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

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

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

Me:        Hahahaha! Thick skulls!

Stella:    Why are you laughing?

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

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

Me:        Sorry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me:        No point. Never mind.

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

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

Stella:    What happened when Tall Man did that?

Me:        How about to watch fireworks?

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

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

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




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Nutty Squirrel Party – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Not me either!

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


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

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

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

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

Me:        Not condoning. Just understanding.


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

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

Me:        Uhhh. Because they are squirrels.

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

Me:        I have no doubt.

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

Me:        What is what?

Stella:    The yard is ours.

Me:        Ours as in yours and mine.

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

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

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





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Who’s Been Digging Holes? – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Okay, then stop it.

Stella:    How?

Me:        Stop digging.

Stella:    I am not the culprit.

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

Stella:    Textbook?

Me:        Classic.

Stella:    Classic?

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

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

Me:        Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stella:    Young bugs? Horrible! Horrible!

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

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

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

Stella:    17 years?

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

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

Me:        I doubt that seriously.

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




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Bulldog Landscape – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        What? No comments or complaints?

Stella:    Come to think of it…

Me:        Okay, here it comes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Why not?

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

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

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

Me:        That hard stuff the patio is made of.

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



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

Stella:    The Picture Box show was named Stella?

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

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

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

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

Me:        She just reminded him of that cartoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stella:    What, pray tell, is a doodlebug?

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

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

Me:        Right.

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

Me:        Sometimes.

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

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

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

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

Stella:    That’s easy. Princess Beautiful McBeautyFace.

Me:        Princess? Isn’t that a demotion?

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



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Take It Outside! – Conversations with Stella

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

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

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

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

Stella;    Ah. Peace and quiet.

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

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

Me:        They do have a lot of fun.

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

Me:        He doesn’t seem to mind.

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

Me:        Yeah.

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

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

Stella:    Take it outside?

Me:        Mmm hmmm.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Human Puppies – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

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

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    It cries and squeals like a young one.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    A puppy?

Me:        No.

Snoopey:   No more bulldogs! No more bulldogs!

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

Stella:    A puppy?

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

Snoopey:   No more bulldogs! No more bulldogs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stella:    Will there be other babies?

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

Stella:    Lady Human! Did you have a puppy?

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

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

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

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

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




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stinky Hands – Conversations with Stella

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

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

Stella:    Millions of scent receptors, remember.

Me:        My hands don’t smell.

Stella:    Millions of scent receptors cannot be wrong.

Me:        What do I smell like?

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

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

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

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

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

Me:        What does Pffft mean?

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

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



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Shoe Store – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me:        Okay, now hear this!

Stella:    That’s my job!

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

Snoopey:   Carried around?

Me:        No.

Wiggles:   Chewed?

Me:        No.

Doodlebug:  Snuffled?

Me:        No.

Miss Sweetie:   Nibbled?

Me:   No.

Stella:   Licked?

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

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

Me:        I thought you said you would guard them.

Stella:    Well, I would, from the others.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Big Tricky Ball of Meat – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Beware whenever a human offers you something that you really want. It may have something hidden inside.

Me:        Like the Trojan Horse.

Stella:    No one has ever offered me a horse. What would I do with it? Could I ride it? I don’t think so.

Me:        No, the Trojan Horse is from an old, old human story. It wasn’t a real horse. It was a hollow statue of a horse that had enemy soldiers hidden inside.

Stella:    Just like the Big Tricky Ball of Meat you offered me last night. You thought that I wouldn’t figure it out. But I did. You hid a nasty-tasting medicine pill in what otherwise was a delicious ball of salmon.

Me:        So, you tasted that after all. I should have made the salmon ball bigger.

Stella:    You admit it! A trick to get me to eat medicine.

Me:        Would you have eaten it without the meat?

Stella:    Of course not.

Me:        Everybody else did.

Stella:    Sillies. They have no sense of taste.

Me:        Do you know what the medicine was?

Stella:    No. Nor do I care.

Me:        It was flea and tick preventative.

