What’s Wrong with Your Head? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhh! Stop barking! Whisper!

Tiger:     But there’s something wrong with Lady Human’s head.

Wiggles:   I think she is just being human. Humans are weird.


Stella:    Sweetie! Quiet down! Maybe it will go back to normal.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I have to say something! Maybe we can bark it back to normal.

Doodlebug:   I think part of her head is missing, the part that used to have long strings hanging from it.

Tiger:   Those strings are what the humans call ‘hair’, though we know that hair doesn’t look like that. It looks like what we wear all over.

Wiggles:   I think something is sitting on her head. I know! One of those birds built a nest there!

Stella:    Hush! Humans are particular about how they look. She’d be horrified to know a bird built a nest on her head. I don’t want to hurt Lady Human’s feelings. She doesn’t seem to know how bizarre she looks.

Me:        Okay, what is all the barking about? And why all the sidelong looks? Is something wrong?

Stella:    I hate to be the one to tell you, but something is terribly wrong with your head. There! I said it!

Me:   You mean this towel?

Miss Sweetie:    What happened to the rest of your head? There! I said it!  You heard me say it!

Me:        Nothing’s wrong with my head. I just washed my hair and I put a towel around it to catch the drips. I guess I don’t walk through the house like this often enough for you to remember. Look! I’ll take it off.

Stella:    NO! OH, THE HORROR! Wait! Your hair is all stringy and wet. Your head is still there.

Me:        As I have been trying to tell you…

Stella:    Okay then. Never mind. Everybody go back to real life. Lady Human is fine. Nothing to see here. I don’t know why you all got so upset. Silly bulldogs.

Me:        How about you, Stella? Are you all right?

Stella:    I should have known, Lady Human, that you would never go walking around with a weird head. That’s not the way you are. You always make sure that your head is on straight.









Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Head Butting – Conversations with Stella and Tiger


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Why are you rubbing your head, Lady Human? And why are you scrunching your face up in that weird way that means something is wrong?

Me:        We had a little collision outside.

Tiger:     Yeah. Was that what happened?

Stella:    What have you two been up to? Lady Human, you’re all wet. So is Tiger. Is it raining that hard?

Me:        No, not rain. Ow. I was washing out the chickens’ water contraption. And Tiger loves the water hose.

Tiger:     Yeah, the funnest fun there is. You are really hard-headed, Lady Human.

Me:        Yeah, I’ve gotten that way since becoming acquainted with bulldogs.

Tiger:     Or maybe we got hard-headed since knowing you.

Me:        I don’t think so. You all bring a long line of hard heads to the table.

Stella:    Table? What’s on the table? Is it food?

Me:        No, just another human expression. So, Tiger was playing in the water while I was washing out the chicken water…

Stella:    Contraption. I always knew that’s what that was.

Me:        And I bent down at the same time Tiger raised up and…

Stella:    Ka-bang.

Me:        Yep. Ka-boom.

Stella:    Two hard heads colliding. No wonder you were making a face.

Me:        And the hose went a little wild…

Stella:    And you both got soaked.

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    You could have just played in the rain.

Me:        That wouldn’t have cleaned and filled the chicken water…

Stella:    Contraption.

Me:        Yep.

Stella:    Which all goes to show you, Lady Human, don’t try to match heads with a bulldog. You’ll end up with a headache and all wet to boot.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Little Dog Lost – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There is a strange barking outside. A strange dog is here. Lady Human! I know what you’re up to! No more bulldogs!

Me:        She’s not a bulldog, Stella. Just a little dog lost. From the looks of her, she has been on the road a long time by herself. She’s what we call a stray.

Stella:    Why? Where does she live? Why is she here?

Me:        I believe the LORD wants us to get her to a safe place. If I had not been standing  exactly where I was exactly when I was, I would not have seen her. She was walking past and would have kept on going if we hadn’t called to her. She is very friendly, but she is flea-bitten and tired. We got her some food and water.

Stella:    But why isn’t she at her home?

Me:        I don’t know her story. She could have run away or gotten out of her house or yard when no one saw. Her people may be looking for her.

