Picky Eater – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.
 
Miss Sweetie:  Woo-hoo! Look what I found!
 
Me:  Let me guess. Food on the ground.
 
Miss Sweetie:  Why eat out of a bowl when you can eat off the ground?
 
Me:  My thought exactly.
 
Stella:  Lady Human, you are a picky eater. I have never seen you eat off the floor.
 
Miss Sweetie:  Now, Lady Human, don’t get any big ideas. The floor is my dinner plate. No sharing!





 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Encroachers – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, help! There is a weird squirrel on the fence.
 
Me:  That’s not a squirrel. It’s a lemur. Let me call the neighbor it belongs to and tell them it’s wandered over here.
 
Stella:  How dare that what cha call it come into our home space!
 
Me:  Lemur. And it’s no big deal. It’s trained. It just encroached a little too far this time.
 
Stella:  Encroachers, beware! This is bulldog territory. No one else need apply. It’s bad enough we have coyotes and squirrels and possums and rats and raccoons and owls and hawks and…what else do we have?
 
Me:  Lizards and snakes and lots of birds.
 
Stella:  Ew! We need to put up a Keep Out sign!





 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 

Tilt Your Head – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.
 
Me:  Come on, Wiggles. Time to get ready for bed. Wiggles, don’t just stand there. Come on! Okay, when you don’t answer me, I don’t know if you are suffering from a cognitive disruption or if you’re just being a bulldog. Now she’s tilting her head.


 
Stella: Of course.
 
Me:  Of course because she doesn’t understand me or of course because why?
 
Stella:  Precisely.
 
Me: Can you explain that a little more?
 
Stella:  When you tilt your head, all your brain juices run to one side and then things make more sense. Especially when talking to humans.
 
Me:  I don’t think that’s how that works.
 
Stella:  Try it. Maybe your just need your brain juices to move around. Then you might understand us better.





 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 

Skating Rink – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Something is still wrong with the ground, Lady Human. I thought you were going to take care of this.
 
Doodlebug: Yeah, I am standing still, but I am still moving.
 
Miss Sweetie:  No, you are not moving. The cold ground…that’s what is moving.
 
Wiggles:  And every time I take a step, the ground makes a loud cracking sound like I am a giant.
 
Me:  Some of the ice has lingered, but only in the shady spots.
 
Doodlebug:  Look at me! I am sliding! Weeeee!
 
Stella:  I am walking, but I am not getting anywhere fast. Make it go away. I want our old ground back.
 
Me:  The old ground is there, just underneath a layer of stubborn ice.
 
Stella:  Nope. Not allowed. Only bulldog stubborn is allowed around here.





 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Socked In – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! You have fouled up the weather again! The ground is white, and the sky is spitting ice chunks that are bouncing off my back.

Me:  Honestly, I am not in charge of this.

Stella:  I told you last year, after Snowpocalypse, not to let anything like that ever happen again.

Me:  Well, we’re still about 25 degrees warmer than we were during that event last year, so…

Stella:  Not good enough! Make it go away. I like to see the ground I am pottying on.

Me:  Hmmm, give it about two days. And the ground may be covered in snow and ice, but it is still there.

Stella: A likely story! If humans can’t control the sky, how do we know you won’t take away the ground while it is covered up? What if I step and there is nothing there?

Me:  I would never take the ground out from under your feet … even if I could … which I can’t.

Stella: Another likely story! I’ve got one eye on you, Lady Human, and another eye on the disappearing ground.

Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Ugliest Word – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Uh-oh. I feel it coming.
 
Me:  Wiggles, go on outside. Wiggles. Wiggles. NOW!
 
Stella: I knew it. The ugliest word in human language. NOW! Like we can’t pick our own time to potty.
 
Me:  If I wait for y’all to pick your own time to do anything, it likely won’t get done right.
 
