Big Game Hunting – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Why are you whispering?

Stella:    SHHHHH! Sorry, that was loud. Shhhhh! Quiet!

Me:        Why are we whispering then?

Stella:    I am big game hunting. Hunters must be silent and stealthy.

Me:        Don’t tell me. Let me guess. Squirrels?

Stella:    Phhhffft. I said BIG game hunting. Squirrels? Big game? Please.

Me:        Are you hunting rats?

Stella:    What part of ‘big’ don’t you understand, Lady Human?

Me:        I’ve seen some good-sized rodents in my time.

Stella:    Bulldog sized?

Me:        Honestly, no. So, are you hunting a raccoon?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        A possum?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Please say that you are not hunting a skunk.

Stella:    Lady Human, really. Do we ever have raccoons, possums, or skunks in the house?

Me:        No. Praise the LORD!

Stella:    What is the only other non-bulldog animal in the house that I could be hunting?

Me:        My parakeet, Pearl? No, surely not sweet little Pearl.

Stella:    What? A bird? No! Yuck! I said BIG GAME! I am hunting Moon the Cat. Shhhhh!

Me:        Oh, you are hunting the cat. I see…

Stella:    Shhhhh! I know where she is hiding.

Me:        Where?

Stella:    There, under the couch.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    What do you mean? She is right there. I can smell her.

Me:        Yeah, she moved on from that spot about 30 minutes ago.

Stella:    Then what is that shadow? Aaaaggghh! Is it a giant insect that smells like a cat?

Me:        I think you are looking at a couch leg.

Stella:    It’s not the cat?

Me:        No, sorry.

Stella:    How am I ever going to be a big game hunter if I can’t track a simple cat?

Me:        For one thing, Moon is not what I would call ‘big game’.


Stella:    She is the biggest animal here.

Me:        She weighs about 25 pounds. You weigh 50 pounds. Do the math.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I don’t like math.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Where Are The Stars? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but that makes no difference to the sky. One minute it’s dark. The next minute it lights up with a blue flash. Then it goes dark again.

Me:        Do you feel that?

Stella:    The wind is rising. It feels good. Where are the stars?

Me:        Hidden by clouds. It’ll be almost 20 degrees cooler by morning.

Stella:    Does the blue flashing light make the air colder?

Me:        No.

Stella:    What is the light?

Me:        We call it ‘lightning’. It is electricity.

Stella:    Did the Great Creator make it?

Me:        Yes, I believe so. When I see it, it makes me think of Him.

Stella:    It scares me a little.

Me:        Me, too. God is great. He can be scary, too. But He is love.

Stella:    Is electricity dangerous?

Me:        Sure.

Stella:    Then why are we standing out here in it?

Me:        It’s not here quite yet. Look at the chickens. They know. They’re getting their last feed in before the storm hits.

Stella:    They aren’t usually out this far after dark.

Me:        They sense that they may have to stay in their chicken house for a while. This storm is supposed to pass by in a few hours.

Stella:    Will we be all right?

Me:        By God’s good grace and mercy, yes.

Stella:    How can you be sure?

Me:        Well, He and I have had a few adventures together. I’ve never found Him to be absent or lacking. I’ll have to tell you sometime about the Supercell storm my daughter and I outran 2 years ago. He was with us that day.

Stella:    What if He has gone on vacation, the way the humans do?

Me:        He never slumbers or sleeps. And He doesn’t go on vacation. He is always God.

Stella:    Even now, with the sky all lit up like blue fire?

Me:        Especially now. But He does expect us to use the sense He gave us, so let’s go on inside. Do you feel that? The rain is starting.

Stella:    It feels like a shower except colder.

Me:        Yes. Except colder.

Stella:    Let’s go in now! Nobody likes cold showers!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Horrifying Inventions of Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am Illustrious and Noble. They are not.

Snoopey: I heard that!

Tiger:     So did I!

Me:        If I were you, Stella, I’d go light on the comparisons.

Stella:    I am telling the truth and nothing but the truth.

Me:        Well, truth and opinion can get twisted up and truth can sting so…

Stella:    AAAAGGHHH! Don’t look! It’s back!

Me:        What? Where?

Stella:    The Picture Box! Look! No, don’t look!

Me:        It’s just in menu mode for recordings. A bunch of lines – blue, black, and white. Some words. No zombies.

Stella:    It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Take it away!

Me:        Okay, click and click. There! It’s gone. But why does it scare you? It is literally only lines and words.

Stella:    Lines like bars. And words! I can’t read, Lady Human! Are the words evil? What do the words say?

Me:        You don’t have to be afraid. The words aren’t evil. They are listings for shows. They won’t hurt you and the lines are not real bars. They are images on a screen.

Stella:    Horrible. Horrible. Why do humans make horrible things?

Me:        I would have thought that zombies would be scarier.

Stella:    At least zombies look like ugly, hideous humans. Humans I am used to, even ugly ones.

