All Eyes on You – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhhhh! Let’s wait and see what happens.

Me:        What’s going on? Why are you all looking at me?

Stella:    Nobody say anything. Just stare.

Me:        Okay, that’s not funny, y’all. Why are you staring at me? Why is nobody moving?

Stella:    Why, Lady Human, whatever do you mean?

Me:        You. All of you. Staring. Without blinking.

Stella:    Yeah, scary, huh?

Me:        Are you trying to scare me?

Stella:    No. Yes. Maybe. Did it work?

Me:        It’s just kind of weird to look down and have everyone focused on me for no reason.

Stella:    It’s never for no reason.

Me:        What is the reason then?

Stella:    Where you are standing.?

Me:        Yeah, what about it?

Stella:    Kitchen.

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    We are ready. Whatever you decide to do, we are ready.

Me:        What do you think I’m going to do?

Stella:    Something having to do with food. Don’t worry. We are ready.

Me:        I came to get some water. For me. Just water. For me.

Stella:    No, the kitchen is for food. We are ready.

Me:        I’m not doing any food stuff now.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        You want some more water?

Stella:    No, thank you.

Me:        All right then. I am leaving the kitchen now. You can stop staring at me.

Stella:    Sweetie! Wiggles! Take first watch. If she makes a move toward the kitchen, sound the alert. Our sleepy eyeballs can be open in a heartbeat.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Joy of Cooking with Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and today I am in the kitchen, helping Lady Human prepare whatever the mess is that she is cooking.

Me:        Mess? I beg your pardon?

Stella:    Pardon granted. We may be able to salvage some of it. It is hard to tell at this point.

Me:        Wait! I just dropped that. Let me clean…

Wiggles:   Never mind. All cleaned up.

Me:        Oh, okay. Thanks. But don’t clean up any garlic or onion that I drop. Not good for you.

Miss Sweetie:    What is that on the floor there?

Me:        I don’t know. The cat was interested in that spot a while ago, too. Wait!

Snoopey:   No problem, Lady Human. I got it. Kind of sweet.

Me:        All right. I don’t know what that was. Let me get the rest of my ingredients into the slow cooker.

Tiger:     Slow cooking is not a problem for me. I eat most things raw.

Me:        Well, this is for me and I like to blend the flavors in a slow heat.

Stella:    For you? How selfish!

Doodlebug:   When this recipe doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, I will be happy to gobble up the wreck. That is my purpose in life. To clean up human food messes.

Me:        This will not be a wreck.

Stella:    Promises. Promises.

Wiggles:   Just toss what you don’t want on the floor. We are waiting.

Me:        I am not tossing good food on the floor.

Stella:    Who said anything about good?

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Are You Reading in the Kitchen? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have witnessed humans ‘reading’ their strange books before, but never in the food preparation room that they call the ‘kitchen’. It doesn’t seem right. Food. Books. Reading. All at the same time. All in the same room. Nope.

Me:   The book I was reading was what we call a ‘cookbook’.

Stella:    Even worse. You cooked a book? Disgusting.

Me:        No. I didn’t cook a book.

Stella:    That’s what it smelled like to me.

Me:        I was trying a new recipe for crispy bread.

Stella:    Sounds like a cooked book to me. Why can’t you try cooking something delicious that has meat in it?

Me:        Maybe next time. I used to cook and bake all the time and then…I stopped.

Stella:    Why? Because all your cooking and baking tasted terrible?

Me:        No… well, some of it did. I stopped because I was the only one eating the result and a lot was going to waste.

Stella:    That was before you had bulldogs, wasn’t it?

Me:        As a matter of fact, …

Stella:    Because we would have SO cleaned up your leftovers.

Me:        Okay, I’ll keep that in mind. With the weather getting cooler, I may be doing more baking and soup cooking so…

Stella:    Here’s my list: anything with meat in it as in chicken, beef, pork, and whatever else counts as meat, cheese dishes, and anything else you’ve got. If I don’t like it, I’ll let you know and then you can throw it out. So, keep on reading in the kitchen, Lady Human. Turn it into a library if you want to.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

If It’s Not Food, DON’T EAT IT! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am grossed out. I think that is the right way to say that I am grossed out.

