By The Dawn’s Early Light – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. What’s all that noise disturbing my beauty sleep?

Me:  Ugh. It’s the breakfast call.

Stella:  No, it’s not. The sky is still mostly dark.

Me:  It’s sunrise. Okay, all you mouthy bulldogs! Whose idea was it to move breakfast up?

Tiger:  Whatever do you mean, Lady Human?

Me:  What I mean is that breakfast has been getting earlier and earlier and now it’s at sunrise. I’m tired and I want to go back to bed.

Wiggles:  The sky is beautiful.

Me:  I think it will be just as beautiful half an hour from now.

Doodlebug:  But that wouldn’t be breakfast time.

Me:  Says who?

Doodlebug:  My tummy. It’s crying, Lady Human.

Miss Sweetie:  Oh, no! His tummy is sad! Do something, Lady Human! Save Doodlebug’s tummy! And save my sad tummy, too.

Me:  I’d just appreciate it if breakfast didn’t get any earlier. But the sky is lovely. And the birds are singing. Look! There’s a lady cardinal in the top of the pecan tree and the light is shining just right so she’s all lit up. Morning has broken and life is moving all around us.

Stella:  Do you still feel as tired as you did? Do you still feel like going back to bed?

Me:  Maybe, but not right this second. Maybe after you all eat and go out and come back in. I’ll just wait for you out here.

Stella:  Everybody eat up and finish your business. Lady Human may want to stare at the sky, but I don’t. Last one back in bed is a rotten bulldog.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Emergency Food Run – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have just seen a terrible sight. The food bucket is empty.

Tiger:  Well, that happens, but the big metal food bucket still has food in it, right?

Wiggles:  Please say yes. Please say yes.

Stella:  No.

Doodlebug:  But Lady Human always has food up her sleeves. Right?

Tiger:  What do you think she is? A big metal can of food?

Miss Sweetie:  Lady Human will take care of it. Right?

Me:  I’m on my way now. Got to get there before they close. Two big fifty pound bags of dog food on the way.

Stella:  What if they don’t have it? What if they ran out?

Me:  There will always be an alternative. Don’t worry. Got to go.

Stella:  What does ‘alternative’ mean?

Me:  I’ll find some cans of soft food to tie us over. Or some dry food that will do for a while.

Stella:  Don’t worry, Lady Human. Bring as much soft food as you can. We will tough it through.

Me:  Okay, I’m on my way.

Stella:  Phew! That was a close one. Let’s all hope they are out of the regular stuff. Soft food. Tough it through? We will be living high on the hog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H. J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Happy 6th Birthday, Wiggles! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:  Happy Birthday, Wiggles! Number 6!

Stella:  Why wasn’t I informed of this?

Me:  You don’t keep a calendar and I didn’t think it was necessary…

Stella:  Not necessary to wish one of my kingdom members a special birthday greeting?

Me:  Well, okay. Go ahead then.

Stella:  Go ahead what?

Miss Sweetie:  Is it my birthday?

Me:  No, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:  Why not?

Me:  These things happen on a schedule.

Doodlebug:  What do we get for Wiggles’ birthday?

Tiger:  Is there a cake? Humans always have cake for these things.

Me:  No, no cake, but something I think you will all like. Turkey meat!

Wiggles:  Me! Me! Me!

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Me:  Yes, and since it is your birthday, you get a double portion.

Tiger:  Double portion? What does that mean?

Stella:  I think it means that the rest of us are getting cheated.

Me:  Happy 6th, Wiggles!

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Humans Are Hard to Get Along With – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans think that they are all that and a bag of treats, too.

Me:  What have we done…or not done now?

Stella:  Oh, where, oh where to begin. I know. Lunch today.

Me:  What was wrong with lunch today?

Stella:  The clocks in our bellies all say that it was late. LATE!

Me:  I can’t always be here precisely at lunchtime. But I get back as soon as I can.

Stella:  Our belly clocks do not lie, Lady Human.

Me:  Okay, other than late lunch, what have we done wrong?

Stella:  Supper was early.

Me:  Since when is an early meal a problem?

Stella:  Since it confuses our belly clocks. Then we start expecting supper early and then supper goes back to the regular time and everything is confused.

Me:  Can’t we have a little flexibility in our schedule?

Stella:  That depends.

Me:  On what?

Stella:  On our belly clocks.

Me:  Well, that throws flexibility out the door.

Stella:  Good, I never liked that flexibility guy anyway.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Yuck! What Did You Put in My Food? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Something in my bowl smells funny. What have you done, Lady Human?

Me:  I just added a little…something healthy.

Stella:  Eewww! Pee-you stinko!! Did you just mess up my food with it?

Me:  No, I gave some to the others. Smell their breath.

