Friday, August 31, 2007

Where there's a will ...

In life, hotel magnate Leona Helmsley was reviled as the "Queen of Mean." Yet in death, we find that she couldn't have been all bad. She did care enough about her dog, Trouble, to leave her $12 million and an eternal resting place in a mausoleum fit for an ayatollah. Some scoff at such a sum. Some find it deplorable that her canine received more cash than two of her grandchildren, to say nothing of the other two who received nothing at all. But I find her gift to her beloved Maltese to be commendable. In fact, I urge you all to rewrite your wills right now -- before it's too late -- specifying a sizable bequest for the ministry. In this way, you can help all canines of faith.

My mother was among those who suggested that $12 million was too much to leave to a dog, which instantly raised my eyebrow. I pray that she misspoke. But father answered that if he were a billionaire, he would absolutely leave behind millions for the care of his only furry son. Then again, father also said that he would build a gleaming Dogloo mosque for all the world's successive generations to marvel at. So in addition to being a true pug patriot, he is one who would be known, under a best-case scenario, as an eccentric.

But enough about my family; I don't want to stray too far from the subject at hand. If you'll excuse me, I have a date with an heiress to arrange.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Alleged bathroom misconduct explained

Rumors are swirling about a recent incident, so I would like to set the record straight. I do not believe that any rules were broken during my recent visit to the compound's bathroom. Furthermore, my actions should not be construed as representing any kind of "signal." I was simply engaging in wholesome, everyday pug activities. Under the ministry's bylaws, all items left in "the pug zone" are fair game. So I make no apologies for retrieving that cardboard tube from the trash can and eating it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Last chance

History has been made, my flock. The first-ever item offered for sale by the ministry on eBay has been sold. And the buyer, whose user name includes the word "gecko," presents an intriguing case. Could this be my long-lost lizard friend Gordon? Is he reaching out to me? Maybe he is a successful stock broker in New York now, and he wants to give back to the ministry that befriended him and allowed him to stay in its garage. Or perhaps the buyer is simply a human with impeccable taste in interior decorating.

Whatever the case, you should know that only one item remains. And its auction time is fleeting. In less than 24 hours, this rare poster will be sold to the highest bidder. Do not subject yourself to pangs of bitter jealousy, my flock; be that highest bidder.

To visit the lone remaining Pug Life auction, which is currently insanely underpriced, click here.

Mugsy fulfills meme responsibilities

I have been tagged by Titanium Girl to share eight things that others might not know about me. And as a blog-law-abiding pug, I will now fulfill my duties by completing this meme assignment. Here are the rules:

People who are tagged need to write these rules in their
own blogs & share eight things about themselves that others might not know. At the end of their blog post, they need to tag six people and list their (blog) names. Leave a comment on the blogs of the people they’ve chosen telling them they’ve been tagged and encouraging them to come over and read the eight things you’ve written on your blog.

1. I was neutered on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. It is a date which, for me, will forever live in double infamy.

2. I can leg-press 8,000 pounds. With one leg.

3. I experience a phenomenon that my parents call my "outside smell." It is, as it sounds, a distinctly canine aroma that I pick up after I have spent some time outside. After a few minutes in the compound, it disappears.

4. I enjoy visiting museum gift shops, sometimes more than the museums themselves.

5. I have dabbled in alchemy. Thus far, I have not had success. But I remain optimistic.

6. I love to travel, and I wish that more Americans would take an interest in learning about the world around them instead of just mindlessly repeating jingoistic axioms about this being the greatest country on Earth. I believe that people who express indignant anger over having to "press 1 for English" on the phone or at the ATM would change their tune if they ever found themselves struggling to use a Czech payphone or grateful that someone had stopped to offer directions in the Parisian subway. We are all Allah's creatures, regardless of the languages we speak.

7. For a short time in my puppyhood, I was engaged to Alyssa Milano.

8. Despite my reputation as an iron-pawed, hardline radical cleric, I am a world-class cuddler.

With my work here now complete, I tag the first six bloggers who leave a comment to continue the never-ending meme train. Allah be with you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

An open letter to Christiane Amanpour

Ms. Amanpour (if that is your real name),

When you asked me to appear on your four-part "God's Warriors" series on CNN, I was happy to oblige. Even though I was still recovering from surgery, I invited you into my compound. I showed you priceless religious artifacts. I even let you drink from my water bowl.

