Traditions and Rituals – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…Well?

Me:  Well what?

Stella:  I’m standing here in place. Do the thing.

Me:  Oohhh! That thing! You haven’t wanted to do that for a while.

Stella:  Now I do again. It was our thing to do when I go out and we did it all the time and I got used to it and now I miss it.

Me:  Okay. Here goes. Eeeeeeeee! Scratch, scratch, scratch. Pat, pat, pat. Is your rear end happy now?

Stella:  Yes, and off I go. Thank you, Lady Human. It means a lot to me.

Me:  Rituals can be very comforting.

Stella: Rituals? Do you have rituals?

Me:  Sure. We have spiritual rituals that are the same or just about the same over hundreds, even thousands of years. And we have traditions that may be less formal, but we do them on a regular schedule, some of them historical from a long time ago…

Stella:  Like from last week?

Me:  Usually longer ago than that. Like when we celebrate Thanksgiving. We have certain decorations and special foods…

Stella:  And the turkey meat shows up!

Me:  Yeah, that’s one of our traditions.

Stella:  Lady Human, we need more traditions with food.

Me:  Living here, in case you haven’t noticed, our traditions all have food linked to them.

Stella:  Can we link food to our little ritual, too?

Me:  I don’t know how that would work with the eeeeee sound and the scratching and the three pats.

Stella:  Oh, use your imagination! A treat before and a treat after. Simple.

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House – Part 4 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We have another rule to approved or disapprove. I don’t see anyway around this one. Physically. No crowding the door at potty time.

Tiger:  I don’t like crowds of dogs anyway. Good rule!

Wiggles:  Crowds don’t bother me. I just push my way to the front.

Doodlebug:  Door?  What door? Doors are not a problem for me.

Miss Sweetie:  Crowds at the door? What if I need to go really bad?  Do I have to stand in a long line?

Me:  No, Sweetie. Everything will proceed in an orderly manner.

Stella:  Ha! Orderly! You sure don’t know bulldogs, do you, Lady Human? That’s why we have rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House – Part 3 – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We are now back in order in our convention.

Miss Sweetie:  Can we have more birthday sausages and treats?

Me:  No, not now. We need some breathing room.

Stella:  And that brings us to Rule #3. No sticking your head in the refrigerator.

Tiger:  How else are we going to smell what’s in there?

Doodlebug:  How are we going to see what’s in there?

Wiggles:  How are we going to grab what is in there?

Me:  That’s the point. The refrigerator is a storage place for food. We don’t need bulldog heads and mouths snooting around in it.

Stella:  Uh, Lady Human, snooting is done by noses.

Me:  Which is attached to your head which is right above your mouth.

Stella:  So, what’s your point?

Me:  So, no heads in the fridge.

Stella:  I move that we table this rule until later. All in favor. Aye. I am the queen. My vote counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved,

 

 

 

Happy 7th Birthday, Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STELLA! YOU ARE SEVEN YEARS OLD TODAY!

Tiger:  Do I have to sing the birthday song? She already gets called ‘the queen’ all the time. That’s like having a birthday every day.

Me:  We sang it for you. It would be nice if you joined in with a pleasant, non-grumbly voice.

Tiger:  Oh, all right.

Wiggles:  What do we get?

Me:  Special treat this evening. A small sausage that has been made with cheese. Well-cooked. Not our normal fare.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, me, me, me!

Me:  Everyone gets some, Sweetie.

Doodlebug:  How old is seven years?

Me:  Well, I’ve seen several calculations for that, from 51.5 to 62.1 human years.

Doodlebug:  Is that old?

Me:  Well…

Stella:  I can’t believe it. Just like that, I am old.

Me:  You don’t act old. I don’t think of you as old. I didn’t know you when you were a puppy.

Stella:  I was a puppy?

Me:  Sure. Don’t you remember?

Stella:  Not much. Was I cute?

Me:  You’re cute now so you must have been cute then.

Stella:  I’m not sure I like birthdays anymore. Especially when there is no cake.

Me:  But then there is…

Stella:  SAUSAGE!!! I’m young again! Bring it on!

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the House – Part Two – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, come to order.

Tiger:  Ridiculous!

Doodlebug: Unheard of!

