet message boards, and by Sunday afternoon, the park was crowded with people and their pets clamoring to view the potato chip.

Euless police have been working overtime to manage the crowds and ensure the safety of the chip, whose brand name has not been revealed.

"This is a priceless item," said Euless Police Chief George Croft. "Imagine how they must have felt when they found the Dead Sea scrolls, or the Shroud of Turin. Then multiply that by a billion. I won't let any harm come to this chip. It will sit in that park until the ayatollah tells me to move it."

Ayatollah Mugsy declined to comment for this story, but a spokesman said the ministry was preparing to take control of the chip.

"This is an important artifact that seems to possess a message from Allah," said the spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous. "Mugsy wants it preserved for future generations to see, so I expect that it will be housed in a wing of the planned Dogloo Mosque -- unless GoldenPalace.com makes a suitable offer."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What bubble?

I apologize for the recent dearth of posts, my anxious flock. I have been working a lot of overtime at the mosque lately. This is good for the puggy bank, but not so good for the blog. You see, I am trying to save enough money to do some real estate investing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Something fishy

At last the sun had gone down, bringing an end to the day's long, torturous fast. My mother and I went to a local Italian restaurant to celebrate. We go there occasionally, in spite of the fact that the big sign outside misspells "pizzeria." Once inside, we took our seats by the window and ordered a large pizza and some soft drinks. When my drink arrived, I noticed something unusual poking above the rim of the glass. Something that did not belong. I carefully fished out this piece of plastic, about an inch across. It was half black, half dirty-transparent. Thus began an inner dialogue in my well-wrinkled head.

"It is probably just a piece from an ice bag," one voice said. "It touches the ice anyway."

"Silence, fool!" my other voice boomed. "Only the inside of the bag would normally touch the ice. The outside is rolling around in the back of filthy trucks, being crawled upon by ungodly vermin and cockroaches. It is handled by countless grubby human hands before the ice reaches its destination. And now, that disgusting piece of plastic has contaminated your drink. Typhoid is probably just around the corner."

My other voice did not have a rebuttal. Just then, the waiter brought a fresh drink for my mother, who unlike me had been sipping her soda. I glanced down to see that the piece of plastic was no longer where I had left it on the corner of the table.

"What happened to that plastic?" I barked to my mother.

"Oh, I moved it," she said.

"Where did you put it?"

"I ... I don't know," she said nervously.

I gave her a long look. "You ate it, didn't you?" I queried. This she denied. "All right," I barked. "Where did you put it?"

She made a show of briefly fumbling through her pockets. "Oh, I don't know what I did with it," she said dismissively.

"I was thinking of asking the waiter for another drink," I said. "But you have apparently eaten the evidence."

"I did not," she said, averting her eyes.

The moral of the story is this, my flock: If you ever dine with my mother, watch her like a hawk.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Who can resist?

As a public service -- and to help perpetuate the canine race -- the ministry brings you this flier, originally posted at a California dog park. Click here for further details.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I humbly accept

I am honored to announce that The Ayatollah's Teachings has been named "Cool Dog Site of the Day" by Dogmark.net. I am very grateful for this honor, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that this is not a leap year. Yes, only 365 of the world's billions upon billions of Web sites will earn this distinction for 2006. I am humbled, even more so than usual.

This honor means we are eligible for the "Cool Dog Site of the Month" award as well, but voting for the October winner will not begin until next month. Don't worry; I will remind you to vote early and often. In the meantime, I endorse ARF Supreme Commander
Brody the Bulldog as a worthy September champion.

Click here to visit Dogmark's "Cool Dog Site of the Day" page, where you can also see a list of previous winners and vote for monthly winners.

Thank you, Dogmark officials. May Allah ensure that your bellies are well-rubbed today, and may the sweet taste of rawhide never leave your mouths.

Put the pug down, and back away ...

