Glued to the Floor – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, as usual, is acting weird. I will try to find out why.

Me:        No mystery. I am planting my feet firmly on the ground in anticipation of what is about to happen.

Tiger:     Planting your feet? In dirt? Will they turn green like the grass?

Me:        Sorry, Tiger. Let me be clear. I am setting my feet firmly on the ground, ready for what happens when I open this door.

Doodlebug:   What happens when you open that….

Wiggles:   Here I come!

Me:        Whoa!

Miss Sweetie:   Me, too!

Me:        Whoa! It’s all right! It’s all right. I’m still standing. That was close.

Stella:    Why does Wiggles do that?

Me:        Why does Wiggles do that?

Stella:    There is an echo in this room.

Me:        Have you noticed something about how you exit to go outside, Stella?

Stella:    I prance out, head held high, just as a queen should.

Me:        And you bump hard into my left leg, always my left leg, on your forceful way out.

Stella:    Forceful? What can I say? I am a bulldog. I am being me.

Me:        Well, Wiggles and now Sweetie have been forcing their way past me, too. So every time I have to glue my feet to the floor.

Stella:    No! You will get stuck!

Me:        It’s an expression. It means I make sure I’m ready. Wiggles is a switch hitter. Sometimes she hits my left leg; sometimes she hits my right leg. Without the grounding, she could take me off my feet either way.

Stella:    I’m so sorry, Lady Human. What can I say? We are bulldogs. Get out of our way.

Not Tea Time! Pee Time! – Conversations with Stella


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

Me:        Tea time? No. What?

Stella:    You just called for it. You said, “Tea time!”

Me:        No, I said, “Pee time!” We don’t observe tea time around here. Stop begging for it. You don’t drink tea.

Stella:    I would if you would let me.

Me:        There’s a whole bunch of stuff you’d do if I’d let you, and a bunch of that stuff would be bad for you.

Stella:    So, what does that have to do with tea time?

Me:        Let me ask you this. Which would you rather have – tea time or pee time?

Stella:    Well, tea time sounds like a party and I like parties. But pee time feels really good and then I lie down and take a nap. I guess my answer is let’s have tea time and then have pee time.

Me:        That sound likes a good order of things, but we are not having tea time.

Stella:    Oh, all right. Pee time. We will just settle for less. But why do you get to have tea?

Me:        It’s not harmful to humans. Some of it is quite good. When I find a tea that I am sure is safe for dogs, we can have tea time together. How about that?

Stella:    We still get pee time meanwhile though, right?

Me:        Oh, yeah. Nobody does without that.










Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Happy 11th Birthday, Moon Cat – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Cats should not have birthdays, but apparently, they do. At least that’s what Lady Human says. Today is Moon Cat’s 11th birthday. I have two questions:

  • Does that mean that Moon Cat is an old lady?
  • Will there be cake?

Tiger:     Happy Birthday, Moon Cat. Thank you for being a buddy.

Moon Cat:   Meow!


Stella:    Typical.

Miss Sweetie:    Happy Birthday, Moon. I hope you don’t mind when I chase you. It’s the only way I can show you my love and still act like a bulldog.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Stella:   That doesn’t mean anything. She is just asking Lady Human for even more food.

Doodlebug:   Happy Birthday, Moon. I guess.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Doodlebug:   Translation, please.

Stella:    Blah, blah, blah.

Wiggles:   Happy Birthday, Moon. Are you a bulldog, too?

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Stella:    Wiggles, don’t believe a word she says. Of course, she’s not a bulldog.

Wiggles:   She seems like a member of the pack to me. But she is very small. And very furry. And she doesn’t bark ever. And she talks funny.

Stella:    Wiggles! Hint! Hint! Not a bulldog.

Wiggles:   Yeah, but still a pack member.

Stella:    My questions remain unanswered. Is Moon Cat an old lady now?

Me:        She doesn’t act like an old lady. She jumps higher than any of us, which, in my case, is not hard to do. She runs faster than any of us.

Stella:    She sleeps all day.

Me:        She’s a cat.

Stella:   She’s got gray hair.

Me:        She’s always had gray hair. She’s a gray cat.

Stella:    Likely story.

Me:        It’s true. She’s been with us since she was 4 months old. Gray cat.

Stella:    Second question?

Me:        Cake? Nope. Not a big cake family.