Me:        Are you disgusted?

Stella:    Yes.

Me:        Is your stomach turned?

Stella:    Yes.

Me:        Then ‘grossed out’ is the proper term.

Stella:    Do you know that Doodlebug threw up? A whole bunch?

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Me:        Yes, I certainly do.

Stella:    Doodle! Why would you do such a thing in the house?

Doodlebug:   Uuuhhh. Yuck.

Me:        Well, let’s see here. There are one…two…three leaves, completely intact. Were you eating leaves earlier?

Doodlebug:   Uuuhhh.

Me:        Don’t eat leaves.

Snoopey:   I’ve eaten leaves and THAT didn’t happen.

Me:        Probably different leaves. There is an oak leaf and 2 heart-shaped leaves I don’t recognize. I’ll have to do a search of the yard. Doodlebug, don’t eat leaves!

Doodlebug:   It’s all right, Lady Human. I feel better now.

Stella:    Gross! If you are going to make yourself sick, please have the courtesy to the rest of us to do it OUTSIDE!

Doodlebug:   I wasn’t trying to make myself sick. I was minding my own business and it just happened.

Stella:    Since when does it just happen? Stop eating stuff you find in the yard. Leaves, and yes, I will say it out loud. Poop!

Miss Sweetie:    Ummm! Aunt Stella said an ugly word. She said ‘poop’.

Me:        Yes, poop is a big issue since y’all came.

Miss Sweetie:    Funny word. Poop. Poop. Poop. Poop.

Me:        It’s okay to say ‘poop’. It is not okay to eat it. So there! I said that! Doodle, are you listening?

Doodlebug:   The leaves made me sick. They were stuck to the poop.

Stella:    That’s the point. You wouldn’t have eaten the leaves if you hadn’t been eating the…you know…don’t make me say it again.

Miss Sweetie:   Poop. I said it for you, Aunt Stella.

Me:        Okay. The mess is cleaned up. Can we move on to a more pleasant subject?

Stella:    Sure, but first, all this talk about…you know what…has made me want to go outside and…you know what.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Welcome to The Bulldog Cafe – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and proprietor of The Bulldog Café.

Me:        The Bulldog Café? Is that a real thing?

Stella:    Of course. On the menu tonight is Victor Adult Dog food. It comes in a big yellow bag. It does not make you sick and our skin is fine so I guess it is okay. I used to eat a food that gave me lots of bad gas…

Me:        Wait. You are running a café? Don’t talk about bad gas and skin problems.

Stella:    What else should bulldogs talk about? When it comes to food, only the very best and that means stuff that doesn’t give you gas or make your skin itch and your hair fall out. Now where was I before I was so RUDELY interrupted? Oh, yes…on our menu tonight, popcorn.

Me:        No.

Stella:    How can I run a café without desserts and snacks?

Me:        No popcorn.

Stella:    Just a little bit.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But…but…but…

Me:        I am not saying never. I am saying not tonight. I’ll do more research.

Stella:    Research besmirch. You humans and your little black boxes and your fingers tapping, tapping, tapping. On our menu tonight, ice cream.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Why ever not?

Me:        I don’t have any and I have to do…

Stella:    I know. I know. More research. Leave it to a human to make everything complicated and unfun. So, what’s left? Oh, yes. On our menu tonight – plain water. There! Does that make you happy, Lady Human?

Me:        Well, it doesn’t make me unhappy. In fact, I’ll have some with you. Water is healthy.

Stella:    Yippee! So much for The Bulldog Café. I can’t wait to see our ratings on Yelp. Phhhuuuhhh!

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill

No Double Dipping – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I am ticked off. Is that the correct term, Lady Human? Ticked off?

Me:        If you mean that you are annoyed, angry, riled up, fuming…

Stella:    That’s me!

Me:        Is there a reason or…

Stella:    Of course, there is a reason. There is always a reason. I am a reasonable bulldog.

Me:        Do the words ‘reasonable’ and ‘bulldog’ go together?

Stella:    YES! Why am I ticked off, you ask.

Me:        I didn’t actually ask why? I just wondered if there were a reason or…

Stella:    SILENCE, PEASANT!