Wiggles:  Won’t happen.

Miss Sweetie:  Is Lady Human ordering for me?  I will take a hamburger with no green stuff.

Stella:  No, Sweetie. This is our rules convention, remember. Rule number 2 – no pooping or peeing in the house. Actually, I agree with this one. The house is not a potty.

Tiger:  Why do the humans have potties inside then?

Wiggles:  Their house, their rules.

Doodlebug:  I think we should keep this rule.

Tiger:  Inconvenient. What about when it rains like today. Or when it’s dark and scary.

Miss Sweetie:  Can I still get my hamburger?

Me:  What’s this conference about?

Stella:  It is not a conference. It is a convention. That is better. We are deciding if we should poop and pee inside or outside.

Me:  Outside, absolutely, all the time.

Stella:  But we get to vote.

Me:  Vote all you want. The rule is outside.

Stella:  But you can’t stop our vote.

Me:  No, but just for fun, I can veto it.

Stella:  Wait. V…O…T…E and V…E…T…O. That is a human trick. You just switched the letters up.

Me:  When did you start spelling?

Stella:  When I had to start keeping up with human tricks.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Rules of the House – Part One – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the English Bulldogges. This bulldog convention is called to order. On the agenda, changes to the Rules of the House. Rule #1: No barking. A quiet house is a happy house.

Tiger:  Wrong!

Wiggles:  Stupid!

Doodlebug:  Totally unbulldoggy!

Miss Sweetie:  What is a convention?  Wait. More important – what is a genda?

Me:  What is going on in here?

Stella:  A private bulldog meeting. Our free speech is being squashed. We are here gathered to take hold of our squashed words.

Me:  If that means you are going to bark all the time and for no reason, the answer is Nope.

Tiger:  That sounds reasonable.

Wiggles:  I can go along with that.

Doodlebug:  I vote aye!

Miss Sweetie:  Hold on! I still don’t know what a genda is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved.

Holding Back – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What are you up to, Lady Human?

Me:  Hmmm?

Stella:  You are munching on something.

Me:  Hmmm?

Stella:  What are you holding back from me? Where is mine? I want mine now.

Me:  We’ll have crackers later.

Stella:  Not good enough. Show me what you have.

Me:  Ahhhh. There. See. Nothing.

Stella:  That’s because you ate it all. You were holding back on me. And you pretended you didn’t have anything in your mouth. For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

Me:  I’ll make it up to you later.

Stella:  You’d better believe you will. I’ve got my eye on you. No more hidden munching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

A Master’s Degree in Lazy

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

Me:  Time to eat, girl.

Stella:  Says who?

Me:  Everybody.

Stella:  Nope.

Me:  What do you mean “nope”?

Stella:  Nope. It is a plain ole well-known bulldog word. Please bring me my food and a new bowl of water.

Me:  I am not catering to your profound sense of laziness.

Stella:  But I have worked on it so hard for so many years. Surely I have graduated by now. Where’s my fancy piece of paper?

Playing Possum – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hey, Lady Human. Come on. Get up. Pet me. Scratch me. The sun is shining through our window. Up! Up! Up! Oh, what’s the use? Sleep on. I’ll catch you later.

Me:  Good. She’s gone back to sleep. Truth be told, I was playing possum. I wanted to see how long she would keep tapping me with her paw if I didn’t respond. I won. Now…I’ll just stay still and wait…

 One Hour Later

 Stella:  Lady Human! Lady Human!

Me:  What? What happened?

Stella:  You were lazy.

Me:  No, I was playing possum.

Stella:  Do possums snore?

Me:  I don’t know…I don’t think so.

Stella:  Then you are no possum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Fair Distribution – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…three, four, five…

Me:  Your counting is pretty good.

Stella:  It’s important to keep count of important stuff…six, seven, eight…

Me:  What’s so important?

Stella:  What you’re munching.

Me:  Oh, sorry, here have a cracker or two.

Stella:  Or two? I was counting, remember?

Me:  Here are a couple more.

Stella:  That makes four. I need five, six, seven, and eight, and more if you have crammed additional ones into your mouth.

Me:  Crammed?

Stella:  Oh, come on, Lady Human, you know how you are with food.