Stella:    Well, at least there is no favoritism shown to cats.

Me:        So, what do you have to say?

Stella:    Oh, all right. Happy Birthday, Moon Cat. And many more to come.

Me:        Happy Birthday, Moon Cat, from all of us.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dream On – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. All is quiet. It has been raining a lot for the past few days. No one wants to sunbathe because…there is no sun. Sunbathing without sun is no fun. Haha! I made a rhyme. Did you hear that, Sweetie? Sweetie? Lady Human, something is wrong with Sweetie!

Me:   No, she’s all right. She’s asleep.

Stella:    Look at her! She’s jerking her feet! She’s making growly noises and puffing her cheeks!

Me:    She’s dreaming.

Stella:    It’s scary! Make her stop! Wake her up!

Me:        I personally think it’s better if the dream finishes and she wakes up on her own. I feel that way about humans, too.

Stella:    Humans do this?

Me:   Sure. We dream. I mean, we may not growl or puff out our cheeks, but the dreams are real enough. I’ve seen you dream, too.

Stella:    No! I don’t do that!

Me:        Sure, you do.

Stella:    No, I don’t! Take it back!

Me:   What’s the problem? I think it’s cool that you all dream.

Stella:    That’s undignified. I am a queen. I don’t jerk and jump and do all that weird stuff while I am asleep.

Me:        No, not every time, but yeah, sometimes.

Stella:    Make it stop. Don’t let me do that.

Me:        Don’t you remember your dreams ever?

Stella:    Well, adventures I wake up with, yes. But all that jumping and fake running? I don’t want anyone watching me while I am asleep. How embarrassing. How dangerous.

Me:        You are safe here. You are among family. No enemy is going to sneak up on you in your sleep.

Stella:    Phew! That’s a relief! Because I would hate to have anyone see me looking as ridiculous as Sweetie looks right now.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wired – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen…

Miss Sweetie:    Look at me! Look at me!


Stella:   EXCUSE ME! As I was saying before I was so rudely inter…

Miss Sweetie:    I want to go outside! No, I don’t! I want to stay in here. Is it raining? No, it’s not raining! I’m going to sit down. No, I’m going to stand up.

Me:        Sweetie, what’s wrong?

Stella:    She’s wired. Is that the right human word? Or is it ‘weird’? I get those two words mixed up. Humans are so confusing.

Me:        She’s definitely wired right now, but why? You spent a lot of time outside today, Sweetie, when it wasn’t raining  . The temperature is way down. I don’t recall ever seeing an August day here with highs in the 70’s.

Miss Sweetie:    Boring! No, not boring! No, I don’t want to go outside! What was that noise?

Me:        What noise?

Stella:    There was no noise, Lady Human, not that I expect humans to hear noises. Sweetie’s wired. And weird. It’s probably the weather change.

Miss Sweetie:    What’s that? Where’s Tall Man? Where’s the cat? I want to chase the cat.

Me:        She’s sequestered herself in a safe place until you calm down. I think maybe I should, too.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





My Special Rain Spot – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As queen, I enjoy many special things. One of them is my Special Rain Spot. Okay, I am ready now, Lady Human.

Me:   There you go.

Stella:    No, not that door. The other door.

Me:   No, everybody’s using the big yard.

Stella:    No, it is raining. I do not use the big yard when it is raining. We already had this arranged, remember?

Me:        Well, everybody is using the big yard today. That’s my arrangement.

Stella:    But it is raining out there.

Me:        It is raining everywhere.

Stella:    But it is raining more in the big yard because it is bigger.

Me:        No, it’s pretty much raining the same amount all over the property. In fact, you will run into less rain in the big yard because the big trees are blocking some of it.

Stella:    But my Special Rain Spot is MY SPECIAL RAIN SPOT. The big yard is not the same. ANYBODY can use that on a rainy day. I am not just ANYBODY. I AM THE QUEEN.

Me:   And I am the human and I say that the safest spot today is the big yard.

Stella:   Uggghh! What good is it to be queen if you can be overruled by a mere human!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Collector – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Let me be blunt. Lady Human has a problem. She collects things. All kinds of things. Things that bulldogs take no interest in.

Me:        So?

Stella:    If you were collecting stuff like chew toys and treats, I would not even mention it.

Me:        I figured that.

Stella:    But you collect things like…well, the worst thing is paper.

