What Do You Mean There’s No Picture Box? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My whole life for the next few days will be soaking wet. I am thankful to the Great Creator for a roof. And for walls. And for a floor that is not mud. And for stuff to do while it pours rain outside. And for the Picture Box to stare at. Wait. Lady Human! There’s no picture on the Picture Box.

Me:        Nope. And there may not be for a while. Lightning struck our TV server’s facility not far from here this morning. A good chunk of north Texas has lost television and some internet.

Miss Sweetie:   But why? Why is there no picture on the Picture Box?

Me:   I guess the lightning fried some of the equipment and it is taking a while to fix it.

Doodlebug:   But what is lightning?

Me:   It’s that electrical fire that shoots from the sky.

Wiggles:   But why? Why is there fire shooting from the sky?

Me:        Thunderstorms generate…

Tiger:     But why are there thunderstorms?

Me:        I don’t think I’m ready to explain all this to a pack of bulldogs.

Stella:    You only need to explain one thing.

Me:        What, pray tell?

Stella:    Why is there no picture on the Picture Box?

Me:        Hey, we still have the shows on my phone.

Stella:    You mean that loud little box you waste your time with every night?

Me:        Well, I don’t consider it a total waste…Wait a minute! I get to watch stuff at night if I want to. I am a human adult.

Stella:    That’s your excuse for everything you do. Our faces are too large to see that tiny screen all at the same time. And on top of that, IT’S STILL RAINING! What do humans do when there is no Picture Box and it’s raining? Aaagghhh!

Me:        Read a book.

Stella:    Can’t read.

Me:        Have a conversation.

Stella:    With them? Nope.

Tiger:     Nope.

Doodlebug:   Nope.

Wiggles:   Nope.

Miss Sweetie:    All right. I’ll do it. What should I say?

Me:        Or we take a nap.

Stella:    Bingo. Now the world looks brighter.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Sweater Weather – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I haven’t seen the sun for days. The crying sky has been sad because the sun has been hiding.

Me:        That’s not exactly how it works, but okay.

Stella:    The sun must be feeling better today. It has peeked at us and the sky is not crying anymore.

Me:        The sky will cry later tonight. Oh, now you’ve got me saying it.

Stella:    How come? Because the sun is going to bed?

Me:        No. It is supposed to rain again because a cold front is moving through.

Stella:    Cold? No, Lady Human. It is warm today.

Me:        Yeah, about 78 degrees. But before the sun comes up in the morning, the air temperature will have fallen about 30 degrees. It is supposed to be about 47 degrees by sunrise. Sweater weather is finally coming.

Stella:    Sweater? You mean like that big, bulky thing you draped all over me a long time ago? I took that off right away. You kept it?


Me:        Well…I crocheted it for you. It is a little large.

Stella:    Nooo! Nope! Not wearing that thing again! You can just un-crochet it, whatever crochet means!

Me:        I realize it’s kind of big, but I can adjust that.

Stella:    Nooo! You just tell that cold front or cold back or whatever it is to go someplace else. We will stay nice and warm here, thank you. No sweaters need apply.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s a Frog Strangler – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges. Raindrops keep falling on my head…and on my back…and on my legs…and on my feet.

Me:   Yeah, and on my head…and my back…and my legs…and my feet, too.

Stella:   Well, what do you plan to do about it?

Me:        The rain? Nothing. Just wait it out.

Stella:    No! What do you plan to do about my wet head… and wet back…and wet legs…and wet feet? I need a rain hat. Those sorts of things exist, don’t they?

Me:        Sure.

Stella:    I know you have rain boots. I see them right there. But do you have a rain hat I can borrow?

Me:        I have some hats somewhere. I have my broad-brim black felt hat, but that’s not perfect in a heavy rain. I have a cowboy hat. That’s better. The felt is tighter and it’s shaped so as to make the rain roll off the brim and down away from my neck and back.

Stella:    That’s great for you, Lady Human. You stand upright on your two hind legs.

Me:        I don’t have hind legs. I only have two legs. They are…front legs.

Stella:    Yeah, okay. But I am a bulldog. Your cowboy hat would drain wet all down my back. Next!

Me:        I bought some dog galoshes for winter use, but…they turned out to be too small for bulldogs and they were the largest size the company had.

Stella:    So, I get stuck with wet feet? We have a big rain event going on here.

