Wipe Your Feet – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Ready for bed! Here I go!

Me:  Whoah, partner! Hold up there! Let’s wipe your feet.

Stella:  My feet? My feet never need wiping. They are queen’s feet.

Me:  Well, today your queen’s feet marched around in the mud and muck and I am not allowing mud and muck on my bed.

Stella:  My feetsies are mine own and no one tells me what to do with them.

Me:  Then I guess you’ll have to wait until your feet are clean again to come back to the comfy bed. And the crackers. And the cheese.

Stella:  Oh. Wait. What does this foot wiping entail?

Me: Damp paper towels.

Stella:  Horrible. It hardly seems worth it. Still…crackers…cheese. Very well. Do it and be quick! And reset the paving stones before the next rain so I don’t soil my royal feet.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Does the Doorbell Keep Ringing? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The doorbell keeps ringing. I hate the doorbell. Why can’t we just be left alone?

Me:  Visitors have been coming by. And neighbors. And packages are being delivered.

Stella:  I am minding my own business and then that intrusive noise that doesn’t even sound like human music. Bing, bong, bing, boooong! Bing, bong, bing, BOOOONG! And it makes me jump every time it happens, and I never know when it’s going to happen and…

Me:  Settle down, girl. There won’t be so many visits coming up.

Stella:  Will all the humans go back to normal now?

Me:  Well, yes, at least the ones who were normal to begin with.

Stella:  So, no more wild, loud noises, right?

Me:  Well…

Stella:  What are you hiding from me, Lady Human?

Me:  Next week is New Year’s Eve.

Stella:  NO! Not THAT New Year! The LOUD, EXPLODING SKY New Year! Already? Again?

Me:  Yes. I’m sorry.

Stella:  And you said the humans were going back to normal now. For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Church is NOT a Big Pile of Leaves Part Two – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There are more leaves in the house. Lady Human went to church again.

Me: Leaves have nothing to do with church, Stella.

Stella:  If you are not jumping in a big pile of leaves there, then…first question…where are all these leaves coming from? And… second question…what happened when you went?

Me:  Okay, first answer: all the leaves fell off the trees a few weeks ago and there are still many, many on the ground.

Stella:  A likely story.

Me:  Second answer: we did all the things we usually do at church – praying, singing, greeting each other, and lighting candles this time for Christmas.

Stella:  Candles?  Those thick fire sticks?

Me:  I suppose you could call them that.

Stella:  All the humans had those fire sticks?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  On fire?

Me: Yes.

Stella:  For shame, Lady Human! Those can be very dangerous around big piles of leaves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Church is NOT a Big Pile of Leaves – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Watch her! She’s getting ready to do it again!

Me:  What are you all whispering about?

Stella:  You are going to that church place again, aren’t you? Don’t lie!

Me:  Why would I lie, especially about going to church?

Stella:  Because church is a fun place, but you never take us.

Tiger:  Yeah, and you always come back smelling of meat.

Miss Sweetie:  Mmmm. Meat.

Me:  The meat scent does not come from church. It comes from lunch afterward. And the only dogs at church are service dogs or support dogs.

Wiggles:  We can be that.  Just tell us what to do.

Me:  And you will not do it, right?

Wiggles:  Right.

Doodlebug:  What does church look like?

Stella:  It is a big pile of leaves. The humans run and jump in it and roll around.

Me:  Stella, I don’t know if I can explain to you what church is, but it is NOT a big pile of leaves.

Stella:  Are you sure?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  You come home with leaves stuck to you. And the little human who visits…she had leaves all in her hair.

Me:  That’s because I walked through a bunch of leaves and she rolled in a bunch of leaves for fun, but that was not at church.

Stella:  I will take that under advisement. I still want a better explanation as to why the meat never shows up here.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Breakfast Talk – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.  I say it should be now.

Doodlebug:  Me, too. I will sound the alarm.

Tiger:  No! No! No! It is too early. It is still dark outside.

Stella:  Hey, I’m in here and not in that softy human bed. Why? Because Lady Human is awake and playing with that black box that she carries around in her hand all the time like it’s important when it is not.

Wiggles:  I can take it or leave it right now.

Miss Sweetie:  Take or leave breakfast? Horrible! Take breakfast! Always take breakfast. I vote with Doodlebug. Sound the breakfast alarm.

Me:  Hey, what’s going on in here? Why all the noise?

Stella:  Nothing. We were just talking. About breakfast. Now.

Me:  It’s still dark outside. Are you all willing to go outside in the dark?

Wiggles:  Okay.

Doodlebug:  Yeah.

Miss Sweetie:  Sure. Why not?

Tiger:  I don’t know. There are…you know…creatures in the dark.

Me:  Look, to calm things down, you can go ahead and have breakfast. Anyone who does not want to go outside afterward can wait until daylight.

Stella:  My thoughts exactly. Serve it up.

Me:  But no more loud barking. It is too early.

Stella:  That’s okay. Nobody likes loud talk after breakfast anyway.  We’ll just whisper and digest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Our Great Big Yard – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges. Now I rule over a much larger domain than I did a few days ago. There is so much land…

Miss Sweetie:  And I can sit so many different places to sunbathe.

Doodlebug:  And the shortcut from the patio into the new yard and back into the patio is great!

Me:  Well, that’s just because the patio fence had a section demolished by the fallen oak and the insurance didn’t cover that, so we haven’t decided to repair it…

Doodlebug:  What’s to decide? It’s perfect the way it is. That tree knew what it was doing when it fell on the patio fence.

Tiger:  All I know is that I can go anywhere, and I can see everything. This yard is so much larger than the old one.

Me:   Truth be told, this yard is not larger. It is the same old yard. It’s just that the old dead overgrown lamb’s quarter is mostly gone. There is still a lot of work to do around where the oak tree stood.

Wiggles:  I can tell a large yard when I see one, Lady Human. I grew up out in the country, remember. This is definitely a bigger yard than the old one.

Me:  Okay, glad you all are happy.

Stella:  Now all you have to do is knock down the big fence so we can take over the rest of the world .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Crackers – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I’m hungry.

Me:  Yes, I hear your stomach rumbling. Let’s get up and get your breakfast. It’s waiting in the other room.

Stella:  Nope. I want to have that other kind of breakfast like humans on the Picture Box.

Me:  Well, breakfasts here are pretty simple so…

Stella:  You’ve seen them. They stay in bed and eat. It is the most wonderful thing in the world, and I want it.

Me:  Oh, you mean breakfast in bed. Uh, nope.

Stella:  Awww, come on, Lady Human! You can bring in eggs and sausages and biscuits.

Me:  Yeah, I can bring it in after someone cooks it and that someone would be me. I had rather skip breakfast and stay here in bed.

Stella:  Fine excuse for laziness. “Look at me. I’m lazy! I’m gonna keep being lazy! Why, you ask? Because LAZY!

Me:  It’s an odd day when a bulldog accuses someone else of being lazy.

Stella:  Who better? I am an expert in that field.

Me:  Tell you what. Here are a few left over cheese crackers from last night’s snack.

Stella:  Mmmm. I’ll take those. They’ll warm me up for the next course of eggs, sausages, and biscuits you bring me. If you hurry, you can get back here before I finish my breakfast crackers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Are Y’all Doing in There? – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Come out of the other room right this minute, you two!

Me:  To whom are you referring?

Wiggles:  Who? Me?

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Stella:  What are y’all doing in there? What is the big secret?

Me: Who says there is a big secret?

Stella:  A little secret then.

Me:  Nothing important.

Stella:  Do I hear Wiggles smacking her lips?

Wiggles:  No. Smack. Smack. Lip smacking is noisy and rude.

Stella:  Aha! Wiggles is getting special food again.

Me:  Oh, all right. She has to take her allergy medicine and it’s easier…and quieter to give it to her in another room.

Stella:  Sneaking around. Secret food sessions. This must stop.

Me:  It will when we get a good, hard freeze to kill off the rest of the offending pollens.

Stella:  It will when Wiggles acts like a big girl and learns to take her medicine.

Me:  So, if you have to take some medicine in the future, you will be a big girl and swallow it without a meat wrap.

Stella:  Well, let’s not be hasty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Side Bumping – Conversations with Stella, Wiggles, and Miss Sweetie

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am appalled. I have never seen anything so undignified in my life.

Me:  And for a bulldog, that’s saying a lot.

Stella:  Lady Human, whatever do you mean?

Me:  I just mean that bulldogs do so many things that are undig…well, you know…I can’t imagine that this takes the cake for undignified.

Wiggles:  Stand right there, Sweetie. Boom!

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, no, you don’t. Here I come! Boom! Boom! My side bump was bigger than yours.

Wiggles:  Just you watch this! Boom!

Stella:  Stop that immediately. You’re knocking into each other like you are cows or pigs or some such.

Me:  I recall you doing it more than a few times, Stella.

Stella:  How dare you!

Me:  Yeah, you’ve done it to me back on my own bed. All of a sudden, boom! I figured it was a bulldog game. Still, it was a little surprising.

Stella:  That was different. I was imitating those humans on the Picture Box, the ones who run around wearing funny clothes and big balls on their heads.

Me:  Big balls on their heads? What?

Stella:  You know the ones. All the humans are yelling and the humans on the grass bump into each other.

Me:  Football?

Stella:  If that’s what you want to call it. I call it side bumping and, while humans do it, I disapprove any such activity for bulldogs. But …if you want to play it with me, Lady Human, I will allow it. Boom!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2019 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

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.