And after all this hospitality, what did I find? A hatchet job on national television. You accused the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF) of committing war crimes against chew toys, yet you know that we canines are not signatories to the Geneva Convention. You portrayed Pug Life as some sort of radical fascist cult, even though I told you explicitly not to bring up such aspects of the ministry. And I gave you my Pug Manifesto expecting that you would read it word for word on the air, yet you made no mention of the document. Am I to believe that a 5,000-page manifesto slipped your mind? And do you know how much it cost to print that on the nice paper at Kinko's? Shame on you, Ms. Amanpour. Shame on you.

Your portrayal of canine Islam, while technically accurate, does not represent the public image that Pug Life Ministries seeks to cultivate. So do not expect my cooperation or courtesy in the future.



Supreme Ayatollah

Pug Life Ministries

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second poster available

I have just returned from the pet clinic, where my veterinarian removed my stitches and pronounced me a "wild dog." Praise Allah! All is well in that regard. And all is well at the ministry's eBay sale, too. Upon seeing the interest generated by the ongoing auction, our artist friend from has donated a second poster to the ministry.

This is, to my knowledge, the final such masterpiece that the ministry will be auctioning off. Because of the early interest generated by the first poster, this new item will have a much shorter auction period. So anyone interested in owning a piece of history, blessed by yours truly, should act quickly and visit one of our two auctions via the links below.



And to ease any concerns among potential buyers, it should be noted that I blessed these two posters through the Internet. Thus, they are undamaged by the sneeze particles that generally accompany my blessing.

Don't believe everything you read

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Investigators with the International Atomic Energy Agency have been stymied in their efforts to look into the alleged disappearance of a large quantity of enriched rawhide, officials say.

One high-level investigator, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the apparent theft occurred in recent weeks at Pug Life Ministries' secretive compound in Texas.

"We hear that something went down at the Pug Life Telethon," the investigator said, referring to a recent fundraiser. "But unless those dogs cooperate, there's nothing the IAEA can do. At present time, we can't even get them to shake hands."

Sources inside the ministry, which is led by firebrand cleric Ayatollah Mugsy, refused to comment.

The ministry, described by some U.S. officials as a dangerous secessionist canine movement, has refused to cooperate with the U.N. in the past, with its enigmatic leader openly feuding with the IAEA.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mugsy addresses the world's women

I apologize for any unexpected lightheadedness, shortness of breath or hysteria I may have caused with the recent photo of my Hasselhoff-esqe barrel chest. In the future, I will be sure to precede such images with a warning.

Too sexy for my shirt?

I have been pleased with the interest shown in the ministry's poster auction, my flock. The earnings are urgently needed and will be put to good use, as I have recently been forced to order a new batch of smelling salts for the harem. The sight of my ultra-manly chest fur billowing out of my T-shirt has, understandably, caused many a lady to swoon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The gift unveiled

Yesterday, I told you in the most mysterious way possible of a major donation to the ministry. Today, I am here to reveal the details of what is, quite possibly, the most significant gift in the history of Pug Life Ministries.
Kevin McCormick, artist extraordinaire and a longtime friend of Pug Life, was deeply moved by the ministry's recent telethon. So great was his fervor that this master artisan saw fit to donate a priceless piece of propaganda poster art to the ministry. And rather than hang this masterpiece in one of the ministry's mosques or churches, where it could be enjoyed by the masses, we have decided to take the Capitalist Pug approach. (In truth, our present lack of any actual religious facilities may have played a role in this decision.)
So this limited edition, signed and numbered, hand-silkscreened, ayatollah-blessed print could be yours. For further details, I urge you to read my first-ever listing on eBay.
Let us all thank Kevin for his generosity, and then let us all dig deep into our wallets and engage in a frenzied bidding war against one another. Allahu akbar!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Exciting news

