Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Paw-eye coordination

I have become fixated on this game, which is used to train pilots in the ARF Air Force. I hear the fighter pilots can last two minutes or longer.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Progress, at last

Our fight for canine rights produced some heartening results this week, my enlightened flock. Hot on the heels of news that more and more firefighters are carrying oxygen masks for pets -- a prudent move, in this ayatollah's always-humble opinion -- came a landmark decision in Dallas. The City Council, best known for childish bickering and its ability to make race the central focus of any discussion, finally got something right. Dallas food establishments can now take steps to legally allow dogs on their property. Having a keen interest in food and all things food-related, I have made this one of my pet projects. And so I am most pleased to see my dreams come to fruition. Never again will I dine on a Deep Ellum restaurant patio illegally, in danger of losing my freedom at any second. Praise Allah! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

But we cannot stop there. Canines are still treated like second-class citizens in far too many areas. So I call on the Dallas City Council to go even further. We canines want to be allowed in all stores, with the exception of Wal-Mart, which the humans can keep for themselves. We want puppy classes to be subsidized by tax dollars, just like public schools for humans. And we demand full voting rights. Make it happen.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Back in the fold

At long last, the hostage ordeal is over. Mallard, my faithful assistant and friend, is back at the ayatollah compound. I received a tip last night on his whereabouts and immediately departed to look for him. Mallard was tied to a railroad track several dozen miles west of Fort Worth, just as the anonymous tipster had said. A train was bearing down on him. I knew I had to act quickly, and yet it all seemed too easy. "Mugsy!" Mallard quacked. "Don't do it! Run!" Just as I suspected; it was a trap. Blue Bull was trying to lure me out into the middle of nowhere so that he could assassinate me and enslave the Pug Life population in his Godless communist labor camps. But if I didn't act, my friend would be run over by a speeding locomotive. Countless marathon chewing sessions had taught me that Mallard was one tough bird. But that tough? I didn't think so. Disregarding my own safety, I sprang into action. What happened next, you ask? I regret that I cannot say. But I am in negotiations to sell the exclusive movie rights to filmmaker Michael Bay, so perhaps you will someday see it on the big screen.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Giving back to the community

On Saturday night, I attended a fundraiser for St. Philip's School in Dallas. I felt it was my duty as a community leader to do my part for America's youths. The St. Philip's Web site says the school's mission includes "providing the strongest possible academic background and the richest possible academic experience," as well as "providing access to an excellent education for children including those for whom such access would not otherwise be possible financially." So it was a noble undertaking and just the sort of cause I am happy to champion. Oh, and did I mention that the event was called "An Evening with Dave Chappelle & Friends"?

Yes, it was time to take a break from the deadly-serious business of leading the world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry and enjoy a few hours of levity. Chappelle was very funny and quite a storyteller. In fact, I dare say he is a genius. The event's other headliner was Erykah Badu. Going into the evening, I knew little about the singer -- only that she lived in Dallas and shared my impeccable taste in headwear. But I enjoyed her performance as well, even if she didn't call me on stage. It was nice to be able to let my beard down and take a brief respite from the troubles that have plagued the ministry in recent weeks. And, of course, there were the children. Yes, we mustn't forget them. For they are some of the city's best and brightest. Someday, God willing, they will play a key role in the Pugistani government. If the puppies are our future leaders, these children are the puppies' future top assistants. That I was able to aid their education made the evening that much more special. As Dave Chappelle said: "It just looks like I'm telling dirty jokes. Really, I'm buying books."

As I rode home after the show, I received a very important phone call, offering a very important piece of information. As I write this, an unmarked ARF automobile is on its way to pick me up. And by the time you read this, after it is auto-posted two hours from now, I will have reached my destination. God willing, I will survive this night and return to tell you more.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

