Bulldog Rampage – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and here we are again at the Bulldog Rampage. I will be calling the action except for when I am chasing the cat. Coming out of the chute in order are…

Me:        Whoah! Bulldog Rampage? Not again!

Stella:    Of course, again. All right, everybody get ready. Lady Human interrupted. In order, here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug, Snoopey…Snoopey…Snoopey!

Snoopey:   What?

Stella:    Rampage time!

Snoopey:   Nope.

Stella:    Why not?

Snoopey:   I’m tired.

Tiger:   You can leave me out, too. I refuse to rampage with Snoopey.

Stella:    Didn’t you hear? Snoopey is sitting out.

Tiger:   Well, in that case, I’m really sitting out. She’s not better than me.

Stella:    Fine! Here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug! And me! Where is that cat?

Miss Sweetie:   Up on Tall Man’s chair! Now up on the couch! Run! Run! Uh-oh!

Stella:    Sweetie is off to a fast start with two pieces of furniture under her belt and a great sideways floor slide. Scrambling back up on her feet, she’s made it to the trash in the kitchen!

Me:        Noooo!

Stella:    Meanwhile, Doodlebug got off to a slow start, but he is making up for it by head slinging drool all across the room as he runs. Not missing a beat! Great distribution! Now where’s that cat?

Me:        She heard you coming. Rampaging is hard to hide.

Stella:    Wiggles is bringing up the rear, but she is well into her comma dancing. Real style! She shows that a bulldog does not have to jump on furniture, dig in the trash, or sling drool to rampage.

Wiggles:   Trash? There’s trash? Let me at it!

Me:        Whoah again! My legs are standing here!

Miss Sweetie:   Beep! Beep! I haven’t jumped on your chair yet! Woo-hoo!

Doodlebug:   Awww. I’m all out of drool. Let me lick my way through.

Me:        Noooo! Wet everywhere!

Stella:    Not a problem, Lady Human. It will dry. Now, where’s that cat?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Humans are Idiots – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    What was that?

Me:        No “I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges” announcement…

Stella:    No! Lady Human, this is serious. What was that noise?

Me:        Some people are shooting off fireworks. And guns. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. It’s a big celebration day. Remember. We talked about this before.

Stella:    The noises were never so loud before. This sounds like those lightning storms that crack the sky.

Me:        The explosions do sound closer this year. We must have some new neighbors.

Stella;    This is not neighborly! This is rude! And dangerous.

Me:        Yes. A neighbor not too far away found a spent bullet on their front porch this morning.

Stella:    Noooo! What if their dog had been sitting there?

Me:        Or their child?

Stella:    Why do humans do such things?

Me:        We’ve talked about this before, too, remember? Humans are idiots. Not all of us. And not all the time. But quite a few of us a lot of the time. A few years before you came, we had a roofing contractor out and he found two bullet holes in our roof. Bullets that had fallen from the sky, probably from miles away.

Stella:    Lady Human, you are not making me feel any better.

Me:        Bottom line, those bullets hit our roof and we did not know a thing about it. God covered us that night. I pray that He does every night.

Stella:    So we can go outside?

Me:        The Great Creator does not invite us to be foolish. We will stay in tonight.

Stella:    Look at Snoopey. She is the bravest among us and she is so scared right now.

Me:        I will take care of Snoopey. She is coming back to my room and we will watch a movie and maybe sing a quiet song.

Stella:    Hey, no fair. You are going to have a Fourth of July party without us?

Me:        No, we are going to have a nice, quiet evening where nothing extraordinary happens. No fear. No harm. Happy Fourth of July, Stella.

Stella:    Thank the Great Creator for me that we have a roof to cover us.

Me:        Amen.

Stella:    Why doesn’t the cat get scared?

Me:         Cat.

Stella:     Oh yeah. No fair.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Psalm 91:4 KJV


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stop Clucking in Our Ears! You Sound Like a Chicken! – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, guard my ears from nonsense noises and that is hard living with a pack of bulldogs. But today it was not a bulldog assaulting my ears. It was far worse than that.

It was a cat. Moon the Cat, to be precise. She was making clucking noises in Lady Human’s ear and I heard it. Clucking noises! Who does that? She is a cat! Where was the meowing that we are so often subjected to? A cat should act like a cat. Clucking is for chickens and I know that the cat has not been hanging around with them.

Me:        It was really no big deal.

