Stop Repeating Yourself – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Tiger:     Ruff!

Stella:    What?

Tiger:     Ruff! Ruff!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     Ruff! Ruff!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Stella:    Stop it!

Tiger:     No!

Me:        Okay, now I am saying stop it to both of you. What’s going on?

Stella:    Tiger is being annoying. She is barking for no reason.

Me:        Is something wrong, Tiger?

Tiger:     My rear end itches.

Me:        Well, that’s a reason.

Stella:    Nope! I speak fluent bulldoggese and that is not what she was saying!

Me:        What was she saying then?

Stella:    Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! That is not even a real word, Lady Human. She was repeating herself over and over and over and over…

Me:        Sort of like what you are doing now?

Stella:    …and over and over…

Me:        Here, Tiger, let me scratch the itchy spot.

Stella:    Oh, so she gets free scratching as a reward for being annoying and repeating herself over and over and over…

Me:        Scratching is always free. I do not charge for it.

Stella:    In that case, ruff! Ruff ruff! Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Queen Has To Be The Queen All the Time – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Me:        The barking is deafening. What’s going on? Stella?

Stella:    Huh?

Me:        The whole pack just erupted in barking and I can’t tell why. So… why?

Stella:    I don’t know. Whatever.

Me:        Excuse me, but where is the Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges?

Tiger:     Right here. Ready to take over.

Me:        It was a rhetorical question, Tiger.

Tiger:     Still ready, willing, and able, ma’am.

Me:        Maybe you can tell me what caused the outburst just now.

Miss Sweetie:    I can! I can! Me! Me! Me!

Me:        You caused it, or you know why, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    Both. Wait. What was the question?

Doodlebug:        You started barking because of the cat.

Wiggles:   No, I started barking because of the cat.

Me:        Stella, why did everyone start barking at the cat? She was sitting on top of the big chair, minding her own business.

Stella:    I don’t know.

Me:        Why not?

Stella:    I was watching the Picture Box. That show with big waves and humans turning around fast was on. I love that show!

Me:        But you are the Queen. I count on you to let me know what’s going on.

Stella:    Oh, all right. I did hear the cat. She was hacking up one of those yucky globs of goo and hair, and the others thought it was a big deal.

Me:        Moon was hacking up a hairball? That’s what started all the barking?

Stella:    Yeah, it’s a pretty ugly noise, but not enough to interrupt a good Picture Box show.

Me:        But you are the Queen.

Stella:    Even the Queen needs a day off now and then.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Don’t tell me not to speak!

Me:        If by ‘speak’ you mean ‘bark’, yes, I will ask you not to speak.

Stella:    You are violating my rights.

Me:        Tall Man and the baby just walked into the house and you all erupted in loud barking. That is not free speech. That is just excited noise.

Stella:    Which we have a right to express whenever we wish.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    How can you call yourself an American, whatever that is.

Me:        Easily. I know the difference between speech and noise.

Stella:    I don’t see a difference. If I want to open my mouth, I have a right to.

Me:        And you are opening your mouth because…why?

Tiger:     I feel like it.

Wiggles:   Everyone else is doing it.

Doodlebug:   I have a great voice.

Miss Sweetie:    I don’t know.

Stella:    I am the queen. Divine right of queens.

Me:        I have an idea. How about a snack?

Stella:    Okay.

Tiger:     I’ll take that.

Wiggles:   Whatever you say.

Miss Sweetie:    A big snack or a little snack?

Doodlebug:   Ready when you are.

Me:        And the free speech debate?

Stella:    Free what?

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why All The Insane Barking? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        And I have a serious question.

Stella:    Permission is granted for you to ask your question, silly or serious.

Me:        Why all the insane barking?

Stella:    Sorry, Lady Human. Your question makes no sense.

Me:        Sort of like y’all’s barking this afternoon. Every time I turned around…

Stella:    And you turn around quite a lot.

Me:        Barking, barking, barking. And there was no reason for it.

Stella:    Says who?

Me:        I could not see one thing going on that would provoke so much noise.