Me:        I beg your pardon!

Stella:    Not yet! Why was Snoopey fed twice today? Why? Why? Why?

Me:        Snoopey was not fed twice.

Stella:    Yes, she was. She double dipped. That is not fair. It is not allowed.

Me:        Snoopey was fed once. There was no double dipping, as you call it.

Stella:    You took the huge plastic spoon…

Me:        The scoop…

Stella:    I said that. The huge plastic spoon and the food bucket around and we each got our food and then you went out and came back with more food and put it in Snoopey’s bowl.

Me:        I ran out of food on the first go-round before Snoopey got fed. I had to get more out of the storage can. When I came back in, I put food in Snoopey’s bowl. Snoopey did not double dip. She got fed once.

Stella:    It looked suspicious and unfair to me.

Me:        You were napping during breakfast. I saw you peak a couple of times. You missed the part where I ran out of food.

Stella:    NO DOUBLE DIPPING! NO DOUBLE DIPPING!

Me:        Is this going to turn into another bulldog strike?

Stella:    Not if you double dip me.

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Where Are Your Food Bowls? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I…

Me:        Where are your food bowls?

Stella:    Lady Human, interrupting me while I am addressing my subjects? How RUDE!

Me:        Where are your food bowls?

Stella:    We rearranged a few things.

Me:        Rearranged as in carried off? Have you hidden them?

Stella:    We like them. They make excellent drums.

Me:        I don’t want to have to go in search of them come breakfast time.

Stella:    Sweetie likes to wear hers and sit in it and step in it. Doodlebug is a better drummer though.

Me:        Yes. You are all very versatile. But I need them.

Stella:    No, you don’t. I have seen the sloppy way you humans eat. Round bowls and flat bowls and small bowls and square bowls. You never even have the decency to put your faces down into them. You bring the food up to your mouths with those long metal stabbers and pointy silver pokers.

Me:        I don’t need your bowls for me. I need your bowls for you all. Otherwise, breakfast tomorrow may be delayed.

Stella:    Delayed?

Me:        You don’t want me to pour it on the ground, do you?

Stella:    Food delayed? Everybody, pull in the bowls! Wiggles! Where is your food bowl?

Wiggles:   It was in my way. I moved it.

Stella:    Get it! Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:        Mine was empty so I didn’t need it anymore.

Stella:    No, silly! You need it every day. Tiger?

Tiger:     It’s around here somewhere. Why?

Stella:    Breakfast tomorrow, that’s why. Snoopey?

Snoopey:   I like to eat my food off the floor. It’s neater that way.

Stella:    Aaagggh! Whatever! Sweetie?

Miss Sweetie: Yes?

Stella:    All right, Sweetie, I can see where yours is.

Miss Sweetie:    Where?

Stella:    Really? You are sitting in it.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I’m not.

Stella:    I can see it under you.

Miss Sweetie:    That’s my chair.

Stella:    Bring all bowls forward! Now!

Snoopey:   Where is yours?

Stella:    Never you mind.

Snoopey:   I think it’s under your toys. I think I can get it.

Stella:    Don’t even try. Now who’s stupid for befriending the big purple dinosaur in my crate?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Right Reserved.

 

Snoopey the Bulldog Stress Eater – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges – calm, collected, cool Queen Stella. Snoopey, however…

Me:        Very tense today.

Stella:    And why not? All those machine noises all day long.

Me:        With all the storms and rain lately, there has been a lot to clean up. Chain saws, mowers, tree mulchers…

Stella:    All day long. And the big rumbly truck in the alley.

Me:        Trash truck. That was today, too.

Stella:    I don’t like the big rumbly truck. It always wakes me up from my 2nd morning nap after my 1st morning nap, the one that comes right before breakfast and my 3rd morning nap.

Me:        I’m glad for the trash truck. Otherwise, we would be hip deep in garbage in no time.

Stella:    That’s because you don’t let us bulldogs eat the garbage. We could take care of it in no time.

Me:        Nope. Remember Miss Sweetie and the Greasy Paper Towel Incident.

Stella:    Oh, yeah. But Sweetie was young. She did not have my discriminating tastes.

Me:        So today, every time there was a loud noise or big truck or machine, Snoopey barked and then dove into her leftover food.