Stella:    How do you define “big deal”? Since when is a cat clucking like a chicken not a big deal? Is this yet another cat/chicken conspiracy? Are cats and chickens uniting against bulldogs? Are they now speaking a common language? Is this a prelude to war? NOOOOO!!

Me:        Wait. A war between bulldogs on one side and cats and chickens on the other?

Stella:    What else can it be? A cat was clucking, Lady Human! A cat! Clucking!

Me:        I don’t think it is a real problem. I did tell Moon to stop doing it in my ear.

Stella:    There is a plot afoot. Ignore it if you will, but one day, all of us may be clucking in cat-ese like a bunch of chickens.

Me:        Flock.

Stella:    I beg your pardon?

Me:        Granted.

Stella:    Hmmmph! Cats!

Me:        Hmmmph! Bulldogs!

Stella:    What?

Me:        Nothing.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Bulldog Dining in Style – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Yay you! I have a question.

Stella:    We bulldogs are fascinating creatures. There is always a question to ask about us.

Me:        Snoopey and Tiger would rather eat food off the floor than food out of their bowls. Why?

Stella:    Why not?


Me:        Why not? Because food on the floor can have dirt or dog hair in it. Food on the floor can be stale, something dropped and missed a day or two ago. Food on the floor can have been stepped on by humans or dogs or, worse, by a cat.

Stella:    Ewww! I hadn’t thought of that! Cat feet!

Me:        Is that all? Cat feet? What about dirt and hair and staleness and…

Stella:    I think you have forgotten the main point, Lady Human.

Me:        Eating off the floor is the main point.

Stella:    Nope. Being a dog, and more specifically, being a bulldog is the main point.

Me:        But even a bulldog should prefer fresh food in a bowl to old nasty food on the floor. AND if they can’t find food on the floor, they deliberately spill their food out of their bowls and proceed to eat the floor food. Why? I just want to understand.

Stella:    I don’t understand the question.

Me:        You never see humans spill their food on purpose and eat it off the floor.

Stella:    So, what’s the problem?

Me:        You don’t do it.

Stella:    No, I don’t, but I am the Queen. It wouldn’t do to have the bulldogs see me eating off the floor.

Me:        So why do Tiger and Snoopey do it?

Stella:    Personal preference. Don’t you humans believe in freedom?

Me:        But why just those two?

Stella:    Maybe eating off the floor feels more like the hunt to them. They don’t really have to find food, but it is more of a challenge than kibble in a bowl, more like the old, old game of survival.

Me:        And you don’t like that game.

Stella:    Lady Human, I am far too civilized to go back to the old ways. Just keep putting my food in a shiny silver bowl, thank you. The only time I hunt is when I don’t have to.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Beware the Cat’s Paws! – Conversations with Stella

To all puppies in the world: I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello!

Today I am here to warn you in case your mothers and your negligent humans have failed to do so.

Me:        Negligent humans?

Stella:    You know what I am talking about. Humans and their little secrets. Secrets like cat’s paws!

Me:        What? What secret? Cats have paws. Surprise! Surprise!

Stella:    And what do those paws have, Lady Human? Tell the puppies of the world what those paws hide! CLAWS! Real, live CLAWS!


Me:        Well, yeah. I guess that’s true, but…

Stella:    But nothing! Understand this, puppies! That soft padded little paw that is quietly walking your way looks like a furry cotton ball, all sweetness, but BOING! Out pop the claws. You never see them until it is too late.

Me:        Now, Stella, when has it ever been too late for you…oh, I forgot.

Stella:    You forgot, but I? Never!

Me:        You met those exposed claws because you were chasing Moon the Cat. You could have left well enough alone.

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!

Me:        The Bible tells us that there are things to remember and things to forget. I think it is time that you forget when Moon defended herself with her nails. And she could have done a whole lot worse to you than a few pinpricks on the muzzle. She showed you mercy.

Stella:    Still my warning goes out to the world of puppies! Beware the paws with hidden claws!

Me:        What about your paws – your big, heavy, slapping paws?

Stella:    My nails aren’t hidden. They are out in the open for all to see. Besides, my paw taps are love pats. You love me, don’t you?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Love me, love my paws.

Me:        And the cat?

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Do the Bulldog Conga – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, still Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, feeling a little left out the past few days as Lady Human and Tall Man have been partying with humans and have not even had the decency to bring home leftovers or include us in their human shenanigans.

Me:        I am sorry. No bulldogs were invited.

