RIP Quiet Little Hen – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What’s wrong?

Me:  One of the little silkie hens has passed away.

Stella:  Skinnyhead?

Me:  No, one of the others.

Stella:  Did I cause it? Did my big bulldog face scare her too much?

Me:  No, the temperature rising and falling so much during this past week probably contributed and she was getting older. She just went to sleep.

Stella:  Like Tiger? Like Snoopey?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  This is sad, Lady Human. It makes me worry.

Me:  Not even a sparrow falls without the Great Creator. Don’t worry about the little hen. Or Tiger or Snoopey. Or us.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Lights Out! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am tired. I am sleepy. I want to go to bed.

Me:  Okay then. Go to bed. It’s right there.

Stella:  Put up your little black box. Go to bed yourself.

Me:  I’m reading.

Stella:  Go to bed.

Me:  Okay, but after I check this out.

Stella:  Go to bed!

Me:  Oh, look at this!

Stella:  Lights out!

Me:  Hey, I’m the adult human in the room.

Stella:  Since when has that made a difference.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wiggles Takes Over the World – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is unbearable! It must stop!

Me: Unbearable what? Stop what?

Stella:  It’s Wiggles. She lays around wherever. She eats whatever. She is constantly demanding attention from you, attention that rightfully belongs to me! And…

Me:  And…?

Stella:  Every time I leave the room, she scoots into my special place! Now it smells more like her than it does like me. And I like my smell better than hers. She has taken over the world!

Me:  I believe that is a bit of an overstatement. The world is a pretty big place.

Stella:  You must stop her, Lady Human! Hold one of those silly human elections of yours.

Me:  I don’t believe that would work. Wiggles just does what Wiggles wants to do. Nobody elected her.

Stella:  But I am the Queen!

Me:  Nobody elected you either.

Stella:  I elected me! That’s all it takes!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

My Personal Butler – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, have you finished my laundry?

Me: I haven’t even finished my own laundry yet. It’s been a busy day.

Stella:  You can never be to busy to wait on me. You are my butler.

Me:  I most certainly am not your butler. Nor am I your waitress, your servant, your…

Stella:  Lady Human, who have you been talking to? Don’t you clean up after me?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Don’t you serve me my food?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Don’t you wash my blankets and toys?

Me:  Well, yes.

Stella:  Don’t you brush my hair?

Me:  Okay, I get the point.

Stella:  No, you don’t. Where is my clean laundry? What kind of a butler are you anyway?

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Do I Need to Hear This? – Conversations with Wiggles

I am Wiggles. That is all. What are you doing, Lady Human?

Me:  Cleaning up the yard. The summer plants that die need to be removed. What are you doing?

Wiggles:  Staying out here with you without the others.

Me:  This is the first time you have gotten up on the picnic table in a good long while.

Wiggles:  It is cool now. Hey, what is that noise?

Me:  Oh, just the big trash truck coming through.

Wiggles:  Hey! Everybody! There’s a big truck coming near!

Me:  Uh, I already know that.

Wiggles:  Listen! Everybody! A big truck!

Me:  Why do I need to hear this? I already know about the big truck.

Wiggles:  My big voice will warn everyone.

Me:  Yep. Oh, listen! Now the rest of the pack is up from their afternoon nap because of your big voice. There is nothing wrong and nothing to be done. Just relax.

Wiggles:  I am relaxed. I just notified the whole world about the big loud truck. Yay me!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

How Many Beds Are Too Many? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m put out, Lady Human.

Me:  And that is news how?

Stella:  Wiggles has too many beds.

Me:  And how many is too many?

Stella:  And number more than I have.

Me:  Let’s see. Well, you have a palace in my room and your bed and breakfast spot in the den.

Stella:  See! Two! Only two. Wiggles sleeps in her special blanketed box, in her crate, behind your big chair, beside my den bed, and, when she can make it, on your big chair. That’s one…two…three…four…five. Oh, and guess where she was this morning?  IN MY BED AND BREAKFAST SPOT IN THE DEN!