Stella:  How insulting, Lady Human! We don’t tell you when to do stuff. What if we did? Lady Human, feed us NOW! Lady Human, give us treats NOW! Lady Human, put down that little Picture Box and go to sleep NOW!
 
Me:  But you do tell me that every night. Only you do it with your paw.
 
Stella:  Because I refuse to say ugly words like NOW.




 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Exploding Head – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human?
 
Me:  Uh.
 
Stella:  Lady Human, are you there?
 
Me:  Uh.
 
Wiggles:  I think something is wrong with her. Is something wrong with you, ma’am?



 
Miss Sweetie:  Something has to be wrong with her. Her head keeps exploding.

Me: Uh

Doodlebug:  She sounds like a bulldog. Nothing wrong with that.
 
Stella:  Maybe we should do something.
 
Wiggles:  Like what?
 
Doodlebug:  I know! We can jump on her.
 
Miss Sweetie:  Humans don’t do well when you jump on them. They flatten out.
 
Me:  Achoo! Uh.
 
Stella:  There it is again. Everybody, stand back! Lady Human?
 
Me:  Uh.
 
Stella:  We are going to sit here and stare at you until it is supper time. Then your head will have to stop exploding and you will have to get up and take care of us. Problem solved.




 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 
 

Finding A Voice – Conversations with Stella and MoonCat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.
 
MoonCat:  And I am MoonCat, Queen of everything. Meow! That means, Howdy!


 
Stella:  No, no, no, not Queen.
 
MoonCat: By the way, Lady Human, one more thing. FOOD!
 
Me:  Is that all you ever think about?
 
MoonCat:  Yes. I thought that was obvious. Oh. And I think about how I am Queen of Everything and how awesome I am.
 
Me:  Wow! That’s a lot to take in. You’ll have to let me ponder that. Now that you’ve found your voice, I’m not sure that we are going to agree all the time.
 
MoonCat:  No need to agree. I am right. That’s all you need to know. And now…as I said…FOOD!



 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Cats Need Not Apply – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ew! Doodlebug! MoonCat is drinking out of your water bowl!
 
Doodlebug:  Yeah, she does that sometimes.


                                                                                                                      
Me:  MoonCat, your water bowl is where it always is. What’s going on?
 
MoonCat:  Bulldog water tastes better.
 
Me:  And this doesn’t bother you, Doodlebug?
 
Doodlebug:  Nope. Plenty for all.
 
Stella:  Well, it bothers me! It is unseemly and…well…well…unbulldoggy.
 
Doodlebug: MoonCat is a bulldog now.
 
Stella:  Noooo! Not possible. Cats can’t be bulldogs. Period!
 
Doodlebug:  She asked to join our pack and I said yes.
 
Stella:  Cats can’t just apply and become bulldogs. Bulldogs are special. Bulldogs are different.
 
Doodlebug:  But she has a little mouth and tongue and doesn’t drink much, and we eat her food if it falls on the ground, so what’s the problem?
 
Stella:  That’s different. Bulldogs are vacuums. We make the world a cleaner place.
 
Doodlebug:  But she lets me drink from her water bowl.
 
Stella:  Well, there’s no accounting for taste.


 
Copyright 2022 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 
 

Crazy Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What is happening, Lady Human?
 
Me:  Crazy humans.
 
Stella:  That’s nothing new. But tonight, they are so loud.
 
Me:  Yeah. People with more money than common sense.
 
Stella:  When will the noise stop?
 
Me:  When they run out.
 
Stella:  Run out of what?
 
Me:  Money. Fireworks. Ammunition.
 
Stella:  Those things must be abundant.
 
Me:  Not really. And none of it is cheap.
 
Stella:  Why do humans make such loud ugly noises?
 
Me:  I think some of them are blowing off steam…almost literally. It has been a hard year for a whole lot of people. I like a good fireworks display as much as the next person, but that’s not what this is. And I have never understood the gunfire into the night sky.
 
