The Shadow of My Head – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  And I am tired, so I am going to turn of this light…

Stella:  Wait! What’s that?

Me:  What?

Stella:  Something is moving on the wall.

Me:  It’s too cold for bugs.

Stella:  Something bigger than a bug. Someone else is in here. Stop! Who are you?

Me:  Stella…

Stella:  See how it moves.

Me:  Yeah, sort of the way your head is moving.

Stella:  Look, two things perked up on top.

Me:  Sort of like two ears. Two bulldog ears.

Stella:  Why doesn’t it talk back?

Me:  It is. That’s the shadow of your head, Stella.

Stella:  Shadow?

Me:  The light is behind you and casts your shadow on the wall, like an outline of your head. That’s why the thing moves every time you do. Watch what happens when I turn the light off.

Stella:  It’s gone! The stranger disappeared! Good job, Lady Human! Don’t worry. I’ll just sit here and guard in case it comes back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Nose Work – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Okay, we’re going to play a game.

Stella:  Who? Me? Is there food involved?

Me:  All of us, but one at a time. And yes, treats are involved.

Tiger:  Game! Game! Game!

Me:  Here it is. I’m going to toss a treat onto the patio. All you have to do is go and get it. The catch is that, since the blue norther passed through yesterday, a good number of pecan leaves have fallen. You have to sniff out the treat. Doodlebug, you first. Where is it?

Doodlebug:  Mm. There. No. That’s a pecan shell. Mm. HERE!

Me:  Good boy! Now, Sweetie, your turn. Where is it?

Miss Sweetie:  Here? That smells funny. Treats don’t smell like that.

Stella:  Sweetie, that is something nasty that Doodlebug left behind.

Me:  Sorry for the distraction. Ignore that.

Miss Sweetie:  There it is! Mine!

Wiggles:  Me! Me!

Me:  Okay, where is it?

Wiggles:  I don’t see it.

Me:  Work your nose, hun.

Wiggles:  What nose?

Me:  The one on the front of your face. I know bulldogs don’t have a great reputation as scent hounds, but just try.

Wiggles:  Got it!

Tiger:  I can do that.  Boom! First try! Done!

Me:  You’re next, Stella.

Stella:  I want to see you do it.

Me:  I…it’s not something that I can do. My nose doesn’t work that well…

Stella:  I know that. But you said we would ALL play. If you don’t play, NO TREAT FOR YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Stranger in the House – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Who was in our house? Why was a stranger here?

Me:  He’s not a stranger. He’s a friend. He’s been here before. You’ve seen him.

Stella:  Why was he here messing with the tiny room in the hall that no one ever uses?

Me:  That tiny room is the heater closet. He is a professional heater repair guy. He was checking out our heater to make sure it is okay.

Stella:  Why?

Me:  When the big oak tree hit the house, it could have shaken the heater up. We needed to make sure that the heater is safe.

Stella:  Why?

Me:  Because we’re going to have to turn it on.

Stella:  Why?

Me:  You’ll know when you go out in the morning.

Stella:  A secret? Lady Human! What have you planned?

Me:  It’s not really a secret and, believe me, I didn’t plan a 42-degree temperature drop, but we will see it by morning.

Stella:  One of those days when the water outside turns to stone?

Me:  That’s one way of putting it.

Stella:  Well, break out my boots, but absolutely no hats of any kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Legs on Springs – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  I am.

Stella:  More!

Me:  I am petting you as fast as I can. You don’t have to keep insisting with your paw.

Stella:  Keep going.

Me:  Put your leg down.

Stella:  Okay.

Me:  Stella, put your leg down.

Stella:  Okay.

Me:  Every time I move your leg aside so I can pet you, it springs right back up and pushes my hand down.

Stella:  No, it doesn’t.

Me:  Yes, it does. Look where it is right now.

Stella:  How did it get there?

Me:  I figured you were in control of that.

Stella:  No, I’m just sitting here. That leg has a mind of its own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Human Puppies and Their Messy Ways – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The human puppy has appeared again.

Me:  Human, not a puppy, remember? Why do you seem tense?