Stella:  Eewww! Pee-you stinko!! No way! I wanted to make sure you were fairly distributing the nasty in our food and I was not the only one so blessed. What is it?

Me:  You’ve had it before.

Stella:  It stank badly then, too, I take it.

Me:  You didn’t seem to mind.

Stella:  My tastes are more refined now.

Me:  It’s apple cider vinegar. It’s good for…

Stella:  I LOVE IT! Wow! It’s got a snap to it! Where has this been all my life?

Me:  I’m glad you approve.

Stella:  Sneaking stuff into my food? I don’t approve. Next time let me see the label first.

Me:  You can’t read.

Stella:  That’s never stopped me from memorizing a treat before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Humans Don’t Know How to Bark – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhhh! You’ll wake her up!

Tiger:  What is wrong with her? We are the only ones allowed to sleep all day. And all night.

Wiggles:  She sounds all raspy, like bulldogs clearing our throats.

Doodlebug:  Oh, big deal!

Miss Sweetie:  She is trying to bark. She’s just not any good at it.

Me:  No, not barking…Coughing.

Stella:  Fake barking then.

Me:  No.

Miss Sweetie:  She’s hacking. She is a bulldog. That’s great hacking, Lady Human, almost as good as mine.

Me:  No. Flu. Or a chest cold. Not a bulldog.

Tiger:  Why are you doing flu?

Me:  Didn’t want to. Tall Man caught it from somebody, and he brought it home.

Wiggles:  Can we have some? What he brings home is usually pretty good.

Me:  No, at least you can’t catch this. This is for humans only.

Doodlebug:  That’s kind of selfish.

Me:  You wouldn’t think so if you had it. But I’m getting better.

Stella:  Well, not at barking you’re not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Free Speech for Dogs! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. There! I said it! I will say it again! I am Stella, Queen…

Tiger:  I’ve heard that before and I don’t want to hear it again, so shut it!

Stella:  I don’t have to shut it! I can say anything and everything I want to!

Wiggles:  Not if I said it first!  Wait! What am I saying?

Doodlebug:  I don’t know. I was asleep when you all started yelling. Can I just go ahead and sleep through all this?

Miss Sweetie:  I want to say something. I have free speech, too. Now what should I say?

Me:  Free speech does not mean saying anything and everything you want.

Stella:  Oh, my turn, my turn, my turn! Yes, it does, Lady Human. It is speech and it is free.

Me:  No, a lie is not protected speech.

Stella:  Not my problem. Bulldogs never lie!

Tiger:  Hah! Caught you, Miss Self-Proclaimed Queen! You made that whole thing up! Just because you say it doesn’t make it so!

Stella:  LALALALALA!

Me:  Stella, being louder than everybody else isn’t the definition of free speech either.

Stella:  IT IS IF YOU’RE THE QUEEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Baritone Bulldog – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hey, Doodle! Stop rattling the walls!

Doodlebug:  Boom! BOOM! GrrrrRRRR! DOUBLE BOOM!

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Me:  You have an impressive voice. Can you use it a little less right now?

Doodlebug:  I am singing the song of my people.

Me:  Is that what it is?

Stella:  Why is his voice so big and low and mine is so high and… puny?

Me:  Your voice isn’t puny or that high, girl. It’s your voice. Your vocal cords are strung differently from Doodlebug’s. It works that way with humans, too. Some have high voices, some have low voices, and everything in between. Doodle is probably a baritone.

Stella:  What if I talk deep down like this? Am I a baritone now?

Me:  Just be yourself.

Stella:  OOO! Waaah-OOOOOO!

Me:  But maybe not so much of yourself right this minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weird Is As Weird Does – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human has been acting weird lately. As in forever. As in a thousand years. Or for the last thirty seconds, whichever is longer.

Me:  Stella, your time skills have not improved. And calling me ‘weird’ is rude.

Stella:  Weird is as weird does.

Me:  I’ve just been moving stuff around…

Stella:  Yeah, like the big scary one-eyed Picture Box now In my beloved room.

Me:  Well, my room, to be honest. And the internet has been out so that has cramped my style.

Stella:  Yes, but that has meant more face to face time with your favorite bulldogs. And you have been playing music on your little black box again.

Me:  Yeah, I got distracted for a while and got away from that, didn’t I?

Stella:  I like the music. Humans may be weird, but some of your weirdness sounds really nice. Now if we could just get rid of that big scary Picture Box in my bedroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Too Gripey, Even For Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It’s too dark in here. Hummph!

Tiger:  No, it’s too bright. Turn off some lights, Lady Human. I want to nap before I go to sleep.

Wiggles:  Please turn off that fan. It is too cold. Look at me, all curled up like a bulldog ball.

Doodlebug:  I’m hungry. When do we eat? Again?

Miss Sweetie:  Huh? What’s going on? Oh, no! What is that? A trash bag? What is it doing in here? Let me at it!