Stella:    Or they may not be.

Me:        Maybe not anymore. She may have been gone for so long that they have given up.

Stella:    She can stay here after all, Lady Human. I will take her under my bulldog arm and teach her how to be one of us.

Me:        We have to think of what is best for her. I am taking her to a place where people do nothing but take care of lost dogs and find their homes or, if they can’t, they find them new homes. They have vets and food and air conditioning and beds. She will do well there. They may even have a record of someone looking for her.

Stella:    But she is going to be all right, isn’t she?

Me:        Yes. I don’t think she came here by accident.

Stella:    I don’t plan on being a stray, but if I ever do that, Lady Human…

Me:        I would search for you and ask God to reunite us.

Stella:    Maybe I would pass by someone who would know what to do. A human magnet. Someone to draw me home.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

One Giant Chicken and A Horrible Stink – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. People insult bulldog noses as short and weak, but we are still dogs and ours are still bulldog noses. Something is wrong outside, Lady Human. That’s why Doodlebug balked at going out.

Me:        What is it? I don’t hear anything. I don’t see anything.

Stella:    Your nose! That’s the thing you should be using.

Me:        I don’t smell anything unusual.

Stella:    And to think, humans insult bulldog noses.

Me:        Well, let’s check it out.

Stella:    Down there! Look! Smell! Horrible! It is the death scent!

Me:        Yeah, something is dead or rotten. The smell is coming from that bag on the road. That’s pretty bad to float all the way to our place.

Stella:    Oh, no! Look! A giant chicken! Warn it not to touch that stinky bag!

Me:        Stella, that’s not a giant chicken. It’s not a chicken at all. That’s a buzzard. Some people call them vultures.

Stella:    Hey, buzzard! Don’t touch that bag! It smells bad! You won’t like it!

Me:   I think the buzzard disagrees.

Stella:    Eewww! Why?

Me:        Buzzards think about these things differently than we do. The Great Creator has made them for a specific purpose, too. I’ll call for the people who handle such minor emergencies to come and deal with this.

Stella:    Should we open the bag?

Me:        What do you think?

Stella:    Naw. No bag opening. The buzzard can have it if it wants it.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Queen of the Foot Stompers – Conversations with Stella and Wiggles


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Ow! Ow! Off my foot!

Wiggles:   I’m sorry, Lady Human. Was that your foot? I thought it was big, bony piece of meat. I was just claiming it.



Me:   Ow! Wiggles! That’s my other foot!

Wiggles:   How many feet do you have? ‘Cuz I have four. But yours seem to be everywhere.

Me:        I only have two and you have managed to stomp on them both just now.

Wiggles:    If they weren’t so big, they would be easier to miss.

Stella:    If you weren’t the queen of the foot stompers, they would not be a problem. You’ve stomped on my feet before, too. I doubt there is anyone in the earth whose feet you have not stomped on.

Me:   That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

Wiggles:   A bit?

Me:        Yeah, a little bit.

Wiggles:   Well, I am fast on my feet, you know.

Me:   Just aim your feet away from mine, all right?

Wiggles:   But, if I do that, I will lose my foot stomping crown, and it’s my only chance at one. We both know that Stella is never going to give hers up.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

You Are What You Eat – Wait! That’s Not Good – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Doodlebug:   Help! Out of my way! Oh, no….


Me:        Run, boy, run!

Stella:    All right. I know what’s going on here!

Me:        I do, too. But you tell me your thoughts.

Stella:    Garbage in, garbage out.

Me:        Well said, Stella.

Stella:    Isn’t it obvious, Lady Human?

Me:        Yeah, pretty much. I’ll give him some pumpkin.

Stella:    May I have some, too, please?

Me:        Do you have stomach distress?

Stella:    No, I just like pumpkin. Please!

Me:        Oh, okay.

Doodlebug:   Done and done.

Me:        Are you sure?

Doodlebug:   Yes. No. Maybe.

Me:        Here. Have some pumpkin, just in case. And by the way, the less garbage you eat off the ground, the better off you’ll be.

