Bulldog Lists – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        All right. Everybody’s inside. Air conditioner is on. Water bowls are full. Back door and security gate are closed and locked. Nothing is cooking.

Stella:    You are talking to yourself again, Lady Human. Should I be worried?

Me:        No, I’m just going over the necessary details before I run errands. When I say it aloud to myself, I won’t tend to forget something important. I don’t want to be down the road and suddenly worry that one of you is still out in the yard or that the doors aren’t locked or that I left eggs boiling on the stove.

Stella:    Can I have a list?

Me:        Well, sure, but you don’t cook or lock doors so…

Stella:    Number 1 – Always demand everything so I make sure to get something.

Number 2 –  Always get to every door first so that I go through before Lady                                                   Human. That makes me important.

Number 3 –  Always look pitiful until Lady Human turns on the Picture Box.

Number 4 –  Always look pitiful until Lady Human gives me a coconut oil treat.

Me:        I don’t think that is the same kind of list…

Stella:    Please do not interrupt when I am saying my list aloud. I don’t want to forget anything important.

Me:        Is your list just about finished?

Stella:    Not by a long shot.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Invasion of the Wind-Up Insects – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the…what is that horrible noise? Anyway, I am Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…why doesn’t it stop?


Me:        What noise?

Stella:    Don’t you hear it? It is coming from the trees. All the trees. Are the trees screaming?

Me:        I don’t…oh, you mean that noise, like a wind-up toy, only it doesn’t stop. The trees are not screaming. We’ve talked about this before, remember? It’s the locusts. Well, we call them locusts. Properly, they are cicadas. They come every summer. It’s how we know the heat has arrived.

 Stella:    Locusts? You mean those big bugs? And I don’t need bugs to tell me that the heat has arrived. If you need bugs to tell you it’s hot, I think bulldogs are smarter than humans. And just because it’s hot, why do they have to make that awful noise like a wind-up toy, whatever that is?

Me:        I believe it has to do with their mating.

Stella:    Mating! You mean they are trying to make more of themselves! So they can get even louder! NO!!!

Me:        But remember, the eggs they lay this summer won’t hatch for 14 years or more, therefore, no amplification.

Stella:    Amplifi-blah-blah?

Me:        There won’t be any more of them this year, so they are probably as loud as they are going to get. As an interesting aside, that gear noise they produce comes from their abdomens, not their wings or legs. At least that’s what I was told.

Stella:    Abdomens? Another human nonsense word. Humans find that interesting?

Me:        Abdomen means tummy.

Stella:    Gross. When I make noise with my tummy, you all complain about the smell. And what do you mean about wings?

Me:        They have wings.

Stella:    And they do what with their wings?

Me:        What do wings usually do? They fly.

Stella:    They FLY? NO!!! Noisy flying giant bugs! Protect me!

Me:        They usually only fly from tree to tree, but if you see one on the ground and if it’s still alive, don’t eat it and don’t step on it because…you know…noisy flying giant bug.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s for Supper? Beef? Where’s Mine? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It’s suppertime. What’s for supper?

Me:        The same thing as usual.

Stella:    Nope. I smell something different.

Me:        Well, I am grilling some steaks outside.

Stella:    Mine! Mine! Mine!

Miss Sweetie:    Mine, too!

Doodlebug:   Mine three!

Me:        You can count?

Doodlebug:   What is ‘count’?

Me:        Never mind.

Tiger:     I will have some, please.

Me:        Okay, I am going to eat first because your supper is coming up in a little while.

Wiggles:   Are you sure?

Stella:    How selfish!

Me:        All right. Here. You all can have the rest. Here it is.

Stella:    Wait! What’s wrong with it?

Me:        Well, nothing is wrong with it.

Miss Sweetie:    I don’t care. I will take it.

Stella:    Ummm. Lady Human, you are giving up on it too fast.

Me:        Look! Do you want the rest of the steak or not?

Tiger:     Want it!

Doodlebug:   Want it!

Wiggles:   Want it!

Miss Sweetie:   I’ve already put in my order. Want it!

Me:        Here it is. Stella? Are you going to take yours?

Stella:   Hmmm. Why didn’t you eat all of it?

Me:        To be truthful, it was a little tough and not very tasty.