Me:        I don’t collect paper. I use paper. I make notes. I write stuff. I have notebooks.

Stella:    Full of paper. Face it, Lady Human. You are surrounded by paper. You cover your lap with paper. You hold paper in front of your face. I am surprised that you don’t wear paper.

Me:        Actually, that is possible. Some people have made…

Stella:    No, don’t even think about it.

Me:        Why do you care what I collect?

Stella:    The more you collect, the less room there is for us.

Me:        I think we’ve got plenty of room here.

Stella:    Wait. Are you a bulldog collector?

Me:        Well, I have some stuffed toy bulldogs, so you might call that a collection of bulldogs except that they are toys and never were dogs, so…

Stella:    I KNEW IT! You are going to keep filling the house with your collections until there is no room for real bulldogs. Or even humans, not that that is a problem.

Me:        I am not going to fill the house up with collections of anything.

Stella:    How do we know that?

Me:        Because I have learned to exercise self-control.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh! I know nothing about that. Not a bulldog problem!



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What is a Troll and How Do I Get Rid of It? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Something ugly is on the Picture Box. Turn it off, Lady Human, turn it off!

Me:        What is it?

Stella:    What do you mean? It’s ugly! Trust me! Turn it off!

Me:        Oh, that’s a troll.

Stella:    What is a troll and why did you invite one into our house?

Me:        I’m not sure there ever was anything like a troll.

Stella:    Then why is it on the Picture Box? Did humans make up yet another ugly thing and call it a troll this time? Why do you watch things that have ugly trolls in them?

Me:        I wasn’t really watching that. It was more background noise while I did other things.

Stella:    Don’t put trolls on in the background! Put on something with cute puppies or pretty trees or food! NOT TROLLS!

Me:        Oh, okay.

Stella:    And no walking zombies either.

Me:        At least they’re not trolls.

Stella:    Lady Human, do I have to take the tiny little Picture Box box away from you?








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Boundaries – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:   May I say something, please?


Stella:    Since you asked so nicely, maybe.

Doodlebug:   Maybe? Does that mean ‘yes’? Because I think it means I can, so here goes. Why do we have a fence? Why am I not allowed outside the fence by myself?

Stella:    Two questions! You were only allowed one. That is a violation of the rules. I make the rules which makes the rules important.

Me:        I can answer both of those questions.

Stella:    That would be two answers! He was only allowed one question…maybe. As usual, Doodle is taking too much on himself.

Me:        And I think that right there answers his second question. How about if I answer the first question then?

Stella:    Oh, very well.

Me:        The answer to why we have a fence goes a long way back.

Stella:    Oh, no. It’s going to be THAT kind of answer. Long, boring, ancient history.

Me:        Not ancient.

Stella:    Did it happen before I was born?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Ancient history, which is always long and boring because it has nothing to do with me.

Me:        Many, many years ago…

Stella:    Here we go.

Me:        …when Tall Man was very young…

Stella:    A puppy.

Me:        No, never a puppy. A young human. Anyway, we built a tall fence to keep Tall Man safe…

Stella:    Did you call him ‘Tall Boy’ in those days?

Me:        No. Anyway, we built a strong, tall fence so he could play outside and not wander off and not have strangers bother him. When you all came along, it served us well to protect you, too.

Doodlebug:   Does Tall Man have to stay inside the fence?

Me:        No, he is a grown man now. He comes and goes as he pleases.

Doodlebug:   Well, I am a grown bulldog now. I should get to come and go as I please.

Me:        Nope.

Doodlebug:   How come?

Stella:    Lady Human, allow me. Because Tall Man knows how to behave in public. We know that he will not pick fights with people or dogs. We are not so sure about you, tough guy. Tall Man does not jump on people or dogs, even in friendship. He does not wander around using the bathroom on the property of other people. He does not accept rides from strangers. He does not chew up things he finds on the ground. He never, and I do mean NEVER, eats dog poop. And when he wants to come home, he knows exactly where home is.

Me:        I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Doodlebug:   Hmmmppphh! I could do… or not do all those things, only I don’t want to.

Stella:    Thank the Great Creator for fences.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



I’m Not So Scary! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am a beautiful, sweet girl.

Me:        Yes, you are.

Stella:    But Lady Human, something that happened at the vet lady’s place last week is still bothering me.