I have just received word of a major donation to the ministry. A benefactor, moved by the stunning spirituality and star-studded entertainment on display at the recent Pug Life Telethon, wants to open the well of generosity in a way that will benefit not only the ministry, but also you, dear readers. Stay tuned for more details and a formal announcement.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A sight to behold

The vet says I should be limited to "low activity" while I recuperate from my surgery. Apparently, my customary 16 hours of daily sleep is no longer enough. So I've cut back on ministry activities for the time being, and I'm trying to take it easy. I was recently leisurely surfing the Internet when I made an astonishing discovery on Pancho the Mutt's blog. Look at the size of this hole in the ground:

Isn't that amazing? Just imagine how many bones we could bury in that! God willing, I will annex this land for Pugistan so that no tasty morsel shall go unhidden. To learn more about this Siberian marvel, click here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mugsy's surgery a success

I am in recovery, my flock. I went under the knife yesterday for some surgery to remove a small growth on my side. I had not previously disclosed this information to the congregation because, like my bout with Lyme disease last year, it just never came up. The operation left me groggy and with little appetite, but I am beginning to return to normal today, after a good night's sleep. To keep me from scratching at my stitches, mother followed the well-trained vet's advice and put one of her T-shirts on me. I understand that this is for my own good, but it simply is not proper for an ayatollah to cross-dress. Why, oh why, couldn't father have been more petite?

Friday, August 03, 2007

TELETHON: Disaster strikes

Bella, no! Bad girl! Bad girl! Get away from the Pointer Sisters!

Oh, dear. I'm afraid we're going to have to wrap the telethon up early. I have to get Tom Petty to the hospital at once. Pray for him. And thank you all for attending.

TELETHON: The Bella-rina

Bella would now like to perform an interpretive ballet dance for the congregation. Isn't her outfit lovely? It is so gratifying to see that little Bella has finally turned the corner. At last, her days of mayhem are behind her. So here she is performing Swan Lake, with accompaniment by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

TELETHON: Mugsy returns

Wasn't that touching, my flock? At last, Sister Bella is redeemed. And she has informed me that she would like to perform for the congregation later to do her part for the telethon. If Bella's one-time heart of darkness can be saved, there is surely hope for us all. Thank you for your strength and courage, Sister Bella. And thank you for that 67 cents.

TELETHON: A papal audience

Hello, children of Pug Life. This is Pope Pius Pug. I am pleased to be able to join you today for this most momentous occasion. Today, I would like to speak to you about forgiveness. In Mark 11:25, it says, "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." So today, I want to make public a forgiveness that I made in my heart long ago.

As some of you may recall, I was brutally slain by a demon-possessed Chihuahua. Were it not for the resurrectory powers of Brother Mugsy, my beloved friend and business partner, I would not be barking before you now. Though some might hold a grudge after such a vicious attack, I quickly forgave Bella the Chihuahua. She knew not what she did. And now, after witnessing the progress that she has made since her exorcism, I am ready to welcome her back into the fold. Yes, the onetime outcast Mexican bandito will be retaking the habit and rejoining the Pug Life nunnery as Sister Bella.

Let this story of forgiveness and redemption fill your hearts as you dig deep into your wallets to purchase some goods from the Vatican Gift Shop. All proceeds will go directly to the Pug Life Telethon fund, which currently stands at 67 cents. That is just $99,999,999.33 short of today's goal. Remember: Every little bit helps; every big bit helps more.

TELETHON: Special announcement

In a few moments, I will be turning the lectern over to my good friend and business associate Pope Pius Pug. I have heard from more than a few conspiracy theorists that the pontiff and I never seem to appear in the same place at the same time, so I was thrilled when he accepted my invitation to appear at the telethon today. At last, we could put some silly rumors to rest. Unfortunately, the pope's travel plans hit a snag, and he was unable to leave the Vatican. So he will be joining us via satellite. During this time, I will be out on my daily constitutional, making sure all the neighborhood mailboxes are properly marked. So please give the pope a warm welcome when he arrives.

