Wide Load – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am not fat.

Me:   Thank you for that information, Stella.

Stella:   I know you are going to talk about it, so I thought I would clear that up first.

Me:   How did you know I was going to talk about it?

Stella:   The way you and Tall Man have been looking down on Wiggles’ back the past couple of days.

Me:   Was it that obvious?

Stella:   Yes. And you telling him about how she is so wide that she blocks the door when you go to open it.

Me:  Well, that’s not just her size. It’s her predisposition to ram her way through in front of everybody before I can get the door open.

Stella:   Which she would be able to go through on a narrow opening if she weren’t so fat.

Me:   Mmmm…maybe.

Wiggles:   Are you gossiping about me?


Me:   No…

Stella:   Yes.

Wiggles:   What are you saying about me?

Me:   I am remembering what the vet said last spring about how we need to control your weight because you have been packing it on the past few years. I don’t want to be embarrassed the next time you see her simply because I haven’t been able to help you lose a little.

Wiggles:   How do you lose weight?

Me:   More exercise…

Wiggles:   I get plenty of exercise. I run out to potty. Then I potty. Then I jump up on the sunshine table. Then I jump down. Then I run back inside and take a nap.

Me:   That doesn’t really qualify as weight loss exercise.

Wiggles:   What other thing can I do to lose weight, so you won’t be embarrassed in front of the vet lady?

Me:   Eat a little less.

Wiggles:   WHAT AN UGLY THING TO SAY, LADY HUMAN! HOW DARE YOU? I eat precisely what you give me!

Me:   And anything you find on the floor. And whatever you can snoot up in the kitchen.

Wiggles:   Hey, if it’s on the floor, I figure you dropped it for me. I don’t see you picking it up and eating it. Like you always say, WASTE NOT!







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Silly Dog Names – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have a pretty name. It does not make any sense, but it is a good, solid name.

Me:   It means “star”. My younger daughter named you when you came to us.

Stella:   What was my name before? I don’t remember.

Me:   Chata.

Stella:   What does that mean?

Me:   Well…it’s Spanish and it means…

Stella:   What?

Me:   Flat as in flat nose.

Stella:   Hmmmpphh. So that’s what they thought of me. I like your daughter’s name for me better.

Me:   You are a star.

Tiger:   What about me?

Me:   We called you Tiger when you came to us because you were fighting for your life. You are a fighter. And you have that brindle stripe design. So… Tiger.

Wiggles:   And me?

Me:   When you came, the first thing we noticed was that you never stop wiggling.

Wiggles:   I guess that’s all right.

Miss Sweetie:   And me? What about my name?

Me:   It just came to me that you were the sweetest thing. So…

Miss Sweetie:   Awwww. I think you are Miss Sweetie, too, except you are really Lady Human, and not as sweet as I am.

Me:   Okay, fine.

Doodlebug:   Why did you name me after a bug?


Me:   Doodlebugs are not really bugs, though some people call them sow bugs or pill bugs. They are not insects. They are more closely related to lobsters than to bugs. And Tall Man named you that because of the narrow white mark in the middle of your forehead. He said you looked to him like a doodlebug because of that. If you look right at the head of a lot of doodlebugs, they have a little white mark in the middle of their heads. So…

Doodlebug:   So, I got a silly name.

Me:   Yeah, but Tall Man has always loved doodlebugs since he was a little boy. So…







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





We Saw a Grown Human Puppy Today – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There was someone here today, a human we have not seen before.

Me:   You have seen her, but not for a while.

Tiger:   I was scared when she came into the room.

Wiggles:   At first, I thought it was you, Lady Human, but different somehow.

Miss Sweetie:   I love her!

Doodlebug:   Did she bring us special food?

Me:   No. That’s not why she was here.

Stella:   Who is she?  It was so exciting!  I jumped up and down!

Me:   I saw you hopping. She is my daughter.

Stella:   Your puppy?

Me:   Stella, I have explained this. Humans have children. Dogs have puppies. She is one of my daughters all grown up. She is not a puppy.