Some of you may have already seen these disturbing photos. Fear not, my concerned flock. A rescue mission is in the works.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pug-O-Ween approaches

Over the weekend, my thoughts turned to the leading social event of the year: Pug-O-Ween. Pug meetups and dog-park outings are wonderful, but Pug-O-Ween, well, that is on a whole other plane. Hundreds of brilliantly festooned pugs, all snorting as one in an Arlington gymnasium. The sound of labored breathing hangs heavy in the air, a never-ending symphony of short-snouted soulfulness. It is enough to bring a tear of joy to this ayatollah's eye.

So I put my team of tailors and artisans to work. Their task: Turn an outfit from the toddler aisle into a Pug-O-Ween costume befitting the world's foremost canine religious scholar. It is still a work-in-progress, with further cutting and sewing required. I pray that my garb will be ready in time.

A second open letter to Mark Foley

Mr. Foley,

No, I am not just "playing hard-to-get."

Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Sunday, October 08, 2006

First the Longhorns, and now this ...

It seems that my travel plans have hit a snag. I have learned that the U.S. State Department has placed my name on the terrierist watch list. This is clearly in retaliation for Pug Life's ongoing rawhide enrichment program. As I type this, my attorney is working to clear my name. But what I really want to know is: When did it become a crime to be an advocate for the disenfranchised Jack Russells and Yorkies of the world?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

An open letter to Mark Foley

Mr. Foley,

Please stop e-mailing me. I am not that kind of pug.

Supreme Ayatollah
Pug Life Ministries

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wee wall-crawler

Look at this interesting little fellow I found crawling up my garage wall today. For the second time in this blog's history, we have an opportunity to play "Name That Dinosaur." Do any of the herpetologists of the congregation know what it is? It was about two and a half inches long. I think it may be a gecko, but it did not offer me a better rate on car insurance, so I cannot be certain.

I found my reaction to spotting this creature to be a bit strange. Had I spied a spider or a snake within the confines of the ayatollah compound, I would have immediately summoned my father. He would have then shrieked and called my mother in to kill the intruder. But what did I do when I saw this lizard? I fetched my camera. For some reason, I don't mind sharing my abode with this little creature. Perhaps I can get to know this lizard and minister to its spiritual needs.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A force to be reckoned with

A Pug Lifer in Fort Worth e-mailed me this review from Sunday's paper:


Star-Telegram Arts Critic

In an encore performance Saturday night, Team Pugforce lifted spirits as well as heavy weights at Bass Hall.

The group, which combines feats of strength with a dogged determination to spread the message of Pug Life Ministries, performed its second straight sold-out show before an adoring Fort Worth audience. The extra show was added after thousands of fans were turned away from Friday night's show.

Those lucky enough to gain admission Saturday witnessed an unparalleled display of physical strength. One member of Team Pugforce ripped a pair of phonebooks in half in one motion. Another lifted a Volkswagen Beetle over his head. Iron pipes were bent and cinderblocks were shattered as the touring sensations performed one stunt after another.

Although the human performers provided the muscle, the ministry's canines were clearly in command. Interspersed throughout the performance were testimonials from dogs who said the ministry had greatly improved -- and in some cases saved -- their lives. And about midway through the show, Pug Life's alpha dog took the stage to deafening applause.

Ayatollah Mugsy, the ministry's charismatic founder, called on all the faithful in attendance to live according to the tenets of canine Islam. He also made repeated references to his travel fund.

Throughout the evening, turbans criss-crossed the audience, passed by a troop of young Ayatollah Mugsy Scouts. As the turbans filled with money, the girls replaced them with fresh turbans and ran the offerings onstage to be poured into a massive puggybank. Atop the puggybank was a large yellow lightbulb, set to light up once the bank had been completely filled.

"Nobody is leaving this auditorium," Mugsy barked imperiously, "until that lightbulb is illuminated."

The ayatollah's words whipped the crowd into a frenzy of religious fervor, with many in attendance -- including this reviewer -- converting to canine Islam.