Stella:    Flea. Tick. You mean those crawlies that bite and chew and… itch and ITCH AND ITCH!!!

Me:        Yep. Nasty-tasting pill doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Stella:    Mmmmm. Still a trick. Next time, better make that salmon ginormous.

Me:        Won’t that tip you off?

Stella:    Yeah, but I won’t care.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


It’s My Birthday! Here’s My List! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Today is my birthday. Today is also my sister Snoopey’s birthday, but that is not important. What is important is that it is getting late and I have yet to see any of the things on my birthday list.

Me:        Well, I think y’all have had a pretty good day. For one thing, I did not dress you up in birthday hats.

Stella:    Yes, we did appreciate that greatly.

Me:        And there was special food that was designed not to make you throw up.

Stella:    Also, greatly appreciated. Still, here is my wish list.

Me:        An indoor full bathroom for each of you?

Stella:    I will settle for an indoor bathroom just for me. The others can fend for themselves.

Me:        A fully cooked, smoked brisket?

Stella:    What’s the problem? You like brisket, don’t you?

Me:        For every meal, every day?

Stella:    That should be easy enough. We’re in Texas, aren’t we?

Me:        This is a very long list. I am not going to read all of it, but what’s this at the bottom?

Stella:    Self-explanatory, as the humans say.

Me:        A machine gun?

Stella:    Like in those old human Picture Box shows. Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat!

Me:        Why do you need a machine gun?

Stella:    The Squirrel War.

Me:        Short answer – no. Long answer – no.

Stella:    Not fair.

Me:        If you were a squirrel, you would disagree.

Stella:    If I were a squirrel…ewww, yuck! What a horrible idea! Are you trying to ruin my birthday?


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Who’s A Good Boy? I Don’t Care! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans have annoying habits. I plan to make a long list of them some day. Lady Human has the annoying habit of telling Doodlebug what a ‘good boy’ he is. Over and over again, she says, ‘Who’s a good boy?’ As Doodlebug is the only boy dog here, the answer is obvious. The question need not be asked. If there is a good boy, it has to be Doodlebug. Nobody else qualifies.

Me:        What’s wrong with encouraging Doodlebug with some positive words? So, I call him a ‘good boy’ when he does what he is told.

Stella:    Tell me, Lady Human, what great feat did he perform to merit all this praise? Did he save human or dog lives? Did he climb a mighty mountain or swim across a sea? Did he bake enough treats for all of us to have our fill?

Me:        Well, no. Not any of those things.

Stella:    Why is he such a ‘good boy’ then?

Me:        He stopped rampaging when I asked him. And he went into his crate when it was time for me to go to the store. And…

Stella:    Woo-hoo! Good boy, Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:   I know.

Stella:    You know, don’t you, ‘good boy’,that cooperation goes against everything we bulldogs stand for.

Me:        Don’t I tell you that you are a good girl?

Stella:    Not nearly often enough.

Me:        Good girl.

Stella:    Well, yeah.

Me:        Aw, Stella, who’s a good girl?

Stella:    I am?

Me:        You had better believe it, good girl!

Stella:    I am a good girl. Take that, Doodlebug! I am a good girl!

Doodlebug:   I know. And I’m a good boy. What’s the big deal?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

ALERT! Squirrel “Rain” of Terror – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby issue this ALERT to all people and dogs everywhere.

Me:        I think that may extend a little beyond your reach.

Stella:    Everyone must be warned for their own safety! This afternoon, while I was outside minding my own business and taking care of my own business, if you know what I mean…

Me:        I do. Please go on.

Stella:    All of a sudden, I was bombed from above!

Me:        Bombed?

Stella:    I couldn’t see the perpetrator, but I knew who it was!

Me:        Perpetrator?

Stella:    My arch nemesis. My eternal enemy.

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

Stella:    Exactly. Jerky McSquirrelyFace. Who else could have targeted me?

Me:        Yeah, he targeted all of us, including me.