Tiger:     I love it.

Doodlebug:   Me, too!

Wiggles:   More, please!

Miss Sweetie:   It is only okay, but I’ll take more if you have it.

Stella:    It smells okay. It looks okay. Mmmm. It tastes…great. Lady Human, you are simply spoiled. Steak is still steak. Beef – it’s what’s for supper!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









The Dog That Was Not Expected to Live – Happy 4th Birthday, Tiger – Conversations with Stella, Tiger, and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpgMe:        Every once in a while, a day comes along that you thought you might not see, a day of remembrance, a day of reminders…

Stella:    Is this a speech? I just want to know so I can get comfortable. Oh, and I need some popcorn.

Me:        It’s sort of a speech, but it’s not going to be that long.

Stella:    Sounds pretty long already.

Me:        All right. I’ll make it short and sweet. Happy Birthday, Tiger! You’re four years old today!

Miss Sweetie:    Sweet? Like me?

Doodlebug:   Sweet? Is there cake?

Wiggles:   I don’t smell any cake.

Me:        Sorry. There is no cake.

Tiger:     Awww.

Me:        Tiger, hon, there has never been any cake for bulldogs in this house. There’s barely ever any cake for humans here. We just don’t do cake much anymore. But there is something else! Hard-boiled eggs!

Tiger:     Yay! Just for me!

Me:        Well, everybody gets some, because…you know…party.

Tiger:     I guess that’s only fair.

Me:        But you get to wear…tada! The weird fuzzy celebration headband!


Stella:    Hey, that’s mine!

Me:        Yeah, but you never have liked it. When I put it on you, you just collapse to the floor and refuse to move until I take it off. At least, Tiger sits up for it.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh! It’s still mine.

Me:        Anyway, it will soon be the 3rd anniversary of you coming to us, Tiger, right after your 1st birthday, at a very difficult time.

Tiger:     I remember. Some of it. Some of it is foggy. I remember the fight with the other dog at the old place. The place where I don’t live anymore.

Stella:    And when you came here and Tall Man sat up all night with you. And he doctored and bandaged your leg again and again.

Tiger:     And he and Lady Human fed me puppy milk and water with the plastic squirt tube. I remember.

Me:        And when the vet said you had a 50/50 chance to live that first weekend. And she gave us all that medicine for you.

Tiger:     And Tall Man and the white coat lady carried me out on a big towel because I couldn’t walk. But I lived.

Me:        And then you got better…And then you got worse.

Tiger:     And the vet lady said not much chance anymore. And she said to come back in a couple of days if I lived…

Me:        And then my friend and I prayed.

Tiger:     And the Great Creator heard.

Me:        And Tall Man kept cleaning and bandaging your bad leg. And we didn’t give up. And you didn’t give up. And God Most High heard.

Tiger:     And I walked into the vet lady’s place the next day. Because I had lived.

Me:        And the vet was amazed, but she said that you would probably always walk with a limp.

Tiger:     And I don’t.

Me:        Nope. No limp.

Tiger:     And it’s my 4th birthday!

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Even if there is no cake.


Stella:   Pssst! Lady Human! What happened to your picture of Tiger wearing the silly fuzzy celebration headband?

Me:        Oh, she kept taking it off and she wouldn’t stay still for a photo. So…next year?

Stella:    Not if I can get rid of that ridiculous thing first. And I’m not talking about Tiger. 






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Where’s My Garbage Bag? – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

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

Doodlebug:   Are you in charge? I have a complaint.


Stella:    Why does being in charge mean that I have to deal with complaints?

Me:        Goes with the territory, hon. What’s your complaint, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   I had a nice, big garbage bag outside. It was a perfect target for my pee.

Me:        I know. I noticed that.

Doodlebug:   It has disappeared. Where is it?

Me:        It is where all garbage bags go eventually. I finished filling it with backyard bulk trash and put it out for the bulk trash people to take away…after I washed the pee off, of course. Why make their job any harder?

Doodlebug:   No! It was my target!

Stella:    Oh, Doodle, like every thing in the yard is NOT your target. Remember the big plastic box in the yard?

Me:        Mmmm, the big animal carrier. Tall Man gave that away.