Stella:    For shame, Lady Human! A whole world of bulldogs and none were allowed. Without bulldogs, I’ll bet it was boring.

Me:        No. It was pretty fun. One of the guests pulled me into a conga line and I actually danced. Well, it was more like a slow run, but I still did it. That’s so unlike me.

Stella:    What is a ‘conga line’?

Me:        Everybody gets in a line and you put your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you and you start moving to the music. Our line snaked around the room in between tables, and we danced until the music stopped.

Stella:    More like slow running.

Me:        Yeah, but we laughed a lot.

Stella:    Bulldogs can conga line. We put our feet on each other’s shoulders all the time. And we can slow run. We might fall off, but we can climb back on.

Me:        And someone will snarl. And someone will snap or growl. And then a fight might break out.

Stella:    Exactly, just like the humans. We would feel right at home.

Me:        It was probably better that there were no bulldogs allowed. It might have gotten overcrowded.

Stella:    We still should have been invited. That would’ve been polite.

Me:        But then we would have had to invite collies and corgis.

Stella:    I like collies and corgis.

Me:        And Labradors and poodles.

Stella:    I like Labradors and poodles.

Me:        And then we would have had to invite cats.

Stella:    NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO CATS ALLOWED! If cats come to a party, I won’t attend!

Me:        What’s so bad about cats at a party?

Stella:    Cats do NOT know how to conga!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Special Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs – not the Olde French Bulldogs (even though I love their little bodies and cute smooshy faces), not the Olde Russian Bulldogs (I think that they do not exist, so how could I be their queen?), or even the Olde American Bulldogs (as there are no “old” style American anythings. Americans are all “new style”, so there!)

Hello, humans and dogs. And cats, if any are reading this (which I doubt).

Allow me to introduce my subject of the day. ME! Me, me, me, wonderful me! Me all the time, all day and all night! Me, me, me, special bulldog me!

Why am I so special? Permit me to explain.

Me:        I know you will whether you are permitted to or not.

Stella:    Never mind Lady Human, dear readers. She is envious of my specialness.

Me:        As if that’s a real thing.

Stella:    I am special because, unlike the humans (and some dogs), I do not pay attention to the human news. What do I do instead? NAP! Try it out. It is wonderful. If I don’t feel like napping through the human news, I snack. That is why I always save a little bit of my food for later, unlike the other bulldogs who seem to think that woofing it all down in a few minutes is the way to go. If I don’t like what I am hearing on the human news, I can drown it out with crunching. I recommend it, humans. Crunching good food drowns out a lot of other noise.

Do you know why else I am special?

Me:        I await with bated breath.

Stella:    Bated breath? Is that like bulldog breath after Doodlebug has eaten something that he shouldn’t have? Because if it is that, ewww! Not interested!

Me:        No, it means I can’t wait to hear what else you have to say about your specialness.

Stella:    Well, in that case, let me tell you. I am special because Lady Human lets me come into her room and she helps me get up on her bed and she doesn’t mind if I start flipping around and get really excited and grin a lot and even drool (a little – I am not a big time drooler) and I breathe heavily and lick her and step on her. She doesn’t mind if I think her room stinks of weird smells and I want to leave suddenly. She does not take it personally. And so, there it is. I am special.

Me:        Yes, you are.

Stella:    You think so, too!

Me:        Yes, and some day, if you are ready for a good cry, I will tell you all the reasons why, I believe, God Most High brought you to me. Special me.

Stella:    I would like to hear that, Lady Human. But meanwhile, it’s not special you. It’s Special Me.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





What is Friday and Why Do The Humans Go Crazy Over It? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello, humans and everyone else! It is Friday. So what? The humans seem to put a great deal of stock in this day every week. Why? Is this just another silly human tradition? Today looked like any other day to me, except that Lady Human made a special trip out to get cat food.

Me:        You weren’t upset when I make a special trip to pick up your food.

Stella:    Of course not. That is necessary. But cat food? Why can’t the cat eat our food, not that I am giving any of our food away, but really? A special food for cats? Why couldn’t you have picked hers up at the same time you picked ours up?

Me:        Are you truly so concerned with efficiency? Making one trip instead of two?

Stella:    No. I don’t care, except I don’t like it when you go off on errands and we have to stay at home.

Me:        Every time I come home, all I hear when I open the door is bulldog snoring. It’s not as though you are sitting there waiting for me.

Stella:    It is called ‘using time wisely’. Why stare at a wall when you can get a good nap in?