Stella:  I never know what she is going to do next.

Me:  For the most part, neither do we.

Stella:  I like her. But then she throws something.

Me:  Yeah, she’ll outgrow that. She’s a fast learner.

Stella:  I don’t want her to outgrow that. I meant that when she throws something, it is usually food, and then I like her even more.

Me:  Oh, okay.

Stella:  Can you get her to throw some food again? In my direction?  And don’t let Wiggles know about it. She always tries to scoop me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Blowhards – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Pardon me while I blow air. Phuuuuh!

Miss Sweetie:  Now me! Phhhuuuuhhhh!

Wiggles:  You call that air blowing?

Tiger:  I won’t even dignify that with an attempt. My air blowing would blow you away.

Doodlebug:  Stand back, everybody. Big breath in and now…PHHUUUPHUUUH!

Stella:  Lady Human, you try it.

Me:  I’m no bulldog as you all are quick to point out.

Stella:  Go ahead and try.

Me:  I’d be embarrassed to show my weakness in the air blowing department.

Stella:  No, go ahead. Do it.

Me:  Okay. Here goes. Phuh!!!

Tiger:  Well…

Wiggles:  At least she tried.

Doodlebug:  Did she? Was that a try?

Miss Sweetie:  I win over the human!

Stella:   Don’t gloat, Sweetie. It’s not her fault. She can’t compete with us for hot air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Restaurant on the Floor – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hold on! What’s that on the floor?

Me:  Oh, we had an accident. No big deal.

Stella:  The little human visitor spilled her food!

Me:  Yeah, it happens. No biggy.

Stella:  Yes! Biggy! What is that? Mixed up eggs? Wonderful! Let me at ‘em!

Me:  Well, they aren’t too dirty…

Stella:  Who cares about dirt? More flavor. All for me! Restaurant on the floor. Why don’t we do this every day?

Me:  Because we don’t spill food on the floor every day. And because this is not a restaurant, remember?

Stella:  Mmmmm. The eggs here are wonderful. Still the service leaves much to be desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cold Sunbath – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The sun is cold. It isn’t fair. One day the sun is burning hot and then next it is cold. How can any bulldog get a decent sunbath?

Miss Sweetie:  I like it. My skin tingles.

Wiggles:  It takes longer when the sun is cold. But when the sun is on fire, it is harder to breathe.

Me:  The sun is always on fire.

Stella:  Ignore her. She does not know what she is talking about.

Tiger:  Oh, Lady Human, is that one of your jokes?

Doodlebug:  I like your jokes. The sun is always on fire. That’s funny.

Me:  It is. It is a burning ball of gases.

Stella:  Humans make up the silliest things. The sun is on fire, but the air is cold. The sun is on fire, so the air is hot. Make up your mind, please. Meanwhile, cold sunbathing for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Eggspert – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Wiggles:  Where are they? Let me at ‘em!

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Stella:  What?

Wiggles:  Eggs, of course! Eggs, glorious eggs!

Stella:  I don’t smell any…

Me:  Boy, that didn’t take any time, did it? You have a nose for eggs. I just now brought them out of the refrigerator and you’re already in here…

Wiggles:  Mine!

Me:  No, I will share with y’all, but some of these are mine.

Wiggles:  Mine!

Me:  Just give me a minute or so to shell them…

Wiggles:  No! Now! Mine!

Me:  Watching me will not make me move faster.

Wiggles:  Watching you means you will not be able to sneak off with my eggs. Just call me watchdog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stop a Blanket Thief – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Here are tips for stopping a blanket thief from sneaking your blankets away in the middle of the night.

One: Pile your blankets underneath you and get on top of them.

Two: If the blanket thief has already snatched your blankets, wait until she gets up to do whatever it is that humans do at night and snatch the blankets back. Pile them into a small mound underneath you and get on top of them.

Three:  If the blanket thief rolls up in your blankets, wait until she is asleep and then paw the blankets from her. You can also tug them with your teeth. Pile them into a mountain underneath you and flop on top of them.

Four:  Wait until the blanket thief is asleep and then, very slowly, pull the blankets into your own bed. Pile them into a huge mountain underneath you and flop down on top of them.

