3 Reasons Why This Saturday is Crappy – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is a crappy Saturday. Here are the reasons why:

  • It is raining…again. We have already had rain this year. Someone needs to cancel the order. We don’t need any more.
  • Today was Toenail Trimming Day, the worst day known to bulldogs, or any dogs, for that matter.
  • The cat is even weirder than usual. She has taken to wearing a bizarre collar and she looks like a sea monster.

There! My list is complete. The End.

Me:   Hello. I have a few reasons why this Saturday is not crappy at all.

  • Yes, there has been a lot of rain thus far this year, but we will be glad of it come summer, so, no, we will not be cancelling any “order” for rain.
  • Toenail Trimming Day is far more trying for the humans in your lives than for you. With more cooperation from the bulldogs, it might turn into a fun event.
  • Moon the Cat is wearing a protective collar to keep her from licking and exacerbating her itchy skin condition and, if anyone should be able to commiserate with itchy skin conditions, it should be a bulldog. She is not “weirder than usual” and you all have been very rude to her today.

Stella:   Rude to a cat? Impossible! And as for Toenail Trimming Day, why don’t you try it sometime, Lady Human? You let someone cut your nails and tell me how you feel then.

Me:   I have to trim my fingernails all the time. If I don’t, they interfere with my work. And I certainly don’t whine about it the way you all do.

Stella:   Whine? Whine, you say? No bulldog has ever been known to whine in the history of…well…bulldogs. Dignified complainers. That’s what we are. And please see to it that Sunday turns out to be less crappy than Saturday has been.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Best Friends Are Hard to Replace – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        I’ll bet I know what it is, too. From the look on your face and the pffft sound from your mouth.

Stella:    Why, oh why?

Me:        Why is the cat on my lap?

Stella:    No. My question is why is the cat on your lap all the time?


Me:        I think she wants some extra comfort, companionship.

Stella:    She can get that from across the room like normal.

Me:        She’s not feeling normal just now.

Stella:    She didn’t do that before Snoopey…oh.

Me:        For whatever reason, she and Snoopey were best friends.

Stella:    Well, that’s simply weird. Weird of Snoopey and weird of the cat. I never did understand that. Think about it. Cat. Self-explanatory. That says it all. And then bulldog. Everybody knows what that means. And one thing it doesn’t mean is friendship with cats.

Me:        And still, there it was. Who else did Snoopey ever allow into her crate with her?

Stella:    That’s easy. Nobody, because nobody else would fit in there with her. We are all bulldogs, remember?

Me:        I never forget. Okay, who else other than the cat did Snoopey ever have a full-blown conversation with?

Stella:    You.

Me:        Yeah. That’s true. Not that we understood each other well, but we did talk. A lot.

Stella:    So you don’t mind that Moon the Cat is climbing onto your lap all the time. It’s fine with you.

Me:        It’s all right. I understand why.

Stella:    It’s not all right with me! It’s really ticking me off!

Me:        Maybe you could consider becoming her new best friend.

Stella:    Lady Human! I’m surprised at you! What ugly talk!  I just want things to go back to normal, when bulldogs were bulldogs and Moon the Cat was her old arrogant, stand-offish, snooty self.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

When Humans Let Cats Rule – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am witnessing the most ridiculous scene of the last one hundred years, at least since yesterday.

Me:        One hundred years? We truly have to work on your sense of time.

Stella:    Hey, I’m not the one who changed all the clocks and then complained about it. My stomach clock is still on Stella time. Doodlebug got up an extra hour early on his own. If you noticed, I didn’t budge.

Me:        I did notice. What is so ridiculous?

Stella:    You. The way you are sitting. The way you are letting the cat rule the roost. And she isn’t even a chicken.

Me:        I’m just allowing her a little bit to wake up from her nap.

Stella:    She is taking up most of your chair, Lady Human. YOUR CHAIR! NOT HER CHAIR! YOUR CHAIR! You are sitting on the edge of YOUR CHAIR, need I repeat it.

Me:        No, you need not. She’ll get up in a minute.


