Pretty Is As Pretty Does – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Whatcha doin’, Lady Human?

Me:        I’m sewing some bling on an old top to make it look better. I want to look good come Saturday.

Stella:    Saturday?

Me:        That’s what we call the seventh day of the week. Each day has a name.

Stella:    And humans are supposed to look good on Saturday?

Me:        Well, I need to look good on this coming Saturday. My youngest child is getting married.

Stella:    Your puppy?

Me:        No, Stella. Human child. Not puppy. Remember?

Stella:    What is ‘married’?  Is that like taking a long, long nap?

Me:        It can feel like that sometimes, but, no, it is when 2 people start a life together. This Saturday is my daughter’s wedding day. There will be a ceremony.

Stella:    A ceremony. I understand. Like when a dog buries a bone.

Me:        Not exactly. Humans dress up for our ceremonies. I am trying to look decent for this wedding, but I’m not sure I’m succeeding.

Stella:    Humans worry about silly things. Your child is getting married and you are thinking about how your clothes look.

Me:        Humans can be very judgmental.

Stella:    Your clothes don’t make you. Your heart makes you. If I were getting married, I would want you to be there, no matter what you were wearing. I love you for your heart, Lady Human, not for your clothes.

Me:        Thank you, Stella. I love you for your heart, too, not for your…well…lack of clothes.

Stella:    Hey, are you calling me naked?

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:    Fair enough.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

You Smell Good! Wait! Where Have You Been? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella the Illustrious. (That sounds so good, doesn’t it?) I am Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! And once again, Lady Human has come home after dark with no explanation for her absence.

Me:        Well, excuse me!

Stella:    No. Not this time.

Me:        Stella, I am a human, remember? I am not subject to any bulldog curfew.

Stella:    When you left, it was daylight. When you came home, it was dark.

Me:        I was gone for a total of four hours.

Stella:    And you came home smelling of popcorn.

Me:        Really? I didn’t notice.

Stella:    Are you questioning my dog nose? Even a bulldog has a better sense of scent than any human. You also smelled of wieners and bread and mustard, a delicious odor from what you so rudely refer to as a “Hot Dog”.

Me:        You caught that, too. Your nose is more sensitive than I thought. I wasn’t anywhere near the Hot Dog Stand.

Stella:    Aha! A confession! You went to a party without us!

Me:        Stella, honey, I go lots of places without y’all. No dogs were allowed.

Stella:    And yet other animals were. I scented an owl, a porcupine, a possum, small horses, goats, ducks, chickens…

Me:        How do you know what a porcupine smells like?

Stella:    You weren’t around for my first year and a half. You don’t know what I experienced.

Me:        Did you run into a porcupine before you met us?

Stella:    Not the point, but I guessed right, didn’t I?

Me:        Mmmm. Yeah.

Stella:    Where did you go that we could not?

Me:        I volunteered at a Fall Festival at my church. It was for humans. Only humans. Families and kids. I worked a snow cone machine.

Stella:    Snow cones? I like snow cones.

Me:        And we had a popcorn machine.

Stella:    Popcorn? I like popcorn.

Me:        And a cotton candy machine.

Stella:    Cotton candy. I like to eat cotton.

Me:        Cotton candy is a little different. And we had hot dogs.

Stella:    That’s me.

Me:        And a petting zoo with ponies, goats, ducks, and chickens. And the City Zoo brought an owl and a possum and, yes, a porcupine.

Stella;    I knew it! They let other animals in, but not bulldogs. Unfair!

Me:        Maybe next year, Stella.

Stella:    I will volunteer, Lady Human, but only if I get one snow cone, two hot dogs, a bag of popcorn, and a taste of cotton candy. And if I can get petted by all the children. No adults, please. I can get petted by adults anytime.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Snips and Snails and Puppy Dogs’ Tails – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge’s Queen. I am demanding an answer from Lady Human.

Me:        Yes, you are demanding.

Stella:    Is that a human insult?

Me:        No, it is a human observation.

Stella:    Well, I have a bulldog observation. Humans say frightening things.

Me:        Like what?

Stella:    I heard young humans saying it:

What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and PUPPY DOGS’ TAILS

Human boys are made of the tails of puppies!

Me:        Now, Stella…

Stella:    Don’t you Stella me! The young humans were playing a game and they said it over and over. So that is how you humans get more boys. You take the tails of innocent puppies. It makes me cry.

Me:        Stella, it is a children’s silly rhyme from almost two hundred years ago. Children like rhymes. So do I. They are rhythmic and easy to remember and fun and they don’t usually mean what they say. Human boys are NOT, I REPEAT, NOT made from puppy dogs’ tails. They come from humans just as puppies come from dogs.

Stella:    Eeewww! Nasty!

Me:        Not Eeewww Nasty. It’s the way the Great Creator designed things and He certainly did not design Eeewww Nasty and He did not design human boys to come from puppy tails.

Stella:    The young humans said that little girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Me:        Don’t get your hopes up. That is no truer than the rhyme about little boys.

Stella:    Awww. It sounded delicious.

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Not that I would ever eat little girls, Lady Human. I simply would have enjoyed sitting nearby and sniffing them. Sugar. Spice. Everything nice. Oh well…Now if you will just explain what “snips” are.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




The Begats and the Bulldogs

Every once in a while when I was a kid, our Sunday School teacher would go over a Bible lesson that contained some “begats”. The begats were genealogies of people – prophets, kings, fathers, sons, even a few mothers and daughters. (For example, Genesis 10 and 11 and 1 Chronicles 1 and 2. Of course, it’s the King James Version that uses the old fashioned word “begat”.)

I enjoy genealogy now. All I remember from those childhood lessons was how boring and long the begats could be. My fellow students complained. “Why all these begats? Who cares? What difference does it make?” (I was thinking it. I just didn’t have the guts to say it.)

The LORD always knows what He is doing. He included the begats for multiple reasons. For one thing, they remind us that there were those who came before us, that we did not simply spring out of the ground by our lonesomes, all by ourselves.

Begats show us patterns of what gets passed on to children. Some good traits and some bad. They also demonstrate that we are not stuck with what our parents did or did not do – good or bad.

In my whole life, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie are the first dogs that I have been able to compare to their mother. I have been surprised by their similarities and their differences.


They are all trash divers. None of our other bulldogs are. Wiggles the mom, Doodlebug, and Miss Sweetie will always check the trash baskets on the way out the door. You never know when the humans might have failed to finish that breakfast sausage or might have left a few licks in that yogurt container.

They are dirt rollers. Again, none of the others do this. Is there a good, soft spot of ground anywhere for a little back scratching action? Wet or dry makes no difference. In fact, the messier, the better. One can always obtain a bath if one is dirty enough.

They are all platform climbers. The others are not. Provide anything from a cold fire pit to an old picnic table to a decorative stone, and you will routinely find one or more of them perched on top. King or Queen of the Hill.


Wiggles never soils her crate unlike her daughter, Miss Sweetie, who has struggled against this habit.

Doodlebug is up for any adventure, including opening doors, untying his lead, and climbing any structure that will give him a foothold (but only if there is an interesting item at the top). That’s right. A climbing bulldog. We have an interesting future ahead of us.

Unlike her mother and brother who bolt in the very moment the door is opened, Miss Sweetie will sit down at the back door and patiently wait to be invited inside. No one trained her to do this. It is in her personality to wait. (Unless, of course, it is waiting for the bathroom and then at times, ten seconds is too long. Why don’t the humans move faster?”

So what have I learned from the begats and the bulldogs?

That we learn a lot from our close families even when we don’t mean to.

That we can carry some things with us from generation to generation.

That we don’t have to carry everything with us from generation to generation.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.