Where’s My Cake? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me: And somebody’s got a birthday today!

Stella:  Who’s that?

Me:  You! You are six years old today. Happy Birthday!

Stella:  Okay. Where’s my cake?

Me:  Oh, Stella, you know we’re not real big on cake around here.

Stella:  Okay. So, where’s my cake?

Me:  Let’s all wish Stella a happy birthday.

Tiger:  Yeah, Happy Birthday whatever. Is there going to be cake?

Me:  No, but I did consider it.

Tiger:  Considering cake is not the same as having cake.

Me:  You are all having a few extra healthy treats.

Wiggles:  Happy Birthday, Stella.

Stella:  Thank you. Where’s my cake?

Miss Sweetie:  Happy Birthday, Aunt Stella. Where’s her cake?

Doodlebug:  I’ll have some cake, please.

Wiggles:  Wish Stella a happy birthday.

Doodlebug:  Will that get me some cake? Okay. Happy Birthday.

Stella:  Now that we’ve gotten past the boring stuff…Lady Human, where’s my cake?

Me:  Everybody, get ready! Here they are – healthy dog biscuits!

Stella:  Is that better than cake or are you trying to fool me? It’s not nice to fool somebody on their birthday.

Me:  Let’s say that it is better for you than cake.

Stella:  Hmmmm. I understand. You love me and want me to be healthy. Okay. One question. Where’s my cake? I am patient. After all, I’m still waiting for my crown.






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





I Can Dance, Too! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am also Queen of the Dancers.

Me:  I beg your pardon.

Stella:  You have it, though I don’t know what you did wrong.

Me:  I mean, “Queen of the Dancers”? What?

Stella:  I’m tired of everybody making a big deal over Wiggles and her silly sideways stepping and tapping like that’s a big deal or she’s so cute or she has some kind of talent when all she is doing is sidestepping fast. So, I’m showing everybody my dancing skills. Here I go!

Me:  Stella girl, you don’t have to…

Stella:  And now I go this way and circle around like so and the other way…

Me:  I mean you don’t have to prove anything…

Stella:  And watch this!

Me:  I’m a-watchin’!

Stella:  I can dance, too! Wiggles isn’t the only dancer here!

Me:  I’m sorry if I didn’t pay enough attention to you today.

Stella:  What did you say?

Me:  When Wiggles goes into one of her dancing routines, we all tend to stare and laugh, and that’s fine. But if I didn’t pay you enough mind today and you feel like you have to dance for us to do so, I am sorry.

Stella:  So, dancing is not the most important thing?

Me:  No. It’s cute. But it’s not mandatory.

Stella:  What a relief! I think I’ll just sit down for a spell. In fact, I’m due for a nap. I don’t know how Wiggles does it. My dancing career is at an end. I am retiring.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Hunkerin’ Down – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am…

Miss Sweetie:  Sweetie! Princess of the Olde English Bulldogges.


Stella:  Pardon me…

Miss Sweetie:  You are pardoned.

Stella:  I beg your pardon…

Me:  Let me break in here before we get in a loop, Stella.

Stella:  Lady Human, she has no right to call herself a princess, especially not after how she acted when the humans were walking on our roof the other day.

Miss Sweetie:  What did I do wrong, Aunt Stella?

Stella:  Hunkerin’. Hunkerin’ down under the little table outside.

Miss Sweetie:  It seemed like a safe place from which to watch.

Me:  And it was. Relatively safe. I think Stella is wondering why you weren’t out front and center.

Miss Sweetie:  I wanted to be. Aunt Stella is brave. She stood out in the yard and stared at those humans. Me? I hid. I watched them, but I hid.

Me:  That was actually pretty smart. But I still had to bring you inside. Hunkering down is not a bad idea at times.

Miss Sweetie:  I wish that I were brave.

Me:  Hey, there is brave and then there is foolish. You didn’t see me standing out there while stuff was flying off the roof. Hunkerin’ down is the brave thing to do when stuff is flying through the air.

Miss Sweetie:  So, I am not a coward. I am a brave hunkerer. Yay, me!





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








They Are Beating on Our House – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It started early this morning.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, so early.

Tiger:  Uncomfortably early.

Wiggles:  Incredibly early.

Doodlebug:  What? What happened?

Stella:  For reasons I will never understand, humans enjoy walking around on top of our house.

Me:  These humans are called roofers.

Stella:  Well, roofers, as you call them, are extremely loud humans.

Miss Sweetie:  They are being mean to our house, Lady Human. Make them stop.

