Humans and Their Chew Sticks – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! I don’t understand humans so I ask Lady Human when I see a human doing something silly or weird or foolish…

Me:        In other words, bulldoggy.

Stella:    Now let’s not be insulting, Lady Human.Being bulldoggy is so much more than that.

Me:        What silly or weird or foolish or bulldoggy thing did you witness a human doing?

Stella:    A man on the Picture Box had a big chew stick hanging out of his mouth and the stick was ON FIRE! Then I saw a man standing outside of a building and he had a small white chew stick hanging out of his mouth and IT WAS ON FIRE, TOO!

Me:        I think I can explain.

Stella:    I thought humans had common sense. Fire sticks burn. That is why you never let us around your fire pit when it is still hot. Miss Sweetie would do something silly or foolish…

Me:        Or bulldoggy.

Stella:    Oh, all right. Or bulldoggy. Like picking up a fire stick in her mouth. And then she would be all like “Ow! Ow! Ow!” and I’d be like, “Yeah, didn’t your good ole Aunt Stella tell you not to fool with those hot sticks, but you just had to anyway.”

Me:        Stella, I think I can explain what you saw.

Stella:    And that’s another thing. How are we supposed to behave when we see humans setting bad examples?

Me:        Those were not chew sticks in those men’s mouths. The big one was probably a cigar and the small white stick was probably a cigarette.

Stella:    And humans know that these sticks will catch fire?

Me:        The humans purposely light the sticks on fire.

Stella:    WHY? Their human muzzles are right there! They could burn their noses!

Me:        That seldom if ever happens. The sticks are made up of rolled up leaves called tobacco. And the humans who use them do so for some of the same reasons that dogs like to chew on sticks. It calms them a little. It’s a habit.

Stella:    Humans have a habit of lighting their chew sticks on fire?

Me:        No. Humans don’t really have chew sticks. Well, some people chew the tobacco instead of smoking it, but they aren’t sticks.

Stella:    And where do the humans get their not-for-chewing fire sticks?

Me:        They buy them at stores.

Stella:    If I need a good stick to calm me down, I use the one you gave me or I go pick one up from the yard. Simple. And I don’t set fire to it. That would just be…

Me:        Bulldoggy?

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


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Stay Out of My Sunbath Spot! – Conversations with Stella

I am with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, Queen and Squirrel Fighter.

Stella:    FLYING Squirrel Fighter!

Me:        That remains to be seen. And by the way, the squirrel is still in the front pecan tree, engorging himself and throwing pecan shells on me when I pass by.

Stella:    Jerky McSquirrelyFace and I will meet on the Field of Battle one day. Then we shall see who emerges victorious.

Me:        The squirrel, probably.

Stella:    AAGGGHH! You would bet against me? Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        Well, the squirrel is fast. He climbs trees. He can run over rooftops. He jumps crazy far. He hides so well that you can look right at him and not see him.

Stella:    I can do all that.

Me:        Stella the Bulldog. Remember.

Stella:    So I may have to practice a bit. You’ll see. But I have a more urgent problem. Wiggles peed on my sunbath spot.

Me:        I believe that everyone, except for me and Tall Man, of course, has peed on your sunbath spot at one time or another. Everyone including you.

Stella:    If I pee on my own spot, that is my business. Still, you are the management and I am making a formal complaint.

Me:        I have noticed a lot of selfishness among the bulldogs about the sunbathing area lately.

Stella:    Exactly, which is why we need a reservation system. And the reservation system says that the spot in the middle is mine all the time. No trespassing. No public bathroom. Oh, and I reserve the time slot when the sun shines at the best angle, not too hot, not too cool, just right.

Me:        What about the others? It sounds like you are trying to hog the sun.

Stella:    Pigs have nothing to do with it. Don’t let pigs come on my sunbathing spot! There is no telling what they might leave behind.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Play So Rough! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, still without a crown. Do I look good in my purple church lady hat?

Me: You look lovely.

Stella: Because I have no crown yet. Where is my crown? You promised.

Me: I haven’t found a suitable one yet.

Stella: I think you have not been looking hard enough. Don’t humans have places where you buy crowns?

Me: Not sure about crown stores.

Stella: Will it cost a lot of money?

Me: It could.

Stella: That’s all right. Spend it! I am worth it.

Me: I don’t doubt that. I have not been spending time or money on your crown lately. I am trying to calm Miss Sweetie and Doodlebug.

Stella: Agghh. Sister and brother nonsense.They are young and stupid.

