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.

What’s Wrong with Your Head? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhh! Stop barking! Whisper!

Tiger:     But there’s something wrong with Lady Human’s head.

Wiggles:   I think she is just being human. Humans are weird.


Stella:    Sweetie! Quiet down! Maybe it will go back to normal.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I have to say something! Maybe we can bark it back to normal.

Doodlebug:   I think part of her head is missing, the part that used to have long strings hanging from it.

Tiger:   Those strings are what the humans call ‘hair’, though we know that hair doesn’t look like that. It looks like what we wear all over.

Wiggles:   I think something is sitting on her head. I know! One of those birds built a nest there!

Stella:    Hush! Humans are particular about how they look. She’d be horrified to know a bird built a nest on her head. I don’t want to hurt Lady Human’s feelings. She doesn’t seem to know how bizarre she looks.

Me:        Okay, what is all the barking about? And why all the sidelong looks? Is something wrong?

Stella:    I hate to be the one to tell you, but something is terribly wrong with your head. There! I said it!

Me:   You mean this towel?

Miss Sweetie:    What happened to the rest of your head? There! I said it!  You heard me say it!

Me:        Nothing’s wrong with my head. I just washed my hair and I put a towel around it to catch the drips. I guess I don’t walk through the house like this often enough for you to remember. Look! I’ll take it off.

Stella:    NO! OH, THE HORROR! Wait! Your hair is all stringy and wet. Your head is still there.

Me:        As I have been trying to tell you…

Stella:    Okay then. Never mind. Everybody go back to real life. Lady Human is fine. Nothing to see here. I don’t know why you all got so upset. Silly bulldogs.

Me:        How about you, Stella? Are you all right?

Stella:    I should have known, Lady Human, that you would never go walking around with a weird head. That’s not the way you are. You always make sure that your head is on straight.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Head Butting – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Why are you rubbing your head, Lady Human? And why are you scrunching your face up in that weird way that means something is wrong?

Me:        We had a little collision outside.

Tiger:     Yeah. Was that what happened?

Stella:    What have you two been up to? Lady Human, you’re all wet. So is Tiger. Is it raining that hard?

Me:        No, not rain. Ow. I was washing out the chickens’ water contraption. And Tiger loves the water hose.

Tiger:     Yeah, the funnest fun there is. You are really hard-headed, Lady Human.

Me:        Yeah, I’ve gotten that way since becoming acquainted with bulldogs.

Tiger:     Or maybe we got hard-headed since knowing you.

Me:        I don’t think so. You all bring a long line of hard heads to the table.

Stella:    Table? What’s on the table? Is it food?

Me:        No, just another human expression. So, Tiger was playing in the water while I was washing out the chicken water…

Stella:    Contraption. I always knew that’s what that was.

Me:        And I bent down at the same time Tiger raised up and…

Stella:    Ka-bang.

Me:        Yep. Ka-boom.

Stella:    Two hard heads colliding. No wonder you were making a face.

Me:        And the hose went a little wild…

Stella:    And you both got soaked.

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    You could have just played in the rain.

Me:        That wouldn’t have cleaned and filled the chicken water…

Stella:    Contraption.

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Which all goes to show you, Lady Human, don’t try to match heads with a bulldog. You’ll end up with a headache and all wet to boot.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Little Dog Lost – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There is a strange barking outside. A strange dog is here. Lady Human! I know what you’re up to! No more bulldogs!

Me:        She’s not a bulldog, Stella. Just a little dog lost. From the looks of her, she has been on the road a long time by herself. She’s what we call a stray.

Stella:    Why? Where does she live? Why is she here?

Me:        I believe the LORD wants us to get her to a safe place. If I had not been standing  exactly where I was exactly when I was, I would not have seen her. She was walking past and would have kept on going if we hadn’t called to her. She is very friendly, but she is flea-bitten and tired. We got her some food and water.

Stella:    But why isn’t she at her home?

Me:        I don’t know her story. She could have run away or gotten out of her house or yard when no one saw. Her people may be looking for her.

Stella:    Or they may not be.

Me:        Maybe not anymore. She may have been gone for so long that they have given up.

Stella:    She can stay here after all, Lady Human. I will take her under my bulldog arm and teach her how to be one of us.

Me:        We have to think of what is best for her. I am taking her to a place where people do nothing but take care of lost dogs and find their homes or, if they can’t, they find them new homes. They have vets and food and air conditioning and beds. She will do well there. They may even have a record of someone looking for her.

Stella:    But she is going to be all right, isn’t she?

Me:        Yes. I don’t think she came here by accident.

