Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An addition to the ayatollah household

It happened in a flash. Father opened the sliding glass door to let Wendell inside, and out of the corner of my eye I spied a tiny creature sprinting alongside my brother. I focused on the uninvited houseguest and saw that it was a gecko, not much more than an inch long. It darted along the baseboard and disappeared behind some furniture. Could it be the son of my long-lost friend Gordon the Gecko? Or perhaps another relative?

After a brief search turned up no sign of the young intruder, I e-mailed mother to inform her of our new roommate. She said that just last night, she had narrowly turned away a young lizard pauper who tried to rush through the front door. It seems that the ailing economy has hit the lizard community especially hard. Homeless and penniless, they are no longer eligible for the subprime mortgages that lenders were once so eager to provide. So now, in addition to leading the world's largest interfaith, interspecies ministry, I have established Ayatollah Mugsy's Boarding Home for Wayward Lizard Youths. As always, donations are welcome.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gidget: 1994-2009

Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuahua who brought joy and late-night nacho-cravings to millions, has died. The 15-year-old passed away Tuesday night of a stroke.

Though Gidget was tiny in stature, she was a giant in the advertising world. From 1997 to 2000, she served as the chief spokesdog for the Taco Bell brand, uttering catchphrases such as "Yo quiero Taco Bell!" and "Viva gorditas!" An accomplished thespian, Gidget also appeared as Bruiser's mother in "Legally Blonde 2" with Reese Witherspoon, and she co-starred with Robert De Niro in "The Fan."

Gidget proved the old adage that you can never go wrong by putting a dog in a TV commercial, especially a talking dog. (Separate male and female outdoor bathtubs overlooking a body of water, however -- never a good idea.) Her popularity inspired a line of T-shirts and toys, including a stuffed, talking Chihuahua that resides within the ayatollah compound.

After Gidget's retirement in 2000, Taco Bell went into an advertising freefall from which it has never recovered. The magic of the Taco Bell dog could never be recaptured in campaigns such as the silly "Fourthmeal" promotion, in which the fast-food eatery sought to overturn centuries of established three-meal eating practices. Advocates of traditional family eating condemned the
Fourthmeal campaign, arguing that late-night snacks were OK but that a fourth meal crossed the bounds of decency. Taco Bell's creative lull continues to this day, as evidenced by the God-awful "It's All About the Roosevelts" song now blaring on the company's Web site. Click here to listen, if you dare.

Gidget charmed the world, sold a boat-load of tacos and served as a positive role model for countless wise Latina canines. We mourn her passing, but we also celebrate her accomplishments, including the masterpiece below:

Rest in peace, chica buena. You will be missed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wendell does doga

Good afternoon, my blogging audience. This is Wendell, the ayatollah's younger brother. I am writing now from a place of perfect inner tranquility. Though I was once a wild puppy, I am now peaceful and relaxed. Why, you ask? Because I have been doing yoga with my mother. Or as some would call it, "doga."

While I was once a high-strung pooch, I am now content to be doing a "downward dog" pose. And I am not alone. The doga movement is growing. Not at the same pace as Mugsy's canine suffrage movement, but it is growing nonetheless. You can see photos of numerous doga practitioners in this New York Times slideshow. Or you can watch the online trailer for's upcoming DVD and see a brief doga demonstration by clicking here.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sun salutations to do before I turn off the A/C for a little Bikram action.


Monday, July 13, 2009

The burdens of leadership

I've been trying to set up a meeting with the head of Pug Life Ministries' agnostic wing, but he's unwilling to commit to anything.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My day at the G8

I spent the afternoon in L'Aquila, Italy, attending the G8 summit. Pugistan is not a formal member of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, but the delegates recognize that we are a rising power, so most of them are trying to get on my good side. (Hint: Rawhide helps.)

While there, I had my first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy. We kept the business talk to a minimum, instead focusing on building a rapport as we toured areas damaged by an April earthquake and admired Italy's abundant natural beauty.

Public Service Announcement

The saintly humans at DFW Pug Rescue (the fine sponsors of the annual Pug-O-Ween costume party) are taking in unprecedented numbers of rescue dogs. Want to help by donating, fostering a dog or some other means? Visit their site at for details.

And to read the amazing story of Joshua the rescue pug (above), one of the group's success stories,
visit this link. Joshua's transformation is nothing short of astounding.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

And the early favorite for Best Picture is ...

This extraordinary short film may just be the best movie of the year. "Pug Pushes Stroller" chronicles a day in the life of a doting pug mother as she takes her children on an outing. As she pushes their stroller through the streets and parks of Portland, Ore., a range of emotions overtakes the viewer. You'll laugh; you'll cry. But mostly, you'll wonder how such a dedicated and loving mother could be denied the right to vote.


Title: Pug Pushes Stroller
Director: Unknown
Rating: PG (adult situations, canine nudity)
Running time: 2 minutes, 36 seconds
Ayatollah score: 4 paws up

Voting Rights for Canines

I have an exciting announcement, my flock. I recently launched a Facebook group to promote our ongoing struggle for canine suffrage. In the first 24 hours, the group's membership increased 70-fold. At this rate, we will surpass our goal of 1 million members and hit a billion by the end of the week! Such unprecedented growth shows that the time is right to organize and demand that our barks be heard. The sleeping canine giant is ready to emerge from its thrice-daily nap and seize power!

To visit the Voting Rights for Canines page and lend your support to the cause, click here.

The site includes a discussion board where you can exchange ideas with other enlightened canine suffragists, contact information for every member of Congress so that you can lobby them to support canine voting rights, news coverage of our burgeoning civil rights movement, a photo gallery of disenfranchised and dejected canines, and links to other useful Web sites. Among those other sites is a list compiled by "U.S. News and World Report" of the 10 worst U.S. presidents. What do they all have in common? Not a single canine voted for any of them. Clearly, our judgment is superior to the humans'. Or, at the least, it can be no worse.

I hope you will take the time to register your support. Our future, and our puppies' future, depends on it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

It's Independence Day

On this date in 1776, America's founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and set out to establish a more perfect Great Satan. Today, we celebrate their success. I hope you all have a fun-filled, relaxing holiday weekend. And remember these safety tips:

  • Use sunscreen.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Wear a lifejacket. (Unless you're on land; then you would just look silly.)
  • Canines don't generally like the sound of firecrackers, so bring them inside where they won't be tempted to try to escape. Also, share the barbecue with them.
  • Let the professionals handle the fireworks. Especially if you live next door to the ayatollah compound.
  • If you choose to set off your own fireworks, remember to hold them in your non-dominant hand. This way, your penmanship is less likely to suffer if you blow off a limb.