Stranger in the House – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. A stranger is in the house!

Me: It’s all right. I know all about it.

Stella: I am not talking about the tiny human who comes to visit. This is a grown adult human, a man. Tell him to leave or we will.

Me: No, you won’t. He already knows you are disturbed by his presence. He is just here to do his job.

Stella: Which is?

Me: He is here to see how much damage was done to our house in last week’s storm and to arrange for the money to pay for it to be repaired. It’s called ‘insurance’.

Stella: Another likely human story. I think he is here to spy on us.

Me: Why would he spy on us? Aren’t you always saying how boring we are?

Stella: Maybe he is more bored than we are. Insurance. The sounds boring in and of itself.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Queen for a Day – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger: And I should be.

Stella: Hush your mouth!

Me: Hold on, girls! Stella, let’s be especially nice to Tiger. Today is her 5th birthday.

Stella: So what! Baloney! Why should someone get to be rude just because it’s their birthday?

Me: I’m not saying anyone has an excuse to be rude on their birthday. I’m saying cut her some slack.

Tiger: Thank you, Lady Human.

Me: If you’ve noticed, Tiger, you got a few extra treats today

Tiger: I noticed. They were delicious, but now my stomach feels weird.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry.

Tiger: It’s okay. It’s not your fault. You were trying to be nice to me on my birthday.

Me: What would be a better birthday gift for you?

Tiger: Something I never get and something that won’t upset my tummy.

Stella: Something like being queen for a day?

Tiger: Queen? Me? Yes.

Stella: All right. I hereby declare you are Queen for the Day. Happy Birthday, Tiger.

Tiger: Thank you.

Stella: You are welcome, Your Majesty. Royal privileges expire precisely at midnight tonight. Just so we’re clear.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s Hard Being Last on the List – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs. The world is dark.

Me: No, the world is not dark. Well, except at night. And inside the house.

Stella: Lady Human, are there still a bajillion houses with no electric stuff?

Me: The number is down to around half a bajillion now, maybe even fewer than that.

Stella: So where is our electric stuff?

Me: They’re working on it. I think that storm may have hit around here the hardest.

Stella: Humans are incompetent. Why are they in charge? I could have fixed all this mess right away.

Me: I’d like to see a bulldog in a hard hat on a utility truck, replacing a downed power line or blown transformer or getting tree limbs moved. Hey, can you get the oak tree off our house?

Stella: No. I already tried. It wouldn’t cooperate. It just lays there. Now I am sad.

Me: Don’t worry. Things will get back to normal…eventually. We’re still here, aren’t we? I believe this may actually end up being good for us.

Stella: How can it be good to not be able to see hardly anything?

Me: Use your magnificent nose.

Stella: What’s good about not having our cold air boxes?

Me: You got me there. Oh, I know! It’s so much quieter in the house.

Stella: The dark, dark house. Why are we so far down on the list?

Me: There is just a lot more damage around here to repair. Sorry, girl.

Stella: Well, next time, I’m making the list!

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Is It So Dark in the Daytime? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am still freaked out since the loud wind nonsense. I figure some silly humans caused that.

Me: You attribute to us more power than we have.

Stella: Speaking of power…

Me: They’re working on it. Over 300,000 people in this area have been without electricity since the storm. They’ve whittled that number down to around 200,000.

Stella: How many is that?

Me: Think of all the humans, bulldogs, and animals you have ever seen.

Stella: Okay.

Me: It’s way more than that.

Stella: Wow. But why is it so dark in the daytime?

Me: Like I said, we don’t have ekectric power right now. I am very grateful that the temperature was so much cooler than normal today.

Stella: What do you mean we have no electric stuff. Flip one of those things on the wall like you always do. Tada! Light! Even I know that.

Me: The switch on the wall has no power without the flow of electricity.

Stella: Now you’re just not making any sense at all, Lady Human. Flip the switch thingey. Boom. Light. Humans are so lazy.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What the Freak Just Happened – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I am freaked out! What just happened?

Me: The biggest, fiercest wind storm I’ve ever seen in person and that includes a couple of hurricanes.

Stella: I can’t see out the backdoor. Lady Human, there is a tree in our patio.

Me: Yeah. The oak tree has been uprooted. The branches are blocking the door. The trunk is leaning against the house.