Me:        Yeah, this is what people in the old days called a frog strangler.

Stella:    Frogs are strangling on the rain? That’s horrible!

Me:        No, it’s an exaggeration. Like a lot of our old sayings.

Stella:    Do frogs like the rain?

Me:        Yeah, I think they probably do.

Stella:    Can we ask them where they get their rain hats and boots?




Copyright 2018 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wash the Rolling Box? Cute! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I just saw the most wonderful thing on the Picture Box. Dogs were driving a human rolling box and bulldogs were giving it a bath. I knew the day would come.

Miss Sweetie:    Can we do that?

Me:   That was a commercial. Dogs washing cars and driving cars are not real things.

Tiger:     BUT I SAW IT!


Wiggles:   I can wash the rolling box with my tongue. I am sure my tongue is big enough for the job. Does the rolling box taste like chicken feed? I like chicken feed. And eggs. I really like eggs.

Me:   No, and none of you are going to wash the car, though I’ll admit that it needs it. And I admit that the mental image of bulldogs washing a car is cute.

Stella:    Cute?

Tiger:    Cute?

Doodlebug:   Cute?

Wiggles:   Cute?

Miss Sweetie:   I’m cute.

Stella:    Bulldogs are dignified. And stalwart. And persistent. We are not cute. That’s just plain insulting, Lady Human. Forget the whole thing. If helping you by driving and washing the so-called car is going to get us called ‘cute’, you can just do those things by yourself.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





What to Do When Humans Are Late – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What are bulldogs to do when their humans are late? Let’s be honest. Bulldogs are a powerful, though very loving, breed. Still, there are many things that we find difficult to do for ourselves. We depend on our humans, more than we would like to admit.

Me:        Is this about me getting home late from church?

Stella:    Excuse me, Lady Human. I am speaking to bulldogs and other dogs who may face a similar problem. Number 1: Start barking and whining and don’t stop, unless you get tired and then you should take a nap. Upon awakening, start barking and whining, only louder.

Me:        I was only an hour or so late.

Stella:    Number 2: See if any bags of food have been left lying around. If so, attack said bag or (hopefully) bags and tear them open. Believe it or not, a helpful cat may assist in this. The problem will be in finding a helpful cat.

Me:        I went for coffee after Sunday School with a friend and we got to talking…

Stella:    Number…what number comes after 2?

Me:        Three.

Stella:    Number 3: If you need to go potty, go ahead and go potty in the house. This will increase the guilt of any humans when they do show back up. They will have to clean it up which will remind them not to be late next time.

Me:        I wasn’t gone that long. I noticed that no one went to the potty.

Stella:    That doesn’t mean we didn’t think about it. Number 4: When the humans come back, after barking, whining, and going potty, put on your most pitiful face. Humans melt in the face of a sad-looking bulldog. Or any dog, really.

Me:        Okay. Okay. I get the point.

Stella:    Number 5: Humans run everything, and I mean everything, by the silly things they call clocks. Remind them that bulldogs are better at that game than they are. Make sure your inside clocks are always wound up. They may have started this whole on time thing, but we can overdo them at anything.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Humans Name Everything – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Where is the remote?

Stella:    The what?

Me:        The remote? You know. The thing that changes channels on the T.V.

Stella:    Changes the whats on the what?

Me:        The stations on the…okay…Picture Box.

Stella:    What are ‘stations’?

Me:        Never mind.

Stella:    Why do humans have to give a name to everything?

Me:        It’s built into us. It started a long, long time ago, in the Garden of Eden. Adam named every creature as the LORD God brought them to him.

Stella:    And you have never been able to stop.

Me:        There always seems to be new stuff to give a name to. Don’t you have names of your own for stuff you come across?

Stella:    Sure. We call it ‘stuff’. As in ‘do you see that stuff? Where did that stuff come from? Did you smell that stuff?”

Me:        So, to you, everything is just ‘stuff’.

Stella:    Sure. Except for stuff that’s not.

Me:        Seems a little non-specific.

Stella;    What is ‘non-specific’?

Me:        Never mind.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Work Up An Appetite – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:   And I’ve noticed something about Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Stella:    Whatever it is, I am sure it is interesting.

Me:   How come you don’t eat when the others do?

Stella:    Sure, I do. You pass out the food. We eat.

Me:        But the others gobble theirs down right away. You always wait until you’ve been outside first. Then you come back in and that’s when you pay attention to your food.