Stella:    This is what results from humans cutting cats too much slack. I’ve never seen so much slack in my life. Just look at her, all slacky and stretched out and slinky and catlike. Yuck.

Me:        She’ll move.

Stella:    Famous first words.

Me:        The expression is ‘Famous last words’.

Stella:    Exactly. First words become last words and the cat is still there. Give a cat an inch and she’ll take over your chair. Another human saying.

Me:        Not exactly.

Stella:    Well, it should be. When humans let cats rule, no chair is safe.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Memories Are Made of This – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Looking at some old photographs.

Stella:    Pictures? Pictures of me?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Then why are you wasting your time looking at them? Look at pictures of me. Better yet, look at me.

Me:        These are pictures of someone I knew a long, long time ago. Someone who just passed on.

Stella:    Oh. You mean the way Snoopey passed on.

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:    So you look at pictures to remember.

Me:        It helps me.

Stella:    I remember without pictures. Humans spend a lot of time on stuff like pictures and boxes.

Me:        Yeah, we do. Memories fade though.

Stella:    Not if you practice them. Practice remembering every fine thing about your someone who passed on and then remember their good face.

Me:        Good face?

Stella:    You know. Good face, like when they were having fun, or when they had just finished a big bowl of food or lapped up a bunch of cool water, or just jumped dripping wet out of the puppy pool on a hot day. Of course, Snoopey didn’t do that last one because Snoopey hated water except for the drinking kind. When I remember Snoopey, I remember her hopping up and down at your feet, all excited, bouncing on her front legs. I don’t dwell on her fights with Tiger or, yuck, her long conversations with the cat.

Me:        Thank you, Stella. I’ll still keep the old photos though.

Stella:    So long as they bring you comfort, Lady Human.  And so long as they don’t take your attention away from me.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

See You Later, Snoopey. Thanks for Everything

This picture is of Snoopey taking a nap on my arm some time ago.

Today Snoopey left us and went into the Hands of God. It was very sudden. She was fine this morning, ate her full breakfast, went outside as usual, and then came back in for her late morning nap. When I called her to go outside again about 12:30 p.m., she didn’t come. She looked peaceful, still napping, but when I touched her, she did not respond. She had passed in her sleep. No sign of pain or distress. Just rest.

For the first time, I did CPR on a dog. To no effect. I am in total disbelief. We believe it was a heart attack. It was so quick.

Snoopey came to us when she was almost 2 years old. We don’t know much about her first 2 years except that people always seemed to be trying to get rid of her. She was great with people, but not so much with dogs. She could tolerate other canines at a distance and that was about it.

When she came to us, I made her a promise that I would never re-home her. By the grace of Almighty God, I was able to keep my promise. On this earth, she was never again re-homed. Until today. This home going is the one that will last forever.

What can I say about Snoopey?

She loved sunbathing and hated the rain. Sadly, this entire week has been cloudy and rainy, and she was not able to sunbathe a single time. I tried to keep up with minute to minute forecasts so that she could go outside during the thin windows of time when it was not pouring rain.

She loved her collar. Some time back, I went to buy her a new one and took the old one off to measure it. She just about went nuts until I put it back on her. A neighbor told me that some dogs feel vulnerable and naked without their collars. Snoopey was one of those. I left her with the pet cremation people this afternoon. The last thing I did was to take off her collar. She won’t need it or miss it anymore. She’ll never feel naked or vulnerable again.

She and Tiger were enemies. True enemies. The ‘Don’t you come over here! I’ll tear you up!” kind of enemies. Both had difficult pasts. Today, after I was sure that Snoopey had gone, I brought each pack member to see and sniff her body. I kept Tiger back until the last. I wasn’t sure what would happen. When Tiger approached Snoopey’s body, she sniffed her face and front feet. The other bulldogs started to bark, and Tiger hunched down protectively over Snoopey’s head and barked back. She stayed there for a few minutes until she started to snip at Snoopey’s hind legs. I pulled her away at that point. I don’t know if she was trying to play with Snoopey or provoke a response from an old nemesis. Tiger is still sniffing around the room for her.