Me:  True, but she walked away when you walked in.

Stella:  There should be an equality of beds.

Me:  For Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie, too?

Stella:  Well, no, they are just children. They can make do. I need to rest my weary bones. Preferably in at least five or six different places.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sassing Off – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’ve asked before. I will ask again. Who is running things around here?

Me:  Okay. What’s the complaint?

Stella:  How do you know I have a complaint?

Me:  Because compliments usually don’t start with the words, ‘Who is running things around here?’.

Stella:  Where is my food?

Me:  You finished eating it fifteen minutes ago.

Stella:  Where did this smelly blanket come from?

Me:  You should know. It’s yours.

 Stella:  A likely story. I’m taking over the running of this establishment.

Me:  A likely story. When is this transition going to happen?

Stella:  Today…no, wait…after a good night’s sleep…no, wait…after breakfast…well, you just watch and see. I’ll get around to it.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Did You Bring Me? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What did you bring me, Lady Human? What? What? What? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Me:  Nothing.

Stella:  What?

Me:  This was a wasted trip.

Stella:  Store trips are never wasted on me.

Me:  Well, this one was. I got there only to discover that I had left the money at home.

Stella:  So? What’s money got to do with it?

Me:  Sounds like a good name for a song.

Stella:  What’s a song got to do with it?

Me:  This is the way things work. Stores sell stuff for money. No money, no stuff. I forgot to put the money in my purse, so no shopping for stuff today.

Stella:  But they wouldn’t deprive a dog just because her human was silly.

Me:  It applies to dog stuff, too.

Stella:  Take the money and go back.

Me:  Maybe tomorrow. We aren’t out of anything yet.

Stella:  I am out! I am out your special store treat for your Special Stella. Next time, I will go with you and I will carry the money in my mouth, so you won’t be silly and forget it.

Me:  No, you won’t be carrying the money in your mouth. You might try to eat it.

Stella:  Only if it tastes good. Otherwise, I will use it to buy my treat.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Perfect Massage – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Where did you get that wonderful thing, Lady Human?

Wiggles:  Do it again. Do it again.

Me:  Stand in line. One at a time.

Doodlebug:  Me!

Miss Sweetie:  Where has that thing been all my life?

Me:  I’ve had this glove for several years. I misplaced it and just found it again.

Stella:  No more talking. More glove massaging.

Wiggles:  Do it again! Do it again!

Me:  The Great Creator gave me two, and only two, arms. If I were a spider, I would have eight, but then I wouldn’t be able to hold the massage glove…

Stella:  Let’s get that spider in here. Get more massage gloves. 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Blanket of Hair – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  Uh-huh.

Stella:  The little human is pulling on my hair.

Me:  You don’t like that?

Stella:  No, I do like that. But now she has some of my hair between her fingers.

Me:  Did you hear what she said?

Stella:  No, I don’t understand humanese very well.

Me:  She held three hairs up to me and said, ‘Stella’s hair’. Like it was really interesting.

Stella:  My hair is interesting.

Me:  I just wish you would hold onto more of it. I could make a blanket out of y’all’s shed hair every month.

Stella:  YES! Do that! I would love to have a blanket that smells like me.

Me:  ALL your blankets smell like you.

Stella:  Not the same thing and you know that.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Skeeter Town – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, you did it again!

Me:  What have I done now?

Stella:  You said you were going to Mes-keet.

Me:  Mesquite. Yes.

Stella:  You said you had to go there to get our treats because that’s the only place to get them.

Me:  Yes, and you will notice I did come back with treats.

Stella:  That’s not the only thing you brought back. Look at them skeeters!

Me:  Mosquitoes. No, I did not bring back any mosquitoes.

Stella:  Well, they are here big time. Stop going to Skeeter Town to buy skeeters.

Me:  I wouldn’t pay a single cent for mosquitoes. I guess I can’t get those treats anymore then.

Stella:  Well, wait a minute, Lady Human! Let’s not be ridiculous!

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Right Reserved.

Chicken Dog – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  Where is Sweetie? She should be in by now. It is getting dark.

