The Great Slinger of Goo – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I know that drool is popular among bulldogs, but I do not drool. You will never see me drool. I am a non-drooler.

Me:   What is this about, Stella?

Stella:   Ask Doodlebug.

Me:   What is this about, Doodlebug?


Doodlebug:   I have no idea.

Stella:  Watch out! Here it comes!

Me:  Whoa! Hey, guy! Keep that stuff to yourself!

Doodlebug:  It’s got to go somewhere.

Stella:  I told you, Lady Human. He slings goo all over the place.

Me:  I’ve seen it before, but this must be a new record for distance.

Stella:  Doodle, why can’t you keep your drool to yourself?

Doodlebug:  I do, most of the time. Just look in my water bowl.

Me:  He’s right, Stella. Drool is heavy. It sinks to the bottom of his water bowl. I find it every day when I wash it out.

Stella:  You mean he could be slinging even more goo than he is? Gross! Even for a bulldog!





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Squawking Squirrel – Conversations with Wiggles and Miss Sweetie


I am Wiggles, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Miss Sweetie:  No, you aren’t. Aunt Stella is. Don’t make stuff up.


Wiggles:  Hey, Stella isn’t out here with us. She doesn’t know what I am saying.

Miss Sweetie:   Okay. I will tell her what you said later when we get back inside.

Jerky McSquirrelyFace:   Chuk. Chuk. Chuk. Ahck. Ahck. Ahck.

Miss Sweetie:  Cool! Look at that! Lady Human, what is the squirrel saying?

Me:   I don’t know. I don’t speak squirrel.

Wiggles:  What is he doing with his tail?

Me:  I think it is some kind of signal. But he is looking straight at me.

Jerky McSquirrelyFace:  Chuk! Chuk! Chuk! Chuk! Ahck!

Me:  Okay. I think he is saying to watch out. There are predators around.

Wiggles:  What predators? I don’t see any predators?

Me:  I think he means us. Especially me. He is still looking right at me.

Miss Sweetie:  That is not fair. I am a predator. Why isn’t he looking at me? Now I feel left out.

Me:  Maybe he is warning me that you are the predators.

Wiggles:  Lady Human, never listen to a squirrel. All they do is talk gibberish.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Coyotes! No! – Conversations with Stella


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

Me:   Calm down.

Stella:   No! I absolutely refuse to calm down. I heard you. I heard the humans talking about wild coyotes in our neighborhood! I heard about what those coyotes have been doing!

Me:   It has nothing to do with you all. Or with our chickens. You are all shielded by a tall, strong fence.

Stella:   Who said that those coyotes can’t climb? Who said that those coyotes can’t eat a fence?

Me:   Those coyotes can’t eat this fence. Not since Tall Man reinforced it. And how did you know what a coyote is?

Stella:   I know things. I hear things. And what is a coyote?

Me:   A coyote is a wild variety of canine. In other words, a wild dog that is native to these lands.

Stella:   Have you ever seen one around here?

Me:   Yes, years ago I saw one down the road, walking in a ditch. Sure surprised me.

Stella:   Are they supposed to be here?

Me:   They disappeared from around here decades ago. I guess a lot of construction has driven them into our areas again. But…you’ve heard them crying before, remember?

Stella:   No. When?

Me:   When you and I went camping out west of here.

Stella:   That time in the grass country?

Me:   I guess you could call it that.

Stella:   I don’t remember them.

Me:   They were crying in the hills. But they didn’t come close to where we were camped. Maybe the human scent kept them away.

Stella:   And now they are here?

Me:   Not the same pack, I’m sure. Others. They’re hunting.

Stella:   How can we stay safe then?

Me:   You stay inside and when we are outside, you stay around the house.

Stella:   Are you sure?

Me:   Yes. I am sure.

Stella:   Okay. I guess I will have to take your word for it. And there is not much comfort in that.






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Mindless Barking – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


Me:   Okay. It’s 6 a.m. I am not ready to get up. That is not in my schedule. Tiger is barking incessantly, rhythmically. I give up. I have to put a stop to this. Hey, what’s going on?

Stella:  I’ll just stay in bed, thank you.