Snoopey was best friends with a cat. Odd for a bulldog. She and Moon the Cat got so close that Snoopey allowed Moon into her crate. No fighting. No hissing. No biting. No scratching. Just friendship. I don’t know what Moon’s reaction to Snoopey’s death will be. Moon was here in the house alone almost 8 years ago when my little Corgi, Susie, laid down and breathed her last in the utility room. I came home from work to find Susie’s body still warm. Moon did not enter the utility room for 6 months (which was awkward since that was where Moon’s litter box was).

Snoopey has been my bed buddy for the last 15 months. She is the first dog that I ever allowed into my bed. When we got up in the mornings, most times, she would sit up and lean against me and I would throw my left arm around her shoulders. They say that dogs don’t like to be hugged, but Snoopey never seemed to mind. I think that I may have been one of the only humans who ever showed her that kind of love and acceptance.

Snoopey and Stella were sisters. Stella knows that Snoopey is gone. She knows more precisely than any other member of the pack. She was sighing and crying quietly this afternoon when I returned from the pet cremation place. LORD God, God of all comfort! Comfort all who mourn and grieve for whatever reason. You Who Are Love, You Who Love Your Creation! Love each of us in the deepest place of our need.

Snoopey was the Pack Leader. Tiger wanted to be, but Snoopey watched over the others. She always checked on them every time she came in from outside.

I confess it. I am a Christian. These words give me hope and encouragement, even in the loss of a dog. God cares for His creatures.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat on the throne said, Behold I make all things new…” (Revelation 21:4-5 KJV)

Please hug everyone you love tonight one extra time, even if it is in your prayers and not with your arms. Tonight, when I go to bed, Snoopey won’t be there to hug. But Stella and the others will be.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Cat Dance – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Today I have witnessed something horrible that I never thought I would see.

Me:        What horrible thing was that? I can’t imagine. Was it the large pile of poo by the back door that I had to step over?

Stella:    Of course not. Events like that are what give your life meaning. No, I am referring to the disgusting display that Snoopey and Moon the Cat put on.


20160121_174603.jpgMe:        They have been getting along famously of late.

Stella:    Fame does not excuse their bizarre behavior. Today…dare I say it…they were dancing…together.

Me:        I thought that was kind of cute. And, to be honest, it wasn’t much of a dance.

Stella:    Nose to nose. Cheek to cheek, or in a bulldog’s case, cheek to jowl. Step to the right. Step to the left. And naturally, before it ended, Moon the Cat hissed at Snoopey. Typical.

Me:        Eh, Moon hisses at me on a regular basis, too. I’m used to it.

Stella:    Which is one of the problems with our world today, Lady Human. I will never get used to a cat hissing at me. How vulgar! Whatever happened to good manners?

Me:        Between bulldogs and cats, I’m not sure good manners ever existed so…why not just accept that Snoopey and Moon are friends. When that happened, I don’t know, but it’s kind of nice to have one bulldog that truly keeps the peace in the house.

Stella:    Snoopey? Peace? Really? Wait. Maybe I’m confused. Is there another Snoopey around here that I don’t know about?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Thingamajigs and Whirligigs – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The ridiculous cat, Moon, is sitting on the kitchen windowsill, taking a sunbath when there is no sun. Which proves my point.

Me:        And that is…

Stella:    What?

Me:        The point you say you proved.

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        Stella, something about the cat, wasn’t it?

Stella;    Oh, yeah! Cats are dumb. Look at her. Sitting there, all stupid and catlike, staring at that human gadget whirligig which, like all human gadgets, is doing some inexplicable thing.


Me:        Your vocabulary has improved.

Stella:    Thank you. I’ve been watching a lot of the Picture Box. You can get really smart by watching lots of shows.

Me:        Well, I’ll reserve judgment on that. And the cat is not stupid unless I am stupid, too. That is a radiometer and when the light hits it just right, it spins inside its glass globe.

Stella:    The light spins the little fan?

