Thursday, March 29, 2007

And then a hero comes along

It is not often that I hand out the ministry's prestigious Medal of Valor. It is reserved for those who display uncommon heroism or selflessness (or those who donate large sums of money or rawhide to the ministry). And so it is a fitting award for young Toby the Golden Retriever. The Maryland 2-year-old spotted his human caretaker choking on a piece of apple that had lodged in her throat. Debbie Parkhurst, 45, attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself to no avail. After she began beating on her chest, Toby took notice and took the matter into his own paws. "The next think I know, Toby's up on his hind feet and he's got his front paws on my shoulders," she recalled. "He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest." Toby's Heimlich maneuver left a paw-shaped bruise on Parkhurst's chest, but it did the trick.

Toby, on behalf of the ministry and a grateful nation, I present to you the Medal of Valor. In addition, you will receive a one-year scholarship to the ministry's obedience school/madrassa in Yemen. Well done, Toby. May Allah ensure that your coat retains its luxuriant shine for many years to come.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A worthy cause

My flock, this man needs our help. Garth Flaherty is being held by police in Washington state on charges of stealing 93 pounds of women's undergarments from apartment laundry rooms. Police say that is as much as 1,500 items, making it the biggest alleged panty heist in years. Naturally, I feel a certain empathy for Flaherty. Police say the 24-year-old told them that he "had a problem." The only problem I see is a society that would jail a man for such a minor offense. Who among us has not thought about absconding with 93 pounds of women's underwear? Back in my gangsta-rapper days, that was but a few hours of chewing entertainment.

And so I intend to take young Garth under my wing. The ministry is accepting donations for his legal defense fund, and your help is urgently needed. If necessary, we will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court. Garth, if you are reading this, please contact me at once. God willing, we will beat this unfair rap.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mugsy subpoenaed

Fear not, my flock. Your secrets are safe with me ...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Following the House's lead, a Senate panel on Friday authorized a subpoena for a shadowy canine cleric in the ongoing investigation of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

"This pug knows something," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, referring to Ayatollah Mugsy. The Texas-based imam is the leader of Pug Life Ministries, and many Washington insiders believe he was instrumental in the firings.

"Every single one of the fired prosecutors was involved in building a case against the ayatollah," said Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

One member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Pug Life Ministries was being investigated on charges of tax evasion, sedition and making terrieristic threats. The tax evasion charges apparently stemmed from the for-profit ministry's assertions that it was a religious institution, and later from its assertion that it was based in the sovereign nation of "Pugistan" and was therefore not subject to U.S. tax law.

"All of the charges were dropped after the U.S. attorney firings," the source said.

An official with Pug Life Ministries said that any talk of Ayatollah Mugsy's involvement in the firings was "preposterous."

"He is but a humble imam," said the source, on condition of anonymity. "And Mugsy would never make terrieristic threats -- that's what his underlings are for."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Holy land in the making

I have exciting news, my ebullient flock. After much deliberation, the ministry's one-pug site-selection committee has chosen a location for the Dogloo compound. It is the perfect spot for this architectural wonder-to-be. We will have easy access to a major highway, to accommodate the never-ending throng of pilgrims. And we will be within 40 minutes or so of the region's two major airports.

Yes, my flock, our dream now has an address -- on Rawhide Court. Has a name ever fit so perfectly? Now we have only to take care of a few minor details, such as procuring the land and funding construction. A couple hundred homes and a pair of school campuses will have to be razed to make way for the Dogloo compound, and this may arouse a faint protest. But as anyone who has made an omelet knows, this is the price of progress. Are pilgrims likely to trek to a suburban schoolhouse five centuries hence? Of course not; it would probably not be standing by then anyway. Yet the Dogloo compound will stand for millennia upon millennia, an eternal beacon of hope and salvation for Pug Lifers everywhere. My tail wags just thinking about it. Allahu akbar!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Last call for contest

Time is running out to enter the ministry's NCAA tournament bracket challenge. The tournament starts Thursday morning (we do not consider the silly "play-in" game to be part of the tournament). The winner will get a fabulous prize from my online gift shop -- possibly a Classic Harem-Wear Thong. Or maybe, God willing, it will be something even more spectacular. Given the dearth of contestants, your odds of winning are far higher than they would be in the Mega Millions lottery. And yet the prizes are comparable, and entry to this contest, unlike the lottery, is free. Do not miss this opportunity of a lifetime.

