A Word In Edgewise – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

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

Snoopey:   I have a question…

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

Snoopey:   Yes, but…

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

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

Stella:   …but thick new blankets for everyday use…

Snoopey:   Can I just…

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

Snoopey:   Awwww, I give up.

Me:        Snoopey, girl. What’s wrong?

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

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

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Snoopey, what do you need?


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

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

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

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

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



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Where’s My Snow Dog? – Conversations with Stella

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

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

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

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


Stella:    But you said…

Me:        All the reports pointed to snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me:        Like what?

Stella:    Breakfast.

Me:        You already had breakfast.

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

Me:        You’ve already had that, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stella;    Great!  Sunbath time!

Me:        It’s 19 degrees.

Stella:    And your point is?




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






What Are You Looking For? – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Weather.

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

Me:        Changing weather.

Stella:    Changing into what?

Me:        Winter. Real winter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me:        He is helping some friends fix their truck.

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

Me:        He’ll be all right.

Stella:    I will wait up for him.

Me:        If you wish.

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

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

Stella:    What will become of us?

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

Stella:    What will we do?

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

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




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Why All The Insane Barking? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        And I have a serious question.

Stella:    Permission is granted for you to ask your question, silly or serious.

Me:        Why all the insane barking?

Stella:    Sorry, Lady Human. Your question makes no sense.

Me:        Sort of like y’all’s barking this afternoon. Every time I turned around…

Stella:    And you turn around quite a lot.

Me:        Barking, barking, barking. And there was no reason for it.

Stella:    Says who?

Me:        I could not see one thing going on that would provoke so much noise.

Stella:    Ah, there. You said it. You could not see, but could you smell it?

Me:        Smell what?

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        Exactly? What?

Stella:    How can I explain what you cannot smell? Bulldog barking is never insane. Bulldogs are reasonable creatures.

Me:        Reasonable creatures? Hmmm.

Stella:    Don’t worry, Lady Human. We don’t bark like that every day. You know that. Maybe tomorrow will smell less interesting.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Read My Mind – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human does not understand me. I need my bulldog/human dictionary, but I have not finished it. Truthfully, I have not even started it yet. It’s not my fault. Naps cut way into my daily schedule.

Me:        Try me.

Stella:    Okay. Try this. Look at my face. Listen to my voice. Mmmmm-shish.

Me:        All right. Do that again.

Stella:    Mmmmm-shish.

Me:        You want to go outside.

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        You want a treat.

Stella:    Nope…well, yeah, always, but not my message.

Me:        Sorry, I don’t know what you are thinking.

Stella:    You see? I need a mind reader.

Me:        Or maybe you need to send a stronger message.

Stella:    Uh, no. I think the problem is on your end, Lady Human. Let’s try again.

Me:        Very well.

Stella:    Mmmmm-shish.

Me:        Don’t tell me. Let me guess. You want to chase the cat.

Stella:    Of course, but no. Try again. Mmmmm-shish.

Me:        Oh, I’ve got it! Snoopey is talking to Moon the Cat and you want them to shut up!

Stella:    Yes! Yes! Yes! YES! What clued you in?

Me:        The disgusted, irritated tone.

Stella:    Good. It finally came through. Remember that tone for future reference.


Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Customer Service is Closed for the Night – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Me:   I am not Stella. I am not Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am merely a tired human who does not seem to be making any bulldog happy today, except Miss Sweetie…maybe.

Stella:    Hey, cut it out!

Me:        Okay, I will cut it out. I am going to bed early.

Stella:    No! Not allowed!

Snoopey:   But I want…

Tiger:     What about my…

Doodlebug:   Don’t forget my…

Wiggles:   More blankeys…

Me:        You have three.

Wiggles:   I need a thousand more.

Miss Sweetie:    One of my four chew toys is missing. Right over there. Go get it for me.

Me:        Customer service is closed for the night. Please stop by again in the morning when it will reopen.

Stella:    I told you all that the service in this hotel is terrible.

Me:        Once again, our home. Not a hotel.

Stella:    Mark my words. Tomorrow, I will be speaking to the manager.

