Mud Baths – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        I have a question.

Stella:    Interruptions, interruptions. Constant human disruptions.

Me:        Have you gotten into rhymes?

Stella:    I haven’t gotten into anything today except mud, which, by the way, I would appreciate you cleaning up.

Me:        Wash your feet? Sure, I can…

Stella:    No, I took care of my own feet, thank you very much. I mean I would appreciate you cleaning up the mud outside.

Me:        I think that is a little outside my abilities. We will just wait for the dry air and the sun to do their jobs.

Stella:    I ask for a simple favor and what do I get? Nothing. Typical.

Me:        You want me, little old me, to clean up all the mud outside?

Stella:    Well put. Of course, you are not THAT little, Lady Human.

Me:        The whole ground is made up of dirt. You add water like the rain we had this morning. Result? Mud.

Stella:    Let me see if I understand. Rain, also known as sky water, plus dirt, also known as…dirt, equals mud, also known as yucky dirt.

Me:        That’s about it.

Stella:    And you are a human and can, therefore, do anything, yet you refuse to do a small thing like clean up the muddy mess outside.

Me:        Let’s go back over the whole human thing. Humans cannot…I repeat for the umpteenth time, CANNOT do just anything, period.

Stella:    Nonsense. I see you do the most extraordinary things all the time. What is a little mud?

Me:        How do you expect me to dry up mud instantly?

Stella:    Simple. Use your big human mouth to blow the dirt dry.

Me:        I thought you bulldogs were the ones with the big mouths.

Stella:    Now you are just being insulting. We would never waste our breath on such a dirty job.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Must Humans Sing? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have complained about this before.

Me:        Enlighten me. There are so many things that fall in that category.

Stella:    Human singing. I asked for ear plugs to protect against chicken squawking, but they will work against human singing, too. By the way, I have not seen those ear plugs yet. Hint. Hint.

Me:        I’m not turning ear plugs over to a bulldog. They would turn into a snack and then a problem.

Stella:    How am I to protect my precious cute little ears from human singing then?

Me:        Are you complaining about the old musical that is playing right now? Because that is the only human singing going on. I am not singing.

Stella:    And for that, Lady Human, we are all grateful. But right now, I mean the humans singing on the Picture Box.

Me:        They sing beautifully. How can you not like…?

Stella:    Do you have dog ears? Can you hear what we hear? All those high notes assaulting us?

Me:        I do like musicals. You can retreat to the other room if the sounds are bothering you.

Stella:    Why can’t we just turn it off? Why must humans sing at all?

Me:        Music is a gift from the LORD. We should enjoy it. It is part of our lives.

Stella:    Life is good. The Great Creator is good. His gifts are good. If you would just tone it down a little bit, especially during nap time.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Squawky Day – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I want earplugs.

Me:        Why? Because the pack barks so loudly?

Stella:    No. Barking is a lovely sound. I need earplugs to block out squawking. Chicken squawking.

Me:        Yeah, I noticed that today. I think they were mad because their breakfast was running late.

Stella:    And whose fault is that?

Me:        Mine. I took a little time to move the new 50-pound bag of chicken feed into place.

Stella:    50 pounds! That’s as heavy as I am. Cool.

Me:        I think you are easier to carry. You are more compact.

Stella:    Was that the big bag that you were dancing with?

Me:        Did it look like dancing? It felt like wrestling.

Stella:    Well, next time, do it sooner.

Me:        Oh, of course, Your Majesty. Pardon me. So sorry that your sensitive ears were inconvenienced.

Stella:    I pardon you.

Me:        You know, the next time they start squawking, you can go out and tell them to quiet down. They might listen to you.

Stella:    Chickens listen to a bulldog? Of course, they should. But would they? I doubt it. Have you seen how tiny their heads are? Their brains are just as small.

Me:        Small heads or not, chickens are very intelligent.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        They can play tiny pianos.

Stella:    With their scrawny feet or with their sharp, hard mouths?

