Thursday, May 29, 2008

What is Wendell up to?

I am worried about Wendell. He has been hoarding chew toys, piling them up on the bed. He must have gathered a half-dozen of them. He seems to harbor some kind of apocalyptic vision, brought on by $4-a-gallon gas. Earlier today, I think I saw him pricing generators on Hopefully this is just a passing phase, and my little brother won't start dropping pipe bombs in the mail. But just in case, I am planning an intervention.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Endorsement for sale

I was recently watching Hardball, as we pugs sometimes do, when an epiphany struck. I had an idea to raise the profile of Pug Life Ministries -- as well as myself, its humble leader -- to new heights. In this day and age, there is no surer path to the media spotlight for a radical cleric than to be associated with a presidential candidate. How many of you had even heard of the Revs. Jeremiah Wright or John Hagee before this campaign season? So just imagine the notoriety that could be attained by one who already leads the world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry. I had visions of a mega-Dogloo mosque, a book deal, a swimming pool filled with Milkbones. So I made some phone calls. First one candidate, and then another. Then another, still. And all gave me the same answer: Thanks, but no thanks.

It seems that none of the contenders wanted my endorsement. My sermons on canine rights, my strict fatwas and my connections to alleged terrierist groups have been deemed too radical, too far out of touch with mainstream American values. Fair enough. I figure that if I wait a week or so, at least one candidate's desperation will lead her to come crawling back to me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Flagging support

I sense disloyalty in the ranks, my flock. All may appear rosy on the surface, but one does not reach my stature without a strong sense of paranoia and an ability to sniff out infidels. For Pugistan to be strong, it must be built on the backs of true patriots -- followers who would lay down their lives for the ministry, or at least throw it a bone every now and then. A single weak link could bring the entire ministry crashing down -- and with it the long-held dream of a sovereign canine nation. Yes, my flock, it is time for a mass excommunication to purge the infidels among us. But there is one problem -- a big one. Though I sense this disloyalty, I cannot prove it. Unfortunately, we are bereft of a flag to unite us. Without a flag, there can be no flag lapel pins. And with no flag lapel pins, there can be no accounting of Pugistan's true patriots.

Surely you see my quandary. God willing, we will soon find a Betsy Ross of our own.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sect's big day in court

Today, my flock, a momentous ruling was handed down. An appeals court found that the state of Texas greatly overstepped its bounds when it seized more than 400 children from a polygamist sect ranch in Eldorado. I had long expected such an outcome, as the state's case seemed rather dubious from the start. Several weeks ago, officials with Child Protective Services played up the number of children from the ranch who had suffered broken bones. But those who bothered to look into the numbers would find that the percentage of sect children who had broken bones was actually lower than that of the general population. Children, you see, are clumsy.

The ruling means that our foster child, Esther, could soon be returning home to the ranch. Though she is enjoying her stay at the ayatollah compound, she was clearly pleased with the thought of reuniting with her mother. So Wendell and I took her to a karaoke club this evening to celebrate.

Having led a sheltered life, Esther did not know any of the popular-music selections available -- not even the classic "Baby Got Back." So she instead performed an a capella version of one of the songs she'd learned at the Yearning for Zion Ranch. The audience quickly grew restless, and I feared that tomatoes would fly. But thankfully, Wendell and I were able to defuse the situation and win over the crowd with a stirring rendition of our old standby, "Ebony and Ivory."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Raising the roof

I awoke early Monday morning to a thud on the roof. Then another. Wendell and I did what any self-respecting canines would do: We barked. And we surveyed the house. From room to room we ran, and in each spot the pounding persisted overhead. Was the compound under attack, perhaps by those nefarious chew toys? Or were the members of the Jedi church wing of Pug Life Ministries right -- had space aliens arrived? We returned to the bedroom to wake our parents, who for some reason were trying to sleep through the racket. "Mugsy," father said groggily, "it's just the roofers. Remember? They're replacing the roof."

I gave father a cold, piercing, incredulous stare. Nearly $5,000 of my rawhide fund, gone forever. And all because of his impetuous impatience.

True, the roof needed to be replaced. It was bombarded, along with every other home in the neighborhood, by a furious hailstorm. Why Allah had sent this wrath down upon my humble abode, I cannot say. But I suspect He was punishing me for not selling enough merchandise and raising enough money to serve His purpose. God willing, my beloved flock's generosity will spare me from a recurrence of this maelstrom.

