Humans Don’t Know How to Bark – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhhh! You’ll wake her up!

Tiger:  What is wrong with her? We are the only ones allowed to sleep all day. And all night.

Wiggles:  She sounds all raspy, like bulldogs clearing our throats.

Doodlebug:  Oh, big deal!

Miss Sweetie:  She is trying to bark. She’s just not any good at it.

Me:  No, not barking…Coughing.

Stella:  Fake barking then.

Me:  No.

Miss Sweetie:  She’s hacking. She is a bulldog. That’s great hacking, Lady Human, almost as good as mine.

Me:  No. Flu. Or a chest cold. Not a bulldog.

Tiger:  Why are you doing flu?

Me:  Didn’t want to. Tall Man caught it from somebody, and he brought it home.

Wiggles:  Can we have some? What he brings home is usually pretty good.

Me:  No, at least you can’t catch this. This is for humans only.

Doodlebug:  That’s kind of selfish.

Me:  You wouldn’t think so if you had it. But I’m getting better.

Stella:  Well, not at barking you’re not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Free Speech for Dogs! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There! I said it! I will say it again! I am Stella, Queen…

Tiger:  I’ve heard that before and I don’t want to hear it again, so shut it!

Stella:  I don’t have to shut it! I can say anything and everything I want to!

Wiggles:  Not if I said it first!  Wait! What am I saying?

Doodlebug:  I don’t know. I was asleep when you all started yelling. Can I just go ahead and sleep through all this?

Miss Sweetie:  I want to say something. I have free speech, too. Now what should I say?

Me:  Free speech does not mean saying anything and everything you want.

Stella:  Oh, my turn, my turn, my turn! Yes, it does, Lady Human. It is speech and it is free.

Me:  No, a lie is not protected speech.

Stella:  Not my problem. Bulldogs never lie!

Tiger:  Hah! Caught you, Miss Self-Proclaimed Queen! You made that whole thing up! Just because you say it doesn’t make it so!

Stella:  LALALALALA!

Me:  Stella, being louder than everybody else isn’t the definition of free speech either.

Stella:  IT IS IF YOU’RE THE QUEEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Baritone Bulldog – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hey, Doodle! Stop rattling the walls!

Doodlebug:  Boom! BOOM! GrrrrRRRR! DOUBLE BOOM!

20160523_165955

Me:  You have an impressive voice. Can you use it a little less right now?

Doodlebug:  I am singing the song of my people.

Me:  Is that what it is?

Stella:  Why is his voice so big and low and mine is so high and… puny?

Me:  Your voice isn’t puny or that high, girl. It’s your voice. Your vocal cords are strung differently from Doodlebug’s. It works that way with humans, too. Some have high voices, some have low voices, and everything in between. Doodle is probably a baritone.

Stella:  What if I talk deep down like this? Am I a baritone now?

Me:  Just be yourself.

Stella:  OOO! Waaah-OOOOOO!

Me:  But maybe not so much of yourself right this minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weird Is As Weird Does – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has been acting weird lately. As in forever. As in a thousand years. Or for the last thirty seconds, whichever is longer.

Me:  Stella, your time skills have not improved. And calling me ‘weird’ is rude.

Stella:  Weird is as weird does.

Me:  I’ve just been moving stuff around…

Stella:  Yeah, like the big scary one-eyed Picture Box now In my beloved room.

Me:  Well, my room, to be honest. And the internet has been out so that has cramped my style.

Stella:  Yes, but that has meant more face to face time with your favorite bulldogs. And you have been playing music on your little black box again.

Me:  Yeah, I got distracted for a while and got away from that, didn’t I?

Stella:  I like the music. Humans may be weird, but some of your weirdness sounds really nice. Now if we could just get rid of that big scary Picture Box in my bedroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Too Gripey, Even For Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It’s too dark in here. Hummph!

Tiger:  No, it’s too bright. Turn off some lights, Lady Human. I want to nap before I go to sleep.

Wiggles:  Please turn off that fan. It is too cold. Look at me, all curled up like a bulldog ball.

Doodlebug:  I’m hungry. When do we eat? Again?

Miss Sweetie:  Huh? What’s going on? Oh, no! What is that? A trash bag? What is it doing in here? Let me at it!

Me:  Attention! May I have your attention, please?

Stella:  No.

Tiger:  I don’t think so.

Wiggles:  Absolutely not until you turn that fan off.

Doodlebug:  You have my attention any time you have food in your hand.

Miss Sweetie:  What is attention? Do I have any?

Me:  No more moaning, barking, yapping. This gripe session of the bulldog realm is officially over.

Tiger:  I don’t think so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Moving Pictures – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This can’t be right. Something is different. Different and scary.