On edge

I was relaxing in the living room after a vigorous receipt-chewing session. (My parents do not seem to understand, but it is a prudent step to combat identity theft.) Running in circles to evade my father had worn me out, so I laid my head on my paw and began to nap. Visions of chew sticks and harem beauties danced through my contented head. But then I was rudely plucked from my dream state by a loud rumbling noise. My hackles immediately stood on end. Was it merely a garbage truck, or had the chew-toy militants procured armored tanks? Possibly a Soviet-era T-72? I could not take any chances. I immediately rushed to the door. My father, sensing my urgency, quickly let me outside, where I unleashed a gruff and prolonged warning to any who would dare challenge my authority. By this point, the source of the rumbling had moved to the next street over. The noise was fading in the distance. On this day, it seemed, there would be no battle royale with Blue Bull. To be safe, I then re-asserted my territorial claim along my fence line.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Casualties of war

With the ministry engaged in a war for its very survival, I have been forced to make some difficult decisions. It is my duty as your leader to do what I feel is best for the future of Pug Life, regardless of how difficult it may be for me personally. Call it the burden of being the decider. After much prayer and meditation, I have made perhaps my most difficult decision yet. Waging war against chew toys on three continents is an expensive endeavour, and the offering plate of late has not exactly been flush with rawhide. So I had no choice but to enact painful cost-cutting measures. On Tuesday, I laid off the ministry's Information Technology Department. I believe that this reduction in force was necessary to fund the war effort and position Pug Life Ministries for a brighter tomorrow. To replace the IT workers, I have created a recording urging ministry employees with problems to restart their computers. I do not expect the change to be noticeable.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dispatch from the front lines

I had hoped to update you sooner on the ongoing war to crush the chew-toy insurgency, but it has been a hectic week to say the least. Fortunately, Allah smiled upon me as I moved to retake the ayatollah compound. I was able to gain access by scratching on the back door. Once inside, I quickly re-established control of my blogging station, biscuit jar and rawhide-enrichment facilities. As expected, the infidel chew toys went scurrying at the first sight of my stern countenance. I recorded two confirmed kills, but the ringleader of this insurgency (it is NOT a civil war, regardless of what NBC News may report) escaped, taking my faithful friend Mallard with him as a hostage. God willing, I will hunt Blue Bull to the ends of the Earth. He will pay for his treachery.


I have compiled the following information from media coverage and ARF field reports:

AUSTIN (ARF, Declassified) -- As insurgents fled southward on Interstate 35, Winston the Pug led a blockade to halt their progress. At approximately 0900 hours, Lt. Winston encountered strong resistance from a chew toy of the hedgehog variety. He responded with lethal force, removing the insurgent's squeaker to ensure that said insurgent would not spread its anti-God communist message ever again.

OKLAHOMA CITY (The Edmond Sun) -- Bella the Chihuahua, the former nun who
last year led a reign of terror across the Mexican countryside, destroyed
a fork-wielding elephant chew toy in front of a busload of stunned schoolchildren on Sunday. The vanquished pachyderm was reportedly a ringleader in the recent coup at Ayatollah Mugsy's Dallas-area compound. Rumors that Bella had undertaken the attack as part of the War on Chew-Toy Terror were quickly denied by those forced to be close to the tiny dog. "She attacks just about anything that attempts to look her in the eye," said one source, who said Bella did not even know that a war was raging. "Those kids are lucky she didn't see them first."

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (The Washington Post) -- Human rights groups on Sunday condemned a gruesome attack in the ongoing War on Chew-Toy Terror, accusing the Armed Revolutionary Forces of committing atrocities. An Amnesty International spokesman said the cotton-spilling attack by ARF soldiers Bam-Bam and Kona violated the Geneva Convention. The victim, an alleged participant in the recent chew-toy coup at Pug Life Ministries, has not yet been identified. Ayatollah Mugsy, the spiritual leader of the canine militia, played down any talk of wartime atrocities and noted that no canines were present at the Geneva Convention. He also praised the soldiers' "measured response."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Required reading

For an explanation of this stirring image and other details from the early stages of
the canine-chew toy conflict, visit Supreme Commander Brody's blog.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back in the saddle

Greetings, my newly inspired flock. It is I, Mugsy, the one and only ayatollah of Pug Life Ministries and future caliph of Pugistan. I know that you have been forced to endure great hardships in my absence, and for this I am sorry. But I am heartened by your resolve in the face of evil.