Stella:    Ah, there. You said it. You could not see, but could you smell it?

Me:        Smell what?

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        Exactly? What?

Stella:    How can I explain what you cannot smell? Bulldog barking is never insane. Bulldogs are reasonable creatures.

Me:        Reasonable creatures? Hmmm.

Stella:    Don’t worry, Lady Human. We don’t bark like that every day. You know that. Maybe tomorrow will smell less interesting.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Long, Red Monster Incident – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, on my count, 1, 2, 3…ATTACK!

Miss Sweetie:    I’ll get it, Aunt Stella! Nobody invades our home!

Doodlebug:   Stop, you ugly monster! I’ve got you!

Me:        What is going on? Why are you all freaking out?

Snoopey:   See it! See it! Stop it! It has grabbed Tall Man!

Me:    The mop? Not again. More like Tall Man has grabbed it.

Tiger:   No! He is wrestling with it! Back and forth! Back and forth! We must help him!

Me:        Hey, y’all, we’ve had this discussion before. A mop is a floor cleaner. It is not dangerous.

Wiggles:   Of course, it is dangerous! It is long and red. Long, red things are dangerous.

Me:        Can you even see red?

Stella:    When you bring that yellow brush thing out, do we bark at it?

Me:        The broom? As a matter of fact, no.

Stella:    Because it is yellow. Yellow things are not a threat. But red things are monsters.

Me:   So if the mop were yellow, it would be all right?

Stella:    There are no such things as yellow mops. But long, red monsters are real.

Me:        There! He put the mop up. Can you stop barking now?

Stella:    Cease the attack! The long, red monster has retreated. I declare a bulldog victory! Yay us!

Me:        I guess I could always paint the mop handle yellow.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “I Don’t Need” List – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have a list of things I need…

Me:        Before you get going on that, I have a different list. Things I don’t need.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        Hear me out. Number one: I don’t need the incessant barking for no reason. I came home today, and everybody was barking and barking and there was no need for it.

Stella:    We will be the judge of that.

Me:        Well, I’m the judge of this. When you all are barking for no reason that I can tell, it sounds very much like you are yelling at me.

Stella:    We would never yell at you. Not all at once. How could anyone understand what was being said?

Me:        Try as I may, I don’t understand when you are barking one at a time. Item Number Two: I don’t need you to chase the cat or egg on anyone else to chase the cat. Doodlebug NEVER chased Moon the Cat before the other day and now he charges her every time he comes in from outdoors. I think you are encouraging him.

Stella:    I am simply urging him to seek his own bulldog path. Cat chasing is perfectly normal for a young bulldog.

Me:        Not in my house.

Stella:    Your house? Since when?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

A Whole Lot of Beeping Going On – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Early this morning, I was minding my business as usual when the still air was wrecked by the most awful noise. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Me:        I know. Everyone woke up.

Stella:    BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Me:        Thank you, Stella. I heard.

Stella:    What a ridiculous noise! I know it was a human noise. Do you know how I know? No self-respecting animal would make a noise like that.

Me:        A goose would. More of a honk, but still…

Stella:    That annoying bird that was in that movie on the Picture Box. No, thank you! But you have to admit, the beeping is worse.

Me:        Well, when everybody jumped up and started barking like mad…no, I don’t see the difference. You all did that at the goose during my movie. I always have to watch that movie more than once just to hear what’s going on because of all the barking at the goose.

Stella:    Maybe you should stop watching that movie. That would solve everything.

Me:        I don’t agree that bulldogs should dictate my television viewing habits.

Stella:    Well, someone needs to. So, all that beeping this morning AND YESTERDAY had nothing to do with gooses.

Me:        Geese.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Two “gooses” are referred to as geese.

Stella:    Lady Human, your language makes me want to scream.

Me:        Please don’t. We’ve already had enough noise around here today.

Stella:    Who was beeping and how do we get it to stop?

Me:        Today it was a bulk trash truck. It came earlier than usual. Yesterday it was the regular trash truck. I guess they had to back up.

Stella:    Why does backing up beep?