Stella:    Did he wash the pee off that first? Because I know for a fact…

Doodlebug:   Hey, that was my secondary target! Don’t you want me to practice?






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Heavy Breathing – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha. The air has weight, heavy and hot. It is like breathing thin warm water, but still it is air and I need it. The sky’s thick breath presses on us like a warm, wet blanket, hard to run through, hard to sleep through, hard.

Me:        Are you all right?

Stella:    Yes. But I am not happy. Send the hot away.

Me:        Not in my power. Summer has its purpose, just as spring and autumn and winter have their purposes. Every season has a reason.

Stella:    Is that one of those human rhymes, Lady Human? Really! It is too hot for rhymes.

Me:        It is too hot for anything else. And yet, this is by far not the hottest weather I have witnessed.

Stella:    I am not sure that I want to hear that story.

Me:        It was the Summer of 1980…

Stella:    Oh, no. Is this going to be a long story because, if it is, I need some popcorn.

Me:        No popcorn. Not that long.

Stella:    How about a frozen treat?

Me:        I’ll see what I can do. Anyway, it was the Summer of 1980. The temperature reached 100 degrees or more for what was it? 69 straight days?

Stella:    Are you asking me? I was not around that long ago, remember?

Me:        One day, the temperature reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I walked from one building to another several blocks away in downtown Dallas.

Stella:    Downtown Dallas? Is that in our backyard?

Me:        Not really. Anyway, when I got there, I laid my hand on my head. My hair was so hot, it burned my fingers to touch it. I should have worn a hat or carried an umbrella, but no, I thought, hey, no big deal!

Stella:    Scary! I am covered with hair! Is there much more to this story because, if there is, I really need popcorn.

Me:        I met a man from Italy and he was horrified that it was so hot.

Stella:    I am not from Italy, whatever that is, and I am horrified. How did the story turn out? Did you burn up?

Me:        No. I mean…obviously not, I am still here.

Stella:    So, no big deal, right? My question is what are you going to do about the hot, heavy air right now?

Me:        It was only 95 or 96 today. Just keep calm. Stay inside. Drink water.

Stella:    And keep the air conditioner running.

Me:        Amen. There was another summer that came within a day of breaking the 1980 run of 69 100 degree plus days…

Stella:    Nope. Enough. No more stories without popcorn.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Goodbye, Summer! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby declare that SUMMER IS OVER! That is all.

Me:        I don’t think seasons work that way.

Stella:    Why not?

Me:        Because Earth turns at a certain pace and tilts toward the sun at a certain rate and that pretty much determines when we have summer and fall and winter and spring so…

Stella:    Wait! What is this ‘Earth’ you are talking about?

Me:        Okay…well…let’s see… Earth is the planet that we all live on.

Stella:    Oh. And what is ‘planet’?

Me:        Okay…well…let’s see…A planet is a heavenly body…this is kind of hard to explain.

Stella:    Is a planet something that the Great Creator made?

Me:        Yes! Exactly!

Stella:    Then why didn’t you just say so? Still, I am the Queen and I am declaring summer to be at an end. So there!

Me:        Don’t you think that summer should run its course, the way the Great Creator designed?

Stella:    I don’t like summer anymore. Summer is hot. We can’t stay outside very long. That cramps my style.

Me:        Sweetie likes it. She gets to bathe in the puppy pool.

Stella:    So, the rest of us have to suffer just for her to get to go swimming?

Me:        Suffer? In air conditioning? You realize that our ancestors did not have air conditioning and lived through all the Texas summers, don’t you?

Stella:    Really?

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Hmmm. They must have been tougher than we are.

Me:        I think so. I wish we were tougher.

Stella:    Well, bulldogs are tougher than humans. Still, I declare summer to be at an end. Enough is enough. Oh, but keep the air conditioner running just in case.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Terms of Delivery – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And I am waiting.

Me:        Waiting for what?

Stella:    You know!

Me:        Uhhbbb, no, I don’t.

Stella:    Uhhbbb, yes, you do. Is your memory fading, Lady Human?

Me:        I don’t think so. Could you be a little more specific?

Stella:    I would be glad to, but I don’t know what ‘specific’ means.

Me:        Exactly what are you waiting for?

Stella:    Treats.

Me:        I give you treats every day.

Stella:    Not those treats. Those treats are not treaty enough.