Me: Be that as it may, they love each other so much that they are grabbing each other when they play. I have had to separate them more than once.

Stella: NO! They really do love their play-play.

Me: Maybe you can talk to them then. They are playing too rough. Miss Sweetie’s shoulder got scraped when Doodlebug grabbed her while they were wrestling.

Stella: But it was brotherly love. Didn’t you play fight with your litter mates?

Me: Humans don’t have litters. As for me, I was an only child.

Stella: Only one? So you never had anyone to play fight with? So sad!

Me: I had a cousin who would visit every so often. We had a few fights.

Stella: Did you get him with your teeth and shake him and throw him around? That is the most fun!

Me: No, but one time we were both standing on top of my toy box and he looked at me all snooty so I pushed him off.

Stella: That’s wonderful! That’s what I am talking about! Love!

Me: Love or not, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie need to tone it down.

Stella: Never tone down a bulldog! Being bulldoggy is what makes us…well…bulldogs.I will speak to Miss Sweetie. We talk a lot because we look so much alike. Doodlebug is a stupid, yucky boy. He doesn’t listen.

Me: And he is a teenager. They both are. I don’t want to restrict their play, but I can’t let them hurt each other by accident.

Stella: Is this the hard part of being a human with bulldogs?

Me: Just one of many, Stella, my friend.

Stella: Okay. I will start by telling Doodlebug what an idiot he is. Maybe he will listen to Aunt Stella for once. And I will tell Miss Sweetie to stand up for herself.

Me: Well, Miss Sweetie gets her own licks in during those wrestling matches.

Stella: She does? Good for her! We girls have to stand up for ourselves.

Me: I just want them to get back to where they can play-play without it getting out of hand. Can Stella the Queen take care of that?

Stella: I don’t know about the Queen. Maybe Aunt Stella can. But keep one thing in mind – they are teenagers, so victory is not in sight.
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella’s List of Offenders – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges with my latest List of Offenders.

Number 1 (by far): Jerky McSquirrelyFace, the Rude Squirrel that is eating all the green pecans off of our trees. He sits up there, nibbling away, taking only a few small bites out of each nut, and then dropping the remains on our heads. He is arrogant because he thinks we can’t reach him while he sits up there, chuckling away, laughing at us. Beware, McSquirrelyFace, I have my bulldog eyes on you. I will remind you again – WINTER IS COMING! Oh, it is hard to imagine now when the weather is hot and the trees are full, but it will come and you will rue the day you ate all the nuts.

Number 2 and 3 and 4: Miss Sweetie – That’s right, Miss Sweetie, you keep finding new ways to annoy me. Oh, the humans laugh and think that you are “cute”. I don’t understand their use of that word when it does not apply to me. Obviously, “cute” no longer has any real meaning.

For starters, why oh why do you sit your large behind in your food bowl after breakfast? Don’t you realize that it will never fit? Who does that? That’s where your food goes, silly! You don’t see the humans sitting on their plates or in their bowls. They know better. I know better. EVERYONE KNOWS BETTER!

And when you are playing in the Puppy Pool, remember that bystanders may not want water sloshed all over them so cut out the running jump trick. I don’t play in the water much. Do you know why? I DON’T LIKE TO GET SPLASHED!

Before I forget (which I never do), when you happen to find stray pieces of food that have fallen ACCIDENTALLY outside my bowl, LEAVE THEM ALONE. Do you really think that I throw food away? I will get back to the poor lost munchies in my own time. Lady Human understands this. She lets me clean it up by myself. Bottom line, all food near my bowl is MINE, MINE, MINE!

As the humans say, a word to the wise is sufficient. Not that I believe you are wise, Miss Sweetie. You have always been a goofy girl. Who else would try to make her food bowl into a chair?


Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Open Letter to Jerky Mc SquirrelyFace – Stella’s Blog

Dear Jerky Mc SquirrelyFace, 

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am not amused.

You have offended us and we demand satisfaction. I do not know if the name I have used is your real name. I only know that, based on your behavior, it fits.

Was it not bad enough that you insulted Lady Human yesterday by showering pecan shells and partially eaten pecans on her head, but today you repeated your vile actions and left almost whole green pecans on our property. Yes, OUR PROPERTY! BULLDOGS RESIDE HERE!

You wasteful scoundrel! On behalf of humans and bulldogs everywhere, I demand satisfaction! You have heard of Hamilton. You know what I mean!

We have gathered evidence of your heinous pecan gorging.