Me:        With their beaks.

Stella:    Showoffs. That’ s easy if you have a pointy face.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Booties Are For Babies – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs. Lady Human, the sky spit ice on my chair.


Me:        That’s my chair, and yes, a little ice was on it for a very short time.

Stella:    You know the saying: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

Me:        No.

Stella:    Well, it goes like this: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. It’s an old bulldog saying.

Me:        No doubt it is. I’m going with an older human saying. What’s mine is mine.

Stella:    Oh, all right. In that case, the sky spit ice on YOUR chair. Worse. The sky made my feet cold.

Me:        The sleet…

Stella:    The what?

Me:        The icy sky spittle did not last long at all on the ground. About the only thing I can do to help on cold days is to put your booties on you. They will protect your feet for the short time you are out.

Stella:    Are booties those weird little softie shoes that you kept trying to sneak on my feet the other week when the snow that was promised to us never showed up?

Me:        Yeah. As I recall, you weren’t too fond of them.

Stella:    What is to be fond of? They are weird little shoes. They look like blue and black fish that have swallowed my feet.


Me:        They aren’t supposed to be stylish. They are supposed to cover your feet in bad weather.

Stella:    If you like them so much, you wear them.

Me:        They don’t come near to fitting me and I already have winter boots.

Stella:    And I’ll bet that yours don’t look like blue and black fish that are eating your feet.

Me:        It’s either booties or cold feet. Your choice.

Stella:    Booties are for babies, not bulldogs! Wait! The human baby that visits us, does she have booties? Does she need them? Do her feet get cold? Oh, no! I don’t want that! She can take mine.

Me:        She has lots of socks and even some shoes now. But thank you, it was a very kind offer.

Stella:    Not so much. I thought it might be a way to get rid of those ugly booties.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Cat Dance – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Today I have witnessed something horrible that I never thought I would see.

Me:        What horrible thing was that? I can’t imagine. Was it the large pile of poo by the back door that I had to step over?

Stella:    Of course not. Events like that are what give your life meaning. No, I am referring to the disgusting display that Snoopey and Moon the Cat put on.


20160121_174603.jpgMe:        They have been getting along famously of late.

Stella:    Fame does not excuse their bizarre behavior. Today…dare I say it…they were dancing…together.

Me:        I thought that was kind of cute. And, to be honest, it wasn’t much of a dance.

Stella:    Nose to nose. Cheek to cheek, or in a bulldog’s case, cheek to jowl. Step to the right. Step to the left. And naturally, before it ended, Moon the Cat hissed at Snoopey. Typical.

Me:        Eh, Moon hisses at me on a regular basis, too. I’m used to it.

Stella:    Which is one of the problems with our world today, Lady Human. I will never get used to a cat hissing at me. How vulgar! Whatever happened to good manners?

Me:        Between bulldogs and cats, I’m not sure good manners ever existed so…why not just accept that Snoopey and Moon are friends. When that happened, I don’t know, but it’s kind of nice to have one bulldog that truly keeps the peace in the house.

Stella:    Snoopey? Peace? Really? Wait. Maybe I’m confused. Is there another Snoopey around here that I don’t know about?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Thingamajigs and Whirligigs – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The ridiculous cat, Moon, is sitting on the kitchen windowsill, taking a sunbath when there is no sun. Which proves my point.

Me:        And that is…

Stella:    What?

Me:        The point you say you proved.

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        Stella, something about the cat, wasn’t it?

Stella;    Oh, yeah! Cats are dumb. Look at her. Sitting there, all stupid and catlike, staring at that human gadget whirligig which, like all human gadgets, is doing some inexplicable thing.


Me:        Your vocabulary has improved.

Stella:    Thank you. I’ve been watching a lot of the Picture Box. You can get really smart by watching lots of shows.

Me:        Well, I’ll reserve judgment on that. And the cat is not stupid unless I am stupid, too. That is a radiometer and when the light hits it just right, it spins inside its glass globe.