Me:        Treaty?

Stella:    Hey, everybody else is making up new words. Treaty is mine.

Me:        You realize that ‘treaty’ is already a word that means something other than…treats.

Stella:    Beside the point. Where are my treaty treats?

Me:        Oh, the chicken jerky treats!

Stella:    Oh, now you remember!

Me:        I haven’t gotten by the store that sells them yet.

Stella:    You said you would bring them. Terms of delivery. Isn’t that what humans say? Isn’t that a promise?

Me:        Well…

Stella:    Terms of delivery, Lady Human. Where are the treats?

Me:        I haven’t had time this week.

Stella:    For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

Me:        I’ll get them. I promise.

Stella:    Too little, too late!

Me:        So, you don’t want the chicken treats?

Stella:    Did I say that?

Me:        Sort of.

Stella:    If you believe that, I have been totally misrepresented.

Me:        Misrepresented by yourself?

Stella:    Don’t try to confuse me! I am already confused enough as it is. Bring me my treats!

Me:        All right. Double effort tomorrow to get to the feed store to pick up a bag of chicken treats.

Stella:    Don’t let me down, Lady Human. Never lie to a dog!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Not Worth Fighting About – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am in charge! Cut it out, Tiger!

Me: No, actually I am in charge. Cut it out, Tiger! Cut it out, Wiggles!

Wiggles: Tiger put her face right into my nose! I don’t want to smell her face!


Tiger: My face smells good! What are you complaining about? You don’t complain when Miss Sweetie sticks her face in yours and her face stinks!

Miss Sweetie: That is so hurtful. Boo-hoo-hoo.

Me: No, she doesn’t. I clean her up with Malacetic Wipes. She smells like…well…like Malacetic Wipes. What’s the real problem here?

Doodlebug: Okay, I can explain it. Since the beds got moved around, Wiggles and Tiger are all sassy with each other because, when Tiger goes outside, she passes a whole lot closer to Wiggles’ bed, and they can’t keep their eyes to themselves, and so…bark, bark, bark, snarl, snarl, snarl…and then Lady Human has to break it up. That is so unfair to Lady Human!

Me: I agree! So how do we work this out? Because the narrow passage out to the yard is just what it is – narrow. Please! No more eyeballing each other. Exercise a little self control.

Stella: A ridiculous request, Lady Human! Have you forgotten to whom you are speaking?

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

New Neighbors – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am special. I have a unique place right in front of the Picture Box where I can watch all the silly things the humans watch. I am the center of attention. I can see everything that goes on while I am comfortably laying in my bed. I have my toys, my food, my water, my ceiling fan…

Me:        Actually, that ceiling fan is for everyone.

Stella:    So you say. Something horrible happened today.

Me:        Nothing horrible happened. There was a change, but nothing horrible.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I hate change.

Me:        Most people do, too.

Stella:    Go ahead, Lady Human. Tell the other humans what you did today.

Me:        I moved Wiggles’ and Miss Sweetie’s beds next to yours.

Stella:    Aaaaggghh! You destroyed my special place!

Me:        How? Their beds were not that far away, always within eye shot. I just moved them away from the air conditioner. They were right under it and their shedding and dander were causing a problem with the unit, putting more pressure on it. The outside temperature was 100 degrees today. It is more important that the air conditioner keeps running efficiently for everyone’s sake. So moving them by you will help the AC and everyone benefits.

Stella:    Everyone except me!

Me:        Everyone including you. Tell me, do you enjoy the cooler air that the AC brings?

Stella:    The cold air box? Yeah, sure. It’s great!

Me:        Would you want it to work so hard that it breaks?

Stella:    NO! Don’t let that happen!

Me:        By God’s grace, it won’t. But we need to be sensible. The coils have to work harder if bulldog dander covers them. With Wiggles and Miss Sweetie sleeping over by you, that’s less stress on the machine. Good for everyone, including good ole Stella.

Stella:    Ohhh! I do like the cold air box.

Me:        And you can still watch the Picture Box. They are not in the way. They may even start watching it with you.

Stella:    I don’t like new neighbors. You tell them that they had better behave themselves.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Bulldog Hobbies – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I try to keep order within the pack, but that does not always work. Wiggles! Out of the trash. You know the humans don’t like that!