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Snoopey:   Food is good. Food is every day. Food makes me feel normal.

Me:        I have been a stress eater in my time as well.

Snoopey:   Really, Lady Human? That makes me feel better. More normal.

Me:        Stress eating is pretty common among humans. We have what we call ‘comfort foods’.

Snoopey:   Like what?

Me:        For my tastes – mmmm, tacos, pizza, potato chips, ice cream…

Snoopey:   I will take all of those, please.

Me:        I think that you had better stick with your regular food and treats.

Stella:    Mmmm, treats. I’ll have two, please.

Me:        Later, Stella.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Even if you eat when you are stressed, Snoopey, you are still only eating your recommended daily food allowance. You are not overeating. I just wish that you would trust me when I tell you that everything is all right. When you hear loud noises, there is nothing to fear.

Snoopey:   That is hard.

Me:        For humans, too.

Stella:    Uhhh, somebody mentioned treats. I am standing here. Waiting. Patiently. No stress eating here. Just eating. Okay?

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s Cooking? More Importantly, Is It for Me? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and food is cooking in the kitchen. It has been flavoring the air for hours and hours. I can see steam coming out of the red pot. I know it holds something wonderful.

So, Lady Human, where is mine?

Me:        Oh, that’s Tall Man’s special stew. He makes it up so that he always has something ready to eat when he gets home from work. He is trying to eat healthier.

Stella:    I am trying to eat healthier so…

Me:        No, that is for Tall Man. You have your healthy food already.

Stella:    It smells so good. What is it?

Me:        Well, he puts some water in the crock pot and then adds about 1 pound of beef, some small sweet potatoes cut up, spinach, a small onion cut up, and two handfuls of kale, and he lets it cook on a low setting, then it’s ready when he gets home.

Stella:    Beef – check. I’ve had that. Sweet potatoes cook into a tasty treat. I’ve had that. Spinach? I don’t know. Onions?

Me:        No. No. No. Not good for dogs.

Stella:    Kale? What is that?

Me:        It’s a green leafy vegetable like spinach is.

Stella:    You mean like a bush in the front yard.

Me:        Sort of, but not quite.

Stella:    Not interested. Okay, I will take the beef and the sweet potatoes. You can keep the rest.

Me:        No deal. Tall Man would be very disappointed to come home and find his dinner half eaten.

Stella:    He can make more.

Me:        Nope. Not today. He used up his ingredients in this batch.

Stella:    That was poor planning on his part.

Me:        It’s his food, Stella, not yours, not even mine.

Stella:    How dare he make something smell so good that is healthy! Has he no respect? Doesn’t he know we are bulldogs?

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Eat, Eat, And Eat Again! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, Illustrious, Noble, and slightly ticked off. I eat once a day (not counting treats), sometimes twice a day if I don’t feel like finishing my breakfast all at one time. But Lady Human is another matter. She eats umpteen gillion times a day (yes, that is a number – a bulldog number) and she never offers me any.

Me:        You eat exactly as much as is recommended for you. If I start giving you my food, there will be no end.

Stella:    Of course not, because you never stop eating.

Me:        Nonsense.

Stella:    How many times a day do you eat?

Me:        I refuse to be judged by a bulldog. Especially not by a bulldog with your fascination over food.

Stella:    How many? How many? How many?

Me:        Oh, all right. Stop hopping up and down. Well, there is breakfast.

Stella:    And then?

Me:        Second breakfast?

Stella:    Like those cute Hobbits in that long, long movie with all the ugly orcs and that Ring that everybody just had to have. I understand. Sometimes one breakfast is simply not enough.

Me:        Then lunch. And then a light snack, usually fruit. And after that, a high protein snack. And finally, supper.

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        I break my food consumption up into 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger ones. It works well for me.

Stella:    And what do you call your meal of cookies, brownies, cake, and candy?

Me:        I don’t make a meal of that.

Stella:    Uh-huh.

Me:        I mean I may have some of that stuff once in a while, but it’s not a meal.

Stella:    Uh-huh.

Me:        It’s not!

Stella:    Share with me when you decide to eat it next time.