Me:  Actually, they are being nice to our house. They are tearing off the old roof that got damaged when the storm knocked the big oak onto it, and they are putting on a brand-new roof.

Tiger:  I wish they would do it more quietly.

Wiggles:  I wish they wouldn’t do it at all.

Me:  We’ll all be happy for it when the rains come back.

Wiggles:  I saw them up there, walking around like they belonged up there. I told them off.

Doodlebug:  But they didn’t get off, did they?

Wiggles:  No, they just ignored me. Awww. And I was being so tough, too.

Me:  No offense to you, girl. They are just focused on their job. You have to be when you are walking around on a roof.

Stella:  Will it go on forever? Will we never sleep again?

Me:  They will be finished long before sunset. I have a feeling that we are all going to sleep very well tonight.

Stella:  And tomorrow. And the next day. It will take a long time to make up for our lost naps today.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Lick Your Own Feet – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My feet are special to me. Don’t touch them.

Me:  I didn’t intend to. Not today anyway. The only time I touch your feet is when I trim your toenails.

Stella:  Don’t even go there.

Me:  Well, you seem to like your feet. You are licking them.

Stella:  Don’t tell me what to do with my feet!

Me:  Okay! Okay!

Stella:  Why don’t you lick your own feet? You don’t seem to spend much time on them, and you only have two.

Me:  Think about it. My feet are a long, long way from my mouth. Yours are much closer.

Stella:  Are you saying that I am short?

Me:  No. I’m saying that you are a bulldog and I am a human. Getting my feet to my mouth at this point would be quite an undertaking.

Stella:  If you don’t lick your own feet, you are missing out. I highly recommend it.









Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wires, Wires, Everywhere, And Not a One to Chew On – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


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

Me:  Yes, you are.

Stella:  Wiggles, on the other hand…

Me:  What’s going on? Wiggles?


Wiggles:  Hmmm?

Me:  What are you up to?

Wiggles:  Up to?

Me:  What are you sniffing over there?

Wiggles:  Nothing.

Stella:  Ahhkahhah…Lady Human. Wires.

Wiggles:  Tattletale!

Me:  Wiggles, get away from those wires.

Wiggles:  Why? What’s the big deal? I’ve chewed on those long, stringy things before.

Me: And, thankfully, they were not plugged in. And, thankfully, you didn’t get hurt.

Wiggles:  How could a long stringy thing hurt me?

Me:  Those wires conduct electricity.

Stella:  One of those nonsense human words.

Me:  You know what I’m talking about. The light that streaks through the sky.

Stella:  Oh. The fire in the sky. IN OUR HOUSE? IN THOSE SKINNY THINGS? HOW? WHY? NO!

Me:  Every atom in GOD’s universe contains immense power. Within wires, the power of electricity is contained and channeled for our use. It is very common with us. Still, it is to be respected, not abused. And that means, Wiggles, don’t chew on wires! Period! At all! Ever!

Wiggles:  Awwww.

Stella:  Wiggles, you’ve seen the sky fire.

Wiggles:  Yes. It flashed near us not long ago.

Stella:  Would you like it to flash inside your big old bulldog mouth?

Wiggles:  Hmmm. No. I don’t think so.

Stella:  There, Lady Human. Wiggles has a brain after all.











Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





I Sniffed a Little Human…Eewww! – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  And I am Wiggles, Sniffer of Little Humans.


Stella:  That is not even near the same as being the queen. That is not even a thing.

Wiggles:  Yes, it is, because I did it. And all I can say is…eewww! What a weird smell!

Stella:  I don’t sniff young humans. They only exist to grow up to be big humans that can feed me and take care of me. Oh, though I do let our little human scratch my belly. She is good at that.

Me:  I don’t think little kids smell weird.

Wiggles:  That don’t smell like dogs.

Stella:  Nope.

Wiggles:  They don’t smell like cats.

Stella:  Yay.

Wiggles:  They don’t smell like big humans.

Stella:  Well, maybe some.

Me:  What do they smell like to you?

Wiggles:  Human food. And dirt. And human bathrooms. And that goo that humans smear on themselves to make themselves stink.

Me:  Goo. Hmmm. Do you mean lotion?

Wiggles:  If it’s that stinky goo, yeah. Leave that stuff off and just stick with the other smells – food, dirt, and bathrooms. Then they’ll be fine.






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Another Ice Cube, Please? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Water is great, but water is not so great when the air is hot, and the water feels like the air. I put my tongue in it and it feels just the same when I pull it out. Not hot, not cold. Blegh.

