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.



Words to Ignore – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I now understand millions and billions of human words.

Me:        I wouldn’t go quite that far.

Stella:    Trillions and quadrillions.

Me:        No, you’re headed the wrong direction.

Stella:    Well, however many, I know a whole lot. And I have learned that some human words are wastes of time and should not be used.

Me:        Dare I ask?

Stella:    Sure. Why not?

Me:        Because I may be entering a quagmire.

Stella:    What’s a ‘quagmire’?

Me:        That’s not one of your quadrillion known words, I take it.

Stella:    Anybody can come up with one.

Me:        All right. I’ll play the game. What words should be ignored?

Stella:    No.

Me:        Why not?

Stella:    No, the word ‘no’ should be ignored.

Me:        Well, explains a lot.

Stella:    Instead of ‘no’, substitute the words, ‘Please go ahead and do as you wish.’ That will save humans and bulldogs lots of time and energy.

Me:        That’s quite a mouthful. ‘No’ is a lot shorter and gets to the actual point.

Stella:    It’s your time to waste, Lady Human. Another word to ignore is the word ‘sit’. If we want to sit, we most certainly will and there is little that can be done to stop us. Oh, which brings me to another word we ignore. That word is ‘stop’. Don’t even bother with that one.

Me:        Okay…

Stella:    ‘Okay’ is okay, mainly because we already give ourselves permission to do what we want anyway. If you say, “Okay’, understand that we have said it first.

Me:        I give up.

Stella:    That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time.






Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Joining In Bulldog Games – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am the scorekeeper for the bulldog

games. What are they? I have no idea. When are they? Whenever. At Christmas time, the humans sing a song about reindeer games. If I don’t know what bulldog games are and I am a bulldog, I sure don’t know what reindeer games are. It is all too confusing and tiring. I am going to take a nap. At least I know what that is.

Me:        I just started a treat catch game with Doodlebug and Tiger. Do you want to try it? All I do is hold a treat up above each of their heads and I drop it. They try to catch it in their mouths. Tiger is really good at it. She’s running about 90% accuracy.

Stella:    And Doodlebug? He has the biggest face and biggest mouth of us all. How is he doing?

Me:        Well, he moves his head a lot and the treat bounces off his nose most of the time. So…

Stella:    He’s a loser.

Me:        No, I wouldn’t say that.

Stella:    I would. He can’t catch a treat in his big ole mouth because he won’t stop moving.

Me:        Treat catch is just not his particular game. Every once in a while, he gets one. So…

Stella:    He’s a part-time loser.

Me:        And a part-time winner.

Stella:    Pffffttt!

Me:        Stella! How rude!

Stella:    Let me try that treat catch game.

Me:        All right. Here goes!

Stella:    Awww! It bounced off my nose. Here, let me eat it.

Me:        Want to try again? 1…2…3…

Stella:    Aaagggh! It bounced off my nose. Where did it go?

Me:        Never mind. I’ll find it later.

Stella:    Never mind ‘never mind’. I’ll find it later!

Me:        One more try, okay?

Stella:    I CAUGHT IT! Right in my mouth! Yay, me!!! Aacckk! Aacckk! Aaaaghh!

Me:        Chew it slowly.

Stella:    What kind of a stupid game is this? The Choke a Bulldog by Throwing Food Game?

Me:        No, that’s why the pieces are small. You just have to chew what you catch.

Stella:    Oh, I’m sorry. I thought the treats were small because you were being stingy.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Everybody Gag! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde…English…Bulldogges.  AAAAAGGGGHHH! Awww, what’s that awful smell?

Snoopey:   It’s Lady Human. I smelled her as she passed by. AACK!

Me:        Why all the barking?

Tiger:     Stink! Stink! Stink!

Me:        You all are the last of God’s creatures to be complaining about stink.

Stella:    No, I think you hold that prize now, Lady Human. Gag. Cough. Spit. Ew, it won’t go away! You need to clear up that smell immediately.

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, please. PLEASE! Ugh, my nose is burning.

Doodlebug:        And you all thought MY breath smelled foul.

Wiggles:   Your mouth is a rose garden compared to this. And I don’t even like roses.

Snoopey:   Christmas is ruined! The stink killed it!

Me:        Why are you all barking? It’s like an eruption!

Stella:    Why? Are you kidding me? Take it away! Take the stink away! What is it? Will it end the world?

Me:        No, it just seems like it. I harvested the chickens’ eggs. One of them exploded.

Stella:    Was that the loud pop we heard?

Me:        Yes. Yuck.

Stella:    One rotten egg caused all this by itself?

Me:        Yeah. Thank the LORD that the eggs were double bagged.

Stella:    Not good enough!

Snoopey:   Christmas is ruined!

Me:        No, we will recover from this before Christmas. I promise. I’m disposing of the remains of the rotten egg now. Give it a few minutes.

