Dog Days – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and, as Queen, I have the authority to declare this: IT IS HOT!!!

Me:        Yep, if you say so, it’s official. The Dog Days of Summer have begun. You know how I knew it.

Stella:    Because it is hot?

Me:        Well, that, and I found Wiggles and Sweetie down in the hole y’all have dug under the picnic table.

Stella:    Because it is hot.

Me:        95 degrees at dusk. I guess that qualifies.

Stella:    Dog Days. Why can’t the Dog Days be pleasant? Why must Dog Days be hot? Not fair!

Me:        Some people count them from the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, at dawn…

Stella:    Wait! There is a star that‘s a dog? Why didn’t you tell me? Can we go visit him? Where is he? Show me! This is great! I always suspected there were dogs out there.

Me:        It’s not a dog, honey. It’s just called that because it is the brightest star in a constellation that reminded ancient people of a dog. Like a picture in the sky made by stars.

Stella:    Ancient people? Just where are these ancient people because I have some questions.

Me:        They’re not around for your questions. Sorry.

Stella:    Typical. Humans playing with dogs’ hopes and dreams again. I don’t think these Dog Days have anything to do with us at all. Hmmmph! If these are true Dog Days, where are the treats and toys?

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

It’s 99 Degrees. Do You Know Where Your Bulldogs Are?

I just saw the temperature. How did it get to be 99 degrees Fahrenheit without my noticing it? When the mercury rises above 98, that’s when it gets to be a little bit warm. There was that hint in the air this morning, that heavy wet blanket dampening that makes the outdoors a place to avoid.

Oddly, each of the bulldogs in turn wanted to sunbathe this morning. Maybe they sensed the approach of the stultifying afternoon heat and decided to slurp up the kinder, gentler morning sun’s rays while the slurping was safe.

The pressure is on. The heat is rising. Living will take simpler forms for a few months. We will stroll, not rush and we will abide by simple rules.

Keep calm. Calm people and calm dogs make for a cooler life.

Drink plenty of water. Bulldogs are experts at this.

Stay in the shade. Play hide and seek with the sun as “It” and don’t let that mean                   old fireball find you if you can help it.

Don’t work out during the heat of the day, even if the workout is fun. Running,                       jumping, wrestling, and chasing are play, but they are hot play.

Take advantage of cooling vests for dogs and puppy pools. Use cooling pads.                             Humans, use wet scarves and cloths.

Those are just a few basics for summer.

Wait! Is that thunder I hear? The sun is cloaked with clouds. The temperature has already dropped a degree.

Praise the LORD! Now it’s only 98 degrees. Autumn must be just around the corner. All is well!

And in case I didn’t mention it, thank You, LORD, for air conditioning.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stella’s Blog – Who Forgot to Turn the Sun Down?

I am Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge Queen. Hello!

I am bringing a complaint to Lady Human from all the bulldogs. Something went horribly wrong today and I demand to know why.

When I went outside during the morning, I noticed that the outside air felt like the inside air. What was going on? The inside air always feels better than the outside air. At least the humans used to do a good job at that. All of a sudden, everything felt the same – HOT!

Some human forgot to turn the sun down.

This is how I believe it works: the Great Creator gave us the sun so that we can see well and run around and poop and pee and chase cats. He also gave it so bulldogs could sunbathe. I believe some human is assigned to turn the sun off at night so we can finish our daytime naps. But that human forgot and left the sun running too long and it got hotter and hotter and now the hot is inside the house.

I was here last year during the hot time and this did not happen.

Lady Human and Tall Man were sweating and we bulldogs were panting. Why humans don’t pant I do not understand. It would cool them off so much.

Tall Man was talking to the black box in his hand and some human was saying that he could not come today to fix something and I understood that whatever was broken was causing the house to be hot and was called A SEE. See a what? Humans are too complicated.

Lady Human set up lots of little boxes with spinners in them. The spinners go fast and blow air – HOT AIR! Where is my cool house air?