Stella:   When I saw her, she reminded me of you so much that I thought she was you. Until I scented that she was not.

Me:   Yes, we are different.

Tiger:   And the same. Like you and Tall Man.

Me:   Yes. In the same way. You are perceptive.

Doodlebug:   Why did she not bring special food?

Me:   That’s not why she was here. She was doing a job that humans call ‘business’ and a huge ice and snow storm forced her to leave where she was before it became to difficult to travel so she headed in our direction.

Stella:   Ice? Snow? I forgot. What are those?

Me:   Something you don’t want to drive a rolling box through if you can avoid it.

Stella:   But the wet ground did not stop her.

Me:   Nope. The ground is wet, but it won’t freeze here. Not this weekend anyway.

Miss Sweetie:   Will she come back? I want to look at her again.

Me:   She will when she can.

Miss Sweetie:   Good. I will keep watching that door for her.

Me:   I would plan on doing other things between now and then.

Miss Sweetie:   Okay. So long as I can keep watching that door.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Door Jam – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And that’s all I have to say.

Me:   Maybe you could communicate with Wiggles better than I can.

Wiggles:  Let me go outside. I need to pee.


Me:   I’m trying to let you out, Wiggles. You are jamming the door. Just step back so I can get it open.

Wiggles:   Please let me out.

Me:   I’m trying, Wiggles. Step back. Stella, explain it to her. She is blocking the door with her big, wide body.

Stella:   Wiggles, your big, wide body is blocking the door. How’s that?

Me:   She’s still pressing against the edge of the door.

Wiggles:   Pee. Pee. Pee. Pee.

Me:   Okay. Listen to me. Move back away from the door.

Wiggles:   But I want to go forward.

Me:   To do that, you have to take a step or two backward, so I can open the door.

Wiggles:  Go back to go forward? What is that? Human sense? Because it makes no sense to me.

Me:   We are dealing with physical laws here. Take my word for it. Please.

Wiggles:   Oh, all right. There.

Me:   See. Now you may go forward.

Wiggles:   Yay! If you had just opened the door earlier, I could have already been done. Physical laws indeed! More human nonsense.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

You Don’t Know Where That’s Been! – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am a connoisseur. Of cheese. Of dog food. Of human food.

Me:   I wouldn’t go that far.

Stella:   I know what I like and what tastes good and, more importantly, what smells good. I am very disturbed by what Doodlebug puts in his mouth.

Doodlebug:   I eat what I want.


Stella:   Which appears to be EVERYTHING!

Doodlebug:   Not rocks. I draw the line at rocks. Hard. Dry. No real flavor. Yuck!

Stella:   You’ve been known to eat things stinkier than rocks.

Doodlebug:   Mmmmm. Poop!

Me:   At least we can stop some of that.

Doodlebug:   It is hard to come by really good poop.

Me:   My turn to say ‘yuck’.

Stella:   But whatever it was you were snacking on today, not even I could identify.

Doodlebug:   It smelled interesting.

Stella:   You don’t know where it had been. What if it was squirrel food that they threw away? How embarrassing!

Me:   All I saw were some wet sticks and a lot of slobber. But I agree with Stella. If you don’t know where something came from, you probably shouldn’t eat it.


Me:   Of course, you will. You will have your regular food.

Doodlebug:   But I don’t know where that ‘s been!

Stella:   Oh, silly head! Of course, you do! It comes from that big yellow bag Lady Human drags in. Problem solved. It sure doesn’t come from squirrels.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cheese Connoisseur – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Cheese, glorious cheese!

Me:   Well, cheese is a great food. Glorious? I don’t know.

Stella:   Do you have a cheese snack for me tonight?

Me:   Yes. Yes, I do.

Stella:   Bring it on! Bring it on! Bring it on!

Me:   Settle down. Here it is.

Stella:   Hmmmm. Soft. Tasty. Meh. It’s okay.

Me:   What? What do you mean ‘meh’? Do you know how much this cheese costs?