Me:        It’s a warning that they put on big trucks. It lets everybody around know that the truck is backing up and may be blind to what’s behind it.

Stella:    Scary.

Me:        Not for you all. Stay away from the trucks…and you do…and there is no danger.

Stella:    Except to our ears. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Humans and their noises. Honestly. Where does it end?

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Popcorn Barking – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am the human commonly referred to among the bulldogs as Lady Human.

Stella:    Hey, that’s my spot. Get out of my spot, Lady Human! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…

Snoopey:   What?

Tiger:     Who?

Wiggles:   Bark…bark……bark…bark.

Doodlebug:   What?

Miss Sweetie:   Hey! Huh! What?

Me:        Okay, please stop. You sound like a bunch of popcorn kernels going off.

Wiggles:   Popcorn? Mmmmm!

Stella:    When?

Tiger:   Where? How?

Snoopey:   Ruff…..Ruff…Ruff. Ruff.

Me:        You see! Some of that doesn’t even make any sense.

Doodlebug:   Sense? What? What? What?

Tiger:     How? When? Where? What?

Wiggles:   Someone said popcorn.

Snoopey:   Look! Look!

Stella:    At what?

Snoopey:   Nothing.

Miss Sweetie:   Looking. I see nothing. Where’s the popcorn?

Me:        There is no popcorn.

Stella:    I distinctly heard someone say popcorn. Was it you, Tiger?

Me:        How could anyone hear anything with all this barking? You bark and then she barks and then he barks and then you bark again.

Stella:    Yep.

Miss Sweetie:   Why?

Stella:   Why what, Sweetie?

Miss Sweetie:   Why is there no popcorn?

Tiger:   Exactly. Ruuuuffff!

Miss Sweetie:   I will bark until there is popcorn. Ruff…Ruff…Ruff…

Me:        Noooo! Please don’t! Look! I’ll get you treats or supplements or something if it will calm you all down. No more popcorn barking.

Snoopey:   Where did she go?

Stella:   To the kitchen. You see. I told you it would work.

Miss Sweetie:   Aunt Stella, you’re the best.

Stella:   Okay, Sweetie, you can stop barking now.

Miss Sweetie:   Why?

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking to Yourself Out Loud – More Human Nonsense – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As I have said many times before, humans talk too much. It is bad enough when they are using too many words to us. When they start talking to themselves, well, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. All I have to say right now is SHHHHH! I could have said SILENCE! But since Lady Human is talking to herself out loud, she probably wouldn’t have heard me over her own volume so what’s the point?

Me:        So, I am speaking aloud. So what?

Stella:    So… ANNOYING. DISTRACTING. NOISY. IRRITATING. What else? Let’s see. Oh, yes. UNNECESSARY. NOTHING WE NEED TO HEAR. WEIRD. Shall I go on?

Me:        Not weird. Helpful.

Stella:    Not to us, it’s not. How can human yakking be helpful?

Me:        Sometimes, when I say the words instead of just thinking them, my brain processes my thoughts into solid ideas that I can hold onto.

Stella:    Oh, Lady Human, that is scary.

Me:        How so?

Stella:    Solid words. Whatever next? Will you start throwing your words around the room like little balls for us to fetch? Oh, look out! There’s a word flying through the air! Don’t let it smack you in the head!

Me:        Sorry, Stella. I forgot how literal you can be.

Stella:    Literal? Lady Human, are you saying that I am stupid?

Me:        No. I am saying that your way of thinking is more concrete than mine.

Stella:    What? Concrete in my head? No wonder my head is so heavy.

Me:        I am sorry that my out loud self-talk was confusing to you.

Stella:    When you ask yourself a question, do you answer it, too?

Me:        No, I usually type it into my phone for someone else’s answer.

Stella:    Perfect. No more talking to yourself out loud. Let your fingers do the talking. We won’t even have to hear it. You spend so much time on that little box anyway. Go ahead and spend more. Ah, blessed silence.

Me:        Wait a minute! Blessed silence? What about when you all erupt in barking?

