Friday, April 20, 2007


Hi, everybody. Mallard here. The ayatollah entrusted me with a big responsibility -- handling all the fundraising while he's away. I hope I'm up to the task. I think this trip will be really good for him. He was really bummed out a couple of weeks ago when he felt like the Rutgers women's basketball team stole this year's Nobel Peace Prize out from under him. He's really fixated on winning that, almost as if it were a biscuit. I bet he'd even roll over if it meant a win, and he doesn't roll over for anyone anymore. But I digress ...

Mugsy left me a paw-written partial itinerary*, and I thought it might be of interest to some of the Pug Life faithful. So here it is:

April 20, 4 p.m.: Depart D/FW Airport.
April 21, 7 a.m.: Arrive in London; attempt to convert Hare Krishnas during long layover.
April 21, 2 p.m.: Prague, at last. Sleep.
April 22, 4 a.m.: Wake up, curse jet lag, wait till breakfast.
April 22, 8 a.m.: Attempt to enjoy hotel's vegan breakfast (thanks, mother).
April 22, 9 a.m.: Search city for meat market.
April 23, 2 p.m.: Commence search for the Blue Satan.
April 24, 7 p.m.: Dine at Prague Castle.
April 25, 10 a.m.: Dog-paddle the Vltava River.
April 26, 2 p.m.: Sniff the Charles Bridge.
April 27, 11 p.m.: Meet with former KGB bureau chief to discuss "best practices."
April 28, noon: Sermon at Wenceslas Square; gain new donors.
April 29, 9 p.m.: Check puggy bank, see if I have enough funds for souvenirs.
April 29, 1 p.m.: Fly to London; spend rest of day there.
Apriil 29, 7 p.m.: Sermon at Hyde Park.

* Times, dates and events altered for security reasons.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gearing up

Only 24 hours before I leave for the airport. I am filled with a mix of tail-wagging excitement and stoic determination. Excitement over getting to see the history-filled city of Prague and its varied architectural wonders; determination to smoke Blue Bull out of his bovine hole and bring him to justice. My mother, the daughter of a longtime Cold Warrior, was at first reluctant to accompany me behind the Iron Curtain. Her childhood aversion to the Eastern bloc still lingered. But I was finally able to convince her that the odds of being thrown into a gulag were virtually nil, and that the city is known for inexpensive glassware.

In my absence, Mallard and Rabbi Jake will handle the day-to-day affairs of the ministry. Please direct all questions and donations to them. Peace and rawhide be upon you all.


P.S. -- Before I go, I must ask: Does anyone know the story behind this blog, which has purloined many of my posts? I am thoroughly perplexed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Learning from the past

In three days, I will depart for Prague in my effort to personally hunt down the Fuzzy Satan known as Blue Bull. I have been gathering information in preparation for my sojourn, and one story in particular has stuck with me. So I will share it with you now. This is an important lesson. A lesson of history, a lesson of tolerance. Let us now learn from the past, my children.

Prague has a long history of defenestration -- hurling people from windows. It began in 1419 and may have continued as late as the mid-20th century, when a government minister hurtled from a window at Cerninsky palac. But the incident on which I wish to focus -- our window of opportunity for learning -- occurred on May 23, 1618.

The city was awash in sectarian strife. King Ferdinand refused to halt Catholic discrimination, and radical protestant preacher Vaclav Budova teamed with a soldier named Count Matthias Thurn in a plot against the king's two governors in Prague Castle. They recruited a team of protestants and stormed the castle's Bohemian Chancellery to confront the two men. But the conversation was brief. The protestants grabbed the men, along with an unlucky secretary, and threw them in fine Prague fashion out of a window.

But these three seemingly unfortunate men were in luck. Instead of plummeting to their deaths, they were saved. By what, you ask? A soft landing on a giant pile of dung.

The moral of the story, my esteemed flock, is this: The next time you see a canine "doing his business" in your yard, think twice before you utter a harsh word or cast a disapproving look. The product of that canine's efforts just may save your life.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The sights and scents of my weekend

It was a busy weekend at the ayatollah compound. A pair of human houseguests came from out of state to visit. Alas, they did not bring their canine daughter, the alluring Shelby. But they did bring her sumptuous scent on their jeans, a fact that did not escape my well-honed sniffer. On Saturday, we went to see Body Worlds at the Museum of Science and Nature in Dallas. For those unfamiliar with the exhibit, it features "plastinated" bodies posed in various states and sometimes dissected, bisected, sliced and diced. The plastic preserves the tissue. Our houseguests, being in the medical field, found it to be quite interesting. I, being a canine imam, found it to be more than a bit creepy. And on our subsequent trip to North Park Mall, I could not help but look at the store mannequins in a different light. But overall, I suppose it was an enlightening experience. If you would like to donate your body for a future exhibit, you may sign up here.