Stella:   That’s because I have finer manners than the others. Uh, don’t tell them that I said that.

Me:        Okay, I won’t.

Stella:    But I do have finer manners. I eat slowly, and I don’t knock my food on the floor and, besides, I have to work up an appetite before I chow down like a chow hound. Woo-hoo!

Me:        That’s fine. I skip morning breakfast now myself. I don’t eat until noon.

Stella:   What? Wait! You aren’t saying that I should until you eat…

Me:        No, not at all. You will get fed at the same time as everybody else. You can eat it whenever you want. I’ll eat when I want.

Stella:    We eat two times a day. Once you start eating, you eat all the time ‘til you fall asleep. Don’t deny it. I’ve seen you at night. Watching that little box in your hand and popping cheese and fat corn into your mouth.

Me:        You mean popcorn?

Stella:    Yeah, fat, luscious popcorn… and wonderful, savory cheese.

Me:        That’s how I wind down at night.

Stella:    Maybe you should wind down earlier, and without popcorn and cheese.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

If Food is on the Floor, EAT IT! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And… wait! What is that smell? Fish? It smells horribly wonderful.

Me:        Oh, I just spilled some tuna on the floor. I’m giving some to Moon Cat for breakfast.

Tiger:     Tuna? For a cat? Why is something that good being given to the cat?

Stella:    For once, and only once, I must agree with Tiger, Lady Human. That is dog quality food you are wasting there.

Me:        Stay back while I clean it up. Oh, Wiggles! Stop dancing in it!

Wiggles:   Yes, this is my happy comma dance. It smells great right here and that makes me happy. Ah, what’s this wet stuff?

Doodlebug:   You’re dancing in the spilled food! Stop!

Miss Sweetie:    You don’t have to clean it up, Lady Human. I know how to do that! My tongue is big enough for that chore.

Stella:    Wiggles! You put your feet all in it! When food is on the floor, there is only one thing to do with it. EAT IT!

Tiger:   To my shock and horror, I find myself agreeing with Stella.

Stella:    That’s QUEEN Stella to you.

Tiger:   There the agreement ends. Now that Wiggles has stepped all in it, well…that doesn’t really make a difference, does it?

Wiggles:   Forgive me, Lady Human. I must stop dancing while I… mmm, mmm…clean up this…mmm, mmm, mmm…lovely…mmm, mmm…mess. There! Done! Oh, and my…mmm, mmm…feet. Now back to happy comma dancing. What a wonderful day!

Moon Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hang Up That Phone! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans carry a little box in their hands that they never seem to be without. It is not a fun toy to chew. It is not food. I see no reason for it at all. And now, on top of everything else, they talk into it at odd times to the exclusion of us bulldogs.

Me:        It is a phone. We talk to other people on it. It’s important to stay in touch.

Stella:    What is more important? Your little phone box as you call it or good old-fashioned sleep?

Me:        They both have a place.

Stella:    Like last night?

Me:        Well, I admit I had a long conversation with a friend. She needed to talk…

Stella:    And talk and talk. And you talked and talked and talked. How was anybody supposed to get any sleep?

Me:        You were welcome to go to sleep at any time. I noticed that nobody else was staying up.

Stella:    Nobody else has my sensitive nature and sensitive ears. From now on, there is a… what is the word humans use? Oh, yeah, a curfew on little phone boxes. No phone calls after…well…whenever it is that I say is bedtime.

Me:        All curfews are set by the humans.

Stella:    That was fine back when, but this is now. Now bulldog common sense rules.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Bother Me! I’m Sulking! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hmmmph!

Me:   Oh, all right! I’ll bite. What’s the matter?

Stella:    Hmmmph! Don’t you know?

Me:        I am not a mind-reader.


Stella:    Why not? If your human brain is so big, why can’t you read my mind?

Me:        Thankfully, the LORD does not hand out that ability willy-nilly. It’s something I am glad that I can’t do.

Stella:    Who is Willy-Nilly? Is he a bulldog? Have we met him?

Me:        Nope. Just another human expression.

Stella:    Do humans ever stop making these things up?

Me:        Nope. Anyway, I think I have guessed why you are sulking even without reading your mind.

Stella:    Are you going to make me stop sulking? Because I don’t want to stop. It feels good to sulk.