Me:        Well, best wishes in finding one. I don’t know who is in charge here.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sniffing Time – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Stella, girl, it’s cold. If you’re finished, let’s go in.

Stella:    Not finished. Still sniffing.

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    What is that noise you’re making?

Me:        I’m humming. You’ve heard me do that before.

Stella:    Please stop. It is interfering with what I am doing.

Me:        You’re sniffing.

Stella:    Yes.

Me:        How can humming interfere with sniffing?

Stella:    Sniffing is a delicate art. Anything can interfere with it.

Me:        Well, can you cut the sniffing short a little bit? It’s cold out here and I’d like to get back inside.

Stella:    You know how you sit down with a cup of that stuff you call ‘coffee’ and, no matter how we try, you don’t get up until you have your silly ‘coffee break’?

Me:        Coffee breaks aren’t silly. They are necessary hedges against the intrusions of insistent bulldogs. If I give in, my coffee gets cold.

Stella:    Sniffing isn’t silly either and sniffing can’t be cut short.

Me:        How long can you sniff the same ground over and over?

Stella:    Sniffing is my coffee break, only without the coffee. Now let’s go in. It’s chilly out here. Sniffing break’s over. My sniffer is getting cold and a cold sniffer has to be worse than cold coffee.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Love Taps – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. One of my favorite things is when Lady Human and I spend quiet time alone. She pets me and scratches my itchy spots and massages my shoulders and scratches my back and rubs my ears and… hey, why are you stopping?

Me:        Places to go. People to see.

Stella:    What places? Where? What people? Who?

Me:        I have stuff I’ve got to do. We can meet again later.

Stella:    1…2…3…okay, later is now.

Me:        I know, Stella. I enjoy quiet time, too. But who is going to grocery shop and clean y’all’s bowls and wash the clothes…

Stella:    I don’t wear clothes. Let them wash themselves. Pet me. Scratch me.

Me:        Stella, let me have my hand.

Stella:    Pet me. Scratch me.

Me:        Stella, let my arm go.

Stella:    Never. Pet me. Scratch me. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Me:        You have no idea how heavy your paws are.

Stella:    Yes, I do. Tap. Tap. Tap. Stay here. Pet me. Scratch me. LOVE ME!

Me:        Isn’t cleaning your bowls love?

Stella:    Maybe, but it doesn’t feel as good.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Sky Battle – Hawks vs. Crows – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and a witness to an epic battle in the sky over our home.

Me:        I’m not sure it was epic. Probably happens all the time.

Stella:    There were these 2 hawks. And there was this group of crows…all of them yelling. CAW! CAW! CAW!

Me:        A murder of crows.

Stella:    Say again?

Me:        A flock of crows is called a ‘murder’ of crows. I know. Weird.

Stella:    Scary. The crows drove the hawks away, but they did not murder them.

Me:        No. I counted 7 crows all flying at the hawks at once. Not many, but enough. The hawks hightailed it.

Stella:    Where did they go?

Me:        Back to their home. I saw a nest not far from here. The crows can’t let them stay around. The hawks will rob their nests.

Stella:    Hawks are robbers? But they are so beautiful.

Me:        And hawks can carry off small animals, well, small to medium animals.

Stella:    Carry off? As in flying off with animals? To teach them to fly?

Me:        Not exactly.

Stella:    Why then?

Me:        Hawks are predators and they hunt for their food and they have great eyesight so when they see an animal on the ground, they swoop down and…

Stella:    Carry them off for food! Animals like…bulldogs?

Me:        I have not heard of…

Stella:    But bulldogs are too big, too heavy, right? How much can hawks pick up?

Me:        I’ve heard from 6 to 60 pounds so…

Stella:    So, no bulldogs. We weigh more than 60 pounds, right, Lady Human? Lady Human?

Me:        Well, Tiger weighs about 75 and so does Snoopey. Wiggles weighs 70. Miss Sweetie is a tank. She weighs 81 and a half. Doodlebug, he’s usually around 79.

Stella:    And me? Tell me I weigh more than 60 pounds.

Me:        As it happens, you’re a little lightweight for an OEB. You weigh 50.

Stella:    Please tell me that 50 is more than 60.

Me:        Not exactly.