Stella:    The light spins the little fan?

Me:        There is a little bit of sun coming in. You can’t see it from where you are standing down there.

Stella:    How does it spin?

Me:        There are these things called electrons. They are invisible to the naked eye.

Stella:    Our eyes are naked?

Me:        To be honest, not just your eyes are naked.

Stella:    How embarrassing. If these elections…

Me:        Electrons.

Stella:    If these electrons are invisible to naked people’s eyes, then you did not make them. Are they another one of those secrets the Great Creator tucks into things to surprise us?

Me:        Yes, I do believe so.

Stella:    But there aren’t any more invisible things in here like those electron thingamajigs.

Me:        Actually…

Stella:    NO! I don’t want to hear it!

Me:        What are you afraid of?

Stella:    What if there are…you know…Shhh! Invisible cats.

Me:        There are no such things as invisible cats.

Stella:    How do you know? They are invisible and your eyes are naked.

Me:         Why are you whispering?

Stella:    Moon is listening.

Moon the Cat:   Meow!

Stella:    You see! She was eavesdripping.

Me:        Eavesdropping.

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toe Pops – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now that breakfast has been concluded successfully, which means without any disasters or weirdness…Sweetie. Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    Hmmm?

20170315_170602.jpgStella:    I spoke too soon. What are you doing? What’s wrong with your feet?

Miss Sweetie:    COLD! WET! BRRRR! So, I am licking them warm with my warm, wet tongue. Mmmm. They taste good. But so cold.

Stella:    You were not out that long. My feet are not cold.

Snoopey:   I know why. Look at the puppy pool.

Me:        Oh. I see. Wet footprints leading away from it. It has rain in it.

Miss Sweetie:    I love the puppy pool. It is always so comfortable.


Me:        It is always comfortable in the summer when the temperature outside is 100 degrees, not in the dead of winter when the temperature outside is…well, less than 100 degrees. We never know for sure what to count on with the weather here. It was 38 this morning, Sweetie. That’s too cold for swimming or wading.

Miss Sweetie:    The water looked so good, but now my feet are cold.

Tiger:     Did you happen to notice that none of the rest of us stepped in it?

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, I thought you were saving it for me.

Snoopey:    We aren’t THAT nice, Sweetie.

Wiggles:   Do you want me to chew on your feet? That will warm them up quick.

Me:        No, Wiggles, I don’t recommend that. Sweetie, would you like some warm towels? I will give you some if you promise not to eat them.

Miss Sweetie:    That sounds good, except for the not eating them part. I don’t think I can promise that far.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Gifts of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…

Me:        I have an announcement and some questions.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        For the cat.

Stella:    You are asking a cat questions? Total waste of time. If I were you, Lady Human, I would start with the announcement.

Me:        This morning at breakfast…

Stella:    Yes, breakfast was incredibly slow this morning.

Me:        Thank you for noticing, Stella. The reason for the delay is that someone had cut a slit into the new bag of dog food and I had to deal with the literal fallout.

Stella:    TALL MAN! Blame him! He’s not here!

Me:        No, this bag weighs 50 pounds. Tall Man would not have cut the bag in the center. He would have opened it from the top and, if he needed to cut it, he would have used a knife which would have made a neat, clean cut. This cut was only a few inches long and slightly jagged.

Stella:    Don’t look at me.

Me:        I’m not. There were a number of pokes on the bag, from something small and sharp. Like something kept hitting it. I suspect you, Moon the Cat.


Stella:    J’accuse!

Me:        Wait! What?

Stella:    I heard it on the Picture Box. It’s a human word for when you want to yell at somebody.

Me:        I see. Well, Moon, did you cut the dogfood bag open with your claws?

Moon:  Meow.

Stella:    You see. I told you. Typical. Cats won’t answer a straight question with a straight answer.

Me:        She could be saying, ‘Yes’. My understanding of cat is not that good.