Me:   As you wish. Hey, Tiger, what’s the deal?

Tiger:   Deal?

Me:   Why the barking? It’s too early.

Tiger:   I don’t know. Ask Sweetie. She started it.

Me:   Sweetie, what’s going on?

Miss Sweetie:   I heard a noise.

Me:   What type of noise?

Miss Sweetie:   A human noise from out there.

Me:   Why is that your business?

Miss Sweetie:   Everything is my business.

Me:   Okay, stop the mindless barking.

Miss Sweetie:   What is mindless barking?

Me:   Barking that has no mind or thought behind it.

Miss Sweetie:   I don’t have a mind or thought.

Doodlebug:   I told you so, Lady Human. That’s Sweetie. That’s the way she is.

Wiggles:   Is it time for breakfast?

Me:   No.

Wiggles:   Then everybody, go back to sleep!

Stella:   Too late. Already there.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Sneaky, Sneaky Squirrel – Conversations with Stella



I am Stella, Queen…of…the…Olde English…Bulldogges. What’s that?

Me:   Whoa! What’s wrong?

Stella:   Shhh. I’m being stalked. You probably are, too, Lady Human. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Boom!

Me:   Boom? Boom what? Boom where?

Stella:   Look!

Me:   Where?

Stella:   Never mind. Whatever it is, it’s moved on. But make no mistake, we are being stalked.

Me:   Are you talking about Jerky the Squirrel?

Stella:   Jerky McSquirrelyFace?

Me:   Yeah, he’s been hanging around here for days. He’s still harvesting acorns here. There he is!

Stella:   Hey! You! Yeah, you! Who do you think you are, sneaking up on me like that!

Me:   He thinks he is a squirrel and that is his tree perch. In that, he is right.

Stella:   Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. Walking around on those little softy feet of yours.

Me:   Well, what other feet would he use?

Stella:   Next time, wave that bushy tail of yours to let me know you are there. Sneaky squirrel.

Me:   He’s been waving that tail the whole time. You know, I think he’s got his eyes on you even more than you have your eyes on him.

Stella:   Nonsense. He lives in a tree. How much can he see?




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Bulldog Ballet – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It was a pleasant day outside today for a change. No rain. Not as cold. Sunny and bright.

Me:   I saw you. You did the oddest thing with your legs.

Stella:   If I did it, it was not odd.

Me:   I mean, when you finished with your…outside obligations, you kicked your feet behind you as you always do…

Stella:   I am polite. I always wipe my feet.

Me:   But you did more than that. You held each of your hind legs, one at a time, out behind you, like you were stretching, but very gracefully. Like you were a ballet dancer.

Stella:   I don’t know what a ballet dancer is. Are they bulldogs?

Me:   Well, no. But what you did today reminded me of them. I was impressed.

Stella:   You realize, don’t you, Lady Human, that I had just finished going to the bathroom.

Me:   Yes, I know.

Stella:   Do humans dance ballet in the bathroom?

Me:   There’s not much room in most bathrooms, but yeah, some probably do.

Stella:   I used to want you to build us a bulldog bathroom in the house. I still do when it’s really wet, or really hot, or really cold. But now I’m glad that I get to go outside. There is much more room for bulldog ballet.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bedtime – Now! – Conversations with Stella


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

Me:   Looks like everyone is asleep already.

Stella:   Do I look like I am asleep?

Me:   No, but…

Stella:   Are you asleep?

Me:   No, but…

Stella:   That was the whole point. Do you notice something about my eyes?

Me:   Well, they are open…

Stella:   And…

Me:   They are staring right at me.

Stella:   Guess what?

Me:   What?

Stella:   They are going to keep doing this until we go to bed.

Me:   I set my own bedtime.

Stella:   How wrong you are! Hey, what are you doing?

Me:   I am averting my gaze.

Stella:   That sounds painful.

Me:   It means that I am not looking at you. Keep on staring all you want.

Stella:   Oh, I am. Bedtime. Bedtime. Bedtime. Bedtime. Bedtime…

Me:   Okay. Okay. We’ll go.

Stella:   If you insist, Lady Human.



Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Wild, Weird Wind – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have made up a song of my people because of the wind today that won’t slow down and won’t stop blowing. Mmmm. Ahammm! Oh, the wild weird wind will blow, blow, blow and will not slow, slow, slow, and it’s so cold, cold, cold, so on, on, on it will go, go, go, it never stops, oh, no, no, no!

Me:   Why is the wind ‘weird’?

Stella:   Because it was not blowing and then it was. And that was weird. So, if something is weird, go ahead and call it weird. Might as well be honest. And besides, it is very, very cold, and that is weird.

Me:   It is winter. How is the cold weird?

Stella:   Lady Human, please pay attention.

Me:   I’ll try.

Stella:   We are in Texas.

Me:   Right.

Stella:   Where did this cold wind come from? Texas?

Me:   Nope.

Stella:   You see. Weird, huh?

Me:   It came from the Arctic, far, far north of here.

Stella:   Exactly. Weird. And why did they send their strong, cold wind here?

Me:   I don’t believe that they sent it.

Stella:   Of course, they did. How else did it get here?

Me:   Well…

Stella:   Don’t go into one of your long, boring explanations that makes no sense whatsoever. Somebody sent a cold, hard wind here that just keeps blowing and blowing and blowing and…

Me:   Welcome to winter.

Stella:   Winter? I don’t remember having to put up with this sort of thing before.

Me:   Winter is back.

Stella:   Well, tell it to pack its bags and go back where it came from.

Me:   We need winter. Winter kills off the bad bugs.

Stella:   Get a can of bug spray.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sausage Dog Roll – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:   Move over.

Stella:   What?

Me:   Move over.

Stella:   What are you talking about?

Me:   Stella, this is a narrow bed. This is my bed. You are right in the middle of it. If you don’t move over, I have no space to sleep. There’s not even enough room for me to curl into a ball.

Stella:   Whatever.

Me:   Okay, here it comes.

Stella:   Here comes what?

Me:   The sausage dog roll.

Stella:   I don’t smell anything. Did you buy it at the special store for sausage rolls?

Me:   I’m talking about you.

Stella:   I don’t understand.

Me:   You are the sausage dog and I am going to roll you.

Stella:  Wait! What’s going on?

Me:   You are getting rolled over, Sausage Dog.

Stella:   It feels so weird.

Me:   You are just rolling from one side to the other. I refuse to be ousted from my own bed.

Stella:   Why Sausage Dog?

Me:   Well, when I look at you in the middle of my bed, you look for all the world like a sausage. Except that you have hair. And you are a dog. But your shape is sort of…

Stella:   A sausage?

Me:   Yeah.

Stella:   All this talk of sausages makes me think…Can I have a sausage?

Me:   Fresh out.

Stella:   Okay. Can I still have cheese?

Me:   Yeah, sure. Although that may be one reason you look like a sausage dog.

Stella:   Meh, small price to pay.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Would I Do Without You? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. At time I may seem demanding. That is because I am. Why not demand my due? I am special. But I have to admit that without my humans, my life would be much reduced.

Me:   Aw, Stella, that is so nice for you to…

Stella:   That does not mean that I am not special. It simply means that I admit that I have had help.

Me:   Well, that’s still nice…

Stella:   A little tiny bit of help.

Me:   And what form has this help taken, pray tell?

Stella:   Primarily in the form of treats, day and night. For example, what would I do without my special oat O’s and special cheese at night? Sshhhhh! I know that the others don’t get those treats. That is my special prerogative. After all, there should be a few perks to being queen. Otherwise, what’s the big deal?

Me:   I think the big deal, as you put it, has nothing to do with perks, or special cheese, or oat O’s, but in the responsibility that the position imposes.

Stella:   Blah, blah, blah. What are you talking about?

Me:   Something important that humans continually forget.

Stella:   Does that mean that there is not going to be a special bedtime snack tonight?

Me:   Not at all. There will be. But there would be responsibility even if there weren’t treats.

Stella:    If I had my druthers, I would take the treats.

Me:   And how long would you be queen after that?

Stella:   Hmmm. Not very long. If I were not queen, would you still bring me cheese?

Me:   Maybe. Probably.

Stella:    As long as cheese is involved, I am happy. Carry on.

