Friday, September 26, 2008


With the summer coming to a close, many area pools have welcomed dogs for a day. The practice is not ideal -- I would certainly prefer that we canines have the freedom to swim whenever we please. But it's a start on the road to greater canine civil rights. Wendell recently attended one of these events at Hawaiian Falls water park in Garland, where he got to swim in a wave pool and ride with father on an inner tube around the lazy river. Wendell and I had earlier attended a dog day at a community pool in Carrollton, where Wendell splashed about and I waded in up to my six-pack abs -- to the surprise of my parents. For the Hawaiian Falls trip, they decided to leave me at home so that Wendell wouldn't be distracted by my presence. He tends to want to stay close to me when I'm around, and I'm not much of a swimmer. I took the afternoon to work on my memoirs and this weekend's sermon. Here's what Wendell did:

Wendell would swim in the mini-wave pool to a ledge out in the middle, where he could catch his breath. Then, urged on by our parents, he would dive in ...

... and splash down.

Then he'd swim back to the shallow end and find a dog or person to try to follow. He is, after all, still a puppy.

After he got tired of swimming, we met up with some of the good people from DFW Pug Rescue, who gave Wendell a snazzy bandanna. They told us that Pug-O-Ween is coming up the last Sunday of October, so Wendell and I have been brainstorming costume ideas. Any suggestions?

Mugsy gets long-winded on financial crisis

These are extraordinary times, my flock. Thursday evening, Washington Mutual became the latest victim of America's financial crisis. In Washington, lawmakers appeared to have in place a deal for a massive handout of borrowed funds from future, perhaps yet unborn taxpayers. But it all seemed to fall apart following a meeting of the minds at the White House.

Of all the high-stakes machinations of recent days, the most remarkable display came when a presidential candidate said the dire economic situation had compelled him to suspend his campaign. (He did not suspend his media-interview stump speeches, or his fundraising. But this is, I'm certain he would say, beside the point.) In this most remarkable of moves, he sought to equate a presidential election -- and one of the few forums in which voters can actually get an unfiltered view of the candidates, untainted by the distortions of campaign ads -- with petty politics. While finding a solution for the economic meltdown and credit crunch is crucial, I tend to believe that determining who will lead this country for the next four years is fairly important, too. But perhaps I am just peculiar in that way.

So where does the ministry stand on this bailout business? It is hard to say. On the one paw, I have a significant portion of my net worth tied up in stock investments and rawhide -- and both have been rapidly depleted in recent weeks. If a bailout could stabilize the financial markets and restore some luster to my portfolio, I might be inclined to support it. On the other paw, I resent the idea of taxpayers having to prop up multi-billion-dollar businesses that made irresponsible decisions in the interest of inflating their share prices and putting ill-gotten gains in the pockets of high-level executives.

So there are no easy answers. Perhaps I shall hedge my bets and support a bailout of some sort while once again ducking the IRS.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mugsy issues fatwa

Too many times have I narrowly escaped disaster, swerving or stopping just in time. Too many times have I shaken my furry paw-fist in indignation. The infidels who have stoked my road-rage have left me no choice but to issue a fatwa! When going through an intersection with dual turn lanes, the car in the inside lane must remain in its inside lane. This is not only the law, it is required by canine Islam! Do not anger Allah with your wide-turning encroachment; drive righteously. The next infidel whose wide turning puts him on a collision course with the ayatollahmobile will be stripped of his driving privileges and his pants and left at the roadside.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Awaiting my check

Greetings, my flock. I have spent the last two days corresponding with the White House and Treasury Department as I pursued a bailout check for the ministry. I heard that the American taxpayers were generously giving away hundreds of billions of dollars, so naturally I wanted a piece of the action to pay off the mortgage on the ayatollah compound. Unfortunately, I was told that citizens who chose slowly but steadily appreciating homes that they could actually afford were out of luck.

This was most disheartening, but I hear there is actually a pit bull on one of the presidential tickets. Perhaps, God willing, she will be more sensitive to the needs of America's fiscally responsible canines.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Buddy

I hereby present the coveted Pug Life Medal of Valor to Buddy the German Shepherd, who saved his human caretaker's life by calling 911 when the man had a seizure. And police said this wasn't the first time the trained assistance dog had been there for Joe Stalnaker. Buddy had previously made two other 911 calls when Stalnaker was having seizures.