Me:        I can’t. It’s not healthy…

Stella:    Ummm! Caught!

Me:        Hey, there’s a lot of stuff that is healthy for me, that I can eat but you can’t – avocados, grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, chocolate…

Stella:    Cookies, brownies, cake, candy.

Me:        Why is it important to you what I eat?

Stella:    I care.

Me:        Stella, I’m touched. That is so sweet. You care.

Stella:    Of course, I care. I will always care. Food. It’s what’s for supper.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

When Stressed, Chew on a Dinosaur – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, the Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but none of that matters right now. I am stressed out; therefore, I am chewing on a dinosaur that Lady Human gave me. There is nothing like chewing on a dinosaur to take your mind off your problems.

Me:        And what problems are those, Stella?

Stella:    The neighbor’s dogs barked most of the afternoon. So, of course, we barked. Someone (I assume they were human) kept coming by, probably to sell stuff. Sirens kept going off in the distance. And you were nowhere to be found, Lady Human. Nowhere. To. Be. Found. Whyyyy?

Me:        I was running household errands. They don’t run themselves.

Stella:    Why ever not?

Me:        Physical things must be purchased and picked up physically. Not all things can be done online.

Stella:    Now you are talking nonsense. What is ‘online’? Is that even a place? Why must things be picked up ‘physically’. Why can’t those people who come by selling stuff all the time bring the stuff you need ‘physically’? Whyyyy?

Me:        Let me give you an example. We had only enough dog food to last two more days.

Stella:    What? No!!! I told you not ever to let that happen again!

Me:        We don’t pick up new food until the old food is almost out. That way the dog food stays fresher in the trash can.

Stella:    Trash can! No!!! Why do you put our food in a trash can? Nasty!!!

Me:        It is a clean metal trash can that has only been used to store dog food. Without it, your food might experience…visitors.

Stella:    Visitors? No!!! What sort of visitors?

Me:        You don’t want to know. Stella, stop screaming at everything I say.

Stella:    Everything you say? No!!!

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Oh, okay.

Me:        Today I physically had to go pick up y’all’s dog food. That’s 3 fifty pound bags of dog food.

Stella:    Like three of me.

Me:        Right. Exactly. Three Stellas worth. Plus 50 pounds of chicken feed. And three pounds of parakeet food.

Stella:    Chickens. Who cares? They can eat bugs. Parakeet, schmarakeet. So what?

Me:        I pick up all three types of food at the same feed store. One trip. Three errands done.

Stella:    Then why were you gone so long?

Me:        I was gone for two hours. And remember, humans have to eat, too.

Stella:    It freaked me…us…out.

Me:        So it’s good to have a dinosaur to chew on.

Stella:    A dinosaur, yes. And those 3 Stellas worth of dog food. Don’t forget that.

Me:        But that’s for everybody.

Stella:    Get another metal can for the others. The queen deserves her own stash.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Stella’s Christmas Rant – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, shall now begin my Christmas rant. Ranting is not reserved for humans alone. I have plenty about which to rant.

Me:        Like what? You have not been out in the crowds.

Stella:    If you wish more ranting time, you have my royal permission. Go ahead. I will add mine later. Rant on!

Me:        The people walking in front of me at the grocery store crept along like snails. So slowly.

Stella:    Yes, slow humans. Everyone should have a bulldog pulling them along. What else?

Me:        “No, ma’am! You can’t get three of the same item on that one coupon!”

Stella:    No, ma’am! You can’t! What is a coupon?

Me:        “No, sir! If there are no more, there are no more!” Hey, guy! They ran out! Move along!

Stella:    Yes, move along there, human! Wait? What did they run out of? Not our treats again, I hope!

Me:        And then there were the people who insisted on blocking the store aisles so they could get a picture of their pet with Santa Claus.

Stella:    The big bearded man in the red furry suit? He takes pictures with animals? Really? But on the other hand, is it a good idea to put your animal in the lap of a bearded stranger? Do I really want my picture made with a guy I don’t know?

Me:        Humans like it. I simply wanted them to move out of my way.

Stella:    Did you call someone an ugly name this time?

Me:        No. I went shopping in a better frame of mind and I exercised self-control. Well, some self-control.

