Another 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. Again.

Stella:    Who cares about pecans? 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. 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 and there are nuts?

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 and your silly human talk. That’s not our job. Our job is to chase squirrels…and cats. And that we will do. Until all the pecans and pecan pies in the world are out of their little paws and in ours.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Make Her Ask Twice – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Listen, everybody, I have some special instructions to give…
Me: What’s all the whispering about?

Stella: Nothing. Closed door meeting, Lady Human. As I was saying…to the bulldogs only…

Me: Okay, time to go out. Hello? Time to go outside. All right, not that you all are fast to obey, but what’s going on? Usually, I get a few takers right off.

Stella: I’ve noticed a disturbing, very un-bulldoggy trend. You say do something and everybody does it. I was just making a point to my subjects.

Me: Which is?

Stella: That we should make you ask twice before we respond. At least twice. Three or four times would be better, but I can’t expect miracles, especially when you bribe us with treats.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Ear Swimming – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Sometimes I find that title embarrassing.

Me:  Why?

Stella:  Lady Human, look at Miss Sweetie. Does that look like something you would like to be queen of?

Me:  It is kind of funny.

Miss Sweetie:  What? Who’s funny? I want to laugh, too.


Me:  Sweetie, you were sleeping with your ear in your water bowl. Don’t you feel that?

Miss Sweetie:  No. Yes. Maybe. It is cool on my ear.

Stella:  Your ear is swimming in the water without the rest of you.

Miss Sweetie:  My ear likes the water and my water bowl doesn’t have enough room for my whole body.

Me:  I patched your puppy pool and you didn’t even spend five minutes in it today.

Miss Sweetie:  It was okay, but inside there is the cool air and my ear enjoys dipping in the water by itself.

Stella:  Lady Human, I think she has lost her mind.

Me:  Well, I sort of understand. I can cool off by wiping a cool, wet cloth across the back of my neck.

Miss Sweetie:  You should dip your ear in cool water. It’s wonderful.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Watch Out! Flying Goo! – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wait! What just slapped me in the face?

Me:  Duck! Goo is flying!

Stella:  Doodlebug! Really?


Doodlebug:  What? What happened?

Stella:  You happened! You! Shaking your big ole bulldog head!

Doodlebug:  Yeah, I did. So…

Me:  When you have a long string of slimy drool hanging from your mouth, please restrain from head shaking.

Doodlebug:  But then how can I get rid of the long string of slimy drool hanging from my mouth? It has to go somewhere.

Me:  Uh. Good question.

Stella:  Yes. A good question indeed. Personally, I don’t know as I never have long strings of slimy drool hanging from my mouth.

Me:  True, Stella. You are relatively drool-free.

Stella:  Doodle, try scraping the drool off on the side of your water bowl.

Doodlebug:  Then the drool will get into my water.

Me:  It does anyway. I know. I’m the one who washes your bowl out.

Doodlebug:  That doesn’t mean I want to add more to it.

Stella:  Sling it off outside. It’s bigger out there. Less likely to hit the rest of us.

Doodlebug:  I can try, but sometimes I don’t know drool is there until after I shake my head.

Stella:  I know what we need. Shields and helmets like those humans on the Picture Box. What do they call them?

Me:  Vikings.

Stella:  Yes. Now we will be Vikings against drool.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What is Pizza and Where is Mine? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, explain yourself.

Me:  Explain what?

Stella:  You were gone all afternoon.

Me:  No, I was gone only part of the afternoon.

Stella:  Our bulldog clocks told us different. Where were you? And why do you smell like cheese and sugar?

Me:  Tall Man and I took the little one to a special pizza place where we played games, ate pizza, and he bought me some cotton candy.

Stella:  So that was not a cloud you brought into the house! The thing that looked like what is on the inside of pillows?

Me:  No, it is a type of candy made from spun sugar. I’ve always liked it. It goes along with fairs and parties and celebrations. I don’t allow myself to eat it much anymore.

Stella:  That explains the scent of sugar. But what about this pizza thing?

Me:  Pizza is a human food that goes with parties and fellowship and…

Stella:  Cheese.

Me:  Yeah, cheese and pizza go hand in hand.

Stella:  Pizza has hands?

Me:  It’s a human expression.

Stella:  Humans express weird things. Where is this pizza?

Me:  We have a couple of pieces leftover in the refrigerator.

Stella:  Mine.

Me:  Uh, no.

Stella:  Mine.

Me:  It’s not for you or any of the bulldogs.

Stella:  Mine.

Me:  How about a nice, healthy dog treat?

Stella:  How about giving me part of that sugar cloud you brought in? What did you call it? Cotton candy?

Me:  Mine.











Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Can We Just Sleep Through This? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Miss Sweetie:  Make it stop.

Tiger:  Why? Oh, why, oh, why?