Click here to enter.

So frustrating

I think I have one of the ringleaders of the chew-toy insurgency cornered. Unfortunately, my parents will not open the chest that he is hiding in, no matter how much I paw at it. I am considering having them locked up on treason charges.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fill out your brackets

The ministry is sponsoring a contest to see who can pick the most games correctly in the NCAA basketball tournament. You may enter free of charge, and if you have the top score in the country, you could win $10,000. If you have the top score in the ministry (a far more likely accomplishment), you will win a prize from my online gift shop.

To enter, click here. And be sure to join the Pug Life Ministries group. All entries must be made before the tournament begins.

Day at the park

It had been a particularly grueling week at the mosque. And so it was time for some relaxation. After all, Allah had blessed us with a beautiful day. "Pack a bowl of icewater and grab a plastic bag," I barked to the humans. "We are going to the park." Central Park, not far from the ayatollah compound, is a nice slice of nature punctuated by statues of rampaging cattle and verses of cowboy poetry. Just the kind of place for a canine cleric to unwind.

And unwind I did. I roamed the trail. I sniffed the cacti. I even met a lovely canine near one of the park's bubbling fountains. She was nervous at first, perhaps stifled by her non-Muslim upbringing. But as I told her of my vision for Pugistan, she began to warm to me. Her tail was soon wagging as vigorously as mine.

Finally, I bid farewell and made my way toward the pugmobile. My new friend cried and whimpered. She strained at her leash, not ready to see me go. "Keep Allah in your heart and rawhide in your mouth," I barked, "and I shall always be close at paw."

Sunday, March 04, 2007


As daylight began to creep through the blinds of my bed chamber, a premonition came to me. My sleep grew fitful as this dark prophecy was revealed. My legs flailed. Then I awoke with a start, the vision complete: My father was soon going to be ill. Such is the burden of my great spiritual awareness. This was terrible news. For when the humans are ill, they slack off in their walking duties. And when I don't get a chance to walk the neighborhood, I don't get to spread my message of peace and rawhide. Nor do I get to leave presents for the rival canine cleric down the street. "No, this would be unacceptable," I thought. "I cannot allow illness to infiltrate the ayatollah compound."

Thus began my quest for Saturday. I sat on father's lap as he watched a basketball game. I was looking for an opening. "Why don't you ever wear midriff-baring shirts?" I barked. "What's that?" he replied. "You want to go outside?"

"Your linguistic shortcomings are appalling," I barked back. Perhaps I would have to wait for another time to reach his navel, where I could deliver my healing saliva.

A few hours later, I caught father in a playful mood. I snapped at his hands and ran circles around him. Then I sprinted to the bedroom, leading him along. I rounded the edge of the bed at breakneck speed, challenging him to try to catch me. Then I saw an opening. I pounced at his midsection, nudging at his shirt. "What are you doing, Mugsy?" he asked, laughing. He pushed me away. But I was not to be denied. Again, I lunged forward, pinning him down with my powerful paws. "It is time for the laying on of tongues ritual," I barked. "Resistance is futile." I began the ritual as my father shrieked in horror. Or perhaps he was just laughing hysterically. My eyes briefly met his. "Don't you ever wash this thing?" I barked, swallowing a piece of lint. Then I finished the ritual and moved on to mother's belly button. True, she was not part of my premonition. But better safe than sorry.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mugsy demands apology

An attorney challenging the authority of the city's police chief in Fostoria, Ohio, wants the department's police dog to appear in court as an exhibit, because he says the dog and the chief have criminal justice degrees from the same online school. The issue gives "one pause, if not paws, for concern" about what it takes to get the degrees from the school based in the Virgin Islands, Gene Murray wrote in a court document filed Monday. Both police Chief John McGuire and Rocko, who is listed as John I. Rocko on his diploma, are graduates of Concordia College and University, according to copies of diplomas that are part of Murray's motion.

Frankly, I find this attorney's insinuation insulting. And as a leading civil rights leader, I feel it is my duty to demand an apology on behalf of Rocko. I finished at the top of my class at PetSmart and at my madrassas in Pakistan and Yemen. And in doing so, I had to work twice as hard as the humans to overcome the widespread bias against canines. This police dog should be commended for his accomplishments in higher education, not subjected to ridicule and baseless suspicion.