Stella:    But not enough to keep from ranting. Merry Christmas, Lady Human! My turn to rant! My turn! Miss Sweetie ate a greasy paper towel and threw up all over the place. Not very Christmasy. Christmas is supposed to smell good.

Me:        Yeah, she dug deep in the trash and pulled one out. Thanks be to God, she threw it up and is feeling better now.

Stella:    Don’t do the crime and you won’t do the time. Why trash dive when we have all this good food?

Me:        It’s in her nature. And you are not complaining about your food?

Stella:    Oh, that’s right! Food rant! I have seen all kinds of special food come in, but we are eating the same old thing, day in and day out. Where are our cool goodies?

Me:        You all get treats.

Stella:    Not red and green ones. Just dull old brown ones. Where is our bulldog Christmas?

Me:        We’ll work on that. You shouldn’t eat everything we eat.

Stella:    You shouldn’t eat everything that you eat. Rant!

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Thanksgiving Aftermath – Conversations with Stella

Once upon a time, yesterday, I, Stella the Illustrious, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, decreed that the Humans have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING with lots of excessive eating. I am sorry to report that our humans did not carry out my orders.

Me:        How did we not carry out Thanksgiving? We celebrated Thanksgiving. We gave thanks to God. We gave you all extra treats. We ate. Lots. Abundant desserts. Potatoes. Cornbread dressing.

Stella:    And where was this feast?

Me:        Well, at a family friend’s house.

Stella:    Not here.

Me:        No.

Stella:    So, we bulldogs missed out. Why couldn’t we go? Was it a bulldog-free zone?

Me:        Yeah, they have a dog-aggressive bully breed and there were a bunch of small kids. Space was limited.

Stella:    Are you saying we are fat?

Me:        Never. Y’all are bulldog stocky. Outside dogs were not invited. Sorry.

Stella:    You came in with bags and bags the other day. Where is our feast?

Me:        We still have lots of food and we will share with you. Judiciously.

Stella:    Is ‘judiciously’ a word that means we don’t get any?

Me:        No, ‘judiciously’ means that we won’t feed you too much or feed you stuff that will likely make you sick.

Stella:    Okay. It’s a deal.

Me:        Are you still thankful?

Stella:    Yes, because even though we could not share your Thanksgiving dinner today, we will thankfully consume all the rest of your abundance in the days to come. Thanksgiving is not limited to one day.

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella’s Thanksgiving Proclamation – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Illustrious and Noble Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby declare tomorrow to be Happy Thanksgiving Day, the Great Feast Day of the Humans Who Call Themselves Americans. Let the excessive eating begin.

Me:        Thank you, Stella…

Stella:    You see! My decree is already having an effect.

Me:        Actually, the official Thanksgiving Day Proclamation goes back over a century and a half, so you are a little late.

Stella:    A century and a half. Is that like yesterday afternoon?

Me:        Not by a long sight. A century is a hundred years. To put that in perspective, you are 3 years old.

Stella:    How can that be? I have been me forever.

Me:        Time is a strange thing. Tell me, for what are you giving thanks?

Stella:    I haven’t thought about it.

Me:        Just off the top of your head.

Stella:    I haven’t got anything on the top of my head. Not even a crown for which I am still waiting patiently – hint, hint. Nothing is on the top of my head…Except hair.. And my ears. All right. I am thankful to the Great Creator for my hair and for my ears.

Me:        That’s not exactly what I meant.

Stella:    Off the top of my head, I am thankful for my head. I am thankful that it is a bulldog head. Any other head would look weird on my body. And I am grateful to the Great Creator that the food keeps coming and I know it is from Him because humans are so forgetful. If He did not remind them, they would neglect to buy it.

Me:        That makes me grateful to the Great Creator, too, for His reminders.

Stella:    And I am grateful for Thanksgiving Day because it is a day of food and there are few things in the world that bulldogs like better than food.

Me:        Happy Thanksgiving, Stella.

Stella:    Happy Thanksgiving, Lady Human. Now where is my feast?

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

We’ve Run Out of What??? No!!! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen Illustrious of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am herewith issuing a red alert. Breakfast was delayed this morning by almost half an hour and, when it did come, it was different.

Me:        No red alert is necessary, girl…excuse me, Your Majesty. We ran out of your regular food and so did the store.

Stella:    What??? That cannot be!!! How did you let this happen, Lady Human? How did the other humans let this happen? Call everyone! Call the police! Call the army! HELP!

Me:        Remember when the store ran out of your favorite treats? Everyone survived.

Stella:    It was so hard though.

Me:        The man at the store said that they will have your regular food in by lunchtime tomorrow.

Stella:    No!!!! Too late!!!!

Me:        Was your old food brand so terrible this morning?

Stella:    It was different. We don’t like different. Never let this happen again!

Me:        I’m not sure that I can guarantee that.

Stella:    Why not? You are human. You can do anything.

Me:        Mmmm. Not so much.

Stella:    You are scaring me, Lady Human.

Me:        Nothing is too hard for the LORD. Humans have limitations and, to be honest, I am glad. There are quite a few humans that I would not want to have unlimited power. In fact, there aren’t any humans that I would want to have unlimited power. Including me.

Stella:    Aaaaggghhh! How does that solve our food problem?

Me:        Your problem will be solved by tomorrow. If we have to go further and search harder for your food or if we even have to make it ourselves, we will. Did you go hungry today?

Stella:    Well, no, not really, though I am always willing to take a little more.

Me:        You see? No genuine problem.

Stella:    Still it bothers me to know that you do not have unlimited powers.

Me:        Really? It is a great comfort to me.

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

I’ll Have What You’re Having – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Yes! Illustrious! That’s me. I like that. A young friend called me that and I am going to keep it, just like I keep everything else. Speaking of which, why do humans spend so much time staring into the Big Cold Box in the kitchen?

Me:        We check for ingredients for our meals. Sometimes we don’t know what we want to eat and we have to think about it.

Stella:    You think about food? What is there to think about? Food is food! When you see it, grab it and eat it before someone else does! Let me in there. Let me see what all you have in there. I won’t have to think about it.

Me:        No, we don’t need a bulldog nose sniffing around in the refrigerator.

Stella:    But you sniff around in there.

Me:        I look first and then I sniff.

Stella:    What are you going to eat now?

Me:        Well, there are some sliced apples.

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Pineapple.

Stella:    Why is everything called ‘apple’? Nope, no fruit.

Me:        I could cook some eggs.

Stella:    Mmmm. Maybe. What else do we have?

Me:        We?

Stella:    We are family, aren’t we? Don’t you love us? You are generous, aren’t you? Wait! Are you a food hoarder, Lady Human?

Me:        Well, of course…Yes, we love…We try to be…No, we are not food hoarders!

Stella:    Thank you for sharing. We will have some of what you are having. On second thought, we are bulldogs. We have a lot of what you are having.

Me:        You bulldogs are on a special diet so you won’t have stomach or skin problems.

Stella:    Sounds like an excuse not to share your food with us.

Me:        More like a reason for you not to share your upset stomachs with us. No, thank you.

Stella:    Well, it’s unfair, but I can’t force you to share. I bet I know what I’ll be dreaming about tonight though. Food, glorious food, and the Big Cold Boxes it comes in.

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

How Do You Balance? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have four legs. I always have had. I know of animals with fewer. I know that each human is given a maximum of two. What I want to know is how do humans balance on only one or two. It is a puzzlement to me.

Me:        There is no mystery really. It is how we are made.

Stella:    But I saw a puppy human walking on knees and hands. That is the same as four paws on the ground.

Me:        Stella, with all due respect, there are no such things as “puppy humans”. There are babies who grow into toddlers who grow into children who grow into teenagers who grow into adults.

Stella:    Blah, blah, blah. Puppies are puppies. Still, how do you do it? One day, puppy humans are on all fours and then the next, poof! They are balancing on no more than two feet, though not well. Then they are walking fast and are harder to keep up with and then they are running and the real fun begins. I admire you all greatly. I wish I could walk like that.

Me:        It’s not exactly poof! It takes a lot of practice. Balance is a tricky skill. And it’s not just physical. There is emotional balance and there is mental balance. Balanced diet. Balanced hobbies. Balanced tires.

Stella:    Balanced diet?

