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.

Down the Short Hall – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wait while I run down this little hall.

Me:        You’ve been going down there every day. You used to ignore it.

Stella:    I have to check.

Me:        Oh, because Snoopey ran down that hall every morning to avoid having to pass by Tiger?

Stella:    What if she is in the front room, waiting to come through the kitchen, like she did almost every morning? I have to check.

Me:        Stella, baby, she’s not in there.

Stella:    But she could be. You would always open the kitchen door and she would run in and she and Tiger could start the morning in peace.

Me:        She’s not there.

Stella:    No. She’s not here. You think I am silly.

Me:        Not at all. The first two mornings after she passed, I opened the kitchen door myself. It was too hard to believe that she wouldn’t be coming through it.

Stella:    It still smells like her a little. Not as much as before.

Me:        That’s to be expected. Come on, girl.

Stella:    It smells like somebody else, too. Yep.

Me:        Nobody comes in here but me and Tall Man.

Stella:    Wiggles. Definitely.

Me:        Are you sure?

Stella:    Yep. This is Wiggles’ second bathroom.

Me:        Oh, no, you’re kidding. Third, if you count outside. Maybe fourth, if you count the cleaning rag box.

Stella:    Wow, Wiggles gets around.

Me:        Let’s go back in the other room.

Stella:    I won’t visit down here again looking for you, Snoopey, but I won’t forget you. If there’s a kitchen door where you are, wait for us there.




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.

Itchy Spots We Can’t Reach – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Scratch my back!

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    No, over there. No, over here. Now this spot. Don’t stop.

Me:        Move in closer.

Stella:    You move in closer.

Me:        Hey, I’ve got the fingernails that can reach anywhere, but I’m not putting my arm out of joint.

Stella:    Hey, I’ve got the itchies that can reach anywhere, but I’m already sitting over here.

Me:        Hold on.

Stella:    What are you doing?

Me:        All this scratching is making me itchy. I can’t reach down the center of my back either.

Stella:    You’re funny. You look like a bear rubbing against a tree.

Me:        A door frame makes a good back scratcher if nothing else is handy.

Stella:    Not so much if you’re shaped like a bulldog. Now get back to work using your fingers for what they were made for – scratching my unreachable itchies.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wait? – What Does That Even Mean? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans do not mean what they say, nor do they say what they mean. It is an age-old problem. I should know. I am ages old.

Me:        What? Just how old do you think you are?

Stella:    Humans say that you are as old as you feel. Today I feel 1,456 years old.

Me:        Very interesting. So you weren’t born in this century. I thought you said that humans do not mean what we say or say what we mean. It’s beginning to sound as though you have that problem, too. I guarantee you that you are not over a thousand years old.

Stella:    Strange words coming from you, Lady Human. You have no sense of time.

Me:        I think my sense of time is…

Stella:    Who wakes the household every morning at the same time? Give or take a few of what you all call ‘minutes’.

Me:        Doodlebug.

Stella:    His stomach works like the toy you call a ‘clock’. Humans have entirely too many toys. Maybe Doodlebug swallowed one.

Me:        Nope. His digestive system operates on a schedule.

Stella:    What I need right now is to go outside and potty…

Me:        Hold on. Wait a couple of minutes until I finish this.

Stella:    A couple? What is a couple?

Me:        More like 5 minutes. Wait 5 minutes.

Stella:    Okay. One…two…three…four…five. Five minutes is up.

Me:        That was only a five count, not five minutes.

Stella:    Humans always say ‘wait’. It must be your most important, most favoritest word.

Me:        Favoritest is not a word.

Stella:    It is now. And now is now! And I have to go potty now! Not 5 minutes from now! Now!

Me:        Oh, okay then. Why didn’t you say so?

Stella:    I did. Unlike humans, I say what I mean and mean what I say as you almost found out.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bedtime Can’t Wait – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has gotten into a bad habit, one of many.

Me:        One of many? Really?

Stella:    Really. You don’t notice them, do you? That’s why I am here to point them out to you. For example, our bedtime routine has been disrupted by your addiction to the Picture Box.

Me:        If you count the amount of time I spend watching television lately, you will find it greatly reduced.

Stella:    But not at bedtime, the most important time of day other than morning, breakfast, potty times, noon, afternoon, evening, snack time…well, you get the idea.

Me:        You used not to mind.