Me:        Yeah, I know. Self-pity can feel good sometimes, like scratching an itch.

Stella:    Itch? I have one of those, too. Right here. Excuse me…

Me:        You were upset that I spent so much time away from the house the past few days. Well, we are back to normal. There was a pen show and I went both days, plus some people wanted to meet at restaurants to eat.

Stella:    A pen show? You’ve done that before. How many times can silly humans meet about pens? Aren’t those the sticks you use to scratch on paper? How can that be more important than spending time with bulldogs?

Me:        Oh, that’s a funny thing. There was a bulldog at the show. And a chihuahua. And a Yorkie.

Stella:    Oh. I see.

Me:        I knew it was a mistake to mention that as soon as the words were out of my mouth.

Stella:    I thought I detected the odor of strange dogs.

Me:        Well, they certainly detected the odor of you all.

Stella:    Are you sure you were not at a dog show?

Me:        Yep. Pretty sure. It was definitely a pen show.

Stella:    A pen show with dogs. Hmmmph.

Me:        Oh, Stella. It’s over now anyway for a whole ‘nother year.

Stella:    A year. I don’t know how long that is. Maybe I’ll be over my sulk by then, but it’s doubtful. Hmmmph.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Don’t Talk to Them! Maybe They Will Walk Away! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. SHHHHH!

Tiger:     We should do something.

Miss Sweetie:    What are they?

Stella:    I think I have seen this before, but I don’t remember where or when.

Wiggles:   We can take them in a rush. One…two…three…

Doodlebug:   No! Stop! They are tall, and they have big mouths, as big as ours. Watch them. See if they move.

Stella:    Maybe I should say something to them.

Tiger:     No! Don’t talk to them! That will only encourage them!

Miss Sweetie:    I will charge them by myself!

Stella:    No, Sweetie. Be patient. They look familiar. They are kind of shaped like Lady Human’s feet.

Tiger:     Lady Human has never had anything on her feet that ugly before.

Doodlebug:   What if they start coming our way?

Stella:    Stick together. Wait for the signal and then we’ll…

Me:        Hey, y’all! Good evening!

Stella:    Lady Human! Look out! They showed up when we weren’t looking.

Me:        Oh, I know. They are my new rubber boots. I got tired of my good shoes getting muddy and messed up on rainy days, and there seem to be a lot of those this year.


Stella:    What! You scared us silly over some stuff to keep your feet dry?

Me:        They may have scared you. If they did, I am sorry. But as for silly, you all were silly already.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

There’s a Bulldog on the Roof! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Do you hear it, Lady Human? There is a bulldog on the roof and you need to bring whoever it is down right now!

Me:        I hear it, girl, but it’s not a bulldog.

Stella:    I know a bulldog when I hear one. Raarr rarr raaarrr!

Me:        No, it sounds like a bulldog, but it is something else.

Stella:    I can see on the roof. Wait. No, I can’t. I’m too short. Let me move back. Okay. I see it. It is a big, weird, brown bulldog that is turning around a little now and again.

Me:        Stella, does that really look like a bulldog to you?

Stella:    Yes. No. Maybe.

Me:        That moaning, growling sound is coming from one of our roof vents. Something has jammed it or knocked it out of kilter and it’s not spinning freely.

Stella:    Why would spinny things be on our roof?

Me:        They help ventilate the crawl space under the roof.

Stella:    We have a “crawl space”. Why haven’t I seen it? I can crawl!

Me:        Believe me, it’s not suitable for bulldogs.

Stella:    Well, tell that spinny thing to stop imitating a bulldog. It’s annoying.

Me:        Yes, it is. We’ll take care of it. Until it’s fixed, you’ll only hear it when the wind kicks up.

Stella:    Then tell the wind to stop kicking it! Who does the wind think it is anyway?






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Chicken Invasion – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is my realm. Is that the right word, Lady Human? Realm?

Me:        Yeah, that’s fine.

Stella:    Today a non-bulldog has invaded my realm and we are not amused.

Me:        Hey, you borrowed that from Queen Victoria. Very clever.

Stella:    Borrowed what? We are not amused.

Me:        I know what you’re going to complain about. It’s no big deal.

Stella:    An invasion is no big deal?

Me:        There’s no invasion…

Stella:    Then what is that?

Me:        That is one…I repeat…one of the silkie chickens. She has a problem. She is going to sleep inside the house tonight.

