Whatever You Do, Don’t Freak Out! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and… what was that?

Me:        What was what?

Stella:    That!

Me:        I don’t hear anything and everything looks normal. What’s going on, Stella? You are all chomping on your play bones like there’s no tomorrow.

Stella:    There’s no tomorrow?

Me:        Well, yes, I believe that there is going to be a tomorrow. Why are you all so freaked out?

Stella:    Wait. Too busy chewing.

Snoopey:   Don’t you feel it, Lady Human?

Me:        If you mean the stress, I do. But we go on with life. Is this about all the hurricane news?

Stella:    Yes. No. Maybe. Wait. More stress chewing needed…Okay. You don’t want us to be stressed out, but you all are stressed, and when the humans are stressed, the bulldogs are stressed. Oh, and the cat, too, but that doesn’t count.

Me:        We are all fine. We are well and we are going to be well. Messages are getting through. Our family and friends down where the hurricane hit are fine. The waters got high but stopped at their doors. Praise the LORD! And now the waters are starting to subside in places. There will be a whole lot of work ahead, but we can do that. There’s been a lot of loss, but we can grieve that…later.

Wiggles:   No, Lady Human! There is water in your eyes! Wait! Chewing on my dinosaur will help you. No! Wait! Let me chew on my dinosaur first.

Doodlebug:   I need two extra bones over here, please.

Miss Sweetie:   You only have one mouth, Doodle. Why do you need three bones?

Doodlebug:        You have three bones.

Miss Sweetie:    That’s different. I like to switch them out. Variety.

Stella:    But this hurricane thing, Lady Human. People have died.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Animals have died.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Sometimes things happen that are too big for humans to handle. Sometimes we get to thinking that we can do everything by ourselves. Sometimes we get reminded that we can’t. We aren’t even supposed to.

Tiger:     May I switch from stress chewing to stress barking?

Snoopey:   NO! I’m warning you, Tiger, if you start stress barking, I am going to stress bark louder and longer than you! And I’ll win and…

Tiger:     No, I’ll win and you will have to shut up…


Stella:    Lady Human! Really! Do you need to borrow my chew bone? Because I think all humans need chew bones and you certainly do!

Me:        Sorry. No, thanks. But I meant what I said about the stress barking. You hear?

Tiger:     Yes, ma’am.

Snoopey:   Yes, ma’am.

Stella:    Why are you calling her ma’am? You don’t call me ma’am.

Snoopey:   Pfffftt to that!

Tiger:     Double pfffftt!

Wiggles:   I’m freaking out, Lady Human. Can you pet my head?

Me:        Sure.

Wiggles:   Faster. Faster. More. More. More.

Me:        Okay, back to normal mode.

Wiggles:   Aw. There can never be too much head petting.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



It’s Cooler and That is a Bad Thing? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The weather is wonderfully cooler, but it is still summer, at least that is what the birds and green leaves tell me. Why is the air not burning, Lady Human?

Me:        We are receiving some rain and breezes from many miles south of here. A hurricane came ashore the other day.

Stella:    Another confusing human word which means what?

Me:        A huge and dangerous storm with much rain and wind.

Stella:    Like a thunderstorm that flashes bright light while rain hits the windows like little rocks?

Me:        No, more than that.

Stella;    Thunderstorms are scary. How can a hurricane be more than that?

Me:        It is the size of hundreds of thunderstorms all circling around a center. The winds are so strong that large trees break and small ones bow and signs and roofs of buildings tear off and go flying and rain floods everything low and rises higher and higher.

Stella:    Have you ever seen this horror called a hurricane, Lady Human?

Me:        Yes. Many years ago, a very powerful hurricane hit my hometown head on. I was very young, but I remember my father boarding up our windows and tying down our yard furniture and my swing set and slide with strong wires so they would not fly off. And I remember my mother putting rolled up towels against the bottom of the doors to keep the water out for as long as possible.

Stella:    And did it? Stay out? The water?

Me:        The rain filled the ditch by the road and covered the yard and came up over the front step and right up to the door. And then stopped. As I recall, the towels got wet, but not the carpet. And then the hurricane passed.

Stella:    Where did it go?

Me:        As hurricanes go inland away from the big waters, they die out.

Stella:    Good.

Me:        They named that one Carla.

Stella:    Humans name monster storms?

