Big, Sloppy Mouths – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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

Wiggles:  Hello, Lady Human. Coming through!

Me:  Okay, if y’all can just not brush into my pants…

Miss Sweetie:  But we love you, Lady Human.

Doodlebug:  Let me smell your knees. Interesting. Where have you been?

Me:  No place you would like and if I am smeared with slobber, I’m not likely going anyplace else until I wash these clothes.

Stella:  We just want to be close to you.

Miss Sweetie:  Yeah, we can’t help our giant, juicy mouths. Oh, look. I just made another slobber spot on your leg coverings.

Me:  Thank you all for backing up a little.

Stella:  If we don’t slime you, what will we do with all this drool in our mouths? What a waste!

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Moonstruck – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

 I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am asleep. Leave me alone.

Me:  Wiggles wants to go out.

Stella:  Do that without me then.

Me:  Come on, Wiggles. What seems to be the problem?

Wiggles:  I am all right. I will just sit outside for a while.

Me:  Well, I will sit out here with you. What are you doing?

Wiggles:  Where is it?

Me:  What?

Wiggles:  The shiny night light in the sky.

Me:  The moon? It isn’t up yet. And besides, it’s just a sliver to us this time of month. Is that why you’ve been insisting on coming out here this time of night lately?

Wiggles:  I have to check on it. It has a schedule to keep and I am a guard dog.

Me:  You are that, but the moon keeps  time without us.

Wiggles:  I think it is late. Maybe that snow froze it. Maybe a coyote ate it. Maybe…

Me:  Maybe we should go back inside and get some sleep.

Wiggles:  If you say so. Can we look for it again?

Me:  Yeah. But not tonight.

Wiggles:  Don’t worry. I will wake you up when it’s time.

Me:  I have not doubt.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bumper Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella, Wiggles and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I know when it is best to stay out of the way and this is it.

Wiggles:  Hey, my head was there.

Miss Sweetie:  Mine, too. That was really funny.

Wiggles:  You can call it funny when you bump into somebody else’s head. I was there first.

Me:  You don’t both have to enter the door at the same time. You can spread out or take turns.

Miss Sweetie:  My big ole head requires more space.

Me:  I am not a physicist, but I believe I am correct when I say that two bulldog heads cannot occupy the same physical space at the same time.

Miss Sweetie:  I say they can.

Me:  Nope. That’s why you two played bumper heads at the door.

Stella:  I’d just let them keep doing that, Lady Human. It might knock some sense into them.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What A Difference 6 Years Makes – Conversations with Stella – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  Guess what today is?

Stella:  Not that silly holiday again that has no cake to eat, I hope.

Me:  No. This day celebrates something that happened six years ago.

Stella:  Does it have something to do with me? Because if it doesn’t, I am not interested.

Me:  Yes, it has to do with you. And it has to do with me. Six years ago today, you came to us.

Stella:  Wow! What is a year?

Me:  Hard to describe. Suffice it to say that you were the first bulldog I had ever seen in person. That the first thing you did when you got here was to poop on the floor. That Tall Man had to run out to get your food and a bed for you before the stores closed. That while I cleaned up after you, I said that was the only thing I was ever going to help. And suffice it to say that that was not true.

Stella:  Was I such a surprise?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  I remember the old place only a little. Things changed for me once I got here. At the old place, there were always puppies. And I was very tired. I just realized. I’m not tired anymore.

Me:  All I can tell you is that you have made my heart bigger during these past six years. I needed someone to help me with that. I prayed for a dog I could help. And the LORD chose you.

Stella:  Happy 6 Years, Lady Human! How about six more?

Me:  Sure. At least. Why not?

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved. 

Barkworthy – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have something to say.

Me:  You always do.

Wiggles: No, me first!

Me:  Not everyone can be first.

Doodlebug:  I can be. I am always first.

Me:  When everyone is barking at the same time, that’s hard to prove.

Miss Sweetie:  Listen to me! I am talking over here!

Stella:  I think Lady Human wants us to talk less right now.

Me:  Only say something if you have something important to say.

Stella:  Barkworthy.

Me:  Yeah, that’s it.

Stella:  Too bad humans haven’t learned that lesson.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Let’s Eat Cake – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans are waving flags. That means cake!

Wiggles:  I want to wave a flag! Where is my flag, Lady Human?