Stella:    No, this is bulldog territory!

Me:        Well, and human territory. And parakeet territory. And cat territory.

Stella:    NO! My point exactly! Let just one non-bulldog inside the house and pretty soon the whole house is filled with non-bulldogs.

Me:        Excuse me for pointing this out, but this is a human house built by humans for humans and we invited you all in.

Stella:    Hey, we are five bulldogs to your two humans. Whose house is whose? We rule.

Me:        No, that’s not the way this works.

Stella:    Why is a chicken in the house?

Me:        This one silkie is not feeling well. She is getting some supplements that are helping, but with her in the house, I can keep a better eye on her. Hopefully, she will be all better within a few days.

Stella:    A few days? Is that what she told you?

Me:        She didn’t tell me a thing. Chickens are flock birds. They don’t like being alone without the others. Believe me, she is going to be happier to get back out in the chicken run with her flock than you are going to be happy to have her outside again.

Stella:    I doubt that. Bulldogs, hear ye! Hear ye! The fluffy chicken will be with us for a short…SHORT…time. Leave her be. Don’t try to eat her food or drink her water. We have our own.

Doodlebug:   I like chicken feed.

Miss Sweetie:    They kick some out to me sometimes and it’s like a snack.

Wiggles:   Will she be laying eggs? Because I LOVE eggs. And egg shells. And anything that has been around eggs.

Tiger:     I love chicken!

Me:        No, absolutely not!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Stubbornest Species on the Face of the Earth – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am a bulldog and flat out proud of it!

Me:        That’s not a bad thing, to be proud of who you are. Not in an arrogant way, but content. Good for you! Now what is it about being a bulldog that you are proud of.

Stella:    Well…you know…bulldog.

Me:        But what specifically about being a bulldog makes you proud?

Stella:    Well…you know…for one thing, we are stubborn. We dig our feet in and we stay put. Unless we don’t want to or change our minds and then we don’t stay put, but at least we are stubborn about that, too. Dig in! Don’t move! Or move! Do what you want!

Me:        Do what you want? Is that always a good thing?

Stella:    It is when you are a bulldog. We are the stubbornest species on the face of the earth.

Me:        I beg to differ.

Stella:    Beg? Like begging for a treat? You don’t look like you’re begging. I need to give you lessons on that.

Me:        It’s another of those human sayings. I think my species could challenge you for the title of “Stubbornest Species”.

Stella:    Don’t do it, Lady Human! Humans will lose that contest!

Me:        Just one example: How many times have I told one of you to come in…for any reason, because a storm is coming, because it is bedtime and you need to be inside, or because I said so…

Stella:    The worst of all reasons.

Me:        But think about it. How many times have I said to do that and you all or just one of you dug in, refused, disobeyed…

Stella:    I hate that word. Disobey. Yuck! That means I was expected to obey. Yuck!

Me:        And what happened then? Did I give up?

Stella:    No, sadly.

Me:        Nope. I dug in. I told you that you don’t bulldog me. And what happened?


Me:        And I am a stubborn human, and sometimes, that is good, and sometimes, that is bad. As for stubbornness, I’ll put a human up against a bulldog any day.

Stella:    That is foolish, Lady Human. We’ll take that challenge and raise you a…a… I don’t know what, but something more pig-headed than a bulldog if I can think of one. Wait! That’s it!

Me:        Nope. No pigs! No way!

Stella:    We’ll see. You know how stubborn I can be when I put my bulldog mind to something.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Let Go of My Foot! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have four feet. They are all mine. They do not belong to anyone else. So let me go, Lady Human, let me go!

Me:        I’m not trying to take your feet, Stella. I just need to borrow them for a few minutes.

Stella:    No, not yours! Give me my foot back!

Me:        Can I borrow this one then?

Stella:    No! I know what you’re up to! I see what you have in your hand. Evil toenail clippers! Wicked!

Me:        They have to be trimmed, Stella. It’s not optional.

Stella:    That sounds like something a human would say.

Me:        A human did say it, I said it.

Stella:    Then give me your feet. I want to hold on to them.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    So that you will know what it feels like when someone has captured your feet and won’t let them go. Besides, I need my toenails.

Me:        I don’t doubt it. I just think you don’t need so much of them.

Stella:    How am I going to hold onto my toys when somebody tries to take them away from me?

Me:        Who is going to take your toys?

