New Neighbors – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am special. I have a unique place right in front of the Picture Box where I can watch all the silly things the humans watch. I am the center of attention. I can see everything that goes on while I am comfortably laying in my bed. I have my toys, my food, my water, my ceiling fan…

Me:        Actually, that ceiling fan is for everyone.

Stella:    So you say. Something horrible happened today.

Me:        Nothing horrible happened. There was a change, but nothing horrible.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I hate change.

Me:        Most people do, too.

Stella:    Go ahead, Lady Human. Tell the other humans what you did today.

Me:        I moved Wiggles’ and Miss Sweetie’s beds next to yours.

Stella:    Aaaaggghh! You destroyed my special place!

Me:        How? Their beds were not that far away, always within eye shot. I just moved them away from the air conditioner. They were right under it and their shedding and dander were causing a problem with the unit, putting more pressure on it. The outside temperature was 100 degrees today. It is more important that the air conditioner keeps running efficiently for everyone’s sake. So moving them by you will help the AC and everyone benefits.

Stella:    Everyone except me!

Me:        Everyone including you. Tell me, do you enjoy the cooler air that the AC brings?

Stella:    The cold air box? Yeah, sure. It’s great!

Me:        Would you want it to work so hard that it breaks?

Stella:    NO! Don’t let that happen!

Me:        By God’s grace, it won’t. But we need to be sensible. The coils have to work harder if bulldog dander covers them. With Wiggles and Miss Sweetie sleeping over by you, that’s less stress on the machine. Good for everyone, including good ole Stella.

Stella:    Ohhh! I do like the cold air box.

Me:        And you can still watch the Picture Box. They are not in the way. They may even start watching it with you.

Stella:    I don’t like new neighbors. You tell them that they had better behave themselves.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








What Good Are Neighbors? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human spent too much time outside, visiting with a neighbor today. At least that is what she claims. I think that she sneaked off again to see more short scratching sticks that she calls ‘pens’ at some weird place where humans gather once a year to stare at such things.

Me:        No, the pen show is over until next year. I was visiting with a neighbor who is from Puerto Rico and we talked about how his family is doing after Hurricane Irma. Thank the LORD, they are fine.

Stella:    A likely story. Still it made me ask the question, ‘What good are neighbors?’

Me:        Neighbors can be great. They help out in a pinch and give us an opportunity to help them. It’s nice to have people close by physically who are interested in our homes. They have great recipes to share…

Stella:    Blah, blah, blah. Here is my opinion of neighbors: I have a neighbor. Her name is Snoopey. She has her bed crate right next to mine. Does that do me any good? NO! She does not help me at all. Mainly, she mouths off and complains and, since she is so close, I have to listen to her nonsense. Good neighbor? NOT!

Me:        But it’s still nice to have someone nearby…

Stella:    No, it isn’t. Who came up with that idea? Speaking of neighbors, how nice is it when the humans go and talk to their neighbors about that ugliest of all human hobbies called ‘Politics’ and then come back into the house all hot and bothered because somebody said something and somebody else said something else and blah, blah, blah? Nonsense. Stay inside the house. Don’t talk to anyone. Why do you need to talk to anyone but bulldogs? Bulldogs do not have politics.

Me:        Uh, excuse me, but bulldogs are the most opinionated animals that I know.

Stella:    Opinionated yes, but we don’t have stupid elections to prove our points. If we don’t like something, we just collapse on the ground until we get our way or until we forget what it was we wanted. Easy. Humans make things so complicated.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Conversations with Stella – Musical Crates

Hello, I am Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, and I am concerned….

Me:        I usually make the introductions, Stella.

Stella:   I am taking that over today because I am concerned that the humans have lost their minds.

Me:        I beg your pardon?

Stella:   Yes, you should. What is going on? I’ll tell you what is going on.

Me:        Then why ask?

Stella:   Craziness is going on. Old-fashioned human craziness. Perturbation has taken me over.

Me:        Where did you hear the word “perturbation”?

Stella:   From you.

Me:        I don’t think so. It’s not that I mind the word. I just wonder where you learned it.