Stella:  How can you tell what is going on? I only hear loud noises.
 
Me:  The big booms now and again are the fireworks. The fast, repeated pops are gunfire. This is why I made sure you all got out to potty and got back in early tonight. Those bullets come down somewhere. Our roofer found a couple in our roof a few years ago.
 
Stella:  Why?
 
Me:  Because people are stupid. And wasteful. And stressed.
 
Stella:  Will it stop?
 
Me:  Yes. It’s midnight. God help us all.
 
Stella:  He will, Lady Human. He will.




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 
 

Listening Skills – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Miss Sweetie:  Huh?



Stella: Clean out your ears, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, Lady Human does that. I don’t like that much.

Stella:  But you can hear better.

Miss Sweetie:  Huh?

Me:  She can hear. She’s just not listening.

Miss Sweetie: What’s that noise?

Me:  It’s us talking.

Miss Sweetie: Talking to me?

Me:  That was the general idea.

Miss Sweetie:  Huh. I guess my ears need cleaning again. BUT PLEASE DON’T!





Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Good Conduct Medal – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As Queen, I am awarding the first ever Bulldog Good Conduct Medal to…STELLA, QUEEN OF THE OLDE ENGLISH BULLDOGGES!
 
Me:  You’re giving an award to yourself?
                                                                                                                                      
Stella:  Who better? I am a wonderful companion. I do not eat human furniture. I only bark when I want to.
 
Me:  Isn’t giving yourself an award a little…well…self-serving?
 
Stella:  Of course. Who else would I serve?
 
Me:  Then tell me, what form does this medal take? A gold disc in the shape of a bulldog? A plaque to hang above your bed?
 
Stella:  No. Nothing stupid like that. And this is where you come in, Lady Human. Meat. My medal is to be made of meat. The good stuff, not some cheap substitute. And if you do a good job, I may just award you a Good Conduct Medal for Humans. Of course, that one will be made of meat, too – for me because I picked you.




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Bulldog Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.
 
Me:  Stella, time to go out, girl.
 
Stella:  Mmmm, I respectfully decline.
 
Me:  No, it is definitely time to go out now.
 
Stella:  Nope.
 
Me:  NOW, Stella. You are going out to potty NOW.
 
Stella:  Saying words more than once will not change my mind.
 
Me:  No options. Go outside.
 
Stella:  You don’t bulldog me! Humans don’t have those skills. Never try to bulldog a bulldog ‘cuz we’ll bulldog you right back and guess what? BULLDOGS RULE! The End.
 
Me:  Are you going to go out now?
 
Stella: Yeah, sure, why not?




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

At the Point of Ridiculous – Conversations with Stella and MoonCat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, MoonCat is starving to death again.
 
MoonCat:  Meow! Food!

 
Me:  MoonCat, you have food in your bowl, and I have already fed you 2 softy meals just since this morning with 2 more to come. If I put more down, you just let it go to waste.
 
MoonCat:  Meow! More food!
 
Me:  No, ma’am. Eat what you have. This is at the point of ridiculous.
 
Stella:  The point of ridiculous doesn’t sound so bad. In fact, it sounds like a fun place. Let’s park at it for a while.




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Dreams May Come – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Awww! RUN! RUN! RUN!
 
Me:  Stella, wake up!
 
Stella:  What happened? Where am I?
 
Me:  You’re fine. You were dreaming. I don’t like waking you up from a dream, but you were kicking and groaning.
 
Stella:  Where is that ugly thing that was chasing me?
 
Me: It’s not here. It was only in your dream.
 
Stella:  Why would I dream about such a thing?
 
Me:  Hard to say. I have bad dreams sometimes, too. I guess everyone does. Some people think that bad dreams come from eating certain types of food right before bedtime.
 
Stella:  The only thing I eat right before bed are…crackers! Did crackers cause my bad dream? ‘Cuz if so…who cares about a bad dream. Keep the crackers coming!