Doodlebug:   I know what you are talking about, Lady Human. But it’s not just offscourings that tempt me. The squirrels have been throwing acorns and pecans down and I just can’t resist trying some.

Me:        Can you resist having intestinal distress?

Doodlebug:    Yes. No. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

Me:        Here’s a human perspective. When I figure out that something I’ve been eating, or drinking. causes me trouble, I stop using it. I like feeling good.

Stella:    That’s amazing, Lady Human.

Me:        It’s common sense.

Stella:    We are bulldogs. We don’t know what ‘common sense’ means.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Saturday Night Baths – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and no, I will not take a bath!

Me:        If not a bath, how about a puppy pool swim. It’s still hot outside. It will feel good.

Stella:    Nope. I refuse to get my toes wet. Wet toes are unhappy toes.

Miss Sweetie:    Do it, Aunt Stella! Look at me! I love the water in the little pool. I can stomp around. I can lie down. I can roll over. And all the dirt comes off.


Me:        Well, maybe not ALL the dirt. But some, yes.

Stella:    No. No. No. Water is for drinking, not wallowing in.

Miss Sweetie:   I am a greater wallower.  Watch me wallow.

Me:        In the olden days, Saturday night baths were a big tradition among the humans. Water had to be drawn by hand from wells or creeks and the water had to be heated on the stove and it took so much work that the whole family might share the bathwater.

Stella:    Gross!

Me:        I understand how important your feet are to you, Stella, but it is a super warm day and the water could feel good.

Stella:    And how good will it feel when I get out of the pool and onto the dirty, dirty ground, and my wet, wet feet pick up the dirty, dirty dirt? And how will you feel when my dirty, dirty, wet, wet feet walk into the house, tracking the dirty dirt?

Me:        I never thought of it that way. I mean, I think about tracking on rainy, muddy days, but I never thought about the pool causing a problem. Of course, there’s always the mop and the broom.

Stella and Miss Sweetie:                  NOOOO!!!!!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Hammering vs. Barking – Who Will Win? – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wait! What’s that? Quick! EVERYBODY, BARK!

Tiger:   I’m in!

Wiggles:   Me, too!

Me:   It’s no big deal. It’s just hammering.

Doodlebug:   I heard it first! I just didn’t say anything.

Miss Sweetie:  Me, too! I think. What is ‘hammering’?

Me:        It’s that banging noise coming from the back of the house.

Stella:   Keep barking! We will drown it out!

Tiger:    Maybe we should charge it. Then we can stop it.

Me:        No, no charging. Tall Man is building something.

Wiggles:   Something for me?

Stella:    No, if he’s building anything for anybody, he is building it for me. I am the Queen. So, what is he building for me?

Me:        Sorry, girl, it’s not for you.

Stella:    Oh, it’s for that tiny little human puppy who visits, isn’t it? That all right. I understand. Not really, but that’s what I say when I am disappointed or left out of something.

Me:        He’s putting together a little carriage for her to ride in.

Doodlebug:   Is a carriage like your rolling box? Can I ride in it?

Me:        No, it has no motor like mine does and I think he is going to save this carriage just for her.

Miss Sweetie:   No rides for us? Awww.

Stella:    That settles it! EVERYBODY, BARK! Drown out the hammering! If we don’t ride, we don’t have to listen!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hey! No Cutting in Line! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Our pack in the perfect example of good order and polite behavior. I am so proud to be…

Me:        Hey! Slow down!

Wiggles:   Sweetie! Shame on you!

Miss Sweetie:    Not shame on me! Shame on you! You butted in line!

Wiggles:   You can’t butt in if you belong here.

Me:        What is the rush? You will all get outside within a few seconds of each other! You act like silly, crazy humans in rush hour traffic!

Tiger:     Humans act like this? That is a high compliment.

Me:   No, it’s not.

Doodlebug:   What if I say, “Excuse me”? Can I cut in line then? Because if I can, EXCUSE ME!

Stella:    All right, here’s the new standing order: I always go first.