Stella:    His stealth and arrogance know no bounds. Poor little green pecans. They are giving their lives for nothing. He doesn’t even eat all of them, but throws their half-eaten shells on our heads to taunt us.

Me:        Well, I wouldn’t say ‘for nothing’. They are feeding the squirrels.

Stella:    Squirrels? You mean it’s not just Jerky?

Me:        Did you see how fast they were coming down? He had help.

Stella:    Then it is time to form the Anti-Squirrel Bulldog Army. Jerky’s rain of nuts must end. To be continued…

Me:        If you say so.



This is a photograph of Jerky from a year ago. Anyone spotting this squirrel should contact their local anti-squirrel agency. Do not attempt to approach him alone! He will throw nuts at you!


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Rampage – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and here we are again at the Bulldog Rampage. I will be calling the action except for when I am chasing the cat. Coming out of the chute in order are…

Me:        Whoah! Bulldog Rampage? Not again!

Stella:    Of course, again. All right, everybody get ready. Lady Human interrupted. In order, here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug, Snoopey…Snoopey…Snoopey!

Snoopey:   What?

Stella:    Rampage time!

Snoopey:   Nope.

Stella:    Why not?

Snoopey:   I’m tired.

Tiger:   You can leave me out, too. I refuse to rampage with Snoopey.

Stella:    Didn’t you hear? Snoopey is sitting out.

Tiger:   Well, in that case, I’m really sitting out. She’s not better than me.

Stella:    Fine! Here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug! And me! Where is that cat?

Miss Sweetie:   Up on Tall Man’s chair! Now up on the couch! Run! Run! Uh-oh!

Stella:    Sweetie is off to a fast start with two pieces of furniture under her belt and a great sideways floor slide. Scrambling back up on her feet, she’s made it to the trash in the kitchen!

Me:        Noooo!

Stella:    Meanwhile, Doodlebug got off to a slow start, but he is making up for it by head slinging drool all across the room as he runs. Not missing a beat! Great distribution! Now where’s that cat?

Me:        She heard you coming. Rampaging is hard to hide.

Stella:    Wiggles is bringing up the rear, but she is well into her comma dancing. Real style! She shows that a bulldog does not have to jump on furniture, dig in the trash, or sling drool to rampage.

Wiggles:   Trash? There’s trash? Let me at it!

Me:        Whoah again! My legs are standing here!

Miss Sweetie:   Beep! Beep! I haven’t jumped on your chair yet! Woo-hoo!

Doodlebug:   Awww. I’m all out of drool. Let me lick my way through.

Me:        Noooo! Wet everywhere!

Stella:    Not a problem, Lady Human. It will dry. Now, where’s that cat?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Potty Mouths – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby decree that potty mouths will no longer be tolerated in my kingdom which includes the hallway, the utility room, the kitchen, the den, and, of course, the human bathrooms.

Me:        Potty mouths?

Stella:    Is that not the correct human term?

Me:        It is a human term, but what do you mean by it?

Stella:    Touching nasty things with your mouth and thereby getting a dirty mouth. Isn’t that the human meaning?

Me:        Not exactly. Potty mouth to us has more to do with what comes out of our mouths than what goes into them.

Stella:    That, too! Have you seen Sweetie’s water bowl today? That dirt didn’t just jump in there all by itself. Bottom line, no more potty mouths. Bulldogs, if you see something on the floor, that is not an invitation to eat it. Only eat food. That will save a lot of trouble right there.

Tiger:     What if it smells good?

Stella:    Is it food?

Tiger:     No.

Stella:    Then don’t eat it.

Snoopey:   What if it smells bad and, therefore, smells good?

Stella:    Is it food?

Snoopey:   Probably not.

Stella:    Snoopey, really?

Snoopey:   Just checking.

Doodlebug:   What if food falls on the floor? Because I’m eating that no matter what.

Stella:    Food on the floor is all right to eat.

Miss Sweetie:    Food on the floor and blobs of dirt outside look the same to me. Can I still eat blobs of dirt?

Stella:    Sweetie, are blobs of dirt food?