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:    Like they are pets?

Me:        I don’t know. Maybe it makes the event more memorable. Instead of calling it Hurricane Number 34810 or something like that. This one is called Harvey.

Stella:    I don’t care to meet him.

Me:        Me either. But many of our neighbors already have.

Stella:    Can a hurricane throw a bulldog?

Me:        Yes, I’m sure it can.

Stella:    Lady Human, will it come here?

Me:        We may get some rain. Don’t worry about the winds. I’ve never seen a hurricane remnant this far from the coast with more than 40 mile per hour winds.

Stella:    If it’s all the same to you, I will be happy to send the cooler air away if our neighbors can be all right. So please, just send Harvey away.

Me:        We will pray, Stella. As always, we will pray.








Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Do You Think Something Is Wrong With Her? – Conversation of Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Everyone be quiet. Something is wrong with Lady Human and I don’t know what it is.

Snoopey:   She is not moving.

Tiger:     She is breathing.

Wiggles:   Her eyes are closed. Does that mean that she is dead?

Stella:    I don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like this before. She is warm.

Snoopey:   But not too warm. She is cool, too. She smells alive.

Doodlebug:   I need to pee. Can she open the door to the outside world?

Stella:    Hush, Doodle. No, she can’t, not right now.

Doodlebug:   But I need to pee.

Snoopey:   Should we paw her? I’ve done that at night in the dark and all she does is turn over.

Stella:    You’ve seen her eyes closed like this before?

Snoopey:   Sure, but only in the dark. Why are her eyes closed in the daylight? Why are her eyes closed in here?

Miss Sweetie:   Maybe she needs to pee. Ask her.

Doodlebug:   Yeah, because I need to pee.

Stella:   I will touch her with my paw. Maybe she will move. Everyone, stand back.

Me:        Hmmm. What? What’s going on? Why are you all staring at me like that?

Stella:    Rah rahr?

Me:        I beg your pardon.

Stella:    That is bulldoggese for ‘Are you alive?’ Well, are you?

Me:        Yeah, sure. I guess I just dozed off.

Stella:    Dozed off? Does that mean you died?

Me:        No, of course not. I fell asleep. Like you all do when you take a nap.

Stella:    Is that what a nap looks like from the outside? Horrifying! We never do anything like that!

Me:        You’ve seen me do it before. Snoopey, you’ve seen me asleep every night for months now.

Snoopey:   Yep, but it looks a lot different in the dark.

Stella:    Lady Human, don’t ever do that again!

Wiggles:   So she is alive?

Stella:    Yes, Wiggles, duh.

Miss Sweetie:    She doesn’t look very alive to me.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



The Time to Pee Is At Hand – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The time for sleep is coming. Night has fallen. The time to pee is at hand.

Me:        Must we have yet another discussion of pee?

Stella:    There are very few subjects on Earth that merit attention. I believe that peeing is one of them.

Me:        Well, okay. It is important, I admit. I just don’t like to spend a lot of time discussing it.

Stella:    Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Me:        Peeing? Seriously?

Stella:    Didn’t you tell me that there are human vets who spend all their time on peeing issues?

Me:        Urologists? Yes. And they are not human vets. They are doctors for humans.

Stella:    Insignificant distinction.

Me:        Not to them or to veterinarians.

Stella:    Peeing before bedtime is a time-honored bulldog tradition.

Me:        Fine. I just like to think of other things before bedtime.

Stella:    Things like what?

Me:        What I did during the day. What I plan to do tomorrow. Did I learn anything today? Did I please the LORD is something that I did or said? Did I pray for others or only for myself? Did I set a goal and meet it?

Stella:    And what if you need to pee? Where does that fall on your day end list? At the top, if I had to make a guess. Sort of interrupts all the other stuff.

Me:        Oh, all right, I get your point.

Stella:    Now that we are agreed, the time to pee is at hand. And then, good night.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Giant Insect Air Force – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We are being invaded by a huge number of giant flying insects called cicadas.

Me:        We call them ‘locusts’, but I realize some people call a grasshopper-like insect that so there may be some confusion…

Stella:    What, Lady Human, does that have to do with what is going on?

Me:        Just clarifying.

Stella:    Please don’t. You only make things more confusing. And this is confusing. A day ago, everything was nice and calm and the cicadas were here. Now they are flying around like mad, lots and lots of them, and… OW! One flew into my head!