Me:        What if you are taking a nap?

Stella:    Then obviously not. Wiggles goes second with Sweetie close behind her.

Tiger:     What about me?

Doodlebug:   What about me?

Stella:   Tiger, you have to wait until Lady Human can go out with you, so you won’t get scared.

Tiger:     I don’t get scared…often…not every day.

Stella:    Doodle, you have to wait for Lady Human, too, so you won’t…you know…so you won’t go snacking.

Doodlebug:   But I LIKE to snack.

Me:   It’s the type of snack you like that’s the problem.

Stella:   Bottom line: NO CUTTING IN LINE or butting in line, whichever you prefer to do.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Flying Snacks – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. You are going to have to tell Sweetie again, Lady Human. Tell her not to try to catch the big bomber beetles.

Me:        The locusts?

Stella:    YES! Silly girl! I don’t see what the attraction is.

Miss Sweetie:    They buzz me when I am trying to enjoy myself outside. Nobody buzzes me!


Me:        If you catch one, you won’t be happy.

Stella:    That’s what I told her.

Miss Sweetie:    Why not? They look delicious. They are round and colorful. Big fat treats in the air.

Me:        And they don’t stop buzzing in your mouth. I know. I’ve been privileged to see a cat catch one.

Stella:    Was it Moon Cat? Tell me it was Moon Cat.

Me:        No, it was a cat many, many years ago. She was hanging around the front porch one evening when a locust landed. She went for it, caught it in her mouth, and then…

Miss Sweetie:    …and then she ate it and lived happily ever after.

Me:        No, she did live happily ever after, but not during the half minute she had that thing trapped in her mouth. She had a tiger by the tail and didn’t know what to do with it.

Stella:    I thought you said she caught a locust in her mouth. Where did the tiger come from? Were tigers wandering around in those days? ‘Cuz if they are still around, I would like to meet one.

Me:        No, you wouldn’t, and no, they didn’t. “Tiger by the tail” is an expression that refers to when someone gets ahold of something they can’t handle.

Stella:    Oh, never mind, Sweetie, it’s just another meaningless bunch of human words.

Miss Sweetie:    I think I’d still like to catch one of those flying bugs.

Stella:    Just let us know if you ever do.

Me:        Oh, she’ll let us know all right. I doubt we’ll miss that. There’ll be jumping and head shaking and big-time drooling.

Stella:    That sounds great! A popcorn event.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Y’all Are Not Roosters – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        I have an announcement.

Stella:    Oh, no. What now?

Me:        The useless, popup barking at dawn. Way too early to get up. Nothing was going on worth reporting. I am here to tell you that y’all are not roosters so no daybreak barking!

Tiger:     Are you sure we are not roosters? And what are roosters?

Wiggles:   They are boy chickens and they are very loud early in the morning and I am glad that there are not any of them here.

Miss Sweetie:    Can I be a rooster?

Me:        No, ma’am. As y’all are always telling me, you are bulldogs.

Doodlebug:   I am a boy. I am a bulldog. I can be a bulldog rooster.

Me:        No, absolutely not.

Doodlebug:        Where do I apply to be a rooster?

Me:        That’s not the way that works. Born a bulldog. Always a bulldog.

Doodlebug:   Awww.

Me:   Look. I understand that you bark. I just don’t want the barking at dawn.

Stella:    Okay. Everybody, schedule your barkers for midnight.

Me:        No!

Stella:    Why not? Do roosters bark at midnight?

Me:        Roosters crow, but not usually at midnight.

Stella:    Too many rules. Don’t bark at dawn. Don’t bark at midnight. Don’t crow because you’re not a rooster. The humans are confused. Everybody, back to auto-bark.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Last Hurrah of Summer – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Miss Sweetie:    They buzzed me! Did you see them? They buzzed me! Like I am a landing spot for big, round bugs! Gross!

Stella:    What buzzed you?

Me:        You know. The locusts. They are swarming. You’ve seen them the past few days.

Stella:    Oh, them. They leave me alone. Probably because they know that I am the queen.

Me:        No doubt.