Me:        There is a little bit of sun coming in. You can’t see it from where you are standing down there.

Stella:    How does it spin?

Me:        There are these things called electrons. They are invisible to the naked eye.

Stella:    Our eyes are naked?

Me:        To be honest, not just your eyes are naked.

Stella:    How embarrassing. If these elections…

Me:        Electrons.

Stella:    If these electrons are invisible to naked people’s eyes, then you did not make them. Are they another one of those secrets the Great Creator tucks into things to surprise us?

Me:        Yes, I do believe so.

Stella:    But there aren’t any more invisible things in here like those electron thingamajigs.

Me:        Actually…

Stella:    NO! I don’t want to hear it!

Me:        What are you afraid of?

Stella:    What if there are…you know…Shhh! Invisible cats.

Me:        There are no such things as invisible cats.

Stella:    How do you know? They are invisible and your eyes are naked.

Me:         Why are you whispering?

Stella:    Moon is listening.

Moon the Cat:   Meow!

Stella:    You see! She was eavesdripping.

Me:        Eavesdropping.

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Gifts of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        I have an announcement and some questions.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        For the cat.

Stella:    You are asking a cat questions? Total waste of time. If I were you, Lady Human, I would start with the announcement.

Me:        This morning at breakfast…

Stella:    Yes, breakfast was incredibly slow this morning.

Me:        Thank you for noticing, Stella. The reason for the delay is that someone had cut a slit into the new bag of dog food and I had to deal with the literal fallout.

Stella:    TALL MAN! Blame him! He’s not here!

Me:        No, this bag weighs 50 pounds. Tall Man would not have cut the bag in the center. He would have opened it from the top and, if he needed to cut it, he would have used a knife which would have made a neat, clean cut. This cut was only a few inches long and slightly jagged.

Stella:    Don’t look at me.

Me:        I’m not. There were a number of pokes on the bag, from something small and sharp. Like something kept hitting it. I suspect you, Moon the Cat.


Stella:    J’accuse!

Me:        Wait! What?

Stella:    I heard it on the Picture Box. It’s a human word for when you want to yell at somebody.

Me:        I see. Well, Moon, did you cut the dogfood bag open with your claws?

Moon:  Meow.

Stella:    You see. I told you. Typical. Cats won’t answer a straight question with a straight answer.

Me:        She could be saying, ‘Yes’. My understanding of cat is not that good.

Stella:    Why in the world would she open the bag? She doesn’t eat that food. And a good thing for her, too!

Me:        You saw where the bag was.

Stella:    On the floor by Snoopey’s crate.

Me:        And I had noticed a great interest by the bulldogs, except for you, right by Snoopey’s crate the past few days.

Stella:    Sneaky little cat! She opened it for her secret friend, Snoopey! That means…that makes…Aaaaghh! Snoopey is a traitor to bulldogs everywhere!

Me:        She may not have chosen this friend. This friend may have chosen her.

Stella:    A cat? I refuse to believe it. That cat wants something. Why else the bribe? Admit it, Moon! You are trying to get bulldog favor, buying it with the best of all bulldog bribes – food! What have you to say for yourself?

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Secrets of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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

Me: Why are you whispering? What’s wrong?

Stella: Shhh! Wrong? Something is very, very wrong.

Me: Wait a minute. I have to let Tiger out to potty.

Stella: No! Wait!

Tiger: Charge!

Snoopey: Get away! Get away!

Me: What is going on here? Tiger, get back!

Moon the Cat: Meow.

Me: Wait! Moon, where are you?

Moon the Cat: Meow.


Stella: Ask a rational question and get a cat answer.

Me: What? What are you doing in Snoopey’s crate? With Snoopey?

Snoopey: Nothing. We were just sitting in here. UNTIL TIGER SHOWED UP AND TRIED TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!

Me: Tiger! Come back!

Tiger: That cat is MY friend! Why does Snoopey have her trapped?

Me: She’s not trapped…apparently. Neutral corners!

Tiger: Oh! All right!

Me: Snoopey! Come out!

Snoopey: Okey dokey.