What an effrontery! I don’t know what that word means, but it sounds terrible!

The under-tree space was clean yesterday. Today it is full of your crumbs. All your doing.

What do your fellow squirrels think of you, eating all their winter store. Yes, Jerky McSquirrelFace! Winter is coming!

Oh, and a word of warning. I don’t know how much you weigh, but at the rate you are eating, you will probably double that in a few weeks.Pecan trees are notorious limb shedders, so if I were you (and I’m glad I’m not), you’d better stay on the biggest, solid branches or you might find yourself falling into bulldog territory. Just a friendly tip.

I have a good mind to call a meeting of the Squirrel Council to get your obsessive pecan eating ways on their agenda.

I’ve got my eye on you. Leave some pecans for the rest of us!

As Sherlock Holmes would say, “Catch you later.”


Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and Squirrel Fighter

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Here I Come to the Rescue – Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but today, more importantly, I am once again Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter.

Here I come to save the day! I heard a mouse sing that on the Picture Box. I don’t believe he was a real mouse. He looked a little flat and he was wearing a cape. And he could fly. That part was great!

I dream of flying. I would even settle for bronco bucking like Miss Sweetie does. How does she get her big old barrel body to kick up in the air the way she does? Amazing! But don’t tell her I said that. Her bulldog head is already too big as is.

Today I had to come to Lady Human’s rescue when she was attacked by a mean squirrel in the front yard. She was minding her own business, sweeping the sidewalk, when this jerky squirrel in the large pecan tree started talking ugly to her like he owned the tree and threw a shower of green pecan shells on her.

Well, I couldn’t let that go! I flew up into the tree and shut that squirrel up. Boy, was he surprised to see a flying bulldog! He stopped that silly chucking noise and dropped the green pecan he was in the middle of eating and he hauled it out of there!

My reputation as a squirrel fighter is getting around the squirrel community.They will think twice before they chunk nuts at my Lady Human again.

Me: Stella, that’s not the way that happened.

Stella: Just telling it like I saw it.

Me: You must have been in a different yard dealing with a different squirrel.

Stella: Mmm. Don’t think so. You. Me. Pecan tree. Squirrel. Ugly squirrel nonsense talk. Raining pecan shells. Yep. That was it.

Me: And you flew?

Stella: I was super fast. You must have missed that part.

Stella the Typist – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I can type.

Me:        Woah there, partner! You can what?

Stella:   Didn’t you see? I can type! Just like a human! Yay me!

Me:        I didn’t see you type. Stepping on a computer that was left on the floor is not the same as typing.

Stella:   Yes, it is. Yes, it is. And Tall Man must’ve wanted me to practice or he would not have left his typing box open on the floor.

Me:        Tall Man is not as cautious with his typing box…with his laptop as he perhaps should be, especially with you 50, 60, and 70 pound bulldogs running around.

Stella:    I am glad that he trusts us with his typing box. It shows that he loves us.

Me:        It shows that he doesn’t love his computer.

Stella:    Let me show you what I can type. lsrjilsmjrcljsrcelisrecnsrellnjreinreajnjraiec. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

Me:        What does it say?

Stella:    Does that matter?

Me:        That’s pretty much the whole point of typing.

Stella:    Well, that’s a problem because I can’t read. I am a bulldog.

Me:        Then why do you want to type?

Stella:    Because it is fun! It is like dancing. Jlsfjfdsiefdklndkdfjfdoji. What does that say?

Me:        Nothing that I can decipher.

Stella:    You mean I typed in secret code? Bulldog code? You know that bulldogs talk to each other in silent code.

Me:        Yes, I have seen that. It is fascinating. But I don’t think what you type is code. I think it is…gobbledygook.

Stella:    Wow! You mean I typed in a foreign language that even you don’t know? Great! I should start my own newspaper.

Me:        Fine, so long as you understand where a whole bunch of newspapers end up.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Two Long Ears and a Tiny Step of Faith

Our old rabbit, Moo-Moo, died today. She came to us because her previous owner, a 5-year-old boy, had an allergic dad. That was particularly sad because it was his dad who had gotten Moo-Moo for the boy to begin with.

They named her Moo-Moo because she was black and white and reminded the boy of a Holstein cow.

My daughter called me, hoping that I would be able to take the rabbit in. The request came at a bad time. I was minimally employed. The thought of taking on another expense twisted in my stomach. These were the pre-bulldog years, but still we had Susie the Welsh Corgi, Moon the part-Siamese cat, and a yellow parakeet named Buddy.