Me:        I still don’t understand why lines and words on a screen cause you to cringe.

Stella:    Can you explain your fears? Why do some things frighten you but are of no matter to others?

Me:        What can I do to help?

Stella:    Simple. Turn the frickin’ Picture Box off.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Open Your Ears – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now hear this!

Me:        Okay…I am listening…Now hear what?

Stella:    I don’t know. Do you hear anything?

Me:        I hear you. I hear Tiger snoring. I hear the air conditioner running – I wish I didn’t. It is only early spring. I hear Moon the Cat purring. I hear Snoopey whining because Moon is talking to her. Don’t you hear all of that?

Stella:    Yes. But…

Me:        Do you need your ears cleaned out again?

Stella:    NOOOO! NO! NO! NO! I am fine. I can hear everything. Lalalalala! You see. I heard that!

Me:        Oh, come on, Stella. It’s not that big a deal. I have to clean my ears. Everybody has to every once in a while.

Stella:    My ears are fine. See how cute they are, all wrinkled and tucked in. No ear issues here.

Me:        Look, I only have to wipe them out with this soft cloth and…

Stella:    Aaaachhh! Aaaaggghh! Aaaaahhhh. Awwwww. Okay. Well, that’s better. Mmmmm.

Me:        See, you make a big deal out of nothing.

Stella:    My ears are a big deal.

Me:        You should take care of them then.

Stella:    No, YOU should take care of them then.

Me:        Hey, I am trying to, but I am getting serious resistance.

Stella:    Resistance from whom?

Me:        Stella! From you!

Stella:    What? That was not resistance. That was me being bulldoggy. When are you going to accept that I am a bulldog and I will act like a bulldog all the time? Let me be me.

Me:        Okay. And let me be me.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Let me clean your ears without a fight.

Stella:    Nope. Not possible. That would be wrong, plain wrong.

Me:        even if I talk like this

Stella:    What? What are you saying? I can’t hear…oh, clever. Whispering. Trying to make me think my ears are clogged.

Me:        Keep your ears open, Stella. We all need to hear what is going on.

Stella:    Are you going to clean my nose out next?

Me:        If you need me to…

Stella:    NOOOO! Nose is fine!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Bulldog Mediation – Snoopey & Tiger – Conversations with the Pack

I am Stella, Illustrious and Noble, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and therefore, IN CHARGE!

Snoopey: As pack leader, I beg to differ.

Me:        As the only human present, so do I.

Stella:    Fine! Be that way! I’m still queen. So there!

Me:        Is this about the spat this morning?

Stella:    If by “spat” you mean the barking, growling, snapping conversation between Snoopey and Tiger, yes.

Me:        That started when they started eyeballing each other from across the room.

Tiger:     It started the day Snoopey was born.

Snoopey:  It started the day Tiger came to live with us.

Me:        It started when you two disobeyed my instructions. No eyeballing each other. Keep your eyes to yourselves.

Snoopey:  You have been putting drops in Tiger’s eye.

Me:        Yes.

Snoopey:  I want you to put drops in my eye.

Me:        No.

Snoopey:  Not fair. I am the pack leader. I should get to have drops in my eye.

Me:        The vet gave those drops to us for Tiger’s scratched eye. You do not have a scratched eye, therefore, no drops for you. It is not a gift or a privilege. Tiger doesn’t even like it.

Tiger:     No, except that I get them and she doesn’t.

Miss Sweetie:    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie:    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Me:        Hold it! Quiet down!

Miss Sweetie:    fight, fight, fight

Stella:   That’s not what she meant, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    But I like a good fight.

Stella:    UHHHH, children these days!

Tiger:     Believe me, Sweetie, no fight is good and you would not like to see a real one.

Miss Sweetie:    But what were you and Aunt Snoopey doing then?

Tiger:     We were…disagreeing…loudly…while showing each other how white our teeth are.

Snoopey:  Yes, Sweetie, that was it. And always remember that it’s IMPOLITE TO STARE.

Stella:    And ONLY the humans have control over what the vets give us and that includes eye drops! Agreed?

Snoopey:  I concede the point…

Stella:    Good.

Snoopey:  …this time.

Stella:    Oh, of course, because next time you think that you will have control over the vets and the humans. Wrong. Mediation closed. Ruling: Keep your eyeballs out of other people’s business.

Me:        A fair ruling, Your Majesty. One we should all observe. God save Queen Stella! Wait. Where’s Wiggles?

Wiggles:  Here. AHHHH! What a wonderful nap! Hasn’t this been a great day?

Miss Sweetie:    So, there’s not going to be a fight?

Stella:    Go to bed, Sweetie. Good night.

Miss Sweetie:    Okay, Aunt Stella. Good night. It’s not a very exciting night though.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Doggy Toilet Building – Scary Smart Part 2 – Sweetie the Wonder Dog – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now I have seen everything. Humans, bulldogs are smart. Stubborn but smart. