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.

Champion Cat Catcher – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! I am so proud of my boy, Doodlebug, that even though he is not my son, I am adopting him as my son and the heir to my cat-chasing, cat-tackling legacy.

Doodlebug:   So now I have 2 moms?

Stella:    Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Doodlebug:   Since you are the Queen and I am now your son, does that mean that I am the King?

Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:        The Prince?

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Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:   Pooh!

Stella:    Because of your great feat yesterday, you are our champion cat chaser, cat tackler, cat…

Doodlebug:   Hugger!

Stella:    No, Doodle! Hush! Ugly talk!

Me:   Stella! Doodlebug is a free-style cat chaser. Not everybody chases cats in the same way. In fact, before yesterday, I had never seen Doodle put any effort into chasing the cat at all.

Stella:   Yeah, and then all of a sudden, he was a natural. I am so proud. He charged around and saw the cat sleeping in your chair. Sleeping in YOUR chair! Where is your self-respect, Lady Human? Allowing a cat to sleep in your personal space? Really?

Me:        And, all of a sudden, Doodlebug was on top of the cat, completely covering her with his big old Doodlebug body. And she didn’t scratch him or bite him or hiss at him.

Stella:    A tactical error on her part.

Me:        He eased back, and she scooted away.

Doodlebug:  Cats are soft.

Stella:    Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:   Cats are cuddly and huggable.

Stella:    Doodle, stop!

Doodlebug:   Cats are our friends.

Stella:    Noooo! Heresy! You are a bulldog!

Me:        Well, Moon the Cat is none the worse for wear.

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Stella:    Awww! The cat is not afraid of bulldogs! The world has changed! All is lost! Oh, well. There’s always tomorrow.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

The Arrest of Doodlebug – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby order the arrest of Doodlebug. Offense: Rampaging without a license. Disorderly conduct (even for a bulldog). General disobedience.

Me:        I am trying to catch him now. Can you help?

Stella:    I am not that fast, Lady Human. Sorry. He does not obey anyone. That is why you have my permission, my edict in fact, to arrest him. Take him into custody. Now. Please.

Me:        Doodle, come here!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Catch me if you can. What’s that over there?

Me:        Something that is not yours. Come here, boy!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Nope. What’s that over there?

Me:        My phone! No!

Doodlebug:        Okay. Wait. What’s this over here?

Snoopey:   Hey! My blanket! Leave it alone!

Doodlebug:   Oh, okay! Hey, what’s that?

Stella:    You know. It’s the Cat. Go, Doodlebug, go!

Me:   Stop!

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Doodle, stop! There! I got you. Leash arrest.

Doodlebug:   Awwww.

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Me:   Let’s go outside and run around. Get all the excess energy out.

Doodlebug:   Are you going outside, too?

Me:        Sure. I’ll go outside with you.

Doodlebug:   Will you run around?

Me:        No, not so much. Excess energy is not my particular issue.

Doodlebug:   When we come back in, will I still be under arrest?

Me:        Will you behave?

Doodlebug:        No.

Me:   Oh, all right, no. You won’t be under arrest. Never mind.

Stella:   She gives up too easily, Doodlebug. I am the Queen. Do what I say.

Doodlebug:   Mmmm. Nope.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Pouting Is An Art Form – Conversations with Stella

Hello. I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I will not be saying much today because I am pouting and, to be effective, pouting must be done correctly. So there. Hmph!

Me:        Pouting. Pouting about what?

Stella:    Hmph!

Me:        Stella, what’s got you all pouty?

Stella:    Paahrrrr!

Me:        I see you blowing your cheeks out.

Stella:    Paahrrrr!

Me:        Here let me try. Pruhhh!

Stella:    No, not like that. It has to be done right to get a reaction. Like this – Paahrrrr! Blow your cheeks out more. Not so much lip fluttering.

Me:        Why so pouty?

Stella:    Hmph. I don’t have to answer that question.

Me:        Oh-kay. Well, I’m going to read a little and then take a nap. See you later.

Stella:    NOOOO! I AM POUTING. WATCH ME POUT!

Me:        I wonder if there is something good on TV. No, probably not.

Stella:    PAY ATTENTION! Pouting is no good unless somebody watches you do it. NO ONE CAN POUT ALONE!

Me:        I am glad you told me the rules. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

Stella:    NO! No excusing. Watch me pout. Pay attention to ME! I AM MAD! Well, not mad. I don’t want anyone to think that I am a “mad dog” because people don’t like “mad dogs” and I’m not a “mad dog”. I have had all my shots and…

Me:        I thought you weren’t going to talk much today. How about just admitting that you are pouting because I won’t let you jump on the cat and she is over on the couch right now, resting on her cat bed.

Stella:    Hmph! Pout. Pout. Pout. Hmph! All these people talking about a dog’s purpose. I’ll tell you what this bulldog’s purpose is – to chase that cat. And to pout when I don’t get my way. So here I am – Stella, the Cat-Chasing, Cat-Catching, Cat-Scratched, Pouting-Like-a-Boss Bulldog, being kept from fulfilling my bulldog purpose. Mwaah!

Me:        Hey, how about a treat?

Stella:    Sure! Give it here! You know napping may be one of my other purposes. I’ll pursue that one for a little while and get back to the other ones later.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Quiet! Don’t Speak! I’ll Do the Talking – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen and Illustrious Old English Bulldogge, and I demand to know what you were up to for most of the day, Lady Human. You were not responding to our beck and call. What is beck anyway?

Me:        I was resting.

Stella:    Why are you whispering?

Me:        I have laryngitis.

Stella:    Really? May I have some?

Me:        Laryngitis means my vocal chords are inflamed and I have lost my voice.

Stella:    Inflamed! Who set them on fire? Let me at ‘em! I’ll teach them not to set things that are not theirs on fire! Where did you lose your voice? Was it in the back yard? I can organize the bulldogs into a search party. Point us in the right direction and we will find your voice for you. Of course, I will have to make clear that no one is to eat it if they find it. You know how bulldogs are.

Me:        Yes. As in Miss Sweetie eating the paper towel.

Stella:    Sweetie is too young to have good taste yet. At least her stomach had the good sense to throw it up.

Me:        I’ll need your help until my voice comes back.

Stella:    Your quiet, indoor voice whispering will be fine. You know how obedient we are…Right? Lady Human?…Oh, I understand. You are being quiet because your voice is still lost out there in the yard. Never fear. I will use my royal voice on your behalf.

Me:        Okay, first things first. No cat chasing.

Stella:    I beg your pardon.

Me:        You have it since you are the main cat chaser.

Stella:    I’m sorry. I couldn’t quite hear that.

Me:        You heard me, Stella.

Stella:    No. You are speaking so quietly.

Me:        Then let me repeat myself.

Stella:    Please don’t.

Me:        No cat chasing. That stirs everyone up and is not helpful to me at all.

Stella:    Cat chasing is a tradition among my people. You would not interfere with a cultural tradition, would you? Of course not.

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Wow! Your whispers can be very loud.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulldog Priorities – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, Illustrious and Noble and still crown-less. And might I add Stella the Cat Catcher. All I can say is OW!

Me:        And you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Stella:    You didn’t tell me that cat claws hurt.

Me:        Did you think that they were purely decorative? I warned you not to chase Moon the Cat. You chose to do that instead of getting petted. What was that about?

Stella:    First things first. Cat chasing, then pets and rubs and scratching. Human scratching does not hurt. Why do cat claws hurt?

Me:        Cat claws are functional weapons for defense and, if necessary, for catching food and establishing territorial boundaries. My fingernails, not so much. I told you…

Stella:    I know. I know. Don’t chase the cat.

Me:        She could have done a lot worse to you. You have a tiny blood pinprick on your nose and one on your muzzle.

Stella:    Ow. It doesn’t hurt so much now. Did she mess up my beautiful face?

Me:        Not at all. By tomorrow, no one will be able to tell that it happened, not even you. You understand what your mistake was, don’t you? The other bulldogs chase the cat and never have gotten swiped by her. You don’t just chase her; you insist on catching her.

Stella:    I never hurt her. I never bite. I just drool on her a little.

Me:        You could pull back at the last second and do a stare down the way the others do. But Noooo…not Stella the Cat Catcher.

Stella:    All right. All right. I am so embarrassed. For today only, my name is Stella the Cat-Scratched. Don’t say it in front of the others. It makes my ears cramp up just thinking about it. But tomorrow Stella the Cat Catcher will be back, bigger and bolder than ever. I know what I want for Christmas, Lady Human. A big scary mask and a helmet. CHARGE!

Me:        And I can get Moon the Cat a pair of cat-sized boxing gloves. That might save a lot of trouble.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Conversations with Stella – Peace Talks

May I please reintroduce Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge. She and I are conducting an open conversation on the following topic:

What the Freak Can We Do to Bring Peace Back into Our House?

Stella:    I am not familiar with the word “freak” in that question. Is that like the other week when Tall Man dressed up like a giant insect? Because that was freaky. I’m still having nightmares.

Me:        No, this use of the word “freak” is what humans call an expletive. It is used to get people’s attention and to emphasize strong emotion. Expletives are usually empty words to be avoided and there are expletives that I choose not to use. I am using “freak” here because it fits the way I feel – freaked out by all the wild behavior in the house lately. Do you understand?

Stella:    Yes. You are freaked out by giant insects, too.

Me:        No…Yes…No. Look, I would be if I ever saw a giant insect, but there aren’t any. They don’t exist. And giant insects are not the topic for discussion today.

Stella:    They should be.

Me:        Peace in the house, no more fighting or craziness, that is the conversation we are having today.

Stella:    Barking and chasing Moon the Cat will not destroy the world. Giant insects will destroy the world.

Me:        No, they won’t.

Stella:    I saw it on one of those black and white shows on TV. You really shouldn’t leave the TV on when you go out of the room. Scary.

Me:        I’ll try to remember that. Now can you help me? What can we do to bring peace to the house?

Stella:    Get rid of all the other dogs and keep me.

Me:        That wouldn’t be fair.

Stella:    It would be fair to me. I was here first. Honestly, did you have this problem when it was just me?

Me:        Well, no.

Stella:    Moon the Cat and I got along fine, even though she made those hideous hissing noises when I walked by and she has such an ugly face because…you know, CAT! And just think how much more time you would have if the others were gone. More time to do all sorts of stuff like pet me, and play with me, and groom me, and go places with me, and…

Me:        And you would no longer be Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, because there wouldn’t be any other bulldogs here. You would have no subjects.

Stella:    Wouldn’t you be here?

Me:        Okay, we have run out of time for today. We will have to take this matter up tomorrow.  Sorry we couldn’t stay on topic.

Stella:    Please join us tomorrow when our topic will be “The Growing Menace of Giant Insects”.

Me:        Nope.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.