Stella:    Why in the world would she open the bag? She doesn’t eat that food. And a good thing for her, too!

Me:        You saw where the bag was.

Stella:    On the floor by Snoopey’s crate.

Me:        And I had noticed a great interest by the bulldogs, except for you, right by Snoopey’s crate the past few days.

Stella:    Sneaky little cat! She opened it for her secret friend, Snoopey! That means…that makes…Aaaaghh! Snoopey is a traitor to bulldogs everywhere!

Me:        She may not have chosen this friend. This friend may have chosen her.

Stella:    A cat? I refuse to believe it. That cat wants something. Why else the bribe? Admit it, Moon! You are trying to get bulldog favor, buying it with the best of all bulldog bribes – food! What have you to say for yourself?

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Never Pee in Your Sunbathing Spot! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hear ye! Hear ye! I have an announcement to make!

Me:        Announce away.

Snoopey:   Oh, no, not again.

Tiger:     Do I have to listen? No, I don’t.

Wiggles:   Places to go, people to see. Bye.

Doodlebug:   Nap time!

Miss Sweetie:    Oh, good! Aunt Stella has something new to say!

Stella:    Never pee in your sunbathing spot!

Me:        Are we talking about pee? Again? How many times are we going to talk about pee?

Stella:    Pee is an important topic. Never forget.

Snoopey:   Sunbathing is important. Food is important. Sleep is important. Chew toys are important. Pee…yep, pee is important. Lady Human, I just realized. I need to go outside, please.

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    Don’t pee in your sunbathing spot! More importantly, don’t pee in MY sunbathing spot!

Me:        Is this a real problem?

Stella:    Have you seen the patio today?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Secrets of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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

Me: Why are you whispering? What’s wrong?

Stella: Shhh! Wrong? Something is very, very wrong.

Me: Wait a minute. I have to let Tiger out to potty.

Stella: No! Wait!

Tiger: Charge!

Snoopey: Get away! Get away!

Me: What is going on here? Tiger, get back!

Moon the Cat: Meow.

Me: Wait! Moon, where are you?

Moon the Cat: Meow.


Stella: Ask a rational question and get a cat answer.

Me: What? What are you doing in Snoopey’s crate? With Snoopey?

Snoopey: Nothing. We were just sitting in here. UNTIL TIGER SHOWED UP AND TRIED TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!

Me: Tiger! Come back!

Tiger: That cat is MY friend! Why does Snoopey have her trapped?

Me: She’s not trapped…apparently. Neutral corners!

Tiger: Oh! All right!

Me: Snoopey! Come out!

Snoopey: Okey dokey.

Me: Moon! What are you doing in there?

Moon the Cat: Just sitting here. What about it?

Me: Come out.

Moon the Cat: Come out what?

Me: Uggghh! Come out…PLEASE!

Moon the Cat: Oh, very well.

Stella: Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: Moon, how did you get inside Snoopey’s crate?

Moon the Cat: Snoopey wasn’t using it. I am Snoopey’s friend. I figured she wouldn’t mind if I went in and waited around for her.

Me: That is terribly risky. What if she did not want you in her crate? What if she came back to it in a bad mood?

Moon the Cat: We are not like humans. Snoopey is my friend. I am hers. You didn’t even notice any difference when she went into the crate. All was well.

Me: I didn’t see you in there. And all was well until Tiger came over to check it out.

Stella: I tried to warn you, Lady Human. Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: I can’t even believe what I just saw.

Snoopey: What’s not to believe?

Me: You and Moon, together! In your crate! And totally at peace!

Snoopey: Yep.

Me: I’ve never seen that before!

Snoopey: Well, I had never invited her before. She must have accepted my invitation while I was outside.

Stella: Snoopey, you and I are going to have a LONG, LONG TALK about what it means to be a bulldog.

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

That’s My Baby! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The human puppy visited again today.

