What is Gasoline and Why Should I Care? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The humans are speaking gibberish again, but I am attempting to understand them. Once more, they are stressed about some nonsense called ‘gasoline’. Of course. They are always stressed about something or other. This is just the latest in a long list. Lady Human, what is ‘gasoline’ and why should I care? P.S. I don’t really care, but you all are talking about it and not about me so…

Me:        Do you remember going on those campouts with me?

Stella:    How can I forget? We went from living in a comfortable house that is real to living in a cramped fake little house made of cloth and you thought it was fun. By the way, what does the word ‘fun’ mean to humans, because I don’t think it means the same thing to dogs.

Me:        Getting back to the gasoline issue, do you remember on those trips when I would stop, get out, and put a nozzle into the side of the car?

Stella:    Yeah, that was just plain weird.

Me:        Okay, as weird as it looked, that nozzle was pumping gasoline into the car. Cars and trucks use gasoline as fuel and, if the car runs out of gasoline, it stops working until it gets more. Does that make sense?

Stella:    All right, so gasoline is to a car as food and treats are to us.

Me:        YES! Very good, Stella!

Stella:    So, gasoline is car food. Why are you and Tall Man talking so much about car food?

Me:        Well, the hurricane impacted some of the places on the coast that make gasoline and there are these things called pipelines…

Stella:    Yet another nonsense word.

Me:        …that carry gasoline so it can be put on big tanker trucks and brought to stations where we pump it into cars and smaller trucks. And the flooding impacted a pipeline and so not as much gasoline is flowing temporarily. They are working on it and fuel is coming in from other places.

Stella:    Do these pipelines carry our food and treats, too?

Me:        No, and you wouldn’t want them to because the food and treats would taste and smell like gasoline and might catch on fire if you lit a match around them.

Stella:    I can’t light matches, Lady Human. I am a bulldog.

Me:        I am grateful for that, Stella.

Stella:    Bottom line: Our food and treats are all right then.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    So, the problem is…what?

Me:        People around here are buying up as much gasoline as their vehicles will hold all at the same time so they won’t go empty over the weekend and some gas stations are running out of gas. It should all be fixed as soon as the tankers roll in. Local problem. Minor inconvenience. It just requires a little planning if we are going far.

Stella:    Gas stations? Running out of gas? Why didn’t you say so? We are bulldogs. We have plenty of gas. You will never run out. Just take us to them. We can fill them back up. Happy to help.

Me:        Hmmm. It doesn’t really work that way. It’s not the same thing. You see, ‘gas’ can mean different things and they are all different from ‘gasoline’.

Stella:    Never mind, complicated human. I give up. We offer you our store of gas and you turn us down. Fine. Just plan to stay home this weekend while a whole wealth of fuel is sitting right at your feet.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Bulldog Manners 101 – ‘Scuse Me Again – Conversation with the Pack

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby call bulldog class to order – again! This would not have been necessary if the bulldogs paid attention in our prior session. Instead, they decided to take naps.

Now hear this! No one naps during this course! If you do not intend to stay awake and pay attention for the whole class, there is no reason for you to be here.

Tiger:     Okay. See you later.

Wiggles: I agree. Bye.

Snoopey: Sounds good to me. Class dismissed.

Miss Sweetie: What? What’s happening?

Doodlebug: We’re free! Run!


Wiggles: (snore)

Stella:    Wiggles, wake up! Everybody, listen! We are going to learn manners so we can behave better around the humans!

Snoopey:  I behave just fine, thank you.

Stella:    Rule 1:  Keep your feet on the floor. Never slap a human with your feet. That means you, Snoopey.

Wiggles:  So Rule 1 is just for Snoopey? That means that I can slap any human I want to with my feet. Cool!

Stella:    No, Wiggles, it applies to you, too.

Doodlebug:  But it does not apply to…

Stella:    Yes, Doodlebug, Rule 1 applies to you. It applies to everyone. So does Rule 2. Never cut in front of a human with your big, round bulldog body. You could trip them. They don’t like to be tripped. They only have a maximum of 2 legs, not 4, so it is harder for them to stop themselves from falling.

Miss Sweetie:  Why don’t they just grow more legs?

Stella:    Oh, Sweetie. That’s not how we are made. There is so much for you to learn.

Snoopey:  Well, I don’t need to learn anything. Rule 1. Rule 2. Done and done.

Stella:    Not so fast, Sister. Rule 3: When a human says ‘Scuse me, they are simply being polite. What they mean is ‘GET OUT OF MY WAY!’ If they can be polite to us, we can at least be polite to them.

Tiger:  Blah, blah, blah. Tall Man likes it when I slap him with my paws and jump in front of him. He plays with me. If he starts to fall, I will catch him.

Stella:    The humans have an expression about stuff like you just said. Baloney.

Tiger:  What is baloney?

Stella:    It is a wonderful, delicious form of meat.

Tiger:     And I said baloney and it appears? Where is this baloney?

Stella:    I haven’t figured that out yet, but the humans don’t put great store in it. We will have to keep looking for it. Very well. Enough for today. Does anyone remember the Rules of Bulldog Manners thus far?

Wiggles:  No.

Tiger:  I wasn’t listening.

Snoopey:  I don’t care.

Doodlebug:  Run! Play! Run! Play!

Miss Sweetie:  Huh?

Stella:  Fine! Class dismissed!

Snoopey:  Finally! Not a moment too soon.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






My Kingdom Is Being Invaded! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and (lest people forget as they are prone to do) Illustrious and all that goes to say that this is MY land, MY house, MY territory which also goes to say that something is TERRIBLY WRONG when Tiger and I are put out in the yard and told that we MUST (not a word to use to a queen) stay out here until something (I don’t know what) is finished!

Me:        It will only be for about 10 minutes.

Stella:    I can hear a horrible, screechy noise from inside the house! My kingdom…(or is it queendom) is being invaded! Rally the troops! Oh, they are inside, except for Tiger here. No matter. To Arms! Where is that stick that I was chewing earlier? Tiger, find a rock or something to throw! No! Not that! What is that? A toadstool? Nasty! Find something useful. Something to combat an invasion!

Me:        If you are finished giving orders…

Stella:    I am never finished giving orders. And BTW as the humans say, why are you sitting out here so calm as though nothing important is going on?

Me:        Because nothing important is going on and I wanted to keep you two company while you’re out here.

Stella:    Getting down to brass tacks…

Me:        Really? Where did you hear that?

Stella:    Not important. Why are we out here?

Me:        Because Tall Man is running the big shop vac, cleaning up all the bulldog hair that has floated from you all and because the last time he did that, you and Tiger went crackers, ballistic, nuts, and got overexcited. The others were fine with it. They just watched and barked every now and again. But you and Tiger got so wound up that you both panted for at least an hour. Nothing we did calmed you down.

Stella:    Now I remember. The monster roared in from the garage, its teeth bared, growling ferociously. Tall Man was caught in its trap and was being pulled along while the snake-like snout of the beast prowled along the floor, consuming everything in its path – dog hair, cat hair, dust, but worst of all, tasty bits of food that had fallen from our bowls…

Me:        That’s not the way I remember it.

Stella:    Humans have fallible memories.

Me:        Fallible? You’ve been listening to the television again. Good vocabulary development.

Stella:    Silence!

Me:        That is one word I wish you would tuck away. Ah, here comes Tall Man. He must be finished. We can all go back in now.

Stella:    Tall Man, has my kingdom fallen?

Tall Man:  Why is Stella making that noise?

Me:        Same reason as usual.

Stella:    Lady Human, you said that Tiger and I went ‘crackers’ and ‘nuts’ last time the monster roared through the house. I didn’t see any of those. What happened to that food? Can we have some of it?



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Mine! Mine! Mine! – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, et cetera.

Me:        Hello, what?

Stella:    It means ‘and so forth and so on’.

Me:        I know what it means. Where did you learn that?

Stella:    The Picture Box had a bald man inside and he said it again and again. I liked the way he made it sound, so I claimed it. It is now mine.

Me:        I think you must have seen Yul Brynner. He was an actor.

Stella:    Well, he surely knew how to say ‘et cetera’. But that phrase is mine now.

Me:        You can’t just claim a phrase that everybody uses…

Stella:    Yes, I can. Mine. See! That simple.

Me:        You can’t declare some common words to be yours…

Stella:    Mine! Done!

Me:        You can say it all you wish, but you can’t keep others from saying it.

Stella:    Yes, I can!

Me:        Why?

Stella:    Because, you know…Queen. You have a short memory, Lady Human.

Me:        Oh, Stella.

Stella:    That’s my name. I claim that, too. Mine! Nobody else can be Stella.

Me:        I believe that there are a lot of Stellas out there who would dispute that.

Stella:    Dispute. Okay. That’s mine, too. Claimed! Done!

Me:        Language is to be shared, not hoarded.

Stella:    Not anymore. It’s mine, all mine. Except for some words that I don’t like. For example, the word “no”, the word “stop”, the word “down”, the word “enough”. There are others that I don’t favor, but I don’t remember all of them. For now, I am not claiming these. I am freezing them so that they cannot be used against me.

Me:        I think this queen thing has gone to your head.

Stella:    Being queen is not a thing. It is me. Who I am. After all, someone has to be in charge. And the humans don’t seem to be. Therefore, MINE!



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Debate! Bulldog Style! – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby command all humans to BE SILENT!

Me:        What is this about?

Stella:    Who were those loud people that Tall Man was listening to last night?

Me:        Loud people?

Stella:    They talked and talked, on and on and on. It sounded like an argument. A boring human argument that went on and on and on…

Me:        Oh, that was a debate between political candidates.

Stella:    You didn’t listen to it.

Me:        No, I was tired and a political debate was only going to make me more so.

Stella:    Political debate? What is ‘political debate’?

Me:        You know how you and the other bulldogs get face-to-face and huff and puff and rumble and growl at each other…

Stella:    …and spit and go stiff-legged and tremble. Yes. Fun! Exciting!

Me:        Especially when two of you are vying for a position in the pack.

Stella:    You mean those two humans are fighting to become pack leader?

Me:        Yeah, you might say so.

Stella:    I did say so. I didn’t know that humans chose pack leaders that way, too.

Me:        Well, humans don’t bare their teeth and snort the way bulldogs do. No, wait. I take that back.

Stella:    Humans snort? That’s great! Show me!

Me:        I’m not big into snorting.

Stella:    Then you may never be pack leader among the humans. That is a shame.

Me:        Having spent some time now as human pack leader among the bulldogs, I’m not sure I have enough energy left over to handle humans, too.

Stella:    Will there be more political debates?

Me:        So I understand.

Stella:    Can Tall Man turn down the sound next time? The noise hurts my ears.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Queen Stella’s Dictionary for Bulldogs – Part 2 – Stella’s Blog

I am Stella, Queen and Dictionarist for the Olde English Bulldogges. (How many words am I supposed to put in my dictionary?)

(Transcriptionist: That is up to you, but the more the better.)

Stella: Uh-oh. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. But I am a bulldog. I can handle a big mouthful, given enough time.

The Humans Say:


The Bulldog Definition:

Put your rear end on the ground unless you don’t want to, in which case, stand or lie down as you wish. “Sit” is one of those words by which the humans mean, “Stay in place. I am in control.” Of course, we all know that they are not in control. We are bulldogs.


The Humans Say:


The Bulldog Definition:

Move! Run! Roll around! Take a walk! Whatever you do, do not stay still! This human command is vague at best. Stay? For how long? What if it starts to rain? What if it starts to snow?

(Even in Texas, that is a possibility.)


The Humans Say:


The Bulldog Definition:

Stop what? Immediately examine what you are doing. Humans use this command when you have something in your mouth or when you are standing on top of furniture or if you are using the toilet in the house. They are very sensitive about what we eat, where we stand, and where we use the bathroom.

(I don’t really understand why.)


The Humans Say:

Drop it!

The Bulldog Definition:

Stop and think. What do you have in your mouth? Even if you think you have a right to what is in your mouth, go ahead and drop it.

(It may have sentimental value to the humans. Or it may taste great but be bad for you. The humans are good about trying to save us from our desire to eat everything.)

 That is all for now, bulldogs. Thank you for your divided attention. (I know that you were thinking about what you are going to eat next.)


Queen Stella


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Queen Stella’s Dictionary for Bulldogs – Part 1 – Stella’s Blog

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, am hereby starting a Dictionary for Bulldogs that will help all bully breeds better to understand humans who, as we  know, are not clear in their instructions and who say silly things. My royal remarks are included in what my transcriptionist refers to as italics.

I will begin with a few common words and phrases that humans like to use almost every day:


 Come!                                             Stay where you are. Humans are always confused.

(For example, does the human mean come to where they are or come into the room where they are or come to a new place where they are going? What?)               


Come now!                                     Stay where you are. The human has specified a time but                                                              not a place.    


Come here now!                           Stay where you are. Clearer as to time and place, but                                                                      remember! You are a bulldog.


Come here now! (With treat in hand)     Move immediately to the human and receive                                                                                    the offered treat.

 (The human should have started with this instruction.)   


Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.                         Stay where you are and stare.

(Humans talk a lot and expect dogs to listen as though we are human and understand everything that they are saying. Show respect by staring. The talking will eventually end and you may get a treat.)


BLAH! BLAH BLAH! BLAH!                            Stay where you are, stare, and perk your ears                                                                                    up. The human MAY be about to say something                                                                                important. But maybe not.


Go!                                                                        Stay where you are and stare at the human.                                                                                        Look as puzzled as possible even if you think                                                                                    you know what the human wants. “Go!” is not                                                                                a direction.

(Humans believe that we can read their minds. As helpful as that would be, it is not true.)

 Go there!                                                            Stay where you are, stare at the human, and                                                                                     check for a pointing finger or hand gesture. If                                                                                 there is, then and only then, look in the                                                                                             direction the human is pointing to let them                                                                                       know that you are considering going in that                                                                                     direction.

 Go now!                                                              Stay where you are, stare, and check for a                                                                                           direction. The “Now” command means the                                                                                       human expects an immediate response.                                                                                             Slowly move in that direction, remembering                                                                                     that you are a bulldog.

(The problem with “Go” is that they never tell you how far to go. Stop when you reach a fence.)

This concludes my dictionary list for now. Thank you for paying attention, bulldogs.

I know how hard that is for you to do.



Queen Stella of the Olde English Bulldogges





Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Do You Hear What I Hear? – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Help! Weirdnesses have grown over Lady Human’s ears! Her ears are swollen so big. The weird things are consuming her head! If any humans can hear me, please help!

Me:        It’s all right, Stella! These are headphones, not weirdnesses, whatever those are. They help me hear when everything conspires against me. Namely, barking bulldogs.

Stella:    Why were you wearing them? They are not attractive. That is not an insult. That is a fact.

Me:        Thank you for your bulldog bluntness. I was listening to a seminar by Michael Hyatt about productivity and focus. Despite his suggestions, my productivity and focus were sorely disrupted by the barking of a pack of bulldogs.

Stella:    Your headphones did not protect you from our barking? We are more powerful than I thought we were. Excellent!

Me:        No, not excellent. Loud and distracting! What was the barking about?

Stella:    I don’t know. No one was speaking clearly. It sounded to me like Ruff! Ruff! Food! Ruff! Treats! Ruff! Ruff! Fun! You know. The usual stuff.

Me:        Sadly, I don’t know. I’ll have to take your word for it.

Stella:    I would not lie to you, Lady Human, not on purpose anyway.

Me:        When you see my headphones on my head, can you all try to keep the noise to a minimum.

Stella:    We will try. Now just how loud is a minimum?



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Stink Eye 2.0 – Conversations with Stella

I received the infamous Stink Eye from Snoopey today.

Stella:    As an Olde English Bulldogge myself, I greatly appreciate Snoopey’s skill at delivering the Stink Eye. She is an artist.

Me:        Well, I don’t find it to be a work of art.

Stella:    Why did she shoot the Stink Eye at you? Did you cave in to it? Did you show weakness?

Me:        No, I did not cave or show weakness. What kind of human would I be if I did? She objected to me letting you out for a sunbath before I let her out.

Stella:    What? Queen Stella comes first. How dare she?

Me:        She did not appreciate it. She gave me a sidelong, extended Stink Eye, bulldog-style. Now I understand that she is the pack leader among the dogs and I respect that.

Stella:    Yes, every day you open her crate first and she gets first pick on treats. I don’t like it, but I tolerate it.

Me:        So how is it that Snoopey is pack leader and you are the Queen?

Stella:    The Queen is royal and regal and dignified. That’s me all over.  The pack leader defends, watches, warns, balances. That is Snoopey all over. I admire her. But she has no right to sunbathe before me! No! No! No!

Me:        I’ll try to balance your competing interests.

Stella:    No competition. I win. I am the Queen. A queen without a crown…hint, hint.

Me:        I still haven’t found a suitable one. I could make you one out of…

Stella:    Don’t say cardboard. Nope. Real crown.

Me:        What about plast…

Stella:    Nope. No plastic.

Me:        You stopped me too soon. What about plaster?

Stella:    Plaster. Hmmm. Nope. I don’t know what it is, but it sounds cheap. My crown should be expensive.

Me:        I’ll keep working on it.

Stella:    Work harder! Work faster!

Me:        Or what?

Stella:    Oh, I think you know. If you don’t, go ask Snoopey Stink Eye.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

You’re All Wet! – Conversations with Stella


Me:        Is that what that noise was? I thought you were choking on something. What a relief!

Stella:    Silence, peasant!

Me:        Excuse me?

Stella:    You are excused.

Me:        Stella, remember? “No rude, no crude, no bulldog mood.”

Stella:    Yes, I remember. Sounds like something a human would say.

Me:        It is.

Stella:    You are all wet. You are dripping on the floor. How come?

Me:        Miss Sweetie and I had a difference of opinion about whether or not she would take a bath. I won. And I lost.

Stella:    Hahaha! Well, she does smell better. So I think we all won. But you are still all wet.

Me:        I’ll dry out. One of the great things about being human is our ability to change clothes. One of the great things about wrestling Miss Sweetie over a bath is that I get a wonderful physical workout. 70 pounds of bulldog pulling this way and that makes me work for my victory.

Stella:    Any day Miss Sweetie smells good is a victory for all of us. Congratulations!

Me:        That reminds me. You are about due for a bath yourself.

Stella:    Whaaagggttt? Naw. It wasn’t that long ago. You are all wet.

Me:        So if I dry out and give you a bath, you are saying that I will be all wet again?

Stella:    Well, not on purpose. But yes, on purpose. Have you seen my shake and roll?

Me:        Uh-huh.

Stella:    I can sling it. Yeah, I can. Do you doubt it?

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    I am going to get a bath, am I not?

Me:        Yep. And that’s not a bad thing, my friend.

Stella:    It’s all right in the aftermath. Or afterbath.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

…But You Said! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but that does not seem to make any difference. The humans pay no attention. They make promises that they don’t keep.

Me:        What promises have we not kept?

Stella:    You said we would spend more time together outside. You said we would cook meat on the fire pit and the air would be cool and we would sit in chairs.

Me:        Well, I said I would sit in a chair, but I know how much you all like to sit in chairs like humans.

Stella:    But we have not done it. Why? Why? Why?

Me:        Because, because, because it is still too hot for you all to be outside for long.

Stella:    What did you do with the cooler air?

Me:        Nothing. It just hasn’t shown up yet.

Stella:    But you promised. Waaahhh.

Me:        Stella, why are you whining? You don’t even like the outside that much.

Stella:    The others are whining and that makes me whine. I get tired of hearing it. When are we going to cook out? When is the cool breeze going to blow? When are the leaves going to fall on our heads? It’s not easy being the bulldog queen.

Me:        It’s not easy being the human in charge either.

Stella:    But you said…

Me:        I said what the meteorologists said.

Stella:    The meteor – who?

Me:        Weather people.

Stella:    Why did the meteor-who people lie?

Me:        They did not lie.

Stella:    But they said something that was not true.

Me:        They made an educated guess based on what they knew. They simply didn’t know it all.

Stella:    So what did they do with the cooler air?

Me:        They don’t control the air. They track it.

Stella:    Like those dogs who have really good noses.

Me:        Yes, if those dogs used computers and satellites instead of their sense of smell. Meteorologists have a notoriously hard time predicting weather in Texas, except in the summer when they can say “hot” and pretty much be right all the time.

Stella:    I will not depend on the word of the meteor-who people anymore so do not quote them again. I will use my bulldog nose to track the air just as any queen should.

Me:        Well, good luck with that.

Stella:    Wait! What? I think I smell a change in the weather.

Me:        What does your nose say?

Stella:    Hot and still hotter.

Me:        Keep sniffing. One of these days soon, we will not be having hot dogs outside.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stop Trying to Lead Yourself – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I can’t stop laughing.

Me:        That probably means that you are laughing at one of us. Bulldog or human?

Stella:    Both. It was hilarious. You had Miss Sweetie on the lead and all of a sudden she jerked it out of your hand and picked up the end you had been holding and she had it in her mouth while she was still wearing it and SHE STARTED LEADING HERSELF WITH IT! So funny. You should have seen the look on your face.

Me:        I’m kind of glad that I didn’t.

Stella:    Miss Sweetie is so funny! Taking herself for a walk! It’s good that we were not outside.

Me:        She would not have gotten far. Did you notice that she was going around in circles?

Stella:    Yes, Wiggles dances in circles. Now Miss Sweetie leads herself around in circles, going nowhere fast.

Me:        They lacked a plan. And boy, am I glad of that.

Stella:    I don’t like the lead.

Me:        Most don’t.

Stella:    Even humans?

Me:        Especially humans.

Stella:    Because you think you are all that and a bag of doggy treats?

Me:        Yep. It’s called pride and we are really good at it.

Stella:    You are proud of pride.

Me:        No, I’m ashamed of it. It’s like me trying to lead myself and just going in circles.

Stella:    So you and Miss Sweetie have a lot in common.

Me:        Well, I hope I smell a little bit better.

“Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5 KJV



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.




Scary Smart – Conversations with Stella

I am here once again with Queen Stella of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Stella:    I like that! It makes me sound official.

Me:        In Bulldog Land, you are as official as it gets.

Stella:    Why were you wearing your weird face?

Me:        I beg your pardon? I don’t have a weird face to wear.

Stella:    Yes, you do. It shows up whenever one of us has done something that you can’t figure out with your human brain.

Me:        I wasn’t aware…well, I have been surprised by some of Doodlebug’s and Miss Sweetie’s antics lately.

Stella:    Antics are like when they burp or jump up on chairs or stand on tables like they are going to give a speech?

Me:        No, those are normal bulldog activities. I mean the scary smart stuff like, well, here’s a list:

Doodlebug opened the back door again by turning the handle,

Miss Sweetie uses her mouth to try to turn on things like faucets,

Doodlebug does a quick gymnastic neck duck to get out of the lead when it’s loose,

Doodlebug puts any stick he is chewing on down in a special place when he comes                   in because he knows that I am going to take it away from him,

Doodlebug knows how to slide the latch to open his crate

They both know how to reach in and steal eggs from the chickens,

Doodlebug knows when breakfast time is within ten minutes either way…

Stella:    It sounds like Doodlebug is the smart one and Miss Sweetie has just made a couple of lucky guesses. Why is it scary smart?

Me:        Because we don’t expect dogs to figure out how to do some of the complicated stuff that we do.

Stella:    Because you think we are dumb.

Me:        Not dumb. Just dogs.

Stella:    Just dogs! Just dogs! I knew it! Humans think they are all that and a bag of doggy treats, too! Hmmph! Watch as I turn my head away in disgust! You humans think that you control everything!

Me:        Well, not everything, but things like door handles and faucets, yes.

Stella:    You just wait. One day we will send a dog to the moon so he can pee on it and return safely to Earth.

Me:        Oh, great. A dog peeing on the moon, too. And who is going to build this dog spaceship?

Stella:    Well, never mind. You just guard your faucets and door handles. And the washing machine.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Why Is My Food Always Brown? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I am bringing a complaint to the management of this hotel.

Me:        Hotel?

Stella:    All of my food is brown all the time. It is boring. You have different colors of food on your plate. I want some of that.

Me:        Stella, you eat a very healthy diet that is great for bulldogs. I never see you turning your nose up at it.

Stella:    And I never will. I just want your pretty food, too.

Me:        Well, maybe I am not inclined to share my food with you.

Stella:    I am willing to trade.

Me:        Honestly, Stella, I don’t see myself eating your dogfood. It is a little…unappetizing for a human.

Stella:    Unappetizing. Is that another word for brown?

Me:        No, it means your food was not made for humans and is not attractive to us.

Stella:    What? Why not? It smells good. It tastes good. It is just boring to look at. Wait! Is something wrong with it?

Me:        No, not for bulldogs.

Stella:    That is what I thought. Bulldogs are not being treated like honored guests at this hotel!

Me:        Stella, this is not a hotel. This is our home.

Stella:    I saw hotels on the Picture Box. Don’t you bring us room service?

Me:        Well…sort of. We serve you food.

Stella:    So this is a hotel. I am giving it one star.

Me:        At least a bad rating would insure that we would have no visitors, if this were a hotel which it is not.

Stella:    Exactly. We don’t need no visitors taking our rooms and eating our brown food. If you work on getting us some red and yellow and green food, maybe I can give you another star.

Me:        That would just attract strangers and you don’t want that, remember?

Stella:    Oh, yeah. Better leave it at one star.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Raccoon Crossing – Conversations with Stella

Last night, we opened the front door while waiting for UPS to show up with a very important package and were privileged to see a pretty good-sized raccoon traversing our porch. It did not slow down, look in our direction, or hesitate. But this has raised some questions in Stella’s mind.

Stella:  Why was that cat with the striped tail on our porch?

Me:      That was a raccoon.

Stella:  Okay, why was that raccoon cat on our porch and wearing a black mask? Is it a criminal? It looked like a bank robber in one of those old Picture Box shows.

Me:      No, it was not a cat and it was not a criminal. It was a raccoon and all raccoons have masks and striped tails.

Stella:  It moved like a cat, a sneaky, sneaky cat.

Me:      It was likely looking for food. It probably stops by just about every night, but we are not usually looking out the front door at that time of night so we never see it.

Stella:  That’s creepy. Let’s put a sign out telling her to stay away.

Me:      That won’t work. Raccoons don’t read signs. It probably lives down by the creek and we are part of its hunting grounds.

Stella:  Hunting? Hunting our food?

Me:      No, your food is all inside.

Stella:  What if it comes inside hunting our food? NO!!!

Me:      It can’t get inside the house.

Stella:  We need to set a guard. Snoopey is good at that sort of thing. I appoint her.

Me:      You appoint?

Stella: I am the Queen.

Me:      I am the human.

Stella:  You can’t mean in. You want raccoons to take over our house.

Me:      No, raccoons will not take over the house. I am still the human, remember. This is not a raccoon house.

Stella:  Exactly! It is a bulldog house!

Me:      Oh, Stella, I have put a lot of words in your mouth during the time I have known you. I don’t recall ever telling you that this is a bulldog house.

Stella:  Words in my mouth? You did? I don’t remember. What did they taste like? Did they taste good. May I have some more, please?

Me:      Yes, as many as you like, good old bulldog.

Stella:  So long as none of them tastes like raccoon.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Humans and Their Chew Sticks – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! I don’t understand humans so I ask Lady Human when I see a human doing something silly or weird or foolish…

Me:        In other words, bulldoggy.

Stella:    Now let’s not be insulting, Lady Human.Being bulldoggy is so much more than that.

Me:        What silly or weird or foolish or bulldoggy thing did you witness a human doing?

Stella:    A man on the Picture Box had a big chew stick hanging out of his mouth and the stick was ON FIRE! Then I saw a man standing outside of a building and he had a small white chew stick hanging out of his mouth and IT WAS ON FIRE, TOO!

Me:        I think I can explain.

Stella:    I thought humans had common sense. Fire sticks burn. That is why you never let us around your fire pit when it is still hot. Miss Sweetie would do something silly or foolish…

Me:        Or bulldoggy.

Stella:    Oh, all right. Or bulldoggy. Like picking up a fire stick in her mouth. And then she would be all like “Ow! Ow! Ow!” and I’d be like, “Yeah, didn’t your good ole Aunt Stella tell you not to fool with those hot sticks, but you just had to anyway.”

Me:        Stella, I think I can explain what you saw.

Stella:    And that’s another thing. How are we supposed to behave when we see humans setting bad examples?

Me:        Those were not chew sticks in those men’s mouths. The big one was probably a cigar and the small white stick was probably a cigarette.

Stella:    And humans know that these sticks will catch fire?

Me:        The humans purposely light the sticks on fire.

Stella:    WHY? Their human muzzles are right there! They could burn their noses!

Me:        That seldom if ever happens. The sticks are made up of rolled up leaves called tobacco. And the humans who use them do so for some of the same reasons that dogs like to chew on sticks. It calms them a little. It’s a habit.

Stella:    Humans have a habit of lighting their chew sticks on fire?

Me:        No. Humans don’t really have chew sticks. Well, some people chew the tobacco instead of smoking it, but they aren’t sticks.

Stella:    And where do the humans get their not-for-chewing fire sticks?

Me:        They buy them at stores.

Stella:    If I need a good stick to calm me down, I use the one you gave me or I go pick one up from the yard. Simple. And I don’t set fire to it. That would just be…

Me:        Bulldoggy?

Stella:    I couldn’t have said it better myself.


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.

Stella’s List of Offenders – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges with my latest List of Offenders.

Number 1 (by far): Jerky McSquirrelyFace, the Rude Squirrel that is eating all the green pecans off of our trees. He sits up there, nibbling away, taking only a few small bites out of each nut, and then dropping the remains on our heads. He is arrogant because he thinks we can’t reach him while he sits up there, chuckling away, laughing at us. Beware, McSquirrelyFace, I have my bulldog eyes on you. I will remind you again – WINTER IS COMING! Oh, it is hard to imagine now when the weather is hot and the trees are full, but it will come and you will rue the day you ate all the nuts.

Number 2 and 3 and 4: Miss Sweetie – That’s right, Miss Sweetie, you keep finding new ways to annoy me. Oh, the humans laugh and think that you are “cute”. I don’t understand their use of that word when it does not apply to me. Obviously, “cute” no longer has any real meaning.

For starters, why oh why do you sit your large behind in your food bowl after breakfast? Don’t you realize that it will never fit? Who does that? That’s where your food goes, silly! You don’t see the humans sitting on their plates or in their bowls. They know better. I know better. EVERYONE KNOWS BETTER!

And when you are playing in the Puppy Pool, remember that bystanders may not want water sloshed all over them so cut out the running jump trick. I don’t play in the water much. Do you know why? I DON’T LIKE TO GET SPLASHED!

Before I forget (which I never do), when you happen to find stray pieces of food that have fallen ACCIDENTALLY outside my bowl, LEAVE THEM ALONE. Do you really think that I throw food away? I will get back to the poor lost munchies in my own time. Lady Human understands this. She lets me clean it up by myself. Bottom line, all food near my bowl is MINE, MINE, MINE!

As the humans say, a word to the wise is sufficient. Not that I believe you are wise, Miss Sweetie. You have always been a goofy girl. Who else would try to make her food bowl into a chair?


Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Here I Come to the Rescue – Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but today, more importantly, I am once again Flying Stella, Squirrel Fighter.

Here I come to save the day! I heard a mouse sing that on the Picture Box. I don’t believe he was a real mouse. He looked a little flat and he was wearing a cape. And he could fly. That part was great!

I dream of flying. I would even settle for bronco bucking like Miss Sweetie does. How does she get her big old barrel body to kick up in the air the way she does? Amazing! But don’t tell her I said that. Her bulldog head is already too big as is.

Today I had to come to Lady Human’s rescue when she was attacked by a mean squirrel in the front yard. She was minding her own business, sweeping the sidewalk, when this jerky squirrel in the large pecan tree started talking ugly to her like he owned the tree and threw a shower of green pecan shells on her.

Well, I couldn’t let that go! I flew up into the tree and shut that squirrel up. Boy, was he surprised to see a flying bulldog! He stopped that silly chucking noise and dropped the green pecan he was in the middle of eating and he hauled it out of there!

My reputation as a squirrel fighter is getting around the squirrel community.They will think twice before they chunk nuts at my Lady Human again.

Me: Stella, that’s not the way that happened.

Stella: Just telling it like I saw it.

Me: You must have been in a different yard dealing with a different squirrel.

Stella: Mmm. Don’t think so. You. Me. Pecan tree. Squirrel. Ugly squirrel nonsense talk. Raining pecan shells. Yep. That was it.

Me: And you flew?

Stella: I was super fast. You must have missed that part.