Me: Moon! What are you doing in there?

Moon the Cat: Just sitting here. What about it?

Me: Come out.

Moon the Cat: Come out what?

Me: Uggghh! Come out…PLEASE!

Moon the Cat: Oh, very well.

Stella: Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: Moon, how did you get inside Snoopey’s crate?

Moon the Cat: Snoopey wasn’t using it. I am Snoopey’s friend. I figured she wouldn’t mind if I went in and waited around for her.

Me: That is terribly risky. What if she did not want you in her crate? What if she came back to it in a bad mood?

Moon the Cat: We are not like humans. Snoopey is my friend. I am hers. You didn’t even notice any difference when she went into the crate. All was well.

Me: I didn’t see you in there. And all was well until Tiger came over to check it out.

Stella: I tried to warn you, Lady Human. Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: I can’t even believe what I just saw.

Snoopey: What’s not to believe?

Me: You and Moon, together! In your crate! And totally at peace!

Snoopey: Yep.

Me: I’ve never seen that before!

Snoopey: Well, I had never invited her before. She must have accepted my invitation while I was outside.

Stella: Snoopey, you and I are going to have a LONG, LONG TALK about what it means to be a bulldog.

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wash Your Own Face! – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

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

Me:        Oh, come on, girl. It won’t take but a few seconds.

Stella:    Nope. My face belongs to me.

Me:        Does the dirt in your folds and in your nose rope belong to you, too?

Stella:    If you want to wash a face, wash your own.

Me:        I do. Nobody else offers and I can’t wait around.

Stella:    Hands away! Hands away!

Me:        No, Stella, it’s face washing time.

Stella:    I’ll show you! I’ll scrunch my face up.

Me:        I am patient. You can’t hold that scrunch for long.

Stella:    Hey, I am a bulldog. I can scrunch my face forever. How about washing Sweetie’s face? She’s silly. She’ll let you.

Miss Sweetie:    Sure, Lady Human!  Here is my face. Wipe away.


Me:        I will in a little bit, Sweetie. We have to catch Stella while we can.

Stella:    I don’t understand you, Sweetie. Allowing face washing without a struggle. Pffft! Your attitude is most un-bulldoggy.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





No Catty Remarks, Please – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The cat is a rude, loud mouth and must be ignored. Always.

Me:        What’s this about?

Stella:    Rude. Loud. Mouth. You can’t tell me that you didn’t hear her. Meow. Meow. Meow. Typical.

Me:        It means something to her.

Stella:    She lays up there on top of the big chair, looking down on us from her high perch like she’s all that and a bag of bulldog treats, and she starts making these remarks and I know that she is picking on us and putting us down.

Me:        Maybe she’s saying, ‘Hello!’

Stella:    She sees us every day, Lady Human. Why would she say ‘hello’?

Me:        I doubt she’s insulting you.

Stella:    She’s a cat! Why do you think humans call spiteful comments ‘catty’?

Me:        You know about that?

Stella:    I know a lot of things, Lady Human. You would be surprised.

Me:        I already am, Stella.

Stella:    There is no other choice. I must work on a dog/cat dictionary for the benefit of human and dog kind.

Me:        How are you going to accomplish that?

Stella:    Very carefully. And from a safe distance.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stare Down – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I can’t talk now.

Me:        Then why did you introduce yourself?

Stella:    I can’t talk because I am in a stare down with Moon the Cat. It is intense. It is touch and go. But in the end, I am sure that my huge bulldog eyes will win.


Me:        What do you say to that, Moon?

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        This is quite a contest. What are the rules?

Stella:    Ask her.

Moon the Cat:   Meooowww.

Stella:    Must I explain everything? Oh, all right. We stare each other in the eyes. No looking away.

Me:        Is blinking allowed?

Stella:    Of course. What do you think we are? Crazy?

Me:        I haven’t figured that out yet.

Stella:    Whoever looks away, moves away, or falls asleep first, loses!

Me:        Falling asleep is an option?

Stella:    The game can grow boring after a while.