Tiger:   Lady Human, what is their problem? They’ve been around all during the hot season, but now they are everywhere.

Doodlebug:  And they are singing from the trees so loudly I can’t hear myself bark.

Me:        They are loud, but even that is hard to believe.

Wiggles:   May I eat them when they fly by?

Me:        I wouldn’t recommend it. Though it is really funny to see a cat grab one and it starts buzzing in its mouth and the cat doesn’t know whether to let it go or hold on…

Stella:    Lady Human.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    We are not interested in what cats do. We are bulldogs. Why are these locusts swarming us now?

Me:        It is their last hurrah of the summer. They are hatching out from where they were laid as eggs 14 or even 17 years ago, they are mating, they are laying their eggs, and then they will die.

Stella:    The last hurrah of summer. The last hurrah of the locusts. Okay. I don’t blame them so much then. Is summer almost over?

Me:        We have about another month – technically.

Stella:    Technically? A human word meaning…?

Me:        Officially, one month from today, but summer sometimes has a mind of its own around here.

Stella:    But all the locusts will be gone by then.

Me:        Yes, their season will have passed. Their purpose will have been fulfilled.

Stella:    Well then.

Me:        Yes. Well.

Stella:    Hurrah for them!








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Alarm Clock in My Stomach – Conversations with Stella, Doodlebug, and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Doodlebug:   And I am Doodlebug, Crown Prince of the Olde English Bulldogges and Official Timekeeper.


Stella:    When did that happen?

Doodlebug:   The prince thing? I was born that way.

Stella:    I never heard anything about it.

Doodlebug:   The Time Keeper position happened because I have an alarm clock in my stomach. Lady Human says so and humans know all about stuff like that.

Me:   It’s true. He’s accurate to within 5 minutes most days.

Tiger:   I can set my stomach by him.

Wiggles:   He always lets me know when I should already have my food but don’t.

Miss Sweetie:   What is time?

Me:        A profound question, Sweetie. Let me know when you have it figured out.

Miss Sweetie:   Sure thing, Lady Human.

Stella:    Okay, fine. So, Doodlebug knows when it’s suppertime or breakfast. Great. It’s not as though we couldn’t figure that out on our own. Official Timekeeper I will allow. Crown Prince? I’ll just have to see about that. After all, I am Stella, QUEEN! That has to count for something.








Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Glued to the Floor – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, as usual, is acting weird. I will try to find out why.

Me:        No mystery. I am planting my feet firmly on the ground in anticipation of what is about to happen.

Tiger:     Planting your feet? In dirt? Will they turn green like the grass?

Me:        Sorry, Tiger. Let me be clear. I am setting my feet firmly on the ground, ready for what happens when I open this door.

Doodlebug:   What happens when you open that….

Wiggles:   Here I come!

Me:        Whoa!

Miss Sweetie:   Me, too!

Me:        Whoa! It’s all right! It’s all right. I’m still standing. That was close.

Stella:    Why does Wiggles do that?

Me:        Why does Wiggles do that?

Stella:    There is an echo in this room.

Me:        Have you noticed something about how you exit to go outside, Stella?

Stella:    I prance out, head held high, just as a queen should.

Me:        And you bump hard into my left leg, always my left leg, on your forceful way out.

Stella:    Forceful? What can I say? I am a bulldog. I am being me.

Me:        Well, Wiggles and now Sweetie have been forcing their way past me, too. So every time I have to glue my feet to the floor.

Stella:    No! You will get stuck!

Me:        It’s an expression. It means I make sure I’m ready. Wiggles is a switch hitter. Sometimes she hits my left leg; sometimes she hits my right leg. Without the grounding, she could take me off my feet either way.

Stella:    I’m so sorry, Lady Human. What can I say? We are bulldogs. Get out of our way.

Not Tea Time! Pee Time! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. TEA TIME!

Me:        Tea time? No. What?

Stella:    You just called for it. You said, “Tea time!”

Me:        No, I said, “Pee time!” We don’t observe tea time around here. Stop begging for it. You don’t drink tea.

Stella:    I would if you would let me.

Me:        There’s a whole bunch of stuff you’d do if I’d let you, and a bunch of that stuff would be bad for you.

Stella:    So, what does that have to do with tea time?

Me:        Let me ask you this. Which would you rather have – tea time or pee time?

Stella:    Well, tea time sounds like a party and I like parties. But pee time feels really good and then I lie down and take a nap. I guess my answer is let’s have tea time and then have pee time.

Me:        That sound likes a good order of things, but we are not having tea time.

Stella:    Oh, all right. Pee time. We will just settle for less. But why do you get to have tea?

Me:        It’s not harmful to humans. Some of it is quite good. When I find a tea that I am sure is safe for dogs, we can have tea time together. How about that?

Stella:    We still get pee time meanwhile though, right?

Me:        Oh, yeah. Nobody does without that.










Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Happy 11th Birthday, Moon Cat – Conversations with Stella and the Pack


20151220_230434.jpgI am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Cats should not have birthdays, but apparently, they do. At least that’s what Lady Human says. Today is Moon Cat’s 11th birthday. I have two questions:

  • Does that mean that Moon Cat is an old lady?
  • Will there be cake?

Tiger:     Happy Birthday, Moon Cat. Thank you for being a buddy.

Moon Cat:   Meow!


Stella:    Typical.

Miss Sweetie:    Happy Birthday, Moon. I hope you don’t mind when I chase you. It’s the only way I can show you my love and still act like a bulldog.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Stella:   That doesn’t mean anything. She is just asking Lady Human for even more food.

Doodlebug:   Happy Birthday, Moon. I guess.

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Doodlebug:   Translation, please.

Stella:    Blah, blah, blah.

Wiggles:   Happy Birthday, Moon. Are you a bulldog, too?

Moon Cat:   Meow!

Stella:    Wiggles, don’t believe a word she says. Of course, she’s not a bulldog.

Wiggles:   She seems like a member of the pack to me. But she is very small. And very furry. And she doesn’t bark ever. And she talks funny.

Stella:    Wiggles! Hint! Hint! Not a bulldog.

Wiggles:   Yeah, but still a pack member.

Stella:    My questions remain unanswered. Is Moon Cat an old lady now?

Me:        She doesn’t act like an old lady. She jumps higher than any of us, which, in my case, is not hard to do. She runs faster than any of us.

Stella:    She sleeps all day.

Me:        She’s a cat.

Stella:   She’s got gray hair.

Me:        She’s always had gray hair. She’s a gray cat.

Stella:    Likely story.

Me:        It’s true. She’s been with us since she was 4 months old. Gray cat.

Stella:    Second question?

Me:        Cake? Nope. Not a big cake family.

Stella:    Well, at least there is no favoritism shown to cats.

Me:        So, what do you have to say?

Stella:    Oh, all right. Happy Birthday, Moon Cat. And many more to come.

Me:        Happy Birthday, Moon Cat, from all of us.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dream On – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. All is quiet. It has been raining a lot for the past few days. No one wants to sunbathe because…there is no sun. Sunbathing without sun is no fun. Haha! I made a rhyme. Did you hear that, Sweetie? Sweetie? Lady Human, something is wrong with Sweetie!

Me:   No, she’s all right. She’s asleep.

Stella:    Look at her! She’s jerking her feet! She’s making growly noises and puffing her cheeks!

Me:    She’s dreaming.

Stella:    It’s scary! Make her stop! Wake her up!

Me:        I personally think it’s better if the dream finishes and she wakes up on her own. I feel that way about humans, too.

Stella:    Humans do this?

Me:   Sure. We dream. I mean, we may not growl or puff out our cheeks, but the dreams are real enough. I’ve seen you dream, too.

Stella:    No! I don’t do that!

Me:        Sure, you do.

Stella:    No, I don’t! Take it back!

Me:   What’s the problem? I think it’s cool that you all dream.

Stella:    That’s undignified. I am a queen. I don’t jerk and jump and do all that weird stuff while I am asleep.