Stella:    Well, you, of course!

Me:        Do you really think that your toenails would stop me?

Stella:    No, but they might slow you down, but only if they are long enough.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



What’s Running Down Your Face? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is running down your face, Lady Human? It looks like water.

Me:        It is. It’s sweat. Or, in polite terms, perspiration.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        I was moving a bunch of stuff around and it was all of 91 degrees which is not that hot but when you are moving around, the sweat shows up. And that’s good because it is like an air conditioner for your body.

Stella:    Do I sweat? I’ve never noticed water dripping down my face. Maybe some mouth drool, but not water.

Me:        You cool yourself by panting and I’ve been told you sweat from your feet.

Stella:    Feet? Is that why my feet smell funny?

Me:        I doubt it. Your feet more likely smell funny from what you walk around in outside. But it could be. I don’t spend a lot of time sniffing your feet.

Stella:    You don’t have to. I do that. When will your face stop shedding water?

Me:        When I cool down a bit, but right now I have to go feed the chickens.

Stella:    I’ll wait here.

Me:        I’ll just be a minute.

Stella:    Okay. Maybe I’ll sing a song while I’m waiting. Mmm…hmmm…hmmm…aaagghh…agh…Hey, there’s more water running down your face than ever.

Me:        It’s raining.

Stella:    Oh. Is that better than sweat?

Me:        Yes. No. Maybe. Sweat doesn’t water the ground. And this rain means fall is coming. At last.

Stella:    The colder?

Me:        Yes. No. Maybe.

Stella:    I like sweat more than rain. At least your face doesn’t drip on my head.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toy Party! Me First! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. IT’S A PARTY!

Tiger:   We had a party yesterday, remember? Not so great!

Me:        This is going to be way better.

Stella:    Yeah, no squirrels are coming! Haven’t you seen how Lady Human kept checking the front door and looking and going back and checking? It’s all in that box right there!

Miss Sweetie:    What? What? What?

Me:        It will take a couple of minutes for me to set this up. Mind you, this is going to be done in an orderly manner.

Doodlebug:   Awww. That doesn’t sound like a party at all.

Me:        I have six brand new chew toys here. I am setting them out in a row. There are five of you. Each of you will get to pick one toy, starting with the oldest first.

Wiggles:   But you said all the toys are new. How can we tell which one is oldest?

Me:        The oldest bulldog, Wiggles. That means Stella.

Stella:    Lady Human, how rude!

Me:        Sorry, Hon. We’re dealing with a fact here. Okay, head on over and make your pick.

Stella:    Mmmm. This one.

Me:        Like the old red and white one you had. Don’t you want to try something new?

Stella:    Nope. Always stick with the reliable.

Me:        All right. Pick it up. It’s yours.

Stella:    Nope. You pick it up and carry it to my bed. I am the queen.

Me:        A thank-you would be nice.

Stella:    Yes, it would. But I am patient. I will wait.

Me:        Okay, next is Wiggles.

Wiggles:   This one!

Me:        That was quick. The blue one? Are you sure?

Wiggles:   Yep. That one is me all over. Here. I’ll take it now. I’m not snooty like Stella.

Stella:   Hey!

Me:        Next is Tiger. There are still four left.

Tiger:     THIS ONE!

Me:        Okay. Why?

Tiger:     Can’t you smell it? Chicken flavor! Mine!

Me:        Next, Doodlebug!

Miss Sweetie:   Awwww. They’ll all be gone by the time it’s my turn!

Me:        No, there will still be two left. Doodlebug, what’s your…okay. That seemed decisive.

Doodlebug:   Bacon! Mine!

Me:        Okay, Sweetie, there is a chicken flavored one and a peanut butter one.

Miss Sweetie:   This one. No, that one. No, this one. Oh, I don’t know.

Me:        Which one did you like first?

Miss Sweetie:   This one.

Me:        Peanut butter.

Miss Sweetie:   Yesssss! Okay! Mine!

Stella:   Pssst! Lady Human! Who’s the last one for?

Me:        Pssst! Stella! It’s for you. In memory of your sister, Snoopey. I guess I’m still just used to ordering six of everything. I remember when she came to us, she didn’t even know what a toy was. We gave her a chew stick and she carried it around in her mouth like a cigar and wouldn’t put it down.

Stella:    It’s all right. I’ll keep it safe for her. Thank you, Lady Human.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Nut Party – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. They are at it again, Lady Human!

