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.