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dress Up – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde Bulldogges. What’cha doin’, Lady Human? ‘Cuz whatever it is, it looks kinda dumb.
 
Me: Why, thank you so much, Stella. I’m trying on some dressy clothes in case I need to dress up.
 
Stella:  Isn’t that what humans do every day? You put on all that stuff.
 
Me:  Yes, but there are clothes and then there are dress clothes. You know, for parties or church events or special business.
 
Stella:  No, I don’t know. I have never understood why humans drape themselves with all that cloth. A blanket on a bed on a cold day or night, yes. But to walk around in and get caught on bushes and trees and brush and then you throw them in that loud machine and slosh them in water. Human nonsense. And now you tell me that you have to use different clothes for different days.
 
Me:  And by the way, how about your special sweater that I made for you. When the next norther comes through, you should wear that.
 
Stella:  Oh, no! I remember that thing. You can keep that dress up stuff all to yourself. I am proud to be naked and a dog.




 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Who Do You Think You Are? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.
 
Me:  Stella, you have to scooch over. I need to sit there.
 
Stella:  Nope, I’m fine right where I am.
 
Me:  I mean it. You haven’t left me enough room to sit down.
 
Stella:  You sit too much as it is.
 
Me:  Excuse me, but…
 
Stella:  Okay, I excuse your butt. However, I prefer not to use that word, thank you.
 
Me:  Uh, who do you think you are?
 
Stella:  I know who I am. Haven’t you been paying attention all this time? I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I thought that I had made that clear. Now who do YOU think YOU are?
 
Me:  I am the owner of that chair.
 
Stella:  Typical human behavior. Always grabbing everything for themselves.



 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Fiddlin’ Around – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’ll put this here. No. Here. And that goes over there. No. It goes over here, too.

Me:  What are you doing, girl?

Stella:  The same thing humans do. What does it look like?

Me:  Looks like you’re fiddlin’ around with stuff.

Stella:  Fiddlin’. Okay. I’m fiddlin’. Fiddlin’ sounds important.

Me:  Well, sometimes. Like fiddlin’ with an engine to make it run. Or fiddlin’ on a violin which is a fiddle. But what you’re doing just looks like you’re moving one thing and then moving another to no real purpose.

Stella:  Shows how much a human knows. This toy has to be in the right place for my head to rest on comfortably and so no one else, meaning you, Lady Human, can play with it. And this blanket has to be piled up over here to support my belly so it won’t slump on the mattress.

Me:  Oh, excuse me. I totally misunderstood.

Stella:  That’s because you like all humans were fiddlin’ in your head over things you know nothing about.

Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Where Is Our Snow? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, everyone on the Picture Box has that cold, white stuff on the ground.
 
Me:  Snow?
 
Stella:  I don’t remember what it is called, but we don’t have any. Where is our cold, white stuff on the ground?
 
Me:  We haven’t had any thus far this season, but it is way early for us to have snow. Did you really like it so much when we had it back in February?
 
Stella:  No, of course not. Who like having cold, wet feet?
 
Me:  What’s the problem then?
 
Stella:  I don’t like walking in it. I just like looking at it. From a distance. With my feet all warm and toasty. Never mind. Cancel my order. I’ll just stick with the Picture Box stuff. This way I can enjoy it without living in it.



 
Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 
 

The Pleasure of Your Company – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Why are you still a lay-abed, Lady Human?

Me:  Well, I don’t have to be up early and it’s comfortable here.

Stella:  Don’t you want breakfast? I thought that humans lived for breakfast.

Me:  Huh, I thought bulldogs did. Why are you still a lay-abed?

Stella: Well, I don’t need to potty and it’s comfortable here and well, I like the pleasure of your company.

Me:  I like the pleasure of your company, too, Stella. So does that mean you’ll skip breakfast?

Stella:  Don’t be ridiculous! That’s taking togetherness way too far!




Copyright 2021 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.