Me:        Stella…

Stella:    Oh, all right. Lady Human insists that humans do not have puppies, so I will humor her. The little human visited again today. Humans do not grow as fast as dogs which means that the human baby is still very small compared to a grown human. They don’t speak as clearly as grown humans either.

Me:        And this baby does not understand bulldogs or their language yet. She thinks you all are just very loud.

Stella:    Do we scare her? Are our faces too ugly for her?

Me:        You are the largest dogs she has ever seen. I don’t think you scare her as much as you concern her. And no, I don’t think she considers you ugly, just different. She is still very young.

Stella:    How long did it take for her eyes to open?

Me:        Humans are born with their eyes open.

Stella:    No! Really? That’s cool. The only thing we have open those first days are our noses and our mouths.

Me:        The most important items for a puppy, no doubt.

Stella:    I heard the human puppy…sorry, I mean the baby. Humans are so picky about what they call things. Anyway, I stayed real quiet outside her door. She was making the most wonderful noises. They weren’t human words that I know, but they were beautiful. They sounded so…bulldoggy.

Me:        They did?

Stella:    Yes. Especially when she got to one sound that I love and recognize so well. It was when she said, “Pffft!” It made me so proud. She will make a great bulldog someday.

Me:        Stella, we’ve talked about why that won’t happen.

Stella:    I know. I know. Still, she can say “Pffft!” at such an early age. That’s my human baby!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wash Your Own Face! – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Nope. Nope.

Me:        Oh, come on, girl. It won’t take but a few seconds.

Stella:    Nope. My face belongs to me.

Me:        Does the dirt in your folds and in your nose rope belong to you, too?

Stella:    If you want to wash a face, wash your own.

Me:        I do. Nobody else offers and I can’t wait around.

Stella:    Hands away! Hands away!

Me:        No, Stella, it’s face washing time.

Stella:    I’ll show you! I’ll scrunch my face up.

Me:        I am patient. You can’t hold that scrunch for long.

Stella:    Hey, I am a bulldog. I can scrunch my face forever. How about washing Sweetie’s face? She’s silly. She’ll let you.

Miss Sweetie:    Sure, Lady Human!  Here is my face. Wipe away.


Me:        I will in a little bit, Sweetie. We have to catch Stella while we can.

Stella:    I don’t understand you, Sweetie. Allowing face washing without a struggle. Pffft! Your attitude is most un-bulldoggy.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Flippin’ Out – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        I have a question.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        It’s not a big deal. I was just wondering…

Stella:    Spit it out. That’s what a bulldog would do.

Me:        Every morning you stretch and yawn and slowly greet the day, but when it’s bedtime, you come rip-roaring into my room…

Stella:    Yep.

Me:        You jump onto my bed…

Stella:    With help from my boosters.

Me:        And you roll and flip and jump and paw…

Stella:    And dance and laugh and drool and…

Me:        It’s bedtime though. Time to wind down, not to get wound up.

Stella:    And turn and turn and whirl…

Me:        But it’s nighttime. I would think you would be tired. I sure am.

Stella:    And prance and squirm around…

Me:        There is an old proverb. “All the speed is in the morning.” All your speed is at night.

Stella:    Proverb? Is that food?

Me:        No. Yes. Food for thought, yes.

Stella:    But it’s not like chicken.

Me:        No.

Stella:    Well, you can keep that then.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Random Gifts from the Sky – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        Can someone tell me what went on outside?

Stella:    Many mysterious things go on outside, Lady Human. Can you be specific?

Me:        Yes. I found a small apple which had one piece sliced off, obviously by a human. Alongside it was a long scrap of orange fabric.

Stella:    Fascinating.

Snoopey:   Not really. Where did you find this, Lady Human?

Wiggles:    They were under the pecan tree. Nobody, no human that is, threw them there. The trajectory was wrong.

Me:        Trajectory? You know about trajectory?

Wiggles:   Common sense, Lady Human.