Yes, the roof needed to be replaced. But to hire professionals, when our polygamist-sect child Esther had almost finished reading the shingles chapter of her Popular Mechanics library book, this was just too much. "Father," I barked, "I don't even know who you are anymore."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wendell on the warpath

This is Wendell. Big Brother Mugsy has been busy working on a top-secret project, so he asked me to fill you in on my training efforts. In addition to my studies, I've been working out with the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF). Mugsy says it's unlikely that I'll see any combat, but he felt I could use the discipline -- much like Prince Harry over in England. So I've been getting lots of exercise and learning various canine combat techniques. Just this morning, I learned that a human male can be incapacitated for several seconds with a sharp and unexpected bite to the nipple.

My favorite training exercise involves hunting a tennis ball. I could literally do this all day, but the trainers always seem to tire of it before I do.

Here's a photographic guide to a recent hunt:

The ayatollah, peace be upon him except when I am biting his tail, was there to supervise.

I spotted a tennis ball and was off like a lightning bolt. I can reach any spot in the back yard in 0.3 seconds or less.

I was close enough to taste its felty goodness.

I moved in ...

... and then, in an oddly catlike manner, I pounced.

With my prey helpless to escape, it was time for a victory lap.

And then it was time to rest.

Don't I make a fearsome soldier?

Well, don't I?!?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Holy ground

I have been most impressed in recent days by this massive sinkhole in southeastern Texas. Its appetite appears to be nearly as voracious as my own.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mazel tov, Israel

Today, Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary. So Pug Life Ministries has dispatched an envoy (pictured above) from its Jewish wing to help the Israelis mark the occasion. The world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry could do no less.

Sixty years and one day ago, the Jewish nation did not exist. And then, it did. This offers hope to stateless canines everywhere. Since the days of Abraham, dogs have begged for a nation of their own. Yet the humans, being typically dense, assumed our four-legged forebears were merely begging for food.

We shall beg no more. Pugistan is there for the taking, my flock. And with God as my witness, I will make it happen. I will lead us to the promised land.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tell me a dog couldn't lead this country

A proposal recently landed on my desk. It was a business opportunity, a chance for the ministry to invest in a daring new real estate development. The pitch, from the U.S. Defense Department, went something like this:

"War-torn Iraqi capital seeks investors for luxury hotels, upscale retail outlets, high-end condominiums and an amusement park. Must be willing to tolerate blistering heat, sandstorms and daily mortar attacks."

For further details on this 100 percent real plan that the Pentagon has cooked up, I urge you to read the story here. In addition to battling a years-long insurrection, it seems the Pentagon has been drawing up these blueprints as part of its five-year, $5 billion development "dream list" for the Green Zone, which of late has come under almost daily rocket and mortar fire as conditions in Baghdad have deteriorated. For a frame of reference on the Pentagon's desired timeline, it was roughly five years ago that President Bush declared "mission accomplished" in the Iraq war.

I gave this investment opportunity all the consideration it merited. But as enticing as the idea of a "Tigris Woods Golf and Country Club" was (the Pentagon's name, not mine), I decided to move on to more plausible endeavors. You know, things like offers for affordable swampland and investment deals from Nigerian princes with long e-mail addresses.

Torch update

I have been unable to blog these last few days, as I was busy putting out diplomatic fires regarding Pugistan's Olympic torch run. So I will give a brief recap to those of you who were not pre-selected by my security apparatus to watch the relay. The torch arrived as planned, and I promptly used it to toast some marshmallows as well as a scrumptious batch of halaal weenies. After dining on marshmallow goo and hot dogs, I passed the torch to my little brother, Wendell. And this is where the relay began to go downhill.

Wendell flew right past the next three runners, essentially sprinting four legs of the relay himself while also setting a handful of bushes on fire. Given his supernatural speed and quickness, the other runners were unable to catch him. Finally, mother coaxed the torch away from Wendell by bartering for a pair of Milkbones. The relay then continued on a somewhat normal schedule for the next hour or so before an overzealous member of the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF) got overly territorial and, to the great displeasure of the Chinese, extinguished the flame.