Tiger:  Lady Human, do something to make our water interesting.

Miss Sweetie:  Make it red like strawberries.

Me:  Mmmm…that might make it sweeter, not cooler. How about some ice cubes?

Doodlebug:  Those cold floatie things?

Me:  Yep, you could call them that.

Doodlebug:  I like those guys.

Wiggles:  They freeze my nose.

Tiger:  Then don’t rest your nose on them, silly.

Wiggles:  Who are you calling ‘silly’, silly!

Me:  Girls! Cut it out!

Tiger:  Sorry, Lady Human, it’s just so hot.

Wiggles:  Yeah, and Tiger is so silly.

Tiger:  How dare you!

Me:  Barking just makes everybody hotter, including me. Here. Try these ice cubes.

Tiger:  Oh, they are cold and crunchy and good.

Stella:  And the water around them is colder.

Me:  Maybe we could just freeze your water bowls. Then the ice would melt slowly through the day and the whole thing would stay cold.

Stella:  You can do something like that?

Me:  Well, if I can find enough room in the big freezer…I’ve never thought about doing that before.

Stella:  Why not? Aagghhh! Humans!

Miss Sweetie:  That would be great! And then my drool would stay cold, too!

Me:  Cold drool. I hadn’t thought about that either.

Doodlebug:  MMMM! Ice cold drool!








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Hay Is For Horses – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human repeats herself. A lot.

Me:  Maybe because no one around here listens to me the first three times I say something.

Stella:  Well, you sure talk a lot about hay.

Miss Sweetie:  Hay. The stuff that horses eat. I saw that on the Picture Box. They eat grass but they call it ‘hay’ because they don’t know how to talk right.

Doodlebug:  I don’t eat hay. Sometimes I eat tasty leaves I find out back.

Wiggles:  I eat grass. Is that what Lady Human is talking about when she says ‘hay’?

Me:  No, I mean ‘pay attention’. And the word is HEY, not HAY!

Tiger:  Then why don’t you say so? The humans sound confused.

Me:  It sounds the same. It is spelled differently.

Stella:  So that makes all the confusion all right? I don’t think so. What is this spelling thing anyway? It sounds made up to me.

Miss Sweetie:  I suddenly feel like…RAMPAGE!

Me:  HEY!

Miss Sweetie:  Where?

Doodlebug: I’ll try some.

Wiggles:  How about treats instead? They taste better than grass.


Me:  HEY!

Stella:  No, ma’am, we’ve voted. Treats over hay any day.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dancing in the Water – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, I think you should see what Miss Sweetie is doing.

Me:  What?  Oh, Sweetie! Really?

Miss Sweetie:  What? Who? Where?

Me:  Did you…pee inside? Again?

Miss Sweetie:  Pee? No. Do you want me to? I can if I you want me to.

Me:  No! If you didn’t pee, then what is this water mess? Oh, I see.

Miss Sweetie:  My water bowl spilled. I don’t know how that happened.

Stella:  I do. She stepped on it. And the water went everywhere. And now she is dancing in it.

Miss Sweetie:  I like water. Especially on my feet when it is hot. I dance in the water. Watch me!

Me:  Okay, that’s fine, Sweetie. At least that’s better than…well, you know. The other stuff.

Miss Sweetie:  Pee? Do you want me to do that, too?

Me and Stella:  No!

Stella:  I’m sorry, Lady Human. She still doesn’t understand that there is a real difference.










Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Scratched Notes of Remembrance – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is all that fancy paper stuff in your hand, Lady Human? What are you doing?

Me:  Oh, I’m writing a note to a friend of our family. A condolence note.

Stella:  Condo lens? Is that something we can eat?

Me:  Not everything is something you can eat. No, a condolence note tells someone that you are sorry that they have suffered a loss. This girl just turned 17 years old last week and the other night, she left her little dog out in their front yard. And the dog…

Tiger:  No. The dog got out of its safe place.

Me:  Yes. And another dog, much bigger they think, started a fight.

Tiger:  And the smaller dog lost. And died.

Me:  Yes. They didn’t find their dog until morning and it was too late. I know you understand such things, Tiger, because…

Tiger:  I got out. And my kennel mate got out. And she was a better fighter than I was.

Stella:  But why are you scratching on paper to the girl human? What difference does that make now?

Me:  Someone needs to tell her that another person shares her sorrow. Someone needs to tell her that she is sorrowful for a reason, that her sorrow does matter to God and to others because…

Stella:  Her dog made a difference to her.