Me:        They? It?

Stella:    Jerky McSquirrelyFace and his friends. They are throwing nuts on our heads from the trees.

Me:        Oh, yeah, I noticed a lot of fallout from the oak. They are dropping acorns in the back and pecans in the front.

Tiger:     Not dropping, ma’am. Throwing.

Wiggles:   And their aim is pretty good.

Me:        The chairs are covered with parts of acorns every time I go out.

Doodlebug:   You should go out more often, Lady Human. Then you could be covered with part of acorns, too.

Stella:    It’s a regular party out there.

Wiggles:   Nuts, nuts, and more nuts.

Miss Sweetie:    Who invited nuts to a party?

Stella:   Squirrels, Sweetie. Sneaky little nut stealers. They never leave so much as a pecan for us.

Me:   I could use the pecans, sure, especially during the holidays. But they are too rich for you all.

Stella:   Lady Human, whatever do you mean?

Me:   You know what I mean.

Tiger:   She means bulldog gas, Stella.

Stella:    That’s Queen Stella to you, Tiger.

Tiger:     Queen or not, pecans still give us bulldog gas.

Me:        Whatever happened to Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter?

Stella:    Awwww, Lady Human, Flying Stella is on a long vacation. Flying up into trees is a little harder than I thought.

Me:        Well, when you get back from vacation, let me know and I’ll make you a special super-bulldog cape.

Stella:    Like the crown you promised me? Still waiting…

Miss Sweetie:    Crowns, pecans, capes, gas. I still want to know who invited nuts to a party.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



The Sky is Breaking! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:   All right. Potty time is now! Let’s go!

Stella:    Why now? I don’t perceive that the time is now.

Me:        Thunderstorm. 20 minutes. Let’s go!

Tiger:     I don’t think I want to…

Me:        Now or never, Tiger.

Tiger:     Oh, if you insist. Go with me?

Me:        Don’t I always?

Doodlebug:   I don’t need to go outside.

Me:        Try anyway.

Doodlebug:   The air smells funny.

Me:        Rain. It’s almost here.

Miss Sweetie:    I like water. I don’t care if it rains on me.

Me:        But there’s also the thunder and lightning.

Miss Sweetie:   That’ so exciting!

Me:        It is, until it’s not.

Wiggles:   I’ll go, but it’s a waste of time.

Me:        That’s all right. Let’s just beat the storm.

Stella:    Okay, I’m out here. What’s that on the ground?

Me:        No time for exploring now, girl.

Stella:    But this is so…Aaaaggghhh! What was that? The sky just broke!

Me:        You’ve heard thunder before.

Stella:    Not like that! Not right over my head! Run!

Me:        Walk. Just head back to the door.

Stella:    Walk, Lady Human, if you want the sky to fall on your head. I’m running. Whoever said bulldogs can’t run fast never stood with us under a cracking sky.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Mumble Mouth – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Lady Human!

Me:        Hmmm?

Stella:    Where is my softie dinosaur buddy?

Me:        Mmmm mm mm mmm.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Mmmm mm mm mmm.

Tiger:     What language is she speaking? It’s not her usual human one.

Wiggles:   It’s not bulldoggese. Well, maybe a little bit. Mmmm. Mm. Yep. Sounds like us.

Miss Sweetie:   That’s scary talk, Lady Human. What’s wrong with your mouth?

Doodlebug:   Maybe it’s a new game. I’ll play. Ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff. Now you make your special noise again, Lady Human.

Stella:    It’s not a game, Doodle! She is not opening her mouth. And I still don’t know where my softie dinosaur buddy is, which is the real problem.

Tiger:   It is a lot quieter around here when Lady Human is not talking.

Me:        MMMMM!

Stella:    Lady Human, open your mouth! What are you doing now? Eewww! Gross!

Me:        How can a bulldog call anything that I do ‘gross’? I was swishing a mouthwash that had to stay in for a certain time. I don’t usually do it around you all. When the time is up, I spit it out.

Wiggles:   Gross!

Tiger:     Gross!

Doodlebug:   Gross! But no big deal. I’ve done worse.

Miss Sweetie:   So have I. But still, gross!

Stella:    So that’s why you couldn’t talk for a few minutes. But the bigger question is WHERE IS MY SOFTIE DINOSAUR BUDDY?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.