Me:   Oh, all right.

Stella:   What was that?

Me:   Your Majesty.

Stella:  Not perfect, but better.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sassy Walking – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Watch me walk. I am sassy when I walk.

Me:   Yes, you are.

Tiger:   You know who is sassier when they walk? Me.

Stella:   Hush that ugly talk! I’m sassier than anybody.

Wiggles:   What about my dancing? Isn’t that sassy?

Me:   Yes, indeed. Your dancing is sassy. You are a great tap dancer.

Stella:   But not as sassy as me, right?

Tiger:   But not as sassy as me, right, Lady Human?

Miss Sweetie:   What is sassy? Am I sassy?

Doodlebug:   You are a rampager, Sweetie. Rampaging is not sassy. It is straightforward. Like me.

Me:   Yeah, Doodle is a prancer. Like a stallion. Pretty straightforward.

Doodlebug:   And sassy.

Me:   A little bit, yeah.

Miss Sweetie:   Why is rampaging not sassy?

Tiger:  Rampaging means you are charging through the world without any style or glamour. Sassy means you are stylish like me. Showing off. I am a show off because I’ve got so much to show off.

Stella:   How about when I show off? Everybody watches when I show off.

Me:   Probably because you stand in the middle of the room and play bow until I notice.

Stella:   You notice. Everybody notices. Sassy.






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Oh, My Pounding Ears! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, there is an attack going on! Help! Loud noises! Call those people who wear shiny stars and drive cars with wild flashing lights! Hurry!

Me:   Stella, it’s all right.

Stella:   Why do you always say that? It is not all right! Do you hear that?

Me:   Not as well as you do, but yes. And it is all right. It is the sound of construction going on.

Stella:   Construction? It sounds terrible. Please make it stop!

Me:   No, it’s a good thing. One of our neighbors is having his floors replaced.

Stella:   Why couldn’t he keep his floors and spare us the pounding and the hammering and the…

Me:   His floors were damaged by water.

Stella:   How? Water is good. How could it hurt a floor?

Me:   Too much water can hurt lots of things. Anyway, his floor is being replaced.

Stella:   Too much pounding, too much noise can hurt my ears.

Me:   Congratulations on your amazing hearing.

Stella:   If that noise keeps up, you are about to congratulate me on my amazing barking.



Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Lurks in the Dark? – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. That is all.

Me:   What?

Stella:   I don’t have anything else to say today. However, from what I hear, Tiger has some issues that she is dealing with.

Me:   Okay, Tiger.


Tiger:   Night.

Me:   Okay. Night. And…?

Tiger:   There are things that lurk in the night.

Me:   Yes. I know. Mainly because of you. And the others. My nose is not as sensitive as yours. My eyes are not as sharp in the dark as yours.

Tiger:   I am always scared, Lady Human. What lurks in the dark may attack me.

Me:   Don’t I go outside with you in the dark?

Tiger:   Yes, but what if the lurking things are bigger than you and stronger than you?

Me:   Well, God, the Great Creator, said something to us humans early on. He told us that we were made in His image and that He gave us dominion over the earth. So, when I go outside with you, even if you are afraid, I refuse to be, and anything lurking in the dark better watch out! No lurkers allowed!

Tiger:   Wow! Okay! In that case, let’s go!

Stella:   Yeah, but what about that weird bird outside your window that sings in the middle of the night?

Me:   Stella, what did I just say?

Stella:   Well…okay. But I think I’ll just stay inside for now.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Are You a Pointer? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The world is full of things, moving, ugly, smelly things.

Me:   And beautiful, wonderful, bright, unusual, colorful, sweet things.

Stella:   Maybe, but none of those things are in our yard tonight. Wait.

Me:   Okay…Okay…Stella?

Stella:   Shhh!

Me:   Are you pointing, Stella? Like a pointer dog.

Stella:   Shhh! Smell the air!

Me:   I am. What is so special?

Stella:   Can’t you smell it?

Me:   No. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Stella:   It’s coming from over there.

Me:   You look just like a pointer dog, except you aren’t as tall and you aren’t as skinny and you aren’t lifting your front leg.

Stella:   The weird smell is in that corner.