Stella:    AAAAGGGGHHHH! I’m hawk food!

Me:        These hawks aren’t the biggest, so I don’t think there’s any chance…

Stella:    But they have friends!

Me:        They tend to work alone.

Stella:    Then why were there 2 of them?

Me:        Hey, seven little bitty ole crows chased them off.

Stella:    That’s the ticket! We need to recruit more crows. Get several murders of them working for us. We can share the chicken feed with them. The chickens won’t mind. You won’t let me go out alone while the hawks are around, will you? Do you weigh more than 60 pounds?

Me:         Yep. I’d say so.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




The Long, Red Monster Incident – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, on my count, 1, 2, 3…ATTACK!

Miss Sweetie:    I’ll get it, Aunt Stella! Nobody invades our home!

Doodlebug:   Stop, you ugly monster! I’ve got you!

Me:        What is going on? Why are you all freaking out?

Snoopey:   See it! See it! Stop it! It has grabbed Tall Man!

Me:    The mop? Not again. More like Tall Man has grabbed it.

Tiger:   No! He is wrestling with it! Back and forth! Back and forth! We must help him!

Me:        Hey, y’all, we’ve had this discussion before. A mop is a floor cleaner. It is not dangerous.

Wiggles:   Of course, it is dangerous! It is long and red. Long, red things are dangerous.

Me:        Can you even see red?

Stella:    When you bring that yellow brush thing out, do we bark at it?

Me:        The broom? As a matter of fact, no.

Stella:    Because it is yellow. Yellow things are not a threat. But red things are monsters.

Me:   So if the mop were yellow, it would be all right?

Stella:    There are no such things as yellow mops. But long, red monsters are real.

Me:        There! He put the mop up. Can you stop barking now?

Stella:    Cease the attack! The long, red monster has retreated. I declare a bulldog victory! Yay us!

Me:        I guess I could always paint the mop handle yellow.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Yet Another Human Party Day – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human tells me that this is yet another human holiday. How many holidays can humans have? She says that this one celebrates a change in what they call a calendar. I am glad bulldogs do not have such silly things.

Me:        It would just be one more thing to chew up.

Stella:    And this is just one more day for humans to party.

Me:        You don’t see me partying, do you?

Stella:    You party by watching things on the Picture Box and eating nuts.

Me:        Yes. That makes pretty much every day a party for me.

Stella:    I don’t understand what this celebration is about. The humans on the Picture Box pop exploding bottles that shoot foam everywhere. They fire off guns and rockets that blow up the sky.

Me:        And, hopefully, nothing else.

Stella:    What’s the big deal? You said that you all change the calendar and, from what I gather, a calendar is a short book made of paper with numbers written on each page and each page has a different name but none of them are named after dogs, so I don’t really care. Is that about right?

Me:        Yeah, pretty much.

Stella:    So why celebrate paper?

Me:        It’s the idea of a new start. The year changes and people like to think about changing things in their lives.

Stella:    But they’ve already changed the calendar. Isn’t that enough? Humans are so needy.

Me:        A lot of people like to start a diet after the holidays to lose weight.

Stella:    Diet. You mean as in eating less?

Me:        Yep. Maybe. That can be part of it.

Stella:    Madness! Let’s get this so-called holiday over with as soon as possible. Eating less? Preposterous. Keep your new calendars. I’ll stick with last year’s. Bulldogs eating less. The very idea…



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Human Howling – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Will someone please stop the noise? Why do humans howl? They don’t like it when we do it.

Me:        Howling? Who’s howling?

Stella:    You are. And those humans on the Picture Box. Dreadful. Make it stop.

Me:        Those people were singing an old song that I know. I was singing along.

Stella:    Lady Human, begging your pardon, but that was not singing. It was howling. I should know. Not that I mind howling. It is a lovely sound when it comes from a dog.

Me:        Singing is a whole lot more complicated than howling.

Stella:    Says the human.

Me:        Says the anybody.

Stella:    All I am asking is keep it down. Some of us are trying to sleep.

Me:        Let me sing you to sleep.

Stella:    Like this? Ooooo…wooooo….owwwww!