Me:  All that has happened is that I have moved the Picture Box out of the den and into my room.

Stella:  It doesn’t look the same. It looks big and blank and frightening. Where are the happy moving pictures I have come to love?

Me:  They will be there as soon as I set it up and turn it on like…this.

Stella:  No. No. No. No, thank you. I will just sit in my special bed crate. That way I can hide, and it won’t jump over here and eat me.

Me:  It’s just the same old Picture Box, Stella. Only now it is in here and not in there.

Stella:  What was wrong with your little black box that you always carry in your hand? That had moving pictures and it wasn’t scary.

Me:  I still have that.

Stella:  Why can’t you be satisfied with the way things were? Why must you change them to make them scarier? And what will the others watch now that you’ve taken away their Picture Box?

Me:  You are the only bulldog in the house that pays any attention to the television. They won’t miss it.

Stella:  I still don’t like it. Look! It’s staring at me with its great big eye.

Me:  That’s the screen.

Stella: Tell it to blink like a normal Picture Box. Now I’m going to have to stand guard all night.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

How Do I Get to Be Queen? – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Tiger:  Stop right there! I never agreed to that. You just go around saying it as though it is true.

20150810_174641

Stella:  It is true. I said it a long time ago and no other queens showed up so it’s true. So there!

Tiger:  Lady Human, I want to be queen! Please, please, please!

Me:  Oh, no! You are not dragging me into an internal bulldog political issue. I’ll just stand on the sidelines, thank you very much.

Tiger:  But she is so annoying. Always prissing around. Do you see how she stands in the middle of the room and won’t go out until you scratch her and pat her rear end three times?

Me:  Yes, I’m the one she expects that from. I don’t even remember how that got started.

Stella; You can’t be queen, Tiger. You don’t get along with Wiggles or me. You only get along with Moon Cat and there is something very wrong about that picture, if you ask me.

Me:  Oh, look at the time. Politics have ended for the day.

Stella:  Really.

Tiger:  Okay, I guess. Do humans end politics at this time of day?

Me:  The smart ones do.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snoring – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I… am… Stella, Queen of…the Olde…English…Bulldogges. Snore. Bzzzzz…

Me:  Well, so much for conversation tonight.

Stella:  Snore…Bzzzzz…

Me: I wish I knew what you were dreaming about and you are almost always dreaming, I think.

Stella:  Brum…brum…brum…

Me:  But I don’t want to wake you. I might interrupt a beautiful dream.

Stella:  Honkkk…brum…brum…

Me:  Dream on, girl. I’ll be dreaming before long myself.

Stella:  Humph…brum…brum…snort. What? Did you say something? Is everything all right?

Me:  No, nothing important. And yes. Everything is all right. Good night, Stella.

Stella:  Good night, Lady Human. Brum…Brum…Brum…Snort.

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

I Thought I Made Myself Clear – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

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

Me:  What?

Stella:  Ahem! Arrerrgh!

Me:  There’s that noise again. Stella, what do you want?

Stella:  You know.

Me:  But I don’t.

Stella:  I thought I made myself clear. Anytime you are staring at your folded papers…

Me:  Reading.

Stella:  Yes, or whenever you are staring at the little black box in your hand…

Me:  Looking at my phone…

Stella:  Yes, or when the little black box in your hand becomes a tiny picture box like the big Picture Box in the big room…

Me:  Watching movies.

Stella:  Yes. I thought I made it perfectly clear that while one hand is doing that other stuff, your free hand is supposed to be scratching and petting me.

Me:  I do. I am. Sometimes I have to use two hands, one to hold the phone or book and one to write or type…

Stella:  Unacceptable. The terms of our agreement are that one hand is always dedicated to me. Until you understand that, the ahems and arrerrghs will continue. That is all. You may resume your staring at your weird little box and resume petting and scratching me.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rain Spot – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Time to go out, Lady Human.

Me:  Okay, head over there to the yard door.

Stella:  Nope. My special rain spot.

Me:  Why? It’s raining over there, too.

Stella:  Stella’s Special Rain Spot. Now!

Me:  Hey, that’s my word. What’s wrong with the yard?

Stella:  Too much.

Me:  Too much what?

Stella:  Everything. Too much mud. Too many wet puddles. TOO MANY OTHER BULLDOGS USING IT!

Me:  Oh, all right. Come on.

Stella:  Why, oh why, do I have to argue to get what rightly belongs to me as queen?

Me:  I guess I just don’t understand your royal prerogatives.

Stella:  Just ask me. I will happily explain them to you as we go. Get one of those scratchy writing stick things and some paper. The list is quite lengthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Skimp – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have noticed a disturbing trend in my nighttime snacks lately, Lady Human. I need an explanation.