Me:        To answer your question, I have to go to a different place entirely to pick up the cat’s food. She has a sensitive stomach and can’t eat just any old thing.

Stella:    Of course she can! We have sensitive stomachs and you don’t see us holding back. We eat any old thing we find outside. Found food is the best kind. But…

Me:        But?

Stella:    Friday.

Me:        Friday?

Stella:    The humans make such a big deal about Friday. What is Friday?

Me:        Friday is the last workday of the week for many humans. Then the two-day weekend starts.

Stella:    So? Every day is the same. Giving a day a name doesn’t make it special. Just like you giving the cat a name doesn’t change her into a dog.

Me:        Friday has a special feel to it for people who don’t work on Saturday and Sunday. Lot of humans go out to eat or go to a movie or visit friends, stuff like that. Others just chill out. Evening is the beginning of Sabbath when some gather with family and friends to worship and to consider the things of God.

Stella:    And you go to buy special cat food. That is sad, Lady Human, really sad. You could at least buy bulldog treats or something useful like that instead.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Watch Where You’re Walking; It’s a Jungle Out There – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Lady Human, why are you lying on the ground? It is dirty. And why is red stuff dripping from your nose? And why are you carrying that silly little light in your hand?

Me:        I was out here with a flashlight, looking for Doodlebug in the dark. I called and called and he didn’t come. Then I tripped over a fallen branch and hit my nose on the ground. How’s that for a story?

Stella:    That’s a stupid story. It has no point.

Me:        I think the point is to watch where you’re walking, especially in the dark. And carry a big flashlight.

Stella:    I hear Doodlebug. He’s chewing on something behind the chicken run.

Me:        Uhhh. You know what he said when I fell. “Hmph. Hmph.” Literally. That’s all he said.

Stella:    That’s what I would have said.

Me:        He hasn’t even come over to check on me.

Stella:    Well, you are a human. You have great big human power. But get up! You look like Wiggles does when she’s been rolling around in the dirt. Long, round, and lazy. Like a hot dog. By the way, do you have a hot dog on you?

Me:        Why would I have a hot dog on me when I was out here looking for Doodlebug in the dark?

Stella:    I don’t know. A barbecue could’ve broken out. Do I need to drag you back into the house, bulldog style?

Me:        No, I’ll be all right once I stop my bloody nose. I don’t think you could pull me in by yourself anyway.

Stella:    How insulting! You have no idea what I can do in an emergency.

Me:        You can do one thing for me. You can pull Doodlebug inside for me.

Stella:    Sure thing, Lady Human. I just need a little incentive. You wouldn’t happen to have a hot dog on you, would you?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Cat Has Friggin’ Eye Lasers! – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        I know who you are.

Stella:    This is an official request. You must call your human government now. This is an emergency. I think it may be even more serious than when the giant insects attacked.

Me:        Stella, we’ve gone over this. No giant insects ever attacked. Never, ever, ever. Now tell me what’s wrong.

Stella:    Shhhh! Whisper! She’ll hear us.

Me:        Who will hear us?

Stella:    Moon, the cat.

Me:        What will she hear?

Stella:    That I saw the lasers in her eyes. Call the army people. They need to know. We can’t be sure when she will use them. She has kept them a secret for a long time.


Me:        What you saw were the natural reflectors in her eyes, not lasers.

Stella:    No, they were lasers, just like on those Star Trek shows that you are always watching and watching and watching and watching…

Me:        On Star Trek, they use phasers.

Stella:    Whatever they are called. The shiny, beamy things.

Me:        Stella, stop worrying. I’ve seen Moon’s eye beams before. Cats have reflectors in their eyes that help them gather light so that they can hunt better in the dark. God made them that way.

Stella:    Why didn’t He give us that equipment?

Me:        You will have to ask Him. He did not give that to humans either. But He did give you all those wonderful noses.

Stella:    I would prefer eye lasers.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Pouting Is An Art Form – Conversations with Stella

Hello. I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I will not be saying much today because I am pouting and, to be effective, pouting must be done correctly. So there. Hmph!

Me:        Pouting. Pouting about what?

Stella:    Hmph!

Me:        Stella, what’s got you all pouty?

Stella:    Paahrrrr!

Me:        I see you blowing your cheeks out.

Stella:    Paahrrrr!

Me:        Here let me try. Pruhhh!

Stella:    No, not like that. It has to be done right to get a reaction. Like this – Paahrrrr! Blow your cheeks out more. Not so much lip fluttering.