Me:        The humans don’t like trash diving, not just because it is messy, and we have to clean it up, but because it is dangerous for you, Wiggles. You may swallow something that can get stuck down in your insides and make you really sick.

Wiggles:   I don’t mind.

Me:        I mind.

Wiggles:   But I do that for fun. Don’t humans do things just because they are fun things to do?

Me:        Sure. We have all kinds of hobbies.

Wiggles:   Trash diving is my hobby.

Me:        For you, trash diving is dangerous.

Wiggles:   Don’t humans have dangerous hobbies?

Me:        Sometimes.

Tiger:     Like what? Like what? I want to do a dangerous human hobby. I don’t have any hobbies.

Doodlebug:        Your hobby is scratching your rear end.

Tiger:   Hush, Doodle! We don’t talk about that!

Doodlebug:    Don’t you enjoy doing that?

Tiger:     Yes.

Doodlebug:   Didn’t Lady Human say that hobbies are things done just for fun?

Tiger:     Itchy rear ends are NOT fun. But… I do enjoy the scratching…but that is not a hobby.

Miss Sweetie:    Stop interrupting, Doodle! Tell us, what is a dangerous human hobby, Lady Human?

Me:        Oh, mountain climbing can be, like climbing Mt. Everest, for example.

Miss Sweetie:    I want to climb Mt. Everest. What is Mt. Everest?

Me:        Sorry, honey, that’s not going to happen. Pick another hobby. Something you already do and enjoy.

Miss Sweetie:   Oh, oh! Swimming. I love to swim in my puppy pool.

Me:        That’s a great one, though you may want to choose a different one for cold weather.

Stella:    Oh, I know mine! I enjoy sitting on your bed, Lady Human, and having you scratch and massage and pet me and talk to me. I could do that all day, every day.

Me:        Good one!

Tiger:     Okay, I have one. I enjoy gnawing a good, tough chew toy. I really feel better after I have done that.

Me:        That’s another excellent hobby for a bulldog.

Wiggles:   Mine is trash diving.

Me:        No, Wiggles, we need to work on yours. How about when you dive into the rag box and take a long nap? You enjoy that.

Wiggles:   Yes, but napping is not a hobby. It is a way of life.

Me:        Okay, well, we’ll work on that. What about you, Doodlebug?

Doodlebug:    I enjoy wandering all over the yard and searching out a nice, fresh pile of…

Me:        Nope.

Doodlebug:   But I do enjoy eating a nice, fresh, overlooked pile of…

Me:        Nope. Not acceptable. Not a hobby.

Doodlebug:   I enjoy the hunt. I enjoy the find. How is that not a hobby?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Junk Food – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello. We are about to enjoy an evening snack as soon as Lady Human says it has cooled down enough. I am looking forward…ew, who has bad breath?

Me:        Since he just this second walked in from outside, you have one guess.

Stella;    Doodlebug! Aaaaggghh! Gag! Gag! Gag!

Me:        I caught him off in the corner of the yard where he evidently located a ‘snack’.

Tiger:     Pee-yoo. Doodle, we’re about to have a real food snack. Why are you eating leftovers outside?

Doodlebug:   I’m hungry now. Why wait?

Wiggles:   Because that nasty stuff out there is waste.

Doodlebug:   But you raid the waste basket all the time.

Wiggles:   That’s different. That’s indoor waste. It’s fresher and only stinks in a good way.

Miss Sweetie:    All Doodle is doing is what the humans call ‘recycling’. I thought that was a good thing.

Me:        Mmmmm. Different. We don’t eat our recyclables. Especially not that kind of recyclable.

Stella:    That stuff we leave outside is no better than junk food, Doodle boy. And, speaking of food, where is that good food snack you promised us, Lady Human? It should be cool enough by this time.

Me:        Here it comes. Scrambled eggs.

Stella:    I hope you left room for real food, Doodlebug. If not, I will be happy to take yours.

Doodlebug:   Not necessary, Aunt Stella. I always have room for more. Bring it on!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




If It Looks Like a Snake and Sounds Like a Snake – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Stella:    There’s a big snake loose in my house! Oh, excuse me. I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There’s a big snake loose in my house!