Tiger: I refuse to share the house with an oak tree.

Me: That tree is 38 or 39 years old. I can’t believe it’s fallen.

Miss Sweetie: Maybe it gave up because Doodlebug is always watering it.

Doodlebug: I like that tree.

Wiggles: Will we ever be able to go out the backdoor again?

Me: Sure. Chainsaws will clear it. I already checked the fence. It appears to be undamaged.

Stella: Now I am sad. The big tree fell. Where will the squirrels live?

Me: Stella, are you really worried about squirrels? I thought they were your nemeses.

Stella: Yes, but that doesn’t mean I wanted their home torn down.

Miss Sweetie: I think Doodle should not water anymore trees.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

More Human Weirdness – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Weird humans are waving sticks in the air.

Me:  Those are signs for candidates. There’s an election around here today.

Stella:  Election. I remember! That’s one of those things where you all talk and talk and talk and talk…

Me:  Okay, yes, politics.

Stella:  …and talk and talk and talk…

Me:  All right, I get it. Boring to bulldogs.

Stella:  You pay all your attention to some invisible nonsense and ignore us. Of course, that’s boring. And here you are, doing it again? Don’t you get tired of it?

Me:  Well, there are different elections for different things. This particular election is local.

Stella:  So, they are electing a queen?

Me:  No, queens aren’t generally elected.

Stella:  Wonderful news! I wouldn’t want to have to go through something like that with people waving sticks at me.









Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




You Lazy Dog! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I found you, Lady Human! How dare you!

Me:  Oh, Stella, how dare I what?

Stella:  Sneak into your room and take a nap! You lazy dog!

Me:   I’m not a dog and, if I’m lazy for taking a nap, what does that make you all? You all nap all the time.

Stella:  But you are Lady Human. You aren’t supposed to take naps.

Me:  Don’t you think I get tired during the day sometimes?

Stella:  No, why would you? You never do anything.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Shut Up, Weird Bed! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Hey, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Pick a spot and get in it. It’s settle down time.

Stella:  I am Stella…

Me:  I know.

Stella:  Queen of the Olde…

Me:  I get that.

Stella:  …English Bulldogges. No, not there. No, that’s wrong.

Me:  Stella, what’s wrong with just laying down on your own bed.

Stella:  It’s weird.

Me:  It’s the same as it always is.

Stella:  Nope. It’s weird. Don’t you hear it?

Me:  It creaked a little, that’s all.

Stella:  It’s too loud. Nobody can sleep on a loud, weird bed.

Me:  Go ahead and lay down on my bed. That’s where you’re going to end up anyway.

Stella:  Oh, okay. Wait. What was that noise?

Me:  I knocked into it with my knee.

Stella:  Now your bed is loud and weird! This is a nightmare!

Me:  Stella, calm down and chill out.

Stella:  The beds are weird. And I suddenly feel very…tired. So, I’ll flop down here. Keep the noise down, beds.

Me:  Good night, Stella.

Stella:  Good iii… (snore).






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Doodle-Barker – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English…

Doodlebug:  Ruff ruff ruff wow wow ruuh ruuh ruuh!


Stella:  …Bulldogges. Never interrupt the queen! How rude!

Me: Doodle, what’s going on with all the barking? Hungry?

Doodlebug:  Yep.

Stella:  Bored?

Doodlebug:  Yep.

Me:  Okay. Food and exercise.

Doodlebug:  Yay.

Me:  Oh, and while I’m thinking of it, ear cleaning.

Doodlebug:  Uh, nope. Never mind. Barking over and done. Starting a nap. Ears tucked and down. Good night.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





My Big Head – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My bulldog head is bigger than some dogs’ entire bodies. It is a wonderful thing to behold.

Me:  Sounds like you have a big head. Hah!

Stella:  I just said that.

Me:  Well, I meant…never mind.

Stella:  No, go ahead, Lady Human, don’t never mind me.

Me:  Humans mean something different by big head. If somebody has a big head, they think highly of themselves, too highly.

Stella:  Exactly. I have a great big head.

Me:  We mean it like when somebody is all puffed up about themselves.

Stella:  That’s me. Big puffed up head. I can’t fit it through hardly anything, but I can knock a bunch of stuff aside with it.

Me:  But we aren’t talking about the size of someone’s head. We’re talking about their attitude about themselves.