Stella:   The dogs were passing it around at the vet’s office and the puppies brought it home the other week. You like long words. I figured that they heard it from you while you were showing off in front of the vet lady.

Me:        Stella, I don’t show off in front of the vet. What would I show off? My ignorance? And why would I use a word like “perturbation” there?

Stella:   Because we are bulldogs and we are perturbing?

Me:        Oh, all right then, why has perturbation taken you over? What is the human craziness?

Stella:   You switched Snoopey’s and Tiger’s crates without asking.

Me:        Yes, Tiger’s crate is now by you where Snoopey’s used to be and Snoopey’s crate is where Tiger’s used to be. We don’t need to ask them. We are the humans, remember?

Stella:   I don’t care that you didn’t ask them. I care that you didn’t ask me. How would you like to get a new neighbor all of a sudden and no one asked you first?

Me:        New neighbors show up next to humans all the time and no one asks first. We are going to have a new neighbor soon and nobody asked us.

Stella:   Who is this new neighbor of ours?

Me:        I don’t know yet. They just bought the place. They haven’t moved in.

Stella:   I think I don’t like that either. Are they dog people or…no! Are they cat people? No! No more cats. How could you let this happen?

Me:        I don’t know if they are cat people. I don’t know anything about them. Back to this crate issue. We placed Tiger by you in the hope that you and she would start getting along better if you became crate neighbors for a while.

Stella:   Why me? Tiger is always challenging Snoopey. Make them be crate neighbors.

Me:        We may do that.

Stella:   Why do you humans change things when they were going so well?

Me:        A little change every once in a while is okay. Why don’t you just tell Tiger, “Howdy, Neighbor!” and let it be?

Stella:   I am used to Snoopey.

Me:        Snoopey is still here. And her crate is only across the room.

Stella:   I am still filled with perturbation.

Me:        As you said, you are a bulldog and pretty much always perturbed. But I understand. It takes effort to be a good neighbor to a new neighbor.

Stella:   Pooh! She had better not pollute my airspace.

Me:        If she does, just bury your nose in your bed until it passes.

 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  (Mark 12:31 KJV)


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




The Secret Treaties of Dogs and Cats

I walked up on Tiger the Olde English Bulldogge and Moon the Siamese-mix Cat having a eyeball-to-eyeball negotiation in complete silence. A few seconds later, Tiger ran over to where Snoopey was napping in her crate, minding her own business, and picked a fight.

It got loud and it got tense, but at least they couldn’t reach each other. Of course, Stella had to put her two cents into the jukebox, and the noise grew louder…I think. By then, I couldn’t hear my own thoughts so maybe I just imagined that.

I think Moon made a truce with Tiger, a peace treaty of the dog/cat sort.

I, Tiger, agree that I will not chase Moon the Cat. I further agree that I will stir up trouble with the bulldog known as Snoopey instead of siccing the bulldog known as Stella on Moon the Cat.

Game changer. A new alliance has entered the Bulldoggy Nation. What else did that eye-to-eye conversation between Tiger and Moon and the subsequent events signify?

The situation between Tiger and Snoopey had relaxed. Days had been calmer. Nights had been quieter. Not perfect, just better. But Tiger remains an adolescent – a lot of excitement, little wisdom.


I have always suspected that Tiger and Moon are secretly in league with each other. In fact, I believe they are friends. Too many times have I opened the den door in the middle of the night to find Moon sitting right by an alert but tranquil Tiger. On top of that, Tiger NEVER chases Moon. She always gets someone else to do it, usually Stella because Stella is gullible. Wiggles and Snoopey just ignore Tiger’s grumbling and pointing.

So what was Moon’s part of the bargain?

I, the feline known as Moon the Cat (yuck – that was the best the humans could do?) agree to nothing. I will merely be myself. I will not to chase bulldogs because that is not what I do.

So what understanding do I gain from watching these animals live as imperfect neighbors?

That traditional enmities are not always graven in stone? Maybe.

Never trust a cat? The jury is still out on that one.

That cats are better negotiators than dogs? After all, Tiger and Snoopey have not                     been able to work out their differences.

That “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” is a commandment, not just a good idea. (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18 KJV). Yes. Amen.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.