Rules of the House Part 1 – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. These are the rules of the house as promulgated by Lady Human. Promulgated means she is ordering us around.

Number 1:  No barking – a ridiculous rule that deprives us of one of our main talents. And yes, I have an opinion about all of this.

Number 2:  Don’t poo or pee in the house. Actually, I agree with that one.

Number 3:  Don’t crowd the door. Simple physics. Yes, bulldogs have a rudimentary understanding of physics. Not everyone can get in and out of a door at once. Though we do try.

Number 4:  No sticking heads in the big ice box. Wiggles!

Number 5:  No making a makeshift bed out of empty trash bags. Wiggles!

That’s enough for now. Now that I see the rules written out, they look even more ridiculous than usual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Headrest – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Stay right where you are, Lady Human.

Me:  But I need to get up.

Stella:  Nope.

Me:  Yup.

Stella:  Nope.

Me: Yup. You can stay on the bed. I need to get up.

Stella:  But that will mess up everything. My head is comfortable right where it is. On your tummy.

Me:  I need to get up and that means taking my tummy with me.

Stella:  It is my headrest. Taking my headrest away is plain unfair.

Me:  Sorry. That’s the way it works.

Stella:  Not in my heavy headed world. Not everything is a good headrest for a bulldog. I will happily let you know when it is time for you to get up. Until then, relax and rest my head. Some day I will return the favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Slap Happy – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

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

Me:  Hey!

Stella:  Slap! Slap!

Me:  Hey, Stella! Cut it out!

Stella:  Cut what out? Slap! Slap! Slap!

Me:  That slapping! Oww! What’s the deal?

Stella:  Did I get your attention?

Me:  Yeah!

Stella:  That’s the deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bending Over Backward – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  What are you doing?

Stella:  Oh, this? This is my new pose. I bend back over your leg like this. Ahhh.

Me:  That looks uncomfortable.

Stella:  You should try it. Very relaxing.

Me:  Are you sure it doesn’t hurt to bend backward like that?

Stella:  It is fun. And it gives me the upside-down perspective on the world.

Me:  Upside-down can be confusing.

Stella:  Nonsense. Upside-down or right side up, it all looks crazy to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Zoomies – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There he goes again!

Me:  Who?

Stella:  Tall Man, of course. In and out. In and out. He’s got the zoomies.

Me:  Not exactly.

Stella:  It sure looks like the zoomies to me.

Me:  Well, this is different than when you all zoom around the yard preparatory to bathroom business.

Stella:  Why else is he doing it?

Me:  He is bringing necessaries into the house before the shelter in place order takes effect. After that, we need to stay here for all but absolute essentials.

Stella:  Shelter…in… place. Isn’t that what we do every day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H>J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

All Our Buckets Got Kicked Over – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ah-wooo! Ah-woooo!

Me:  Stella! Why are you howling?

Stella:  Because it’s the only thing to do!

Wiggles:  Listen to me! Listen to me!

Me:  Why are you barking?

Wiggles:  I must. Why aren’t you?

Me:  Because you are already doing enough of that for both of us.

Miss Sweetie:  Look!!!

Me:  At what? What now?

Miss Sweetie:  The cat is walking!

Me:  The cat is always walking!

Miss Sweetie:  She is taunting me! I will chase her!

Me:  Please don’t!

Tiger:  Yes, Sweetie! Chase! Chase! Chase!

Me:  Why are you egging her on? You’re not even chasing her yourself.

Tiger:  Why should I tire myself out?

Me:  Doodlebug? I don’t hear you joining in the clatter. Why are just lying there?

Doodlebug:  Hum…hum…mmmm.

Me:  Okay, what have you done? As if I don’t already know.

Doodlebug:  Outside seemed so far away.

Me:  What’s under your blanket? Oh, Doodle! Why didn’t you bark?

Doodlebug:  I would have said something, but everybody else was talking and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

Me:  What is causing all the caterwauling?

Miss Sweetie:  The cat.

Tiger:  The cat.

Wiggles: The cat.

Stella:  Not really, Lady Human. The cat is just an excuse. All our buckets got kicked over because buckets are fun to kick over and we had to kick them over because nobody else would.

Me:  That makes no sense, Stella.

Stella:  Sense? Really, Lady Human. What did you expect? We are bulldogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Bulldog Census – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, whatcha doin’?

Me:  Oh, filling out the Census. It’s just a form we complete every ten years.

Stella:  I am not ten years old yet.

Me:  Nope.

Tiger:  What is census? Can we eat it?

Me:  No, it is not edible. It is the way the government has of keeping count of everyone.

Miss Sweetie:  Ooooo! Ooooo! Count me! Count me!

Doodlebug:  Me, too! Don’t forget me!

Wiggles:  Was I counted last time?

Me:  No. None of you were here with us back then. In fact, none of you were on the earth ten years ago.

Stella:  We got left off the census. Put me down as an Olde English Bulldogge, beautiful and of royal lineage.

Tiger:  Don’t lie to the government.

Me:  Actually, there is no place on the form for listing or counting pets.

Doodlebug:  What?

Miss Sweetie:  No way!

Wiggles:  Not fair!

Tiger:  Don’t we count? No, I guess not.

Stella:  Typical humans! Thinking only of themselves!

Me:  It’s not a big deal, y’all. It’s not like you get anything from them.

Stella:  What? No treats? No special food? No toys?

Me:  Nope.

Stella:  Never mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Bizarre World of Cats – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have never understood cats. Well, to be precise, I have never understood cat. I have only ever known one cat. Moon Cat or as I like to call her now, Dummkopf.  That is a word from a human language that I don’t know, but I heard Lady Human use it and she says it means “Stupid Head”. That I understand.

Me:  What are you fussing about, Stella?

Stella:  Do you see the cat? Do you see what she is doing?

Me:  Whoa! Hold on there, Hon! That’s not yours.

Stella:  Finally. The human woke up. Why is the cat allowed to open your cabinet?

Me:  She isn’t. I’ve never seen her do that before.

Stella:  Okay, Lady Human, what do you have hidden in there that attracted the Dummkopf?

Me:  If she can open that cabinet, she is not a Dummkopf.

Stella:  Mmmm. Matter of opinion.

Me:  There is nothing in there that would interest cats.

Stella:  No food?

Me:  Never.

Stella:  No stupid feathery toys?

Me:  No.

Stella:  No other cats?

Me:  What? No! Just insurance policies and auto receipts and some old books…

Stella:  Rats?

Me:  What? Eeewww! No! At least, I don’t see any evidence of that. Yuck! Now I’ll be thinking about that all night.

Stella:  A random cabinet. A random cat. A random paw. The answer is plain. Cats are bizarre and live in a bizarre, sneaky world. All you have to figure out, Lady Human, is which cabinet is next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Ankle Hugger – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Knock, knock.

Me:  Who’s there?

Stella:  You know who. Hello.

Me:  Oh, okay, just come on in then.

Stella:   I did. Don’t you see me standing here? I like your little potty room.

Me:  You don’t usually come in here. But lately, you have been a veritable ankle hugger.

Stella:  I just want to know where you are.

Me:  Every moment?

Stella:  The humans are acting up. We are tense. I feel better when you are near me. It makes me feel like things are normal.

Me:  Folks are a little tense right now. I didn’t think about how sensitive you all are. I should have known that you would feel it.

Stella:  Please look into my big brown bulldog eyes and tell me that you know what will happen, that you understand it all, and that everything will be all right.

Me:  Stella, girl, I am looking into your big brown bulldog eyes. I do not know what will happen. I do not understand it all. But faith in the Great Creator tells me that everything will be all right. Does that help you?

Stella:  Yes. That’s why yours are my favorite ankles to hug.

Me:  So, we are going to keep meeting in here like this.

Stella:  Oh, yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What to Do with Tense Humans – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans are tense. Again.

Tiger:  Are they doing that stupid voting thing? They always act up during those times.

Stella:  Yeah, but that is not why they are acting up right now. It has something to do with toilet paper.

Miss Sweetie:  What is that?

Wiggles:  You know. That funny paper on a roll that hangs on the wall in their potty rooms.

Doodlebug:  The stuff that covers the floor when I hit it with my feet. That is fun stuff. The humans don’t seem to like that game.

Stella:  Lady Human seems to think that paper is important and must hang on the wall. Who understands humans? They are very weird.

Me:  What are you grumbling about?

Stella:  The humans are tense again, and that always makes us tense. What can we do to help you?

Me:  Not much right now. Just be your own adorable, lovable selves. That helps us a lot during tense times.

Tiger:  Lady Human, do you need the funny paper rolls? We can go dig some up in the yard.

Me:  Toilet paper? No, I found some at a store down the street yesterday after I got back from the feed store with your extra food. We have enough of your dog food for about 5 ½ weeks now.

Stella:  After that, will we eat toilet paper?

Doodlebug:  Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Fly Catching – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shoo! Get away!

Me:  I beg your pardon?

Stella:  Granted. Now why have you let so many flies settle here, Lady Human?

Me:  What makes you think I had anything to do with this?

Stella:  Humans control everything. Flies are part of that everything.

Me:  The chickens would be good at this. They’ll jump on any fly in a wink, but they can’t jump this high.

Stella:  Wings! They have wings!

Me:  You haven’t paid much attention to the chickens, have you? They can hop and jump, but they don’t fly.

Stella:  Not fair! Flies fly and chickens can’t?

Me:  That’s the way of it. We’ll just have to handle the fly crowd ourselves.

Stella:  We? What do I look like? A flying chicken?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

This Is Not A Hotel – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is a terrible hotel. My room has not been cleaned for days.

Me:  Uhhbbb…this is not a hotel.

Stella:  Oh, Lady Human. Of course, it is. It doesn’t look all fancy like those places on the Picture Box…which still freaks me out by the way…but it is my hotel. I have room service. I have a sunbathing area. There are midnight snacks.

Me:  Well, not exactly midnight. That’s a little late.

Stella:  Yes, that is why this is not a good hotel. The kitchen closes too early.

Me:  But the beds are soft.

Stella:  Mmmm…meh. I have to arrange my own blankets because the human never does it right.

Me:  I am the human who does it.

Stella:  I was trying to be polite. I understand that you don’t know how to run a hotel.

Me:  This is not a…

Stella: Don’t worry, Lady Human. I won’t tell anybody how bad the service is here. The pack and I already know. We love you anyway, but don’t expect any Happy Barks.

Me:  Happy Barks? You are rating me?

Stella: We’re bulldogs. We judge everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Land Grab – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Quick! Call the humans who wear shiny metal on their shirts! Someone has stolen a big hunk of our yard!

Me:  I can explain…

Wiggles:  Lady Human! I can’t get to my potty spot! What am I going to do?

Me:  You’ve still got the whole rest of the yard for your business.

Miss Sweetie:  But there is a tall fence around my best sunbathing spot!

Me:  There are plenty of other sunbath places, girl.

Tiger:  I don’t like it. A whole bunch of our land is gone.

Me:  No, not gone. Just fenced off for a while.

Doodlebug:  But why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Me:  Doodle! Enough.

Doodlebug:  Oh, okay.

Me:  Tall Man wants to plant a little garden this spring. To see if we can’t grow some vegetables. We’ve done it before, but not since you all came.

Stella:  Great! But why fence it off?

Me:  So it will not be trampled by your big bulldog feet.

Tiger:  No, we wouldn’t do something like that.

