A Sense of Time – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It’s time.

Me:        Time for what?

Stella:    I don’t know. I just know it’s time for something.

Me:        We’ll go outside, and you can run around. Give me a minute.

Stella:    All right. One…two…three…okay. It’s been a minute.

Me:        Actually, no.

Miss Sweetie:    Is it now?

Me:        No.

Miss Sweetie:    Is it now?

Me:        No. A minute is 60 seconds.

Miss Sweetie:    Now?

Me:        No.

Wiggles:   Now?

Me:        No.

Doodlebug:        Now?

Me:        No.

Tiger:     Give up. It is never going to happen. The minute will never be over.

Me:        It will. Okay, forget about the minute.

Stella:    After all this time?






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Indoor Swimming Pool – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs are not known as swimmers. Some of us like to bathe and soak and paddle around in water deeper than a water bowl. And some of us, like me, don’t.

Miss Sweetie:    Did you see me, Aunt Stella? Did you see me swimming? I was great!

Stella:    I saw you, Sweetie. I’m not sure that was swimming. It looked more like flopping and wading. But I know you love it so I’m glad for you.

Me:        Sweetie, what happened to your water bowl?


Miss Sweetie:    This is not a water bowl. It is my indoor swimming pool.

Me:        No, Sweetie, that is your water bowl. What are you doing?

Stella:    Sweetie! Get out of your water bowl. Gross! Your rear end does not fit in it. And what are you going to drink? Nasty!

Miss Sweetie:    But this is my swimming pool inside.

Stella:    No, it is not! You are sitting in your water bowl. Now all the water is out of it. What are you going to do when you get thirsty?

Miss Sweetie:    Lady Human will put more water in it and I will drink what I want and then I will sit in the rest. Having an indoor pool is wonderful! We should have done this a long time ago.

Me:        Honestly, we still haven’t done it.

Miss Sweetie:    All I know is that I am sitting in my indoor pool now and I am fine.

Stella:    All I know is that you are sitting in your water bowl and don’t you dare come near mine!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Are Humans Crazy? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am sad to report that humans are still crazy. They have not improved at all. Last night and the night before that proved their lunacy to me yet again.

Me:        Is this about the fireworks? That’s just something that people do every so often. It’s not that big a deal…

Stella:    Not a big deal? Setting off loud, obnoxious explosions! Blowing up stuff! And calling it ‘fun’?

Me:        When you put it that way, it does sound a little odd.

Stella:    A little? Did you hear it?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    It doesn’t bother you that people are setting fire to explosives and sending the fire up in the air? And why? Because it is super-hot, and they have nothing better to do? Really? If it’s hot, don’t set fire to anything else. Freeze something. Eat ice cubes. Squirt cool water on something. Dogs know these things. Why are humans crazy?

Me:        It was a holiday that traditionally includes fireworks so…

Stella:    So, go ahead and be crazy.

Me:        Well…but I don’t think you have anything to block out tonight. The humans have shot their wad.

Stella:    Another mysterious saying that means what?

Me:        Fireworks aren’t cheap. They cost money. People buy what they can afford and, once they have shot them off, that’s pretty much it. The fireworks stand shut down. The ‘shot their wad’ expression comes from a long time ago when rifles and muskets had to be loaded with a wad of cloth that was rammed down the barrel with the shot. When the gun was fired, the wad blew out, too. Therefore, they had “shot their wad”. Now it just means that people have spent all they have to spend on a certain thing. Why are you looking at me that way?

Stella:    You humans are very complicated creatures. You have long, boring stories behind everything you do. And regrettably, the stories prove my crazy point.

Me:        You mean that your point is crazy.

Stella:    Don’t put words in my mouth.

Me:        Oh, Stella, I do that all the time.

Stella:    And it must stop! I have a mind of my own!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Beware! Toe Catchers! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We bulldogs take great pains to clear our footpaths of hazards. The stray stick, poop pile, rock, or plant can trip us up.