Wiggles:  Leave me alone. I will stay here on the cool floor.

Doodlebug:  What? What’s going on? Where? Who? How?

Me:  I need you all to go outside and potty.

Stella:  Nope. It’s hot.

Tiger:  I’m fine.

Me:  You won’t be fine come the middle of the night.

Tiger:  Will it be cooler then?

Me:  Yes, somewhat.

Tiger:  That’s when I’ll go.

Wiggles:  Yep, that sounds good to me.

Stella:  Leave us be, Lady Human. Wake us up when summer is over.

Me:  It doesn’t work that way. Look, we’ve been through way hotter summers than this one and way hotter days than this one. It only hit 101 degrees today.

Stella:  Hotter than today? I think you are mistaken, ma’am.

Me:  108 degrees. 110 degrees. I remember back in the year 1980 when it hit 113 a couple of days.

Stella:  A likely story. Was that a hundred million years ago?

Me:  I am not THAT old.

Stella:  Could have fooled me. When you start talking about nonsense years that never happened, that’s when I fact-check.



Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Boo-Hoo-Hoo! Crummy Summer! Go Away! – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen…

Miss Sweetie: Queen of what? A crummy summer? Queen of my broken puppy pool? Queen of Panting?

Stella; Hey! I’ll pant if I want to!

Miss Sweetie: Life is no fun! You won’t even let me chase the cat!


Stella: I said you can chase the cat if I give you permission. I said you cannot catch the cat. Think about it. That’s just plain unfair. How much do you weigh? A billion tons?

Me: Not nearly that much.

Miss Sweetie: Not fair!

Me: Hey, I patched your puppy pool. Somewhat. It is leaking more slowly now.

Miss Sweetie: I know.

Stella: So what do you say?

Miss Sweetie: Boo-hoo!

Stella: No! You say, ‘Thank you, Lady Human!’

Miss Sweetie: Why?

Stella: Because that is the right thing to do. Listen to me, young one, be grateful for all you have. So it’s hot. It won’t be hot forever and you live in a house with air conditioning and a human who turns it on just for us. You have food every day, not just once in a while. And it’s food that doesn’t cause your skin to break out and itch. And you have somebody who won’t leave you outside for too long when it’s too hot or too cold. Do you think those are small things? Well, I can tell you that they are not! So you don’t get to catch the cat. What would you even do with her? Have you seen those claws of hers?

Miss Sweetie: I did yesterday. Scary. Now I feel ashamed.

Stella: Don’t feel ashamed. Just be grateful to the Great Creator for everything you have.

Miss Sweetie: Okay…now my leaky puppy pool doesn’t seem so bad.

Stella: It’s not. In fact…I think I’ll go wallow around in it myself.

Miss Sweetie: Boo-hoo! Then the water will be all dirty!



Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cat Chasing 101 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It is past time that I, as Queen, set the rule for cat chasing in this house.

Me:  Because of what happened this morning?

Stella:  What happened this morning?

Me:  Oh, come on! Miss Sweetie took off after the cat who forgot to stay clear of bulldogs during breakfast and Sweetie caught her which has hardly ever happened in our history.

Stella:  Oh, yeah! That was awesome! Good job, Sweetie.

Me:  No, not good, but at least the cat was not hurt and really didn’t seem that upset. Right, Moon?

MoonCat:  Meow. Bulldog wet mouth messed up my hair.


Stella:  Typical.

Tiger:  I liked it.

Wiggles:  I thought it was exciting.

Me:  Yeah, I saw you get in on it, too.

Doodlebug:  Why didn’t I get to participate?

Me:  You were too busy with breakfast.

Miss Sweetie:  I thought I did a good job.


Stella:  You did, Sweetie. But there are still rules. Number One: No cat chasing before lunch.

Me:  Why?

Stella:  It’s bad for the digestion. Number Two: As Queen, I give the order for cat chasing.

Miss Sweetie:  I thought it was always okay to chase the cat, Aunt Stella.

Stella:  No, that’s just what we told the cat. Number Three:  Never catch the cat. Chase only.

Miss Sweetie:  But why?

Stella:  Because you are young and MoonCat is a lot older. It’s simply not sporting.

Tiger:  What’s sport got to do with it? She looked pretty spry to me. Those dragon claws of hers sure came out quick.

Wiggles:  Yeah, and she was yelling her cat war cry. It was cool!

Stella:  And Lady Human had to pull Sweetie off her and Sweetie, you did not get your treat for going outside without rampaging.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh. Yeah. No treat.

Stella:  Was catching the cat worth the loss of a treat?

Miss Sweetie:  No, not really.

Stella:  Case made. Orders issued.

Me:  Do you think that will work?

Stella:  No.

Me:  Why not?