Me:  She is sitting by the chicken house, visiting.

Doodlebug: Visiting chickens? What a waste of time!

Stella:  Yeah, chickens never have anything interesting to say. Just ‘cluck’ and ‘squawk’. They are a lot like cats that way.

MoonCat:  Meow.

Stella:  Yes, it is true!

Wiggles:  I don’t like it when bulldogs don’t want to hang around with bulldogs. Chickens are so…so…

Stella:  Feathery!

Wiggles:  Exactly.

Me:  Here’s Sweetie now.

Stella:  Sweetie! What do you have to say for yourself?

Miss Sweetie:  The chickies are going to bed. So am I. Chickens know what’s important in life. Good night.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

This Is Not a Buffet – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What’s in the big bag?

Wiggles:  It’s food. Some kind of food.

Doodlebug:  Over here! Put it over here!

Miss Sweetie:  What else do you have, Lady Human? I could use something with cheese on it.

Me:  This is not a buffet, y’all. And what I have here is chicken feed and no, you are not eating chicken feed.

Miss Sweetie:  Then who is going to eat it?

Me:  The chickens, honey.

Doodlebug:  Doesn’t sound fair to me.

Stella:  I think it is. All we have to do to get the chickens’ food is ask for it. They will kick it out to us. They love us. And our big bulldog heads scare them.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Somebody Had to Stand Watch – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  What are you doing, girl? Do you want to go outside?

Stella:  Go outside? Noooooo! I’ll just stand here, looking out this clear door. By the way, you may want to clean this sometime. Somebody smeared paw mud on it.

Me:  Yeah, I’ll get around to it one day. Why are you staring out there?

Stella:  Somebody has to stand watch.

Me:  I guess that’s so, but what are you watching for?

Stella:  Danger.

Me:  Danger like what?

Stella:  The worst kind – possums and squirrels.

Me:  I would have added skunks to that list. They make quite an impression if they get startled. You’re not going to stay there all night, are you?

Stella:  Are you going to take over?

Me:  Me? No, I was planning on getting a good night’s sleep.

Stella:  Typical human. Well, somebody has to stand watch. Hey, Wiggles! Come over here! I’m going to bed.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved. 

Happy Birthday, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Happy Birthday, kids!

Miss Sweetie:  It’s our birthday?

Doodlebug:  We had a birthday?

Me:  Everybody does. Yeah, five years ago today.

Wiggles:  How do you know it was today?

Me:  I think I saw it on a piece of paper one time.

Doodlebug:  You think, but you don’t know.

Me:  Hey, we’re celebrating your birthday. What does it matter?

Miss Sweetie:  It doesn’t matter, if there are treats involved. If there aren’t treats, we’ll wait for another day.

Me:  Well, I’m going to sing the Happy Birthday song…twice.

Doodlebug:  Singing a song is not as good as a treat. Skip the song. I’ll take the treats.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

My Bed! No Sharing! – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Back off, Wiggles!

Wiggles:  How come? This is my corner, too.

Me:  What is going on now?

Stella:  This is my palace and Wiggles keeps going in it like it’s hers. She has her own place.

Me:  Does this have something to do with the beds being moved around the other day?

Stella:  Yes. No. Maybe.

Wiggles:  Tiger slept in this corner. It smells like her. It reminds me of her.

Me: You and Tiger didn’t get along that well.

Wiggles:  But now I miss her. And now Stella has her day bed in Tiger’s corner.

Me:  Compromise settlement proposal.

Stella:  Is that something good to eat?

Wiggles:  Does it taste like chicken?

Me:  No.

Stella:  Aw.

Wiggles:  Aw.

Me:  Stella keeps her bed where it is. Wiggles, you can nap next to her. Then, at night, you can use her day bed.

Wiggles:  Hmmmm…

Me:  May I point out to all parties involved that you, Wiggles, have your own bed, the spot behind my chair, and your special blanketed box under the table? I understand that none of you likes change and this has been a hard one that no one wanted. Get along with each other, okay? Agreed?