The boy’s father had checked with all the local shelters. No one had room for even one more bunny. My daughter said that the dad had built a three-story “condominium” for Moo-Moo (that’s bunny stories, not human stories -still pretty impressive). And the rabbit was litter box trained.

I was on my way home from one of my part-time jobs when my daughter called. I told her I would think about it and get back to her quickly, one way or the other.

The boy didn’t want to give the rabbit up. His heart was probably breaking. That’s all that I could think about on the drive home. How unhappy that would have made me. How he might be tempted to be angry with his father even though it wasn’t the father’s fault. How he might worry about where Moo-Moo would end up and what would happen to her.

What was the current price of rabbit food? Could I commit the room for a 3-story rabbit hutch? Did I need to take on another pet?

I did not know the father or the boy. I had never met either of them and I never have. I had no personal obligation to take on the animal or solve their re-homing problem.

And then I saw myself as the small, stingy, doubt-filled person I had become. If I couldn’t commit to take in a rabbit, a litter-trained rabbit with a 3-story condominium no less, what could I do? Before I even got home, I called my daughter back and told her Moo-Moo could come live with us. But, I added, be sure and bring the condo.

Being a rabbit, Moo-Moo was quiet though, early on, we almost renamed her “Thumper”. She expressed definite opinions about my volume level in the house. If I laughed too loudly at a comedy show or sang aloud, she thumped the floor of her condo violently. It was her rabbit version of an old-fashioned librarian putting her finger to her lips and shushing an unruly patron.

Among the bulldogs, Miss Sweetie had the closest rapport with Moo-Moo. They touched noses and carried on silent conversations. Miss Sweetie circled the rabbit condo with Moo-Moo keeping pace inside of it, a bulldog-rabbit race that went on until one or the other of them tired out.

Eventually Miss Sweetie would collapse with her back against the outside of the condo and Moo-Moo would skip up to the third floor of her rabbit home to take a rest.

It was Miss Sweetie who let me know that something was amiss this morning.  I had given Moo-Moo’s water and food a cursory look as I went about morning chores. Moo-Moo was stretched out as she usually was in the morning, right next to her nesting box on her condo’s third floor. About an hour later, Miss Sweetie had placed her paws on the condo and lifted herself up to sniff at Moo-Moo who had not shifted her position at all.

Miss Sweetie never reached up to the third floor because Moo-Moo always came down to her level to play. It was as though the bulldog was asking why her friend had not started their playtime.

And that’s when I knew.

I carefully picked up Moo-Moo’s body with Miss Sweetie watching. “She’s left. That’s all.” It was the only thing that I could think to say. Miss Sweetie looked at Moo-Moo and then walked away.

No one who lives on this earth avoids facing the fact of death.

Animals are sensitive to it. When my Corgi, Susie, died in our utility room while everyone was out of the house, our cat, Moon, would not walk into the room for the next 6 months. When one of our chickens died suddenly last spring, Snoopey, who always stays right beside me in the yard, would not approach the chicken run with me. She stayed far back, just watching.

That’s why I made sure that Miss Sweetie saw Moo-Moo as I took the body away. Moo-Moo was gone, but she didn’t just disappear. She left.

If I could, if I knew where the father and son who had to give up Moo-Moo were, I would let them know these things:

She lived a good, long time.

I think, I hope she enjoyed herself.

That 3-story rabbit condominium was genius and it held up well. She got lots of exercise jumping up and down the levels. It helped her stay healthy.

She had friends and at least one of them was a bulldog.

She laid down one night and peacefully went to sleep. She showed no pain. She felt no fear.

She will be remembered and she will be missed.

She helped me take a tiny step of faith which helped me take others.

And someday, we won’t experience death anymore.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:5 KJV




Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

When in Doubt, Spit It Out! – Conversations with Stella

Me:        Stella…Stella…Stella!

Stella:    Me…Me…Me…Yay, me! Wait? What?

Me:        Not everything that is in my hand belongs in your mouth.

Stella:    Why not?

Me:        Because not everything I hold in my hand is edible. You just tried to eat your metal rabies vaccination tag.

Stella:    I’m sorry. It was shiny and it looked delicious. Everything looks delicious to me.

Me:        You need to exercise a little self control. When you see that I am holding something, wait for me to let you know if it is for you. Don’t jump. Don’t grab.

Stella:    Aaaggghhh! But it takes so much time. Sometimes you walk around and around and do stuff and I patiently follow you to make sure you don’t lose a treat or drop it on the floor where some other bulldog may accidentally find it when it really belongs to me.