Stella:    I am older now. My beauty sleep is important to me. It makes my coat shine. You should try it instead of watching big and little Picture Boxes until all hours. It might make your coat shine, too.

Me:        You sleep pretty much whenever you want to.

Stella:    Nighttime is special. It’s dark all over. Can we go to bed now?

Me:        Well, I was just going to finish this one episode…

Stella:    Is it that show with the big water wave at the beginning and the human who turns around super-fast and then the humans rowing a skinny little boat when it’s over.

Me:        Yeah, I’ve noticed that you get up now when I turn the theme song off at the end.

Stella:    Jump when you can. When you’ve seen one huge blue wave and one fast-turning human and one skinny boat being rowed by humans, you’ve seen them all. Bedtime!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Happy Homecoming – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Why? This is a special day!

Stella:    I see nothing special. I hear nothing special. I smell nothing special. Most of all, I taste nothing special.

Me:        Today is the 3rd anniversary of the day you came home to us.

Stella:    Anniversary?  Is that one of those cake days?

Me:        Well, it can be, but I don’t have a cake today.

Stella:    Why ever not?

Me:        Extra calories. You know.

Stella:    No, I don’t. I have never had extra calories, whatever those are, but they sound delicious.

Me:        Yeah, they usually are. What is special about today is not cake or party hats…

Stella:    You have a party hat for me?

Me:        Well, yes. This one.


Stella:    Now I remember. I don’t like party hats. Without cake or party hats, how can this day be that special?

Me:        Because, on this day three years ago, I received an answer to prayer.

Stella:    The Great Creator answered you and you knew it?

Me:        No, He answered me, and I did not know it. I did not recognize an answered prayer when you were staring me right in the face. All I saw was this big, smoosh-faced bulldog and I had not asked for a bulldog. I had asked for a small, pointy-nosed, brown and white dog that I could help. I thought it was all a mistake.

Stella:    The Great Creator does not make mistakes.

Me:        Did you think that coming here was a mistake?

Stella:    Yes, so I pooped on the floor at your feet just to see.

Me:        Oh, I remember that. That’s the first thing you did after you got here.

Stella:    And you cleaned it up and you didn’t yell at me. And you looked a little tired. And then I thought maybe these people won’t be so bad. I was the dog you could help, only not so small and not pointy-nosed. But brown and white. After all, He doesn’t forget details.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hey! Missing Chew Stick! Come Here! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My favorite chew stick is missing! Who has it? I demand that you bring it back now! If you do, I will forego my royal wrath.

Tiger:     Royal wrath? Is that like you getting all mad? Haha!

Stella:    Where is my chew stick?

Tiger:     Don’t know. Don’t care. Why would I chew on your stick after it has been in your mouth?

Stella:    Where is my chew stick?

Wiggles:   Have you looked…

Stella:    Yes.

Wiggles:   How about over by…

Stella:    YES.

Wiggles:   What about…

Stella:    YES!!!

Wiggles:   Have you asked the chickens? I have been eating their leftovers. Maybe they ate your stick.

Stella:    Doodlebug, did you take it? You have a giant mouth. Are you hiding it in there? I will forgive you if you have it.

Doodlebug:   Would you let me keep it?

Stella:   NO!

Doodlebug:   Then no, I did not take it.

Miss Sweetie:    Aunt Stella, I know where it is.

Stella:    I can’t believe it is missing. I have looked everywhere.

Miss Sweetie:   Aunt Stella, I know where it is. My nose is talking to me.

Stella:    I had it earlier today.

Miss Sweetie:   Aunt Stella…

Me:        I’d listen to her, Stella. I think she’s on to something.

Miss Sweetie:   It’s in your day bed.

Stella:    I looked there! See! I turned around and around and around.

Me:        How many times has she turned around, Sweetie? Let’s count. Five, six, seven, eight…

Miss Sweetie:   I can’t count that high.

Me:        Stella, settle down. You’ve buried it in your blanket.

Stella:    I look, and I turn, and I scratch, and I look, and I turn, and I scratch.

Me:        There!

Stella:    Give it back, blanket! Mine! Finally! Having to wrestle my own blanket for my own chew stick! The world is a crazy place!

Me:        Yeah, I’m exhausted.

Stella:    Now where is my new softie toy?



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.

Never Hold a Conversation with a Chicken – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Chickens are ignorant. If you attempt to talk to them, you are wasting your time. People say that chickens are intelligent, but people are wrong. How can they be all that smart with those tiny little heads and pointy faces?