Me:  Attention! May I have your attention, please?

Stella:  No.

Tiger:  I don’t think so.

Wiggles:  Absolutely not until you turn that fan off.

Doodlebug:  You have my attention any time you have food in your hand.

Miss Sweetie:  What is attention? Do I have any?

Me:  No more moaning, barking, yapping. This gripe session of the bulldog realm is officially over.

Tiger:  I don’t think so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Moving Pictures – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This can’t be right. Something is different. Different and scary.

Me:  All that has happened is that I have moved the Picture Box out of the den and into my room.

Stella:  It doesn’t look the same. It looks big and blank and frightening. Where are the happy moving pictures I have come to love?

Me:  They will be there as soon as I set it up and turn it on like…this.

Stella:  No. No. No. No, thank you. I will just sit in my special bed crate. That way I can hide, and it won’t jump over here and eat me.

Me:  It’s just the same old Picture Box, Stella. Only now it is in here and not in there.

Stella:  What was wrong with your little black box that you always carry in your hand? That had moving pictures and it wasn’t scary.

Me:  I still have that.

Stella:  Why can’t you be satisfied with the way things were? Why must you change them to make them scarier? And what will the others watch now that you’ve taken away their Picture Box?

Me:  You are the only bulldog in the house that pays any attention to the television. They won’t miss it.

Stella:  I still don’t like it. Look! It’s staring at me with its great big eye.

Me:  That’s the screen.

Stella: Tell it to blink like a normal Picture Box. Now I’m going to have to stand guard all night.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

How Do I Get to Be Queen? – Conversations with Stella and Tiger

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Tiger:  Stop right there! I never agreed to that. You just go around saying it as though it is true.

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Stella:  It is true. I said it a long time ago and no other queens showed up so it’s true. So there!

Tiger:  Lady Human, I want to be queen! Please, please, please!

Me:  Oh, no! You are not dragging me into an internal bulldog political issue. I’ll just stand on the sidelines, thank you very much.

Tiger:  But she is so annoying. Always prissing around. Do you see how she stands in the middle of the room and won’t go out until you scratch her and pat her rear end three times?

Me:  Yes, I’m the one she expects that from. I don’t even remember how that got started.

Stella; You can’t be queen, Tiger. You don’t get along with Wiggles or me. You only get along with Moon Cat and there is something very wrong about that picture, if you ask me.

Me:  Oh, look at the time. Politics have ended for the day.

Stella:  Really.

Tiger:  Okay, I guess. Do humans end politics at this time of day?

Me:  The smart ones do.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snoring – Conversations with Stella

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I… am… Stella, Queen of…the Olde…English…Bulldogges. Snore. Bzzzzz…

Me:  Well, so much for conversation tonight.

Stella:  Snore…Bzzzzz…

Me: I wish I knew what you were dreaming about and you are almost always dreaming, I think.

Stella:  Brum…brum…brum…

Me:  But I don’t want to wake you. I might interrupt a beautiful dream.

Stella:  Honkkk…brum…brum…

Me:  Dream on, girl. I’ll be dreaming before long myself.

Stella:  Humph…brum…brum…snort. What? Did you say something? Is everything all right?

Me:  No, nothing important. And yes. Everything is all right. Good night, Stella.

Stella:  Good night, Lady Human. Brum…Brum…Brum…Snort.

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

I Thought I Made Myself Clear – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:  What?

Stella:  Ahem! Arrerrgh!

Me:  There’s that noise again. Stella, what do you want?

Stella:  You know.

Me:  But I don’t.

Stella:  I thought I made myself clear. Anytime you are staring at your folded papers…

Me:  Reading.

Stella:  Yes, or whenever you are staring at the little black box in your hand…

Me:  Looking at my phone…

Stella:  Yes, or when the little black box in your hand becomes a tiny picture box like the big Picture Box in the big room…

Me:  Watching movies.

Stella:  Yes. I thought I made it perfectly clear that while one hand is doing that other stuff, your free hand is supposed to be scratching and petting me.

Me:  I do. I am. Sometimes I have to use two hands, one to hold the phone or book and one to write or type…

Stella:  Unacceptable. The terms of our agreement are that one hand is always dedicated to me. Until you understand that, the ahems and arrerrghs will continue. That is all. You may resume your staring at your weird little box and resume petting and scratching me.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Rain Spot – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Time to go out, Lady Human.

Me:  Okay, head over there to the yard door.

Stella:  Nope. My special rain spot.

Me:  Why? It’s raining over there, too.

Stella:  Stella’s Special Rain Spot. Now!

Me:  Hey, that’s my word. What’s wrong with the yard?

Stella:  Too much.

Me:  Too much what?

Stella:  Everything. Too much mud. Too many wet puddles. TOO MANY OTHER BULLDOGS USING IT!