Me:        Think of it as just another human privilege. And you know that I would never let the other bulldogs deprive you of your treats. That would not be fair and I want to be fair to you all.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human. I think it would be fair if you let me taste test all treats from now on. I believe the others will benefit from my expert taste buds. I am a connoisseur of treats.

Me:        Oh, really?

Stella:    Yes, and I promise to exercise A LITTLE self control and not to try to eat my vaccination tags from now on.

Me:        That is very reasonable of you.

Stella:    Bulldogs are very reasonable creatures.

Me:        Well…trying to eat a metal disc…Reasonable? I’m not so sure.

Stella:    Once I would have tasted it, I would have realized that it was metal and I would have spit it out.

Me:        Now that is reasonable.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Running of the Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella

I am here again with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, aka Queen and Squirrel Fighter.

Stella:    Thank you for the introduction.

Me:        Lest anyone forget.

Stella:    Precisely.

Me:        As the bulldogs’ queen, I hope you can help me.

Stella:    Oh, they don’t listen to me.  Bulldogs aren’t great followers.  They are too bulldoggy.

Me:        Oh, well.

Stella:    I know. Maybe I can yell at them. If I raise my voice and sound screechy enough, they may pay attention. LISTEN TO ME, BULLDOGS! STOP WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU ARE DOING THAT IRRITATES THE HUMANS! THAT COULD BE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING! THE HUMANS ARE VERY TOUCHY!

Me:        Touchy? Really?

Me:        Like what?

Stella:    Like farting, and barking, and…

Me:        Running pell-mell through the house?

Stella:    Oh, is that the problem? Mmmm…can’t help you.

Me:        So I gathered.

Stella:    Gathered what?

Me:        It’s an old human expression.

Stella:    So only old humans use it?

Me:        No.  It’s an old expression …Nevermind. The galloping bulldogs need to slow down.  They are going so fast that when they hit a corner, they roll over sideways and slip. I feel like those people in Spain who are running away from the bulls.

Stella:    People in Spain run away from bulls? Why? Bulldogs run at bulls. Let me go there. I will bulldog those bulls.

Me:        Not likely and not the point. In our house, running is not allowed. There is furniture to run into, floors to slide on, people to run into, people to knock over, people to step on…

Stella:    Sounds like you are focused on people and not bulldog fun.

Me:        I don’t like dodging bulldog bowling balls.

Stella:    That’s easy. When you hear us rumbling, just get out of the way.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Dog Treats for Dogs! – Stella’s Blog

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogge Nation. Hello!

It is the hour for bedtime treats and tonight we are enjoying the Big White Chunks. 

Lady Human says that they are made of coconut oil. She brings them out of her Cold Box. We each get one and they are so good, smooth and cool and sweet, and they melt in your mouth.

Here they come now! She is holding the bowl full of the Big White Chunks and, yes, everyone has one, and here is mine, and…wait! What is she doing? She is eating the leftover chunk herself! NOOO!

What human audacity! (She taught me that word. It means bulldoggy.)

I don’t know where so-called coconut oil comes from, but I can tell that the Great Creator designed it for bulldogs and now the grasping humans are taking it for themselves. Funny. I don’t notice the humans eating our other doggy treats. (Well, there were those watermelon chunks, but that was okay for them to take because I don’t like watermelon so they can have all of that they want.)

Humans and their bad habits!


The End!

Signed, Queen Stella.

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Throw the Humans a Bone – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge. I go by many titles, but my favorite is Queen so you all may call me that.

We bulldogs have big reputations. We are adorable. We are comedians, the funny kind. We have big, sloppy mouths with which to kiss you.

But make no mistake. We are not easy. We are a challenge. And boy howdy, that makes me proud. Bulldog proud! We should have our own flag! It could have a picture of me in the center with stars floating all around my big smiling head.

But I digress. (I don’t know what digress means, but Lady Human likes to use it when I am talking so I must be digressing. I think it means that what I am saying is important.)

When I or any of the bulldogs get tense, we are overwhelmed with a desire to chew on something, anything, but the humans are unreasonable. They won’t let us chew on furniture. Something about teeth marks looking bad. You see. As I said. Unreasonable.

Instead, the humans give us tough, hard chew bones. The bones don’t come from animals, but they taste good. Chicken flavored. Peanut butter flavored. Wonderful.

