What is Jury Duty? Do They Serve Food?

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human awakened us for breakfast at an unreasonable hour this morning. It was still dark. Food is good, but not in the dark. Why, Lady Human, why, oh why?

Me:        Hey, at least you all got to go right back to sleep. I had to catch a train into town so I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and parking.

Stella:    Why, oh why would you get up and leave in the dark to go someplace  called ‘town’ where you never go?

Me:        Jury duty.

Stella:    Nonsense.

Me:        No, jury duty is a real thing.

Stella:    What I mean is that those are just more human nonsense words. What would drag you out in the middle of the night away from your loving bulldogs?

Me:        It was just a little before sunrise, not the middle of the night. Still…you’re right. Every once in a long, long while, people get a jury summons. Our court system calls us to serve on a jury to judge the facts of a case.

Stella:    As I said, nonsense. Blah, blah, blah.

Me:        Suffice it to say, I had to go downtown. I had no choice. To get there on time, I had to leave ultra-early.

Stella:    So, you did this jury duty nonsense thing?

Me:        I showed up. They didn’t need me so they sent me home.

Stella:    Darn tootin’ they sent you back! How dare they take you away in the first place?

Me:        Humans have responsibilities to other humans. This is one of the more minor ones.

Stella:    Is jury duty fun?

Me:        Mmmmm.

Stella:    No fun. Is there a bunch of food? Do you get fed for going to ‘jury duty’?

Me:        Nope. No food. I took my own sack lunch.

Stella:    No fun. No food. Do you play games?

Me:        Nope. No games. It’s all pretty serious.

Stella:    No fun. No food. No games. Do you make a lot of that stuff you call ‘money’?

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    No fun. No food. No games. No money. Why do it then?

Me:        Duty.

Stella:    I don’t want to know any more. Duty does not sound like a bulldog thing.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Put It On Silent – Conversations with Stella and Miss Sweetie

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As I have pointed out many times before, humans talk entirely too much. Sometimes, they even talk in the middle of the night. I was sound asleep, minding my own business as always…

Me:        As always?

Stella:    When out of the darkness came a weird voice, floating down the hall, sneaking into my sleepy ears.

Me:        And you and Sweetie started barking your heads off, even after I told you all was well.

Stella:    All is not well when a goofy, little voice in the night squeals, giggles, and says, “Hee, hee, hee! Let’s play!” Now I know that it was not your tiny human relative who visits. She was not here and she does not speak human languages yet. And I know that it was not a bulldog. A bulldog would never sound that silly. It was totally unbulldoggy. No self-respecting bulldog would make such a noise. Not even Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    Hey!

Stella:    No offense, honey, but admit it. You do make strange noises, even for a bulldog.

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Miss Sweetie:    I heard the sound first and I was the first to bark the alarm.

Stella:    No, I was the first.

Miss Sweetie:   No, I was the first.

Stella:    No, it was me.

Me:        And I came down the hall and told you both that all was well and you kept on barking at me.

Miss Sweetie:    I stopped barking at you first.

Stella:    No, I stopped barking at her first.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I stopped first. I remember.

Stella:    Are you saying my memory is not as good as yours? Are you saying that I am old?

Miss Sweetie:    Mmmm. Yes. You are old, Aunt Stella.

Stella:    EEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Me:        Excuse me, please. I have an announcement. The late-night noise in question arose from an online game that I started playing on my phone when I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I apologize to the whole household. I forgot to silence my phone before I went to sleep and, when I opened the app, the music and silly voice started immediately. I couldn’t silence it quickly enough. In fact, I don’t like those noises either. But I do like the game and sometimes it helps me go back to sleep. End of story.

Miss Sweetie:    You couldn’t silence your phone quickly enough? You are old, Lady Human. What century were you born in?

Stella:   You mean this all happened because of that little talking box you pay too much attention to all day long? And now you pay attention to it at night? Give it here, Lady Human. You do not need it that much.

Me:        Nope. It’s mine.

Stella:    Turn the talking box over.

Me:        Nope. I’m the human. I am in charge of it.

Stella:    And as you will come to admit, I am the loud barking box and I am in charge of that.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I am the loud barking box.

Stella:    No, it’s me.

Miss Sweetie:   No…

Me:        Here, let me turn my phone’s sound back on and turn the volume to max. Who’s the loud barking box now?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Tell Me Why – Conversations with Stella

I am the Olde English Bulldogges’ Queen, Stella, the Illustrious, the Noble, the Great. The ING.

Me;        What is an “ING”, pray tell?

Stella:    Just what I said. Illustrious, noble, great. I am Stella Ing.

Me:        If you insist.

Stella:    I have a question. Or two or three or ten.

Me:        Shoot.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Why what?

Stella:    Precisely.

Me:        What is your question?

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Because you told me that you have a question or two or three or ten.

Stella:    My question is why?

Me:        I don’t know why without a what.