Stella:  I’d like to meet some of these big-headed humans. They sound like my type of folks.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Where Are My Shoes? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Where are my shoes? Huh? My shoes, where are they?

Me:  What shoes? You don’t have shoes.

Stella:  Yes, I do. I saw them. You got them for me. Shoes! To protect my little feet on wet days like this.

Me:  Oh, those didn’t fit well. They were too small. I am going to have to dedicate myself to making new ones.

Stella:  And why haven’t you dedicated yourself?

Me:  Uh. I don’t know. Lazy?

Stella:  Well said.

Me:  You don’t need shoes this time of year.

Stella:  Hello! Look outside. Mud! Mud and muddy mud and more muddy mud!

Me:  You can wipe your feet when you come back in.

Stella:  But I don’t want to. I want my special little feet to be clean the whole way.

Me:  Why do you keep saying ‘little feet’? Have you looked at your feet?

Stella:  Of course. They are little. Have you looked at yours, Lady Human? I wouldn’t be talking about mine if I were you.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s That Monster in the Chimney? – Conversations with Stella


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, we have a problem.

Me:  What? I don’t see anything.

Stella:  It’s not your eyes that you need to use. It’s your ears. Listen.

Me:  Okay.  I hear it.

Stella:  Lady Human, I hate to be the one to have to tell you, but there is a monster living in the chimney.

Me:  It’s not a monster, Stella.

Stella:  Listen to that noise. It sounds like a machine.

Me:  A little machine. It’s a chimney sweep.

Stella:  Is that the monster’s name? Who let a monster in our chimney?

Me:  The chimney screen must have blown aside during that big 100 mile per hour windstorm. It’s a chimney sweep, a kind of bird that makes homes in chimneys. We haven’t had one for decades.

Stella:  A bird?

Me:  Yes, a little bird that makes that kind of noise, like a small wind-up toy.

Stella:  Oh, no! What if you set a fire in that place? What will happen to the bird?

Me:  We won’t be setting any fires in the fireplace for a good long time. By then, the chimney sweep will be long gone. Don’t worry. We just have to replace the screen on the chimney top before next fall.. We’ll give them a spell to move on out.

Stella:  You are sure that it’s not a monster.

Me:  Double sure.

Stella:  All right then. We’ll see. Though I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the opinions of humans to determine whether something is a monster or not.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Welcome Back, Cold Air Boxes! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The air is hot, outside and in. How did our ancestors ever stand it?

Me:  I don’t know. But they did. Still, I am turning on the air conditioners. I figure, if we’ve got’ em, use ‘em. If they had them, they would have used them. Practical people, those settlers.

Tiger:  I feel it. The air is cooling.

Miss Sweetie:  How can a box make the air colder? Is it like your rolling box that makes the air colder inside?

Me:  Sort of. The car has an air conditioner built into it.

Doodlebug:  Can we bring that one in here, too? The more cold air boxes, the better.

Me:  The car won’t fit in here. It has to stay outside.

Wiggles:  Cold air! Cold air! Cold air!

Me:  Wiggles, the calmer you stay, the cooler you’ll be.

Wiggles: Cold air! Cold air! Cold air!

Me:  Suit yourself.

Stella:  Thank you for the cold air boxes, Lady Human. When will the Great Creator’s cold air boxes turn back on?

Me:  Three and a half months, give or take.

Stella:  Give or take? Give me colder air. I’ll take it.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




The Good Sense to Come in Out of the Sun – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am no fool.

Me:  No, you are not, but why are you saying so?

Stella:  I know when to come in out of the sun.

Tiger: Me, too.


Me:  I’ve noticed that. Humans have an old saying about common sense – the sense to come in out of the rain.

Stella:  Humans are foolish. Never go out in the rain!

Tiger:  Yes, if it is raining, stay inside!

Stella:  Now the sun is a different matter because the sun can make things hot.

Tiger:  Never stay out in the heat.

Me:  Okay, I’ll keep that in mind.

Stella:  Of course, that is a good rule for bulldogs, Lady Human. We don’t really care if humans stay out in the sun.

Tiger:  Yeah, stay out as long as you want.

Me:  Okay, I’ll keep that in mind as well.

Stella:  But wear a hat.