Stella:  Bulldogs. Cat. Isn’t it obvious?







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Your Mind Over Our Matter? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Sometimes that is a hard thing to be.

Me:  All right. What’s going on? Why is everyone balking at going outside? It’s a pleasant day, not too hot. It’s not raining.

Stella:  But it was.

Me:  But it’s not now. Why are each of you stopping at the door and sniffing the air? I don’t smell a thing out of the ordinary.

Stella:  With your human nose, you couldn’t. The world smells strange today. I can’t quite put my paw on it…

Me:  It’s cloudy. It rained, but that’s over. It is cooler, by a lot. If that’s strange, it’s a good kind of strange.

Stella:  I don’t like it. None of us do. The air should be hot and blistering and the sky should be sunny with no clouds. The scent of the air should be of dry grass, not wet ground. It is too weird.

Me:  Let me put you all at ease. Go outside. There is no danger. It is not all that weird.

Stella:  How do you know?

Me:  Humans have something called ‘reason’. Our minds are designed to think things through and be rational.

Stella:  Well, our bulldog minds don’t know anything about this reason rational thing you speak of. Your mind over our matter? Bah!

Me:  So, you will stay inside all day and not go to the potty?

Stella:  What?

Me:  That’s what you’re acting like.

Stella:  No potty? All day long? No, that’s ridiculous! That’s not rational reasonable at all.  You haven’t thought this thing through, Lady Human. So much for your mind over our matter. Potty time! Everybody outside now!






Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Poor Old Puppy Pool – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Sweetie, stop whining. It’s no big deal.

Miss Sweetie:  It’s a big deal to me.


Me:  Is this about the puppy pool?

Miss Sweetie:  My favorite place in the whole hot world.

Me:  I’m sorry, Sweetie. I tried to patch it. The breaks in it are pretty big. You can still soak in it for a few minutes or so before the water leaks out. The storm did a job on it. And there were those other breaches caused by…

Miss Sweetie:  Me! Caused by me flipping it over and stomping on it. Why, oh why did I do that?

Me:  You were bulldogging it, that’s all.

Stella:  Lady Human, please go get her another one so we don’t suffer with her. Her sorrowful face makes me want to cry.

Me:  I already tried. Everybody seems to be sold out for the summer. They won’t get any more back in until next year. I’ll try patching it again tomorrow. I’m sorry, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Is it okay if I lie in it without the water?

Me:  Sure.

Stella:  Fix it quick, Lady Human! A bulldog in a water-less pool is just a sad sorry state of affairs.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Are You There?

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human? Are you there?

Me: Yeah. You should know. I’m right by you.

Stella: I was just checking.

Me: What’s wrong?

Stella: Have you ever been scared for no reason?

Me: Yeah, sure.

Stella: Really and truly? I thought humans never got scared.

Me: No, it’s a pretty big temptation all the time. Like when the Big Storm hit all of a sudden a couple of months ago. Do you remember?

Stella: Who could forget?

Me: Well, for a week or so, every time my phone would receive a notification, it made me jump, even when I was asleep. I thought a storm alert had been issued. I had to learn to calm down and relax. I prayed a lot and the LORD helped me. The funny thing is that we didn’t even get a strong storm alert before that big one hit. It hit without warning. And that’s the way fear works against us. It gets us all wound up and a lot of time there’s nothing to be wound up about. And then if something big does happen, we get all wound up thinking it might happen again.

Are you scared of something, girl?

Stella: Well…there have been so many weird loud noises and the air has been so hot and…

Me: All of those things can be explained. When wild, weird things happen, humans ask questions to find out what’s going on. I understand that you all don’t see everything we do.

Stella: That’s why we need you there by us.

Me: Everything’s gonna be all right. I’m here. Don’t worry. Just breathe.

Stella: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, girl, I’m sure.

Stella: Okay, I’m breathing again. It feels good, like it’s supposed to. Good night.

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Mind Over Matter – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I won’t think about it. I won’t think about it. This is me not thinking about it.

Me:  It…what?

Stella:  My feet. My tongue. My hot hair. I won’t think about it being umpteen gillion degrees out here.

Me:  That’s what I’ve been telling y’all. Summer has finally arrived in Texas. Let’s go back inside where it isn’t umpteen gillion degrees.

Stella:  Hah…hah…hah…I can do this. My big ole bulldog mind over matter. And the matter is the heat.

Me:  While there’s something to that, the temperature is still the temperature. It helps to stay calm and hydrated and use all the cooling tricks. But 101 degrees Fahrenheit is still…

Stella:  38 degrees Celsius.

Me:  How do you know that?

Stella:  One of the talking humans on the Picture Box kept…well, talking about it. Why are humans so complicated? Why can’t you all just say, ‘it’s friggin’ HOT!”

Me:  Humans are hard to explain.