Me:        Oh, that was just a thermometer. That’s how dog doctors take your temperature to make sure you are healthy…

Stella:    No, not THAT! I know all that. Not that it was great, but what is bothering me is how some of the humans looked at me. Like that one lady who stared at me and pulled her dog closer to her.

Me:        I remember.

Stella:    She reminded me of that woman at the feed store that time, the one who wouldn’t come in the door because she said I was ‘so big’. Her dog was way taller than me.

Me:        Yeah, I had to tell her that all you would ever do was roll over on your back and want her to scratch your belly. She seemed to calm down after that.

Stella:    Her dog was embarrassed for her.

Me:        Yeah, her dog seemed friendly. So did the one at the vet’s office.

Stella:    Even the cat people were calm.

Me:        Well, the cats were in closed carriers so…

Stella:    Why are people afraid of me? I am not scary. Not so scary anyway.

Me:        You have to understand something about humans, Stella. Humans can be stupid. And fearful.

Stella:    Oh, I know that humans are stupid.

Me:        No, not all humans.

Stella:    Just a whole bunch of humans that I have met. Don’t misunderstand me, Lady Human. I don’t believe that you and Tall Man are stupid.

Me:        Thank you.

Stella:    Most of the time.

Me:        Okay…

Stella:    But I am not scary. Look at my face! I don’t act scary. I don’t bark or lunge or growl. Why do humans draw back from me?

Me:        Even if a human is not stupid, a human can be ignorant. They see your teeth and…

Stella:    They think I would use my teeth on them?

Me:        Sometimes. I mean, I know you wouldn’t and you know you wouldn’t, but a stranger to your breed may think you are a fighter. People judge all kinds of things by appearances before they know the facts. Remember the vet staff, how they reacted to you?

Stella:    They laughed and smiled.

Me:        They called you ‘pretty girl’. They know bulldogs very well.

Stella:    From now on, I only want to be around smart humans, the ones who call me ‘pretty girl’ and smile. Please instruct all other humans to look away or go home.

Me:        Yeah, I don’t think that is going to go over too well.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Singing for My Supper – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:   And I am Doodlebug, the Prince. Woooo rawww. Woooo rawww. Sing. Sing. Sing. It is suppertime. Sing on!


Me:        Just a few minutes. I’ve got to get it ready.

Doodlebug:   Eatin’ time! Eatin’ time! Sing, sing, sing for your supper!

Stella:    Lady Human! Do I have to sing for my supper? How undignified!

Me:        No, I think Doodle just wants to keep me on track. His song sounds kind of plaintive.

Stella:    Plaintive? Does that mean hungry?

Me:        Sometimes. Supper’s on the way, everybody.

Doodlebug:        Woo hoo! Supper can’t be too early, but it can be late! Woo hoot!

Stella:    Stop that singing! It doesn’t even rhyme. And about that Prince thing…I’m the only one around here who gets to say who’s what. So don’t expect any crown anytime soon. I don’t even have one yet.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Are You Hiding From Me? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        Okay. Go back inside! Go! Go! Go!

Stella:    But I just made my royal announcement and…

Me:        Everybody needs to stay in the house. This won’t take long. I’ve got something to take care of. I’ll be back inside in a few minutes.

Stella:    What is she doing?

Tiger:     She has some of those little bags. Maybe she is picking up poop.

Doodlebug:   She has picked up some sticks. Maybe she is picking up sticks.

Miss Sweetie:    She is bending over, looking at something on the ground. I can’t see anything.

Wiggles:   She is using the sticks to put something in the bags. Maybe it is something for us to eat.

Tiger:   Lady Human never picks up outdoor stuff for us to eat. She says that the stuff outside is nasty.

Wiggles:   There was that time Sweetie and I brought her that dead rat. We didn’t eat it. It was a gift for her and Tall Man. I never saw it again. I guess they ate it.

Me:        Okay. Everything is all right.

Stella:    What’s all right?

Me:        Everything.

Stella:    What are you hiding from me? What was out there?

Me:        Something that you all didn’t need to mess with.

Stella:    Tell me, Lady Human. You know I am just going to nose around out there and figure it out.

Me:        Well, I’m not certain that bulldog noses could detect it now.

Stella:    Whisper it to me. You don’t have to tell the others. It will be our secret.

Me:        There were two newborn baby squirrels on the ground. They were dead. A storm moved through this morning. It wasn’t that fierce, but I guess it was enough to knock them out of their nest.

Stella:    Baby squirrels? Like baby puppies?

Me:        Not exactly. Their eyes were sealed like puppies, but they have no hair at that young age. I am sorry for them and their mother. In all my years, I’ve never seen this happen before.

Stella:    Why are squirrels so stupid? Why do they live up in trees where the winds can shake them loose? Wait. Were those Jerky McSquirrelyFace’s babies?

Me:        I have no idea. I took their little bodies away.

Stella:    Why did we have to stay inside?

Me:        Bulldogs? Do you really need to ask?

Stella:    I guess the storms are a threat to everyone.

Me:        They can be.

Stella:    Will it always be so?

Me:        We believe that the Great Creator one day will calm all storms and all creation will live free from fear.

Stella:    That will be a great day. I hope I don’t miss it.

Me:        You won’t, girl.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Happy 5th, Stella! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…


Wiggles:   HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Does that mean lots of special food for all of us?

Me:        No, just a little extra regular food as a treat. The vet said that both of you have gained weight over the past few years.

Stella:    I know! She called me ‘fat’ the other day! So rude!

Me:        She did not call you ‘fat’. She noticed the gradual weight gain and she doesn’t want it to get out of control.

Stella:    I am a bulldog! I am supposed to be out of control!



Stella:    Thank you! Do you all have any cake?

Me:        No, they don’t. There isn’t going to be any cake. None of us do cake around here, not even me. You know that. I’m not saying never, but it’s not our habit. Like Forrest Gump said, “One less thing”.

Miss Sweetie:    Who is Forrest Gump?

Stella:    He’s the human who took our cake.

Me:        No, that was just a movie reference.

Doodlebug:        What is a movie reference?

Stella:    It’s an excuse for us not to get cake.

Me:        Tiger, aren’t you going to wish Stella a ‘Happy Birthday’?

Tiger:     Hmmmph.

Me:        That doesn’t sound like ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. You had a birthday just a few weeks back.

Stella:    And we didn’t have cake for that one either.

Me:        Oh, come on, Tiger. Just a little birthday wish.

Tiger:     Hmmmph. Happy birthday. Hmmmph.

Stella:    Thank you. I think.

Me:        Fifth birthdays are great, Stella. They are a milestone.

Stella:    I am missing someone, Lady Human.

Me:        Yes, I know. I am, too.

Stella:    This is Snoopey’s birthday, but she is not here to celebrate.

Me:        How about we celebrate her birthday along with yours anyway? I mean, humans still celebrate the birthdays of people who have gone on. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, for instance.





Me:   Tiger?

Tiger:     Hmmmph! Happy Birthday, Snoopey. Hmmmph!

Stella:    They were not friends.

Me:        I know. Still, Tiger, greatly appreciated. And from me, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STELLA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SNOOPEY!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







The Vet Lady Called Me ‘Fat’! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I should be treated better!

Me:        Nobody has mistreated you, girl.

Stella:    And don’t call me ‘girl’! I am the Queen and that vet lady today insulted me in addition to poking me with something sharp and sticking a… well, I don’t care to say what else she did.

Me:        Oh, that was a thermometer. She just wanted to make sure that you didn’t have a fever.

Stella:    Then she should have left me alone and stuck the thermometer outside. That’s where the fever is!

Me:        That sharp poking was from a needle that she used to give you your rabies vaccine. It only happens once every three years.

Stella:    Three years must be a very short time because I get poked with a sharp thing every time I go to the vet lady’s place.

Me:        Well, the rabies vaccine is only every three years. Now there are other vaccines…

Stella:    Of course! Always an excuse for a human to stick a poor old bulldog with a sharp thing!

Me:        She said your ears looked really good, especially for a bulldog.

Stella:    My ears are my best features.

Me:        They are cute, but I think she was referring to how healthy they look on the inside.

Stella:    So, she was insulting the health of bulldog ears?

Me:        Bulldog ears are a challenge sometimes.

Stella:    But that’s not the worst thing that the vet lady did. Did you hear? She called me ‘fat’! Me! The leanest, fastest bulldog on Earth!

Me:        Okay, first off, she did not call you ‘fat’. She said that you have gained seven pounds since your last weigh-in a few years ago.

Stella:    Same difference. Fat! How dare she!

Me:        She doesn’t want you to become obese. That could hurt your joints, your heart, your health overall. Humans have to watch out for that as well. Especially as we get older.

Stella:    What? Did she call me ‘old’, too?

Me:        No, but you are going to have a birthday in a few days. Look, she understands that bulldogs can’t get a whole lot of exercise during hot weather.

Stella:    Exercise! Another ugly word! Just as ugly as ‘fat’!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Who Stole Our Cold Air? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Did you see him, Wiggles? Did you see him?

Wiggles:   I did better than see him. I smelled him. And his big rolling box.

Me:        What’s going on, y’all? What wrong?

Tiger:     That is the question. What is wrong, Lady Human? There is a stranger outside. And now you have put little boxes in front of us and they are blowing air, but you won’t let us chew on them.

Doodlebug:   And the lights are off and the Picture Box and most important of all…

Miss Sweetie:   Me! Me! Me! I get to say it! What was it that I get to say?


Me:        Okay. The little fans are stirring the air to cool you all down. And no, you do not get to chew on them. The stranger outside is not a bad guy. He is working on our power line so that it won’t be threatened by the big trees down the way.

Stella:   Someone was threatening our power line? Let us at ‘em! Wait. What’s a power line?

Me:        It’s what feeds electricity into the house. And what are you all going to do to a bunch of trees overhanging our power line?

Wiggles:   I can handle any tree! Where did our cold air go?

Me:        The calmer you stay, the cooler you’ll stay. We are all right. We have ice. We have ice packs. We have battery fans. We have water. And the man outside knows what he is doing and he will have our line moved and reconnected in no time.

Stella:    When is no time? Is that now?

Me:        The power company told me about one hour.

Doodlebug:        Is that now?

Me:        No.

Miss Sweetie:    Is it now?

Me:        You will know when it is when the lights and the air conditioner come back on.

Stella:    What is this power company you talk about? Why can they take away our cold air?

Me:        Look.

Stella:    Where?

Me:        Sorry, that’s a human expression. If we don’t have the power line moved out from under the trees on the neighboring property, a limb could fall on it and disconnect our power. A storm could bring down one of the trees and take out our power. A strong wind. Ice during the winter. So, we asked, and the power company said they would move it so none of that would happen. All we have to do is sit tight for about an hour and the power line will be safe. And we can do that, can’t we?

Tiger:   I guess so.

Doodlebug:   Maybe. Can I have another ice cube in my water bowl?

Miss Sweetie:   I still don’t understand what’s going on. I’m going to take a nap. Maybe when I wake up, I’ll know.

Wiggles:   Can I wait? Yes. No. Maybe.

Stella:    Will you stay with us here until that thing you call ‘power’ comes back on?

Me:        I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right here.

Stella:    I guess we’ll be all right then.

Me:        Oh, look at that! The power’s back on. Here comes air conditioning!

Tiger:     And lights.

Doodlebug:   And you can take the little fans away. They are creepy.

Stella:    And here comes the Picture Box.

Wiggles:   And I am not even hot.

Me:        That only took about 30 minutes.

Stella:    Hey, the power humans said it would take an hour. Whatever that is. I think you should complain, Lady Human.

Me:        I think I will be thankful for electricity and air conditioning.

Wiggles:   Will the strange man stay outside?

Me:        No, he has other people to help.

Wiggles:   That’s too bad. I wanted to scare him with my awesome bark.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Excitement Does Not Always Have to be Verbal – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges…and OH! HERE HE IS AGAIN!



Wiggles:   GIVE IT TO ME!


Stella:    Doodle! That’s what you get for napping!


Stella:    If you want us to quiet down, WHY ARE YOU YELLING?


Miss Sweetie:    WE ARE EXCITED!

Me:   WHY?





Doodlebug:        YOU ARE NOT A BULLDOG!





Me:        Sorry I mentioned it.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s Only 109 Degrees. What’s the Problem? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Make it stop, Lady Human. Make it stop.

Me:        Oh, it’s been hotter than this before.

Stella:    How can that even be?

Me:        The hottest recorded temperature in Texas was 120 degrees, but that was a while back and not right around here. I remember the hottest day here. 113 degrees. The year was 1980.

Stella:    Will this story cool things down?

Me:        Nope. 1980 was one of those memorable years, a year when we earned our T-shirts.

Miss Sweetie:    Can I have a T-shirt?