Me:  Sure. What disturbing trend?

Stella:  The wonderful organic cheese crackers are fewer and farther between.

Me:  I like to space them out so you don’t gobble them all at once.

Stella:  Gobble is what I do. I am a bulldog. Look at my mouth. A mouth like this is not made for anything but gobbling.

Me:  Still…

Stella:  And that is not the only trend…

Me:  There’s more?

Stella:  Where is my special cheese? The good stuff! Not the cheesy cheese!

Me:  I am parceling that out in smaller amounts, too. It’s better that you eat your regular food. A snack is, after all, just supposed to be a snack.

Stella:  A likely story, Lady Human. I’ve seen what you call a snack.

Me:  Hey, I’m bigger than you are.

Stella:  And with the size of your snacks, you are likely to stay that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Nail Job – Conversations with Stella, Doodlebug, and MoonCat

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. No, Doodlebug! Stop that right now! He’s caught MoonCat, Lady Human. Not that such a feat isn’t cool, but it brings disorder to my realm!

20160523_165955

Me:  Doodle! Quit! Whoa! Back off! MoonCat, are you all right?

20150117_091815.jpg

MoonCat:  Meow! Meow!

Stella:  Typical. What does that even mean?

Me: Yeah, the cat’s alright, but MoonCat drew blood from Doodle.

Doodlebug:  My nose stings. Mmmm. Tastes good.

Me:  Well, you’re tasting your own bloody nose. It’s already stopping. She didn’t get your eyes. That’s important. What possessed you to go after the cat like that? You haven’t done that in a while.

Doodlebug:  I was here, and she was there, and things just started happening.

Me:  Wait. What’s that white thing on your forehead? Hold on. Let me pull it off. It’s one of MoonCat’s claws! The nail broke! It stuck on your forehead.

Doodlebug:  Can I keep it?

Me:  No, you’d probably try to eat it. MoonCat, let me see your paws. They seem to be all right. Still, you broke a nail.

MoonCat:  Meow. It was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

What Does “Arrerrgh” Mean? – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  I have a question.

Stella:  If you must, Lady Human. Proceed.

Me:  Oh, thank you so much, Your Majesty.

Stella:  Finally! A little respect around here!

Me:  What does ‘arrerrgh’ mean?

Stella; How would I know? It’s your language.

Me: No, I don’t think so. I know a lot of English words and that is not one of them.

Stella:  Where did you come across this word?

Me:  Out of your mouth last night.

Stella:  Oh, in that case, I’m sure it had to do with something you were doing wrong.

Me:  I figured as much, but what?

Stella:  No telling now. It is probably one of my catchall words. I throw it out there and wait for you to figure it out. If you do, I give you a treat.

Me:  You give me a treat? I’ve never gotten a treat from you.

Stella:  That says a lot about your ability to translate bulldoggese, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Clear The Paths – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:  If you are queen, which I doubt, then you are responsible for the messes on our bulldog paths outside.

Stella:  I most certainly am not! I always potty in a discreet corner. If there are pathway messes, blame Lady Human.

Me:  Hey, don’t look at me! I didn’t do it. I’ve just been a little slow on the pickup, that’s all.

Miss Sweetie:  It’s not my fault. I go wherever I happen to be when the mood strikes me. If I happen to be on a path, well…

Doodlebug:  I never leave any evidence. Prove otherwise.

Wiggles:  I don’t favor the pathways. I prefer the old oak tree’s empty mound. Then I can be queen of the hill.

Stella:  Nobody’s queen of anything here but me! That includes potty spots!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Babysitters – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, why has the tiny human been here so much today?

Tiger:  Yeah, and where is Tall Man? He should be taking care of his puppy.

Me:  Once again, she is not a puppy. She is a human child. As for today, her father is car shopping and it is better that she waits here with me.

Wiggles:  Why is Tall Man shopping for cars? Why can’t they shop for themselves?

Me:  Car shopping means he is looking to buy a different vehicle.

Doodlebug:  A rolling box? Why didn’t you say so?

Me:  I thought I did.

Miss Sweetie:  She can stay here by me. I can lick her clean and share my food and let her gnaw on my chew toys.

Me:  That is very generous of you, Sweetie, but now she is resting.

Stella:  You mean she is taking a nap?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Good for her!  I’m glad she has already figured out how to use her days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dirt Kicker – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Kick it! Kick it! Kick it back! Kick it back! Harder! Harder!

Me:  Okay, I’ve seen you back kick dirt and grass before when you’re finished with your…you know…

Stella:  Say it! When I’m finished with my business. What’s the problem? Everybody does it.