We chew and chew and chew and boom, everything is all right. I don’t know how the humans make those wonderful bones solve all problems. It is just one of their many talents. (Please don’t tell them that I said that they are talented. They would never let me forget it.)

I just wish that the humans would chew on bones themselves. There is a lot of tension being a human. I watch all the things they do, all the coming and going, all the stuff they have to carry and build and remember to do. On top of all that, they have to remember to keep our supply of treats going. No matter what else they do, really, nothing is more important than the treats.

So how can we throw the humans a bone?

I considered offering mine to Lady Human. I would enjoy watching her gnaw on one. I can just imagine her tension melting away. Is Tiger barking too much? Chew a bone. Is Miss Sweetie farting again because she ate green pecans off the ground? Chew a bone. Is Wiggles trash diving? Just chew a bone. In fact, thinking about all that has made me a little wound up. I had better keep that chew bone for myself. Lady Human will have to get her own.

Farewell, humans. Remember to hang in there and chew your bones.

Signed, Queen Stella


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Story Hour – Stella’s Blog

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! Here is my new story. It is based on a true event that happened to me.

Once upon a time yesterday, I was minding my own business in the yard, just running around and enjoying the super hot day (not enjoying, not really) when the sky started falling on my head.

“Oh, no!” I shouted. “The sky is melting. It got too hot and now it is dripping like water on my head, only it is not wet and it is not water.”

I stared at the pieces of the sky that bounced off of my tough bulldog head. They weren’t pieces of sky at all. They were half-eaten green pecans from one of the trees. I ran out from under the pecan tree and under the red oak tree.  Tiny acorns rained down on me. Why? Why were the trees spitting their nuts on me? I thought they liked me. I always enjoy the shade they provide and I show my appreciation by not using them as a bathroom.

I asked the trees what they thought they were doing. They did not answer. Branches shook and leaves rattled.  A shadow flew over my head.

A squirrel! A flying squirrel!

Transcriptionist: Hold on now. A flying squirrel? You said this story was based on a true event.

Dear Listeners and Readers, please ignore the interruption.

The squirrel flew from branch to branch, from tree to tree, flinging green pecans with big bite marks taken out of them. His aim was good. He was fast, but I was faster.

I took a mighty leap and flew up into the red oak tree. Through the branches and around and around the trunk, I chased the nut-thrower. Finally, I wore the squirrel out and chased him over the fence. That taught him to throw things at me!

Transcriptionist: Woah there, horsey! I think your story has run off on its own legs. When did you learn to fly?

 When you are being bombed by a squirrel, you do what you must. That squirrel learned who rules that yard. Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter.

The End (for now).

Signed, Queen Stella


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Stella the Storyteller – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have written a new story. Well, I have not written it. I leave that for my transcriptionist because I cannot spell. Or type. Or scratch with a stick the way she does, leaving marks all over flat papers.

I have picked up many sticks during my life, but not one of them ever left strange marks on paper; so I figure that my transcriptionist finds her marking sticks in someone else’s yard, maybe when she leaves the house and comes back with bags full of mysterious things that she never shares with us.

Even if I found a stick that would make marks, it would not matter because I cannot read the written languages of the humans. Even with their spoken words, I can only make out what a small number of their noises mean. Which reminds me – I need to start working on that bulldog/human dictionary.

Have you ever seen inside a human’s house? (Well, of course, you have. You are humans. That slipped out of my mind for a moment.) There are shelves and tables stacked with marked paper that is held together inside delicious boards. They call them books and they love them.

Did I say ‘delicious’? Forget I mentioned that. I wouldn’t chew on the humans’ books. Okay, maybe I did once and that is how I know that they are delicious.

The humans must think that books are delicious, too, though I have never seen them put one in their mouths. They carry them around and hold them and open them and stare at them for the longest time and then they carelessly leave them on the floor or on a chair where it is oh so easy for me to reach them. The humans enjoy putting temptation in my path and then act all surprised when they see me carrying one of their treasures in my mouth.

I am a bulldog! My mouth is huge! I have to fill it with something!

Transcriptionist: Were you going to tell a story?

 Oh, yes…but now I am tired. Talking about weird human behavior is exhausting. I will tell a story later. Right now, I am just going to take a tiny nap. Not long. Three, maybe four hours at most.

Sweet dreams, humans.


Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



A Sleep Deprived Bulldog is No Fun – Conversations with Stella

I am with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge…

Stella:    Ahem.

Me:        Queen Stella…

Stella:    Thank you for setting …the record…straight. Ahhhhawwww.

Me:        Why are you yawning so much? Is it a dog thing?