Wiggles:  Agreed.

Stella:  Agreed, so long as you throw in something that tastes like chicken.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

By the Dawn’s Early Light – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  The dawn.

Stella:  That was Tiger’s favorite time of day.

Me:  Yep. I never understood why. She could have been sleeping like the rest of you.

Stella:  I think she enjoyed spending that time with you without the pack hanging around. Just you and her.

Me:  I wish I had enjoyed it more at the time.

Stella:  You are enjoying it now.

Me:  Yes, with you. But Tiger is…

Stella:  Tiger is enjoying it with us now, too, right where she is.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Tiger, oh Tiger! So Long and Thanks for Everything

I don’t know where to begin. Tiger passed away this morning. She came to us over five years ago, almost dead from a serious fight with a kennel mate at her previous home. We didn’t know her whole story, but we pieced together enough to know that her beginning was a little rough.

The vets did not expect her to live after that fight. They said that, if she did, she would always walk with a limp. She lived. She did not limp. In fact, one of her favorite games was catching the water spray out of the garden hose by jumping straight up in the air for it.

Because of her past, Tiger was always a handful and a half around other dogs. Vet visits proved to be an adventure in and of themselves. She hated vet offices. HATED. Not disliked, not “I would prefer not to’. HATED. When we would leave the vet’s office, she would try to get in the first vehicle she saw, no matter that it wasn’t ours.

 She was good with people except that fear dominated her reactions to strangers. As for dogs, I had to watch her like a hawk. Any eye-to-eye contact sparked a fight.

Would I have chosen a dog like Tiger? No, I was too hard-hearted. I like the easy button on everything. Extra work? A challenge? Not me. And the LORD knew that and over the years, He used Tiger to soften and expand my heart. And He used the difficulties to make me ‘bulldoggy’.

Tiger was perpetually wound up like an eight-day clock. She never seemed to be able to relax, always jumping up, always on the look out for trouble.

 Now she is resting, and she will never be afraid again.

Are Humans Smart? Really? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Where did I put that…oh, there it is.

Tiger:  Pssst! Stella! Why is Lady Human always saying stuff like that? She sounds kind of stupid.

Doodlebug:  Nobody is smarter than me.

Wiggles:  Does she know what she’s doing? Because if she doesn’t, I can take over.

Tiger:  No! Me!

Stella:  I am the Queen! I am in charge here!

Me:  What are y’all fussing about?

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, oh, let me ask her! Ma’am, are you stupid?

Me:  Huh? What?

Stella:  Are you smart, Lady Human?

Me:  Uh…well…

Stella:  That’s fine. Don’t strain yourself. We have our answer.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toenail Victory Day – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Okay, Tiger, let’s go someplace quiet and secluded and get this job done.

Stella:  I’ll stay back here as will every other sane bulldog.

Me:  That’s fine. This is me time with Tiger.

Stella:  Well, all the best with that, Lady Human.

Tiger:  Where are we going? Huh? Huh? Huh? Will there be treats?

Me:  Maybe one.

Tiger:  Wait! Why is the weird hand thingy here?

Me:  This won’t take long if you cooperate with me.

Tiger:  Cooperate? Why are you holding my foot? No! Let go!

Me:  Good girl! Good girl, Tiger!

Tiger:  No! You only say that when you want me to do something that I don’t want to do!

Me:  Good girl!

Tiger:  But I do like it when you rub my tummy. And blow in my face. And call me sweet names. And hug my neck. And rub my head. And tell me everything is all right…

Me:  There! All done! Still not the easiest job in town, but…

Tiger:  What? All done?

Me:  Yup.

Tiger:  My feet feel…shorter. Can I still scratch?

Me:  Sure.

Tiger:  Can I dig if I want to?

Me:  Yeah, buy why?

Tiger:  This wasn’t so bad.

Me:  I feel like we have made a major step forward. Like a big victory. And next time will be even easier, right?

Tiger:  Next time? Easier? Oh, no, I can’t betray my bulldogs by making things easier.

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.