Me:        Why so pouty?

Stella:    Hmph. I don’t have to answer that question.

Me:        Oh-kay. Well, I’m going to read a little and then take a nap. See you later.


Me:        I wonder if there is something good on TV. No, probably not.

Stella:    PAY ATTENTION! Pouting is no good unless somebody watches you do it. NO ONE CAN POUT ALONE!

Me:        I am glad you told me the rules. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

Stella:    NO! No excusing. Watch me pout. Pay attention to ME! I AM MAD! Well, not mad. I don’t want anyone to think that I am a “mad dog” because people don’t like “mad dogs” and I’m not a “mad dog”. I have had all my shots and…

Me:        I thought you weren’t going to talk much today. How about just admitting that you are pouting because I won’t let you jump on the cat and she is over on the couch right now, resting on her cat bed.

Stella:    Hmph! Pout. Pout. Pout. Hmph! All these people talking about a dog’s purpose. I’ll tell you what this bulldog’s purpose is – to chase that cat. And to pout when I don’t get my way. So here I am – Stella, the Cat-Chasing, Cat-Catching, Cat-Scratched, Pouting-Like-a-Boss Bulldog, being kept from fulfilling my bulldog purpose. Mwaah!

Me:        Hey, how about a treat?

Stella:    Sure! Give it here! You know napping may be one of my other purposes. I’ll pursue that one for a little while and get back to the other ones later.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t You Dare Build That Wall! – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby decree that the humans are forbidden from building a wall to keep me off the cat’s couch bed!

Me:        How about this? I hereby decree that you are forbidden from jumping on the cat’s bed again!

Stella:    Are you a queen? If you are not an official queen, you are not authorized to issue any decrees.

And who jumped on the cat? When did this happen?

Me:        Stella, you know what you did.

Stella:    She teased me. She mocked me with her little meowy voice.

Me:        I was right there. I heard no teasing.

Stella:    Yeah, well, I think your hearing is not as sharp as it used to be. You seem tuned out to cat noises.

Me:        I saw you staring at her and you ignored me when I called you. What you were planning was written all over your face.

Stella:    What? Who’s been writing on my face?

Me:        Before I could move to block you, up you went on the couch, standing over poor ole Moon, freaking her out of her cat mind…

Stella:    Not hard to do. She’s too sensitive. I didn’t even drool on her. This time.

Me:        And then you struck that pose that looked like you had just conquered Everest.

Stella:    Everest? Is that another cat?

Me:        No, it’s a big mountain. And yes, I am building a barrier so you can’t access the cat’s bed. Ever since you did that, the cat has been sticking to all her highest places.

Stella:    Like Everest? That’s all right. I can learn to mountain climb. Go ahead and build your wall, Lady Human. If I can climb a mountain, I can climb a wall.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Are You Turning Into a Cat? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella. I am a queen. I am an Olde English Bulldogge. At least I know what I am. Lady Human, on the other hand, is acting weird.

Me:        Weird how? I’m not acting weird. I’m just being me.

Stella:    Why are you playing with string?

Me:        String? No, this is yarn. I am crocheting.

Stella:    It looks like string. You know who plays with string, don’t you? CATS! That’s who!

Me:        Well, this is crocheting and I am not a cat.

Stella:    Cat is as cat does.

Me:        Stella, humans don’t just turn into cats. Or dogs. This is crocheting. It is a human activity.

Stella:    Looks suspiciously like cat string play to me.

Me:        I was planning on making you a sweater. Does that sound like something a cat would do?

Stella:    Yes, a sneaky cat trying to tangle me up in a string ball.

Me:        I’m no cat and I am not trying to tangle you up in anything. I thought you might like a sweater for this cold weather.

Stella:    A sweater. That would be nice. Are you making one for yourself? We could be twins.

Me:        No, I have sweaters.

Stella:    What about one for Tall Man? We don’t want him to get cold.

Me:        No, not for Tall Man. Truthfully, my crocheting is not quite good enough for human tastes yet.

Stella:    Wait! Are you making a goofy sweater out of string to put on me? Am I an… what is that human word? An experiment? Am I an experiment? NOOOO!

Me:        If it doesn’t turn out or if it doesn’t fit, you don’t have to wear it.

Stella:    Promise?

Me:        Promise.

Stella:    All right. Deal. So long as you don’t keep taking up cat habits. And if you can make a sweater out of string, can you, maybe, when you have time…can you make me a crown?