Wiggles:   Minutes? Is that like 1…2…3?

Doodlebug:   1…2…3…nope. Still stinks.

Me:        Okay, the offending egg is outside.

Tiger:   Not good enough.

Snoopey:   Christmas is ruined! Nooooo!

Miss Sweetie:   Why is Christmas ruined, Aunt Snoopey?

Snoopey:   Because Christmas is supposed to smell good and now the whole world stinks.

Me:        The stink will dissipate soon. There was only one rotten egg and it has been disposed of in the outside trash.

Snoopey:   No! Then Christmas is ruined for the whole wide world.

Stella:    Yes, but we’re okay. So, yippee!








Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Who’s a What? – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Yes, you are.

Stella:    What am I?

Me:        A good girl.

Stella:    Are you sure?

Me:        Yes. Good girl.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Why what?

Stella:    Why am I a good girl?

Me:        Well, when we go out, you won’t jump on people or attack other dogs.

Stella:    So, I am a good girl because of what I don’t do.

Me:        Yeah…

Stella:    That’s all ‘good girl’ means then.  I don’t act like a jerk when we go out. Okay.

Me:        ‘Good girl’ is shorthand for everything you are. You are trustworthy. I can take you anywhere and not have to worry about your behavior. And when so many people are afraid of bulldogs…

Stella:    I know! Why are they like that?

Me:        Bad experiences, I guess. I don’t know, but ‘good girl’ means I can trust you. And ‘good girl’ means that you don’t try to stuff everything in the house into your mouth. I can leave the room and come back to find the furniture still intact. And ‘good girl’ also means that you do not bark insanely over nothing the way some we know do.

Stella:    Name names. Oh, let me! Snoopey. Miss Sweetie. And Tiger, every other day. Say more about me!

Me:        You have a sweet temper. You are patient when I have a lot to do.

Stella:    Like when I wait for the bathroom door to open so I can go potty.

Me:        The back door.

Stella:    That’s what I said. I always wait for the bathroom. I am a good girl.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Party Platform – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I heard the humans talking about having a party on a platform. A party on a platform. Over and over they said it. And then I knew what they were talking about. A bulldog party on the outdoor table. That’s a great platform!

Me:        That’s not what we were talking about. It was something completely different.

Wiggles:   I love to stand on that table. It’s a great place for barking.

Miss Sweetie:   It is my favorite sunbathing spot. The sun is closer there.

Doodlebug:        Party! Party! Party!

Snoopey:   Every once in a long while, the humans have a good idea.

Me:        The platform we were talking about is not a table.

Tiger:     We won’t all fit on top of that table at the same time. We will have to take turns.

Snoopey:   Forget that! I am not taking turns with you!

Tiger:     Oh, yeah? You want to fight? I’m ready! Any time!

Snoopey:   Bring it on!

Me:        Now that sounds more like the party platform discussion we humans were having.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.










Alert: The Trees Are Full of Humans! – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wiggles is here to share what she witnessed out in the yard.

Me:        Well, let me tell you what was going on…

Stella:    Nope. Wiggles has the floor as the humans say even though it makes no sense because dogs always have the floor unless we want the couch or a big chair and then we have those, too…

Me:        I was there. I saw the whole thing.

Stella:    Boring. Humans talk all the time. Wiggles will give us the bulldog perspective. Go, Wiggles, go!

Wiggles:   Go? Where? Go where?


Stella:    No, I mean tell us what you saw.

Wiggles:   Tree. Man. Flying man up in tree. Flying man with shiny sword up in tree. Me barking. And that’s about it.

Stella:    Okay, that made just about no sense at all. Lady Human, would you care to translate?

Me:        Sure, here is my boring translation: Tree – a man in our neighborhood had a tree in his yard that he needed to have trimmed. Man – actually, more than one man. The neighbor hired some men to trim the tree.

Stella:    See! I warned everybody. Boring! Get to the interesting part!

Me:        Flying man up in tree. Not a flying man. A climbing man.

Wiggles:   With a shiny sword.

Me:        With a shiny saw blade with which to cut branches.

Wiggles:   No, I don’t think so. Definitely a flying man. Definitely a shiny sword. And me barking. Did you see me barking at him? Did you see how brave I was?

Me:        Yes, I did see that.

Wiggles:   I told him off. I told him he’d better not fly over onto our trees and he didn’t. Let all flying men with shiny swords stay away.

Stella:    And yet the unarmed squirrels remain.

Wiggles:   Of course. Squirrels don’t need swords to be terrifying.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Take Your Feet Out of Your Mouth! – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have four feet. As does Lady Human.

Me:        Correction. I have two hands and two feet.

Stella:    Same difference.

Me:        Not really. I don’t walk on my hands and toes are not fingers.

Stella:    You are doing the same things with those hands of yours that I do with my feet.

Me:        Specifically?

Stella:    Putting them in your mouth. Take your feet…

Me:        Hands.