Me:  Yes. Her Chihuahua was not, as some people say, ‘just a dog’.

Stella:  Scratching on paper helps humans grieve?

Me:  Sometimes. I am sending her a picture that I have of her dog, too.

Stella:  Then she can remember.









Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Things We Can Do Without – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I want that, Lady Human! That thing in your hand! I can smell it. It’s peanut butter.

Me:  Peanut butter and CHOCOLATE and no, you can’t have it. Chocolate is bad for you. It’ll make you sick. It’s something you can do without.

Stella:  Why can’t you do without it?

Me:  Well, I can do without it. But I don’t really want to.

Stella:  Why doesn’t it make you sick?

Me:  I don’t know. It just doesn’t affect humans the way it does dogs. Now if I ate too much, that could make me sick, too. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can be bad for you.

Stella:  There’s no such thing as too much for a bulldog.

Me:  Too much sun. Too much heat. Too much cold.

Stella:  Not that stuff. I’m talking about important things like food, treats, belly scratching, naps. Those are things we cannot do without and there’s no such thing as too much. So, start scratching while I take another nap.

















Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Rain! Run! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is hurrying around. This must be one of her weird human moods.

Me:  Come on, boy. Come on, girls. Let’s get in. Stella, you need to go out now. Now!

Stella:  Uggghh! There’s that word again! What’s the hurry?

Me:  We’re working against a clock here.

Stella:  Clocks are human inventions. They don’t apply to us. Unless it has to do with breakfast and lunch. Then you dare not ignore that clock. The food clock rules.

Me:  This is a different type of clock. This clock is a sky clock and it runs at the speed of the wind. Rain is coming.

Stella:  What was that sound?

Me:  You know what it was.

Stella:  Thunder boomer.

Me:  That’s one way of putting it.

Stella:  Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Run! Run! Run!

Me:  Oh, so now it’s a priority.

Stella:  I’m not going to have rain hit my cute little rear end. And as for thunder boomers, nope! Hurry! What’s that favorite word of yours? NOW!







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Don’t Go Stingy on the Treats! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby call this pack meeting to order. Lady Human,, we have a beef with you.

Tiger:  A real beef having to do with beef.

Wiggles:  Yeah, not enough treats.

Miss Sweetie:  Yeah, the treats are so small that my mouth cannot feel that they are there. My mouth is sad.

Doodlebug:  Treats? What treats? I haven’t had a real treat in a century.

Me:  Okay, here we go.

Stella:  Hey, I am the Queen. I called this meeting to order.

Tiger:  Then be queen and get our treats back.

Me:  Y’all get treats all the time.

Stella:  But we have noticed…don’t think we haven’t…that the size of the treat has gotten way smaller lately.

Me:  You each get a treat every time you come in from outside and how many times a day is that?

Stella:  One.

Tiger:  No, at least two.

Wiggles:  Five. Count on your toes.

Miss Sweetie:  A million.

Me:  Bottom line, if I gave you a full treat every time, you would blow up like bulldog balloons.

Doodlebug:  I would like to see that.

Me:  Believe me, no. You wouldn’t. And you wouldn’t like the way it would feel. So, I break the treats apart. The vet warned me last year about distributing the treats too freely.

Stella:  I don’t know why you listen to that woman. All she does is wear a white coat and try to spoil our fun. We could go on strike until we get our full share of treats again.

Me:  Go on strike from what?  You all don’t do any work to strike from.

Stella:  Oh, is that what that means? Well then, never mind. We will just look pitiful. That usually works.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Oh, The Things We Do For Attention – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Well…Lady Human…I’m waiting.

Tiger:  Oh, not again.

Miss Sweetie:  This is always so weird, even for us.

Doodlebug:  I don’t ever do that.

Wiggles:  Show off!

Stella:  Lady Human, I’m ready to go out. How long do I have to stand here like this?

Me:  Why do you stand there like that?

Stella:  Like what?

Me:  Like a statue. Waiting for me to scratch your rear end and pat you before you will turn toward the door. I don’t even remember how this got started.

Stella:  Easy. You did it one time. I liked it. Now you must do it almost every time. The only times you don’t do our ceremony is when I need to potty really bad. Then it’s not so important.

Me:  But why is the ceremony important at all?

Tiger:  Oh, Lady Human, don’t you see?

Wiggles:  She is showing off in front of us.

Tiger:  Trying to be all that.

Wiggles:  And a bag of barbeque potato chips.