Tiger:  Yes, wear a hat. Humans look funny with hats on.

Stella:  Once again, as rare as it is, Tiger and I agree. Wear a hat so we can laugh at you, Lady Human.

Me:  You know, I have a few hats for dogs…

Stella:  Don’t even think that!






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Get Your Big Bulldog Nose Out of My Face! – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. How rude! How dare you stare at me with your big bulldog eyes! Did no one teach you manners when you were a puppy? Get your big bulldog nose out of my face!

Me:  Stella! What’s going on? Tiger, back up! Neutral corners! NOW!

Tiger:  Oh, no. She is shouting the NOW word. She must be serious.


Me:  You have no idea how serious. Tiger, of all the dogs in this pack, you know how serious it is when one dog confronts another dog, eyeball to eyeball.

Tiger:  Yes, ma’am.

Me:  So why were you confronting Stella? You saw her hackles go up.

Tiger:  I didn’t mean to eyeball her, not in a threatening way. I just wanted to smell her face.

Me:  Why?

Tiger:  She smelled…good. She had just come back in and I thought she had found something good to eat outside.

Me:  Really?

Tiger:  I think so.

Stella:  A likely story.

Me:  Do you smell good, Stella?

Stella:  I always smell good. I sniff myself all the time to make sure. Tiger needs to learn manners.

Me:  We try, but we are not dogs. We just control circumstances, and we try to understand. I don’t know what happened in your young life, Tiger, before that horrible fight, the one that caused you to come to us. Let me tell you something that my parents taught me. It is not polite to stare.

Tiger:  Humans teach that?

Me:  Yes.

Tiger:  Because you are predators?

Me:  Perhaps. But also because it is considered rude and challenging and intrusive. We need to keep working on your body language.

Tiger:  Are you giving up on me?

Me:  No. Why would I ever do that?

Tiger:  Others have.

Me:  Others have given up on me, too. So what?

Stella:  I am sorry, Lady Human.

Me:  For what, Stella?

Stella:  For letting my hackles get the better of me.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Typical Cat Behavior – Conversations with Stella and Moon Cat


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is always complaining about our behavior. We’re rude. We’re loud. Well, what do you think about our behavior now, ma’am?

Me:  Are you referring to the cat?

Stella:  I saw what she did. There you were being all nice to her and brushing out her hair and she was all quiet and then…BOOM! Cat screech! Cat scratch! And why? Because cat! That’s why!

Me:  Yeah. Cats have a way about them, don’t they?

Stella:  Is that all you’re going to say? What about inappropriate behavior? How about blah, blah, blah, cut that out?

Me:  You have to talk to cats differently than you do to dogs.

Stella:  I don’t have to talk to cats at all!


Me:  I mean dogs respond to humans in a different way. For example, I point and tell you to go a certain direction, most of the time, you do.

Stella:  I do not! How insulting to suggest such a thing!

Me:  I mean dogs tend to cooperate with us a little more than a lot of cats do. I don’t mean that bulldogs are pushovers.

Stella:  I still think you need to lecture the cat on appropriate behavior.

Me:  And what do you think Moon Cat’s response will be to a lecture?

Stella:  Meow.

Moon Cat:  Meow.

Stella:  Typical.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Visitor with a Badge – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Going and coming and coming and going! Why are so many humans interrupting our days? Yesterday it was the Little Human. And then the person known as Raj. And then someone else! Who was that last person, Lady Human?

Me:  A police officer.

Stella:  One with shiny metal jewelry on his shirt?

Me:  A badge? Yes.

Stella:  Why do you keep inviting these people to our house at nap time?

Me:  The police come when they can. Somebody stole at package from our front porch. A neighbor saw it and reported it.

Stella:  Well, who invited the package snatcher here?

Me:  Nobody. That’s the point.

Stella:  What did he steal? WAIT! Was it our food?

Me:  No.

Stella:  What is your food?

Me:  No.

Stella:  Then just how serious is this?

Me:  He stole from at least one other neighbor so it’s serious. The funny thing is…what he stole from here…were some Bible study materials, writings about the Great Creator’s Book.

Stella:  What? He stole from the Great Creator.

Me:  I believe anytime someone steals, they are stealing from Him. The funny thing is when that man opens that package, he may find the most valuable thing that has ever come into his hands. I hope and pray so anyway.