Me:        Well, we have not broken the all-time 100 plus degree day streak yet. But we did break a daily record a few days ago. You’ll probably earn a T-shirt by the end of summer.

Wiggles:   Can I have one, too? Would I have to wear it now? Because I prefer going naked in the heat.

Me:        Sure. I will try to come up with a 2018 Hot Shirt for everybody. Y’all have never experienced anything like this before.

Tiger:   Can you put this in my memory book along with all the other weird stuff that happens?

Me:        Yeah. Why not?

Doodlebug:   Will summer end tomorrow?

Me:        Nope.

Doodlebug:  Then we will have plenty of time to earn our T-shirts.

Stella:    I don’t care what the others get. I want mine to be hot pink. And put a crown on it as befits my rank.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Crazy Heat – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


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

Wiggles:   Super-hot.

Tiger:     Very hot.

Doodlebug:        Melting hot. Look at my melting face.


Me:   Your face always looks like that.

Miss Sweetie:    We have run out of words for ‘hot’, Lady Human. Do you have more?

Me:        Sweltering. Burning. Boiling. Cooking. Sweaty. The air is a hot, wet blanket. Moving through it is like running through warm bath water.

Stella:    That’s pretty. I like that. Lady Human?

Me:        Hmmm?

Stella:    The bulldogs are acting crazy.

Me:        What? How?

Stella:    Look at Sweetie and Wiggles.

Me:        Hey! Cut that out! Since when does Wiggles try to ride Sweetie?

Stella:    Since Crazy Heat came.  It has never been this hot since the beginning of the world.

Me:        Well, at least not since the beginning of your world. I figure it has not been this hot since any of you were born.

Stella:    Have you been saving this for my birthday?

Me:        Now why would I do that? And how would I do that?

Stella:    Lady Human?

Me:        Hmmm?

Stella:    Tiger is acting crazy.

Me:        Tiger! Stop biting your water bowl! Chew on your tough stick!

Doodlebug:   Lady Human, may I act crazy?

Me:        No. Everybody take a nap! No more crazy.

Stella:    Okay. Good night. No more crazy. Until tomorrow.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Any Hour is Dinner Hour – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        And…?

Stella:    And what?

Me:        That’s what I want to know. You don’t usually just stop after announcing yourself. You normally have a comment or question or complaint. Lots of complaints.

Stella:    Oh, that reminds me. I have a complaint.

Me:        There it is.

Stella:    Dinner time.

Me:        What about it?

Stella:    It should be earlier.

Me:        Well, the dinner hour is the dinner hour. I mean, if I just go ahead and feed y’all whenever you want to eat, you will be eating all day and all night long. There would never be an hour that is not dinner hour. It is more orderly this way.

Stella:    Speaking of order, I would like to order my dinner right now.

Me:        I don’t take dinner orders.

Stella:    I’ve said it before. I will say it again. This is a terrible restaurant. Don’t expect a tip.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wiggles, the Egg-Sniffer – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Every so often I enjoy myself a good egg. Lady Human only gives them out every so often.

Me:        Y’all don’t need to tank up on eggs.

Wiggles:   I will talk to the chickens about that. They hide some that they are usually willing to kick over to me.


Me:         Yeah, I’ve noticed that. I will talk to the chickens about that myself.

Wiggles:   Eggs are the best thing ever. In fact, Lady Human is getting ready to give us some of her cooked ones now.

Stella:    Really? Cool!

Me:        How did you know that? You can’t see up here.

Wiggles:   I don’t need to see. I can smell. There are 5 of them, one for each of us. They are hard-boiled. Still in the shells. Mmmm! I can’t wait.

Me:        You know all that even when you can’t see them?

Wiggles:   It’s easy for me. Like when Tall Man cooks eggs in a pan for the little human who visits. He lets me have whatever egg falls on the floor. Nobody else seems to care, but I do. Eggs are the Great Creator’s gift to me. And when Tall Man throws the egg shells in your big bag of human discards…

Me:        Otherwise known as the “trash” …

Wiggles:   Yes, wonderful stuff. I don’t understand why humans throw so much away. When he tosses away the egg shells, the aroma floats into my waiting nose and then…

Me:        The second he leaves the room, you assault the trash, digging around for them.

Wiggles:   Yes, exactly. I will have my eggs and eat my egg shells, too.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.