Stella:    I don’t plan on being a stray, but if I ever do that, Lady Human…

Me:        I would search for you and ask God to reunite us.

Stella:    Maybe I would pass by someone who would know what to do. A human magnet. Someone to draw me home.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

One Giant Chicken and A Horrible Stink – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. People insult bulldog noses as short and weak, but we are still dogs and ours are still bulldog noses. Something is wrong outside, Lady Human. That’s why Doodlebug balked at going out.

Me:        What is it? I don’t hear anything. I don’t see anything.

Stella:    Your nose! That’s the thing you should be using.

Me:        I don’t smell anything unusual.

Stella:    And to think, humans insult bulldog noses.

Me:        Well, let’s check it out.

Stella:    Down there! Look! Smell! Horrible! It is the death scent!

Me:        Yeah, something is dead or rotten. The smell is coming from that bag on the road. That’s pretty bad to float all the way to our place.

Stella:    Oh, no! Look! A giant chicken! Warn it not to touch that stinky bag!

Me:        Stella, that’s not a giant chicken. It’s not a chicken at all. That’s a buzzard. Some people call them vultures.

Stella:    Hey, buzzard! Don’t touch that bag! It smells bad! You won’t like it!

Me:   I think the buzzard disagrees.

Stella:    Eewww! Why?

Me:        Buzzards think about these things differently than we do. The Great Creator has made them for a specific purpose, too. I’ll call for the people who handle such minor emergencies to come and deal with this.

Stella:    Should we open the bag?

Me:        What do you think?

Stella:    Naw. No bag opening. The buzzard can have it if it wants it.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Queen of the Foot Stompers – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Ow! Ow! Off my foot!

Wiggles:   I’m sorry, Lady Human. Was that your foot? I thought it was big, bony piece of meat. I was just claiming it.



Me:   Ow! Wiggles! That’s my other foot!

Wiggles:   How many feet do you have? ‘Cuz I have four. But yours seem to be everywhere.

Me:        I only have two and you have managed to stomp on them both just now.

Wiggles:    If they weren’t so big, they would be easier to miss.

Stella:    If you weren’t the queen of the foot stompers, they would not be a problem. You’ve stomped on my feet before, too. I doubt there is anyone in the earth whose feet you have not stomped on.

Me:   That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

Wiggles:   A bit?

Me:        Yeah, a little bit.

Wiggles:   Well, I am fast on my feet, you know.

Me:   Just aim your feet away from mine, all right?

Wiggles:   But, if I do that, I will lose my foot stomping crown, and it’s my only chance at one. We both know that Stella is never going to give hers up.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

You Are What You Eat – Wait! That’s Not Good – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Doodlebug:   Help! Out of my way! Oh, no….


Me:        Run, boy, run!

Stella:    All right. I know what’s going on here!

Me:        I do, too. But you tell me your thoughts.

Stella:    Garbage in, garbage out.

Me:        Well said, Stella.

Stella:    Isn’t it obvious, Lady Human?

Me:        Yeah, pretty much. I’ll give him some pumpkin.

Stella:    May I have some, too, please?

Me:        Do you have stomach distress?

Stella:    No, I just like pumpkin. Please!

Me:        Oh, okay.

Doodlebug:   Done and done.

Me:        Are you sure?

Doodlebug:   Yes. No. Maybe.

Me:        Here. Have some pumpkin, just in case. And by the way, the less garbage you eat off the ground, the better off you’ll be.

Doodlebug:   I know what you are talking about, Lady Human. But it’s not just offscourings that tempt me. The squirrels have been throwing acorns and pecans down and I just can’t resist trying some.

Me:        Can you resist having intestinal distress?

Doodlebug:    Yes. No. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Me:        Here’s a human perspective. When I figure out that something I’ve been eating, or drinking. causes me trouble, I stop using it. I like feeling good.

Stella:    That’s amazing, Lady Human.

Me:        It’s common sense.

Stella:    We are bulldogs. We don’t know what ‘common sense’ means.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Saturday Night Baths – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and no, I will not take a bath!

Me:        If not a bath, how about a puppy pool swim. It’s still hot outside. It will feel good.

Stella:    Nope. I refuse to get my toes wet. Wet toes are unhappy toes.

Miss Sweetie:    Do it, Aunt Stella! Look at me! I love the water in the little pool. I can stomp around. I can lie down. I can roll over. And all the dirt comes off.


Me:        Well, maybe not ALL the dirt. But some, yes.

Stella:    No. No. No. Water is for drinking, not wallowing in.

Miss Sweetie:   I am a greater wallower.  Watch me wallow.