Me:        Now, Stella, we’ve been over this before.

Stella:    There’s a big snake loose in my house and, as usual, Lady Human is doing nothing to stop it.

Tiger:     Look! It is wrestling with Tall Man! And Tall Man is losing!

Me:        Tiger! Stella! Calm down! It is not a snake!

Stella:    I know a snake when I see one! I have watched plenty of nature shows on the Picture Box. I am an expert.

Wiggles:   I can stop it! My mouth is plenty big.

Me:        Y’all need to calm down before you overheat.

Doodlebug:        Better to overheat than to be eaten by a giant snake!

Miss Sweetie:    Lady Human, please don’t let me get eaten by a giant snake!

Me:        Nobody is getting eaten by any snake. That is the hose on Tall Man’s shop vac. You have all seen it before.

Tiger:     No.

Stella:    Nope.

Wiggles:   Not me.

Doodlebug:   Me either.

Miss Sweetie:    I’ve seen it before in one of my bad dreams. No. Wait. That was a big stick.

Me:        Listen to me, please! He is doing a few minutes of heavy cleaning in here. It is so warm outside that he didn’t want to put you outside. But you have to stay calm.

Tiger:     Calm? What’s that?

Stella:    It means we are to stay still while a giant snake eats us.

Me:        Stella, that is not a snake. And it is not going to eat anybody. It is sucking up dirt and dog hair.

Stella:    You see! It sucks up dog hair but not cat hair! It has come to destroy us!

Me:        Well, it sucks up both. It’s just that there is so much more dog hair in here than cat hair. All right, there! It’s off and he is taking it away.

Doodlebug:        Yay! Tall Man won the battle. The great big snake lost!

Wiggles:   Finally. I’m exhausted. Nap time.

Miss Sweetie:    Where did the snake go?

Me:        It’s not a snake, Sweetie. And the shop vac is stored in the garage.

Miss Sweetie:    The big snake lives in the garage? I don’t like that. I go out there sometimes. What if it tries to eat me?

Me:        I give up.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stop Repeating Yourself – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:     Ruff!

Stella:    What?

Tiger:     Ruff! Ruff!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     Ruff! Ruff!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Me:        Okay, now I am saying stop it to both of you. What’s going on?

Stella:    Tiger is being annoying. She is barking for no reason.

Me:        Is something wrong, Tiger?

Tiger:     My rear end itches.

Me:        Well, that’s a reason.

Stella:    Nope! I speak fluent bulldoggese and that is not what she was saying!

Me:        What was she saying then?

Stella:    Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! That is not even a real word, Lady Human. She was repeating herself over and over and over and over…

Me:        Sort of like what you are doing now?

Stella:    …and over and over…

Me:        Here, Tiger, let me scratch the itchy spot.

Stella:    Oh, so she gets free scratching as a reward for being annoying and repeating herself over and over and over…

Me:        Scratching is always free. I do not charge for it.

Stella:    In that case, ruff! Ruff ruff! Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Shut Your Mouth! A Bug Might Fly In – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The air has turned warm. Spring has covered the trees with leaves. The sky is clear, sometimes. Everything smells wonderful and…ploof…spew…blegh! Aaaghh!

Me:        And flies. Flies enjoy warm weather, too.

Stella:    Where did it go? Let me at it! Snap! Snap!

Me:        You don’t really want to eat a fly, do you?

Stella:    Eat? No! Smoosh in my big bulldog mouth? Yes! Oh, it’s too fast. And it can fly. Hey, is that why humans call them ‘flies’?

Me:        Could be.

Stella:    Why should flies be allowed to ruin my springtime fun?

Me:        With warmer weather come insects. They have been waiting their turn.

Stella:    Get rid of them. They are buzzing my face. They are trying to invade my mouth.

Me:        Keep your mouth shut then.

Stella:    Easy for you to say. I’m a bulldog.

Me:        They are not flying into my mouth because I don’t let my mouth hang open.

Stella:    They are not flying into your mouth because you barely have a mouth. I have never understood how humans can shovel enough food into their tiny mouths to stay alive.

Me:        Well, at least we don’t have flies using our tongues as landing strips.

Stella:    Wait! Look! There’s a big one. Come on, fella! Right over here! And… SNAP! Awwwggghh! Missed! Don’t fly away! Come back here, you coward!

