Fair Distribution – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am here to represent all the bulldogs in treat distribution matters, but especially me.

Me:        So, this is about you.

Stella:    Of course. I saw you give Doodlebug a treat.

Me:        Doodlebug and I are in training on some of his behavioral issues. The treats reinforce the lessons when he is successful.

Stella:    I am well-behaved all the time. Where is my treat reinforcement? Me, too! Me, too! Me, too!

Me:        You just had a treat.

Stella:    That was years ago.

Me:        That was 30 seconds ago.

Stella:    Seems longer. How long is 30 seconds?

Me:        Shall I count from one to thirty to show you?

Stella:    No, please. The less human talking, the better. Now about this fair treat distribution problem…

Me:        I didn’t know that we had a problem.

Stella:    Here I am. Working hard. Sitting around. Only getting a treat every 30 seconds or so while Doodlebug is getting rewarded for messing around and breaking the rules.

Me:        He gets rewarded when he does something right.

Stella:    How often is that?

Me:        Well, honestly…

Stella:    Not every 30 seconds, is it?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Unfair Disbursement – Conversations with Stella

I, Queen Stella the Illustrious Olde English Bulldogge, hereby issue a decree: the humans shall guarantee that each bulldog shall receive the same quantity of treats, no exceptions. Well, one exception and that’s me.

Me:        Everybody gets a treat at the same time so it’s all fair.

Stella:    No, it’s not. Not all is fair in love and treats. I heard a human say that.

Me:        I doubt any human ever said that. They probably said something like ‘all is fair in love and war’.

Stella:    Precisely. That’s what I said.

Me:        I don’t think so…

Stella:    Love. Treats. Fair. War. Yep. I love my treats and if you are not fair, I will go to war for my treats.

Me:        What has brought this on?

Stella:    The chicken jerky treats are not being evenly distributed.

Me:        I break the strips up and make sure that each of you gets a piece.

Stella:    How do you break them up?

Me:        I snap them with my fingers.

Stella:    And your fingers have measuring marks on them?

Me:        Uh, no.

Stella:    So how do you know how much Snoopey is getting compared to me?

Me:        They look about the same length…

Stella:    You are guessing!

Me:        I’m pretty close each time.

Stella:    Pretty close is not close.

Me:        They are approximately the same size.

Stella:    Wrong! What does ‘approximately’ mean? If Snoopey gets one millimeter more per day for 10 days, that means I was cheated 10 millimeters. In 100 days, you owe me 10 centimeters of chicken jerky. That is almost 4 inches of chicken jerky! It adds up fast.

Me:        Stella, what have you been doing with yout free time? Where did you learn about millimeters and centimeters?

Stella:    Sometimes at night, Tall Man works on his projects by my crate. He has a long yellow ribbon with markings on it and he calls out numbers as he measures. It’s really fun to watch and pretty soon he has built another something that he takes away and we never see again.

Me:        He is very handy.

Stella:    No, he only has two of them.

Me:        What I mean is…never mind. I understand that you want everything to be evenly divided. When I was a kid, a cousin of mine always wanted to divide any candy bar we got and he always made sure that his piece was a little bigger than mine. I thought it was very unfair, but when I complained, he gobbled up his piece, destroying the evidence.

Stella:    He sounds like a true treat lover. My kind of human. But you see my point about fairness.

Me:        I see your point. Here is mine. If I have to measure jerky treats to the nearest millimeter, it is going to slow treat distribution to a crawl. And then there’s the question of how thick each treat is. You wouldn’t want to get a big thick piece while poor Snoopey got a thin slice, would you?

Stella:    Mmmm, I wouldn’t mind that so much.

Me:        Fair?

Stella:    I could be appointed the Royal Treat Taster and pick my own.

Me:        I have a feeling that all the treats would end up in your mouth and I wouldn’t be fast enough to stop you. Maybe you should focus on gratitude for what you do get.

Stella:    Is that what you did toward your puppy cousin?

Me:        No, young humans often are unwise. Gratitude came much later.

Stella:    What did you do?

Me:         I learned to buy my own candy bars and hide them.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.