If you start a conversation with a chicken, you will end up disappointed.

Me:        Well, let’s try this. Hey! Squawky! What’s going on?


Squawky the Silkie Chicken:   Waaakk!

Stella:    You see! She doesn’t even know how to pronounce her own name.

Me:        Maybe she was not saying her name.

Squawky the Silkie Chicken:   Waaakk waak!

Stella:   There! That’s not even the same thing. She doesn’t know what she is saying.

Me:        Maybe she is saying ‘hello’.

Stella:    That is too many noises for ‘hello’.  Let me ask her a question. WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Me:        You don’t have to yell.


Me:        No yelling.

Squawky the Silkie Chicken:   Waaaak! Waaak! Waak. Waak. Waak.

Stella:   It’s just getting worse. Poor little chicken brain.

Squawky the Silkie Chicken:   Human, please tell your other bulldog to stop digging at our food. It is not for her.

Me:        Wow. That was pretty clear.

Stella:    She has been holding out on us.

Me:        If you have sway with Wiggles, tell her to leave the chicken feed alone.

Stella:    Yeah, she sure doesn’t want her big old bulldog face to meet the angry pointy-faced chickens. I think talking to chickens is a dangerous proposition, Lady Human. Can we trust them?

Squawky the Silkie Chicken:   Waaaaaaakkk!

Stella:    Typical.





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.






The Growling Sky – Conversations with Stella, Snoopey, and Tiger

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I was outside during a rain break, minding my own business when, for no reason at all, the sky growled at me. GROWLED! AT ME! Sweet little Stella who never bothers anybody, well, except for squirrels and cats.

Me:        The sky did not growl at you. That was thunder.

Stella:    Did you hear?

Me:        Yes. The sky doesn’t growl at anybody.

Stella:    It did at me. So, guess what? I growled back. And then it growled at me again. So, guess what?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I ran away. I ran straight to the back door. And you let me in. And I ran straight into my crate, so the sky couldn’t get me. I am so embarrassed. I am a coward.

Tiger:     You are not a coward, Stella. You are just stupid, that’s all.


Stella:    How rude!

Tiger:     Which would you prefer? To be called a coward or stupid?

Stella:    I don’t really have a preference, thank you!

Snoopey:   Don’t listen to Tiger, the bulldog who’s afraid of the dark.


Tiger:     Hey!

Snoopey:   It’s true. How many times does Lady Human offer to let you outside and the second that you see it’s night, you balk and run back to your bed.

Tiger:     So says the one who won’t set foot outside if rain is so much as dripping from the roof or the trees. It’s not even rain anymore. It’s merely water. What are you afraid of, Snoopey? Melting?

Snoopey:    Yes, actually.

Stella:    Snoopey is afraid of falling water. Tiger is afraid of nighttime. I am afraid of the growling sky. All told, my fear is the only one that’s real.

Me:        Oh, the fear is real, the threat not so much.

Stella:    When the sky is angry, it is no threat?

Me:        Yeah, it can be. Thunder means lightning has struck nearby.

Stella:    Lightning? The blue light!

Me:        Untamed electricity.

Stella:    The sky does have fingers then. It did try to grab me. Good news! I was right. The sky does growl. I’m a smart coward.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Puddle Jumpin’ – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Tiny lakes are blocking our path back into the house.

Me:        They are just puddles. Let’s get back in. Rain is starting again in…2 minutes. Maybe. Sometimes they’re pinpoint accurate on these predictions. Sometimes, not so much.

Doodlebug:   Me first. One…two…three…jump! Woo-hoo!

Me:        Well done, Doodle!

Tiger:     Me next! Lope…lope…leap! They said I’d never do that again!

Me:        And look at you now. Well done!

Wiggles:   I can do it! Watch me! Run! Run! Run! Run through the brush and around the other side and… Yay!

Me:        That’s one way to do it. Go on in and get your snack. We’re up against a deadline here. Well done.

Miss Sweetie:    I can do it, Lady Human. Watch me! Watch me! Run…skip…jump…and there!

Stella:    You made quite a splash, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    What happened? My feet are all muddy. I am standing in water. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Me:        It’s all right, Sweetie. Not all of us are hurdlers. Go on in and get your treat. Times a’wastin. Who’s next?

Stella:    Snoopey! Snoopey’s next!

Me:        Okay, girl.

Snoopey:   If I hadn’t come out here to pee, this would not have happened.