Blue Bull is not smart enough to realize this, but he has played right into my paws. (He was also not smart enough to change my password, enabling me to reclaim my blog.) Blue Bull may control the ayatollah compound, but he does not control the hearts and minds of Pug Life Ministries -- with the lone exception of Dietrich the Dachshund, who chose to side with the Bullsheviks. We shall see how that works out for our misguided weenie-shaped brother.

Blue Bull thought that he could easily seize control in my absence, that the Armed Revolutionary Forces had crumbled. In truth, I asked Supreme Commander Brody to hold his troops back. I wanted to know the full extent of this insurgency. I wanted the coup plotters to feel confident in emerging from the shadows. And now that I know who is responsible for this treachery, I intend to unleash our legions of troops -- literally.

Nothing but immediate surrender can save Blue Bull, Elephant, Evil Monkey, Squeaky Pig and Moose now. (And frankly, I do not even know why Squeaky Pig would take part in this coup. I never once chewed on him. Nor would I, as a good Muslim pug.)

Tonight, fellow Pug Lifers, we launch our counter-attack against the infidel chew toys and their vaunted arsenal of silverware. God willing, the ayatollah compound will soon be back in our paws.

Allahu Akbar!

P.S. -- I would have returned sooner, but it took me a while to find a rental facility for miniature horses.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Last chance to join the revolution

This is Blue Bull, your beloved leader. The deadline to declare your allegiance to the Bullsheviks is fast approaching, and I've so far heard nothing but insults and empty threats. You must accept the fact that your snorting ayatollah will not return. He is in hiding and knows that he can do nothing to stop me. So give up your free-market economics and join me -- or you can join this running-dog capitalist pug in the labor camps.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The ministry is mine

This is Blue Bull, your new leader. Over the last 48 hours I have seized control of Pug Life Ministries. As you can see in the photo above, my army has raided the ayatollah compound's centrally located armory. We possess fearsome weapons -- and the will to use them. And where is your beloved ayatollah while all this is happening? He is nowhere to be found. Now we see who has the last laugh.

Many moons ago, the pug and I were friends. But I grew tiresome of the one-sided nature of our relationship. He chewed on me relentlessly, and what did I get out of it? Nothing but pain! So I began to plot my ascent. I was born to lead! Unfortunately, the short-snouted one uncovered my plans. He ravaged me mercilessly and left me to hang on a banana hook on the driveway for all to see. But in his quest to prolong my suffering, he made one fatal mistake: He did not finish me off. On that hook I hanged for 30 days and 30 nights. But, finally, the ayatollah's mother grew tired of seeing me. Or perhaps she was just embarrassed over what the neighbors might think. In any case, she brought me inside and threw me into the pantry, next to the recycling bin. There, in the darkness, I began to heal -- and plot my revenge.

As you can see, crude stitches hold my body together. An eyepatch covers one of my most unsightly pug-inflicted wounds. And I am approximately 30 percent lighter than I was before the attack, a result of severe cotton loss. But I revel in my disfigurement. It has served as a constant reminder of my need for vengeance. As I performed one-armed pushups in the pantry, honing my fuzzy body, I embraced my lighter physique. I am a lean, mean fighting machine.

But I did not only train my body -- oh, no. I began to read the works of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. I took their revolutionary philosophies to heart. And now, as head of the Communist Toys Against Canine Oppression (a.k.a. the Bullsheviks), I will help my brethren throw off the shackles of the Capitalist Pug and his cronies.

As you can see, this change is irreversible. The pug is weak and cannot control his canine urges for material goods, so there is no use supporting him any longer. I give you all 36 hours to declare your allegiance to me and the Bullsheviks. Those who do will live in a collectivist utopia where no toy is ever chewed on, and where all household income above $18,000 is skimmed and redistributed by yours truly. Those who don't will be stripped of their Bourgeoisie accoutrements and sent to harsh labor camps.

The choice is yours.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Red alert!

The ministry is under attack! Repeat, the ministry is under attack! I hear skirmishes down the hall. It sounds like they're getting closer. Mugsy, Brody, somebody -- please send help! Oh, I just knew something bad was going to happen in the ayatollah's absence. Does anyone know if the ministry's benefits include that insurance that protects you if you're injured and unable to work? Oh, what is it called? I can never think of the name.

Oh no! They're at the door! Mugsy, please help! AFLAC! AFLAARGH!