Me:        No, not every time, but yeah, sometimes.

Stella:    Make it stop. Don’t let me do that.

Me:        Don’t you remember your dreams ever?

Stella:    Well, adventures I wake up with, yes. But all that jumping and fake running? I don’t want anyone watching me while I am asleep. How embarrassing. How dangerous.

Me:        You are safe here. You are among family. No enemy is going to sneak up on you in your sleep.

Stella:    Phew! That’s a relief! Because I would hate to have anyone see me looking as ridiculous as Sweetie looks right now.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wired – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie


I am Stella, Queen…

Miss Sweetie:    Look at me! Look at me!


Stella:   EXCUSE ME! As I was saying before I was so rudely inter…

Miss Sweetie:    I want to go outside! No, I don’t! I want to stay in here. Is it raining? No, it’s not raining! I’m going to sit down. No, I’m going to stand up.

Me:        Sweetie, what’s wrong?

Stella:    She’s wired. Is that the right human word? Or is it ‘weird’? I get those two words mixed up. Humans are so confusing.

Me:        She’s definitely wired right now, but why? You spent a lot of time outside today, Sweetie, when it wasn’t raining  . The temperature is way down. I don’t recall ever seeing an August day here with highs in the 70’s.

Miss Sweetie:    Boring! No, not boring! No, I don’t want to go outside! What was that noise?

Me:        What noise?

Stella:    There was no noise, Lady Human, not that I expect humans to hear noises. Sweetie’s wired. And weird. It’s probably the weather change.

Miss Sweetie:    What’s that? Where’s Tall Man? Where’s the cat? I want to chase the cat.

Me:        She’s sequestered herself in a safe place until you calm down. I think maybe I should, too.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





My Special Rain Spot – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As queen, I enjoy many special things. One of them is my Special Rain Spot. Okay, I am ready now, Lady Human.

Me:   There you go.

Stella:    No, not that door. The other door.

Me:   No, everybody’s using the big yard.

Stella:    No, it is raining. I do not use the big yard when it is raining. We already had this arranged, remember?

Me:        Well, everybody is using the big yard today. That’s my arrangement.

Stella:    But it is raining out there.

Me:        It is raining everywhere.

Stella:    But it is raining more in the big yard because it is bigger.

Me:        No, it’s pretty much raining the same amount all over the property. In fact, you will run into less rain in the big yard because the big trees are blocking some of it.

Stella:    But my Special Rain Spot is MY SPECIAL RAIN SPOT. The big yard is not the same. ANYBODY can use that on a rainy day. I am not just ANYBODY. I AM THE QUEEN.

Me:   And I am the human and I say that the safest spot today is the big yard.

Stella:   Uggghh! What good is it to be queen if you can be overruled by a mere human!






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Collector – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Let me be blunt. Lady Human has a problem. She collects things. All kinds of things. Things that bulldogs take no interest in.

Me:        So?

Stella:    If you were collecting stuff like chew toys and treats, I would not even mention it.

Me:        I figured that.

Stella:    But you collect things like…well, the worst thing is paper.

Me:        I don’t collect paper. I use paper. I make notes. I write stuff. I have notebooks.

Stella:    Full of paper. Face it, Lady Human. You are surrounded by paper. You cover your lap with paper. You hold paper in front of your face. I am surprised that you don’t wear paper.

Me:        Actually, that is possible. Some people have made…

Stella:    No, don’t even think about it.

Me:        Why do you care what I collect?

Stella:    The more you collect, the less room there is for us.

Me:        I think we’ve got plenty of room here.

Stella:    Wait. Are you a bulldog collector?

Me:        Well, I have some stuffed toy bulldogs, so you might call that a collection of bulldogs except that they are toys and never were dogs, so…

Stella:    I KNEW IT! You are going to keep filling the house with your collections until there is no room for real bulldogs. Or even humans, not that that is a problem.

Me:        I am not going to fill the house up with collections of anything.

Stella:    How do we know that?

Me:        Because I have learned to exercise self-control.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh! I know nothing about that. Not a bulldog problem!



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.