Me:        Escaping from a bulldog’s open mouth. Is that cowardice or uncommon good sense for a fly?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Eat Unidentified Stuff Off the Floor – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is acting weird which is not weird but is still bothersome. Lady Human, why are you staring at the ground?

Me:        I’m looking for something.

Stella:    A treat? Let me help you.

Me:        No, not a treat.

Stella:    Can’t be worth much then.

Me:        It’s not.

Stella:    Then why are you looking for it? What is it that is so important?

Me:        It’s a cheap little earring. It fell out and I don’t know where.

Stella:    That’s what you get for wearing things in your ears.

Me:        I need to find it before one of you finds it and eats it.

Stella:    Why would we eat one of your ear thingies? Does it taste good?

Me:        No, but the way y’all gobble whatever you locate on the ground, I can’t take the chance of you coming across it before I do. I’ve looked everywhere.

Stella:    Ask the Great Creator where it is. He knows everything.

Me:        Good idea. I just don’t want anyone to chew on it or swallow it and get hurt. Help us, LORD.

Stella:    Look over here.

Me:        I already did, about ten times.

Stella:    Look again at this little thing that is not food, is not a treat, and looks like one of the bizarre dangly things that you wear in your ears.

Me:        That’s it! Praise the LORD! No more worry about a bulldog swallowing it. But I looked over here.

Stella:    You know what I think?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I think the Great Creator heard your prayer.

Me:        Amen.

Stella:    You know what else I think?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I think the Great Creator wouldn’t mind at all if you rewarded your faithful bulldog with a real treat for not eating an earring off the floor.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Revolving Door – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Are you back from your vacation?

Stella:    Maybe. Maybe not. It remains to be seen.

Tiger:     Open the big door, please. I need to go outside.

Me:        Okay. Go ahead. Not too long though. It’s pretty warm today.

Doodlebug:   Why is Tiger going outside?

Me:        I guess because she needs to go potty.

Doodlebug:   I want to go outside, too. Do I have to go potty?

Me:        Well…no…not necessarily. Okay. Go ahead. No fussing or fighting. Do you need me to go with you?

Doodlebug:   No, I can potty on my own.

Me:        Well, I understand that. I don’t want you to get into a fuss with Tiger.

Doodlebug:   Okay. I’ll wait. Tiger acts weird when she is outside. She thinks the whole yard belongs to her.

Me:        Yeah. Tiger is a little touchy. I understand why, but we have to work with her. Oh, here she comes now.

Tiger:     Done and done.

Miss Sweetie:    Me. Me. Me. I need to go outside.

Me:        Very well. How about you and Doodlebug and Wiggles all go out together? Less in and out.

Miss Sweetie:    Never mind. I don’t need to go.

Wiggles:   Of course, you do, Sweetie. You always need to go.

Me:        All right. Here’s the deal. Everybody out or everybody in.

Stella:    How rude! Bathroom freedom!

Me:        Even my own parents had a rule about the in and out at this hot time of year. Go out or stay in. No revolving door. It sucks the air conditioning out.

Wiggles:   What is air conditioning?

Me:        It’s that wonderful machine that chills the air.

Wiggles:   I like that machine.

Me:        Well, the revolving door taxes its strength. We need a better system than popping up and down and always wanting to go out or come in.

Stella:    A system? Like you tell me when I need to go potty? Nope. I am the only one to say when I need to go potty. Bathroom freedom for all! Long live the revolving door!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Afraid of the Dark – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

Me:        Stella? Hello?

Stella:    Huh? What?

Me:        It’s time to help with Tiger.

Stella:    Excuse me. I am watching the Picture Box. Hellooo…

Me:        What about the whole “I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges” thing?

Stella:    That only pops up when I am not on vacation. What’s the problem?

Me:        Tiger doesn’t want to go out because it is dark.

Stella:    So?

Me:        She needs to go out at least to potty.

Stella:    Don’t you think she knows that?

Me:        But she is letting her fear of the dark control her.

Stella:    You are the human. You are in charge. I am watching TV.

Me:        Oh, great.

Stella:    She won’t listen to me anyway. Watch. Hey, Tiger, you are being dumb. Go outside and pee.