Stella:  Costs? What’s that?

Me:   Money.

Stella:   Oh, that thing that humans think about all the time. No. Does that make a difference?

Me:   It’s just that I don’t need to spend money on stuff nobody likes.

Stella:   Do you like it?

Me:   Yeah. Maybe. It’s okay. Meh.

Stella:   Where is that good stuff you gave me last week?

Me:   Oh, that? We ran out of that. I can only get that at one store around here.

Stella:   Go to that store right away! Get that cheese!

Me:   They don’t always have it in stock.

Stella:   NOOOO! Wait! What’s ‘stock’?

Me:   Stock is what they have in the store. They don’t always have that cheese in the store. They have to order it. It takes about 2 weeks. It comes all the way from Ireland.

Stella:   NOOOO! WHY? OH, WHY?

Me:   Look, I’ll find some other cheese if they don’t have it.

Stella:   Some other cheese may not be to my liking. Hmmmph! Why can’t I go to the store with you?

Me:   They don’t let dogs in the store. Sorry.

Stella:   Typical.

Me:   So, you won’t eat another cheese if I offer it to you?

Stella:   Are you kidding me? Bring it on! If I don’t like it, I will be sure to let you know.

Me:   Oh, thank you so much, Stella.

Stella:   Not a problem, Lady Human.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

But Where Is The GOOD Food? – Conversations with Stella


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans are up to something. They have been very active. New smells are entering the house and no, they are not from stuff we bulldogs caused. I think they have another one of those holiday things coming.

Me:   Is there something wrong with celebrating holidays?

Stella:   Not if we are included.

Me:   You all are always included.

Stella:   No, we aren’t.

Me:   Toys. Treats. Food.

Stella:   What about the GOOD food? Where is that?

Me:   You always get good food.

Stella:   What about that thing you were eating a while ago?

Me:   Oh. That was homemade fudge. You can’t have that.

Stella:   And you can?

Me:   Well, a little bit, now and then. I don’t overdo it.

Stella:   It had peanut butter in it. Don’t lie to my nose!

Me:   It also had cocoa in it.

Stella:   Sounds delicious.

Me:   Cocoa equals chocolate equals not for dogs.

Stella:   A likely story. That doesn’t explain what you had for supper.

Me:   Those were tortellini.

Stella:   Sounds delicious. They had cheese in them. My nose knows.

Me:   They also had a good dose of garlic in them and garlic is not good for dogs.

Stella:   Lady Human, I think you are making these rules up as you go.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


We Need a Referee! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. WOO HOO! HERE I COME!

Me:   Whoa!

Stella:   Not whoa! Woo hoo!

Me:   Oomph! Stella! Don’t jump on me!

Stella:   Prepare to defend yourself, Lady Human! Here I come, ready or not!

Me:   Not ready! Not ready!

Stella:   Too late! Whee!

Me:   Okay, no jumping on the bed! I don’t want you to fall off!

Stella:   How can I fall off?

Me:   Gravity. It always works.

Stella:   Boom! That’s one point for me!

Me:   Point? Are we keeping score?

Stella:    Boom! Another point for me! Best wrestling match ever!

Me:  Wrestling has rules! We need a referee!

Stella:   What’s a referee?

Me:   Someone who makes sure the rules are abided by.

Stella:   Sounds like another made-up human word to me. You always make up words when you are losing.

Me:   Believe me, I am not going to lose…

Stella:   Boom! Another point for me! We don’t need no referee!

Me:   Speak for yourself.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Advice from an Older Head – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Remember that, Sweetie. I didn’t get to be queen by acting silly.


Miss Sweetie:   I thought you got to be queen just by saying you were. Like this: “I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges” or something like that. Maybe I should say I’m queen, too. I am Miss Sweetie, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, Too! Okay, now we’re both queens! Twice the fun!

Stella:    Sweetie! It doesn’t work that way. Listen to some advice from an older head.

Miss Sweetie:   Who has an old head?