Me:  Sorry. No flags for bulldogs. They are too easily eaten.

Doodlebug:  But there is cake, right?

Me:  No. I didn’t get any.

Miss Sweetie:  Why am I deprived of cake? What kind of human holiday would keep cake away from a precious bulldog like me?

Me: Well, to start with, this is Texas Independence Day and cake is not necessarily associated with it. And second, we are not a big cake family.

Miss Sweetie:  That is all right, Lady Human. You can give us a small cake.

Stella:  You mean you can wave flags, but we can’t, and we can’t even eat cake? What kind of a holiday is this?

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Big Greasy, Cheesy Sandwich – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, what is in your hand? Nevermind. Give it to me.

Me:  Well, that’s rude.

Stella:  I am sorry. Give it to me, please.

Me:  I’ll share a piece. You couldn’t handle the whole thing.

Stella:  Mmmmm. Bread. Cheese. Grease.

Me:  Butter, to be precise.

Stella:  Wonderful. A big greasy, cheesy sandwich. May I have another piece?

Me:  How about a pinch?

Stella:  Okay. And now may I have another pinch? And then another bigger pinch?

Me:  You are not going to eat my whole sandwich one pinch at a time.

Stella:  Awww, Lady Human, but one should always have a plan.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Happy 7th Birthday, Wiggles! – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Why are you being so nice to Wiggles? And why are you singing that funny song? Wait, let me sing, too!

Me:  I am always nice to Wiggles. And I am singing the birthday song for her. Today is her 7th birthday.

Stella:  Sing for me!

Me:  I will when it is your birthday.

Wiggles:  I have never understood the word ‘birthday’.

Me:  It means the day you were born.

Wiggles: What is ‘born’?

Me:  It means the first day you drew a breath on this earth.

Wiggles:  And that is important?

Me:  It’s a way we have of measuring time and life.

Wiggles:  Is seven years a long time?

Me:  Longer for some than for others. But every day is the same length.

Wiggles:  It depends on what you do with the day.

Me:  Yes. Yes, it does.

Wiggles:  Then I will spend the rest of my special day up on my special table under my special pecan tree and it will not seem long at all.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Is Normal? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Look around, Lady Human.

Me: We are normal again. Well, our definition of normal.

Stella:  What is normal? The ground was cushioned by frozen stuff and now it isn’t. But it may be again. Is that what normal looks like.

Me:  I don’t know what normal looks like. Last week was very odd, not what most would call normal. I think of normal the way some people think of vanilla.

Stella:  Vanilla is normal? What is vanilla?

Me:  Vanilla is the flavor of that yogurt I give you when you need a carb boost quick.

Stella:  Ooooh. That is vanilla? And vanilla is normal? I love normal.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Weird, Weird Ground – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges. Why are things so strange? Why can’t we count on stuff anymore? Stuff like the ground?

Me:  Why are you all walking so weird?

Wiggles:  You have to be careful, Lady Human. The ground has changed. Watch where you step.

Doodlebug:  Is that spot safe? I will test it. Yes, that spot is okay.

Me:  Is this because the snow melted? When we were covered with inches of snow, you all ran through it like it was nothing. Now you are tiptoeing over every square foot. I am confused.

Stella:  Most humans are, most of the time.

Miss Sweetie:  Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. It’s all right over here. Let’s run!

Wiggles:  No, not yet.

Me:  What do you think is going to happen?

Wiggles:  The ground may disappear. It did the other day.

Me:  Not exactly. Snow fell, covered the ground, then melted, and behold! The ground that has been there the whole time!

Stella:  A likely story, Lady Human. Allow us our doubts. And allow us to conduct our own weird ground experiments.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Drippy World – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, make it stop!

Me:  What do I need to stop now? Not saying I can. I just want to know.

Stella:  The drippy dripping. Make it stop.

Me:  Okay, several things are going on at once…

Miss Sweetie:  Lady Human, there is water dripping into a bowl on the kitchen floor. Is that my new water bowl? Because it looks kind of nasty. I want my old bowl back.

Me:  No, there is a broken endcap that froze during the Polar Vortex this week. Tall Man has gone to get the parts to fix it. Meanwhile, we are catching the water in a bowl…bowls…lots of bowls.

Wiggles:  Lady Human! Cold water dripped on my back when I went outside. I didn’t like it. Tell it to stop.