On a recording of the 911 call, Buddy is heard whimpering and barking after the dispatcher in Scottsdale, Ariz., answers and repeatedly asks if the caller needs help. "Hello, this is 911. Hello ... Can you hear me? Is there somebody there you can give the phone to?" says the dispatcher. Despite the dispatcher's lack of canine language training, Buddy's call was successful. Stalnaker's address was flagged in Scottsdale's system with a notification that the 18-month-old Buddy could call 911 when the owner was incapacitated.

For his quick thinking, heroism and superior phone skills, Buddy is deserving of this prestigious medal -- the ministry's highest civilian honor. A grateful canine nation thanks you, Buddy. Long may you wag.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The great Geraldo

Praise be to Geraldo Rivera, for risking life, limb and his iconic mustache to keep us informed on Hurricane Ike. Do you remember all the
sayings about Chuck Norris that started to appear on the Internet a few years ago? Those apply to Geraldo, as well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Death from above

This one's for mother.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A walk and a surprise

It was a lovely evening. Mother arrived home from work, earlier than usual, and said the magical "W" word: Walk. Wendell sprang from his pillow and ran a quick circle, while I was more nonchalant but no less giddy. In short order, we were both tethered to our leashes and heading out the door. The smells of the neighborhood were magnificent, as usual. I tend to savor each scent, believing that every aroma is a blessing from Allah. Wendell is more of a racer, intent on covering as much ground as possible. As you might imagine, the elder pug's methods generally win out. Just across the bridge, I found a nice patch of grass. "Come, Wendell," I instructed. "Let us pay special attention to the scents here. You have much to learn." With that, we lowered our noses to the grass and began to make our rounds. As I sniffed, I came across a colony of large ants and shared with them a brief sermon and my latest fatwas. Roughly 90 percent of the insects converted to canine Islam on the spot, and the other 10 percent, well, I sensed that they were trouble-makers and wouldn't contribute any rawhide to the offering plate, anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw mother sweeping something off her foot. "Come on, pugs," she said. "Let's go." Rather than resist the gentle pull of the leash, I went along. It had been a good walk, and I could use a drink.

Back at the ayatollah compound, I took my place on the recliner and began to meditate. I was nearing a dreamlike state when I sensed a fellow creature near me. Moving my head to the side, I spied a pair of luscious, pouting lips. "Angelina," I barked, still half-asleep, "I see that my harem invitation has been well-received. Welcome to the ... Ack!" I nearly jumped out of my fur. The massive-lipped woman before me was not a Hollywood harem prospect at all. Instead, it was my mother, suffering the effects of an acute allergic reaction. Her face was puffy and red, and hives had broken out all over her body. Her feet were swollen to mammoth proportions. "Mugsy," she said, "I've got to go to the emergency room."

Don't fear, my flock. Mother is now home, and thanks to some Benadryl and steroids, she is feeling much better. And as for that aforementioned 10 percent of ne'er-do-well ants who had the audacity to attack my mother, know that they will be made an example of as a warning to other infidel bugs in the neighborhood. Just as soon as I find enough tiny banana hooks to go around.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back in action

You may have noticed that Wendell's Olympic coverage abruptly ended. He did not fill you in on Eagle the pug's historic three gold medals in dog-paddling. Nor did he tell you about the Pugistani basketball team's embarrassing defeat against the U.S., brought about by our team's lack of size after our lone Great Dane got into foul trouble. As it turns out, young Wendell got too involved in partying at the Olympic village, and he completely forgot to post on the blog. This confirmed my long-held belief that Wendell suffers from attention-deficit disorder. The ministry apologizes for any inconvenience, and we will certainly be more cautious in the future about assigning such an important task to a puppy.

The ayatollah family recently returned from a trip to the beautiful city of San Francisco, where I addressed a convention of sea lion imams. As you may recall, hundreds of the marine mammals pledged their allegiance to Pug Life Ministries late last year. Since then, I have stayed in contact with the sea lions, offering them spiritual guidance and strengthening our alliance. We bark the same language, so it is only natural that we help each other out. God willing, the sea lions will govern the western province of Pugistan in short order.