Me:        Not really.

Stella:    For that reason, we tamp down our paths and make sure we always run on the same courses throughout our range. One thing that we do not allow on our paths – GRASS! NO GRASS PERMITTED! When humans say, ‘Don’t Walk on the Grass!’, that’s fine with us. There is no grass where we walk.

Me:        That’s the truth.

Stella:    However, …

Me:        Uh-oh.

Stella:    Something has messed up our path by the chicken run.

Me:        Has grass miraculously sprung up?

Stella:    No. That would be a miracle. Something has dug a toe catcher hole in two places in the middle of our path. Not one toe catcher hole, but two. The audacity!



Me:        Okay, those holes are, I believe, locust holes. They are known as chimneys. That is where the locusts have emerged after over a decade in the ground.

Stella:    Those loud, annoying mechanical insects?

Me:        Yes. They’ve been growing down there underground since long before you were born. Commonly known elsewhere as cicadas. Here we call them “locusts” even though they aren’t really locusts.

Stella:    So, you know that you are calling them by the wrong name.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    And you don’t care.

Me:        No. Not really.

Stella:    Good to know. Whatever you call the toe catchers, they have dug holes in our path and I don’t like having to step around their little traps whenever I go trotting freely along. Who needs to get a toe caught in a stupid insect hole?

Me:        Not me.

Stella:    With your monster-sized human feet, you are not at risk.


Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Attack of the Wicked Red Thing – Conversations with Stella, Wiggles, and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now, Wiggles, in your own words, please tell us what happened.

Me:   I can tell you what happened.

Stella:    You will have your chance. But your testimony is only from the human point of view. Wiggles will give us the bulldog facts.

Me:        Human point of view? But I saw what happened. There are no human facts and bulldog facts. There are only facts.

Stella:    Time’s a wastin’! Wiggles, give your account.

Me:     You make this sound like a trial.

Stella:    It is a trial of that wicked red thing over there. Now please let us continue.

Wiggles:   Well, I was asleep, having a good nap.

Tiger:   Me, too.

Doodlebug:   Me, too.

Miss Sweetie:   Me, too.

Stella:   Me, too.

Wiggles:   All of a sudden, that mean old red thing attacked my rear end and woke me up. I jumped up and started barking.

Tiger:   Me, too.

Doodlebug:   Me, too.

Miss Sweetie:   Me, too.

Stella:   Me, too.

Me:   Is that all?

Wiggles:   Does there need to be more?

Me:        Well, I was not asleep. I was sitting right here, and I saw what happened. The wicked red thing is a small red bucket. Wiggles, while you were napping, you moved your rear end and bumped into the bucket. It fell over, startled you awake, and you jumped up barking. As did everyone else, except me. So there. End of case.

Stella:   So, the wicked red thing…bucket…like that’s a real word…gets away with it?

Me:   It’s just a plastic bucket, Stella.

Stella:    Why is it allowed to be in here with us?

Me:   Have you noticed what I do with that bucket?

Stella:    No.

Tiger:   No.

Wiggles:   No.

Miss Sweetie:   No.

Doodlebug:   Don’t care.

Me:   It’s what I use to carry your food to your bowls.

Stella:   Oh. Well, in that case…Wiggles! Watch out where you move your rear end when you nap!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Summer Games – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Guess the word I am thinking of.

Me:        Food.

Stella:    Yes, but also something else.

Me:        Treats.

Stella:    Okay, I’ll admit that is never far from my mind. But something else.

Tiger:     Hot.

Stella:    Well, yes, but…

Wiggles:   Puppy pool?

Stella:    No, not for me. I am not a pool dog.

Miss Sweetie:    I am! Me! Me! Me!

Doodlebug:   I know what your word is, Aunt Stella.

Sweetie:   Say it, Doodle!

Doodlebug:   CAT!

Stella:    YEP!

Miss Sweetie:   THAT’S IT! LET’S GO!

Me:   Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Hold your horses there!

Stella:   There are horses?

Miss Sweetie:    LET’S CHASE THEM, TOO!

Me:        No, there are no horses.

Stella:    Then why did you tell us to hold them? For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

Me:        Why the rush to chase the cat or horses or anything?

Stella:    Bored!

Tiger:     Bored!

Wiggles:   Bored!

Miss Sweetie:   Bored!

Doodlebug:   Bored!

Stella:    It’s oven hot outside. Cat chasing is the only summer game we’ve got left.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Piano Pounding – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It has been a peaceful day…Sweetie! What are you doing?

Me:   Whoa there, Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    What happened?


Me:        You jumped up on the piano and then fell off backward. Are you all right?

Miss Sweetie:   Yeah. Why would I do something like that?

Stella:   You tell me.

Miss Sweetie:    The cat was up there. She was making fun of me. She said I was too fat to jump up on the music machine. So I did. Just to show her.

Stella:    Since when do you speak cat? I think you just wanted to chase her.

Me:        The piano is not for jumping on.

Miss Sweetie:   The cat sits up there all the time. One rule for bulldog, another rule for cats. Unfair. Unfair. Unfair.

Me:        What happened when you jumped up on the piano?

Miss Sweetie:   I’m not sure. The whole thing is a little fuzzy.

Me:        Your paws couldn’t hold on and you fell off backward. Thank the LORD you weren’t hurt!

Miss Sweetie:   Oh, yeah. That was great!

Stella:    There’s exciting and then there’s just plain silly.

Miss Sweetie:   Which one was what I did?




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Bulldog Football – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Make way! Make way! Tall Man is coming through! He is a busy man!

Wiggles:   I want to say hello before he leaves for the mystery place called “work”.


Me:        No, just wave from over there. He has his good pants on.

Wiggles:   It won’t take long. I just want to say good-bye before he goes to his mystery place.

Stella:    Let’s all just bark our hellos and good-byes. The humans are very particular about their clothes when they are going to mystery places. Of course, if they would just be like us and not wear clothes, they would have one less thing to worry about it. But humans insist on clothing.

Me:        It’s an old practice. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

Stella:    Is that where Tall Man is going now?

Me:        To the Garden of Eden? No. That’s a long, long way from here. It’s…well…it’s a long story, in more ways than one.

Stella:    Bring on the popcorn!

Wiggles:   After I wipe my face on Tall Man’s pants. Then everyone will know that a bulldog has loved him.

Me:        Nope.

Wiggles:   I’ll just go over this way.

Me:        Nope.

Wiggles:   Around this way then.

Me:        Nope.

Wiggles:   Lady Human, I had no idea you could move that fast.

Me:        Neither did I. It’s like football and I am a blocker.

Stella:    Cool! What is football?

Tall Man:   Bye! See you later!

Wiggles:   No! He’s getting away without my slobber kiss!

Me:        Exactly. He’ll probably let you smear your slobber kiss on his casual pants later.

Wiggles:   But how will the humans at the mystery place know that a bulldog loves him.

Me:        He will tell them.

Wiggles:   It would be more believable if he had a big mouth smear on his pants.

Stella:    Maybe next time.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Pounds Per Square Inch – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Doodlebug has eaten part of the little fence. Again.

Me:        No great loss. He can’t eat the big fence.

Stella:    Why not? He has a bulldog mouth.


Me:        The big fence is reinforced since some stray dog broke into the yard years ago, before y’all came, and killed my chickens one morning.

Stella:    What dog did that? Let me at him!

Me:        We don’t know. He escaped, and we never saw him again – thankfully. Tall Man reinforced the fence with big thick boards. Doodlebug can’t bite through them, not because he isn’t strong enough, but because he can’t get his mouth around the boards.

Doodlebug:   But there are chickens in the yard. They talk to me every time I go out there.

Me:        Those are new chickens. I got them about the time Stella and Snoopey and Wiggles showed up. Dogs have powerful jaws. They can bite through lots of stuff.

Stella:    How powerful?

Me:        Dobermans about 195-245 pounds per square inch of pressure. That means they can press down on one square inch with between 195 and 245 pounds of force. American Bulldogs have an average of 305 pounds per square inch of pressure.

Doodlebug:   And me, what about me? What about me?

Me:        English bulldogs, eh, about 210 pounds per square inch, so I’m told. Olde English Bulldogges I haven’t seen the data on.

Doodlebug:        Yay! So, we win.

Me:        No, I think American Bulldogs probably have more force.

Stella:    I think your math is off, Lady Human.

Me:        I fully admit that may be the case.

Stella:    Doodle is a board breaker. Show me an American bulldog that can do that.

Me:        I don’t think we’ll try that. Boards aren’t cheap.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Treasure Hunter – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Okay, Queen Stella, since you are the queen, you can tell me where Wiggles is.

Stella:    What do I look like? One of those energetic creatures who run circles around sheep?

Me:        A Border Collie?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        A Corgi?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        A Sheepdog?

Stella:    Closer.

Me:        A shepherd?

Stella:    That’s the one! I am a bulldog. What part of Non-Working Group do you not understand?

Me:        I’m not asking you to ride herd on the pack. I just wanted to know where Wiggles got off to.

Stella:    One wild guess.

Me:        Oh, great! Wiggles!

Stella:    Run faster, Lady Human!


Wiggles:   Hmmm?

Me:        Oh, no! Look at the mess!

Stella:    You see, Lady Human, you knew where to find her all along if you had just given it a second thought. Have trash? Will find Wiggles.

Me:        What did you eat, Wiggles?

Wiggles:   Well, there was my favorite. Left-over eggs licked fresh right out of the egg shells. And an empty container that smelled like barbequed brisket but that was just a trick because there wasn’t any brisket in it, just the smell which was still delicious and tempting but not very filling…

Me:        At least you didn’t eat the container.

Wiggles:   No, but I licked all the good smell out of it.

Me:        The bag was not hung up high enough to deter you.

Wiggles:   Lady Human, I told you before. Trash diving is my hobby. Why would you keep me from my hobby? It is an old and honored pursuit of dogs everywhere. To ask me to stop trash diving is like asking me to stop being me. In fact, I’m really a treasure hunter.

Stella:    In that case, during your dives, start looking around for a crown for me. Because I still don’t have a crown. That’s why I’m not taken seriously as a queen.

Me:        You’re not going to find a crown in the trash.

Stella:    How do you know? Anyone who would throw away containers that smell like brisket would throw away a crown.






Copyright 2018 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Did I Say “Stop”? – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        And I am not.

Stella:    Are you being sassy?

Me:        Sure. Why not?

Stella:    You are not a bulldog. You are not allowed to be sassy.

Me:        I beg to differ.

Stella:    I don’t need you to be sassy. I need you to scratch my belly.

Me:        Oh, okay. I can do both.

Stella:    Aaaaahhhh. Wait! What happened?

Me:        Nothing. I had to check my phone.

Stella:    All right. Well…aaaahhhhh! That’s the spot. Wait! What happened?

Me:        My phone was about to die. I had to plug my phone charger in.

Stella:    Those little boxes die?

Me:        Yeah, their batteries go dead.

Stella:    I say, Rest in peace. Now back to…aaaahhhhh! Yeah, that’s great! Wait! What happened?

Me:        I’m texting an answer to someone. I need both my hands for that.

Stella:    Very well. I am sitting here. Patiently. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Patiently waiting. So hard for a bulldog. Wait! What’s happened now?

Me:        I am checking my email.

Stella:    Did I say “Stop”? Does your email need its belly scratched?

Me:        Well, no. Email doesn’t have a belly. How long do I need to scratch your tummy?

Stella:    Not much longer. Just until I say “stop”. Okay, stop. Now scratch my back until I say stop.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wild as March Hares, But It Isn’t March and Y’all Are Not Rabbits – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges…Tiger! Stop it! Wiggles! Cut it out!

Me:        Okay, I don’t know what’s going on, but, Tiger, outside until you calm down!

Tiger:     I don’t want to…oh, all right.

Wiggles:   Did you see? Lady Human, did you see? Tiger came right up in my face!

Me:        As did Miss Sweetie a few minutes ago. What’s going on?

Doodlebug:   I think that they are going to say that it’s all your fault, Lady Human.

Me:        I didn’t get in anyone’s face. How can it be my fault?

Stella:    You smell funny.

Me:        I went to a coffee shop.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        To visit with some people.

Stella:    Are we not good enough companions for you? Must you go out to find others?

Me:        Humans need to interact with other humans.

Stella:    Nonsense!

Me:        My question is why are you all as wild as March hares?

Miss Sweetie:    Of course I have hair. I am a dog.

Me:        Not hair. Hare, as in a big rabbit.

Miss Sweetie:    Oh, those. Hares are not rabbits. They are different and very big.

Me:        How would you know that, Sweetie? That’s accurate, but kind of scary.

Miss Sweetie:   You remember Moo Moo the Rabbit, my old friend, rest in peace. She and I talked a lot and she told me.

Me:        Uh-huh. Okay. Well…

Stella:    Just how wild are March hares? And are they only wild in March? And why can’t we be wild in March like big rabbits?

Me:        Because it’s not March. And when you all act wild at the same time, this feels like the wilderness, not our home. You are dogs, not wolves.

Stella:    Hmmm. That remains to be seen.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.














Bulldog Lists – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        All right. Everybody’s inside. Air conditioner is on. Water bowls are full. Back door and security gate are closed and locked. Nothing is cooking.

Stella:    You are talking to yourself again, Lady Human. Should I be worried?

Me:        No, I’m just going over the necessary details before I run errands. When I say it aloud to myself, I won’t tend to forget something important. I don’t want to be down the road and suddenly worry that one of you is still out in the yard or that the doors aren’t locked or that I left eggs boiling on the stove.

Stella:    Can I have a list?

Me:        Well, sure, but you don’t cook or lock doors so…

Stella:    Number 1 – Always demand everything so I make sure to get something.

Number 2 –  Always get to every door first so that I go through before Lady                                                   Human. That makes me important.

Number 3 –  Always look pitiful until Lady Human turns on the Picture Box.

Number 4 –  Always look pitiful until Lady Human gives me a coconut oil treat.

Me:        I don’t think that is the same kind of list…

Stella:    Please do not interrupt when I am saying my list aloud. I don’t want to forget anything important.

Me:        Is your list just about finished?

Stella:    Not by a long shot.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Invasion of the Wind-Up Insects – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the…what is that horrible noise? Anyway, I am Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…why doesn’t it stop?


Me:        What noise?

Stella:    Don’t you hear it? It is coming from the trees. All the trees. Are the trees screaming?

Me:        I don’t…oh, you mean that noise, like a wind-up toy, only it doesn’t stop. The trees are not screaming. We’ve talked about this before, remember? It’s the locusts. Well, we call them locusts. Properly, they are cicadas. They come every summer. It’s how we know the heat has arrived.

 Stella:    Locusts? You mean those big bugs? And I don’t need bugs to tell me that the heat has arrived. If you need bugs to tell you it’s hot, I think bulldogs are smarter than humans. And just because it’s hot, why do they have to make that awful noise like a wind-up toy, whatever that is?

Me:        I believe it has to do with their mating.

Stella:    Mating! You mean they are trying to make more of themselves! So they can get even louder! NO!!!

Me:        But remember, the eggs they lay this summer won’t hatch for 14 years or more, therefore, no amplification.

Stella:    Amplifi-blah-blah?

Me:        There won’t be any more of them this year, so they are probably as loud as they are going to get. As an interesting aside, that gear noise they produce comes from their abdomens, not their wings or legs. At least that’s what I was told.

Stella:    Abdomens? Another human nonsense word. Humans find that interesting?

Me:        Abdomen means tummy.

Stella:    Gross. When I make noise with my tummy, you all complain about the smell. And what do you mean about wings?

Me:        They have wings.

Stella:    And they do what with their wings?

Me:        What do wings usually do? They fly.

Stella:    They FLY? NO!!! Noisy flying giant bugs! Protect me!

Me:        They usually only fly from tree to tree, but if you see one on the ground and if it’s still alive, don’t eat it and don’t step on it because…you know…noisy flying giant bug.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s for Supper? Beef? Where’s Mine? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It’s suppertime. What’s for supper?

Me:        The same thing as usual.

Stella:    Nope. I smell something different.

Me:        Well, I am grilling some steaks outside.

Stella:    Mine! Mine! Mine!

Miss Sweetie:    Mine, too!

Doodlebug:   Mine three!

Me:        You can count?

Doodlebug:   What is ‘count’?

Me:        Never mind.

Tiger:     I will have some, please.

Me:        Okay, I am going to eat first because your supper is coming up in a little while.

Wiggles:   Are you sure?

Stella:    How selfish!

Me:        All right. Here. You all can have the rest. Here it is.

Stella:    Wait! What’s wrong with it?

Me:        Well, nothing is wrong with it.

Miss Sweetie:    I don’t care. I will take it.

Stella:    Ummm. Lady Human, you are giving up on it too fast.

Me:        Look! Do you want the rest of the steak or not?

Tiger:     Want it!

Doodlebug:   Want it!

Wiggles:   Want it!

Miss Sweetie:   I’ve already put in my order. Want it!

Me:        Here it is. Stella? Are you going to take yours?

Stella:   Hmmm. Why didn’t you eat all of it?

Me:        To be truthful, it was a little tough and not very tasty.

Tiger:     I love it.

Doodlebug:   Me, too!

Wiggles:   More, please!

Miss Sweetie:   It is only okay, but I’ll take more if you have it.

Stella:    It smells okay. It looks okay. Mmmm. It tastes…great. Lady Human, you are simply spoiled. Steak is still steak. Beef – it’s what’s for supper!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









The Dog That Was Not Expected to Live – Happy 4th Birthday, Tiger – Conversations with Stella, Tiger, and the Pack

20151220_230434.jpgMe:        Every once in a while, a day comes along that you thought you might not see, a day of remembrance, a day of reminders…

Stella:    Is this a speech? I just want to know so I can get comfortable. Oh, and I need some popcorn.

Me:        It’s sort of a speech, but it’s not going to be that long.

Stella:    Sounds pretty long already.

Me:        All right. I’ll make it short and sweet. Happy Birthday, Tiger! You’re four years old today!

Miss Sweetie:    Sweet? Like me?

Doodlebug:   Sweet? Is there cake?

Wiggles:   I don’t smell any cake.

Me:        Sorry. There is no cake.

Tiger:     Awww.

Me:        Tiger, hon, there has never been any cake for bulldogs in this house. There’s barely ever any cake for humans here. We just don’t do cake much anymore. But there is something else! Hard-boiled eggs!

Tiger:     Yay! Just for me!

Me:        Well, everybody gets some, because…you know…party.

Tiger:     I guess that’s only fair.

Me:        But you get to wear…tada! The weird fuzzy celebration headband!


Stella:    Hey, that’s mine!

Me:        Yeah, but you never have liked it. When I put it on you, you just collapse to the floor and refuse to move until I take it off. At least, Tiger sits up for it.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh! It’s still mine.

Me:        Anyway, it will soon be the 3rd anniversary of you coming to us, Tiger, right after your 1st birthday, at a very difficult time.

Tiger:     I remember. Some of it. Some of it is foggy. I remember the fight with the other dog at the old place. The place where I don’t live anymore.

Stella:    And when you came here and Tall Man sat up all night with you. And he doctored and bandaged your leg again and again.

Tiger:     And he and Lady Human fed me puppy milk and water with the plastic squirt tube. I remember.

Me:        And when the vet said you had a 50/50 chance to live that first weekend. And she gave us all that medicine for you.

Tiger:     And Tall Man and the white coat lady carried me out on a big towel because I couldn’t walk. But I lived.

Me:        And then you got better…And then you got worse.

Tiger:     And the vet lady said not much chance anymore. And she said to come back in a couple of days if I lived…

Me:        And then my friend and I prayed.

Tiger:     And the Great Creator heard.

Me:        And Tall Man kept cleaning and bandaging your bad leg. And we didn’t give up. And you didn’t give up. And God Most High heard.

Tiger:     And I walked into the vet lady’s place the next day. Because I had lived.

Me:        And the vet was amazed, but she said that you would probably always walk with a limp.

Tiger:     And I don’t.

Me:        Nope. No limp.

Tiger:     And it’s my 4th birthday!

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Even if there is no cake.


Stella:   Pssst! Lady Human! What happened to your picture of Tiger wearing the silly fuzzy celebration headband?

Me:        Oh, she kept taking it off and she wouldn’t stay still for a photo. So…next year?

Stella:    Not if I can get rid of that ridiculous thing first. And I’m not talking about Tiger. 






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Where’s My Garbage Bag? – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:   Are you in charge? I have a complaint.


Stella:    Why does being in charge mean that I have to deal with complaints?

Me:        Goes with the territory, hon. What’s your complaint, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   I had a nice, big garbage bag outside. It was a perfect target for my pee.

Me:        I know. I noticed that.

Doodlebug:   It has disappeared. Where is it?

Me:        It is where all garbage bags go eventually. I finished filling it with backyard bulk trash and put it out for the bulk trash people to take away…after I washed the pee off, of course. Why make their job any harder?

Doodlebug:   No! It was my target!

Stella:    Oh, Doodle, like every thing in the yard is NOT your target. Remember the big plastic box in the yard?

Me:        Mmmm, the big animal carrier. Tall Man gave that away.

Stella:    Did he wash the pee off that first? Because I know for a fact…

Doodlebug:   Hey, that was my secondary target! Don’t you want me to practice?






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Heavy Breathing – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha. The air has weight, heavy and hot. It is like breathing thin warm water, but still it is air and I need it. The sky’s thick breath presses on us like a warm, wet blanket, hard to run through, hard to sleep through, hard.

Me:        Are you all right?

Stella:    Yes. But I am not happy. Send the hot away.

Me:        Not in my power. Summer has its purpose, just as spring and autumn and winter have their purposes. Every season has a reason.

Stella:    Is that one of those human rhymes, Lady Human? Really! It is too hot for rhymes.

Me:        It is too hot for anything else. And yet, this is by far not the hottest weather I have witnessed.

Stella:    I am not sure that I want to hear that story.

Me:        It was the Summer of 1980…

Stella:    Oh, no. Is this going to be a long story because, if it is, I need some popcorn.

Me:        No popcorn. Not that long.

Stella:    How about a frozen treat?

Me:        I’ll see what I can do. Anyway, it was the Summer of 1980. The temperature reached 100 degrees or more for what was it? 69 straight days?

Stella:    Are you asking me? I was not around that long ago, remember?

Me:        One day, the temperature reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I walked from one building to another several blocks away in downtown Dallas.

Stella:    Downtown Dallas? Is that in our backyard?

Me:        Not really. Anyway, when I got there, I laid my hand on my head. My hair was so hot, it burned my fingers to touch it. I should have worn a hat or carried an umbrella, but no, I thought, hey, no big deal!

Stella:    Scary! I am covered with hair! Is there much more to this story because, if there is, I really need popcorn.

Me:        I met a man from Italy and he was horrified that it was so hot.

Stella:    I am not from Italy, whatever that is, and I am horrified. How did the story turn out? Did you burn up?

Me:        No. I mean…obviously not, I am still here.

Stella:    So, no big deal, right? My question is what are you going to do about the hot, heavy air right now?

Me:        It was only 95 or 96 today. Just keep calm. Stay inside. Drink water.

Stella:    And keep the air conditioner running.

Me:        Amen. There was another summer that came within a day of breaking the 1980 run of 69 100 degree plus days…

Stella:    Nope. Enough. No more stories without popcorn.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Goodbye, Summer! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby declare that SUMMER IS OVER! That is all.

Me:        I don’t think seasons work that way.

Stella:    Why not?

Me:        Because Earth turns at a certain pace and tilts toward the sun at a certain rate and that pretty much determines when we have summer and fall and winter and spring so…

Stella:    Wait! What is this ‘Earth’ you are talking about?

Me:        Okay…well…let’s see… Earth is the planet that we all live on.

Stella:    Oh. And what is ‘planet’?

Me:        Okay…well…let’s see…A planet is a heavenly body…this is kind of hard to explain.

Stella:    Is a planet something that the Great Creator made?

Me:        Yes! Exactly!

Stella:    Then why didn’t you just say so? Still, I am the Queen and I am declaring summer to be at an end. So there!

Me:        Don’t you think that summer should run its course, the way the Great Creator designed?

Stella:    I don’t like summer anymore. Summer is hot. We can’t stay outside very long. That cramps my style.

Me:        Sweetie likes it. She gets to bathe in the puppy pool.

Stella:    So, the rest of us have to suffer just for her to get to go swimming?

Me:        Suffer? In air conditioning? You realize that our ancestors did not have air conditioning and lived through all the Texas summers, don’t you?

Stella:    Really?

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Hmmm. They must have been tougher than we are.

Me:        I think so. I wish we were tougher.

Stella:    Well, bulldogs are tougher than humans. Still, I declare summer to be at an end. Enough is enough. Oh, but keep the air conditioner running just in case.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Terms of Delivery – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And I am waiting.

Me:        Waiting for what?

Stella:    You know!

Me:        Uhhbbb, no, I don’t.

Stella:    Uhhbbb, yes, you do. Is your memory fading, Lady Human?

Me:        I don’t think so. Could you be a little more specific?

Stella:    I would be glad to, but I don’t know what ‘specific’ means.

Me:        Exactly what are you waiting for?

Stella:    Treats.

Me:        I give you treats every day.

Stella:    Not those treats. Those treats are not treaty enough.

Me:        Treaty?

Stella:    Hey, everybody else is making up new words. Treaty is mine.

Me:        You realize that ‘treaty’ is already a word that means something other than…treats.

Stella:    Beside the point. Where are my treaty treats?

Me:        Oh, the chicken jerky treats!

Stella:    Oh, now you remember!

Me:        I haven’t gotten by the store that sells them yet.

Stella:    You said you would bring them. Terms of delivery. Isn’t that what humans say? Isn’t that a promise?

Me:        Well…

Stella:    Terms of delivery, Lady Human. Where are the treats?

Me:        I haven’t had time this week.

Stella:    For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

Me:        I’ll get them. I promise.

Stella:    Too little, too late!

Me:        So, you don’t want the chicken treats?

Stella:    Did I say that?

Me:        Sort of.

Stella:    If you believe that, I have been totally misrepresented.

Me:        Misrepresented by yourself?

Stella:    Don’t try to confuse me! I am already confused enough as it is. Bring me my treats!

Me:        All right. Double effort tomorrow to get to the feed store to pick up a bag of chicken treats.

Stella:    Don’t let me down, Lady Human. Never lie to a dog!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.