Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey time

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May the humans be extra-careless with their turkey at the dinner table today. And may Allah bless the lowly Aggies, just this once, so that they might smite the infidel Longhorns.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hang 'em high

Behold the sight of Beaver, my flock. He has been identified as the infidel in our midst, and he is suffering the fate reserved for the ministry's worst enemies: the banana hook. Beaver has been hanging from his paddle-like tail since yesterday afternoon. Let the sight of his chipped tooth and his cotton-gaping severed paws serve as a warning to other chew toys who would think to conspire against the ministry! At this very moment, Wendell is "interrogating" the infidel to gain additional intelligence. If Beaver had accomplices, they will not escape justice.

You may think that this punishment is barbaric, my flock, but do not be swayed by the mainstream media or the United Nations' recent resolution to ban banana hooks. Instead, keep in mind that Beaver was engaged in a truly heinous plot. Was he trying to build a radioactive dirty bomb, or overthrow the ministry as the infidel Blue Bull did nearly two years ago? No, but Beaver's actions were no less ghastly. He sought to dehydrate Wendell and me by damming up our water bowls.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Justice is served

Last week, I wrote of a looming threat facing the ministry. I immediately went to work to sniff out the infidel in our midst, leaving no stone unturned. Security was heightened throughout the compound, and Wendell and I stepped up our patrols along the fence line. Over the weekend, I traveled to Oklahoma to meet with the schnauzer Rabbi Jake, peace be upon him. Jake's wise counsel is always valued, and we put in place a plan to flush out this infidel. At this very moment, my security forces are closing in. An arrest is imminent, my flock. The infidel cannot hide; he cannot escape. He can only know the righteous justice of Pug Life Ministries! More details to come ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Puppy watch

In my line of work, it is imperative to reach out to the young. The puppies of today, after all, are the imams of tomorrow. So I have taken great interest in this Web site.

My life with pack rats

In recent days, Wendell and I have been helping father clean out the weight room, which has doubled as a large closet and junk repository. The room's large closet was packed to the ceiling with boxes, and we have been sniffing through them to try to downsize our collection. Many of the boxes we found have not been touched since the day we moved into our compound in early 2003, which should be an indication that these items are not vital to the continuing operation of the household. But we did not want to simply throw them out without first going through them. Among our finds the last two days:

  • A large stack of 8-year-old copies of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Not one but two Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines. For those who aren't aware of this magical device, the Snoopy model is the standard for hand-cranked ice crushing.
  • A troll doll.
  • A grotesquely curled-up refrigerator magnet of Michelangelo's David.
  • An ancient device called a "dot-matrix" printer.
  • A litter box from an ill-conceived experiment conducted when I was a puppy in a small apartment.
  • A baby gate, from another puppy experiment.
  • A baseball bat autographed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
  • A small kit labeled "The Art of Belly Dancing."
  • A framed Presidential Academic Fitness Award signed by the first President Bush.
  • A piece of the Berlin Wall.
  • Most exciting of all, a package of vintage rawhide chew sticks, circa 2002.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Review: Cesar Millan's new DVD set

As a leading authority in the canine community, I was recently offered a chance to review the new Cesar Millan DVD set Mastering Leadership. I have some concerns about such programs, and in fact, I am developing my own TV pilot in which I teach dogs techniques to better control their humans. But mother was eager to view the DVDs, so I accepted the set on her behalf. After all, if the techniques could bring a little discipline to my ankle-biting little brother, it couldn't be all bad. Here is mother's review of the set.

I often watch Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel, but I hadn't really tried any of his techniques. (To be honest, I just thought it was funny to watch how Mugsy and Wendell would respond to some of the dogs on TV.) But little Wendell is one of those dogs who would gladly pull you through a walk, choking and wheezing all the way. So I turned to Cesar Millan's three-DVD set, Mastering Leadership, for some advice. The first DVD is just Cesar talking to folks about keys to keeping your dogs happy and healthy. If you've ever seen the show, the ideas in this part will all be pretty familiar — give your dog exercise, then discipline, then affection; calm, assertive energy makes you a pack leader; your dog is not a human. The second DVD was what proved really helpful for me (and Wendell). I watched the segment that featured Dixie, a Jack Russell terrier who yipped and pulled her way through every walk. I was happy to note that Dixie was even worse at walking on a leash than Wendell. After watching, I used Cesar's advice on walking your dog — have calm, assertive energy; don't let the dog walk in front of you; and correct bad behavior the moment it starts. The results were really good — by the end of the walk, Wendell was happily trotting behind me, and I only had to do an occasional correction. We've got a lot of work to do on having Wendell stay calm when we pass other dogs and people, but that's something Cesar covers in the DVD, too. I'm looking forward to trying those techniques, as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All smiles at the dog park

The dog park was swarming with canine activity. Wendell and I made the rounds and soon found ourselves snout to snout with a fellow pug (right) and her human caretaker. Though we'd never met the woman before, she seemed happy to see us and bent down to pat our silky heads. To paraphrase the great philosopher Will Rogers, "A stranger is just a follower I haven't indoctrinated."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Suspicious minds

I suspect that an infidel is in our midst, my flock. The tell-tale signs are all there. I cannot give too much away, because I am setting a trap for the infidel. But Wendell is suspicious, too. I am so proud of him -- his sense of paranoia is developing quite nicely, along with his beard.