Me:        Snoopey, I know how much you hate coming out when it’s wet. You can run on in. You don’t have to jump.

Snoopey:   I can do this. I can do this. I can run and jump…

Me:        You see! You did it! Your hind feet barely touched the water! Well done! Go on in and get your treat.

Snoopey:   And dry my feet.

Me:        That too. And now, Stella, let’s go. No time left. The new rain is upon us.

Stella:    Carry me so that my pretty little feet don’t get any wetter.

Me:        Honey, I’m sorry. I can’t pick up 50 pounds. I could edge you forward, but you are going to have to do some of the work.

Stella:    Work? You can’t be serious.

Me:        Did you feel that?

Stella:    Sky water?

Me:        Yep. Decision time.

Stella:    Oh. All right. Here I go. Run…run…splash…splash…Aww….

Me:        Good girl! Well done! You got across!

Stella:    Not so well done. My feet are wet and cold. I didn’t make a good landing.

Me:        That’s what a warm house and a soft dry bed and treats are for. Forget this. Let’s go on in.

Stella:    Will it be dry tomorrow?

Me:        According to the weather people, no.

Stella:    What good is it to live in a hot, dry country when it is cold and wet all the time?

Me:        I’ll ask you a similar question during the summer when you complain about being hot and dry.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Never Let a Friend Stand in the Rain Alone – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It is raining.  It has been raining a lot lately. Announcement: I do not potty in the rain.

Snoopey:   Me either.

Tiger:     Me neither.

Miss Sweetie:    Why is Lady Human standing outside in the rain?

Wiggles:   Maybe she is taking a shower. Use rain. Save water and what the humans keep calling ‘money’.

Stella:    Lady Human is a human lady. She does not take baths outside. I don’t understand why. It seems to be a thing with humans to bathe indoors.

Me:        Come on, y’all.

Doodlebug:   She is calling us to go stand in the rain with her. Is that a good idea? I don’t think so.

Stella:    No! Did you hear that big kaboom? I don’t go out when the kabooms are going off.

Tiger:     Why is she standing out there? I thought humans were smart.

Me:        C’mon. It’s not raining that hard yet.

Stella:    What does she call ‘hard’?

Snoopey:   Should we just stand here like this? Shouldn’t we go outside and stand with her?

Doodlebug:   So we can get wet?

Wiggles:   She just wants us to go to the bathroom, so we can be comfortable.

Miss Sweetie:    I am going to stand with her. She should not be out there by herself.

Snoopey:   I would go, but I am afraid the rain will make me melt.

Tiger:   I will wait for the sky to stop spitting.

Doodlebug:   I am going to take a nap. Dry.

Wiggles:   I am going out with you, Sweetie. Nobody should stand in the rain alone.

Stella:    Oh, very well. I’ll go, too. If someone is willing to stand in the rain for me, I should be willing to stand in the rain for them. Hurry. Let’s run between the raindrops.

Me:   Okay. Well, if you are coming out, I’m going in.

Stella:    No! Traitor! You fooled us! What about camaraderie?

Me:        Camaraderie?  Are you kidding? It’s raining!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Mud Baths – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        I have a question.

Stella:    Interruptions, interruptions. Constant human disruptions.

Me:        Have you gotten into rhymes?

Stella:    I haven’t gotten into anything today except mud, which, by the way, I would appreciate you cleaning up.

Me:        Wash your feet? Sure, I can…

Stella:    No, I took care of my own feet, thank you very much. I mean I would appreciate you cleaning up the mud outside.

Me:        I think that is a little outside my abilities. We will just wait for the dry air and the sun to do their jobs.

Stella:    I ask for a simple favor and what do I get? Nothing. Typical.

Me:        You want me, little old me, to clean up all the mud outside?

Stella:    Well put. Of course, you are not THAT little, Lady Human.

Me:        The whole ground is made up of dirt. You add water like the rain we had this morning. Result? Mud.

Stella:    Let me see if I understand. Rain, also known as sky water, plus dirt, also known as…dirt, equals mud, also known as yucky dirt.

Me:        That’s about it.

Stella:    And you are a human and can, therefore, do anything, yet you refuse to do a small thing like clean up the muddy mess outside.

Me:        Let’s go back over the whole human thing. Humans cannot…I repeat for the umpteenth time, CANNOT do just anything, period.

Stella:    Nonsense. I see you do the most extraordinary things all the time. What is a little mud?