Stella:   My head has been around almost twice as long as yours. That means I have seen some things you haven’t had a chance to see yet.

Miss Sweetie:   I saw the moon the other night, hanging in the sky like a big round ball that Lady Human tossed, and it stuck there. I saw the leaves abandoning the trees because the leaves were cold and shivering, and they fell to the ground because it was warmer than the air. I saw the honeybees leave one by one when the cool air came because they knew the plants were drying up.

Stella:    That’s all fine, Sweetie. But I am thinking of other things you need to know. Like how to smell rain on the air before it hits. And what plants to stay clear of. And how you should not lock eyes with Tiger because she doesn’t play well others. And…

Miss Sweetie:   And how to catch the moon and bring it down here. And how to call the leaves back on the trees. And how to tell the honeybees that they should come back when the plants peek out of the dirt early and…

Stella:   That is going to take a whole lot older head than mine, Sweetie. Thankfully, there is One Who knows all things. Though I do think that thing about bringing the moon down here may not be a good idea. I have a feeling that it is bigger than it looks.










Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toenail Tally – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What are you scratching on that paper, Lady Human?

Me:   A tally. Marks that keep count. Come here a second.

Stella:    What are you…hey!

Me:   Okay. That’s two on your front left foot.

Stella:    Oh, no, you don’t!

Me:   How about you, Wiggles? Here. It just takes a couple of minutes…

Wiggles:   What was that? Oh, no, no, no…

Me:   Okay, that’s three on your right hind leg. Progress.

Miss Sweetie:   Is this that fun game where you grab my feet and I jerk them away and wrestle you?

Me:   It sure is, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:   I love that game!

Me:   Me, too! Let’s play! One, two, three, four…woo hoo! One whole foot done!

Miss Sweetie:   Now I get my reward. I jump in your lap! Woo hoo!

Tiger:   I want to do that!

Me:   Okay, let me trim your nails.

Tiger:   Nope.

Me:   How about you, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   Nope. My nails are fine.

Miss Sweetie:   Here I am again, Lady Human! Grab a foot and hold on for dear life! Yee haw!








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





What Are Tablitas and Why Aren’t You Giving Me Any? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans are celebrating yet another holiday. Sadly, they are not sharing their special food with us which is terrible because it smells wonderful.

Me:        Sorry, girl. These are tablitas, one of Tall Man’s grilled specialties, but not only are there small bones, but the seasoning has some ingredients that would be bad for you.

Stella:   All that information just makes it worse. Words like ‘grilled’, ‘specialties’, ‘bones’, ‘seasoning’, and ‘bad’.

Me:        I wish I could let you have some, but I can’t.

Stella:    Why are tablitas bad for me, but not bad for you.

Me:        Human digestion is different from bulldog digestion. For example, I don’t lick things off the ground and I have never tried to eat any type of grass.

Stella:   But you eat green leaves in big bowls so long as they are covered with weird goop.

Me:       Salads?

Stella:   If that is what you call them. Right now I would like a big bowl of tablitas without any green leaves.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Bulldog Bedtime! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. BEDTIME! BEDTIME! EVERYBODY TO BED NOW!

Me:   Yeah, everybody. Settle down.

Stella:   You, too, Lady Human. It’s your bedtime.

Me:   I’ll probably go to bed when this movie is over.

Stella:    No, bedtime is now.

Me:        No. Bedtime is when I say it is.

Stella:    Go ahead and say it is now, because it is now.

Me:        I will go to bed when I want to go to bed.

Stella:    But I sleep in your room and I want to go to bed.

Me:        Then go to bed.

Stella:    No, not until you go.

Me:        What’s the difference?

Stella:    For one thing, you have my nighttime snacks and I don’t want to go to bed without them. You may eat them all while I am not looking.

Me:        Well, they do look good…

Stella:    Lady Human! Typical! Just typical!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Statuesque – Conversations with Stella, Wiggles, and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, Wiggles and Miss Sweetie and posing again. Nobody else can use the little table while they are like that. They think that they are yard ornaments.