Me:        What if someone interferes?

Stella:    Then we stare at them. Since they can’t stare in two directions at once, they lose.

Me:        This is just for you two, I take it.

Stella:    She is my nemesis and I am hers.

Me:        Okey dokey then. Well, see y’all later.

Stella:    Only if the stare down is still going and you want to play. Remember the rules. You lose.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Blame It on the Cat – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhhhh! Everybody, no barking or fussing. We have something to cover up. Silent, nose-to-nose communication only.

Me:        Wait! What’s going on?

Stella:    Who says anything is going on?

Me:        Your silent, nose-to-nose communication. Did you think that I wouldn’t notice?

Stella:    Yes. The ways of bulldogs are mysterious. Aren’t they?

Me:        Can you identify the source of the bad gas smell in the den?

Stella:    Bad gas smell? Sounds like a human problem. No issue here among the bulldogs. Right, pack? Pack? Hey, a little backup needed here!

Miss Sweetie:    Silent, nose-to-nose communication only, Aunt Stella. Remember? Cover up.

Stella:    Thank you, Sweetie. Why don’t you go sit over there where you can’t hear?

Me:        So, whose stomach is upset?

Stella:    The cat. Yeah, that’s it. The cat. Have you seen? She uses the bathroom in a box INSIDE THE HOUSE! I thought that was against the rules, except for humans who also use the bathroom INSIDE THE HOUSE! Unfair. Unfair. Unfair…

Me:        I don’t believe that Moon is responsible for the bad gas smell.

Stella:    Of course, she would say that!

Me:        I think maybe you have a little stomach upset.

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame! It’s the cat. It’s just like something she would do.

Me:        How about some pumpkin in your food?

Stella:    Well…I don’t know.

Me:        You like pumpkin, right?

Stella:    Well…maybe a little would be okay.

Me:        There. I don’t think we will be experiencing any more bad gas smell problems in a while.

Stella:    Now if only you would do something about the cat.






Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Urgent Alert! There is a Cat in the House! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is an urgent alert! Ring the alarm bells! All eyes open! There is a cat in the house!

Me:        Of course, there is a cat in the house. Our cat, Moon, is in the house.

Stella:    No, this is a different cat! Everybody, be on the lookout!

Me:        Stella, I guarantee that there is no strange cat in the house. I took Moon to the vet. She’s a little tired, that’s all.

Stella:    Nope, Moon never leaves the house.

Me:        She does when she goes to the vet.

Stella:    And Moon prisses around all over, flaunting her cattiness in our faces. This strange cat seems sweet and quiet. Not like a scratcher at all.

Me:        She got a vaccination. She doesn’t like her cat carrier or riding in the car. She complained to me the whole way there and the whole way back.


Stella:    That shows how dumb cats are. Who in their right mind doesn’t like riding in a car? That doesn’t sound like our Moon. She is too smart to disdain a car ride.

Me:        Let her have a good nap and she will be back to her usual self.

Stella:    There she is! Charge! Ouch! Hey, it is Moon!

Me:        I guess she didn’t need that nap after all.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The “I Don’t Need” List – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have a list of things I need…

Me:        Before you get going on that, I have a different list. Things I don’t need.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        Hear me out. Number one: I don’t need the incessant barking for no reason. I came home today, and everybody was barking and barking and there was no need for it.

Stella:    We will be the judge of that.

Me:        Well, I’m the judge of this. When you all are barking for no reason that I can tell, it sounds very much like you are yelling at me.

Stella:    We would never yell at you. Not all at once. How could anyone understand what was being said?

Me:        Try as I may, I don’t understand when you are barking one at a time. Item Number Two: I don’t need you to chase the cat or egg on anyone else to chase the cat. Doodlebug NEVER chased Moon the Cat before the other day and now he charges her every time he comes in from outdoors. I think you are encouraging him.

Stella:    I am simply urging him to seek his own bulldog path. Cat chasing is perfectly normal for a young bulldog.

Me:        Not in my house.