Me:        No. Not like that. Please…

Stella:    As I thought. The only taste humans have is in their mouths.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Treat Catch Bowl Game – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Welcome to the Bulldog Treat Catching Bowl Game. Today’s contestants are Tiger and Doodlebug.

Me:        Okay, ready, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   Mmm hmmm.

Stella:    Whoops! Miss!

Doodlebug:   Not fair! Do over!

Stella:    Let Tiger have her turn.

Me:   Okay, ready, Tiger?

Tiger:   Yep.

Stella:    Nice catch. One point.

Doodlebug:   How does she do that?

Tiger:   Watch and learn, kid.

Me:   Tiger keeps her eyes on the treat and keeps her mouth slightly open. As it falls, if she has to, she adjusts her head to get right under it. Great technique.

Doodlebug:   What am I doing wrong?

Stella:   Simple. You keep your mouth shut and look up like you expect the treat to fall right into it anyway and, when it doesn’t, you look all surprised. It bounces off your nose and you’re all like, “How did that happen?”

Doodlebug:   Well, how does that happen?

Stella:    Doodle! Closed mouths catch no treats.

Tiger:   Neither does his opened mouth. Pick a new game, bud. Maybe something where you use your big ole paws to bat treats into my mouth.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

House Rules – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Lady Human! Wiggles is dragging towels out of the clean up box. Violation of House Rule 1,390,245.

Me:        Wiggles, leave the towels alone.

Wiggles:   No. Yes. No. Okay. Can I keep the ones I already have?

Me:        I guess so, as long as you don’t eat them.

Wiggles:   Awwww. Never mind then.

Me:        And Stella, we don’t have a million plus house rules.

Stella:    You could’ve fooled me.

Snoopey:   Lady Human! Stella is sitting too close to the Picture Box. She is staring at it. That’s bad for her eyes. Violation of House Rule blah – blah – blah – blah – blah.

Stella:    Hey, I’m the one who gets to call out House Rule violations. And I’m not, because I like these pretty pictures. And besides, Wiggles is still in violation of House Rule 1,390,245 and she is pulling out more towels and Lady Human hasn’t stopped her.

Tiger:     Lady Human! Miss Sweetie is sitting over in the corner making loud, rumbly noises. Violation of some House Rule or other, I’m sure.

Me:        House Rules are to promote safety, peace, and enjoyment. How are rumbly noises a violation of those?

Tiger:     I don’t enjoy her rumbly noises so there’s that.

Miss Sweetie:    Lady Human! Doodlebug walked into Wiggles’ crate, sniffing around and drooling!  Violation of House Rule something or other.

Doodlebug:   Tattle tale! Nosy nose!

Miss Sweetie:   Lady Human! Doodlebug is calling me names for following the rules. Make him stop! Violation of House Rule I don’t know what, but…

Me:   Okay. New House Rule.

Tiger:   Oh, no!

Snoopey:   Not another one.

Me:        Everybody minds their own business.

Stella:    That’s fine with me because everything is my business. Now make it official.

Me:        Okay…it’s official?

Stella:    Number, please.

Me:        Really? How about Stella’s choice?

Stella:    Great!

Me:        So… what’s the number?

Stella:    I have no idea. I can’t count that high.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Catch a Shooting Treat – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and we are having so much fun!

Me:        You really like this game?

Stella:    I like the way everybody looks so silly trying to catch the treats.

Me:        Okay, to explain a little, I bought a toy that launches treats. So far, nobody has caught any. The treats mainly go sliding across the floor.

Stella:    The bulldogs mainly go sliding across the floor, too.

Me:        Let me try my alternative method of delivery.

Snoopey:   Does this mean real delivery as in we finally get a treat?

Wiggles:   I’ve been getting treats. You got to be fast.


Me:        Let Doodlebug try first.

Tiger:   Yeah, he needs the practice. Don’t start with somebody who catches 9 times out of 10.

Snoopey:   Brag. Brag. Brag.

Tiger:     No brag. Just fact.

Me:        Okay, Doodle. Ready? Uh-oh.

Stella:    Hahaha! It’s on his head.

Miss Sweetie:   Doodle, look on your head!