Me:   Look! The squirrel on the tree trunk right by them! They are so still that he doesn’t even know the two bulldogs are there!

Stella:    It’s that Jerky McSquirrelyFace again! Hey, Jerky! You silly squirrel! Those are live bulldogs by you! Run while you can!

Me:   Okay, no more statues! They’re moving again.

Wiggles:   Did you see that squirrel?


Stella:    Yes, and you made no move toward him. And you call yourself bulldogs! Disgusting!

Miss Sweetie:   I don’t call myself a bulldog. Everybody else calls me a bulldog.


Stella:    If you aren’t a bulldog, Sweetie, what are you?

Miss Sweetie:   Well, today I was holding the little table down so I guess I was a table weight. So was Wiggles. We had to sit very still.

Me:   The little table doesn’t have to be held down, Sweetie. Gravity does a good job at holding that in place.

Miss Sweetie:   Does gravity hold me in place, too?

Me:   Well, yeah.

Miss Sweetie:   So that’s why I couldn’t move.

Me:   Not exactly. You can still move. You’re walking around. You jumped off the little table.

Miss Sweetie:   But I had to stay still on the table because…you know…gravity. Gravity made me a statue.

Wiggles:   Gravity didn’t make me a statue. I was a statue because I wanted to be. I make a good statue with or without gravity. By the way, what is gravity?

Me:        Something too hard to explain.

Wiggles:   Oh, so it’s like being a statue.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Foot-Dragging Trash Diver – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…

Me:        Wiggles. Wiggles? Wiggles!

Stella:    Why am I being interrupted?

Me:        Wiggles! Come out of there!

Stella:    Aaaaggghhh! What now?

Wiggles:   Nothing.

Me:        Wiggles, I know what you are doing.

Wiggles:   Okay.

Me:        Don’t you dare try to get that trash bag.

Wiggles:   Hmmm. Okay.

Me:        All right then. Here I come.

Wiggles:   Coming! Slowly.

Me:        What have you gotten into?

Wiggles:   Don’t bother looking. There was nothing interesting in there.

Me:        Oh, Wiggles, how did you…those are all empty trash bags.

Wiggles:   You’re telling me?

Stella:    What Lady Human means, Wiggles, is that you aren’t supposed to go trash diving even in empty trash bags.

Me:        Thank you, Stella.

Stella:   AND when she calls you, you should come then. No foot-dragging.

Wiggles:   I don’t foot-drag. I walk carefully and at a slow pace so as not to miss any good trash.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Fading Days of the Lazy Sun – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We have always been able to count on the sun. At times it appears too much, too hot, and for too long. But now the sun is being just plain lazy.

Tiger:     I agree, and I never agree. I went out for a sunbath and the sun gave me a short time and then bathed me in shadow.

Miss Sweetie:    I had a long, long sunbath by the little fence.

Me:        Actually, when I looked out, you were sitting in a striped shadow, Sweetie. The sun is going down sooner. The days are shorter now.

Doodlebug:   I sunbathed today. It was fine. What’s the problem?

Wiggles:   The sun likes you, Doodle.

Doodlebug:   The trick is to sit in the middle of the yard, then the sun comes at you from all sides. Sitting by a fence or under a tree doesn’t work. The sun only shines where it wants to.

Stella:    The sun is being lazy. Shorter days, indeed! That simply means the sun is laying abed and doing nothing.

Me:        The sun is always shining somewhere. If not here, then on the other side of the earth. It’s always sunny somewhere.

Stella:    The sun is not lazy at all. The sun is selfish, keeping all its light back from us.

Me:        Don’t worry. It will come back with all its heat and vengeance by next summer.

Stella:    What will we do for sunbaths until then?

Me:        Be grateful for what you get.

Stella:    Do we have to be as grateful for a few minutes of sunshine as we do for a whole bunch of minutes?

Me:        Yes, I would be if I were you.