Tiger:     Shut up, you! You’re not the boss of me!

Stella:    See? She doesn’t listen to me. She just wants to fight. You’re on your own, Lady Human.

Me:        All right. Tiger, go out.

Tiger:     Nope.

Me:        Tiger, go out now.

Tiger:     No way. I’m not going out there.

Me:        Why not?

Tiger:     It’s dark. I don’t know what’s out there.

Me:        The same thing that was out there this afternoon.

Tiger:     How do I know that?

Me:        Take my word for it.

Tiger:     Well…hmm…nope. How do I know it’s the same out there? How do I know that ugly monsters aren’t lurking out there in the shadows?

Me:        Oh, all right. I’ll go out in front of you and I’ll stay outside until you are ready to come back in.

Tiger:     Really?

Me:        Yes, follow me.

Tiger:     All right…Promise you won’t leave me.

Me:        I won’t. I’ll be right over here. Can you see me?

Tiger:     No, but I hear your voice. I can hear you breathing. I can tell by your scent that you are there. You won’t leave me?

Me:        Nope. I’m right here until you come home.

Tiger:     That’s all right then. The dark isn’t so dark when you are there.

Me:        Are you ready to go back inside?

Tiger:     Yes.

Me:         Let’s go in the house then.

Stella:    Great! Can everybody hush now so I can finish watching my show? No one has any respect for television anymore.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







The Queen Has To Be The Queen All the Time – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Me:        The barking is deafening. What’s going on? Stella?

Stella:    Huh?

Me:        The whole pack just erupted in barking and I can’t tell why. So… why?

Stella:    I don’t know. Whatever.

Me:        Excuse me, but where is the Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges?

Tiger:     Right here. Ready to take over.

Me:        It was a rhetorical question, Tiger.

Tiger:     Still ready, willing, and able, ma’am.

Me:        Maybe you can tell me what caused the outburst just now.

Miss Sweetie:    I can! I can! Me! Me! Me!

Me:        You caused it, or you know why, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    Both. Wait. What was the question?

Doodlebug:        You started barking because of the cat.

Wiggles:   No, I started barking because of the cat.

Me:        Stella, why did everyone start barking at the cat? She was sitting on top of the big chair, minding her own business.

Stella:    I don’t know.

Me:        Why not?

Stella:    I was watching the Picture Box. That show with big waves and humans turning around fast was on. I love that show!

Me:        But you are the Queen. I count on you to let me know what’s going on.

Stella:    Oh, all right. I did hear the cat. She was hacking up one of those yucky globs of goo and hair, and the others thought it was a big deal.

Me:        Moon was hacking up a hairball? That’s what started all the barking?

Stella:    Yeah, it’s a pretty ugly noise, but not enough to interrupt a good Picture Box show.

Me:        But you are the Queen.

Stella:    Even the Queen needs a day off now and then.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



That’s My Foot You’re Standing On – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My feet feel so comfortable like they are standing on clouds.

Me:        That’s MY foot you’re standing on.

Stella:    No, I’m pretty sure I am standing on my own feet.

Me:        I mean you are standing on top of MY foot. Look.

Stella:    I just see my feet. You are so sensitive.

Me:        I am when a 50-pound bulldog is standing on my foot.

Stella:    Oh, I see. Why is your foot underneath mine?

Me:        Just slid under there, I guess.

Stella:    Then why are you complaining? Besides, I only have one foot on top of yours so that can’t be my whole 50 pounds. Okay, there! I’m not standing on your precious foot.

Miss Sweetie:    I’ll stand on it for you, Lady Human.

Me:        Sweetie, no! Ow!

Miss Sweetie:    Ow! Is that like ‘Thank you’?

Doodlebug:        Nope. It’s like ‘Stop it’. I know. She says that to me all the time when we are outside. I don’t know why.

Tiger:     Y’all are so dumb.

Wiggles:   I’m not dumb. What does ‘dumb’ mean?

Tiger:     Don’t step on humans. Don’t step on dogs. Don’t even step on cats.

Stella:    Oh, I draw the line there. I absolutely will step on a cat, given the chance. Please give me the chance.

Me:        Everybody, just watch where you step. You are not weightless.

Stella:    Not weightless? Are you trying to insult me?



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.