Me:  The sun is out. Snow is melting off the roof. It will stop when there is no more snow to melt off the roof.

Wiggles:  Not good enough!

Doodlebug: Lady Human, last night Tall Man left the sink water thing dripping. It was very annoying and disturbed my sleep. How can I be a wonderdog without my sleep?

Me:  You are a wonderdog?

Doodlebug:  Of course. How could you not know that?

Me:  I guess I haven’t been paying attention. As for the sink, he left the faucet dripping to help keep the pipes from freezing.

Doodlebug:  You are humans. Why didn’t you just tell the pipes not to freeze?

Me:  I think you are still confused about what humans can do.

Stella:  Well, you are obviously not in charge of dripping. If bulldogs were in charge, we would have clamped that endcap shut with our big old bulldog mouths and licked all that snow off the roof by now.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Send It Back – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  Yes?

Stella:  I am tired of all that cold stuff on the ground. Please send it back to where it came from.

Me:  The snow?

Stella:  Is the what the evil stuff is called? Where did it come from?

Me:  Well, truly frigid air from the Arctic plunged down from the North Pole and mixed with some moisture and froze the moisture so it fell out of the sky as ice crystals and the ice crystals called ‘snow’ landed on the cold, cold ground and stuck.

Stella:  You made that all up, didn’t you?

Me:  No. I mean there’s a whole lot more to it than that, but…

Stella:  Pack it up and send it back. I am tired of it.

Me:  That’s not something I can do. It will leave. It will melt. The temperature will get above freezing…

Stella:  Is that the trick? When will that be?

Me:  Maybe another day or two or three.

Stella:  Not good enough. Our toes need to be snow-free now.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Thawing It Out – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And I do not want to stay out here too long, Lady Human. Whatever are you doing?

Me:  Thawing out the chickens’ water. As long as this cold spell lasts, I’m going to have to thaw their frozen water several times a day.

Stella:  How come they don’t mind the cold?

Me:  They are covered with down feathers. It’s like wearing a warm blanket all the time. The county agent says that they are good to about 20 degrees below zero, so they ought to have 20 degrees more leeway tonight. It’s only going down to zero.

Stella:  Zero. As in nothing?

Me:  Well, temperature is on a scale, so it’s all relative.

Stella:  If you say so.

Me:  I know you don’t understand.

Stella:  I understand one thing. It’s freaking cold.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hunkered Down – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, the grass is missing. Someone covered it up with a big white blanket.

Me:  That’s the snow I’ve told you about.

Wiggles:  I don’t like it. It squished between my toes.

Doodlebug:  Someone was careless. Was that you, Lady Human?

Me:  Did I cause the snow cover? I can honestly say that I did not.

Miss Sweetie:   Well, someone caused it and I think they should take responsibility because it is amazingly cold, and my toes don’t like it.

Me:  As in when you take responsibility for going potty in the house?

Miss Sweetie:  I never take responsibility for that. Anything I do is on you, Lady Human.

Me:  I sort of figured that. Listen, for the rest of this week, there are not going to be any sunbaths even if the sun appears.

Wiggles:  Awwww.

Doodlebug:  You’ve lost the sun again, haven’t you?

Me:  No, that’s something else that I am not in charge of. Also, it is already down to 7 degrees and is supposed to get down to 2 degrees tomorrow night. So, no lingering during bathroom breaks. Go out, do your business, come right back in. I will be timing you. Until this is over, we are hunkered down.

Stella:  Hunkered down. That sounds heavy. Just the sort of thing a bulldog can do.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stuck – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Potty time, Lady Human! Now! Now! Now!

Me; Okay, hold your horses.

Stella:  No horses here. Only bulldogges. And a cat. Yuck.

Me:  Uh-oh.

Stella:  I don’t like that sound.

Me:  The gate on the door won’t open.

Stella:  Let me butt it with my big ole bully head. Hey! Why didn’t that work?

Me:  The bolt is stuck.

Stella:  Unstick it.

Me:  I’m trying. I think it’s frozen. Like frozen with ice.

Stella:  Unfreeze it.

Me:  Tall Man has a heat gun he can use.

Stella:  Tall Man has a gun that shoots heat? Wow! Tall Man is cool!

Me:  I can’t budge it, We’ll have to go out the back for you to potty.