More details to come ...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A pug's got to dream

I have a dream. I dream of a future in which we can move beyond the outdated breakfast/dinner paradigm. I dream of a world in which four meals a day is considered acceptable, in which four meals a day, in fact, is just the beginning. Who's to say that five meals are too many? Or six? I dream of a world of limitless possibilities, my flock. A world where a pug can eat dinner and then, five minutes later, go for an encore. Let us not just celebrate the successes of our daily lives, my flock, let us repeat them! I dream of a mother and father who do not coordinate their feedings, who do not ask one another, "Did you feed the pugs tonight?" I dream of parents who, instead, simply say, "The pugs look hungry." And then feed their furry children without a second thought. This, my flock, is the future we must all strive for. This is the dream yet unrealized, the promise yet unfulfilled. Yet this is no pipe dream. This dream is our destiny. And this, my flock, is why I am now going to go sit beside my food bowl once again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day surprise

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There was no "October surprise" to shake up the presidential race, but a possible bombshell has landed on Election Day.

U.S. counterterrierism officials said early Tuesday that they are investigating a possible link between enigmatic canine cleric Ayatollah Mugsy and the radical Garden Gnome Liberation Front. The organization, based in France, claims members in numerous countries and advocates an end to "oppressive gardening practices." Rumors of a link between the gnome group and Ayatollah Mugsy gained momentum after the spiritual guide for Pug Life Ministries was spotted wearing a gnome costume to a Pug-O-Ween celebration in Arlington, Texas, possibly in a show of solidarity with his fellow radicals.

"This revelation could have a significant impact on the presidential race," said John Fellows, a professor of political science at Georgetown University. "But it is not clear which of the two major campaigns would be most affected. Ayatollah Mugsy was once a guest speaker at Democratic hopeful Barack Obama's church, along with pastor and amateur comedian Michael Pfleger. But Mugsy also reportedly took part in a casting-out-of-witches ceremony at [GOP vice presidential candidate] Sarah Palin's church in Wasilla, Alaska."

Fellows said that voters' decisions may come down to where they stand on the issue of gnomes' rights, always a touchy subject.

"It is really the third rail of American politics," Fellows said.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pug-O-Ween pics

As promised, here are some pictures from this year's Pug-O-Ween extravaganza. Among the costumes were a mouse, Pugerace (Liberace pug), Morticia Addams, couch pugtatoes, Elvis Pugsley, a hot-air balloon (excellent, though I did not get any good photos of it) and a pug with a superb Mr. T starter set.

I tried to make a montage of costumes as I had in years past, but because of the infidel Bill Gates and his inferior Windows Vista, it was difficult. It is impossible to manipulate images in Photoshop with any accuracy on my current laptop, so please excuse the rough appearance. God willing, the ministry will receive sufficient donations to purchase a decent operating system.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Catching up with New Dog

I have some catching up to do, my flock. As promised, here is the tale of New Dog:

The happy ayatollah clan was returning from Pug-O-Ween when I spotted a little dog roaming the neighborhood. We didn't want him to get hit by a car, so mother got out and offered him a biscuit. The canine accepted.

Soon, he was running around the ayatollah compound as if he owned the place. He wore a collar, but there was no phone number or address for a human caretaker. With the understanding that our new brother might be with us for a while, we named him New Dog, ND for short (pronounced "Indy"). While mother made some signs and posted them around the neighborhood, Wendell and I began to acquaint ourselves with ND. We learned that he was a Lutheran, and that he had worked in Las Vegas as a lounge singer. His nickname was "Old Blue Eye," owing to his distinctive one-blue-eye-and-one-brown-eye appearance. He was also fast -- nearly as speedy as Wendell. This led to at least 30 minutes of outdoor fun for the young duo. After a couple of minutes of watching the black blur chase the white-brown blur, and vice versa, I retired to the living room.

ND later laid claim to some pre-chewed rawhide, which could have been a source of friction. But thankfully, father opened a new pack, and all was once again right with the world. ND slept in Wendell's crate that night.

The next morning, mother and father took ND to a local veterinarian's office. They found that he had a microchip beneath his skin, and it provided the information necessary to track down ND's human caretaker. Mother and father left ND with the vet, and we thought that would be the last we'd see of our new brother. But last night, as costumed children prowled the neighborhood and set my hackles on alert, I spied the unmistakable gait of ND. He was out walking with his human. As my family drove by, ND looked up, his blue eye twinkling in the moonlight. He nodded in appreciation for what Wendell and I had done for him. I nodded back. Then, rolling down the window, I barked, "You owe me a stick of rawhide, you furry mooch."