Me:  Oh, all right. Come on.

Stella:  Why, oh why, do I have to argue to get what rightly belongs to me as queen?

Me:  I guess I just don’t understand your royal prerogatives.

Stella:  Just ask me. I will happily explain them to you as we go. Get one of those scratchy writing stick things and some paper. The list is quite lengthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Skimp – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have noticed a disturbing trend in my nighttime snacks lately, Lady Human. I need an explanation.

Me:  Sure. What disturbing trend?

Stella:  The wonderful organic cheese crackers are fewer and farther between.

Me:  I like to space them out so you don’t gobble them all at once.

Stella:  Gobble is what I do. I am a bulldog. Look at my mouth. A mouth like this is not made for anything but gobbling.

Me:  Still…

Stella:  And that is not the only trend…

Me:  There’s more?

Stella:  Where is my special cheese? The good stuff! Not the cheesy cheese!

Me:  I am parceling that out in smaller amounts, too. It’s better that you eat your regular food. A snack is, after all, just supposed to be a snack.

Stella:  A likely story, Lady Human. I’ve seen what you call a snack.

Me:  Hey, I’m bigger than you are.

Stella:  And with the size of your snacks, you are likely to stay that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Nail Job – Conversations with Stella, Doodlebug, and MoonCat

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. No, Doodlebug! Stop that right now! He’s caught MoonCat, Lady Human. Not that such a feat isn’t cool, but it brings disorder to my realm!

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Me:  Doodle! Quit! Whoa! Back off! MoonCat, are you all right?

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MoonCat:  Meow! Meow!

Stella:  Typical. What does that even mean?

Me: Yeah, the cat’s alright, but MoonCat drew blood from Doodle.

Doodlebug:  My nose stings. Mmmm. Tastes good.

Me:  Well, you’re tasting your own bloody nose. It’s already stopping. She didn’t get your eyes. That’s important. What possessed you to go after the cat like that? You haven’t done that in a while.

Doodlebug:  I was here, and she was there, and things just started happening.

Me:  Wait. What’s that white thing on your forehead? Hold on. Let me pull it off. It’s one of MoonCat’s claws! The nail broke! It stuck on your forehead.

Doodlebug:  Can I keep it?

Me:  No, you’d probably try to eat it. MoonCat, let me see your paws. They seem to be all right. Still, you broke a nail.

MoonCat:  Meow. It was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

What Does “Arrerrgh” Mean? – Conversations with Stella

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:  I have a question.

Stella:  If you must, Lady Human. Proceed.

Me:  Oh, thank you so much, Your Majesty.

Stella:  Finally! A little respect around here!

Me:  What does ‘arrerrgh’ mean?

Stella; How would I know? It’s your language.

Me: No, I don’t think so. I know a lot of English words and that is not one of them.

Stella:  Where did you come across this word?

Me:  Out of your mouth last night.

Stella:  Oh, in that case, I’m sure it had to do with something you were doing wrong.

Me:  I figured as much, but what?

Stella:  No telling now. It is probably one of my catchall words. I throw it out there and wait for you to figure it out. If you do, I give you a treat.

Me:  You give me a treat? I’ve never gotten a treat from you.

Stella:  That says a lot about your ability to translate bulldoggese, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Clear The Paths – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:  If you are queen, which I doubt, then you are responsible for the messes on our bulldog paths outside.

Stella:  I most certainly am not! I always potty in a discreet corner. If there are pathway messes, blame Lady Human.

Me:  Hey, don’t look at me! I didn’t do it. I’ve just been a little slow on the pickup, that’s all.

Miss Sweetie:  It’s not my fault. I go wherever I happen to be when the mood strikes me. If I happen to be on a path, well…

Doodlebug:  I never leave any evidence. Prove otherwise.

Wiggles:  I don’t favor the pathways. I prefer the old oak tree’s empty mound. Then I can be queen of the hill.

Stella:  Nobody’s queen of anything here but me! That includes potty spots!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Babysitters – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, why has the tiny human been here so much today?

Tiger:  Yeah, and where is Tall Man? He should be taking care of his puppy.

Me:  Once again, she is not a puppy. She is a human child. As for today, her father is car shopping and it is better that she waits here with me.

Wiggles:  Why is Tall Man shopping for cars? Why can’t they shop for themselves?

Me:  Car shopping means he is looking to buy a different vehicle.

Doodlebug:  A rolling box? Why didn’t you say so?

Me:  I thought I did.

Miss Sweetie:  She can stay here by me. I can lick her clean and share my food and let her gnaw on my chew toys.

Me:  That is very generous of you, Sweetie, but now she is resting.

Stella:  You mean she is taking a nap?

Me:  Yes.

Stella:  Good for her!  I’m glad she has already figured out how to use her days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2020 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.