Stella:    …out of your mouth.

Me:         To humans, putting your foot in your mouth has a totally different meaning. It means that you have stumbled over your own words.

Stella:     Typical. Humans making words mean what they don’t mean. I saw you! You put those long things…

Me:        Fingers.

Stella:    …in your mouth and you chewed on them.

Me:        Cuticles. I admit it. I chew on my cuticles.

Stella:    Are cuticles the same as feet?

Me:        No, they are the skin around the nails. They get dry. And they stick out. And they get snagged on stuff. And there my teeth are, close by. It’s so easy to just bite them off.

Stella:    Now you are talking bulldog. But still, take your feet out of your mouth. It doesn’t look as good on humans as it does on us.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Learn to Prioritize – Conversations with Stella

Me:        One of the most important life lessons is learning to prioritize.

Stella:    Wait! Why are you talking?

Me:        I need to remind you all that when we go outside, bathroom comes first.

Stella:    And again, why are you talking?

Me:        I have a few things to say.

Stella:    Maybe, but are they things we want to hear?

Me:        When we go outside, all bathroom business takes priority.

Stella:    How is that your business?

Me:        It becomes my business when bulldogs play and come back in and then, ALL OF A SUDDEN, SURPRISE!

Stella:    Oh, Lady Human, it’s never all of a sudden and it’s never really a surprise, to us anyway. Stuff happens.

Me:        Stuff should not happen in the house. Understand? When you go outside, the first thing should be the first thing. Prioritize. Get the important things done and then play play.

Stella:    Is that a human rule? Do humans do that?

Me:        Well…

Stella:    That’s what I thought. Problem easily solved, Lady Human. Install that indoor toilet for the bulldogs. I’ve been arguing for this forever. Your life made easier. Our lives made easier. Easy peasy.

Me:        Not going to happen. That project does not appear on any of my to-do lists.

Stella:    Typical. The easiest solution is the one the humans reject. All right. Let’s just hope that your list of priorities eventually matches ours.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Moon-bathing – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Yes, you are. And… why are you bringing up that detail?

Stella:    Because Wiggles and Sweetie are not being good girls. I have heard you calling them to come in for at least 2 years now.

Me:        Two years? That’s a bit of a stretch. Try an hour, maybe.

Stella:    Mmmmm, seems longer.

Me:        I know it’s a nice evening outside, but I can’t figure out the draw. Why aren’t they coming in? Usually I only have to call them 10 or 12 times. And then I have to go out and get them.

Stella:    Yeah, they are twin-kies.

Me:        What’s so special outside?

Stella:    That big light in the sky.

Me:        The moon?

Stella:    Have you seen it tonight? The Great Creator’s flashlight. It is big and bright, more than usual. We notice things like that.

Me:        Oh, that’s right. The super moon.

Stella:    Simple. They are moon-bathing. Second best thing to sunbathing.

Me:        Okay, if you say so.

Stella:    Better even. No heat.






Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








The Water Bowl Mystery – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Strange things occur in the houses of humans.

Me:        What other kinds of houses are there?

Stella:    Birdhouses.

Me:        Okay. I’ll give you that one.

Stella:    Cow houses.

Me:        Let’s call those ‘barns’.

Stella:    Rabbit condos.

Me:        Okay. We did have one of those.

Stella:    Cat houses.

Me:        Well, that can mean more than one thing. Let’s just say that cats live mostly in human houses. What strange things are you talking about?

Stella:    My water bowl is empty. I go outside. I come back in. My water bowl is clean and full. Mystery.

Me:        Not really. What happens is…

Snoopey:    Are you that silly? What do you think happens? She cleans and fills the water bowl while you are outside sniffing around.

Miss Sweetie:    But it’s happened to me, too. Sure, sometimes Lady Human cleans and refills my water bowl right in front of me, but other times…I go outside. I come back in. It’s all clean and full of new water. Mystery.

Stella:    You see! Sweetie knows. She has seen it!

Tiger:     You all are the goofiest things going. Whether you are outside or in, she cleans your bowls and pours more water in. No mystery. Done and done.

Doodlebug:   Water is water. Who cares how it gets there?

Wiggles:   Yeah, that’s wise.

Snoopey:   Wise, nothin’! You’d better hope Lady Human is around to clean and refill bowls!

Stella:    No, Snoopey! The humans have this story about a man in a red suit who comes around one night a year, bringing presents, toys, food, all kinds of good stuff, and he is never seen, and he disappears into the night and it’s a mystery.

Snoopey:   He had better show up more than once a year if you’re depending on water from him.

Me:        That’s a story. I’ll tell you about the real man that story is based on sometime soon. Meanwhile, the truth is…

Stella:    The truth is our water bowls get cleaned. The truth is our water bowls get refilled. A mystery. One for which I am grateful.

Me:        Amen. Let’s just leave it at that for now.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.