Me:  Stella, are you showing off? Trying to get special attention.

Stella:  I am the Queen. If anyone deserves special attention, it’s me. Now do the ceremony so I can go outside.

Me:  Oh, all right. It is kind of funny.

Stella:  Nothing about me is funny. Do it! Scratch my rear end while making that high-pitched noise. And then pat my rear end one…two…three times. NOW!

Me:   EEEEEEEE! Pat. Pat. Pat.

Stella:  Finally. Now I can move on.










Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Word “NOW” – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We all know when Lady Human means business. I don’t understand what ‘business’ is, but I do understand when she means it. The big clue is when she shouts the word ‘NOW’.

Me:  I don’t shout.

Stella:  Then why do my ears tingle?

Me:  I don’t shout. Sometimes I elevate my voice to be heard over the cacophony of bulldog shouting.

Stella:  Especially when you shout the word ‘now’. ‘Now!’ must be a powerful word. Everyone pays attention when you shout it.

Me:  I don’t shout…

Miss Sweetie:  NOW is the super word. NOW means…I don’t know what it means, but it means something needs to happen NOW.

Doodlebug:  Lady Human says NOW when I am sniffing everything in the house but should be going out. I usually ignore it.

Tiger:  NOW means hurry, hurry, hurry. Like when it is going to rain during potty time or when the darkness of night is setting in. I think she means it as a warning. I had rather she say ‘NOW!’ than me get caught in the rain or the dark.

Wiggles:  I think she uses ‘NOW’ when I am standing around, looking at the sky, sniffing the air, and generally doing nothing that she understands. My work outside is important. Lady Human simply doesn’t get it.

Me:  Does the word ‘NOW’ catch your attention?

Miss Sweetie:  Yes.

Doodlebug:  Yes.

Tiger:  Yeah.

Wiggles:  Yes, indeed.

Stella:  I guess so.

Me:  Good. I’m glad something does.






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Loud Noises, Silly Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde…


Stella: English….



Me: Yeah, somebody started early this year. Sounds pretty close, but it doesn’t sound like gunfire. It sounds like big firecrackers.

Stella: You know the difference?

Me: Yeah, unless the wind is contrary, you can usually tell a rifle from a pistol or a shotgun and fireworks sound different from those.

Stella: You sound unreasonably calm considering loud noises are exploding around us.

Me: Well, tomorrow is the 4th of July.

Stella: You say that as though it makes sense.

Me: Independence Day is a big holiday and people celebrate with fireworks. I guess it makes sense to me.

Stella: That is not a good recommendation for you, Lady Human.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved

Where Does Food Come From? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am always curious about humans and their doings. Por ejemplo…

Me:  Por ejemplo? When did you start speaking Spanish?

Stella:  I heard Tall Man say that. What is Spanish?

Me:  Never mind. It would take too long to explain.

Stella:  As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by Lady Human, I want to know where food comes from. Our bowls are empty, then they are full. Then we empty them, then they are full again. How does that happen?

Me:  You see how that happens every time I pour food into your bowls right in front of your very eyes.

Stella:  Very eyes?  Do we have special eyes? Cool!

Me:  I mean you see me refill your food bowls every day.

Stella:  But where does food come from? The bucket is empty. You walk out of the room and a door closes. There is a strange metal sound and you come back in with a bucket full of food. Do you make the food? Does someone bring it to you? Why is it small and round? And why is it always brown? Your food is not always brown.

Me:  Number one – I don’t make it.  Number two – no one brings it to me. I go and pick it up. Number three – the metal sound comes from the receptacle where we store the food. Number four – I have no idea why it is round. It is small so you can chew it easily. And number five – it’s brown because it…just comes that way. Does that answer your questions?

Stella:  Nope. I guess I just have to accept it as one of those human mysteries no one will ever understand.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


You Smell Like Grass – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, you smell like grass. Not a bad smell, but not as good as the barbeque beef you smelled like before.

Me:  The abundant rain has nurtured a lot of weeds. I had to cut them down before they got out of hand.

Stella:  And then you rolled in them like a good dog would.

Me:  No, I don’t roll in cut grass.

Stella:  You could have fooled me.

Me:  Hey, there was a lot to be done.

Stella:  I don’t mind, Lady Human. I just prefer it when you got to a beef place and come back scented like barbeque.

Me:  Sorry.

Stella:  That’s okay. We got a whiff of barbeque when you first got home yesterday. By the way, why does church smell like barbeque?






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.