Chopping Down the Bulldog Weed Forest – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, call the people with shiny metal stars on their shirts! Someone has chopped down a bunch of our plants. Our special bulldog forest is gone!

Me:  No need to involve the authorities. I chopped down the weeds. Literally. With a hatchet. Those were tough little boogers.

Stella:  But why, oh why? What about the beautiful paths that we tore through them? Now the paths are just…paths.

Me:  Lamb’s quarter is great stuff for a while, but had you noticed that it is all dead since the colder weather came? Those plants won’t come back. They had to be cleared out.

Stella:  But now our yard is so plain. And blank.

Me:  And easy to see around. And easier to walk through. Once the oak tree fell in that storm, the lamb’s quarter took over.

Stella:  Yes, our weeds were happy little plants.

Me:  The chickens did love it. Some people call it ‘pig weed’.

Stella:  You tell those people that they are wrong. It is bulldog weed! Tough! Just like us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Who Are ‘Hon’ and ‘Bud’? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, who are the strangers in the house?

Me:  There are no strangers in the house.

Stella:  I heard you talking to them. You said, “Hey, Bud, stop!” and then later you said, “Hon, that’s not for you.” I don’t know Hon or Bud. Wait! You didn’t bring more bulldogs here, did you?

Me:  Wouldn’t you want your queendom expanded? But no, there are no new bulldogs. And the Hon and Bud I was referring to were Wiggles and Doodlebug.

Stella:  Why didn’t you just call them by their own names? Were you playing a game with them? Were you trying to fool them? That sounds like fun. Do it to me! Call me some weird name!

Me:  Actually, Hon and Bud are terms I use when I’m, well…annoyed. In fact, if I call you “Honey” or “Hon”, you’re already in trouble.

Stella:  Oh, okay, never mind then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Unfair Food Distribution – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What good is it to be queen if you don’t get the same special treats as everyone else? I went outside for a few minutes and what did I find when I came back in? Lip smacking and lip licking and the delicious aroma of special food. I protest! I protest a whole bunch! Is there another word for that, Lady Human?

Me:  Vehemently.

Stella:  Yes, well…that’s what I am doing! Whatever it is that you said.

Me:  Not everybody got a spoonful of special food.

Doodlebug:  I didn’t.

Me:  Yeah, you see there, Stella. Doodlebug didn’t.

Tiger:  I did! It was delicious!

Wiggles:  Me, too! Mmmmm!

Miss Sweetie:  I woke up from my nap just to enjoy it. And now that I have, good night.

Stella:  Unfair! Why were Doodlebug and I left out? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Me:  Calm down.

Stella:  Why? Why? Why…

Me:  It was not just food. Get it?

Stella:  Food is always food.

Me:  But this had something else. Understand?

Stella:  I understand that we were cheated.

Me:  Okay, okay. I hid their allergy medicine in the food. You and Doodlebug aren’t on the medicine, so I am saving the special food just to get them to take their medicine without balking.

Tiger:  What?

Wiggles:  Yuck!

Miss Sweetie:  No biggie. Good night.

Tiger:  I can’t believe you tricked us.

Stella:  Well, in that case, all is forgiven, Lady Human.

Wiggles:  Yuck! Double yuck! So, when is our next dose?

Doodlebug:  Yeah, and can I get in on that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Humans and Scratching Sticks – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, what are you looking for? Stop that and sit down. I need to be scratched and petted as is my due.

Me:  Just a minute. I am searching for one of my pens. I thought I put it over here, but…say, you haven’t seen it, have you?

Stella:  Your scratching stick. Of course, I have. You have so many of them. I see them everywhere.

Me:  Well, this one has a clear barrel and clicks, and I had it right here…you haven’t been chewing on it, have you?

Stella:  Lady Human, I have good taste. I never chew on barrels that click. They have no flavor at all. They don’t even smell good. Why do humans like scratching sticks? All you do is make mysterious marks with them. When I have a good scratching stick, I like to scratch myself with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Cheese Test – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Cheese, please.

Me:  I’ll get you a piece in a bit. This one is for Wiggles. You’re a good girl.

Stella:  I know. I am a good girl.

Me:  Yes, but I wanted Wiggles to know that she is, too.

Stella:  Awww.

Wiggles:  Cheese. Cheese. Cheese.

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Me:  Here you go.

Wiggles:  Where is it?

Me:  It’s there. It fell in the tuck of your blanket.

Wiggles:  Where?

Me:  Right there. Use your nose. Figure it out. Like a puzzle.

Wiggles:  I don’t want a puzzle. I want cheese.

Me:  Sniff it out.

Wiggles:  Awww. Bulldog noses are…Hold on. Something is there. Here! Cheese!

Me:  Good for you! Great problem solving.

Wiggles:  Next time, can I please just have the cheese without the problem?

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Challenge of Dining Al Fresco – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, why is Tiger eating outside?

Me:  It is a nice day and she’s been a little restless lately. I thought it might be a welcome change. Humans call it dining al fresco.

Stella:  Who is Al Fresco? Is he bringing food now?

Me:  No, it just means eating outside.

Stella:  Tiger looks puzzled. Something is wrong with her dish.

Me:  Oh, she knocked it off the step. Hold on.

Tiger:  Lady Human, something happened. I don’t know what.

Me:  Your bowl tilted. That’s all. Look. There’s still food in it.

Tiger:  I can’t eat it like that. It’s all weird. The ground threw it down. It didn’t want to hold it straight. I think eating outside is a bad idea. My dish never acts this way in the house.

Me:  The dish is set right now. Look at all that food.

Tiger:  It’s good, but it would be better inside. Eating outside is for animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Snacking – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:  Ask her!

Wiggles:  Yeah, hurry! Before it’s all gone! You know how much humans eat!

Me:  What are y’all stomping around about?

Miss Sweetie:  What’s in your hand.

Doodlebug:  Yeah, we want that.

Me:  Okay, it has been a food-intensive weekend, but we are not going to just keep snacking and snacking and snacking…

Stella:  But you do.

Me:  Well, maybe, a little.

Stella:  We eat three meals a day. You used to eat three meals a day. Until that special food day. Now you have some food in your hand every time I turn around. Watch. I’ll do it now. I turn around, and, BOOM, there is more food in your hand.

Me:  I don’t want any of it to go to waste.

Stella:  Oh, Lady Human, that’s what we’re here for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Don’t Stand on Me – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:  Ow! Ow! Ow!

Stella:  What is your problem, Lady Human?

Me:  Off! Off! Off!

Stella:  Oh, was my big ole foot stepping on you?

Me:  Yes! Right in the big middle of my stomach.

Stella:  You know how to keep that from happening?

Me:  Not invite you on my bed?

Stella:  That would be silly. No, Lady Human, just don’t lay down by my feet. Then my feet won’t be tempted to step on you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Night Talking – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Quiet! Please! Beauty sleep time.

Me:  What are you talking about?

Stella:  That’s it! Talking! That’s what I’m talking about!

Me:  All right. Talk.

Stella:  NO! Tonight is not going to be like last night! Talk! Talk! Talk! As though humans have anything worthwhile to say.

Me:  That was an oddity. Tall Man came home late, and you woke up and needed to go outside and we started talking…

Stella:  And you didn’t stop talking, even after I came back inside. I gave you all the signals. I climbed into bed. I arranged my blankets…

Me:  My blankets, actually.

Stella:  Not in the mood to debate that, Lady Human. I even bulldog grumbled and you all kept talking and talking and talking…

Me:  We had a lot to talk about.

Stella:  And talking and talking and…

Me:  Okay. I get the picture.

Stella:  You have my permission to talk, but only during daylight hours and only when I am awake.

Me:  That narrows the field.

Stella:  And yes, you may talk in any field as long as I am not asleep in it.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Freak Me Out! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hey! What was that?

Tiger:  I know.

Stella:  Something touched my back leg. What was it?

Tiger:  You’re the queen. Why don’t you know?

Wiggles:  I saw it, too.

Stella:  Who touched my back leg? Lady Human?

Me:  Not me.

Stella:  Who?

Me:  I want to bust out laughing.

Miss Sweetie:  It was the cat.

Doodlebug:  Yep, it sure was.

Stella:  Then why didn’t someone warn me? Nobody barked. You know the rule. Everybody barks whenever the cat does anything.

Tiger:  Barking takes effort.

Wiggles:  It was too interesting to bark at it.

Miss Sweetie:  I barked at the cat earlier. I used up all my cat barking for the day.

Doodlebug:  Barking might have stopped it. Nobody wanted that.

Me:  Stella, what are you doing? You never touch noses with MoonCat.

Stella:  I’m asking the cat about why she sneaked up behind me and touched my leg. Well, explain yourself, cat!

MoonCat: Meow.

Stella:  Oh, just typical!

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Naked Trees – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The trees must be cold.

Miss Sweetie:  If they are cold, why are they taking their clothes off?

Doodlebug:  Yeah, and why do they throw their clothes on my head?

Me:  Leaves.

Tiger:  Leaves what?

Me:  No, I mean the trees. They are shedding their leaves.

Wiggles:  How come? I thought they looked nice. Now their tree arms just look skinny and naked.

Me:  It’s that time of year. That’s why we call this season ‘Fall’. And Autumn. We call it that, too.

Stella: Humans make everything complicated. Two names for the same thing. Too wordy.

Me:  What would you call this season?

Stella:  Cool Windy Cloudy Air Time. See. Isn’t that better?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

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.