Stella:  Okay. I agree. So long as it wasn’t our food.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Inappropriate Behavior Part 2 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. That was awesome. Did you hear us, Lady Human?

Me:  How could anyone not hear you?

Stella:  Why are you put out? We did not bark at the little human pup…okay, not puppy.

Me:  But you did at our other visitor.

Tiger:  Who was he? I don’t remember seeing him before.

Me:  You have, but it was a long time ago.

Wiggles:  He did not smell familiar to me.

Me:  His name is Raj and I think you overwhelmed him a little.

Doodlebug:  Good. That means we did our job as bulldogs.

Miss Sweetie:  He seemed nice. That’s why I used my big barking voice so he would feel welcome.

Me:  Did you see how fast he backed out of the room?

Miss Sweetie:  Because we were wonderfully overwhelming?

Me:  I wouldn’t attach the word ‘wonderfully’ to that.

Stella:  Who was this visitor?

Me:  I told you. His name is Raj. He is Tall Man’s friend. They are working on Raj’s computer.

Stella:  So, he brought us food.

Me:  No. Computers are not food.

Stella:  Did he bring us toys?

Me:  No.

Stella:  He must have brought us treats.

Me:  No.

Stella:  Then why did he come?

Me:  I told you.

Stella:  Computer? That makes no sense. That has nothing to do with us.

Me:  Not everything is about you.

Stella:  Just as I said. Nonsense.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Inappropriate Behavior – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  And as such, you and I need to have a talk.

Stella:  Uh-oh.

Me:  Yep. Big uh-oh.

Stella:  Does this have something to do with the little human puppy who visited today?

Me:   Puppy, Stella?

Stella:  Oh, all right. Not a puppy.

Me:  That’s right.

Stella:  But she’s still like one, all small and cuddly.

Me:  Yep.

Stella:  We like her. She is exciting.

Me:  Yep. She finds you all exciting, too…a little too exciting in the noise department.

Stella:  Lady Human, whatever do you mean?

Me:  Loud, incessant barking when she shows up. Loud, incessant barking when she leaves.

Stella:  But we don’t want her to go.

Me:  When you were little, did you like loud barking?

Stella:  Sure. It let me know that my pack was alert and nearby and I was safe.

Me:  But you’re a dog.

Stella:  A bulldog, thank you very much.

Me:  Well, that little child is human, and barking is not one of our traditions.

Stella:  Does our barking mean that we are wicked?

Me:  No. It’s more like inappropriate behavior. It’s what we humans call ‘rude’.

Stella:  Rude. Yep, that sounds like us.









Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sneaky, Sneaky Humans – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human sneaked out of the house again today. We have no idea where she went.

Tiger:  Shhhh! She will hear us.

Wiggles:  Does she smell like beef?

Miss Sweetie:  I smell food.

Doodlebug:  Beef?

Miss Sweetie:  No, not good food.

Stella:  So, she went someplace that had bad human food.

Doodlebug:  What was it? I can’t get close enough to smell her clothes.

Stella:  Just sneak up behind her. Hey, she sneaked out on us, didn’t she?

Me:  Hey, stop that.

Doodlebug:  May I please sniff your pants?

Me:  No, sir. I don’t need bulldog nose boogers on my clothes, thank you.

Doodlebug:  What if I can sniff your clothes without leaving nose boogers?

Me:  That has never happened yet, so the answer is still ‘no’.

Tiger:  You sneaked out. You ate food. We stayed here. It was sad.

Me:  Every once in a while, I go out for a few hours. Today I went to a movie. I haven’t been to one in a long time.

Stella:  Poor us. Why couldn’t you just watch the silly Picture Box here? It has all those silly human movies on it.

Me:  This one is new, and I wanted to see it on a big screen.

Stella:   Like your Picture Box is not big enough. Those humans on that thing are big enough to eat my head. Wait. Can they eat my head?

Me:  No. They are just flat pictures. They can’t come out of the television.

Stella:  Are you sure?

Me:  Positive.

Stella:  I don’t know, Lady Human. Someone who would sneak away from her dogs simply to watch a giant Picture Box might not know what a little Picture Box is capable of. Don’t you feel guilty now?

Me:  Maybe a little.

Stella:  Enough to let me sniff your clothes?




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.