Me:   Fill me in.

Stella:   Go over there and see what it is.

Me:   Me? Why me? It’s dark. I don’t hear anything. I don’t see anything. You go over.

Stella:   No. I’ve done my job. I pointed it out.

Me:   How about we just go back inside?

Stella:   After I went to all the trouble of pointing?

Me:   Okay. I’ll go back inside. Stay as long as you like.

Stella:   NO! Run! Inside now! Pointing is for the birds.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cheese, Glorious Cheese! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Every night, Lady Human and I share a snack before bed. Sometimes she gives me a cracker. Sometimes she gives me little round crunchy things that have no name that I can pronounce. But the best thing of all is when she gives me CHEESE!!!

Me:   Shhh!! Not so loud!!

Stella:   Why?

Me:   Because you are the only one with whom I share cheese.

Stella:   Is that because you are stingy or because I am special.

Me:   How could it be because I am stingy? I am sharing very expensive cheese with you. I don’t even like sharing it with myself. And they don’t always have it at the store. I have to wait for it to come in.

Stella:   So, you are stingy.

Me:   Hey, who’s getting cheese?

Stella:   Me?

Me:   Right. Don’t tell the others.

Stella:   What if they smell it on my breath?

Me:   Leave ‘em guessing where you got it.

Stella:   Don’t be surprised if they start tearing up the yard looking for my source.

Me:   How would that be different from the way they act in the yard now?





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cold Showers – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


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

Me:   Yes, but not the coldest it has ever been.

Stella:   No, but still cold. The sky is crying cold tears. Why can’t it wait until summer when it’s tears will be warmer.

Me:   Because this is winter. Sorry. We can’t forget winter. It’s cold a lot and cloudy a lot, but it serves its purpose.

Tiger:   Its purpose is to shower us with cold water when we go out to potty?

Me:   That’s not its purpose. That is one of its side effects.

Wiggles:   I used to enjoy going out to potty. Now it is shocking and gross.

Me:   All I can say is, hurry out and hurry back in.

Miss Sweetie:   I don’t like it. There have been no sunny days when I can sunbathe. The sky should keep its water to itself.

Me:   Hey, I have gone out with you, right?

Miss Sweetie:   Yes, but how does that help me?

Me:   The second you come in, isn’t there a special treat waiting for you?

Miss Sweetie:   Yes. But why can’t the days and nights be dry and I still get the treat?

Doodlebug:   What about me?

Me:   What about you? You get a treat each time, too.

Doodlebug:   Not good enough. I want extra snacks.

Me:   No, Doodle, no! I know what kind of snacks you are looking for and I am glad that you don’t search for them on wet, cold days. That’s one benefit of cold showers.

Doodlebug:   I don’t worry about it, Lady Human. I’ll be back on the hunt when the rain stops.

Me:   Not if I can clean out your stash first.

Doodlebug:   Catch me if you can.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Have the Crazy Humans Gone to Bed? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The Night of Human Craziness has ended. So says Lady Human and she should know because she is a human. I am still a little afraid to go outside tonight. It is in the dark that the humans act out the most.

Me:   Don’t worry. I won’t let you go out by yourself.

Stella:   You heard it last night, didn’t you? You heard the weird human voice.

Me:   I did.

Stella:   All I needed to do was go potty. I know it was late. Everyone else was asleep. And then I heard that noise in the darkness. It scared me. I ran back to the house.

Me:   And I was there and let you in. You were moving pretty fast.

Stella:   What was the human saying? Why was he shouting?

Me:   I won’t repeat what he was saying. He was shouting a word that we consider to be very vulgar. He was shouting at the top of his voice.

Stella:   Will he be back tonight?

Me:   No, I don’t think so.

Stella:   Why would he do that? It broke the quiet of the night.

Me:   Well, his shouting and the cannon boom of the fireworks and some people heard gunfire. I guess I missed it. I had fallen asleep.

Stella:   You slept through all that.

Me:   You did, too. All except the shouting man.

Stella:   I hope he sleeps tonight.

Me:   I do, too. He had to be tired.

Stella:   So why do humans complain about dogs barking? At least we don’t use ugly words.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved