Thursday, February 26, 2009

Papal visit gone awry

It was a Wednesday much like any other, with one exception: My good friend and business partner Pope Pius Pug was in town. With the economy in turmoil, we had much to discuss. How would the ministry weather this financial storm? Was the bold plan for the Dogloo compound still feasible? And how would we feed the hungry? (Sitting beside our bowls moments after mealtime was getting us nowhere.)

I had just finished making my final preparations for the pope's visit when I entered the living room and spied a terrifying sight. Wendell had Pope Pius Pug pinned beneath his gangly legs and was vigorously licking the pontiff's forehead. "Mother!" I barked. "Wendell has accosted the pope! You must break this up before we spark an international incident!"

My mother rose from the love seat, where she had been reading a book, and separated the two pugs. Wendell took one last big swipe across the pontiff's brow with his tongue as he was pulled away, then he walked to his oversized pillow and awkwardly licked his lips, as if he were struck by an acute case of dry mouth. "Wendell!" mother exclaimed, gasping. "Did you eat the pope's ashes?"

He sheepishly buried his head for a moment before slinking off to the water bowl.

I looked my Catholic counterpart in the eye and shrugged. "Puppies ... whaddya gonna do?"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Krewe of Barkus parade

Hey, everybody. Wendell here. Big Brother Mugsy asked me to post some pictures from the Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras parade, which we attended a couple of days ago in downtown McKinney, Texas. The parade had a TV theme, with many dogs dressed as characters from old television shows. Mugsy and I just wore our beads from the Dallas parade the night before, as you'll see below.

One cool cowboy. This was mom's favorite photo of the day (excluding her furry kids, of course).

These little fuzzballs rode around in a baby stroller.

Underdog! My second-favorite superhero.

I'm not really sure what this costume was, but it was very festive. And he had a green-and-yellow monkey on his back.

These "I Love Lucy" dogs brought their own TV set.

This little pup stood next to us watching the parade. You can't really tell from the photo, but he was tiny -- probably about four pounds. And he had a very interesting scent

Always good to see a fellow pug.

Mugsy was rockin' the beads. And a nice smile.

Who's this handsome dude? Oh, yeah, it's me. Sorry, ladies. I'm currently seeing a stuffed teddy bear.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Laissez les bons temps rouler

The beads were flying last night as the ministry embarked on its first-ever Mardi Gras parade. The Pug Life parade float was a marvel to behold. Featuring a papier-mache likeness of yours truly that towered 35 feet above the streets of downtown Dallas and snorted fire and brimstone at regular intervals, our float was clearly the crowd favorite. Two dozen buxom beauties tossed beads into the crowd, their curly tails wagging in time with the music of the Grambling University marching band, which followed closely behind. Wendell ran alongside the float, performing tricks with his Frisbee and showcasing his ability to catch dog biscuits tossed from the crowd. A pack of tiny-motorcycle-riding Elvises (Elvii?) circled the float and performed wheelies and other stunts. Meanwhile, I sat at the front of the float with a megaphone, barking a fiery sermon for the thousands assembled for this year's MystiQal parade.

After the parade ended, we mingled with the crowd, stopping for a pair of beignets. Though it did not quite match the experience of licking the powdered-sugar-covered floor of Cafe Du Mond in the French Quarter, our snack was tasty nonetheless.

Farther into the city's West End, we spotted a roadside preacher. He was much like myself, minus the charisma and adoring fans. With his megaphone in hand, he railed against everyone in attendance. "You are all hypocrites!" he bellowed. "You claim you are Christians, yet you are not! This used to be the Bible Belt -- now it's the Hypocrite Belt! Look at you, drinking the devil's brew!"

"How uninformed this man is," I whispered to Wendell. "I am a Muslim pug and have not claimed to be anything but that since my jailhouse conversion. I suspect that if anyone in this crowd is a hypocrite, it is this judgmental blowhard."

Then mother slowly approached the man. "Excuse me, sir," she said, her throat parched from a night of revelry. "Could you tell us where we can find the hurricanes?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Defending the manliness of the pug

While perusing a canine message board today, I came upon a post asking a simple yet provocative question: "Is owning a pug ... unmanly?" I felt I had to respond.

There is no manlier dog than a male pug. As I type this, my little pug brother Wendell and my human father are sitting on a recliner. Despite two of us three having been neutered, the scent of testosterone is palpable in the air. Mother will surely be overwhelmed when she enters the room.

Women commonly swoon in my presence, sometimes offering me their underpants (OK, perhaps they don't always offer, but I find them all the same -- especially in unwatched luggage). Men I pass on the street envy my carefree, confident ways, and my stocky yet chiseled physique.

Yes, there is no manlier living organism on God's green earth than a male pug.

Happily ever after?

A story caught my oversized eye today, my flock. It seems that in eastern India, a 2-year-old boy (above right) has been "married" to a dog to "ward off evil spirits and bad luck." But what of the canine's bad luck, being saddled with a 2-year-old spouse? It could be years before the boy ever contributes to the household. Let us pray that the canine was at least compensated with a sizable rawhide dowry.
In other news, a 7-year-old girl, also in India, married a stray dog Tuesday for the same reason -- evil spirits must be running rampant in the subcontinent. I feel a little better about this pairing, since the girl is old enough to profess her affection for the dog, and she has vowed to take care of him. Plus, the dog received sunglasses and a snazzy accessorized umbrella.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It was not meant to be ...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Obama's nominee for commerce secretary abruptly withdrew his name from consideration Thursday amid reports that he had paid no income taxes and that he led a religious-based group with the aim of seceding from the United States.

Ayatollah Mugsy, whom Obama had nominated less than 24 hours earlier, had little chance of being approved by Congress, according to legislative leaders.

The ayatollah, who would have been the first pug to ever hold a Cabinet position, declined to comment.

According to a report in Thursday's Washington Post, Ayatollah Mugsy had never filed a tax return and had openly antagonized the IRS. The radical cleric had also had run-ins with the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency, at one point even holding inspectors from the nuclear agency hostage.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said that Obama was unaware of these controversial links in the ayatollah's past.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The odd couple

And now, a touching story of canine-pachyderm friendship:

Friday, February 06, 2009

Going postal

I walked into the local post office, in need of a book of stamps. Approaching the self-service kiosk, I spied only one person ahead of me in line. This wouldn't take long. A minute or so later, the woman appeared to be finished with her postal chores. She retrieved her credit card and stepped away from the machine. But then, she turned back, her gaze centering on the kiosk's screen. "Thank you for your purchase," it read. The woman raised her hand in a half-wave toward the machine and said, "Thank you." Then this gracious customer walked out the door.

As you know, my flock, I wear a few gray hairs on my beard. And like many old-timers, I sometimes question the direction of modern man. Common courtesy and good manners often seem to be in short supply. But in this instant, in this brief exchange between woman and machine, my faith in the decency (and the peculiarity) of humanity was restored.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ready for kickoff

The day of the big game has finally arrived. Across America, fans will gather in front of the TV in their annual ritual. Food will be eaten, drinks will be guzzled, and players will give their all on the gridiron. Of course I am talking about Puppy Bowl V, a two-hour extravaganza of puppy play that will air repeatedly starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time today on Animal Planet. In addition to the rough-and-tumble puppy competition, the Puppy Bowl will feature a kitty halftime show. Let us pray that there are no wardrobe malfunctions.

The Puppy Bowl has revolutionized the broadcast TV industry, introducing technical advances such as the water bowl cam, which has been adopted by shows like "60 Minutes," "Nightline" and "Wheel of Fortune." And the big game continues to innovate: After this year's show, all the "free agents" will be available for adoption from animal shelters. So your favorite player just might wind up being your best friend.