Me:        How do you expect me to dry up mud instantly?

Stella:    Simple. Use your big human mouth to blow the dirt dry.

Me:        I thought you bulldogs were the ones with the big mouths.

Stella:    Now you are just being insulting. We would never waste our breath on such a dirty job.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Must Humans Sing? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have complained about this before.

Me:        Enlighten me. There are so many things that fall in that category.

Stella:    Human singing. I asked for ear plugs to protect against chicken squawking, but they will work against human singing, too. By the way, I have not seen those ear plugs yet. Hint. Hint.

Me:        I’m not turning ear plugs over to a bulldog. They would turn into a snack and then a problem.

Stella:    How am I to protect my precious cute little ears from human singing then?

Me:        Are you complaining about the old musical that is playing right now? Because that is the only human singing going on. I am not singing.

Stella:    And for that, Lady Human, we are all grateful. But right now, I mean the humans singing on the Picture Box.

Me:        They sing beautifully. How can you not like…?

Stella:    Do you have dog ears? Can you hear what we hear? All those high notes assaulting us?

Me:        I do like musicals. You can retreat to the other room if the sounds are bothering you.

Stella:    Why can’t we just turn it off? Why must humans sing at all?

Me:        Music is a gift from the LORD. We should enjoy it. It is part of our lives.

Stella:    Life is good. The Great Creator is good. His gifts are good. If you would just tone it down a little bit, especially during nap time.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Squawky Day – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I want earplugs.

Me:        Why? Because the pack barks so loudly?

Stella:    No. Barking is a lovely sound. I need earplugs to block out squawking. Chicken squawking.

Me:        Yeah, I noticed that today. I think they were mad because their breakfast was running late.

Stella:    And whose fault is that?

Me:        Mine. I took a little time to move the new 50-pound bag of chicken feed into place.

Stella:    50 pounds! That’s as heavy as I am. Cool.

Me:        I think you are easier to carry. You are more compact.

Stella:    Was that the big bag that you were dancing with?

Me:        Did it look like dancing? It felt like wrestling.

Stella:    Well, next time, do it sooner.

Me:        Oh, of course, Your Majesty. Pardon me. So sorry that your sensitive ears were inconvenienced.

Stella:    I pardon you.

Me:        You know, the next time they start squawking, you can go out and tell them to quiet down. They might listen to you.

Stella:    Chickens listen to a bulldog? Of course, they should. But would they? I doubt it. Have you seen how tiny their heads are? Their brains are just as small.

Me:        Small heads or not, chickens are very intelligent.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        They can play tiny pianos.

Stella:    With their scrawny feet or with their sharp, hard mouths?

Me:        With their beaks.

Stella:    Showoffs. That’ s easy if you have a pointy face.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Booties Are For Babies – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs. Lady Human, the sky spit ice on my chair.


Me:        That’s my chair, and yes, a little ice was on it for a very short time.

Stella:    You know the saying: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

Me:        No.

Stella:    Well, it goes like this: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. It’s an old bulldog saying.

Me:        No doubt it is. I’m going with an older human saying. What’s mine is mine.

Stella:    Oh, all right. In that case, the sky spit ice on YOUR chair. Worse. The sky made my feet cold.

Me:        The sleet…

Stella:    The what?

Me:        The icy sky spittle did not last long at all on the ground. About the only thing I can do to help on cold days is to put your booties on you. They will protect your feet for the short time you are out.

Stella:    Are booties those weird little softie shoes that you kept trying to sneak on my feet the other week when the snow that was promised to us never showed up?

Me:        Yeah. As I recall, you weren’t too fond of them.

Stella:    What is to be fond of? They are weird little shoes. They look like blue and black fish that have swallowed my feet.


Me:        They aren’t supposed to be stylish. They are supposed to cover your feet in bad weather.

Stella:    If you like them so much, you wear them.

Me:        They don’t come near to fitting me and I already have winter boots.

Stella:    And I’ll bet that yours don’t look like blue and black fish that are eating your feet.

Me:        It’s either booties or cold feet. Your choice.

Stella:    Booties are for babies, not bulldogs! Wait! The human baby that visits us, does she have booties? Does she need them? Do her feet get cold? Oh, no! I don’t want that! She can take mine.

Me:        She has lots of socks and even some shoes now. But thank you, it was a very kind offer.

Stella:    Not so much. I thought it might be a way to get rid of those ugly booties.





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.