Stella:    Your house? Since when?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Champion Cat Catcher – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! I am so proud of my boy, Doodlebug, that even though he is not my son, I am adopting him as my son and the heir to my cat-chasing, cat-tackling legacy.

Doodlebug:   So now I have 2 moms?

Stella:    Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Doodlebug:   Since you are the Queen and I am now your son, does that mean that I am the King?

Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:        The Prince?


Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:   Pooh!

Stella:    Because of your great feat yesterday, you are our champion cat chaser, cat tackler, cat…

Doodlebug:   Hugger!

Stella:    No, Doodle! Hush! Ugly talk!

Me:   Stella! Doodlebug is a free-style cat chaser. Not everybody chases cats in the same way. In fact, before yesterday, I had never seen Doodle put any effort into chasing the cat at all.

Stella:   Yeah, and then all of a sudden, he was a natural. I am so proud. He charged around and saw the cat sleeping in your chair. Sleeping in YOUR chair! Where is your self-respect, Lady Human? Allowing a cat to sleep in your personal space? Really?

Me:        And, all of a sudden, Doodlebug was on top of the cat, completely covering her with his big old Doodlebug body. And she didn’t scratch him or bite him or hiss at him.

Stella:    A tactical error on her part.

Me:        He eased back, and she scooted away.

Doodlebug:  Cats are soft.

Stella:    Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:   Cats are cuddly and huggable.

Stella:    Doodle, stop!

Doodlebug:   Cats are our friends.

Stella:    Noooo! Heresy! You are a bulldog!

Me:        Well, Moon the Cat is none the worse for wear.


Stella:    Awww! The cat is not afraid of bulldogs! The world has changed! All is lost! Oh, well. There’s always tomorrow.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Arrest of Doodlebug – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby order the arrest of Doodlebug. Offense: Rampaging without a license. Disorderly conduct (even for a bulldog). General disobedience.

Me:        I am trying to catch him now. Can you help?

Stella:    I am not that fast, Lady Human. Sorry. He does not obey anyone. That is why you have my permission, my edict in fact, to arrest him. Take him into custody. Now. Please.

Me:        Doodle, come here!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Catch me if you can. What’s that over there?

Me:        Something that is not yours. Come here, boy!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Nope. What’s that over there?

Me:        My phone! No!

Doodlebug:        Okay. Wait. What’s this over here?

Snoopey:   Hey! My blanket! Leave it alone!

Doodlebug:   Oh, okay! Hey, what’s that?

Stella:    You know. It’s the Cat. Go, Doodlebug, go!

Me:   Stop!

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Doodle, stop! There! I got you. Leash arrest.

Doodlebug:   Awwww.


Me:   Let’s go outside and run around. Get all the excess energy out.

Doodlebug:   Are you going outside, too?

Me:        Sure. I’ll go outside with you.

Doodlebug:   Will you run around?

Me:        No, not so much. Excess energy is not my particular issue.

Doodlebug:   When we come back in, will I still be under arrest?

Me:        Will you behave?

Doodlebug:        No.

Me:   Oh, all right, no. You won’t be under arrest. Never mind.

Stella:   She gives up too easily, Doodlebug. I am the Queen. Do what I say.

Doodlebug:   Mmmm. Nope.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





The Bulldog F-Word – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogge. There are some words that people should not use, especially not in our delicate ears or the ears of human puppies. Humans have all kinds of ugly words that they use to insult other humans, insult dogs, insult cats…never mind. Insulting cats is an art form.

Me:        Are you saying that there is a bulldog F-word?

Stella:    Of course. You’ve heard it. We have discussed it before.

Me:        And what, pray tell, is that word?

Stella:    You know.

Me:        No, I don’t.

Stella:    Yes, you do. I told you before. I just didn’t admit that it was like the human F-word.

Me:        I don’t remember…

Stella:    Pffft!

Me:        Stella! Really?

Stella:    Pffft!

Me:        Why are you using your F-word at me?

Stella:    You asked for it.

Me:        Well, yes, but I didn’t think you actually had one.

Stella:    Would I lie to you?

Me:        I don’t think so.

