The Stealth Spa – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Relaxing, chilling, getting a massage on Lady Human’s bed, calm and collected. I could do this all day every day. Hey! What was that?

Me:        What?

Stella:    No, I said what. Never mind. This is my favorite time of day, unless, of course, it is bedtime when I get almost all the back scratching I want. Almost. Hey, what was that?

Me:        What?

Stella:    Why do you keep asking the same question I am? Are you playing a weird game?

Me:        Umm…

Stella:    Wait! Why are you scratching my belly with just one hand? Where is your other hand? My care and maintenance require two hands. What are you hiding there?

Me:        Nothing important.

Stella:    Aha! I see it. Those nasty nail clippers! Lady Human, for shame! You lied to a dog.

Me:        When did I lie?

Stella:    Hiding toenail clippers during a spa session is a physical lie.  You don’t tell it with your tongue. You tell it with your sneaky, sneaky hand.

Me:        You are always so laid back during massage time, I just thought I would take advantage of the calm and do a little trimming.

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame again! Taking advantage of a bulldog’s good nature and love of belly scratching!

Me:        Why can’t I see some of that bulldog good nature when I need to trim your nails?

Stella:    After the first clip or two, it’s all used up.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Hey! Let Go of My Paw! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I like my freedom. Everybody should. Which is why…hey, give it back!

Me:        Just a second.

Stella:    No, it’s already been a second. I know enough about human time to know that.

Me:        Hold on.

Stella:    Hold on to what? My paw? Let it go.

Me:        I will.

Stella:    Promises, promises. Give it back.

Me:        I have to do this.

Stella:    No, you don’t. My paw is MY paw. You keep pulling this trick. You grab one of my poor old paws and you slip out that clipper device like I don’t know what it is, and you start to snip, snip, snip.

Me:        I have to hurry to get your nails clipped. You start to pull away immediately.

Stella:    Well, how would you feel if somebody grabbed one of your paws? Would you just let them pull on it and clip away at your nails?

Me:        I kind of wish somebody would.

Stella:    Okay, hand over that mean-looking thing in your hand and I’ll go to town.

Me:        Go to town? You know that saying?

Stella:    Sure, I do. “Go to town” means “do something stupid as fast as you can”. It’s a human thing.




Copyright 2018 H J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Beware the Cat’s Paws! – Conversations with Stella

To all puppies in the world: I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello!

Today I am here to warn you in case your mothers and your negligent humans have failed to do so.

Me:        Negligent humans?

Stella:    You know what I am talking about. Humans and their little secrets. Secrets like cat’s paws!

Me:        What? What secret? Cats have paws. Surprise! Surprise!

Stella:    And what do those paws have, Lady Human? Tell the puppies of the world what those paws hide! CLAWS! Real, live CLAWS!


Me:        Well, yeah. I guess that’s true, but…

Stella:    But nothing! Understand this, puppies! That soft padded little paw that is quietly walking your way looks like a furry cotton ball, all sweetness, but BOING! Out pop the claws. You never see them until it is too late.

Me:        Now, Stella, when has it ever been too late for you…oh, I forgot.

Stella:    You forgot, but I? Never!

Me:        You met those exposed claws because you were chasing Moon the Cat. You could have left well enough alone.

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!

Me:        The Bible tells us that there are things to remember and things to forget. I think it is time that you forget when Moon defended herself with her nails. And she could have done a whole lot worse to you than a few pinpricks on the muzzle. She showed you mercy.

Stella:    Still my warning goes out to the world of puppies! Beware the paws with hidden claws!

Me:        What about your paws – your big, heavy, slapping paws?

Stella:    My nails aren’t hidden. They are out in the open for all to see. Besides, my paw taps are love pats. You love me, don’t you?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Love me, love my paws.

Me:        And the cat?

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Doggy Salon – Who Wants a Manicure?

While attending a meeting recently, during a lull in the action, I paid attention to the fingernails of the women sitting near me. Not because fingernail dress-up is a particular interest of mine, but because I realized after I arrived that my own fingernails were carrying a dump truck load of bulldog dirt that I had failed to clean before I left the house. I tucked my fingertips under and glanced around the circle, hoping that someone else had been gardening or tending their own bulldog pack that day and had the same problem. If another woman was there with dirty nails, it would make me feel less special.

One lady had an impeccable enamel job that complemented her outfit; two others wore simple, single color polish, and the lady to my left had short, well-trimmed nails sans polish but also sans dirt. I continued to keep my fingernails out of sight for the rest of the meeting.

When I got home, I cleaned my nails and considered the state of everyone else’s. Three bulldogs needed a trim and that is a purely catch-as-catch-can situation. They despise having their nails fooled with. If I am alone, I try to get it done in Doggy Study Hall because that is a relaxed, one on one environment, but the second that the nail trimmers appear – oh, no.

As a child, I had poodles – Meme (pronounced Mee-mee) and Jolee. They not only tolerated having their nails done, they seemed to enjoy it. We even painted their nails bright colors and they never tried to lick or chew the polish off. They sat patiently while I brushed on the garish color I had chosen. Maybe they understood that I was trying to make them look nice, human style.

But the bulldogs? Tiger and Wiggles pull their feet out of my hands and run. It’s a power play, pure and simple. Stella is more acrobatic in her attempts to avoid nail trimming. She twists, she flips, she flops, she rolls over on her back, jumps up, runs in a circle, flops back down, rolls over again.

The Nails Trimmed Scorecard at the end of one session:

Tiger: 1

Wiggles: 0 (I may have to come up with a clever bribe.)

Stella: 1

At this rate, we will be on a 18-day cycle – one nail trimmed per dog, per day.

As for Snoopey, like the ladies at the meeting, her nails were short and clean. That’s quite a feat for someone who likes to run through mud and doesn’t care if she steps in “it”.

So what is my lesson in this? “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4 KJV

Okay. I’ll try again.


©2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.