Me:        Don’t worry. He’s okay. It didn’t faze him one bit.

Stella:    He’s okay? What about me! It fazed me!

Me:        There do seem to be a lot of them flying, more than I’ve ever seen at one time.

Stella:    They are kind of cool. Green and gold and shiny. The trees are filled with them, all singing. Is that windup toy noise their fight song?

Me:        No, it’s more like their mating call so the females can lay eggs and 17 years from now the babies can hatch out.

Stella:    Watch out! Low flying giant insect! What if I catch one?

Me:        You won’t like it. I was wearing flip flops one summer evening many years ago…

Stella:    Boring! Get to the point.

Me:        A cicada flew down and got caught between my toes and my flip flop and I couldn’t get that shoe off fast enough. It was buzzing and shaking and bumbling…

Stella:    That’s great!

Me:        No, not great! And another time a cat caught one in her mouth and liked to have gone nuts before she realized she just needed to open her mouth and let it go. That cicada scared that cat silly.

Stella:    A cicada in a cat’s mouth, huh? Lady Human…

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But I have an idea.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But you haven’t heard it yet.

Me:        Don’t have to. I already know what it is.

Stella:    But it would be funny.

Me:        Not for the cat, it wouldn’t be.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh. Pooh! What good is a cicada invasion if we can’t have some fun with a cat?

Me:        If you think it’s so funny, why don’t you go ahead and pick up a cicada with your mouth and see how that works?

Stella:    No, not the same. My bulldog mouth is so large, he’d probably get lost in there and never find his way out again.







Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rubbing Elbows with the Enemy – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        And I am not. What I am right now is amazed, startled, even shocked, because I just caught a glimpse of something on the patio, something surprising, staggering, incomprehensible…

Stella:    Okay. We get it. Something weird happened.

Me:        You should know. You were at the center of the weird.

Stella:    Let’s see. I was panting because it is hot.

Me:        That’s not weird. That’s normal.

Stella:    I got excited when the tiny human puppy visited again and I knocked my water bowl over.

Me:        You get excited whenever anybody visits, though admittedly not to the point of upsetting the bowls.

Stella:    Weird, huh? Oh, yeah, I had a meeting with Jerky McSquirrelyFace out on the patio. Nice guy.

Me:        You don’t think that’s weird after all the running and the chasing and him throwing nuts down on all of us and the saber rattling and the threats of all out squirrel/bulldog war…

Stella:    We talked. They’ve just about run out of pecans here. We made a deal. There won’t be as much nut tossing from now on.

Me:        You talked. Huh. So, there is an outbreak of peace between squirrels and bulldogs?

Stella:    No, not really. We are just on summer hiatus.

Me:        You know what a ‘hiatus’ is?

Stella:    Sure. Yes. No. Maybe. I am thinking it is like a vacation. Anyway, Jerky and I decided that it was too hot to fight right now so we are putting all plans off until the leaves start to fall and the air is cooler. And then, Jerky, watch out! Autumn is coming!




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Big Game Hunting – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Why are you whispering?

Stella:    SHHHHH! Sorry, that was loud. Shhhhh! Quiet!

Me:        Why are we whispering then?

Stella:    I am big game hunting. Hunters must be silent and stealthy.

Me:        Don’t tell me. Let me guess. Squirrels?

Stella:    Phhhffft. I said BIG game hunting. Squirrels? Big game? Please.

Me:        Are you hunting rats?

Stella:    What part of ‘big’ don’t you understand, Lady Human?

Me:        I’ve seen some good-sized rodents in my time.

Stella:    Bulldog sized?

Me:        Honestly, no. So, are you hunting a raccoon?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        A possum?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Please say that you are not hunting a skunk.

Stella:    Lady Human, really. Do we ever have raccoons, possums, or skunks in the house?

Me:        No. Praise the LORD!

Stella:    What is the only other non-bulldog animal in the house that I could be hunting?

Me:        My parakeet, Pearl? No, surely not sweet little Pearl.

Stella:    What? A bird? No! Yuck! I said BIG GAME! I am hunting Moon the Cat. Shhhhh!

Me:        Oh, you are hunting the cat. I see…

Stella:    Shhhhh! I know where she is hiding.

Me:        Where?