Me:  What’s wrong with me enjoying some cheese crackers?

Stella:  Nothing, so long as I get my fair share. And right this second, I figure I’m running about eight behind. Don’t hurry. I’ll be here all night watching you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Beware the Mean Spiky Plants – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Whoa, girl! Stay away from that corner!

Stella:  But I want to smell the funny looking plants. They have spikes all over them.

Me:  Those are cacti. Those spikes are thorns. Cacti are infamous for them.

Stella:  Why would you plant something I cannot sniff?

Me:  That’s kind of a strange story. All you need to know is that cactus does very well around here and they are not to be fooled with. That’s why they are not in y’all’s regular yard.

Stella:  What if I just sniff away from the spikes?

Me:  Nope. Cacti have an almost invisible defense. Tiny, hair-thin stickers, almost invisible, that you can feel but have trouble seeing. Ask me how I know.

Stella:  Lady Human, is that a trick question?

Me:  Yep. If you’ve ever hosted them, you won’t forget. I love you enough to want you to avoid that.

Stella:  Would you pull the stickers out even if you couldn’t see them?

Me:  Yes, until I got every single one. But wouldn’t it be better not to spend our time that way?

Stella:   Now that you have told me to stay away, I want to touch it all the more.

Me:  Temptations are funny that way. Let’s go inside. Then there won’t be a problem.

Stella:  Until the next time. I will discover the mystery of the mean spiky plant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Tone Deaf – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. DID EVERYONE HEAR THAT? EVERYONE?

Me:  Stella, turn down the volume! They heard you three counties over!

Stella:  GOOD!

Me:  Stella! Your voice is so…

Stella:  Beautiful? Lovely? Enchanting?

Me:  No. Try high, squeaky, and grating on my ears.

Stella:  I do my best, Lady Human. I am glad you enjoy my bulldog yelping.

Me:  Is that what you got out of what I said? A little barking, fine. That high pitched yelping, not fine. Why do none of the others sound like that when they get excited?

Stella:  They’re just not gifted that way. Me? I’m a natural born opera…What do the humans call that?

Me:  Soprano.

Stella:  YESSSS…I OWN THE HIGH NOTE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

How Long is Hot? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It is hot.

Me:  Yes, it is.

Stella:  How long is hot?

Me:  Hot is not a length. It is a range of temperatures. Around here, people start calling it hot when it gets to 98 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

Stella:  More human nonsense words. Does Fahrenheit mean hot?

Me:  It does when the thermometer reads 98 degrees.

Stella:  What is a thermometer?

Me:  It is a special device that reads temperature.

Stella:  Thermometers read?

Me:  Well, it is more accurate to say that humans read thermometers.

Stella:  So how long does the thermometer say it will be hot?

Me:  It doesn’t tell us that.

Stella:  Then what good are they? I don’t need a thermometer to say it is hot. I already know that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Freaked Out – Conversations with Stella and MoonCat

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am NOT the queen of cats. What is wrong with MoonCat, Lady Human? I have hardly seen her all day.

Me:  All the rearranging and furniture moving has her freaked out. She is reestablishing her hiding places.

MoonCat:  Meow.

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Stella:  Speak bulldog!

Me:  Or English. That would help me.

MoonCat:  Meow. Weird. Scared.

Me:  Aw, honey, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Stella:  See! I told you the room change was a bad idea. Even a cat knows that. And they don’t know anything.

Me:  Your food is in the same place. And your water. And we showed you where your box is. Nice and secluded and blocked from bulldog eyes and everything else bulldoggy.

MoonCat:  Meow. I am not sure…

Me:  Nothing in the kitchen changed. Nothing in the utility room changed. And the bulldogs…

MoonCat:  Nothing of the bulldogs changed.

Me:  True. They still bark. They still run around like crazy.

MoonCat:  Just like home. All right. I feel better now.

Stella:  We must not be doing our job.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Told You to Change Our Room? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. But apparently that does not matter to Lady Human and Tall Man. They just do what they want.

Me:  This will work out better. It is a better layout than we have been using.

Tiger:  Where is my crate? Where is my big comfy towel?

Me:  Right there. You are standing in it.

Tiger:  Oh. Okay. It looks different.

Me:  Yes, we moved it over three whole feet.