Stella:    Hmmmpphhh. Does this gratefulness have anything to do with that special day you are talking about – Thanksgiving?

Me:        No, we should give thanks every day.

Stella:   Even when there is no turkey or extra sunshine. Sounds doubtful to me, Lady Human.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Blanket Hog – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Once upon a time, it was hot. Now upon this time, it is cold.

Me:        I have noticed that a blanket hog has appeared in my room the last few nights.

Stella:    A hog? Who let a hog into the house? Nasty! Did you leave the door open, Lady Human?

Me:        No, and this hog looks a lot like someone who lives in the house already.

Stella:    Blanket hog…blanket hog…oh, I get it. It’s you! Hog of the blanket! That’s a great name for you.

Me:        Not me. You! You’re the blanket hog!

Stella:    What an ugly thing to say! Who wraps herself in the soft blanket every cool night and holds onto it?

Me:        You.

Stella:    Wrong. The answer is you!

Me:        And if I happen to get up in the night for anything, what do I find when I return to bed?

Stella:    Is this one of those guessing games? How many tries do I get?

Me:        I find Stella right in the middle of the bed, laying on my blanket. So, who’s the blanket hog?

Stella:    Let’s see. Your bed. Your blanket, so the answer is YOU.

Me:        And I have to roll you over just so I can get back in bed and grab enough of the blanket to cover myself.

Stella:    You admit that you are the blanket hog. Finally! I’m glad we got that cleared up.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Summer, I Miss You! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Summer is gone. I hated it while it was here, and it was here for so long. But now that it is gone, Summer, I miss you. Yes, you were too hot. Yes, you kept us inside where it was cooler. But now that you are not around, it is too cold. Why, Summer, why did you have to go away?

Me:        Seasons change, girl. Summer has its season. And then comes another season called Autumn.

Stella:    Not fair! That season did not show up this year.

Me:        True, and I missed Autumn. I enjoy sweater weather and all my sweaters were lonely in my closet all through the fall.

Stella:    Well, they won’t be lonely tonight!

Me:        No, they’ve been getting a real workout since yesterday.

Stella:    Why does summer go away?

Me:        Our Great Creator set it up that way. Earth circles the sun and rotates on its own axis.

Stella:    More human nonsense words.

Me:        It means that there is a season of warmth and growth.

Stella:    Spring?

Me:        Yes. And there is a season of more warmth and the maturing of crops.

Stella:    Or as we say in what the humans call ‘Texas’, hot, hot, hot, dry, dry, dry!

Me:        Yeah, most years. And then there is Autumn and the harvest, when the heat abates.

Stella:    We skipped that.

Me:        And now Winter approaches.

Stella:    What? This is not Winter?

Me:        No, it’s still officially Autumn. We have another month or so to official Winter.

Stella:    But you said that water left outside will freeze into ice tonight.

Me:        Yeah, it is supposed to get below freezing.

Stella:    Wait! What kind of a game is Autumn playing? All I wanted was a comfortable temperature for my bathroom time, which reminds me. When will the indoor bulldog bathroom be finished?

Me:        It has not been started yet. There is not going to be an indoor bulldog bathroom.

Stella:    Typical.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Quiet Times of Synchronized Snoring – Conversation with Moon Cat

Me:        Hey, Moon! Do you hear that?


Moon Cat:   Meow!

Me:        Shhhh! Not too loud. They’re all asleep, all at the same time.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Me:        And listen to the snoring. Stella, then Miss Sweetie, then Doodlebug, then Wiggles double time, then Tiger.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Me:        Perfect rhythmic breathing.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Me:        Too bad we don’t understand each other.

Moon Cat:   But we do.

Me:        What?

Moon Cat:   Shhhh! These are the first peaceful moments I’ve had all day.

Me:        You understand me?

Moon Cat:   Of course. I am a cat in a house full of bulldogs. How do you think I have survived so well for so long?

Me:        So, when I say, ‘Run!’…

Moon Cat:   I run. I am not an idiot.

Me:        But you’ve never said anything before.