Stella:    He smells it, but he can’t figure out where it is! This is hilarious!

Miss Sweetie:   Doodle, it just slid down to your back. It’s on your back!

Me:        He can’t see it. He’s a bulldog. His back is invisible to him.

Snoopey:   Poor Doodle. Help him find it, Lady Human!

Me:        No, let him work his nose. He’ll find it.

Wiggles:   What if I just walk over all quiet like and pick it off his back…

Doodlebug:   Found it! Mine!

Me:        Good boy! Good job!

Stella:    Good boy? It landed on his head and it took him how long to find it? Drop a treat on my head. I’ll show you how it’s done!

Me:        What if I just launch the treats in the air…

Stella:    With a treat gun? Like that kid on that Picture Box movie? NOOO! You could put somebody’s eye out!

Me:        I won’t ever aim it at anybody.

Stella:    Famous last words.

Me:        What if I use a sling shot?

Stella:    Do you hear what you are saying?

Me:        No?

Stella:    Shot. Launch. Aim.

Miss Sweetie:    Yeah, Lady Human. Cool food delivery. Can we get our breakfast that way?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Bulldog Celebrations – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs, and first let me say, ‘Merry Christmas to all’ before I start pointing out all the ways humans mess up celebrations.

Me:        Well, thank you. And no, thank you.

Stella:    Didn’t you tell me that criticism is helpful?

Me:        Constructive criticism, yes. But not too much and not too often. It can get kind of overwhelming.

Stella:    Constructive. As in the human word ‘construct’? I have to build something? With these paws? How do you expect me to do that?

Me:        Never mind. Just tell me how you think humans mess up celebrations, so we can all go to bed on time tonight.

Stella:    Number one: That one right there – everything is rushed. Meals and visiting. Got to go here. Got to go there. Rush, rush, rush. And there’s all that food.

Me:        What’s wrong with food?

Stella:    Nothing, if you share. Otherwise the good smells are so unfair. It makes me want to cover my big old nose with my big old paws. Awwww. And then there are those things you hang all over the house, things that we are not allowed to chew on, play with, or carry around. Things that break if you breathe on them. Things that make funny noises and play music at all hours and flash lights into my eyeballs.

Me:        All right then. How would you celebrate Christmas?

Stella:    Me? I would eat a big breakfast, run around and potty outside, take a long nap, then another long nap, watch some Picture Box. That’s about it.

Me:        What about visiting family and friends?

Stella:    I already do too much of that every day.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


You Did It Again – Conversations with Stell

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has been silly again. She is silly at least once a year, usually at this time they call Christmas.

Me:        I know. I know.

Stella:    But if you know, you know, why do you keep doing it?

Wiggles:   What did she do? What did she do? Did she pee on the carpet?

Me:        No! I never do that! It would not even occur to me.

Wiggles:   It occurs to me every time I walk into the front room.

Snoopey:   It occurs to me in that room, too, but I don’t do it anymore. The humans don’t seem to like it.

Doodlebug:   Self-control. Self-control. Self-control.

Miss Sweetie:   What does that mean, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   I don’t know, but it sounds good and it has something to do with the carpet in the front room.

Tiger:   Why does Lady Human go out every Christmas only to come home too tired to play my jump around game for more than five minutes? Does Christmas mean ‘get tired and sit in a chair’? Because if it does, that’s fine. Just let me know in advance.

Stella:   No, she said something about peace and goodwill. That must mean wearing yourself out and getting grumpy because that’s what she does.

Me:        I don’t intend to, but I catch myself rushing around last minute and getting stuck in traffic and crowds.

Stella:    Because traffic and crowds are so fun, right?

Me:        No, they’re not.

Stella:    Because traffic and crowds are Christmas?

Me:        No, they’re not.

Stella:    Would doing what Christmas really is make you tired and grumpy?

Me:        No, it wouldn’t.

Stella:    Then I would do what Christmas really is if I were you.

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    And I’d be careful walking into the front room. I just saw Wiggles run in there. Merry Christmas!

Me:        Merry Christmas, Stella.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



No Catty Remarks, Please – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The cat is a rude, loud mouth and must be ignored. Always.