Stella:    There, under the couch.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    What do you mean? She is right there. I can smell her.

Me:        Yeah, she moved on from that spot about 30 minutes ago.

Stella:    Then what is that shadow? Aaaaggghh! Is it a giant insect that smells like a cat?

Me:        I think you are looking at a couch leg.

Stella:    It’s not the cat?

Me:        No, sorry.

Stella:    How am I ever going to be a big game hunter if I can’t track a simple cat?

Me:        For one thing, Moon is not what I would call ‘big game’.


Stella:    She is the biggest animal here.

Me:        She weighs about 25 pounds. You weigh 50 pounds. Do the math.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I don’t like math.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Don’t Look Up With Your Mouth Open – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, here with a warning to all my bulldog and human friends. (Cats can fend for themselves as they are quite fast, slinky, and sneaky.) Recently, we have been getting pelted from above by some pecan-obsessed squirrels led by my nemesis, Jerky McSquirrelyFace.

If you are a bulldog and a pecan shell hits you on the head, no big deal. Bulldog skulls are thick.

Me:        Hahahaha! Thick skulls!

Stella:    Why are you laughing?

Me:        You know. Thick skulls. Like not very smart. Old human expression.

Stella:    I am talking about a danger to avoid and you are being rude with one of your silly old human sayings.

Me:        Sorry.

Stella:    The sky is a dangerous place because weird things fall out of it. Nobody should aim their big eyeballs up lest an obnoxious squirrel or careless bird or one of those humans working on electrical poles should happen to drop something from above.

Me:        It probably doesn’t happen that often really.

Stella:    You have never known a human who had something dropped on them?

Me:        Well, now that you mention it, when Tall Man was a boy, he was climbing a tree one day and a piece of bark fell into his eye. It got scratched slightly and we had to go to the doctor for some drops.

Stella:    Fell into his eye? Yeah, sure.  It was probably a setup by a squirrel who hid behind the tree and laughed and laughed. A whole trip to the vet because of the dangerous sky.

Me:        We don’t go to vets actually. Our doctors are called…doctors.

Stella:    So are vets. What’s your point?

Me:        No point. Never mind.

Stella:    I have a point. Don’t look up at the sky, especially not with your mouth open. Do not allow sky creatures to make deposits in your mouth. That is all.

Me:        Can we look up with our mouths closed and our eyes open?

Stella:    What happened when Tall Man did that?

Me:        How about to watch fireworks?

Stella:    NOOO! Never! Never! Never! Fireworks are evil!

Me:        What about this eclipse that’s coming up?

Stella:    Where the sun gets covered up? Why in the world would you want to look up at that? What’s so special? The sun gets covered up every night. How will you protect yourself from a stray squirrel tossing debris on your face? Bottom line, humans, don’t look up at the sky unless you want to have a sky creature deposit something nasty on your face. The End.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Nutty Squirrel Party – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The yard is a mess. Who told the squirrels that they could have a party and not clean up after themselves? Not me!

Me:        Not me either!

Stella:    Look what they have done! They have showered pecans and pecan parts ALL OVER OUR BULLDOG PATHS!


Me:        Yep. No pecan pies for us this fall.

Stella:    Who cares about pecan pies? Okay, well, maybe I do. But look at this mess! Every path is covered with pecans shells and pieces!

Me:        Must have been some kind of party! Yee haw!

Stella:    Really, Lady Human? Are you condoning this?

Me:        Not condoning. Just understanding.


Me:        Okay, I know you don’t want your bulldog paths messed up and covered with shells, but pretty soon the dirt will cover the debris. We may even get a couple of new pecan trees out of the deal. Hey, the last rain filled in the cicada holes!

Stella:    Cicadas. Who cares? Cicadas I accept. But squirrels? Why are they having a party in our yard?

Me:        Uhhh. Because they are squirrels.

Stella:    My nemesis, Jerky McSquirrelyFace, is behind this.

Me:        I have no doubt.

Stella:    Well, I will show him what’s what.

Me:        What is what?

Stella:    The yard is ours.

Me:        Ours as in yours and mine.

Stella:    No, of course not. Not yours at all. It belongs to the bulldogs. So here we come! Watch out, Jerky, you and all your squirrel friends! We bulldogs are on the move! Don’t you dare litter on our bulldog paths again!