Stella:    So, pffft!

Me:        Oh, Stella.

Stella:    What’s wrong?

Me:        Let me quote my grandmother when she heard a dirty word. “Hush! Ugly talk!”

Stella:    Your grandmother must not have been much fun to be around. Pffft!

Me:        Stella! Why are you cussing at me?

Stella:    I don’t know. Maybe because you don’t do what I want you to do.

Me:        Is that a good reason to cuss at someone?

Stella:    It’s a reason. Maybe not a good reason. Pffft.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Hiding Space – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. SHHHHH!!!! Don’t say anything! Maybe she won’t find me. Hiding is hard when you are shaped like a four-legged, 50-pound tank. I’ll squeeze back here. Nope. That won’t work. My back half is sticking out. If I can avoid her long enough, maybe she’ll forget about me, and then the danger will pass. I can squeeze behind the couch. Hey! Cat! Move it! Bulldog coming through! Make way! What do you mean ‘meow’? Hiss!!! How about that? Does that get your attention?

Me:        Stella! Hey, Stella! Come here, girl. Just for a minute.

Stella:    Just for a minute. Huh. A likely story. I can smell it. She forgets I have a dog’s nose. A poor thing, but my own, and it serves me at times like these. If I can just…scrunch down…a little bit more…I can wait out the threat back here.

Moon the Cat:   Meooww.


Stella:    SHHHHH!!!! Whisper!!! Don’t you understand anything? She’s got that bottle of sour-scented water in her hand.

Me:        Stellaaaa!

Moon the Cat:   Meooowww.

Stella:    SHHHHH!!!!

Moon the Cat:   Why don’t you want her to take care of your ears?

Stella:    What? You speak my language? Why haven’t you done this before?

Moon the Cat:   Bulldoggese is a difficult tongue for a cat. Very rough. It beats up my mouth. Why don’t you learn my language instead?

Stella:    A preposterous notion. The very idea!

Me:        Oh, Stella, there you are. Come here. Just for a minute.

Stella:    No. No! No!!! Now see what you’ve done, Cat!

Moon the Cat:   I helped you find the Lady Human. You are welcome.

Me:        It won’t take a second and you know it makes your ears feel better, Stella. There. That’s one ear. Now for the other.

Stella:    Eeeggghhh. Eeeggghhh! Eeeggghhh!!

Me:        You see. All done. Until next time.

Stella:    Until next time. Destroyer of hope.

Me:        What’s better? To suffer the itch and pain of ear infections or to take arms against them and, by opposing, end them.

Stella:   You made that up. Strange words from someone who does not put drops of sour water into her own ears.

Me:        Thank you, Moon, for alerting me to Stella’s whereabouts.

Moon the Cat:   Glad to have been of help. Not really. Meow.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Why Do Cats Get An Indoor Toilet? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, dogs of any type really, are forced to go outside to potty, while humans and… ugh…cats get to go to the bathroom indoors. Even our parakeet, Pearl, is allowed to potty inside. This is horribly unfair, especially on bad weather days. Dogs are expected to endure heat, cold, rain, snow (whatever that is), ice (whatever that is), hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms…

Me:        Okay, we get the picture. By the way, we have never had a hurricane here. By the time they get here, they’re some rain and a strong breeze and little else. And, if we do have a tornado or two or sixteen in one day like we had a few years ago, we don’t send anyone outside.

Stella:    If cats are allowed to use the toilet inside on all occasions, why aren’t we?

Me:        Think about that for a minute. Cats have an instinct to use a box or a hole and to cover up what they do. Bulldogs, on the other hand…

Stella:    Hey, I wipe my feet every time I potty.

Me:        I know. If I gave you each a litter box, would you all really use it?

Stella:    Hmmm. I would have to say…Nope, definitely not. Nope. Not bulldoggy enough. Too confining. You will never take our FREEDOM!

Me:        So, you will continue to potty outside? For the freedom?

Stella:    Of course, when you put it that way. Cats don’t know what they are missing. But then again, cats always have a warm potty.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.