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Quiet! Don’t Speak! I’ll Do the Talking – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen and Illustrious Old English Bulldogge, and I demand to know what you were up to for most of the day, Lady Human. You were not responding to our beck and call. What is beck anyway?

Me:        I was resting.

Stella:    Why are you whispering?

Me:        I have laryngitis.

Stella:    Really? May I have some?

Me:        Laryngitis means my vocal chords are inflamed and I have lost my voice.

Stella:    Inflamed! Who set them on fire? Let me at ‘em! I’ll teach them not to set things that are not theirs on fire! Where did you lose your voice? Was it in the back yard? I can organize the bulldogs into a search party. Point us in the right direction and we will find your voice for you. Of course, I will have to make clear that no one is to eat it if they find it. You know how bulldogs are.

Me:        Yes. As in Miss Sweetie eating the paper towel.

Stella:    Sweetie is too young to have good taste yet. At least her stomach had the good sense to throw it up.

Me:        I’ll need your help until my voice comes back.

Stella:    Your quiet, indoor voice whispering will be fine. You know how obedient we are…Right? Lady Human?…Oh, I understand. You are being quiet because your voice is still lost out there in the yard. Never fear. I will use my royal voice on your behalf.

Me:        Okay, first things first. No cat chasing.

Stella:    I beg your pardon.

Me:        You have it since you are the main cat chaser.

Stella:    I’m sorry. I couldn’t quite hear that.

Me:        You heard me, Stella.

Stella:    No. You are speaking so quietly.

Me:        Then let me repeat myself.

Stella:    Please don’t.

Me:        No cat chasing. That stirs everyone up and is not helpful to me at all.

Stella:    Cat chasing is a tradition among my people. You would not interfere with a cultural tradition, would you? Of course not.

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Wow! Your whispers can be very loud.




Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Bulldog Priorities – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, Illustrious and Noble and still crown-less. And might I add Stella the Cat Catcher. All I can say is OW!

Me:        And you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Stella:    You didn’t tell me that cat claws hurt.

Me:        Did you think that they were purely decorative? I warned you not to chase Moon the Cat. You chose to do that instead of getting petted. What was that about?

Stella:    First things first. Cat chasing, then pets and rubs and scratching. Human scratching does not hurt. Why do cat claws hurt?

Me:        Cat claws are functional weapons for defense and, if necessary, for catching food and establishing territorial boundaries. My fingernails, not so much. I told you…

Stella:    I know. I know. Don’t chase the cat.

Me:        She could have done a lot worse to you. You have a tiny blood pinprick on your nose and one on your muzzle.

Stella:    Ow. It doesn’t hurt so much now. Did she mess up my beautiful face?

Me:        Not at all. By tomorrow, no one will be able to tell that it happened, not even you. You understand what your mistake was, don’t you? The other bulldogs chase the cat and never have gotten swiped by her. You don’t just chase her; you insist on catching her.

Stella:    I never hurt her. I never bite. I just drool on her a little.

Me:        You could pull back at the last second and do a stare down the way the others do. But Noooo…not Stella the Cat Catcher.

Stella:    All right. All right. I am so embarrassed. For today only, my name is Stella the Cat-Scratched. Don’t say it in front of the others. It makes my ears cramp up just thinking about it. But tomorrow Stella the Cat Catcher will be back, bigger and bolder than ever. I know what I want for Christmas, Lady Human. A big scary mask and a helmet. CHARGE!

Me:        And I can get Moon the Cat a pair of cat-sized boxing gloves. That might save a lot of trouble.




Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Are Trees Living in a Parking Lot? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen.

Me:        Is that all? Queen of what?

Stella:   Queen of all I see. And today I see a parking lot with trees growing in it. Many, many tall green trees. How did this happen? I am a dog and even I know that trees grow in the dirt.

Me:        Those are cut trees for Christmas. They aren’t growing there. They grew far away and were brought in by trucks.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        For Christmas trees.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Because some people like to put up a fresh tree in the house for a decoration at this time of year.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        It’s an old tradition in some places.

Stella:    Places like parking lots?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Is this one of those weird human things?

Me:        Well, it’s a thing that some humans do, but the humans who do it are not weird. Necessarily.

Stella:    Are you going to bring a wild tree into our house, Lady Human?

Me:        No, I’m doing what I did last year and the year before. I have a tiny artificial tree that I put on a table and decorate.

Stella:    Why don’t you bring a big wild tree into our house? It would be so fun.