Blankets are important to a good night’s sleep. And don’t worry about the humans. They always have more blankets stashed somewhere. They will not do without.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Worst Restaurant in Town – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is the worst restaurant in town.

Me:  Stella, I thought I made it clear to you. This is not a restaurant.

Stella:  Why do humans get to choose their own food? Why can’t we have one of those things you pick food from?

Me:  A menu?

Stella:  If you say so. You bring home all kinds of food from all kinds of places. Why can’t we do that?

Me:  Your food may be boring, but it’s good for you. It doesn’t make you sick. Some of our foods and spices would.

Stella:  How would you like it if every meal you ate was the same?

Me:  I would find it kind of boring. I’d still eat it. You know, so as not to starve.

Stella:  Would you go to that restaurant every day?

Me:  Probably not.

Stella:  So why should we eat at this restaurant every day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Mud Tracking – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am hot on the trail.

Me:  I can’t imagine why.

Stella:  Because some rude dogs have left muddy tracks all over our floor and all over our yard and someone has to clean it up.

Me:  That someone will be me and don’t tell me that you don’t know who tracked mud and left footprints in the muddy yard.

Stella:  Okay, I won’t tell you that. Okay, give me a hint.

Me:  Those mysterious dog prints belong to you all and so do the tracks in the house.

Stella:  So, you admit that they are mysterious.

Me:  No, I was being facetious.

Stella:  You told me you are a human being. Please make up your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Battle Scars – Conversations with Stella and MoonCat

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

Me:  What happened now?

Stella:  MoonCat happened.

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Me:  Here, let me see. She poked you on the head. It’s already scabbing over. Another battle scar. What started this fight?

Stella:  Well, she was staring at me, sitting all prissy on the couch and I jumped up on the couch to say a friendly howdy and…

MoonCat:  Meow.

Stella:  No, I didn’t, you cat you!

Me:  What did she say?

Stella:  She says I jumped on her.

Me:  Well, didn’t you? You were up on the couch.

Stella:  Poor old Stella. Always getting accused of jumping on cats just because…just because I jump on cats.

Me:  You came away with a tiny scratch. Let that be a lesson to you. Stay away from cats.

Stella:  No, stay away from cat claws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Body Slammer – Again! Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And one, two, three – SLAM!

Me:  Hey, Stella!

Stella:  And one, two, three – BAM!

Me:  Cut it out!

Stella:  Circle, circle, circle, and SLAM!

Me:  Stella! No more! This is my bed! Stop trying to bump me over.

Stella:  It would be a whole lot easier and faster if you would just roll off the bed on your own. You are way too heavy for me to move.

Me:  I’m not supposed to move. Once again, hear what I am saying. This is MY bed. My ONLY bed. You have this bed and that bed, and you can sleep in the other room where there is yet another bed for you.

Stella: But this is my favorite. So, BOOM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Loud, Ugly Sky – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am tired. The humans made awful sounds in the sky last night and wouldn’t let us sleep. Sky horns. Why are humans so loud?

Me:  Those were tornado sirens. They only go off when there is a tornado on the ground within the county.

Tiger:  Is a tornado that important?

Me:  Pretty important.

Wiggles:  I didn’t see any tornado. I think. What does it look like?

Me:  Like a snake of wind twirling in the sky with its tail in the dirt. Once you’ve seen one, believe me, you’ll never forget it.

Miss Sweetie:  Will the sky snake come back tonight?

Doodlebug:  It had better not! I’ll catch its tail in my mouth and bite it off!

Me:  It doesn’t quite work that way, boy. I wish it did. And thankfully, there are no tornadoes expected around here tonight and, thankfully, no one was killed or seriously hurt by that one last night. There was a lot of damage.

Stella:  Why didn’t the sky snake run away when the humans sounded their horns?

Me:  The horns are a warning for all of us to take shelter right away in some place sturdy. Tornadoes are whirling winds. They aren’t scared off by sirens. Again, I wish it worked that way.

Stella:  I will sleep well tonight. No sky horns. No sky snakes. Peace.