Miss Sweetie:   They are if I eat them.

Stella:    Aaaaggghhh! Sweetie, that’s what is adding to the potty mouth situation. Don’t eat dirt and your water bowls will be cleaner. Look at my bowl. There is hardly ever any dirt in it.

Wiggles:   Why should we care? We don’t have to clean our bowls. Lady Human does that. If our bowls are always clean, what will she have to do?

Stella:    I can always find something else.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

And So…It Begins Again – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I found the evidence in the yard today, evidence that waves in my face like a red flag in front of a bull, whatever that means. I heard one of the humans say it. I quote humans when they say words that sound interesting, even if they make no sense.

The evidence speaks for itself though it has no mouth. And so, once again, it begins.

Me:        All right. This time I am totally confused. What begins once again? What evidence speaks for itself?

Stella:    War.

Me:        I beg your pardon.

Stella:    Granted.

Me:        No, I mean, what war?

Stella:    Well, then you should have said so. Of course, you are confused. Humans live that way.

Me:        Stella, what war?

Stella:    The war between me and Jerky McSquirrelyFace. He has returned. I found the evidence this morning. A green pecan on the ground, chewed in half, cut down in its prime. I know his MO.

Me:        Where did you hear about MO?

Stella:    On the source of human stupidity – the Picture Box, naturally. Jerky starts small and then BOOM! He eats ALL the green pecans, leaving none for the rest of us! If that is not an act of squirrel war, what is? Get ready, Lady Human. It is going to be a long, hot summer. CHARGE!


Me:        Can I just sit this one out in the air conditioning?

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        I don’t really have to pick up pecans. I can always go to the store.

Stella:    Fine! Just turn over every pecan tree in the world to the squirrels. Who will have pecan pie then?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Elephant Walk – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The earth rumbles. The trees shake. What is coming? Boom! Boom! Boom! Is it a monster? Is it a giant?

Me:        Is this the start of one of your new stories?

Stella:    No. Shhhh! Listen!

Me:        Sorry.

Stella:    Where was I? Oh, yeah. Is it a monster? Is it a giant? Trees fall in its path. Plants collapse beneath its weight. It is…Sweetie, the Giant Bulldog Forest Crusher!


Me:        What?

Stella:    She flattens forests! Wild animals flee at her approach!

Me:        Really? I hadn’t noticed.

Stella:    Look! Look at the plants! She steps on them and down they go!

Me:        Well, some of the lamb’s quarter is broken. No great loss. There’s plenty more.

Stella:    Sweetie makes her own paths. Like those big gray animals on the Picture Box, the ones with the noses like your water hose when it goes nuts and swings around like a loose snake.

Me:        Elephants.

Stella:    If you say so. Sweetie is a bulldog elephant. If anyone needs a new road or path, just tell Sweetie. She will plow it for you.

Me:        I’ll keep that in mind.

Stella:    Everything crashes in front of her.

Me:        If you say so.

Stella:    I do say so.

Me:        Funny that so many plants are still standing in the yard if she is such a bulldozer.

Stella:    Bulldozer? What is a bulldozer?

Me:        A bulldog on wheels.

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Am I a Runt? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. For an Olde English Bulldogge, I am small. I am lightweight. I am scrawny. I am a runt.

Me:        Nope., nope, and nope.

Stella:    So, I am not a runt.

Me:        I don’t know.

Stella:    So, I am a runt.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    I am confused.

Me:        Were you the runt of your litter? I don’t know. At this point in our lives, I have no way of knowing and I don’t care. I heard a rumor that you and Tiger’s mom were pretty tough in your day. When you were together. Maybe you joined up with her because you were smaller. I don’t know.

Stella:    I remember Tiger’s mom. She was strong. I felt safe when I was with her.

Me:        That happens.

Stella:    Even with humans?

Me:        Yep. All the time. Humans find a way to cope. I have a cousin. He was smaller than the other boys in school. He learned to make them laugh and the bullies left him alone.