TELETHON: Another convert

Though most of you have been unable to watch all the day's events live on TV, a fortunate few have been able to tune in. This pug, who lives two houses down and has a massive antenna on his roof, was overcome by the Holy Spirit while watching Pug Life's unicycle-riding poodle squad perform live from the dog park.

TELETHON: The phone bank

Fielding all these telethon phone calls is starting to wear me out. But I will not rest until the money stops flowing.

TELETHON: All-star duet

Direct from Down Under, please welcome platinum-selling recording artist Olivia Newton-John as she teams up with the incomparable Louie the Pug. This is a duet for the ages, my flock. Be sure to crank up the volume, because you canines will love this one. Let's get physical!

TELETHON: 'Mugsy's Kids'

How about those Rockettes, everyone? Don't they look mah-velous? This is Billy Crystal, the ayatollah's co-emcee for this fine, fine event. Let me tell you, when Mugsy called me up and told me about this telethon, I dropped everything. "When Harry Met Sally: Part 2" -- the ink was already dry on the contract. "Sorry," I told the producers. The movie is going to have to wait. This telethon is too important, this cause too great to ignore. Pug Life is more than just an interfaith, interspecies ministry. Its charitable works touch all facets of society. So now, let's talk about one of them. I have here with me Timmy Hesterberger, an 11-year-old who's spent the last few weeks at Ayatollah Mugsy's Youth Indoctrination Camp.

Billy: Hi, Timmy. How are you today?
Timmy: Good, sir.
Billy: Good, good ... I've often heard you campers referred to as "Mugsy's Kids," but it's my understanding that the ayatollah was neutered back in '01. How is this possible?
Timmy: The phrase shouldn't be taken literally, sir.
Billy: Oh, right. OK, well tell me, Timmy, what kinds of things have you learned at Mugsy's youth camp?
Timmy: Discipline. Respect. Physical and mental toughness. Subservience to the superior canine race. Proper technique for sneaking human food under the table.
Billy: Wow, sounds like you've been busy! And the funding for the camp, that all comes from donors, right? People who click on that PayPal link on the right side of the page?
Timmy: A small portion, sir. The rest comes from our large tuition payments and our work in the forced labor cam ...
Billy: OK! Thank you, Timmy, for that informative conversation. Isn't he a great kid, folks? Let's all give him a hand!


And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have some very special guests. They have come all the way from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. These are women whose synchronized dancing prowess is rivaled only by their ability to kick their legs up high with no thought of territory-marking. Astonishing, simply astonishing. Please give a warm welcome to ... the Rockettes!

TELETHON: Start the music

Um, yes ... thank you, Kanye. Moving along ...

I now present to you the experimental musical stylings of "I'm a Pug."

TELETHON: A few words from Kanye West

TELETHON: Let's get it started

Good morning! Welcome, everybody, to the first-ever Pug Life Telethon. Some of you may have been doubtful that this day would ever arrive. True, we've had some travails. Some trials. Even some tribulations. After being rejected by Texas Stadium, Texas Motor Speedway, American Airlines Center, the House of Blues, Six Flags, Chuck E. Cheese's, Hooters, the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department and a host of other entities, our prospects looked bleak. But I am a focused, persevering pug. Just ask any human who has ever tried to eat in front of me.

And so here I am, coming to you live from my living room. It is not as grand a setting as I had hoped for, but Billy Crystal has made himself comfortable on the recliner, and we have some dancers changing into burqas in the bathroom. Everything, I am certain, will work out fine.

I had hoped to be able to broadcast live on network television, so that you could tune in and see every moment live. Unfortunately, this has proven impossible. But those of you with older TV sets might be in luck; if you turn the dial three-sevenths of the way between channels 8 and 9 and adjust the rabbit ears just right, you should be able to pick up a signal. If you are within three miles of the ayatollah compound. And you have ample aluminum foil.

But fret not, the rest of you. I will be blogging throughout the day to bring you highlights from the telethon, which will undoubtedly rock my living room in a way it has never been rocked before. Are you ready, my flock? Yes, I thought so. Let the telethon begin!

[Cue the dancers.]