Me:        Since you say it is yours, would you all be willing to contribute to the upkeep, maintenance, and taxes on it?

Stella:    The what, the what, and the what? You humans and your silly talk. That’s not our job. Our job is to chase squirrels…and cats. And that we will do. Until all the pecans pies in the world fall out of their little paws and into ours.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Who’s Been Digging Holes? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Someone has been digging holes in the yard and I want it stopped.

Me:        Okay, then stop it.

Stella:    How?

Me:        Stop digging.

Stella:    I am not the culprit.

Me:        Oh, really? Then what I watched you doing under the picnic table the other day was not digging? You were going at it pretty hard and it sure looked like a textbook case of digging to me.

Stella:    Textbook?

Me:        Classic.

Stella:    Classic?

Me:        You were digging. I saw you. Just as I have seen Wiggles, Miss Sweetie, and Tiger digging under the table on different occasions. I don’t really care if that’s where you want to dig and how you want to spend your free time…

Stella:    No, no, no! Of course, we dig under the table. That is what we are supposed to do.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    I have no idea. I think it has something to do with the ground being cooler down there, but I have no temperature device to prove it.

Me:        Then why do you want the digging to stop? Just stop it.

Stella:    Not that digging! Not that hole! The little holes that are all over our perfect bulldog landscape. All our trails have them. The weird little holes. They cannot be ours. They are the size of one bulldog toe.

Me:        Oh, those. Those are locust holes. Some humans call them cicada holes.

Stella:    Locust? Si-kay-duh? What? Who?

Me:        They are flying bugs. They bury their eggs in the ground and, when the time comes, the eggs hatch and the young bugs dig their way out, each one leaving a hole in the dirt.

Stella:    Young bugs? Horrible! Horrible!

Me:        They shed their skins and fly off into the trees. You’ve heard them. They make that whirring noise like a windup toy’s gears grinding.

Stella:    Horrible noisy young bugs! Wait! I have not seen these holes before.

Me:        It must have been a good year for cicadas 17 years ago.

Stella:    17 years?

Me:        That’s when these cicada eggs were laid. They have waited all this time for this summer to come.

Stella:    Well, they need to fill those holes in. I could be running along and catch my toe in one.

Me:        I doubt that seriously.

Stella:    Imagine waiting 17 years to set a trap for a bulldog’s toe. To honor their patience and perseverance, I declare cicadas to be the Bulldog of Insects. Now order them to come down and fill in those holes.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Bulldog Landscape – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And that’s pretty much it.

Me:        What? No comments or complaints?

Stella:    Come to think of it…

Me:        Okay, here it comes.

Stella:    Comment – like the way we bulldogs have made the backyard look.

Me:        Really? Because I think it could use a lot of work.

Stella:    Why? We have carved beautiful pathways through the silly grass that no one needs anyway, except Snoopey and Wiggles when they eat some. I’ve tried it. Terrible. That’s what you can do. Plant a tastier variety, one that I will like. Otherwise, leave well enough alone.

Me:        I suppose we could put decorative stones along your paths.

Stella:    Those round and square hard things like the ones in the back?

Me:        Yeah, I think they look nice. And they keep the mud tracking down during wet weather.

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Why not?

Stella:    They are hard on my sweet, soft tootsies.

Me:        You walk on cement and don’t seem to mind.

Stella:    Of course, I do. Wait. What is cement?

Me:        That hard stuff the patio is made of.

Stella:    Oh, that stuff. It is nice and smooth. Those squares and circles are bumpy. Hard to pee on.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s In A Dog’s Name? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. But I have been told that Stella was not my original name. My original name was Chata. My first people gave me that name. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I was renamed Stella. Why, Lady Human, why?

Me:        Do you remember your first year and a half?

Stella:    A little. It’s a bit of a fuzz now.

Me:        When you came to us, we figured it was time for a new start. My daughter wanted to name you Stella because of a bulldog she saw on a television show that was named Stella.

Stella:    The Picture Box show was named Stella?

Me:        No, sorry, the dog on the show was named Stella. I liked it because it means star and, also, I had never had a dog named Stella.

Stella:    You have never had a dog named a whole lot of things. Okay, why is Snoopey Snoopey?

Me:        Tall Man thought she looked like Snoopy in the Charlie Brown comics.

Stella:    What? She doesn’t look anything…where did he get that idea? That dog is a beagle. Duh. And it’s a cartoon.