Stella:    It is a tired dog thing.

Me:        But you sleep about 20 hours a day.

Stella:    Not lately. Haven’t you heard all the bulldog noise at night?

Me:        No. I must have slept through it.

Stella:    Lucky. Living in close quarters with bulldogs is hard.

Me:        Yeah, tell me about it.

Stella:    Okay.

Me:        Actually, that is a human expression that means you don’t have to tell me about it. I already know.

Stella:    Human expressions are stupid.

Me:        Agreed.

Stella:    With bulldogs, there is always snoring or farting or silly whining or barking.  How can anybody sleep under those conditions? And there are those weird noises at night and we wake up and bark to let you know in case there is a problem.

Me:        Yes, the warnings. Tall Man takes care of those. I seem to be able to sleep through them. I guess I’ve gotten used to them.

Stella:    Because you are a bulldog human.

Me:        So how can we make sure that you get more sleep?

Stella:    Earplugs against the barking and whining and snoring. And nose plugs against the bad smells.

Me:        I don’t think that’s a good idea. I have a feeling that you would end up trying to eat those earplugs and nose plugs, bulldog style.

Stella:    Only if they smell good and taste good.

Me:        So only if they are stinky and taste like garbage, right?

Stella:    Is there a problem with that?

Me:        A human problem, yes. Look, I will try to keep the nighttime bulldog disturbances to a minimum.

Stella:    I like it when you and I go camping, just the two of us. And we sleep in your little cloth house…

Me:        The tent?

Stella:    Yes, and you have lots of blankets and we eat stuff you bring and it is just the two of us. And it is quiet.

Me:        Quiet, yes, except for big rigs rolling down the highway and except for coyotes baying all night long as they go hunting.

Stella:    Wait. What? I don’t remember that. I didn’t hear that. Coyotes?

Me:        Yes. I stayed awake part of the night, listening.

Stella:    I had no idea.

Me:        You slept soundly all night long.

Stella;    What about you?

Me:        I slept and I awakened and I listened. That was my job.

Stella:    I had no idea.

Me:        Yes, that was your job.

Stella:   S0 it appears that we have been watching out for each other.

Me:        It would appear so.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human.

Me:        Thank you, Stella.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Cat Chasing Time – Where is the Cat? – Conversations with Stella

Here I am with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogges’ Queen…

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:         Excuse me?

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:         Chilling out in one of her many hiding places.


Stella:    So where is the cat?

Me:        That’s for her to know and you to find out.

Stella:    That’s not funny. Is that a human game?

Me:        It was a long time ago.

Stella:    Why is the cat hiding? It is time for cat chasing.

Me:        Yeah, about that. That’s not really her favorite game.

Stella:    Why ever not? It is the most fun ever!

Me:        I have noticed something about that game that is a little odd.

Stella:    Like how I always win.

Me:        More like how you are the only one playing it.

Stella:    That is not correct. Bulldogs are cat chasers. We are all players. Whoop!

Me:        Whoop?

Stella:    Isn’t that what humans yell when they win?

Me:        Mmmmm. Not always.

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:        If this is a real game, you will have to find her.

Stella:    Not fair.

Me:        Of course it is fair. The cat’s hiding is part of the game. If the other bulldogs are playing, why can’t they help you find her?

Stella:    Well…to be honest, they are lazy. But you have suspected that for a long time.

Me:        No, they aren’t being lazy. They want you to play the game while they sit still and watch you run your rear end off. They bark and whine and get you all stirred up to search for the cat. Have you noticed that when they walk past the cat, they touch noses with her and there is no barking, no stomping, and no chasing? They leave that to you.

Stella:    Well…that is just…wrong! Grrrrrr! It makes me want to….

Me:        To tell the other bulldogs off?

Stella:    No, it makes me want to chase a cat. Go find me a cat to chase.

Me:        Nope. Find your own.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



What’s In The Bag? – Conversations with Stella

I am here with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge and, lest I forget, their Queen.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human, for giving me my due.

Me:        No prob, Bob.

Stella:    Who is Bob? Is he another bulldog?

Me:        Nevermind.

Stella:    What was in that bag you brought in awhile ago?

Me:        Just some special food for tonight.

Stella:    I smelled it. It is wonderful.

Me:        I noticed you working your nose.

Stella:    Did you really think that you could sneak it past me? What is it?

Me:        Barbeque beef brisket, barbeque ribs, potato salad, fried okra. That’s all.