Me:        Bulldog fun. Can you imagine what a tree would look like after Miss Sweetie or Doodlebug had bulldog fun with it?

Stella:    Yes! Yes, I can! Best parking lot tree ever!



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

I Am So Mad and I Like It! – Conversations with Stella

Lady Human!

Me:        That’s me! What? No long introduction about who you are?

Stella:    There is no time! I am highly offended and I can’t let this nasty feeling wear off!

Me:        Why do you want to hold on to a nasty feeling?

Stella:    Being angry feels good.

Me:        Yeah, sometimes. Until it sours your stomach. Dare I ask why you are offended?

Stella:    Whether you ask or not, I will tell you. MOON THE CAT!


Me:        What about her?

Stella:    She looked right at me, right in the eye, and said…listen to this! She said, ‘MEOW!’ Aaaaaghhh! I am so mad!

Me:        I am not good at interpreting cat dialects. That sounds like the same thing she says every day. Why is this different?

Stella:    It was a cat insult and she meant it! MEOW! She shouted it! How would she feel if I said, “Hey, cat! How dumb are you!” Right in her face! On television, I saw humans carrying signs and marching in the streets. I want a sign, Lady Human! I want to march around the cat, carrying a sign that says, ‘Cat, shut up!’ and ‘No More Meows!’

Me:        All right. This is going to sound like a lecture, but why don’t you just forgive her and go on with your life?

Stella:    She yelled MEOW at me. That’s a fightin’ word.

Me:        I figure every word a cat says to you is a fightin’ word. But not every word is worth fighting over. Why don’t you try walking up to her and saying something nice?

Stella:    Like what? ‘Hey, Moon, your face isn’t as ugly today as it usually is.’

Me:        Maybe something kinder like ‘Hey, I like the way you can jump up on tall things.’

Stella:    I don’t like that. I never know when she is going to pounce on my head.

Me:        She has never done that. I think you have blown this whole thing out of proportion.

Stella:    Easy for you to say. She has never yelled MEOW in your face. You just wait. One of these days I am going to yell MEOW right back at her. Then we’ll see who out-cats who.

Me:        Stella the Bull-cat.

Stella:    What did you call me?

Me:        Nothing.

Stella:    Aw, the nasty mood is fading. I knew it wouldn’t stay around.

Me:        Aren’t you starting to feel better?

Stella:    Yes. It’s terrible. I really wanted to carry that sign.

Me:        Sorry, Stella. You’ll just have to wait until the next time.

Stella:    Will there be a next time to be offended?

Me:        Sadly, there always is.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



No Accounting for Human Taste – Conversations with Stella

Once again, I am Stella, Queen Illustrious of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        You aren’t “once again” Stella. You are always Stella. It’s not like you stopped being Stella and then became Stella again.

Stella:    Why are you being so picky?

Me:        I am not being picky.

Stella:    Then you are being snappy. Why?

Me:        I am not being snappy.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I know picky and snappy when I hear it. Do you need a nap? When I am picky and snappy, it is usually because I have missed one of my 14 daily naps.

Me:        I don’t need a nap.

Stella:    Did you eat breakfast? When I am picky and snappy, it is usually because I have skipped breakfast.

Me:        I did not skip breakfast.

Stella:    How about lunch? Did you miss that? When I am picky and snappy, it is usually because I have skipped lunch.

Me:        I did not miss lunch! Leave me alone!

Stella:    Now that was just plain rude. Are your feet itchy? When I am picky and snappy and rude, it is usually because my feet are itchy. Here! Let me lick them the way I lick mine. It helps.

Me:        No, my feet are not itchy. Please don’t lick them!

Stella:    Picky, snappy, and rude, but not sleepy or hungry or itchy. I give up.

Me:        I’m sorry, Stella. I have misplaced something and it has me frustrated.

Stella:    Did you misplace a bulldog?

Me:        No, nothing so important as that.

Stella:    Good, because I just counted and we are all here and if you had misplaced a bulldog, that would mean you had a secret bulldog we did not know about.

Me:        In fact, what I have misplaced is of no real importance at all and yet I am all wound up about it. I keep looking in all the places it could be, checking and rechecking.

Stella:    What is it? The other bulldogs and I can search for it, especially if it smells bad.

Me:        It doesn’t and it’s not important.

Stella:    We want to help. What is it?

Me:        Just a paper bookmark.

Stella:    That’s easy. What does it look like?