Miss Sweetie:  I have four feet. Where is my bed?

Me:  Over here. About four feet from where it was.

Wiggles:  This is awful. Or is it awesome?  I am confused.

Me:  Your bed is between Stella’s and Sweetie’s. And your big box bed is still where it always has been.

Doodlebug:  I AM FREAKED OUT!

Me:  I can tell. It may take a few days to get accustomed to it, but…

Stella:  Days? How about years? This is weird and terrible at the same time.

Me:  It will be easier to clean this way.

Stella:  CLEAN?  NOOOOOO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Who Told You to Change Our Room? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. But apparently that does not matter to Lady Human and Tall Man. They just do what they want.

Me:  This will work out better. It is a better layout than we have been using.

Tiger:  Where is my crate? Where is my big comfy towel?

Me:  Right there. You are standing in it.

Tiger:  Oh. Okay. It looks different.

Me:  Yes, we moved it over three whole feet.

Miss Sweetie:  I have four feet. Where is my bed?

Me:  Over here. About four feet from where it was.

Wiggles:  This is awful. Or is it awesome?  I am confused.

Me:  Your bed is between Stella’s and Sweetie’s. And your big box bed is still where it always has been.

Doodlebug:  I AM FREAKED OUT!

Me:  I can tell. It may take a few days to get accustomed to it, but…

Stella:  Days? How about years? This is weird and terrible at the same time.

Me:  It will be easier to clean this way.

Stella:  CLEAN?  NOOOOOO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Body Slammed -Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Hey! Cut if out! We’ve talked about this before.

Stella:  Talked about what? Boom!

Me:  That! Body slamming! Stop it!

Stella:  Not yet. It has not had its effect.

Me:  What effect?  Ticking me off?

Stella:  Nope. I don’t care about that. Your body is the wrong shape.

Me:  What?

Stella:  That part needs to be over there. Boom!  And those parts need to be here. Boom!

There! That’s better. Sweet dreams, Lady Human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Potty Mouth – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Doodlebug has a potty mouth!

Me:  Do bulldogs talk ugly? I didn’t know that about you all.

Stella: Not words. He’s … you know…munching…

Me:  Oh, no! Not again! Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:  Hmmm?

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Me:  You had stopped that.  Now you’re picking up that bad habit again. Why?

Doodlebug:  It’s so tempting.

Me:  Nobody else is tempted.

Doodlebug:  I am special.

Me:  I don’t see how doing that is special. I think it is gross. I guess I am going to have to follow you around.

Doodlebug:  That would spoil my fun.

Stella:  Your bad breath spoils everybody else’s breathing fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Humans Are Making the Sky Loud – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  I apologize for the poor manners of some of my fellow humans.

Stella:  So it is your fault after all.

Me:  Well, not mine personally, but human explosions, yes.

Stella:  I can’t always tell the difference between the sky fire booms and the silly human booms.

Me:  The other day were sky fire booms. We call that thunder. Last night and today were silly human booms.

Stella:  You think that they are silly, too?

Me:  I like watching professional shows. This stuff, not so much.

Stella:  Make them stop! They are keeping us awake. And nervous.

Me:  Be grateful that it only happens once in a while.

Stella:  Is this one your weird special days?

Me:  Yes, the Fourth of July.

Stella:  Must you blow up the sky to celebrate?

Me:  Maybe.

Stella:  More importantly, will there be hamburgers? Make the sky stop booming so I won’t have an upset stomach. Shhh!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Statue Game – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  Nobody does straight and tall better than I do.

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Stella:  Nobody perks her ears better than I do.

Wiggles:  I am the perfect bulldog.

Stella:  No, I am! See!

Me:  What are you two doing? This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen you do! Are you dancing? Are you posing?

Stella:  Yes, both.

Me:  So, you get really still and stand at attention and then you do a little hop?

Wiggles:  Yes. My hop is better though.

Stella:  You wish!

Me:  You are so funny looking.

Stella:  Lady Human, how rude!

Me:  I mean funny looking in a good way. You are making me laugh.

Stella:  I’d like to see you pose like a statue.

Me:  Well, I can try…

Stella:  No, don’t! I didn’t mean that. That is not something I would like to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.