Stella:  Mind over matter. Mind over matter.

Me:  Why don’t we go back inside?

Stella:  My mind tells me that the heat is the matter and my mind tells me the matter is I’m not inside with the cold air. Problem solved.








Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wub. Wub. Wub. – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Miss Sweetie:  And so am I.


Stella:  No, Sweetie, you are not. That’s just plain wrong.

Miss Sweetie:  I feel like I am a queen.

Me:  But you’re not Stella, are you?

Miss Sweetie:  No, I don’t think so.

Me:  You aren’t sure?

Miss Sweetie:  I’ll have to think about that.

Stella:  Oh, Sweetie, I love you, but sometimes you are brilliant and sometimes you are as dumb as a post.

Miss Sweetie:  How dumb are posts?

Stella:  Pretty dumb.

Me:  I’ve been wondering, Sweetie, why do your barks sound so different when you are talking to Doodlebug? I mean all your other barking is sharp and excited, but when you talk to him, it’s more like “Wub. Wub. Wub.” What does that mean?

Miss Sweetie:  It means just what it sounds like.

Me:  Stella, do you know the difference?

Stella:  She talks softer to him. That’s all.

Me:  What does “wub” mean?

Stella:  Wub is a lazy word.

Me:  Are you a lazy talker, Sweetie?

Miss Sweetie:  Wub.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved..

Where Is Winter When You Need It? – Conversations with Stella


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

Me:  Uh-oh. That sounds serious.

Stella:  Huh – huh – huh – huh – huh – huh.

Me:  The air conditioner is on. The sun is going down. It will be cooler soon.

Stella:  Allow me to wax eloquent.

Me:  Be my guest.

Stella:  The hot air is heavy, heavy like a thick, wet blanket. It is pressing down, heavy, heavy.

Me:  That’s the way I felt about summer when I was a kid running around outside. A hot, heavy, wet blanket. Of course, that was in Beaumont and when I would visit my cousins in Houston…

Stella:  Lady Human, with all due respect to your distant puppy-hood, this is my story. Please let me tell it.

Me:  Sorry.

Stella:  The heat rises. It descends to my feet. There is no place where its heaviness is not felt. No corner to hide in. Even the air in the shade is hot.

Me:  It’s only 96 degrees. It has been hotter.

Stella:  Lady Human!

Me:  Sorry.

Stella:  Where is the blessed cool of winter when we need it?

Me:  Probably about four months off. And blessed cool? What about those days when the temperature falls to the teens and everything freezes and…?

Stella:  Lady Human!!

Me:  Okay.

Stella:  Summer, summer, go away. Come again some icy day. Little Stella wants to play. The End.

Me:  Do you feel better now?

Stella:  Yes. Getting all that hot air out of me has cooled me off.







Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Bulldog Brouhaha – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Miss Sweetie:  What is going on?

Doodlebug:  Tiger and Lady Human are down the hall, wrestling. I love wrestling with Lady Human.

Wiggles:  Silly! She is trimming toenails. It is not a game.

Stella:  Toenail trimming time is here again! So soon! Everybody hide!

Wiggles:  Tiger is putting up a fuss. Good for her.

Stella:  What do you mean? You don’t tussle with Lady Human over your nails. She scratches your belly and you roll over and give up.

Miss Sweetie:  Who will win?

Doodlebug:  We’ll have to wait and see. It has been going on and on and on…

Stella:  Here they come!

Tiger; Whew! Glad that’s over!

Me:  Not quite. We’ll try again tomorrow.

Tiger:  No. I won.

Me:  I don’t give up.

Stella:  How many did you trim, Lady Human?

Me:  One. When added to the two I trimmed yesterday, that makes three. So, a good day.

Stella:  And you say I can’t count.





Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



The Famous Bulldog Grumble – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  And I am tired.

Stella:  I can’t imagine why. All you do is lay in bed and sleep.

Me:  That is not all that I do.

Stella:  Beg to differ.

Me:  When I go to bed, I go to bed to sleep.

Stella:  After you watch the Picture Box on your little black box, eat snacks…

Me:  Which you share in…

Stella:  And rightfully so. And you do that human reading thing. So sleep is not number one.

Me:  But still, once I go to sleep, I like to stay asleep until wake-up time. And I can’t do that if you are grumbling at 3:06 a.m., thank you very much.

Stella:  You are welcome.

Me:  Why were you grumbling at 3:06 a.m.?

Stella:  Who said it was at that time, like time is a real thing?

Me:  I checked it on my phone.

Stella:  So, it was the phone that caused you to wake up. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have known what time it was, like time is a real thing.

Me:  You were grumbling.

Stella:  I was expressing my opinion.

Me:  About what?

Stella:  About how much you sleep and how you needed to wake up to hear my opinions.




Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.