Me:  Uh-huh.

Stella:  What kind of meat will it grow?

Me:  Meat doesn’t grow in gardens.

Stella:  Awwww. Well fine then. Keep it fenced off. We are no longer interested.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sharing Is Caring – Conversations with Stella

 

20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  And…?

Stella:  I am not speaking with you. Hmmmph.

Me:  What have I done now?

Stella:  I am glad that you are taking responsibility for me not talking to you.

Me:  What did I do?

Stella:  You know what you did…

Me:  Stella!

Stella:  You haven’t been sharing!

Me:  Is this about the mocha? Because I explained that.

Stella:  Was that burrito made of chocolate?

Me:  Burrito? Oh, that. No, no chocolate in that.

Stella:  And when I sat patiently and looked longingly at you with my big bulldog eyes, did you even offer me a tiny pinch of it? A long wonderful package of meat and cheese and not one tiny little pinch for your best friend.

Me:  Truth be told, I don’t pinch off pieces of burrito even for my best human friends.

Stella:  Sharing is caring, Lady Human. Think about that the next time you won’t pinch a burrito.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 202 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Crackers and Coffee – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is in your cup, Lady Human? More to the point, may I have some?

Me:  This is mocha and no, I think it wouldn’t be good for you.

Stella:  No fair! Is it good for you?

Me:  Probably not as good as green tea or plain water would be, but I do enjoy the flavor of it.

Stella:  Why can’t I have some? I’m a good girl!

Me:  It has chocolate in it and chocolate is a no-no for dogs.

Stella:  I say yes-yes!

Me:  How about some cheddar crackers? You like those.

Stella:  Meh.

Me:  Are you turning down cheese crackers? Unheard of!!

Stella:  I am a connoisseur. The delight is in the pairing of flavors. Crackers by themselves. Blah!

Me:  Okay, I’ll just put these away.

Stella:  Wait! Let’s not be hasty!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Welcome Home, Stella! Five Years and Counting – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  It’s been five whole years since you came, Stella.

Stella:  No, I’ve only been here since yesterday.

Me:  Yesterday five years ago. I remember it like it was just yesterday.

Stella:  Yeah, like I said. Yesterday.

Me:  Still fuzzy on the element of time, aren’t you, girl?

Stella:  Tall Man brought me in. It was dark outside. You had a funny look on your face.

Me:  Your appearance was pretty sudden. I didn’t know you were coming. And it had been a bad day at my job.

Stella:  Your job is to take care of us.

Me:  But you all weren’t here then, were you? It had snowed, real actual snow, the day before you got here. Snow in March of all things. Should have known something special was going on.

Stella:  And Tall Man left me with you and went to get my food and my bed.

Me:  Yeah, arrangements for your arrival had not been made.

Stella:  And you made another funny face when I went potty on the floor. I am sorry about that. I didn’t know where the outside was.

Me:  And I cleaned it up. And I said, “That’s the last thing I’m doing for this dog.” But that turned out not to be true.

Stella:  And your grown-up girl puppy came in…

Me:  Ahem. Grown-up daughter. Not puppy.

Stella:  Same difference.

Me:  Not really.

Stella:  And she said, “Can we call her ‘Stella’?” And you did. And so I have been ever since. I don’t remember what my name was before. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Here I am Stella. Here I am home.

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Move Block Move Block – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wiggles is being pushy again. At least I know how to stay out of Lady Human’s way when she is moving.

Me: Wiggles, excuse me!

Wiggles:  Where ya going?

20151230_194410.jpg

Me:  Well, I’m trying put this up, but I can’t if you are blocking me.

Wiggles:  Let me go with you.

Me:  I’m crossing the kitchen. It’s only a couple of steps.

Wiggles:  I will protect you. You can thank me later.

Stella:  Wiggles! Move!

Wiggles:  I move when she moves.

Me:  I’m not moving at all right now. You are in front of my feet.