Me:  Not exactly.

Stella:  Humans don’t kick dirt after their business.

Me:  No, it’s not a practice with us.

Stella:  Well, then how will anyone know you were there?

Me:  We kind of don’t want anyone to know we were there like that.

Stella:  Sillies.

Me:  But what I really wanted to understand is why you back kicked so many times.

Stella:  Don’t you always say, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.” I dare you to find anybody who can back kick dirt and grass better than I can. It shouts out, “Stella was here!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Human Grooming – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Oh, my! Lady Human, what is wrong with your coat?

Me:  Coat? I’m not wearing a coat.

Stella:  That stuff that hangs down from your head. The long, stringy stuff.

Me:  Hey, that’s my hair. Humans don’t have coats like dogs do.

Stella:  I am sorry.

Me:  It’s not a deal with us. We are used to it.

Stella:  I am sorry that it looks so weird. Cover it up with that towel thing you wrap around your head.

Me:  It’s wet, that’s all. I just finished washing it.

Stella:  Is that the reason?

Me:  Yes, Stella.

Stella:  I am so sorry.

Me:  For what?  It will dry and then it will look normal.

Stella:  Yes, I am sorry about that, too. When we bulldogs bathe or play in water, I think we still look pretty good. But humans…well…just try to stay dry as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Is It Over? – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

20151220_230434.jpg

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

Me:  Me, too.

Wiggles:  Let me at ‘em!

20151230_194410.jpg

Me:  Wiggles, I don’t see how you can still be so wound up. All I want to do is take a nap.

Wiggles:  Those loud, banging, noisy noise-making humans and all their loud, banging, noisy noise…

Me: And all your own barking. You know I don’t allow barking outside after dark and there you were begging to go out and I relented and the minute you got into the center of the yard, here comes the bark.

Wiggles:  But only one, Lady Human, and I came right back to you. I couldn’t let them get by with it without saying something. Somebody had to tell them to shut up!

Me:  So, why have you been barking so much today? There are no fireworks.

Wiggles:  Fair warning to them! I’m listening. And I’ll be happy to drown out their noise with my own if they try it again tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Countdown – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. How long?

Me:  Some hours yet. Everybody is going to be in by sunset, preferably before, so any outside business needs to be done, understand? Wiggles?

20151230_194410.jpg

Wiggles:  I always get my business done. Even if it’s in the middle of the night.

Me:  That I would like to avoid, especially tonight.

20160523_165950.jpg

Doodlebug:  Oh, it’s the Night of Exploding Stars!

20170315_170602.jpg

Miss Sweetie:  And the stars explode and spread brisket throughout the world!

Me:  No, Sweetie, that never happens.

Miss Sweetie:  But there will be brisket, won’t there? Lady Human, please say there will be brisket. PLEASE! I’ve waited a long, long, long, long…

Me:  Yes, Sweetie, there will be brisket, but not from the sky.

Miss Sweetie: What a relief! You had me scared for a minute.

20150810_174641

Tiger:  Exploding stars and flying brisket had me scared. I love good brisket, but only while it is quietly resting in a bowl. And I will take mine before the loud noises start.

Me:  Me, too.

Stella:  Wait! Won’t the chickens get frightened, being outside?

Me:  No, they will be in their house and run. The most they will get is annoyed.

Stella:  Good. So, we are ready. Now all we need to do is eat a bunch of food…

Miss Sweetie:  Brisket!

Stella:  Yes. Then, with our big bulldog bellies full, we can safely sleep through the whole thing.

Me:  Amen. Goodbye, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Exploding Sky – Conversations with Stella

20151220_230434.jpg

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Help, Lady Human! The sky just exploded!

Me:  I know, girl. It woke me up, too.

Stella:  It’s the people who blow up the sky! Make them stop!

Me:  No, this was lightning and thunder, very, very close by.

Stella:  How can you be so calm? The sky exploded!

Me:  No, it just felt like it. There weren’t supposed to be any thunderstorms this morning. What’s going on?

Stella:  No more sky. What will happen to the birds? What will the trees brush against?

Me:  If you look out the window, as dark as it still is, you will see that the sky is there. The flash and the boom were just a nearby lightning strike. See. More lightning, but farther away. It’s moving that direction toward the northeast.

Stella:  Warn the northeast, Lady Human!

Me:  I don’t have their phone numbers. They will know the same way we did. And there is the weather service.

Stella: Ring a bell! Sound a siren!

Me:  No, sirens are only for tornadoes and this does not have one of those, thank the LORD.

Stella:  What are we supposed to do now?

Me:  Go back to sleep for a little while, I guess.

Stella:  Sleep? After that? I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.