Miss Sweetie:    Is this a trick, Lady Human? Did you drop them, so we could find them? I mean, fruit? Really?

Me:        No, Sweetie, I did not drop them out there or anywhere. And they weren’t out there early this morning.

Tiger:    Maybe Jerky McSquirrelyFace dropped them from the tree. A sort of peace offering?

Stella:    Yuck. He may have poisoned them. Where are they, Lady Human?

Me:        I threw them away immediately and washed my hands. There were long, thin scrapes on the apple and an edge had been bitten off by a small mouth.

Stella:    The mystery of the apple and the cloth. Jerky could have done it. I doubt it was a peace offering though. Wait. What about the hawks? They could have dropped them.

Tiger:   Why would they give up a good piece of fruit?

Stella:    The crows could have been chasing them. And the hawks prefer fresh meat, not nasty throw aways like apples. They like things like…small bulldogs! NOOO!!!

Me:        No problem, Stella. The hawks are not coming for you.

Stella:    Well, who did drop the apple and the cloth? Did the Great Creator drop it as a gift?

Me:        Not impossible, but generally the Great Creator uses humans to deal with fruit and cloth deliveries. Bottom line, if any of you find anything weird outside, please don’t eat it. Please alert me or Tall Man so we can check it out. Okay?

Stella:    Sure.

Tiger:     Yeah.

Snoopey:   Okay.

Miss Sweetie:    Maybe.

Doodlebug:   I’ll think about it. Depends on how good, or bad, it smells. The worse, the better.



Copyright 2018 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved.




When in Doubt, Spit It Out! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Pffft! Phew! Be careful what you allow in your mouth!

Me:        Hey! What’s the problem?

Stella:    Pffft! Phew!

Me:        You spit out your joint support supplement. I mean you really spit it out, like 6 inches worth. I don’t understand. You love those!

Stella:    What about me spitting it out do you not understand? When in doubt, spit it out.

Me:        What’s wrong with it?

Stella:    Where shall I begin? It tastes nasty.

Me:        But you liked it before.

Stella:    Tastes change. What can I say?

Me:        It’s good for your joints.

Stella:    You take it. It can be good for your joints instead.

Me:        It’s for dogs.

Stella:    Yeah, I’ll bet you tasted it and found out how nasty it is.

Me:        No, I didn’t.

Stella:    Well, try it. Then you will know what I have been putting up with.

Me:        What if…

Stella:    Don’t even think about it. I know what you are plotting. You are going to hide it in a piece of cheese or meat. Tasty, tasty cheese. Wonderful, aromatic meat. Mmmmm. No! No! Save your cheese. Save your meat. Give them to me later when you are not trying to fool me with a nasty hidden pill.

Me:        Well, here. At least take this piece of banana.

Stella:    Might as well. Banana is not my favorite, but…(chomp). Mmmm. Sweet. Soft. Wait. There was a lump in the middle. What have you done, Lady Human?

Me:        You had to take your flea, tick, heartworm medicine sometime, so…

Stella:    Awwwww! Fooled! No! I’ve already swallowed it.

Me:        Everything’s fine then. Done. No pests.

Stella:    It’s all the way down the pipe. Unconstitutional! I’ve been deprived of my God-given right to spit it out.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cut the Humans A Little Slack – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I have something to say.

Tiger:   You always have something to say.

Snoopey:   Yeah, that never seems to be a problem with you.

Tiger:   Just with us. We have to listen to you.

Snoopey:   For once, AND ONLY ONCE, Tiger and I are in agreement.

Tiger:   Don’t worry. It won’t happen again.

Snoopey:   Agreed. Oooop!

Stella:    Here’s what I have to say! Cut back on the how you pick on the humans! All the criticism and such.

Wiggles:   I don’t criticize humans. I like them just fine.

Doodlebug:   Yeah, they’re all right. The food is almost always on time and they don’t allow any cat hair in it.