Stella:    Well, why didn’t you just say so?

Me:        Say what?

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Oh, no, not again. You can’t simply ask ‘why’ without a subject behind it. For example, you could ask, “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why is the moon round?”

Stella:    Okay. Start with those.

Me:        Well, the sky is blue because of sunlight refraction that shows us that part of the spectrum….

Stella:    Why?

Me:        Uh-oh. I think this is headed nowhere fast.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        As I suspected. My kids used to play this game. I’ll do now what I used to do back then. Punt.

Stella:    What is punt?

Me:        It is a football term. When one team has used up its chances to move the football at least 10 yards on one possession, they can choose to kick the ball as far as they can to the other team and so get the ball away from their territory.

Stella:    So ‘to punt’ means ‘to give up’.

Me:        No, it means to get a breather and regroup.

Stella:    Very well. Punt.

Me:        Okay, here goes nothing. Why?

Stella:    What?

Me:        I just punted to you.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        What?

Stella:    And I just punted back to you. Aren’t those the rules to this game?

Me:        Apparently, they are now. Hey, Stella, how about a treat?

Stella:    Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Oh, boy! Is this how you used to play the game with your human puppies?

Me:        Not exactly. I usually offered them ice cream.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Idea of Fun – Stella’s Blog

Hello! I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! Oh, I already said that, didn’t I? I have so much on my mind these days. All the humans feel tense which makes me feel tense.

It must have something to do with those loud humans on the Picture Box, always talking, talking, talking. Nothing else is wrong. There is food. There are treats. The outside is tolerable. It still could be cooler, but they keep saying that the cool is coming. I think that my humans are gullible. They keep believing what the weather people on the Picture Box tell them.

I think that the Picture Box was invented by cats.

When our humans are too busy to play, we bulldogs find our own fun. We can make a game out of anything. Really! ANYTHING!

A stick? Tasty AND a great toy. I prefer pecan, but mesquite or oak will do in a pinch.

A rock? If it’s big enough, stand on it like one of the human statues. Impressive. Bulldoggy. Only don’t stand there too long. They will try to take your picture with one of their little boxes. If the rock is small, roll it with your nose or kick it with your foot.

And then there are the fun things that my humans leave outside. Wooden gates that are a challenge to dismantle. Great puzzles for bulldog brains. We know how to pick them apart.

The latest toy – a long, long green plastic rope. Lady Human did get upset when she saw the use we made of it. I heard her tell Tall Man “electrical cord” and “at least it was not plugged in”, whatever that means. And he said, “Oh, great.” So at least he saw what a good job we did of chewing it up.

So keep your eyes open, bulldogs and all fellow dogs! Don’t depend on humans for fun. Make your own! Just depend on humans for food, treats, beds, air conditioning, clean ears, clean wrinkles, cool store-bought toys, human-made chew sticks, head pets, massages, manicures, walks, belly rubs, brushing, scratching on your chest and anywhere else you can’t reach, the rare bath (admit it, sometimes we need one), and vet visits (yuck). Have I left anything else out? Well, if I have, just depend on the humans to think of it.

I declare this to be official pre-bedtime nap time. Good night, all dogs everywhere!

Signed, Queen Stella the Illustrious

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Chasing Time – Where is the Cat? – Conversations with Stella

Here I am with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogges’ Queen…

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:         Excuse me?

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:         Chilling out in one of her many hiding places.

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Stella:    So where is the cat?

Me:        That’s for her to know and you to find out.

Stella:    That’s not funny. Is that a human game?

Me:        It was a long time ago.

Stella:    Why is the cat hiding? It is time for cat chasing.

Me:        Yeah, about that. That’s not really her favorite game.

Stella:    Why ever not? It is the most fun ever!

Me:        I have noticed something about that game that is a little odd.

Stella:    Like how I always win.

Me:        More like how you are the only one playing it.

Stella:    That is not correct. Bulldogs are cat chasers. We are all players. Whoop!

Me:        Whoop?

Stella:    Isn’t that what humans yell when they win?

Me:        Mmmmm. Not always.

Stella:    Where is the cat?

Me:        If this is a real game, you will have to find her.

Stella:    Not fair.

Me:        Of course it is fair. The cat’s hiding is part of the game. If the other bulldogs are playing, why can’t they help you find her?

Stella:    Well…to be honest, they are lazy. But you have suspected that for a long time.

Me:        No, they aren’t being lazy. They want you to play the game while they sit still and watch you run your rear end off. They bark and whine and get you all stirred up to search for the cat. Have you noticed that when they walk past the cat, they touch noses with her and there is no barking, no stomping, and no chasing? They leave that to you.

Stella:    Well…that is just…wrong! Grrrrrr! It makes me want to….

Me:        To tell the other bulldogs off?

Stella:    No, it makes me want to chase a cat. Go find me a cat to chase.

Me:        Nope. Find your own.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.