Me:        In the olden days, Saturday night baths were a big tradition among the humans. Water had to be drawn by hand from wells or creeks and the water had to be heated on the stove and it took so much work that the whole family might share the bathwater.

Stella:    Gross!

Me:        I understand how important your feet are to you, Stella, but it is a super warm day and the water could feel good.

Stella:    And how good will it feel when I get out of the pool and onto the dirty, dirty ground, and my wet, wet feet pick up the dirty, dirty dirt? And how will you feel when my dirty, dirty, wet, wet feet walk into the house, tracking the dirty dirt?

Me:        I never thought of it that way. I mean, I think about tracking on rainy, muddy days, but I never thought about the pool causing a problem. Of course, there’s always the mop and the broom.

Stella and Miss Sweetie:                  NOOOO!!!!!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Hammering vs. Barking – Who Will Win? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wait! What’s that? Quick! EVERYBODY, BARK!

Tiger:   I’m in!

Wiggles:   Me, too!

Me:   It’s no big deal. It’s just hammering.

Doodlebug:   I heard it first! I just didn’t say anything.

Miss Sweetie:  Me, too! I think. What is ‘hammering’?

Me:        It’s that banging noise coming from the back of the house.

Stella:   Keep barking! We will drown it out!

Tiger:    Maybe we should charge it. Then we can stop it.

Me:        No, no charging. Tall Man is building something.

Wiggles:   Something for me?

Stella:    No, if he’s building anything for anybody, he is building it for me. I am the Queen. So, what is he building for me?

Me:        Sorry, girl, it’s not for you.

Stella:    Oh, it’s for that tiny little human puppy who visits, isn’t it? That all right. I understand. Not really, but that’s what I say when I am disappointed or left out of something.

Me:        He’s putting together a little carriage for her to ride in.

Doodlebug:   Is a carriage like your rolling box? Can I ride in it?

Me:        No, it has no motor like mine does and I think he is going to save this carriage just for her.

Miss Sweetie:   No rides for us? Awww.

Stella:    That settles it! EVERYBODY, BARK! Drown out the hammering! If we don’t ride, we don’t have to listen!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hey! No Cutting in Line! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Our pack in the perfect example of good order and polite behavior. I am so proud to be…

Me:        Hey! Slow down!

Wiggles:   Sweetie! Shame on you!

Miss Sweetie:    Not shame on me! Shame on you! You butted in line!

Wiggles:   You can’t butt in if you belong here.

Me:        What is the rush? You will all get outside within a few seconds of each other! You act like silly, crazy humans in rush hour traffic!

Tiger:     Humans act like this? That is a high compliment.

Me:   No, it’s not.

Doodlebug:   What if I say, “Excuse me”? Can I cut in line then? Because if I can, EXCUSE ME!

Stella:    All right, here’s the new standing order: I always go first.

Me:        What if you are taking a nap?

Stella:    Then obviously not. Wiggles goes second with Sweetie close behind her.

Tiger:     What about me?

Doodlebug:   What about me?

Stella:   Tiger, you have to wait until Lady Human can go out with you, so you won’t get scared.

Tiger:     I don’t get scared…often…not every day.

Stella:    Doodle, you have to wait for Lady Human, too, so you won’t…you know…so you won’t go snacking.

Doodlebug:   But I LIKE to snack.

Me:   It’s the type of snack you like that’s the problem.

Stella:   Bottom line: NO CUTTING IN LINE or butting in line, whichever you prefer to do.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Flying Snacks – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. You are going to have to tell Sweetie again, Lady Human. Tell her not to try to catch the big bomber beetles.

Me:        The locusts?

Stella:    YES! Silly girl! I don’t see what the attraction is.

Miss Sweetie:    They buzz me when I am trying to enjoy myself outside. Nobody buzzes me!


Me:        If you catch one, you won’t be happy.

Stella:    That’s what I told her.

Miss Sweetie:    Why not? They look delicious. They are round and colorful. Big fat treats in the air.

Me:        And they don’t stop buzzing in your mouth. I know. I’ve been privileged to see a cat catch one.

Stella:    Was it Moon Cat? Tell me it was Moon Cat.

Me:        No, it was a cat many, many years ago. She was hanging around the front porch one evening when a locust landed. She went for it, caught it in her mouth, and then…

Miss Sweetie:    …and then she ate it and lived happily ever after.

Me:        No, she did live happily ever after, but not during the half minute she had that thing trapped in her mouth. She had a tiger by the tail and didn’t know what to do with it.

Stella:    I thought you said she caught a locust in her mouth. Where did the tiger come from? Were tigers wandering around in those days? ‘Cuz if they are still around, I would like to meet one.