Afterward, we played Trivial Pursuit, a game in which I am always victorious. The secret is (and I tell you this in confidence): If I start to fall behind, I either ransack the playing board in a fit of puggish enthusiasm or I eat one of my foes' pieces.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The noose tightens

For months now, we have relentlessly pursued the infidel who sought to usurp my power and force you all to give up your God and your private property. This communist evildoer is Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the ministry, and the passage of time cannot erase his crimes against dogkind. He can run, he can hide, but so help me Allah, he can never escape. The ministry's intelligence bureau has been working overtime to track the Blue Satan's movements, and it recently received compelling and credible reports of his whereabouts.

We believe Blue Bull has sought refuge in the former Soviet bloc, apparently unaware that communism died out in Europe over 15 years ago. The Bullshevik leader (seen above in a surveillance photo) began his journey in Moscow, seeking asylum from what he hoped would be a friendly government. After being turned away, he visited the Baltics, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, this is where -- despite the efforts of our finest sniffer dogs -- the trail ran cold.

Because this is such an important matter of national security, I am preparing a fact-finding mission to Central Europe. God willing, Blue Bull's cotton shall flow like the mighty Vltava River.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Out and about

Though there was a chill in the air, I decided yesterday to visit the local dog park. It had been awhile since I last proselytized there, so the timing seemed right. Unfortunately, the park was nearly deserted. I sniffed a 7-month-old pug pup a bit and tried to spread my message of peace and rawhide to a timid little white dog. But after the pug puppy left, there was no one left to preach to. Only one dog remained, and he was busy dashing up and down the fenceline mirroring some of the canines in the big-dog park. After a long workweek at the mosque, I simply didn't have the energy to keep up.

So we departed the park and visited a nearby store called Woof. It is owned and operated by a pug named Wilbur, and he even has his own business card and Web site. Unfortunately, Wilbur was out of the office. Perhaps, God willing, my social life will improve today.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A champion is crowned

The brackets have been checked and re-checked, and it is now time to announce the winner of the inaugural Pug Life Ministries NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge. And the winner is ... me! Here are the top 10 finishers:

1. Ayatollah Mugsy
2. Braxton
3. Buster
4. Winston Pugsworth
5. Pugaleeto
6. Winston Pugg
7. Magsters
8. Pugsley Ann & Milo
9. Mr. Pugsley
10. Peanut

To finish first in such a knowledgeable and spiritually aware field is an accomplishment I will treasure always. I would, of course, like to thank God first and foremost. As anyone who has watched a victory speech knows, He always takes sides in competitions, be they sporting events, elections or beauty pageants. That He chose me as His teammate over all the other competitors is a great honor, though not particularly surprising.
Since I won, the grand prize will go to Braxton, who finished a close second after correctly picking all of the Final Four teams. Well done, my furry protege. And well done to the rest of you as well. Thanks to all who participated.

Protest canceled

My mother informs me that the city was very polite and promptly removed the water-violation sign, so I have called off our march on City Hall. But please hang onto the money collected for bail; I still have that subpoena before Congress to contend with.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mugsy victimized by unjust regime

It was a rude awakening, to say the least. As visions of Italian Milkbone Biscottis danced in my velvety, slumbering head, my mother threw open the door to the bedroom. "They cut off our water!" she exclaimed, the indignation heavy in her voice. "What?" I replied, yawning widely. "The city put a sign out in our yard and turned off our sprinkler water!" she said.

How could this be? I am a law-abiding pug. The city last spring enacted watering restrictions -- only once a week on trash day -- and I follow them to the letter. I would never dream of breaking the rules and over-watering. As anyone who has seen my back yard would attest, I have weeds that grow 15 inches high between their weekly mow. They certainly do not need any additional water.

And yet planted in my yard is a red sign detailing my alleged infraction at 6:42 this morning. This scarlet letter is meant to serve as a badge of shame -- it insists that it remain there for all the neighborhood to see, only to be removed by city personnel. It also bears the address of a house down the street.

Perplexed by this turn of events, I went to the garage to check the controls for my in-ground sprinklers, which once doubled as a fine security system to deal with snooping nuclear inspectors. I opened the panel and scrolled through the various days of the week. For each day, the system was set to "on." The result of a power surge, perhaps? I seem to recall the system resetting itself in this manner after the power went out a year or so ago. So I can only assume that my sprinklers were, indeed, on this morning. But as Allah well knows, it was certainly not my fault. Shouldn't the city place a phone call or issue a warning of some kind before it shuts off one's water? Is this any way to treat a law-abiding, tax-paying pug? Am I not a pillar of the community?!?!

This is simply not right. And so I am organizing a protest march. We will take our righteous rage over this injustice straight to City Hall. I will recruit the most raucous, unruly canines I can find. Chihuahuas, even. God willing, we will make the Code Enforcement Department wish it had never dared to defile my yard with its silly sign and its extortionistic fine. We will shout loud slogans, clash with police and make a spectacle the likes of which this sleepy suburb has never seen. And then, when the police haul out their firehoses to disperse the crowd, the hypocrisy of the city's corrupt regime shall be revealed for all to see.