Me:        She just reminded him of that cartoon.

Stella:    How insulting! A bulldog reminding him of a cartoon beagle. Miss Sweetie’s name, I can guess. You thought she was just so special and sweet. Boy, were you fooled.

Me:        She is sweet. A little messy and smelly, but sweet.

Stella:    I love Sweetie, but sweet she is not. Did you see how sweet she was playing with Doodlebug? She was so sweet that he ended up with bloody spots. How sweet was that?

Me:        Not very, but he didn’t seem to mind.

Stella:    And Doodlebug. What kind of a name is that for a bulldog?

Me:        Well, Tall Man noticed that when you look at Doodlebug straight on, his face looks like the face of a …doodlebug.

Stella:    What, pray tell, is a doodlebug?

Me:        Some people call them roly poly bugs or pill bugs or sow bugs when they really aren’t bugs at all. They are distantly related to lobsters. They are arthropods.

Stella:    EEEEWWW! He is named after a lobster bug. It sounds like Tall Man ran out of names by the time he got to Doodlebug. And Wiggles? Don’t tell me. Let me guess. Wiggles all the time, right?

Me:        Right.

Stella:    Humans have limited imaginations, don’t they?

Me:        Sometimes.

Stella:    And Tiger. Let ‘s see. She is really a tiger in disguise.

Me:        Nope. Though she is a lemon brindle which gives her a striped design on her back. You know Tiger’s story.

Stella:    I know. I know. How she got in a fight with a kennel mate at her first home and how she almost died – twice, and how she fought back like a tiger and by the grace of the Great Creator, she lived and healed up and how she wasn’t supposed to be able to walk without a limp, but she can now. She can even jump high. And run. All right, all right.  I guess she deserves the name Tiger after all.

Me:        Wow, that’s quite an admission for you. Tell me, if you could choose your own name, what would it be?

Stella:    That’s easy. Princess Beautiful McBeautyFace.

Me:        Princess? Isn’t that a demotion?

Stella:    Mmmm, nope, because if I can change my name anytime I want to, I can change my title, too. After all, what’s in a name?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Take It Outside! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, as if that makes a difference. No one is listening. Look at them, rampaging everywhere.

Me:        Yeah, sort of like football players on a basketball court. Not enough room to play the game.

Stella:    Whatever that means. I do like football. Humans crashing into each other. Very bulldog-like.

Me:        Sweetie! Doodlebug! Wiggles! Take it outside! Wait! Let me open the door first!

Stella;    Ah. Peace and quiet.

Me:        They are happy now, rampaging outside where there is more room. Why don’t you rampage like the others?

Stella:    I am the Queen. Rampaging is undignified for queens.

Me:        They do have a lot of fun.

Stella:    Until Sweetie decides to chomp down on Doodlebug’s face. I don’t like for my face to be chomped on.

Me:        He doesn’t seem to mind.

Stella:    It’s all part of the bulldog rampage. The biting, the nipping, the wrestling, the rolling, the running, the circling, the climbing…

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:   The rambling, the jumping, the bucking, the…

Me:        Okay. I get the picture. I only ask one thing of them.

Stella:    Take it outside?

Me:        Mmm hmmm.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Human Puppies – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There is a stranger in the house.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    It cries and squeals like a young one.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    A puppy?

Me:        No.

Snoopey:   No more bulldogs! No more bulldogs!

Me:        Not a bulldog. Not a dog at all. She is a human baby.

Stella:    A puppy?

Me:        No, Stella, we have been over and over this. A human baby is not a puppy.

Snoopey:   No more bulldogs! No more bulldogs!

Me:        Snoopey, hush. The baby is trying to nap.

Snoopey:   Which reminds me, I could use a nap about now, too. Good night.

Me:        Good, because I could stand for all of you to quiet down.

Stella:    How can we quiet down when there is a stranger in the house?

Me:        She is a little baby. She will not be here long. She is just visiting today.

Stella:    Puppies are a lot of work and when they are around, people don’t pay as much attention to me and that’s not fair.

Me:        You can share part of an afternoon with a baby.

Stella:    Will there be other babies?

Me:        Probably not. At least not very often, though this little one will visit from time to time.

Stella:    Lady Human! Did you have a puppy?