Me:        What’s this about?

Stella:    Rude. Loud. Mouth. You can’t tell me that you didn’t hear her. Meow. Meow. Meow. Typical.

Me:        It means something to her.

Stella:    She lays up there on top of the big chair, looking down on us from her high perch like she’s all that and a bag of bulldog treats, and she starts making these remarks and I know that she is picking on us and putting us down.

Me:        Maybe she’s saying, ‘Hello!’

Stella:    She sees us every day, Lady Human. Why would she say ‘hello’?

Me:        I doubt she’s insulting you.

Stella:    She’s a cat! Why do you think humans call spiteful comments ‘catty’?

Me:        You know about that?

Stella:    I know a lot of things, Lady Human. You would be surprised.

Me:        I already am, Stella.

Stella:    There is no other choice. I must work on a dog/cat dictionary for the benefit of human and dog kind.

Me:        How are you going to accomplish that?

Stella:    Very carefully. And from a safe distance.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Weather for Ducks – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. A couple of days ago, the sky cried all night. It rained cats and squirrels.

Me:   I believe that the expression is ‘it rained cats and dogs’.

Stella:   Nonsense, Lady Human! Dogs would never be so foolish as to get caught up in the sky just to fall to the ground. Where was I? Oh, yes. The ground was a shallow lake. The humans say that it was great weather for ducks. And Lady Human wants us to go out in this mess because she refuses to build us a bathroom in the house. What do we look like? Ducks?

Me:        It’s not raining anymore.

Stella:    Did the sky run out of tears?

Me:        Sort of.

Stella:    Then what were those water drops that kept falling from the sky?

Me:        Those were drips from the trees. And from the roof. And condensation from the fog.

Stella:    So, rain leftovers. The ground is still soaking wet. My precious toes deserve better.

Me:        Think of it as a mud bath for your feet. Some humans pay a lot of money for that sort of treatment.

Stella:    All humans know how to waste their time. They should go outside here and try our cold mud. Take your shoes off, Lady Human, and dip your toes. Sticky. Mucky. Dirty toenails. The whole package in seconds. Enjoy.

Me:        Mmmm, no. But the fact remains – you all need to go out. Bathroom break.

Stella:    Only when the trees stop weeping. Only when the dirt stops swimming.

Me:        Can you hold out that long?

Stella:    Mmmm, well…now that I think about it…NO! Outta my way! Time to make another puddle!




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Fuzz Is Not For Eating – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! Bulldogs love to eat, preferably food, but we have been known to eat other things. That is, we have been known to eat anything that will fit in our mouths.

Me:        In other words, you settle.

Stella:    No settling involved. If it fits, we eats.

Me:        Yeah, like that fuzz that was on the floor.

Miss Sweetie:    It looked like ice cream.

Tiger:     Yeah, if you didn’t want us to eat it, why did you put it on the floor?

Me:        I didn’t PUT it on the floor. It fell on the floor.

Tiger:     Same difference. Humans are in charge of everything.

Me:        Not exactly. I wish you all would understand that.

Snoopey:   Now you are going to tell us that some mysterious force that no one can see causes the fake food to fall on the floor.

Me:        Well, yes. Gravity.

Stella:    Ridiculous. Human nonsense. Who ever heard of gravity? I think she makes that stuff up.

Me:        I do not need to argue the existence of gravity. Just drop something and watch it fall. Not up. Down.

Doodlebug:        I saw that delicious fuzz fly up before it headed for my mouth.

Wiggles:   That proves there is no such thing as gravity. Lady Human is fooling us.

Me:        My whole point is that you all not eat just anything that falls on the floor. Fuzz is not food.

Stella:    It should be labelled as ‘NOT FOOD’.

Me:        Why? You can’t read.

Stella:    Oh, yeah. Well then, put one of those circles with a line on it.

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, I would definitely eat that.

Me:        All right, here’s a test. In my left hand, I am holding a piece of fuzz. In my right hand, I am holding a treat. Which one should you eat?

Stella:    Put them both on the floor. We will check them out and let you know.

Miss Sweetie:    Wait. What flavor is the fuzz?

Doodlebug:   Does it matter?





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.