Me:        I knew you would hear the one about food.

Stella:    My diet is not balanced. There are far too few treats compared to food.

Me:        That is balance for you. Dogs do not live by treats alone. Even good treats don’t give your body what it needs.

Stella:    Then it needs better treats.

Me:        I thought we were talking about how humans can balance on fewer than four legs.

Stella:    You are the one who brought up treats.

Me:        No, I think that was…

Stella:    Treats! Please don’t change the subject. And see what you can do about balancing my diet.

 

 

 

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.

What’s In The Bag? – Conversations with Stella

I am here with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge and, lest I forget, their Queen.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human, for giving me my due.

Me:        No prob, Bob.

Stella:    Who is Bob? Is he another bulldog?

Me:        Nevermind.

Stella:    What was in that bag you brought in awhile ago?

Me:        Just some special food for tonight.

Stella:    I smelled it. It is wonderful.

Me:        I noticed you working your nose.

Stella:    Did you really think that you could sneak it past me? What is it?

Me:        Barbeque beef brisket, barbeque ribs, potato salad, fried okra. That’s all.

Stella:    That’s enough. I’ll take mine right over here.

Me:        Mmmm.  I don’t think the barbeque sauce will be good for you. It might upset your stomach.

Stella:    A risk worth taking.

Me:        Nope. I’ll see if I can pull some pieces out that have no sauce on them.

Stella:    And po-ta-to salad? And fried okra?

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Not worth a griping belly. Not worth itchy skin patches.

Stella:    I beg to differ.

Me:        Differ away. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, those treats that you call chicken bacon jerky, truth be told, there is no bacon in them.

Stella:    Yes, there is.

Me:        No, there isn’t.

Stella:    What? Not fair! Where is the bacon?

Me:        Not in those treats. Just chicken.

Stella:    It cannot be.

Me:        It is. But if knowing that fact means that you don’t like them anymore, I can always give them to the others…

Stella:    NO! That won’t be necessary. I will make the sacrifice and eat them, even without the bacon.

Me:        You don’t have to.

Stella:    It is all right. I will force myself to choke them down. By the way, do you have any of those handy?

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella’s Blog – Humans. Why?

Hello! I am Stella, the Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. (Let’s wait a few moments to see if my transcriptionist will interrupt to say something like, “No, you’re not the queen” or “self-styled”. I don’t know what “self-styled” means, but I am sure that it is rude.)

Okay, no interruption so far. Please join me for MY blog. Today’s topic: Humans. Why?

I discussed a similar question with my blog post entitled “Why Did God Make Cats?”

The existence of humans is not nearly as confusing as the existence of cats. Actually, I still have no answer for why cats should exist. That one may be a long time in coming, but I believe the Creator will help me to understand someday. I am sure He had His reasons.

Humans are an easier question because they actually do stuff that helps dogs. (Can cats truthfully say that?)

Here’s a short list of how humans help us:

Food.

Treats.

Food.

Treats.

Did I mention food?

(Transcriptionist: Stella, you’re repeating yourself.)

Ah, our first interruption. MY BLOG, MY RULES. Where was I?

Treats.

Treats.

Treats.

What else?

Softy toys – Humans don’t really have to make them in the shape of pink and blue dogs and red lobsters. We are not fooled. We know that they are not real. People think we are stupid. Here’s a secret: We’re not the ones making pink and blue wiener dogs that don’t even have any wieners in them. Where are the wieners, humans?

Chew toys – Great for relaxing after a long day, though for many, many thousands of years, we dogs have provided our own chew toys in the form of sticks.

Soft beds – What a wonderful invention. Perfect for lazy dogs. And the humans can use them, if there is enough room.

Love – did I say that?

(Transcriptionist: Yes, you did, you sweet, smooshy- faced, old thing,)

 Well, I didn’t mean to. It just slipped out. And now you’ve gone and called me those mushy names. Please stop it. I just meant that the head pets are nice and the belly rubs. But stay away from that hugging business.

So do humans serve a purpose? The Great Creator must have thought so. (Of course, He made cats, too, and I still don’t understand that.)

They keep telling me that dog is man’s best friend.  Maybe the humans are ours.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.