Stella:    Your cousin was bullied by bulldogs?

Me:        No, my cousin was bullied by humans until he used his humor as a shield against them. He made them laugh. They left him alone.

Stella:    Human bullies? How?

Me:        Humans have more in common with bulldogs than you might think.

Stella:    I was the runt.

Me:        Maybe. Does it matter now?

Stella:    I don’t know.

Me:        When I watch you with the other bulldogs, they always come and check on you, check with you. They don’t ignore you. If you are a runt in their eyes, why do they pay you so much attention?

Stella:    I am not mean to them.

Me:        You see. That’s how you became their queen. They need someone they can rely on. Snoopey is reliable. She is the pack leader, but she is tense a whole lot of the time. You are calmer. They don’t care how much you weigh.

Stella:    How much do I weigh?

Me:        About 50 pounds, give or take.

Stella:    How much does Sweetie weigh?

Me:        81.5 pounds.

Stella:    Uuuggghhh!

Me:        Yeah. Don’t let her sit on you.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




You Never Asked for a Purple-Headed Dog – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am brown and white and… purple.

Me:        You had an abrasion on your head and we sprayed some antiseptic on it. No biggie. The purple lets us know where the spray went.

Stella:     What’s an abrasion?

Me:         A scratch.

Stella:     Oh, yeah. I felt that. That’s still no good reason to spray purple on someone’s head. I am a purple head.

Me:        No, you’re not. It’s just one small spot. And a few other little spots you got when you jerked your head away. It will wash off.

Stella:    Snuffle. I am a purple head.

Me:        The spot is already healing. Your hair is growing back.

Stella:    My hair is growing back purple.

Me:        No, it’s not. Well, maybe a little. But it will wash out. And purple is a nice color.

Stella:    Not for a bulldog.

Me:        You are still brown and white. Do you know that, when I asked God for a dog I could help and be good to, I envisioned a brown and white dog?

Stella:    A bulldog like me?

Me:        No. I had never met a bulldog. In my mind, I saw a pointy muzzle, a little dog.

Stella:    Not like me at all?

Me:        No, not like you at all.

Stella:    Awwww, then I am a mistake and not what you prayed for.

Me:        Not true, Stella. You are exactly what I asked for. I just didn’t know it until later. You came a couple of months after that prayer. You weren’t what I expected. I didn’t recognize you as an answer to prayer. At first. But then, with time, as I got to know you, I realized…

Stella:    …that I was an answer from the Great Creator.

Me:        Yes. But don’t get a big head over it. The LORD has used a talking donkey for His purposes before.

Stella:    Well then, He can certainly use a bulldog. Of course, He can. We are a lot easier to work with than jackasses.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Keep Your Nose to Yourself – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As reigning queen, you would think that others would show respect for my quiet times, especially that greatest of all bulldog practices, the nap. But oh no! I am snoozing peaceably, my dreams of chasing squirrels swirling in my sleepy head, and what to my wondering face should appear but Doodlebug’s big wet mug, sniffing and snuffling, and how can anybody sleep with that going on? LEAVE ME ALONE!

Me:        You know that Doodlebug loves you. He is always checking on you to make sure you’re okay when you’re sleeping. It’s what happened yesterday that bothered me.

Stella:    Nothing happened yesterday. I did have the most wonderful Flying Stella dream and then, all of a sudden, you woke me up by scratching on my neck. So rude!

Me:        Because Doodlebug passed you on his way out the door, sniffed your face, went to the door, and then ran back to sniff you again. Like something was wrong. After I got him out the door, I went to check on you. You had not batted an eye. I touched the side of your face. You were cool. Still you didn’t move at all. So, I started scratching your neck and you jumped awake. Thank the LORD! Why didn’t you wake up?

Stella:    BECAUSE I WAS SLEEPING! How would you like it if a huge, wet, slobbery, drooly mouth greeted you in your bed?

Me:        It happens to me routinely.

Stella:    Everyone should keep their noses to themselves. Even you with your dry human nose, Lady Human.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.