Stella:    I meant blessed silence from humans. There’s a difference. You should know that by now.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…Or Visitors – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. First of all, allow me to explain what happened today…

Me:        Rudeness. That’s what happened today.

Stella:    Now, Lady Human, in all fairness…

Me:        Fairness? Can you imagine walking into a house to visit and the whole place erupts in wild barking?

Stella:    Yes, I can imagine that. It happened here today. It was crazy. Bulldog madness.

Me:        You were barking as much as everyone else. Our poor visitor felt totally unwelcome.

Stella:    Of course, she was unwelcome. We don’t let just anybody walk in here. Where was her invitation?

Me:        I invited her.

Stella:    Well, I didn’t. No one told me. Perhaps you should plan a little better next time. Bulldog invitations must be issued in plenty of time for us to get used to the idea of a stranger coming here.

Me:        And how much time is that?

Stella:    A year or two ought to be sufficient. I’ll let you know if that’s not enough.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put It On Silent – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As I have pointed out many times before, humans talk entirely too much. Sometimes, they even talk in the middle of the night. I was sound asleep, minding my own business as always…

Me:        As always?

Stella:    When out of the darkness came a weird voice, floating down the hall, sneaking into my sleepy ears.

Me:        And you and Sweetie started barking your heads off, even after I told you all was well.

Stella:    All is not well when a goofy, little voice in the night squeals, giggles, and says, “Hee, hee, hee! Let’s play!” Now I know that it was not your tiny human relative who visits. She was not here and she does not speak human languages yet. And I know that it was not a bulldog. A bulldog would never sound that silly. It was totally unbulldoggy. No self-respecting bulldog would make such a noise. Not even Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    Hey!

Stella:    No offense, honey, but admit it. You do make strange noises, even for a bulldog.

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Miss Sweetie:    I heard the sound first and I was the first to bark the alarm.

Stella:    No, I was the first.

Miss Sweetie:   No, I was the first.

Stella:    No, it was me.

Me:        And I came down the hall and told you both that all was well and you kept on barking at me.

Miss Sweetie:    I stopped barking at you first.

Stella:    No, I stopped barking at her first.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I stopped first. I remember.

Stella:    Are you saying my memory is not as good as yours? Are you saying that I am old?

Miss Sweetie:    Mmmm. Yes. You are old, Aunt Stella.

Stella:    EEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Me:        Excuse me, please. I have an announcement. The late-night noise in question arose from an online game that I started playing on my phone when I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I apologize to the whole household. I forgot to silence my phone before I went to sleep and, when I opened the app, the music and silly voice started immediately. I couldn’t silence it quickly enough. In fact, I don’t like those noises either. But I do like the game and sometimes it helps me go back to sleep. End of story.

Miss Sweetie:    You couldn’t silence your phone quickly enough? You are old, Lady Human. What century were you born in?

Stella:   You mean this all happened because of that little talking box you pay too much attention to all day long? And now you pay attention to it at night? Give it here, Lady Human. You do not need it that much.

Me:        Nope. It’s mine.

Stella:    Turn the talking box over.

Me:        Nope. I’m the human. I am in charge of it.

Stella:    And as you will come to admit, I am the loud barking box and I am in charge of that.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I am the loud barking box.

Stella:    No, it’s me.

Miss Sweetie:   No…

Me:        Here, let me turn my phone’s sound back on and turn the volume to max. Who’s the loud barking box now?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

The Red Mop Menace – Conversation with the Pack

Today was Mop Day, a day which should probably come even more often than it does.

Stella:    No, it should never happen again!

Me:        I truly do not understand why you all don’t like the mop. With the mop, there is endless, hysterical barking. How is it different from the broom that Tall Man was pushing just a few minutes ago and you were all silent?

Stella:    There is all the difference in the world, Lady Human! Isn’t it obvious?

Me:        No.

Stella:    The broom, as you inexplicably call it, is a bright, friendly yellow. It is dry and takes the dirt and bulldog hair and stacks it in a neat pile which then disappears into the tall metal fortress forever.

Me:        You mean the trash can.

Stella:    If you say so.

Me:        But the mop does the same thing, only better.

Tiger:     No! The mop is evil!

Snoopey:  I never agree with Tiger. She is always wrong. Until now. The mop is evil!

Me:        The yellow broom is good, but the red mop is evil?

Wiggles:  What is ‘red’?

Stella:    You know what it is. The ugly color that the humans are always spreading around and wearing.

Miss Sweetie:  I like red. I like yellow. I like blue. I like the lovely trees. I like the lovely grass. I like the lovely squirrels…

Stella:    NOOO! Sweetie, you and I need to have a long talk.

Miss Sweetie:    About the lovely squirrels?

Stella:    No. I mean yes. I mean about a lot of things.

Doodlebug:        Can you tell me about the lovely squirrels, too?

Stella:    SQUIRRELS ARE NOT LOVELY! YES, DOODLEBUG! I WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT BULLDOG LIFE, TOO! Forgive me for shouting. Some subjects annoy me.

Wiggles:  What is ‘annoy’?

Snoopey:  Why aren’t we talking about taking out the red mop?

Tiger:     Exactly. The red mop must be destroyed.

Me:        I still don’t understand why the red mop is so different from the yellow broom.

Stella:    The mop is wet. It is smelly.

Me:        It cleans the floor. Do you want the floor to be smelly?

Stella:    Better a smelly floor than an evil red mop running around free!

Tiger:     Hear! Hear!

Snoopey:  Agreed!

Wiggles:  Okay.

Doodlebug:  The smelly floor smells like me.

Miss Sweetie:    Lovely squirrels.

Stella:    As queen, I can order our army to march against the red mop.

Me:        No, you really can’t.

Stella:    But the humans vote on all sorts of things, as crazy as that is.

Me:        No, it’s really not.

Stella:    I put it to a bulldog vote. All in favor of red mop destruction, bark and keep on barking!

The Pack:  Barking

 Me:        No, please, not again!

Stella:    The barks have it. The red mop will be destroyed at the next opportunity.

Me:        No, it won’t. I am not going to buy another mop just because you all don’t like the color red or think it is wet or smelly.

Stella:    All in favor of Lady Human not overseeing the red mop issue, bark!

Me:        Stop! The red mop is mine and Tall Man’s. I am hereby taking it into protective custody. No chewing or bulldog destruction allowed. Is that clear?

Stella:    No.

Me:        What?

Stella:    Yes. Maybe. Not really.

Me:        The humans are in charge.

Stella:    Until the red mop menace is over, all in favor of the humans no longer being in charge, bark!

  

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s Going On? Stella’s Alert to the Pack – Conversations with Stella

Alert! Alert! Something is going on! Oh, by the way, I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Help! Alert! Lady Human! Whatever is going on, MAKE IT STOP!

Me:        Nothing is going on except that the whole pack is barking. Why don’t you tell everyone to calm down and stop it?

Stella:    I can’t until we know the danger is past.

Me:        There is no danger.

Stella:    Yes, there is; otherwise, the pack would not be up in arms!

Me:        There is no danger.

Stella:    Why do you keep saying that? Do you think that we are insane? You are human. Humans are supposed to know everything.

Me:        Stella, the look you are giving me says that you think that I am the insane one. It’s your straight brow, the face that says you are stuck between worry and disbelief.

Stella:    I am! What is going on? Help!

Me:        What is going on? Tall Man just got home from work. That’s all that is going on. Okay. Can you calm down now?

Stella:    Tall Man? Came home?

Me:        Didn’t you see him walk through?

Stella:    Yes. But everyone was barking and jumping around. Like something was wrong. And I just assumed…

Me:        …that something was wrong, but there wasn’t. Someone heard something. It was Tall Man. Someone saw something. It was Tall Man. Someone started barking without asking why. Then everyone else started barking without asking why.

Stella:    Oh. I see. You must think we are foolish.

Me:        No more than my fellow humans who do the same thing every day.

Stella:    Lady Human, we still hope that humans know everything.

Me:        We don’t. Get used to it. Only God knows everything. And do you know what that is?

Stella:    Yep. Good news.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Poetry in the Dark – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        I am a little fuzzy on the whole queen thing. Can you give the bulldogs commands? Will they mind you?

Stella:    Can I? I can. Do I? All the time. Will they mind? Quien sabe? Did you notice that? I answered in Spanish. I am a bilingual dog! Yay me!

Me:        If you say so.

Stella:    I know you, Lady Human. You would not be bringing this question up if there were not something you want me to order the bulldogs to do.

Me:        Yes. PLEASE, no more extended barking during the dark.

Stella:    Who was doing that?

Me:        You know who.

Stella:    Was it me?

Me:        No. Wait. Wouldn’t you know if you were barking?

Stella:    Not if I were in the middle of one of my wonderful Flying Stella squirrel chasing dreams. Wonderful. Flying. Me.

Me:        No, it was not you. It was Miss Sweetie. It was 5 a.m., really 4 a.m. if you don’t go by Daylight Savings Time, also known as Fake Time. Not a sunray in sight and she was popping off and nothing was wrong. It was pitch dark and I was trying to sleep.

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Stella:    Of course, nothing was wrong. And that was not barking.

Me:        You could’ve fooled me.

Stella:    We often do, Lady Human. You notice that no one else joined in.

Me:        So, she was not barking even though it sounded just like barking.

Stella:    It was Bulldog Poetry. Sweetie is a Bulldog Poet like me.

Me:        What was she saying?

Stella:    Oh, I don’t know. It was pitch dark and I was trying to sleep.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Foot Bath Furor – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

As a human, I am constantly surprised by what sets the bulldogs off. The latest barking/whining frenzy started…

Stella:    When your feet disappeared, Lady Human! WHEN YOUR FEET DISAPPEARED!

Miss Sweetie:    Nooooo! Where did they go, Lady Human? Horrible!

Stella:    Settle down, Sweetie! I will make Lady Human tell us where her feet went!

Me:        This is a foot bath.

Stella:    It eats feet! Keep it far away from us! We have lots of feet!

Me:        Look! See! Here are my feet!

Miss Sweetie:    They are back! Wonderful! You are so talented, Lady Human.

Me:        It is a foot bath. I put my feet down in it like this…

Miss Sweetie:    Noooo! They’re gone again! Why?

Me:        And I take them out like this.

Miss Sweetie:    What a relief! They are back! Lady Human is my hero. She can do anything.

Me:        Not exactly.

Doodlebug:        Why are you letting that monster chew on your feet?

Me:        It is full of warm water and I soak my feet in it.

Tiger:     Ridiculous. Why would anyone volunteer to put their feet in a box of water?

Snoopey:  Tiger is always wrong. I have never agreed with her. Until now.

Me:        Look, y’all. It’s a matter of perspective. From where you are, I can understand that it looks like my feet disappear.

Wiggles:   Yeah, your legs look funny with a big box on the end of them. Your feet disappear, and then they come back, and then they disappear, and then they come back. You are the funniest human ever.

Stella:    Wiggles, it’s not funny! It’s scary. And the box of water is making a growling noise. I don’t trust it.

Me:        Come over here, Stella, and look down into the foot bath. You can see my feet.

Stella:    No way, Lady Human! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again. Why are you trying to fool a poor ole bulldog?

Me:        Wait. When did I fool you once?

Stella:    Not important.

Me:        Perspective. What things look like from where you sit may not be the way they really are.

Stella:    Good, because from where I sit, that box of water on your feet looks weird and scary.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved.

Movie Dogs, Please! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! It has become harder and harder to take an uninterrupted nap around here. Is that too much to ask? I only sleep 18 hours a day…well, maybe 20, and some of that is at night. I can’t get by on less. I need my beauty sleep.

Me:        You can tell time? And I haven’t noticed any nap disruptions.

Stella:    What about last night when Tall Man was working on one of his silly human projects?

Me:        He works late. He has to finish things when he can. And human projects aren’t silly.

Stella:    All human projects are silly unless they have to do with me. Then there is Miss Sweetie, slinging her chew toys around with all their clunkety clunking.

Me:        She loves those toys and besides, her play calms her down so she can sleep.

Stella:    Then there is you.

Me:        Me? I am keeping you from napping?

Stella:    You and your Picture Box.

Me:        I can turn the sound down.

Stella:    It is not most of the sounds. It is one sound. The sound of dogs.

Me:        I would think that you would like to see more dogs on television.

Stella:    See, yes; hear, no. Permit me to say that having dogs show up at random times in movies is ridiculous.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    Have you ever listened to them?

Me:        Yeah, they’re usually barking.

Stella:    Empty noise. They never know their lines. It’s all “What do we do now?” and “What did he say?” and “I’m hungry. Where are the treats? There were treats at rehearsal.”

Me:        It just sounds like barking to me.

Stella:    The movie people need to get a translator.

Me:        I don’t think there are dog translators. Yet.

Stella:    Well then, the movie dogs need their own queen.

Me:        Director.

Stella:    Directors are higher than queens?

Me:        On movie sets, they are.

Stella:    Very well. If I must, in addition to being queen, I will now be Dog Director. Here is my direction. SHUT UP! I need to sleep. Good night.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Bulldog Opera – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, have taken up a new hobby. Now hear this: AWWGGHH! AWAAAHH AH AH HAHA! RAH RAH A HAH A HA AH!!

Me:        Stella, what is that?

Stella:    I am singing.

Me:        Loudly.

Stella:    Is there any other way?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    I have a big mouth and a big throat. Why should I not use them?

Me:        Honey, why have you taken up this ‘hobby’ now?

Stella:    Because of that human music you played this afternoon. It made me happy and sad at the same time and I decided that I should sing like that, too.

Me:       Opera?

Stella:    If you say so. What human came up with that music?

Me:        Puccini.

Stella:    Poo Chee Nee. That would be a good name for a bulldog.

Me:        I’m glad you enjoyed it, but…

Stella:    Why is there always a ‘but’?

Me:        Forgive me, but your opera singing sounds exactly like barking.

Stella:    Of course, it does. No one taught me. It is my natural voice. Can you play the music again so I can practice?

Me:        I could play something else.

Stella:    POO CHEE NEE! POO CHEE NEE! POO…

Me:        All right. All right. One more time.

Stella:    That should be enough for me to remember the whole thing. Then I can practice and practice.

Me         How about a nap instead?

Stella:    No time for naps. Practice, practice, practice.

Me:        What have I done?

Stella:   You have unleashed a new bulldog singer on the world.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella’s New List of Offenders : Did You Think I Would Forget? – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, even the ones who are not Illustrious or Noble, hereby post my latest List of Offenders. It has been quite a while since I listed offenders, not because there have been no offenders. There have been plenty. I have a lot of catching up to do.

In order of offensiveness,

Offender #1:      Miss Sweetie – She is still a teenager and, as such, does not know how to control her barking. She believes that she must comment on everything, no matter how unimportant. I think that she loves the sound of her own voice. I do not.

Transcriptionist: Stella, that’s mean! I thought you loved Sweetie.

Stella:    Of course, I love her. That’s beside the point. She talks too much. So do you, Transcriptionist. Silence!

Transcriptionist:  I know who I would elect as Offender #1 and it’s not Miss Sweetie.

 Stella:    Offender #2 – Lady Human who, although she is a human, does not know what the word ‘Silence’ means.

Transcriptionist:  Oh, I know what it means. I don’t acknowledge the right of a bulldog to use it to me.

 Stella:    Wrong again, Lady Human. Not just any bulldog. A bulldog queen. Now where was I? Oh, yes. Offender #3 – Snoopey. Whiney, whiney, whiney. ‘Where is this? Where is that? I’m bored. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’m not hungry. I have gas.’ On and on and on. Hey, you get to sleep in Lady Human’s bed at night. How cool is that? What is that you are doing now? Facing the wall and pouting? Pout away. See my paws over my ears. Not listening…

Moving along. Offender #4 – Jerky McSquirrelyFace.

Transcriptionist:  So your arch nemesis is worthy of a mention on the List?

 Stella:    No! But he is still an offender though I refuse to honor him with his own list. 

 Transcriptionist:  And what has he done to earn his place on the List?

 Stella:    What hasn’t he done? You know, don’t you, that he uses the toilet in our yard? OUR YARD. That is our toilet and no one else’s. And then there’s all that tail flicking. Enough! The queen is tired. The List of Offenders could go on and on.

Transcriptionist:  Would your name end up on there eventually?

Stella:    Of course. Mine is the most important name on any list. I learned that from watching humans.

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Stella’s New Year’s Resolutions – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen Illustrious and Noble of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby declare my resolutions for the New Year called 2017 by the humans. Before I begin, what is a resolution?

Me:        It’s a decision that you make to do some particular thing, such as to lose a certain amount of weight or to stop smoking or to exercise regularly. People use resolutions to state their intention to break an old bad habit or start a new good habit.

Stella:    So it is just humans thinking wishfully.

Me:        Well, more like humans thinking hopefully.

Stella:    I am glad I asked. It sounds like a waste of time.

Me:        People do it when they want to make a positive change.

Stella:    Bulldogs don’t sit around saying what they would like to change. They just do it. If a low branch is in my way, I don’t say, ‘Oh, I will work to move that branch out of my way.’ No! I take that silly branch in my teeth and shake it this way and that and snap! No branch in my way no more. No resolutions. Just bulldog action.

Me:        Some changes take a process.

Stella:    Bulldog process – grab it, shake it, snap it, done. Wait! I know some New Year’s Resolutions I can make. I resolve that Snoopey will stop making her whiny little noises. And I resolve that all the treats in the house should be offered to me first. And I resolve that Tiger will stop interrupting my naps with her snorting. And I resolve…

Me:        Actually, it doesn’t work that way. You resolve what you will do. You can’t resolve what someone else will do. They each must do that themselves. Believe me, I tried to set a goal last year that involved some other people and all I could do was carry out my part.

Stella:    You should have told me you were having that problem, Lady Human. As Queen, I could have ordered them to cooperate.

Me:        Stella, you are queen of some bulldogs and you can’t get them to cooperate. What hope do you have of getting humans to do what you want?

Stella:    BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

Me:         Whoa! What’s that? What do you want?

Stella:    That was me Loud Barking. It works all the time on humans. See how quickly it worked on you?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Human Barking – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I am in charge here. Whatever that horrible noise is, stop it now!

Snoopey: It sounds like a fake bulldog.

Stella:    It must stop! Now everybody is barking at it! Agghh! Now Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie are barking at each other! Wiggles! What are you barking at?

Wiggles:  Everybody else is barking. So…me, too!

Stella:    What started this?

Me:        It must have been me. I was gargling.

Stella:    Why would you do such a horrible thing? What is gargling and how can it be stopped?

Me:        It’s like juggling water in the back of my throat. It may help me get my whole voice back sooner.

Stella:    Wait! You found your voice? Was it in the back yard as I thought? Anyway, can you juggle the water in your throat someplace where it won’t bother the bulldogs? You heard the eruption.

Me:        Maybe. Maybe not. I think they will hear me anywhere in the house.

Stella:    Gargling must be human barking.

Me:        I don’t think so. I think human barking would be…well, barking. Or yelling. Gargling may not have a dog correlation.

Stella:    Dog correlation? You are being confusing again, Lady Human. Is that another horrible noise that we will be forced to bark at?

Me:        Are you ever really forced to bark at anything? Isn’t barking something that you choose to do?

Stella:    Are you ever really forced to gargle, Lady Human? Isn’t gargling something that you choose to do?

Me:        But I don’t gargle every day. And I don’t yell every day. I don’t even bark every day.

Stella:    To each his own. Wait again! What is that?

Me:        Sirens.

Stella:    Very well, Pack. Barking may commence.

Tiger:     (barking)

Snoopey: (barking)

Wiggles: (barking)

Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie: (barking at each other)

Stella:    You may recommence your gargling noise, Lady Human. It makes no difference now.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.