Love Taps – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. One of my favorite things is when Lady Human and I spend quiet time alone. She pets me and scratches my itchy spots and massages my shoulders and scratches my back and rubs my ears and… hey, why are you stopping?

Me:        Places to go. People to see.

Stella:    What places? Where? What people? Who?

Me:        I have stuff I’ve got to do. We can meet again later.

Stella:    1…2…3…okay, later is now.

Me:        I know, Stella. I enjoy quiet time, too. But who is going to grocery shop and clean y’all’s bowls and wash the clothes…

Stella:    I don’t wear clothes. Let them wash themselves. Pet me. Scratch me.

Me:        Stella, let me have my hand.

Stella:    Pet me. Scratch me.

Me:        Stella, let my arm go.

Stella:    Never. Pet me. Scratch me. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Me:        You have no idea how heavy your paws are.

Stella:    Yes, I do. Tap. Tap. Tap. Stay here. Pet me. Scratch me. LOVE ME!

Me:        Isn’t cleaning your bowls love?

Stella:    Maybe, but it doesn’t feel as good.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Bulldog Baths – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. May I state for the record that I personally hate baths? Of course, I may. I am the Queen. I may do anything I wish.

Me:        No, you may not.

Stella:    Pardon the interruption. Lady Human has once again inserted herself into my business.

Me:        I have an objection to make.

Stella:    Please go on. Be as objectionable as you wish.

Me:        I am not the one objectionable today. Today I am objecting to Snoopey and Wiggles and Miss Sweetie. They have been licking my feet and legs.

Stella:    Here, let me see what your legs and feet taste like and I will be able to tell you why.

Me:        Noooo!

Stella:    How do you expect me to help you when you won’t let me see what the attraction is? Maybe you taste like sirloin steak. If so, can you blame them?

Me:        Sirloin steak? None of you has ever tasted sirloin steak.

Stella:    And why is that, Lady Human? Hmmmm?

Me:        Bottom line, I am not a lollipop. I don’t need to be licked like one.

Stella:    They were giving you a bulldog bath. That’s all. Probably trying to help you out with your weird and busy day.

Me:        I could use help in other ways. Besides, now that they have given me a tongue bath, I have to take another bath.

Stella:    How insulting! And after all the effort they went to. Are you saying that their tongues are dirty?

Me:        Yes. I am stating that categorically.

Stella:    Fine. Now hear this, Bulldogs! Stop licking on Lady Human. She does not appreciate it. Why? I don’t know. But she is now on her own when it comes to baths.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Stella’s Blog – An Open Letter to My Sister, Snoopey

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

This is an open letter to my sister, Snoopey McLoud BarkyFace:

Dear Snoopey:

Shut up!!!

You are so tense. Every noise, every hint of a noise, every time one of the humans comes or goes, up you jump and loudly you bark. Now you have me jumping up whenever you jump up. Declare an end to the stupid! I have only had two 10-hour naps today and I am sleep deprived. All thanks to you.

The humans are under pressure because of bad things that happened within miles, but not in our backyard. They are sad and that’s when they need us the most. If you are tense because they are, get over it. Jumping up to bark every few minutes won’t help anybody and, more importantly, it ticks me off!

It is late. Listen to me. I am your sister and I love you. Well, maybe, most of the time. Don’t get any ideas of taking advantage. No treat sharing or toy sharing, so don’t even ask. Sharing is for puppies and sister love extends only so far.

GO TO SLEEP! PLEASE! You will feel better in the morning. If not, we can find an island where you can go on a nice vacation and sunbathe on the warm sand. Lady Human tells me that such places exist. I don’t know that they are dog islands though, so you will probably have to get something called a “passport”.

Good Night, Snoopey! Sweet dreams. Everything will be all right.

Love (sort of),

Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges (and your sister)


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:





Did I mention food?

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

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




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.



Heart Enlargement

How large is my heart? Not the blood pump in my chest but the essence of me. For quite a while my life has been played out on a very small stage and that has been pointed out to me by my reactions to the arrival of the bulldogs. I had no room within me to accept even one of them when Stella came. I looked at her and judged her too big, too smelly, too ugly. I knew nothing about bulldogs or their personalities, their affectionate nature, their silliness, their gift for making me laugh. And sigh. She was too big for my small heart.

No one wants to think of themselves as too small. We are not tight-fisted or stingy. No, we are thrifty, frugal, practical, and good stewards. We are not hard hearted. We are reserved, stoic, perhaps dispassionate, but that can be good, right? We use all manner of euphemisms for ourselves and speak the truth only about others.

What if God looked on us the way we look at others? What if He valued us only as much as we value those around us? (Uh-oh. That’s a scary thought.) Thankfully, He is kinder than that. I needed to enlarge my capacity to love and I believe He is using these dogs for a reason – there is nothing they can do for me in this big, cold, practical world. They can’t buy me a car or give me a job or make my breakfast or clip my toenails. They can only be what they are – dogs. I take care of them and they can’t pay me back. Not with money or services or stuff anyway. No quid pro quo. They give only what they can.

Bit by bit, dog by dog, my heart has been expanding.

In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus said that we should specifically invite people to our banquets who cannot repay us. There is no loss to us in that bargain.

How much room do I have in my heart for all these dogs or anyone or anything else? I asked that question before the birth of my second child. How large is my heart? Do I have room to accept one more? A neighbor told me the truth. God enlarges your heart.

“…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 KJV


©2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved


Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine

Bulldogs claim things. Bulldogs claim people. They do this in various ways, but most often by placing their front paws, either one or both, on the person they are claiming. They make a demand, insisting on continued attention, more attention. Don’t get up. Don’t walk away. Those dishes can wait. Everything else can wait. I am here. You are mine.

 It sounds a little like a sweet Valentine’s Day card. It’s encouraging. They love me so much that they pound me heavily with their straight, stout legs. When they keep hitting me, they bruise my legs and arms.

These dogs were not trained as puppies to keep their paws off people. That was a human failure. Since they are bulldogs, their legs are spring-loaded, perpetual motion machines.

Here is our typical conversation:

(Insane barking for no reason at all.)

“Calm down!”

(All barking ceases while they stare at the nutty woman standing in the middle of the room.)

Snoopey walks up and paws at my feet, leaving a highlighted mark on my bare foot.

I give her a touch. “No!”

Paw springs up.


Paw springs up.


Other paw springs up.


First paw springs up again.

And so on and so on and so forth. “No” has become the most ubiquitous word in our household.

I can’t let them think that I am doing anything just because they are demanding it. Then all they will have to do is throw a fit to get their way, sort of like young children.  I am in charge (whether or not I really want to be).

I start on one of my guilt trips – if I were a better guardian, a better steward of these animals, I wouldn’t be having these bad behaviors. But God reminds me that His humans have not consistently obeyed Him either, AND HE IS GOD. And He reminds me of something else.

If it hurts another, it’s not love. If it’s selfish, it’s not love.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”  Roman 13:10 KJV


Copyright H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved