Snoring – Conversations with Stella

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I… am… Stella, Queen of…the Olde…English…Bulldogges. Snore. Bzzzzz…

Me:  Well, so much for conversation tonight.

Stella:  Snore…Bzzzzz…

Me: I wish I knew what you were dreaming about and you are almost always dreaming, I think.

Stella:  Brum…brum…brum…

Me:  But I don’t want to wake you. I might interrupt a beautiful dream.

Stella:  Honkkk…brum…brum…

Me:  Dream on, girl. I’ll be dreaming before long myself.

Stella:  Humph…brum…brum…snort. What? Did you say something? Is everything all right?

Me:  No, nothing important. And yes. Everything is all right. Good night, Stella.

Stella:  Good night, Lady Human. Brum…Brum…Brum…Snort.

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

I Thought I Made Myself Clear – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  What?

Stella:  Ahem! Arrerrgh!

Me:  There’s that noise again. Stella, what do you want?

Stella:  You know.

Me:  But I don’t.

Stella:  I thought I made myself clear. Anytime you are staring at your folded papers…

Me:  Reading.

Stella:  Yes, or whenever you are staring at the little black box in your hand…

Me:  Looking at my phone…

Stella:  Yes, or when the little black box in your hand becomes a tiny picture box like the big Picture Box in the big room…

Me:  Watching movies.

Stella:  Yes. I thought I made it perfectly clear that while one hand is doing that other stuff, your free hand is supposed to be scratching and petting me.

Me:  I do. I am. Sometimes I have to use two hands, one to hold the phone or book and one to write or type…

Stella:  Unacceptable. The terms of our agreement are that one hand is always dedicated to me. Until you understand that, the ahems and arrerrghs will continue. That is all. You may resume your staring at your weird little box and resume petting and scratching me.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rain Spot – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Time to go out, Lady Human.

Me:  Okay, head over there to the yard door.

Stella:  Nope. My special rain spot.

Me:  Why? It’s raining over there, too.

Stella:  Stella’s Special Rain Spot. Now!

Me:  Hey, that’s my word. What’s wrong with the yard?

Stella:  Too much.

Me:  Too much what?

Stella:  Everything. Too much mud. Too many wet puddles. TOO MANY OTHER BULLDOGS USING IT!

Me:  Oh, all right. Come on.

Stella:  Why, oh why, do I have to argue to get what rightly belongs to me as queen?

Me:  I guess I just don’t understand your royal prerogatives.

Stella:  Just ask me. I will happily explain them to you as we go. Get one of those scratchy writing stick things and some paper. The list is quite lengthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Skimp – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have noticed a disturbing trend in my nighttime snacks lately, Lady Human. I need an explanation.

Me:  Sure. What disturbing trend?

Stella:  The wonderful organic cheese crackers are fewer and farther between.

Me:  I like to space them out so you don’t gobble them all at once.

Stella:  Gobble is what I do. I am a bulldog. Look at my mouth. A mouth like this is not made for anything but gobbling.

Me:  Still…

Stella:  And that is not the only trend…

Me:  There’s more?

Stella:  Where is my special cheese? The good stuff! Not the cheesy cheese!

Me:  I am parceling that out in smaller amounts, too. It’s better that you eat your regular food. A snack is, after all, just supposed to be a snack.

Stella:  A likely story, Lady Human. I’ve seen what you call a snack.

Me:  Hey, I’m bigger than you are.

Stella:  And with the size of your snacks, you are likely to stay that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Nail Job – Conversations with Stella, Doodlebug, and MoonCat

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. No, Doodlebug! Stop that right now! He’s caught MoonCat, Lady Human. Not that such a feat isn’t cool, but it brings disorder to my realm!

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Me:  Doodle! Quit! Whoa! Back off! MoonCat, are you all right?

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MoonCat:  Meow! Meow!

Stella:  Typical. What does that even mean?

Me: Yeah, the cat’s alright, but MoonCat drew blood from Doodle.

Doodlebug:  My nose stings. Mmmm. Tastes good.

Me:  Well, you’re tasting your own bloody nose. It’s already stopping. She didn’t get your eyes. That’s important. What possessed you to go after the cat like that? You haven’t done that in a while.

Doodlebug:  I was here, and she was there, and things just started happening.

Me:  Wait. What’s that white thing on your forehead? Hold on. Let me pull it off. It’s one of MoonCat’s claws! The nail broke! It stuck on your forehead.

Doodlebug:  Can I keep it?

Me:  No, you’d probably try to eat it. MoonCat, let me see your paws. They seem to be all right. Still, you broke a nail.

MoonCat:  Meow. It was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

What Does “Arrerrgh” Mean? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  I have a question.

Stella:  If you must, Lady Human. Proceed.

