Keep Your Nose to Yourself – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As reigning queen, you would think that others would show respect for my quiet times, especially that greatest of all bulldog practices, the nap. But oh no! I am snoozing peaceably, my dreams of chasing squirrels swirling in my sleepy head, and what to my wondering face should appear but Doodlebug’s big wet mug, sniffing and snuffling, and how can anybody sleep with that going on? LEAVE ME ALONE!

Me:        You know that Doodlebug loves you. He is always checking on you to make sure you’re okay when you’re sleeping. It’s what happened yesterday that bothered me.

Stella:    Nothing happened yesterday. I did have the most wonderful Flying Stella dream and then, all of a sudden, you woke me up by scratching on my neck. So rude!

Me:        Because Doodlebug passed you on his way out the door, sniffed your face, went to the door, and then ran back to sniff you again. Like something was wrong. After I got him out the door, I went to check on you. You had not batted an eye. I touched the side of your face. You were cool. Still you didn’t move at all. So, I started scratching your neck and you jumped awake. Thank the LORD! Why didn’t you wake up?

Stella:    BECAUSE I WAS SLEEPING! How would you like it if a huge, wet, slobbery, drooly mouth greeted you in your bed?

Me:        It happens to me routinely.

Stella:    Everyone should keep their noses to themselves. Even you with your dry human nose, Lady Human.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



What Is That Terrible Stink? – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen Illustrious and Noble of the Olde English Bulldogges. Allow me to repeat that – QUEEN! As queen, I should not have anything assault my nose. Ever.

Me:        What is the problem?

Stella:    There is a terrible stink.

Me:        Well, you know…bulldogs. Hellooo!

Stella:    I already said hello to everyone. And what does stink have to do with bulldogs?

Me:        Is that a real question, Stella?

Stella:    This stink hit me in the face when I came into your room.

Me:        I don’t smell anything peculiar.

Stella:    Let me be brutally honest. The stink is coming from you, Lady Human.

Me:        What? I showered. I put on clean clothes.

Stella:    It is your skin.

Me:        I rubbed on some essential oils. That’s all. No perfume.

Stella:    220 million dog nose receptors can’t be wrong.

Me:        220 million, huh. That’s a lot.

Stella:    I don’t know what 220 million means, but I know it is more than four. Four is the number of one paw’s worth of toes. How powerful are human noses?

Me:        Hmmm…5 million.

Stella:    Don’t be embarrassed about your weak nose, Lady Human. Be embarrassed about stinking so badly.

Me:        Essential oils don’t stink. They may be overpowering to you, but not to humans.

Stella:    Please warn me before you use them again.

Me:        I will if you will forewarn me about bulldog gas leaks.

Stella:    I can make no promises. Our gas leaks surprise even me most of the time.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Can You Smell That?

Stella and I visited The Bomb Fried Pie trailer when it was at RaRa’s Closet in Dallas on Saturday.  They serve a wonderful hot dog wrapped in crispy fried dough with a side of honey mustard. This treat is called a “Bomb Dog” and I make a special point to go and get one when I can. Stella hauled me toward the trailer as though I was not going to be able to make it on my own and besides I was walking too slowly. She forgets that I have two legs to her four.


They treated Stella to a piece of fried bologna and made her day. (I parceled it out to her so she would not eat it all in one swipe though that would have suited her just fine.)

Stella has been to The Bomb Fried Pie trailer before so that may explain her excitement when she jumped out of the car. Maybe she remembered the scent. Bulldogs do not hold a great reputation for nose skills compared to most dog breeds. Their short muzzles impact their breathing and they don’t usually follow their noses as well as others do. Our bulldogs can figure their way around with their noses though and I have been testing Stella on her ability to pick odd smells when we are camping or out and about.

I “let” her lead me back to the car. When she is in bulldog pulling mode, I don’t have much choice. Our leash training has not gone that well. But I did allow her to choose among the parked cars to see if she could find ours by scent. She’s done it before. This time she got close, within a few feet. All she had to do was turn around.

We loaded up, snacked on the Bomb Dog and honey mustard and fried bologna, and I drove to the other side of the building. We walked back to the trailer and RaRa’s and, after a couple of minutes, Stella turned her face in the direction we had come. She couldn’t see our car from where we were, but she appeared to be following her nose again, yep, straight to our vehicle.

There had to be a lot of different scents competing for Stella’s olfactory attention. The delicious odors coming from the fried pies and meats, people scents, dog scents from the other canine visitors, multiple vehicles. But when she focused her nose, Stella didn’t really have any trouble finding out which car was ours. She read her situation pretty well.

So what have I learned from this? Use the talents I have and focus. Being a human, my nose perception is pretty weak, but I’ve been given other gifts. Using them the right way will help me know where I am and where I am going.

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Proverbs 4:25


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.