Stella:    That’s enough. I’ll take mine right over here.

Me:        Mmmm.  I don’t think the barbeque sauce will be good for you. It might upset your stomach.

Stella:    A risk worth taking.

Me:        Nope. I’ll see if I can pull some pieces out that have no sauce on them.

Stella:    And po-ta-to salad? And fried okra?

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Not worth a griping belly. Not worth itchy skin patches.

Stella:    I beg to differ.

Me:        Differ away. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, those treats that you call chicken bacon jerky, truth be told, there is no bacon in them.

Stella:    Yes, there is.

Me:        No, there isn’t.

Stella:    What? Not fair! Where is the bacon?

Me:        Not in those treats. Just chicken.

Stella:    It cannot be.

Me:        It is. But if knowing that fact means that you don’t like them anymore, I can always give them to the others…

Stella:    NO! That won’t be necessary. I will make the sacrifice and eat them, even without the bacon.

Me:        You don’t have to.

Stella:    It is all right. I will force myself to choke them down. By the way, do you have any of those handy?


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Uh-oh! Bath Day! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.The funniest thing ever happened. I am still laughing. Lady Human, did you see the hilarious thing that happened?

Me: I must not have because I am not laughing, but I could stand to have a good one. What happened?

Stella: You gave Miss Sweetie a bath.

Me: Yes, and….

Stella: Miss Sweetie is always so stinky and dirty.

Me: Yes, and…

Stella: She is forever rolling in dirt and mud and she sticks her head in trash cans.

Me: Yes, and…what is so funny? I am missing the punch line.

Stella: When she came back in the room, Tiger was running through…and she stopped and turned around…and ran up to Miss Sweetie and sniffed…because she smelled like a completely different dog and Tiger didn’t recognize her! Isn’t that hilarious? Tiger thought Miss Sweetie wasn’t Miss Sweetie because she smelled GOOD!

Me: I can understand her confusion. 

Stella: We read the world with our noses. You can’t always believe your eyes, but a bulldog can always believe her nose.

Me: The new shampoo really worked. Pineapple scented.

Stella: Keep using it. It will make Miss Sweetie more popular.

Me: I think she smells a lot better, too. Speaking of baths…

Stella: Still laughing. Can’t stop.

Me: It’s time for yours.

Stella: Huh?

Me: Your bath. It’s time for your bath.

Stella: Un-uh. I don’t stink. I am super clean.

Me: Among the bulldogs, you are the cleanest, I’ll give you that. 

Stella: I am the Queen. One must keep up appearances.

Me: How do you keep your ears so clean?

Stella: Simple. I don’t roll in the dirt. But I can’t have a bath.

Me: Why not? You have before.

Stella: It’s that new shampoo you use. If I start smelling like a pineapple, my subjects will not recognize me.

Me: Sure they will.

Stella: Worse. They will start calling me ‘Queen Pineapple’. Bulldogs can be so cruel.
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Massage Day – May It Never End – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella McStarFace.  That’s Queen Stella to all of you bulldogs and humans alike.

Me:        Stella, that comes across as demanding and rude.

Stella:   Oh, good. That was what I intended. I am glad I made myself clear.

Me:        You seem a little tense.

Stella:   Wouldn’t you be tense if you had bulldogs barking in your ears all day long, trying to steal your treats and your toys?

Me:        I do.

Stella:   How do you calm down?

Me:        I read. I have a couple of hobbies that I enjoy. I soak my feet in warm water. I may watch a little TV. Not politics though. That does not promote relaxation. Sometimes I give myself a massage.

Stella:   Massage?

Me:        I rub tight muscles in my neck and shoulders. In fact, I got something for you dogs that will massage your skin. It is a glove that I wear on my hand. It has rubbery little nubs on one side and…

Stella:   Me! Me! Me! Now! Now! Now!

Me:        Okay, there’s that demanding tone again.

Stella:   Massage! Massage! Massage!

Me:        All right, here. I just rub your shoulders and down your back and up around your neck. Stella, if you sit up, it is easier.

Stella:   Nope. Nap time.

Me:        Well, I’ll continue the massage later.

Stella:   No! Never stop!

Me:        You wouldn’t want that.

Stella:   Yes, I would.

Me:        After a while, even good things get tired. Excess is to be avoided. Like too much food.

Stella:   Is there ever such a thing as too much food?

Me:        Oh, yes.

Stella:   I would still like to try that.

Me:        I will arrange to be on vacation somewhere else that day.

Stella:   As you wish. More for me.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.