Miss Sweetie:    And I like the way Lady Human wipes my neck off after I soak my head in my water bowl. That feels good.

Stella:    I’m talking about no criticizing things like the human singing. No barking or, even worse, howling when Lady Human breaks into one of her versions of some old song nobody has ever heard of but her.

Snoopey:   I don’t do that.

Tiger:     I don’t do that.

Snoopey:   Wait. Is that another agreement?

Tiger:     I don’t think so.

Snoopey:   Good.

Wiggles:   I don’t do my howl bark when Lady Human sings. Usually because I’m asleep.

Miss Sweetie:   I like Lady Human’s songs. They make no sense, so I don’t have to figure out what she is saying.

Snoopey: Hold on just a bloomin’ minute here. None of us were howling or barking at Lady Human’s singing today. Just you! You howled out.

Stella:    Well, I had to say SOMETHING. Did you hear her? I was simply making a public service announcement. “Watch out! Cover your ears! Lady Human is singing!” There. You’re welcome.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hey! Let Go of My Paw! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I like my freedom. Everybody should. Which is why…hey, give it back!

Me:        Just a second.

Stella:    No, it’s already been a second. I know enough about human time to know that.

Me:        Hold on.

Stella:    Hold on to what? My paw? Let it go.

Me:        I will.

Stella:    Promises, promises. Give it back.

Me:        I have to do this.

Stella:    No, you don’t. My paw is MY paw. You keep pulling this trick. You grab one of my poor old paws and you slip out that clipper device like I don’t know what it is, and you start to snip, snip, snip.

Me:        I have to hurry to get your nails clipped. You start to pull away immediately.

Stella:    Well, how would you feel if somebody grabbed one of your paws? Would you just let them pull on it and clip away at your nails?

Me:        I kind of wish somebody would.

Stella:    Okay, hand over that mean-looking thing in your hand and I’ll go to town.

Me:        Go to town? You know that saying?

Stella:    Sure, I do. “Go to town” means “do something stupid as fast as you can”. It’s a human thing.




Copyright 2018 H J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Word In Edgewise – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Let me begin by saying…

Snoopey:   I have a question…

Stella:    …that this has been a trying week, what with all the cold weather…

Snoopey:   Yes, but…

Stella:    I vote that we all get new extra blankets so that the next cold snap goes almost without notice. Of course, I spend my nights in Lady Human’s room, so I am fine anyway…

Snoopey:   I do, too, but that’s not what…

Stella:   …but thick new blankets for everyday use…

Snoopey:   Can I just…

Stella:    That’s like Christmas all over again seven days a week.

Snoopey:   Awwww, I give up.

Me:        Snoopey, girl. What’s wrong?

Stella:    Nothing. She just wants to interrupt and complain as usual.

Me:        Stella, cut it out. Let Snoopey have a word.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Snoopey, what do you need?


Snoopey:   May I go potty? I need to go potty right now.

Me:        YES! ABSOLUTELY! Here! Door’s open! Go! Go! Go! Oh, my word!

Stella:    That’s the same as cussing, Lady Human.

Me:        Okay, forgive me. But once in a while, Stella, somebody else needs to get a word in edgewise.

Stella:    Seems to me that she can go sit by the door if she needs to go out. Why does she need to talk about it?



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Where’s My Snow Dog? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I am disappointed. Where is the snow I was promised? Where is my Snow Dog that you promised to make for me?

Me:        The snow flew over us during the night and landed on our neighbors to the south.

Stella:    But you said that the snow was coming along with some delightful ice.

Me:        Well, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. We didn’t even get enough to cover the underside of your puppy pool.


Stella:    But you said…

Me:        All the reports pointed to snow.

Stella:    Lady Human! FOR SHAME! You lied to a dog!

Me:        I didn’t lie. The weather forecasters kept saying that we would have 1 – 2 inches of snow here.

Stella:    Lady Human! FOR SHAME! You let weather forecasters lie to a dog!