Me:  Oh, thank you so much, Your Majesty.

Stella:  Finally! A little respect around here!

Me:  What does ‘arrerrgh’ mean?

Stella; How would I know? It’s your language.

Me: No, I don’t think so. I know a lot of English words and that is not one of them.

Stella:  Where did you come across this word?

Me:  Out of your mouth last night.

Stella:  Oh, in that case, I’m sure it had to do with something you were doing wrong.

Me:  I figured as much, but what?

Stella:  No telling now. It is probably one of my catchall words. I throw it out there and wait for you to figure it out. If you do, I give you a treat.

Me:  You give me a treat? I’ve never gotten a treat from you.

Stella:  That says a lot about your ability to translate bulldoggese, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Clear The Paths – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:  If you are queen, which I doubt, then you are responsible for the messes on our bulldog paths outside.

Stella:  I most certainly am not! I always potty in a discreet corner. If there are pathway messes, blame Lady Human.

Me:  Hey, don’t look at me! I didn’t do it. I’ve just been a little slow on the pickup, that’s all.

Miss Sweetie:  It’s not my fault. I go wherever I happen to be when the mood strikes me. If I happen to be on a path, well…

Doodlebug:  I never leave any evidence. Prove otherwise.

Wiggles:  I don’t favor the pathways. I prefer the old oak tree’s empty mound. Then I can be queen of the hill.

Stella:  Nobody’s queen of anything here but me! That includes potty spots!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Babysitters – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, why has the tiny human been here so much today?

Tiger:  Yeah, and where is Tall Man? He should be taking care of his puppy.

Me:  Once again, she is not a puppy. She is a human child. As for today, her father is car shopping and it is better that she waits here with me.

Wiggles:  Why is Tall Man shopping for cars? Why can’t they shop for themselves?

Me:  Car shopping means he is looking to buy a different vehicle.

Doodlebug:  A rolling box? Why didn’t you say so?

Me:  I thought I did.

Miss Sweetie:  She can stay here by me. I can lick her clean and share my food and let her gnaw on my chew toys.

Me:  That is very generous of you, Sweetie, but now she is resting.

Stella:  You mean she is taking a nap?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Good for her!  I’m glad she has already figured out how to use her days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dirt Kicker – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Kick it! Kick it! Kick it back! Kick it back! Harder! Harder!

Me:  Okay, I’ve seen you back kick dirt and grass before when you’re finished with your…you know…

Stella:  Say it! When I’m finished with my business. What’s the problem? Everybody does it.

Me:  Not exactly.

Stella:  Humans don’t kick dirt after their business.

Me:  No, it’s not a practice with us.

Stella:  Well, then how will anyone know you were there?

Me:  We kind of don’t want anyone to know we were there like that.

Stella:  Sillies.

Me:  But what I really wanted to understand is why you back kicked so many times.

Stella:  Don’t you always say, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” I dare you to find anybody who can back kick dirt and grass better than I can. It shouts out, “Stella was here!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Human Grooming – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Oh, my! Lady Human, what is wrong with your coat?

Me:  Coat? I’m not wearing a coat.

Stella:  That stuff that hangs down from your head. The long, stringy stuff.

Me:  Hey, that’s my hair. Humans don’t have coats like dogs do.

Stella:  I am sorry.

Me:  It’s not a deal with us. We are used to it.

Stella:  I am sorry that it looks so weird. Cover it up with that towel thing you wrap around your head.

Me:  It’s wet, that’s all. I just finished washing it.

Stella:  Is that the reason?

Me:  Yes, Stella.

Stella:  I am so sorry.

Me:  For what?  It will dry and then it will look normal.

Stella:  Yes, I am sorry about that, too. When we bulldogs bathe or play in water, I think we still look pretty good. But humans…well…just try to stay dry as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Is It Over? – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

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

Me:  Me, too.

Wiggles:  Let me at ‘em!

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Me:  Wiggles, I don’t see how you can still be so wound up. All I want to do is take a nap.

Wiggles:  Those loud, banging, noisy noise-making humans and all their loud, banging, noisy noise…

Me: And all your own barking. You know I don’t allow barking outside after dark and there you were begging to go out and I relented and the minute you got into the center of the yard, here comes the bark.

Wiggles:  But only one, Lady Human, and I came right back to you. I couldn’t let them get by with it without saying something. Somebody had to tell them to shut up!

Me:  So, why have you been barking so much today? There are no fireworks.

Wiggles:  Fair warning to them! I’m listening. And I’ll be happy to drown out their noise with my own if they try it again tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Countdown – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. How long?

Me:  Some hours yet. Everybody is going to be in by sunset, preferably before, so any outside business needs to be done, understand? Wiggles?

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Wiggles:  I always get my business done. Even if it’s in the middle of the night.

Me:  That I would like to avoid, especially tonight.

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Doodlebug:  Oh, it’s the Night of Exploding Stars!

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Miss Sweetie:  And the stars explode and spread brisket throughout the world!

Me:  No, Sweetie, that never happens.

Miss Sweetie:  But there will be brisket, won’t there? Lady Human, please say there will be brisket. PLEASE! I’ve waited a long, long, long, long…

Me:  Yes, Sweetie, there will be brisket, but not from the sky.

Miss Sweetie: What a relief! You had me scared for a minute.

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Tiger:  Exploding stars and flying brisket had me scared. I love good brisket, but only while it is quietly resting in a bowl. And I will take mine before the loud noises start.

Me:  Me, too.

Stella:  Wait! Won’t the chickens get frightened, being outside?

Me:  No, they will be in their house and run. The most they will get is annoyed.

Stella:  Good. So, we are ready. Now all we need to do is eat a bunch of food…

Miss Sweetie:  Brisket!

Stella:  Yes. Then, with our big bulldog bellies full, we can safely sleep through the whole thing.

Me:  Amen. Goodbye, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Exploding Sky – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Help, Lady Human! The sky just exploded!

Me:  I know, girl. It woke me up, too.

Stella:  It’s the people who blow up the sky! Make them stop!

Me:  No, this was lightning and thunder, very, very close by.

Stella:  How can you be so calm? The sky exploded!

Me:  No, it just felt like it. There weren’t supposed to be any thunderstorms this morning. What’s going on?

Stella:  No more sky. What will happen to the birds? What will the trees brush against?

Me:  If you look out the window, as dark as it still is, you will see that the sky is there. The flash and the boom were just a nearby lightning strike. See. More lightning, but farther away. It’s moving that direction toward the northeast.

Stella:  Warn the northeast, Lady Human!

Me:  I don’t have their phone numbers. They will know the same way we did. And there is the weather service.

Stella: Ring a bell! Sound a siren!

Me:  No, sirens are only for tornadoes and this does not have one of those, thank the LORD.

Stella:  What are we supposed to do now?

Me:  Go back to sleep for a little while, I guess.

Stella:  Sleep? After that? I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wipe Your Feet – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ready for bed! Here I go!

Me:  Whoah, partner! Hold up there! Let’s wipe your feet.

Stella:  My feet? My feet never need wiping. They are queen’s feet.

Me:  Well, today your queen’s feet marched around in the mud and muck and I am not allowing mud and muck on my bed.

Stella:  My feetsies are mine own and no one tells me what to do with them.

Me:  Then I guess you’ll have to wait until your feet are clean again to come back to the comfy bed. And the crackers. And the cheese.

Stella:  Oh. Wait. What does this foot wiping entail?

Me: Damp paper towels.

Stella:  Horrible. It hardly seems worth it. Still…crackers…cheese. Very well. Do it and be quick! And reset the paving stones before the next rain so I don’t soil my royal feet.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Does the Doorbell Keep Ringing? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The doorbell keeps ringing. I hate the doorbell. Why can’t we just be left alone?

Me:  Visitors have been coming by. And neighbors. And packages are being delivered.

Stella:  I am minding my own business and then that intrusive noise that doesn’t even sound like human music. Bing, bong, bing, boooong! Bing, bong, bing, BOOOONG! And it makes me jump every time it happens, and I never know when it’s going to happen and…

Me:  Settle down, girl. There won’t be so many visits coming up.

Stella:  Will all the humans go back to normal now?

Me:  Well, yes, at least the ones who were normal to begin with.

Stella:  So, no more wild, loud noises, right?

Me:  Well…

Stella:  What are you hiding from me, Lady Human?

Me:  Next week is New Year’s Eve.

Stella:  NO! Not THAT New Year! The LOUD, EXPLODING SKY New Year! Already? Again?

Me:  Yes. I’m sorry.

Stella:  And you said the humans were going back to normal now. For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Church is NOT a Big Pile of Leaves Part Two – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There are more leaves in the house. Lady Human went to church again.

Me: Leaves have nothing to do with church, Stella.

Stella:  If you are not jumping in a big pile of leaves there, then…first question…where are all these leaves coming from? And… second question…what happened when you went?

Me:  Okay, first answer: all the leaves fell off the trees a few weeks ago and there are still many, many on the ground.

Stella:  A likely story.

Me:  Second answer: we did all the things we usually do at church – praying, singing, greeting each other, and lighting candles this time for Christmas.

Stella:  Candles?  Those thick fire sticks?

Me:  I suppose you could call them that.

Stella:  All the humans had those fire sticks?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  On fire?

Me: Yes.

Stella:  For shame, Lady Human! Those can be very dangerous around big piles of leaves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Church is NOT a Big Pile of Leaves – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Watch her! She’s getting ready to do it again!

Me:  What are you all whispering about?

Stella:  You are going to that church place again, aren’t you? Don’t lie!

Me:  Why would I lie, especially about going to church?

Stella:  Because church is a fun place, but you never take us.

Tiger:  Yeah, and you always come back smelling of meat.

Miss Sweetie:  Mmmm. Meat.

Me:  The meat scent does not come from church. It comes from lunch afterward. And the only dogs at church are service dogs or support dogs.

Wiggles:  We can be that.  Just tell us what to do.

Me:  And you will not do it, right?

Wiggles:  Right.

Doodlebug:  What does church look like?

Stella:  It is a big pile of leaves. The humans run and jump in it and roll around.

Me:  Stella, I don’t know if I can explain to you what church is, but it is NOT a big pile of leaves.

Stella:  Are you sure?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  You come home with leaves stuck to you. And the little human who visits…she had leaves all in her hair.

Me:  That’s because I walked through a bunch of leaves and she rolled in a bunch of leaves for fun, but that was not at church.

Stella:  I will take that under advisement. I still want a better explanation as to why the meat never shows up here.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Breakfast Talk – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.  I say it should be now.

Doodlebug:  Me, too. I will sound the alarm.

Tiger:  No! No! No! It is too early. It is still dark outside.

Stella:  Hey, I’m in here and not in that softy human bed. Why? Because Lady Human is awake and playing with that black box that she carries around in her hand all the time like it’s important when it is not.

Wiggles:  I can take it or leave it right now.

Miss Sweetie:  Take or leave breakfast? Horrible! Take breakfast! Always take breakfast. I vote with Doodlebug. Sound the breakfast alarm.

Me:  Hey, what’s going on in here? Why all the noise?

Stella:  Nothing. We were just talking. About breakfast. Now.

Me:  It’s still dark outside. Are you all willing to go outside in the dark?

Wiggles:  Okay.

Doodlebug:  Yeah.

Miss Sweetie:  Sure. Why not?

Tiger:  I don’t know. There are…you know…creatures in the dark.

Me:  Look, to calm things down, you can go ahead and have breakfast. Anyone who does not want to go outside afterward can wait until daylight.

Stella:  My thoughts exactly. Serve it up.

Me:  But no more loud barking. It is too early.

Stella:  That’s okay. Nobody likes loud talk after breakfast anyway.  We’ll just whisper and digest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Our Great Big Yard – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges. Now I rule over a much larger domain than I did a few days ago. There is so much land…

Miss Sweetie:  And I can sit so many different places to sunbathe.

Doodlebug:  And the shortcut from the patio into the new yard and back into the patio is great!

Me:  Well, that’s just because the patio fence had a section demolished by the fallen oak and the insurance didn’t cover that, so we haven’t decided to repair it…

Doodlebug:  What’s to decide? It’s perfect the way it is. That tree knew what it was doing when it fell on the patio fence.

Tiger:  All I know is that I can go anywhere, and I can see everything. This yard is so much larger than the old one.

Me:   Truth be told, this yard is not larger. It is the same old yard. It’s just that the old dead overgrown lamb’s quarter is mostly gone. There is still a lot of work to do around where the oak tree stood.

Wiggles:  I can tell a large yard when I see one, Lady Human. I grew up out in the country, remember. This is definitely a bigger yard than the old one.

Me:  Okay, glad you all are happy.

Stella:  Now all you have to do is knock down the big fence so we can take over the rest of the world .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Crackers – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m hungry.

Me:  Yes, I hear your stomach rumbling. Let’s get up and get your breakfast. It’s waiting in the other room.

Stella:  Nope. I want to have that other kind of breakfast like humans on the Picture Box.

Me:  Well, breakfasts here are pretty simple so…

Stella:  You’ve seen them. They stay in bed and eat. It is the most wonderful thing in the world, and I want it.

Me:  Oh, you mean breakfast in bed. Uh, nope.

Stella:  Awww, come on, Lady Human! You can bring in eggs and sausages and biscuits.

Me:  Yeah, I can bring it in after someone cooks it and that someone would be me. I had rather skip breakfast and stay here in bed.

Stella:  Fine excuse for laziness. “Look at me. I’m lazy! I’m gonna keep being lazy! Why, you ask? Because LAZY!

Me:  It’s an odd day when a bulldog accuses someone else of being lazy.

Stella:  Who better? I am an expert in that field.

Me:  Tell you what. Here are a few left over cheese crackers from last night’s snack.

Stella:  Mmmm. I’ll take those. They’ll warm me up for the next course of eggs, sausages, and biscuits you bring me. If you hurry, you can get back here before I finish my breakfast crackers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.