Me:  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Wired – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ah, peace and quiet.

Tiger:  Mmmmmmmm! I want to go out!

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Stella:  You just came in. Stop running and whining.

Tiger:  Go out! Go out! Go out!

Me:  Okay, go on out.

Stella:  What’s her deal? She’s been like this for days. Oh, look. See, she’s standing at the door and wants back in. She didn’t even go potty.

Tiger:  Come in. Come in. Come in.

Me:  Yes, come in. Calm down, girl.

Tiger:  Run, run, run. Jump, jump, jump. Twirl around. And again. And again.

Me:  You sure are full of energy lately. Maybe the change in the weather…

Stella:  Naw, she’s just out of control, that’s all.

Me:  But why?

Stella:  Haven’t you figured this out by now? There is no reason for a bulldog’s behavior. Tiger is acting wired because Tiger is Tiger all the time.

Me:  But I want to understand why…

Stella:  Huh. Humans. I am sorry, Lady Human, but that is one of your human dreams that you will have to give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Our Own Zoo – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has been doing what the humans call ‘playing hooky’ today. It sounds like fun, but she’s the only one who had any.

Me:  I went to the zoo. So?

Wiggles:  Lunch was late…again.

Doodlebug:  That always happens when you have fun, Lady Human.

Me:  Every once in a while, I do something a little different. So?

Miss Sweetie:  Is a zoo where strange animals live?

Me:  Yeah. How did you know?

Tiger:  With all due respect, Lady Human, you smell strongly of strange animals.

Stella:  Why were you visiting strange animals instead of staying here and playing with us?

Wiggles:  And why couldn’t we go along?

Me:  No dogs allowed at the zoo. Your presence might freak out the animals there.

Tiger:  Strange animals.

Miss Sweetie:  We are our own zoo.

Me:  It’s not the same thing, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:   You don’t need to go anyplace else to see strange animals. We are all right here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

High Kicks – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Uh, Lady Human, watch out! Doodlebug is sniffing!

Me:  All of you are sniffing all the time. What’s the problem?

Stella:  Lady Human! Leg up!

Me:  Whoa! Whoa! Doodle, stop!

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Doodlebug:  What? What’s happening?

Me:  It’s what is NOT going to happen! No leg hiking in here! Take it outside!

Doodlebug:  But I need to let everyone know I’ve been here.

Me:  Everybody already knows you’ve been here.

Stella:  Yeah, Doodle, we don’t need reminders. I think you’re just showing off with all that leg stuff anyway. I don’t ever need to do that.

Doodlebug:  If you ever want to make your mark in the world, I’ll be happy to show you how.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Fussbudget – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  What’s wrong?

Stella:  Mmmmm! Nothing! Mmmmm!

Me:  Something must be wrong for you to be grumbling like that.

Stella:  I can grumble if I want to. Nobody can stop me from grumbling. It is a bulldog speech right.

Me:  I’d still like to know why.

Stella:  It’s too hot.

Me:  No…

Stella:  It’s too cold.

Me:  No, not that either.

Stella:  Everybody’s too loud. Be quiet!

Me:  Is that better?

Stella:  Where did the noise go? It’s too quiet!

Me:  I think I need a vacation.

Stella:  Yes, go! No, stay!

Me:  Calm down, girl! Why are you a fussbudget today?

Stella:  Somebody has to do it and I’m the best fussbudget there is!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Cracker Crumbs in Bed – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Hey, what’s this? Aw, Stella, you left cracker crumbs in your bed. I thought you had vacuumed those up.

Stella:  A few crumbs. Is that all? Here, let me get them. Okay, now I’m ready for more.

Me:  More what? Crumbs?

Stella:  No, no, no! More crackers! Isn’t that where crumbs come from? Aren’t crumbs just baby crackers?

Me:  Crumbs are broken pieces of crackers. Crackers don’t have babies. Crackers are not alive.

Stella:  You could have fooled me with the way they jump into your mouth.

Me:  I admit it. I enjoy a good cracker or two when I’m watching TV at night.

Stella:  Oh, Lady Human, a cracker or two? You forget. I can count higher than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.