Wiggles:  Oh, all right. There. Where are you going next?

Me:  To the refrigerator.

Wiggles:  Oh, good. I’d like a long look inside that thing.

Me:  No, no bulldog faces in the ice box.

Wiggles:  Awww. Is that how you repay loyalty?

Me:  Loyalty as in blocking my every move?

Wiggles:  It’s my herding instinct kicking in. You are just a big ole sheep.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

By The Dawn’s Early Light – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What’s all that noise disturbing my beauty sleep?

Me:  Ugh. It’s the breakfast call.

Stella:  No, it’s not. The sky is still mostly dark.

Me:  It’s sunrise. Okay, all you mouthy bulldogs! Whose idea was it to move breakfast up?

Tiger:  Whatever do you mean, Lady Human?

Me:  What I mean is that breakfast has been getting earlier and earlier and now it’s at sunrise. I’m tired and I want to go back to bed.

Wiggles:  The sky is beautiful.

Me:  I think it will be just as beautiful half an hour from now.

Doodlebug:  But that wouldn’t be breakfast time.

Me:  Says who?

Doodlebug:  My tummy. It’s crying, Lady Human.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, no! His tummy is sad! Do something, Lady Human! Save Doodlebug’s tummy! And save my sad tummy, too.

Me:  I’d just appreciate it if breakfast didn’t get any earlier. But the sky is lovely. And the birds are singing. Look! There’s a lady cardinal in the top of the pecan tree and the light is shining just right so she’s all lit up. Morning has broken and life is moving all around us.

Stella:  Do you still feel as tired as you did? Do you still feel like going back to bed?

Me:  Maybe, but not right this second. Maybe after you all eat and go out and come back in. I’ll just wait for you out here.

Stella:  Everybody eat up and finish your business. Lady Human may want to stare at the sky, but I don’t. Last one back in bed is a rotten bulldog.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Emergency Food Run – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have just seen a terrible sight. The food bucket is empty.

Tiger:  Well, that happens, but the big metal food bucket still has food in it, right?

Wiggles:  Please say yes. Please say yes.

Stella:  No.

Doodlebug:  But Lady Human always has food up her sleeves. Right?

Tiger:  What do you think she is? A big metal can of food?

Miss Sweetie:  Lady Human will take care of it. Right?

Me:  I’m on my way now. Got to get there before they close. Two big fifty pound bags of dog food on the way.

Stella:  What if they don’t have it? What if they ran out?

Me:  There will always be an alternative. Don’t worry. Got to go.

Stella:  What does ‘alternative’ mean?

Me:  I’ll find some cans of soft food to tie us over. Or some dry food that will do for a while.

Stella:  Don’t worry, Lady Human. Bring as much soft food as you can. We will tough it through.

Me:  Okay, I’m on my way.

Stella:  Phew! That was a close one. Let’s all hope they are out of the regular stuff. Soft food. Tough it through? We will be living high on the hog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Happy 6th Birthday, Wiggles! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:  Happy Birthday, Wiggles! Number 6!

Stella:  Why wasn’t I informed of this?

Me:  You don’t keep a calendar and I didn’t think it was necessary…

Stella:  Not necessary to wish one of my kingdom members a special birthday greeting?

Me:  Well, okay. Go ahead then.

Stella:  Go ahead what?

Miss Sweetie:  Is it my birthday?

Me:  No, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Why not?

Me:  These things happen on a schedule.

Doodlebug:  What do we get for Wiggles’ birthday?

Tiger:  Is there a cake? Humans always have cake for these things.

Me:  No, no cake, but something I think you will all like. Turkey meat!

Wiggles:  Me! Me! Me!

20151230_194410.jpg

Me:  Yes, and since it is your birthday, you get a double portion.

Tiger:  Double portion? What does that mean?

Stella:  I think it means that the rest of us are getting cheated.

Me:  Happy 6th, Wiggles!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.