Moon Cat:   Yes, I have, and if you think about it, you understood me. Like when Snoopey left.

Me:        Oh, Moon. Snoopey died.

Moon Cat:   That’s just another way of saying that she left. I did not understand at first.

Me:        You kept climbing up on my chair, talking to me.

Moon Cat:   And you understood me.

Me:        You wanted to know where your best friend had gone and why she wasn’t here with you anymore.

Moon Cat:   And you explained it me as best you could. You thought I didn’t understand. But I did. I was not happy about it. I miss talking to Snoopey, but I don’t worry about her anymore. I miss her, but as you told me, where she is now, she will never be lonely, she will never be scared, she will never hurt, and she will never get old and weak. You see, I do understand.

Me:        And do you understand the other bulldogs?

Moon Cat:   Them? Mmmmm, naw. Not so much.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Fat Squirrels with No Manners – Conversations with Stella


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella.

Me:        That’s it? No “Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges”?

Stella:    How can I be the queen of anything when I can’t even keep squirrels out of my domain?

Me:        You mean because of Jerky?

Stella:    He’s back.

Me:        Truth be told, he never left.

Stella:    What? I haven’t seen him for months.

Me:        He’s been hanging around the front. And he’s been up in the tall trees with his friends.

Stella:    It’s one thing for him to perch in the trees. It’s another thing for him to lurk around where I walk every day. Did you see what he was doing today? He was eating leftover acorns as though he hasn’t had enough of those all summer. He is so fat now.

Me:        He’s getting ready for winter.

Stella:    And he was eating the weird plants.

Me:        Yeah, I saw that. Well, the honeybees finished with them a few weeks ago. I guess somebody should get the use of them. I’m not going to eat them, and neither are you.

Stella:    He could have asked permission. That would have been polite.

Me:        Squirrels don’t live by good manners. Sort of like bulldogs.

Stella:    Bulldogs have good manners. They’re just our good manners. Not everybody understands. I thought you might.

Me:        I do. We have our good manners, too, but not everybody understands them.

Stella:    Really? We’ll make a bulldog of you yet, Lady Human.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Our Rolling Box Has a Broken Eye – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Our rolling box was attacked the other day and now the poor thing has a big, broken eye. A big, scary broken eye.

Me:        That’s just a plastic bag over the broken window. It’s to keep the rain out until the window repair guy gets here.

Stella:    It is ugly, and it makes weird snapping noises.

Me:        Yeah, when the wind is up. I mean, it’s a plastic bag so…it moves.

Stella:    Can we go somewhere in the rolling box? Can I stick my head through it?

Me:        As I said the other day, no one is sticking anything out of the window.

Stella:    Awww.

Me:        What’s the big deal about dogs and car windows?

Stella:    You don’t know?

Me:        No. I mean the wind in your face can be exciting, but in a car going 70 miles per hour or even 30 miles per hour, not so much. And what if a bug hits your face?

Stella:    Simple. Eat it.

Me:        What if it goes down your throat?

Stella:    Cough it up.

Me:        Well, I guess that is a solution.

Stella:    Wait! What is that noise? Beep! Beep! Beep!

Me:        It’s the window repair guy.

Stella:    Window repair guys say, “Beep! Beep! Beep!”?

Me:        No, but their trucks do when they back up. Okay, I need to talk to this gentleman about the car window so go in the other room and settle down for a while.

Stella:    Why? Is the car window a secret? Why can’t I hear about it? Settle down in the other room? Are you kidding me?

Me:        The man will do his work. The car window will be fixed.

Stella:    I do want that. Does the rolling box feel pain because its eye is broken?

Me:        No, the rolling box is a machine. The parts need to work and the whole needs to work, but it does not have the feelings we do. It feels no pain.

Stella:    Phew! That makes me feel no pain for it. Wait! Can I stick my head out of the broken window tomorrow?

Me:        Nope. The plastic bag will be gone and there will be a new window in its place.

Stella:    Awww.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.