Tall Man added chunks of ice to our water. That was a nice touch, but WHERE IS MY COOL HOUSE AIR? The humans left and soon came back with a big box. Tall Man worked at the window and put a white box in it. He pushed on the box. It whirred like other human toys, but this one breathed out cold air. YAY!

Ahhhh!!!!  The cool air returned. The sun must have trapped it in that white box that Tall Man stuck in the window. Once again, Tall Man is our hero. He wrestled the cold air box from the sun and brought it home.

I felt like eating so I did. So did the others. I didn’t need to pant anymore. Neither did the others.

I will discuss all of this with Lady Human later. Right now, I am going to take a nice, long, cool nap.

Farewell until next time,

Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Sitting in Sunlight

The sun rules Texas skies on most days and we have to watch the bulldogs with special care during hot weather. This year, thus far, spring has been cool and kind. Summer is lurking though – in wet years, as heavy as a hot, damp blanket; in dry ones, a blasting breath like the opening of an oven door.

So while the temperatures remain reasonable, the bulldogs take advantage and sunbathe. Or cloud bathe, as they have done today.

Doodlebug never slows down long enough to soak up steady rays. He gets his on the run.

Stella is more interested in getting back inside to make sure her bed is still there. She does not do the sunbath thing like everyone else. “Why sit in the sun we are always trying to avoid?”  Stella is a pragmatist.

The skies have been clouded over for the past few days – an odd gray canopy. They broke this afternoon, too late for the sun to stream into the backyard, but the bulldogs don’t seem to mind. The sun is still shining, even if it isn’t beaming on them.

The clouds will return tonight, they tell us, along with storms that promise to be loud. About midnight, they tell us.  I pray that we’ll all be able to get some sleep. I know people who sleep through storms. I’ve slept through  a few myself.

Just now, the sun is shining. And the bulldogs are happy. And so am I.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1 KJV

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Watch Out! What’s That Up Ahead?

The warm weather arrived just prior to the annual air conditioning launch. We turned the ceiling fans up to maximum, but even without cooking or baking inside the house, it wasn’t quite enough. Oh, we and the cat and the heat-sensitive bulldogs were going to live all right. Our ideal comfort level eluded us though.

We gathered the portable fans from their various locations around the house, plugged them in, turned them on high, and let them buzz their mechanical hearts out. The dogs accepted the stirred air graciously and settled down, tongues back in mouths.

The fans twirled all night and still ran strong when the cooler morning came. Nobody appeared disturbed by their presence until Tiger had to go out. She darted past me as she usually does. She has “grown up”, matured during the past few weeks. Gone are her incessant attempts to feud with Snoopey over who’s in charge of the pack. I’m not saying that is over and done with, simply that Tiger has cooled her efforts in that direction for the time being.

Tiger came back in the house and scooted past her crate, running her nose over the floor in case she had missed any food crumbs from her breakfast. When I asked her to go into her crate so I could run my errands, she backed away and glanced at the odd little round thing nearby. One of the fans, happily whirring at full blast, aimed its current of air across that side of the room.

The bulldogs are always sensitive to oddities and new items that suddenly appear in their paths. I realized right away what Tiger was trying to avoid.

I thought for a moment about moving it farther away, but I opted for an exercise in trust – her trust in me.

I called her. She hesitated and stayed back. I extended my hand. Still she waited and refused to pass the fan. I stepped forward until I could reach her and I stroked her head and neck, telling her the whole time that everything was all right and that she was safe with me. She walked a few steps toward me and the crate. She stopped alongside the vicious fan and let me pet her.

And just like that, the fan was no longer a problem. It never really had been, but Tiger didn’t realize that. She took a step of faith in me and finally trusted me enough to let me help her past her fear.

I should know better than Tiger. I don’t.

I cringe and pull back when there is something strange in my path. I am supposed to trust God to walk me past it, but I don’t. I hesitate, hold back, delay, wonder, and try to figure it out myself. And then, eventually, I take one step toward Him and His hand is there. He was there the whole time.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 KJV

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.