Stella:  But that’s my rain spot.

Me:  So?

Stella:  It’s not raining. I can’t go out there. That just wouldn’t be right.

Me:  How right is it to need to potty and not have a place to go?

Stella: You make a good point. Frozen door gates. Birds flying in circles and attacking berry bushes. Pottying in my rain spot when there is no rain. Lady Human, the world has gone crazy.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

SHUT UP! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Did you hear that? Of course not! Everybody’s yelling at the same time! SHUT UP!

Wiggles:  That’s rude!

Stella:  No, you’re rude!

Doodlebug:  You are both rude! I’m the only one allowed to talk!

Miss Sweetie:  So everyone shut up and everyone is rude. I am glad that is settled.

Wiggles:  That’s rude, Sweetie!

Stella:  No, you are!

Me:  Okay, y’all are caught in a circular rut going nowhere. Now I’m going to say it myself. Shut up!

Stella:  Rude!

Me:  Well, I reckon a bulldog would know about that.

Stella:  You are right, Lady Human. Therefore, as queen, I will repeat myself.  SHUT UP!

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Cat Stuck Her Head in Where? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde Bulldogges.

Me:  NO! UN-UH! NOT IN THERE!

Stella:  Who’s in trouble now?

Me:  Not a bulldog.

Wiggles:  That’s unheard of.

Miss Sweetie:  It was MoonCat.

Doodlebug:  I missed it. What happened?

Miss Sweetie:  The cat stuck her head in the big cold box.

Wiggles:  Lady Human, you didn’t let me do that. And I tried.

Me:  I didn’t let MoonCat do it either.

Miss Sweetie:  And there are wonderful things in that secret place.

Me:  Listen to me, everyone. Only humans get to stick our heads in the refrigerator.

Stella:  What about paws?

Me:  No.

Wiggles:  What about tongues?

Me:  No.

Doodlebug:  What about noses?

Me:  Your nose is part of your head, so the answer is no.

Stella:  Paw are not on our heads so we can stick those in the cold box.

Me:  No.

Stella: Come on, Lady Human. If you are going to make rules, the rules have to make sense.

Me:  Okay, how about this?  Nobody but a human is allowed to stick any part of anything into the refrigerator.

Stella:  I liked the confusing cold box rule better. More wiggle room. Right, Wiggles!

Wiggles:  Yup.

Stella:  Remember to share.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Naked Spot in the Bowl – Conversations with Stella and MoonCat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady, Human, tell the cat to be quiet. She is being loud again for no reason…again.

Me:  What’s going on, MoonCat?

MoonCat:  Bowl. Food.

Me:  There’s still lots of food in your bowl…

MoonCat:  No. There is a naked spot. I can see my face in it. So disappointing. I will have to sit here and voice my disappointment.

Stella:  Lady Humans, are all cats crazy or is it just MoonCat?

Me:  Other people have told me that they have seen this same behavior with their cats.

Stella:  So they are all crazy.

Me:  Just because bulldogs lick up every crumb right away…

Stella:  Which is the right way to eat, by the way. And, by the way, my whole food bowl is one big old naked spot, so how about covering it up.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Whole Enchilada – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, may I have some of that?

Me:  I guess a little won’t hurt…hey!

Stella:  Gulp! Mmmm! Was that all? That was pretty small.

Me:  You gobbled the whole thing! You didn’t even chew!

Stella:  It was what you humans call ‘the whole enchilada’. What else was I supposed to do?

Me:  That was not an enchilada.

Stella:  Uh-oh. What was it? Was it edible? Because I edibled it.

Me:  It was…emphasis on the was a sausage biscuit.

Stella:  Well, not anymore. What else you got?

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sky Dancing – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Birds, birds, go away! Don’t come back another day!

Me:  I like the birds.

Stella:  Even the one that pooped on your hand the other day?

Me:  I try not to hold grudges over that kind of thing.

Stella:  So, may I poop on your hand?

Me:  No, ma’am, you may not.

Stella:  Not fair! And what are those crows doing up there, circling and swinging this way and that way? Hey, it looks kind of pretty. I wish I could sky dance like that.

Me:  The birds have been active for days like I’ve never seen before. Or maybe I just never noticed.

Stella:  I’d be careful if I were you, Lady Human. When looking up at sky dancers, always keep your mouth shut. You never know…

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.