The Revolving Door – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Are you back from your vacation?

Stella:    Maybe. Maybe not. It remains to be seen.

Tiger:     Open the big door, please. I need to go outside.

Me:        Okay. Go ahead. Not too long though. It’s pretty warm today.

Doodlebug:   Why is Tiger going outside?

Me:        I guess because she needs to go potty.

Doodlebug:   I want to go outside, too. Do I have to go potty?

Me:        Well…no…not necessarily. Okay. Go ahead. No fussing or fighting. Do you need me to go with you?

Doodlebug:   No, I can potty on my own.

Me:        Well, I understand that. I don’t want you to get into a fuss with Tiger.

Doodlebug:   Okay. I’ll wait. Tiger acts weird when she is outside. She thinks the whole yard belongs to her.

Me:        Yeah. Tiger is a little touchy. I understand why, but we have to work with her. Oh, here she comes now.

Tiger:     Done and done.

Miss Sweetie:    Me. Me. Me. I need to go outside.

Me:        Very well. How about you and Doodlebug and Wiggles all go out together? Less in and out.

Miss Sweetie:    Never mind. I don’t need to go.

Wiggles:   Of course, you do, Sweetie. You always need to go.

Me:        All right. Here’s the deal. Everybody out or everybody in.

Stella:    How rude! Bathroom freedom!

Me:        Even my own parents had a rule about the in and out at this hot time of year. Go out or stay in. No revolving door. It sucks the air conditioning out.

Wiggles:   What is air conditioning?

Me:        It’s that wonderful machine that chills the air.

Wiggles:   I like that machine.

Me:        Well, the revolving door taxes its strength. We need a better system than popping up and down and always wanting to go out or come in.

Stella:    A system? Like you tell me when I need to go potty? Nope. I am the only one to say when I need to go potty. Bathroom freedom for all! Long live the revolving door!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Learn to Prioritize – Conversations with Stella

Me:        One of the most important life lessons is learning to prioritize.

Stella:    Wait! Why are you talking?

Me:        I need to remind you all that when we go outside, bathroom comes first.

Stella:    And again, why are you talking?

Me:        I have a few things to say.

Stella:    Maybe, but are they things we want to hear?

Me:        When we go outside, all bathroom business takes priority.

Stella:    How is that your business?

Me:        It becomes my business when bulldogs play and come back in and then, ALL OF A SUDDEN, SURPRISE!

Stella:    Oh, Lady Human, it’s never all of a sudden and it’s never really a surprise, to us anyway. Stuff happens.

Me:        Stuff should not happen in the house. Understand? When you go outside, the first thing should be the first thing. Prioritize. Get the important things done and then play play.

Stella:    Is that a human rule? Do humans do that?

Me:        Well…

Stella:    That’s what I thought. Problem easily solved, Lady Human. Install that indoor toilet for the bulldogs. I’ve been arguing for this forever. Your life made easier. Our lives made easier. Easy peasy.

Me:        Not going to happen. That project does not appear on any of my to-do lists.

Stella:    Typical. The easiest solution is the one the humans reject. All right. Let’s just hope that your list of priorities eventually matches ours.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Blue Norther = Blue Nose – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I am not happy. I just thought everyone should know. Why should I keep my misery to myself?

Me:        What misery are we talking about this time?

Stella:    Haven’t you noticed? Don’t you feel it?

Me:        Well, if you’re talking about the weather…

Stella:    Those boxes that Tall Man put in the windows have frozen everything including my feet. They must be turned off immediately. Once upon a time a few hours ago, the air was fine. Now your boxes are forming icicles on my eyelashes.

Me:        First, those boxes are air conditioner window units and they are not on. They haven’t been for some weeks. Secondly, the air conditioners cool the air inside the house, not outside. What you are experiencing is a Blue Norther, a strong cold front that just roared in.

Stella:    Feel my toes. If I could guess a color, I would say they are blue. See what your Blue Norther has done.

Me:        It’s not my Blue Norther. It’s a weather front. I’m cold, too, so the sooner you get business done out here, the sooner we can get back inside.

Stella:    Oh, no! Something terrible is happening in my nose. When I breathe, smoke comes out! Smoke! My nose is on fire and freezing at the same time! Look! A big cloudy puff and it came right out of my bulldoggy nose. Lady Human, this is an emergency! Do something!

Me:        Stella, you do something and we can go back inside. And that is not smoke coming out of your nose. It’s the moisture in your breath condensing in the cold air.

Stella:    Make it stop!

Me:        If you think it’s cold now, wait until morning. The temperature is supposed to drop another 17 degrees or so.

Stella:    And you expect me to go the bathroom out here in a frozen wasteland! What if EVERYTHING freezes! Noooo!

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

Stella:    If Tall Man can install cold air boxes in the windows, he can install a warm air bulldog bathroom inside. Make that two. I need my privacy. The others can share. I am Queen. I hereby decree it. Have the plans on my desk tomorrow.

Me:        Your desk? You have a desk?

Stella:     I’ll take the one in the front room. Every queen needs a desk. And a crown, remember?




Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Stay Out of My Sunbath Spot! – Conversations with Stella

I am with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, Queen and Squirrel Fighter.

Stella:    FLYING Squirrel Fighter!

Me:        That remains to be seen. And by the way, the squirrel is still in the front pecan tree, engorging himself and throwing pecan shells on me when I pass by.

Stella:    Jerky McSquirrelyFace and I will meet on the Field of Battle one day. Then we shall see who emerges victorious.

Me:        The squirrel, probably.

Stella:    AAGGGHH! You would bet against me? Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        Well, the squirrel is fast. He climbs trees. He can run over rooftops. He jumps crazy far. He hides so well that you can look right at him and not see him.

Stella:    I can do all that.

Me:        Stella the Bulldog. Remember.

Stella:    So I may have to practice a bit. You’ll see. But I have a more urgent problem. Wiggles peed on my sunbath spot.

Me:        I believe that everyone, except for me and Tall Man, of course, has peed on your sunbath spot at one time or another. Everyone including you.

Stella:    If I pee on my own spot, that is my business. Still, you are the management and I am making a formal complaint.

Me:        I have noticed a lot of selfishness among the bulldogs about the sunbathing area lately.

Stella:    Exactly, which is why we need a reservation system. And the reservation system says that the spot in the middle is mine all the time. No trespassing. No public bathroom. Oh, and I reserve the time slot when the sun shines at the best angle, not too hot, not too cool, just right.

Me:        What about the others? It sounds like you are trying to hog the sun.

Stella:    Pigs have nothing to do with it. Don’t let pigs come on my sunbathing spot! There is no telling what they might leave behind.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Watch Where You Step

Pooper scoopers are one of the truly great inventions of the past century. They are a real necessity if you have more than one bulldog. Or even if you have only one bulldog. With one-handed operation, the pooper scooper “bites” the poop from off the ground. The same hand can open it and dispose of the poop in the trash receptacle of your choice without direct contact. Done and done!

Of course, I have seen a bulldog accomplish the same thing, only the poop doesn’t get deposited in a trash can. Wiggles is particularly adept at poop disposal. I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that every once in a while she darts away and refuses all orders to return until, well, she returns “empty-handed”, so to speak. Also good at trash diving, Wiggles is our waste disposal specialist.

Poop scooping aside, we still have to watch our step in the yard. Dogs can be selective about their bathroom spots and go out of their way to stay out of our way. A couple of ours prize convenience. They step out the door, walk a few feet, sniff the air, and say,”Yep! Here!”

I have learned to watch my step, even away from the bulldogs. If I’m not paying attention, it’s way too easy to “step” into something that is nasty and smells bad. And that odor follows you around until it gets washed off, sometimes with a power hose.

And if you aren’t careful, you can smear that mess onto other people and things. I remember when I was very young, we were leaving my grandparent’s house. I was all dressed up and was wearing a beloved red coat. Once in the car, we started noticing an odor and pretty quickly, my parents discovered that I had stepped in dog poop. It was on my lovely, little patent leather shoes and ON MY RED COAT!

Everything had to be thoroughly cleaned. I never looked at my red coat quite the same way again. And I had no idea that I had stepped in something stinky until we got closed up with it.

Pooper scoopers can’t handle a lot of the filthy stuff that gets left in our paths. For that stuff, we have to watch where we step.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.