Saturday, December 29, 2007

A disturbing development

I watched with unease as the humans pried open the cardboard box and set their new robot on the floor. Was this mechanical interloper here to replace me -- like that creepy animatronic boy Haley Joel Osment? Wendell and I exchanged uncertain glances as mother read from the machine's manual. Finally, she reached down and pushed a button. The robot roared to life and began roaming the room, seemingly at random. The great whooshing sound set my hackles on edge. I barked, and Wendell echoed my sentiments, setting off a cascade of canine condemnation. But the humans were unswayed. As I studied their faces, they appeared to be marveling at their new contraption. Then the roar grew. I turned to find the robot bearing down on young Wendell. I dove, shoving my brother aside just before the robot could suction him up. We hastily retired to another room to discuss what was transpiring in our once-secure compound.

It was clear that this robot was mimicking the actions of the full-size Pug Annoyer that the humans occasionally pushed around the house to torment us. But whereas the old Pug Annoyer required our parents to exert some physical energy, thus greatly limiting its use, this new robot needed but the push of a button. An automated Pug Annoyer -- could anything be more devious? I turned toward Mecca and kneeled in prayer, asking God for an answer. But my solemn moment was shattered by the shrieking robo-monster. It had traversed a hallway, the kitchen and the dining room to track me down. And it was closing fast.

To be continued ...

Monday, December 24, 2007

A challenge

I have a challenge for you, my flock. First, lift your right back paw (or foot) and make clockwise circles with it. Then, raise your right front paw (or hand) and draw the number "6" in the air. Are you able to do both at the same time, maintaining the clockwise motion with your back paw (or foot)? If so, you may have the coordination, focus and spiritual wherewithal to apply for the position of Dalai Lama in Pug Life Ministries' Tibetan Buddhist wing. We offer a competitive salary, a
401(k) plan and a modest wardrobe allowance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dog park diplomacy

The ayatollah clan recently took Wendell on his first trip to the dog park, that most joyous and fertile of recruiting grounds. Over the years, many a canine has been swayed by my oratory prowess and fragrant smell to embrace the tenets of canine Islam. So I was eager to return, and young Wendell was eager to learn.

The other canines welcomed us warmly, and Wendell took advantage of the large expanse of grass to run some of the tensions out of his long, slender legs. The first remark anyone now makes about Wendell is about how tall he is, or how long his legs are. At this awkward, prepubescent stage, his lower extremities are proportioned roughly like those of one of Salvador Dali's elephants.

So Wendell ran, and he found many a running partner. And I mostly sniffed, gauging the lay of the land as I prepared to launch into one of my fiery sermons.

After a half-hour or so, I noticed Wendell lying on the ground. Just a pup -- and a wispy one at that -- he sometimes takes a submissive posture when other dogs make him nervous. Usually, the other dogs give him a sniff and then kindly go about their business. But on this occasion, a canine stood over Wendell, growling. I rushed to Wendell's side, barking at the overly aggressive dog. "Move along now," I said. "Can't you see you're frightening the pup?" The bully persisted, growling and moving closer to Wendell, who lay flat on his back with his paws outstretched. Again, I barked. "Look, infidel, why don't you pick on someone your own size?" The rude canine barely acknowledged my words before lunging at young Wendell.

As you know, my flock, a big brother is duty-bound to protect his younger sibling. Even if he is a tailbiter. "You asked for it," I growled. I then proceeded to mount this bully of indeterminate gender crossways, my jackhammer-like pelvic thrusting likely bruising a rib or two. "Now who's the alpha dog?" I barked, smiling. Well it didn't take long for the humans to separate us. The bully, now properly chastened, slinked away in shame.

"Come on," I said to Wendell, "let's call it a day."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Code red!

We have a possible emergency on our paws, my flock. It appears that Tigersan, everyone's favorite Chihuahua from Okinawa, may have been dognapped. I have raised the collective hackles of the ministry to code red, and the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF) are preparing a rescue mission. If we can just locate Tigersan, I'm confident that Wendell can chew through the shackles in no time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Auction nearly over

Auctioneer's note: As this post pertains to an auction, you should read it at quadruple speed.