Me:        I had some puppies years ago…oh, now you’ve got me doing it! Humans do not have puppies! We have baby humans! I did not give birth to this baby. She is a relative of mine.

Stella:    She sounds like a puppy to me. I think you are trying to sneak in another bulldog.

Me:        Babies are a lot of work, but I’m not sure that they are as much work as bulldogs.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human. That is a fine compliment. We try very hard to be a lot of work. If we are easy, we are not doing our job.

Snoopey: (snore) No more bulldogs. More time for me.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stinky Hands – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans stink. They say that dogs do. They say our paws smell like corn chips, whatever those are. Corn chips. Mmmmm, they sound delicious. But back to my point – humans stink. I had to pull back my nose from Lady Human’s hands because they smelled so awful.

Me:        I saw that and I don’t know what your problem is.

Stella:    Millions of scent receptors, remember.

Me:        My hands don’t smell.

Stella:    Millions of scent receptors cannot be wrong.

Me:        What do I smell like?

Stella:    Where do I begin? You smell like whatever you ate last, the last three dogs you petted, that soap you wash your dishes with, that soap you wash your clothes with, everything you walked through for the past few days, raccoons, skunks, chickens, squirrels – yuck, grass, dirt, poop…

Me:        Okay, thank you. I get the picture. But I washed my hands and you still wrinkled up your nose.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. My nose is always wrinkled.

Me:        You pulled your head back and said, “Pffft”.

Stella:    I have the right of free speech. The right to comment on what assaults my senses. Pffft was the best description I could think of.

Me:        What does Pffft mean?

Stella:    Think of the worst smelling thing ever, a scent that humans hate. It sneaks into your nose and suddenly, ATTACKS! What would you say? PFFFT, of course! The perfect word for bad smells. It blows the scent out of your mouth and nose and says, Stay away, you nasty smell! Go back to the place you came from! Which in this case was your stinky hands.

Me:        Pffft. Okay. I’ll have to remember that. I’ll have to remember that every day.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Shoe Store – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I do not wear shoes. I do not care to. I see no point to them, even as a snack. Snoopey, however, has different tastes. She committed a crime against a pair of Lady Human’s fancy shoes, but, to be honest, Lady Human did not hire a guard to protect her shoes so she deserved it.

Me:        Why would I ever hire a guard for my shoes?

Stella:    You could have set me over them. I don’t snack on shoes and I work cheap.

Me:        I didn’t even know that they were in danger.

Stella:    Snoopey told me that she had been sniffing them for months and, finally, one night, she lost her battle with temptation. As I say, if you had hired me…

Snoopey:   I am sorry that I ate your shoes, Lady Human. As tasty and smelly as they were, I had no right.

Me:        I forgive you, Snoopey. I just don’t know if I can trust you around my shoes again.

Snoopey:   I won’t chew on any of the others. That was my favorite pair. I laid my nose by them every night. Every night, they called my name. They smelled like your feet and like leather and like wherever they had walked.

Me:        I wore them to my daughter’s wedding.

Snoopey:  So that was why they smelled like strange humans and burritos. It must have been a wonderful party.

Me:        You nibbled parts off both soles and all the heels.

Snoopey:   I thought you didn’t need those parts. They didn’t show from the top. Why do you need shoes anyway? And why do you have so many? Humans have at most two feet.

Me:        We wear them to protect our feet. And we wear them to look good, for style.

Stella:    My feet look fine without them. But I have seen human feet. I would cover them up, too.

Wiggles:   Can I have a pair of shoes to chew?

Doodlebug:   Me, too. A really stinky pair. Not dog stinky. Human stinky.

Miss Sweetie:    I just need one shoe. Tiger can have the second one.

Tiger:   Thanks, but I prefer to chew plastic that doesn’t smell like humans.

Me:        Okay, now hear this!

Stella:    That’s my job!

Me:        My shoes are off limits. They are not to be eaten…

Snoopey:   Carried around?

Me:        No.

Wiggles:   Chewed?

Me:        No.

Doodlebug:  Snuffled?

Me:        No.

Miss Sweetie:   Nibbled?

Me:   No.

Stella:   Licked?

Me:        No. Wait. I thought you said you didn’t like shoes.

Stella:    The more I hear them described, the more tempting they become.

Me:        I thought you said you would guard them.

Stella:    Well, I would, from the others.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.