Me:        It has some colorful drawings on it. It’s no big deal. I’ll come across it eventually.

Stella:    Drawings of what?

Me:        Just forget it.

Stella:    Drawings of what? No… not SQUIRRELS!

Me:        No, not squirrels.

Stella:    Whew!

Me:        Cats.

Stella:    Mwaaah! What? Eeewww! Better off lost! Why cats? Who wants pictures of cats? I can’t believe it. Why not dogs?

Me:        They didn’t have any of dogs. They were sold out.

Stella:    Of course, they were. Everyone wants dogs. Well, offer of help is hereby withdrawn. As for your cat bookmark, I hope you don’t find it.

Me:        Now who’s being rude.

Stella:    All I can say is that, if I find it first, I will let you know what colorful paper cats taste like! DOGS FOREVER! No, Lady Human, don’t look sad. I love you despite your bad taste. I won’t chew up your ugly cat bookmark. My bulldog slobber all over it will be enough.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Stupid Awards – Human Edition – Conversations with Stella

Hello, dogs, humans, and…cats…if any are interested in this which I doubt. Anyway, there are no cats on the Stupid Awards list this time. I find that almost inexplicable. Still, it is my list.

Me:        Is this that award where you get a treat whenever someone wins the award so it is just about you getting more treats?

Stella:    Those are the rules.

Me:        Solely to refresh my memory, are the awards stupid or are the recipients stupid?

Stella:    Both. Now for the first Stupie…

Me:        Stupie? Oh, I forgot. That’s the award’s nickname. Please go on.

Stella:    I was about to when I was so rudely interrupted. Ahem. The first Stupie goes to…. drrrrrrrrrruhhhh…

Me:        What?

Stella:    That is a drum roll. I heard it on the Picture Box. We do not have a drummer so I will do that part myself. Ahem, the first Stupie goes to ALL HUMANS LOUDLY TALKING POLITICS ON THE PICTURE BOX ABOUT THE HUMAN ELECTION NONSENSE! Tada!!! All treats go to me. How many will that be, Lady Human?

Me:        I have no idea. Is it limited to candidates or do moderators and commentators count, too?


Me:        Is “Picture Box” limited to television? Or does that include the internet and social media?

Stella:    I have no idea what you are talking about.

Me:        Because that could be in the millions. Quite frankly, I cannot foot that kind of bill for dog treats.

Stella:    Well, we can work out a deal on that later.

Me:        Are there any other Stupies to be given out now?

Stella:    Quite a few. There is never a shortage of human stupidity.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Our Idea of Fun – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! Oh, I already said that, didn’t I? I have so much on my mind these days. All the humans feel tense which makes me feel tense.

It must have something to do with those loud humans on the Picture Box, always talking, talking, talking. Nothing else is wrong. There is food. There are treats. The outside is tolerable. It still could be cooler, but they keep saying that the cool is coming. I think that my humans are gullible. They keep believing what the weather people on the Picture Box tell them.

I think that the Picture Box was invented by cats.

When our humans are too busy to play, we bulldogs find our own fun. We can make a game out of anything. Really! ANYTHING!

A stick? Tasty AND a great toy. I prefer pecan, but mesquite or oak will do in a pinch.

A rock? If it’s big enough, stand on it like one of the human statues. Impressive. Bulldoggy. Only don’t stand there too long. They will try to take your picture with one of their little boxes. If the rock is small, roll it with your nose or kick it with your foot.

And then there are the fun things that my humans leave outside. Wooden gates that are a challenge to dismantle. Great puzzles for bulldog brains. We know how to pick them apart.

The latest toy – a long, long green plastic rope. Lady Human did get upset when she saw the use we made of it. I heard her tell Tall Man “electrical cord” and “at least it was not plugged in”, whatever that means. And he said, “Oh, great.” So at least he saw what a good job we did of chewing it up.

So keep your eyes open, bulldogs and all fellow dogs! Don’t depend on humans for fun. Make your own! Just depend on humans for food, treats, beds, air conditioning, clean ears, clean wrinkles, cool store-bought toys, human-made chew sticks, head pets, massages, manicures, walks, belly rubs, brushing, scratching on your chest and anywhere else you can’t reach, the rare bath (admit it, sometimes we need one), and vet visits (yuck). Have I left anything else out? Well, if I have, just depend on the humans to think of it.

I declare this to be official pre-bedtime nap time. Good night, all dogs everywhere!

Signed, Queen Stella the Illustrious



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.