Less than 24 hours remain in the ministry's
holiday poster auction, so this is your final reminder to bid on a piece of Hollywood history. Yes, that's right, my flock. The Pugstock poster appeared in the hit TV show Veronica Mars in 2006. And as we know, all things associated with celebrity are inherently better than your everyday, run-of-the-mill wall decorations.

Anyone worried about receiving the posters by Dec. 24 can pay extra for express shipping or, better yet, print out this handy yet mysterious "patience" sign from

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The blessing of the newborn

The miracle of birth. It is a blessing, as we all know. For without it, there would be no puppies.

Some friends of the ayatollah family had their first child this week, and mother has gone to visit the newly minted human, who happens to be the brother of the alluring Shelby. God willing, he will grow up to be my friend and put in a good word for me so that she might finally see fit to join my harem.

I am told that the new baby -- we will call him Mortimer -- is doing well, despite his early arrival. I am also told that his parents are pleased with him and feel no shame over their small litter size. This is good; for we should all be accepting of Allah's plan.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, "When any human being is born, Satan pinches the body with his two fingers," thus causing the child to cry. This gives us our first clue that Satan is, among other things, not fit to be a babysitter. Fortunately for young Mortimer, he is born with access to ayatollah-approved bibs that offer a measure of protection against the evils of the world. And against spilled apple sauce. May his cries be few, and may he know every happiness.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Auction to benefit ministry

I have wonderful news, my flock. Our artist friend, the talented Kevin McCormick of, was so inspired by the ministry's recent intervention in the Mideast peace process that he donated not one but two magnificent posters to be auctioned off. Both of these rare, limited-edition posters commemorate the morally questionable but historically significant "Pug Summer of Love," which launched the pug peace movement in earnest.

All proceeds from the sale of these posters will benefit Pug Life Ministries' reindeer-antler fund, so bid early and bid often. I believe the rule of thumb on such eBay auctions is to bid two months' salary.

Friday, December 07, 2007

On a mission

I have just wrapped up a conference call with Pugham Young, the leader of the Mormon wing of Pug Life Ministries. He briefed me on a top-secret operation, spearheaded by an elite unit known as the Latter-day Saint Bernards, through which the ministry may be able to infiltrate the highest office in the United States. I cannot reveal any names, my flock, because as you know, too much information can be counter-productive to the aims of the ministry. But I can tell you that Pugham Young has a special agent in the current presidential race with a better-than-average chance of winning his party's nomination.

Pugham, still going strong at 188 years old, told me that many in the media had begun to suspect our plot. Reporters were sniffing around the Mormon wing's headquarters in Salt Lake City and asking a few too many questions. But our sleeper candidate recently gave an ingenious speech to throw any troublemakers off our trail. God willing, this will prove to be a coup for Pug Life Ministries.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mugsy weighs in on Sudanese teddy bear

I have just returned from Khartoum, where I won the release of a British schoolteacher convicted of insulting Islam via a teddy bear. Gillian Gibbons allowed her class to name the stuffed animal Muhammad, which also happens to be the name of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Many were enraged by this perceived affront. Demonstrators took to the streets to call for the teacher's execution, and prosecutors pressed charges that could have brought Ms. Gibbons 40 lashes and substantial prison time.

But those who sought to punish Ms. Gibbons have not studied Islam as I have. For nowhere in the Quran does it forbid one from using the name Muhammad. In fact, it is a popular male name in Sudan. So I appealed to Sudan's president to pardon the teacher. "Do it for the children," I implored. "Do it for my Nobel Peace Prize hopes." And he complied, on the condition that I give him my autograph. So I return with an ink-stained paw to teach you the proper handling of this case. The teacher, as I have indicated, is innocent of all charges. But there is one who is deserving of the 40 lashes: the teddy bear. Again, this has nothing to do with it being named Muhammad. That is simply the proper way to deal with a chew toy. And as we all know, a teddy bear is just a chew toy that hasn't yet found its way to a canine's eager teeth.