Me:        They didn’t lie either. The weather just didn’t follow through with its promise. There was snow. Just farther south. It skipped us…again.

Stella;    I want you to march right down there to those people who stole our snow and get it back.

Me:        Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Let them enjoy their snow day.

Stella:    And what about MY snow day? I had all these plans.

Me:        Like what?

Stella:    Breakfast.

Me:        You already had breakfast.

Stella:    Yeah, but there was no snow to stare at through the glass. And what about potty time?

Me:        You’ve already had that, too.

Stella:    Yeah, but there was no snow to freeze my feet and I was looking forward to that. And what about my softie toys?

Me:        What about them? They are all right there.

Stella:    But now there is no snow to dunk them in and they were hoping to be introduced to snow. They are so disappointed.

Me:        There’s no mud aftermath to drag them through either.

Stella:    Yes, and there’s that. They really missed out. And what about nap time?

Me:        I dare say nap time will go on today as scheduled.

Stella:    Maybe, but I won’t get to nap in snow.

Me:        You weren’t going to get to nap in the snow anyway. It’s too friggin’ cold outside.

Stella:    Still, it was something to dream about. And then there is the worst thing of all that the No Snow Day has brought. Where, oh where is my little Snow Dog?

Me:        You’ve got me there. There isn’t even enough for a good snowball, much less a Snow Dog. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Stella:    Do you mean to say that this horrible disappointment is going to happen again?

Me:        More than likely. And then one day, probably in March when it is least expected, we will wake up to a lovely blanket of snow and/or ice that no one forecast, and we can make your Snow and/or Ice Dog. And here’s some news. The sun is out, and the sky is clear.

Stella;    Great!  Sunbath time!

Me:        It’s 19 degrees.

Stella:    And your point is?




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






What Are You Looking For? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is totally distracted which is terrible because it means that she is not paying attention to me. What is so fascinating that it would take your attention away from me, I want to know?

Me:        Weather.

Stella:    That makes no sense. According to you, we have weather every day. It isn’t even daytime anymore. The sun went to bed a long time ago.

Me:        Changing weather.

Stella:    Changing into what?

Me:        Winter. Real winter.

Stella:    Have we been having fake winter? Because it has seemed very cold to me lately.

Me:        We have had an ice-less winter thus far. Rain only.  That may change shortly.

Stella:    Will the sky spit ice blocks like the ones you give us to lick on during the hot times?

Me:        Ice cubes? No, I sure hope not. No, this will be freezing rain and snow. Do you remember snow?

Stella:    Is it good to eat?  Because if it isn’t good to eat, my memory is pretty short.

Me:        The last time we saw significant snow was the day before you came to live with us. I can understand if you don’t remember. I don’t know if there was snow where you were that day.

Stella:    I don’t remember much before I came here. I remember a few things. What does snow look like?

Me:        It is cold and soft and white. When it falls, it is not like rain. It doesn’t run away. It makes no sound. The whole world goes silent. It piles up on the ground and on roofs and on roads. It crunches a little when you step on it. Your feet make deep prints in it so that you can see every step you have taken.

Stella:    That sounds wonderful. Can you see it yet?

Me:        No. But the rain has started. Tall Man called. Rain is failing and freezing as it hits the ground where he is.

Stella:    No! He needs to come home now! Why is he still out there?

Me:        He is helping some friends fix their truck.

Stella:    No! Let the friends fix their own truck. He should not be out when water is freezing from the sky.

Me:        He’ll be all right.

Stella:    I will wait up for him.

Me:        If you wish.

Stella:    Can you see it yet? The real winter?

Me:        No, but I can feel it. The rain has started. Tonight, it will freeze.

Stella:    What will become of us?

Me:        We will sleep and, when we wake, the world will look very different.

Stella:    What will we do?

Me:        Tomorrow, if enough snow falls, we can make a snowman for the first time in years.

Stella:    Forget that! We will make a snow dog! Better use of the precious snow.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.