Me:        No, you wouldn’t, and no, they didn’t. “Tiger by the tail” is an expression that refers to when someone gets ahold of something they can’t handle.

Stella:    Oh, never mind, Sweetie, it’s just another meaningless bunch of human words.

Miss Sweetie:    I think I’d still like to catch one of those flying bugs.

Stella:    Just let us know if you ever do.

Me:        Oh, she’ll let us know all right. I doubt we’ll miss that. There’ll be jumping and head shaking and big-time drooling.

Stella:    That sounds great! A popcorn event.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Y’all Are Not Roosters – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        I have an announcement.

Stella:    Oh, no. What now?

Me:        The useless, popup barking at dawn. Way too early to get up. Nothing was going on worth reporting. I am here to tell you that y’all are not roosters so no daybreak barking!

Tiger:     Are you sure we are not roosters? And what are roosters?

Wiggles:   They are boy chickens and they are very loud early in the morning and I am glad that there are not any of them here.

Miss Sweetie:    Can I be a rooster?

Me:        No, ma’am. As y’all are always telling me, you are bulldogs.

Doodlebug:   I am a boy. I am a bulldog. I can be a bulldog rooster.

Me:        No, absolutely not.

Doodlebug:        Where do I apply to be a rooster?

Me:        That’s not the way that works. Born a bulldog. Always a bulldog.

Doodlebug:   Awww.

Me:   Look. I understand that you bark. I just don’t want the barking at dawn.

Stella:    Okay. Everybody, schedule your barkers for midnight.

Me:        No!

Stella:    Why not? Do roosters bark at midnight?

Me:        Roosters crow, but not usually at midnight.

Stella:    Too many rules. Don’t bark at dawn. Don’t bark at midnight. Don’t crow because you’re not a rooster. The humans are confused. Everybody, back to auto-bark.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Last Hurrah of Summer – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Miss Sweetie:    They buzzed me! Did you see them? They buzzed me! Like I am a landing spot for big, round bugs! Gross!

Stella:    What buzzed you?

Me:        You know. The locusts. They are swarming. You’ve seen them the past few days.

Stella:    Oh, them. They leave me alone. Probably because they know that I am the queen.

Me:        No doubt.

Tiger:   Lady Human, what is their problem? They’ve been around all during the hot season, but now they are everywhere.

Doodlebug:  And they are singing from the trees so loudly I can’t hear myself bark.

Me:        They are loud, but even that is hard to believe.

Wiggles:   May I eat them when they fly by?

Me:        I wouldn’t recommend it. Though it is really funny to see a cat grab one and it starts buzzing in its mouth and the cat doesn’t know whether to let it go or hold on…

Stella:    Lady Human.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    We are not interested in what cats do. We are bulldogs. Why are these locusts swarming us now?

Me:        It is their last hurrah of the summer. They are hatching out from where they were laid as eggs 14 or even 17 years ago, they are mating, they are laying their eggs, and then they will die.

Stella:    The last hurrah of summer. The last hurrah of the locusts. Okay. I don’t blame them so much then. Is summer almost over?

Me:        We have about another month – technically.

Stella:    Technically? A human word meaning…?

Me:        Officially, one month from today, but summer sometimes has a mind of its own around here.

Stella:    But all the locusts will be gone by then.

Me:        Yes, their season will have passed. Their purpose will have been fulfilled.

Stella:    Well then.

Me:        Yes. Well.

Stella:    Hurrah for them!








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Alarm Clock in My Stomach – Conversations with Stella, Doodlebug, and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:   And I am Doodlebug, Crown Prince of the Olde English Bulldogges and Official Timekeeper.


Stella:    When did that happen?

Doodlebug:   The prince thing? I was born that way.

Stella:    I never heard anything about it.

Doodlebug:   The Time Keeper position happened because I have an alarm clock in my stomach. Lady Human says so and humans know all about stuff like that.

Me:   It’s true. He’s accurate to within 5 minutes most days.

Tiger:   I can set my stomach by him.

Wiggles:   He always lets me know when I should already have my food but don’t.

Miss Sweetie:   What is time?

Me:        A profound question, Sweetie. Let me know when you have it figured out.

Miss Sweetie:   Sure thing, Lady Human.

Stella:    Okay, fine. So, Doodlebug knows when it’s suppertime or breakfast. Great. It’s not as though we couldn’t figure that out on our own. Official Timekeeper I will allow. Crown Prince? I’ll just have to see about that. After all, I am Stella, QUEEN! That has to count for something.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.