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Let's try this again

After a fruitless trip to Texas Motor Speedway, where the proprietor did not even open the door when I scratched, I headed to American Airlines Center. The more I thought about it, the more perfect the basketball and hockey arena seemed. The Texas summer sun is unbearable for a pug. Why would I want to be exposed to the elements all day in an outdoor stadium? Air-conditioned comfort -- now that is a setting befitting an ayatollah. Once at the downtown Dallas venue, I strode to the security guard. "I am here to see Mark Cuban," I barked. "Tell him Ayatollah Mugsy is here."

"Uh, certainly, Your Holiness," the guard stammered, adjusting the Ayatollah Mugsy button on his lapel. I took this as a good omen.

A short while later, I was escorted to the office of the Dallas Mavericks owner. "Mr. Cuban," I barked, "as you no doubt know, I am staging a major telethon tomorrow. I am prepared to let you host it."

"Well, Mugsy, this is very short notice," he said. "If we could get everything set up in time -- and I'm not saying we could -- but if we could, we'd probably be looking at a five-figure rental fee. Do you have that kind of money?"

I took a moment to let this sink in. "Mr. Cuban," I barked, "might you be willing to accept a four-figure offer, if I threw in certain ... other considerations?"

"I'm a businessman," he replied. "I'm willing to listen. I certainly don't want to get on your bad side, not after what your boycott did to Comcast."

I nodded confidently to my father, and he scribbled a number on a piece of paper. I then slid it across the desk.

"Um, Mugsy," he said, "you do realize that the numbers after the decimal ..."

"Wait," I interrupted, setting a pair of dog biscuits down on top of the paper. I smiled broadly at the billionaire, certain that this offer would be sufficient.

But it was not to be. It seems he would rather have his shiny arena closed down for the day than host a once-in-a-lifetime event of global, nay, universal significance. No matter; I am sure I can find a suitable location by morning. God willing ...

Plan B

Hey, everybody. Mallard here. The ayatollah just called me on his cell phone and said he's driving to Texas Motor Speedway to negotiate a deal for hosting the telethon. He sounded really optimistic and said the Texas Stadium debacle could be a blessing in disguise. The speedway is way bigger than Texas Stadium -- it holds over 200,000 people! Just imagine how many dogs it could hold. I'm thinking a half-million, easy. Maybe more, depending on the Chihuahua count. Anyway, I'm sure Mugsy will come back with good news to report, but I wanted to fill you all in. Quack you later.

A minor setback

It has come to my attention that Texas Stadium, the planned venue for the Pug Life Telethon, is hosting American Idol auditions this weekend. I had been under the impression that I could just show up, pay a small fee and rent the stadium. But surprisingly, it seems this is not the case. I appealed to stadium owner Jerry Jones to throw the no-talent bums out in the interest of appeasing God. For a moment, Mr. Jones stood still, his face showing not the slightest hint of emotion. I was not sure whether this was a bad sign or just the byproduct of some plastic surgery gone awry. But then he informed me that the stadium lease had already been signed, and Pug Life Ministries would have to find another venue. Though this was a disappointing setback, I urge you to keep the faith, my flock. I have confidence that I will be able to find a suitable site by tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mugsy craves vengeance

I was being chauffeured home after a long day at the mosque. We turned down a quiet street, a little more than a mile from the ayatollah compound. The soothing sounds of sports-talk radio filled the cabin of my auto-steed. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a shadowy figure lingering at the edge of a brick wall. Without warning, he stepped forward and hurled a softball-sized object at the pugmobile. Father swerved, and then it hit with a thud on the side of the car. Was this an organized plot against the ministry? Somehow, I thought not. The amateurish nature of this brazen attack seemed like the work of teenage hooligans. We stayed in the vicinity for a while, hoping to flag down one of the SUV-driving police officers who roam the streets of our fair suburb in abundance on every night except the one when they are needed. I wanted nothing more than to see these infidels roughed up, cuffed and sent off to Sing Sing. But they escaped with no repercussions.

It is said that "boys will be boys." But boys will also find their kneecaps broken by a band of club-wielding bulldogs if they are caught messing with the wrong ayatollah’s auto-steed. Keep that in mind, young hoodlums. And know that ARF’s bloodhounds are on your trail.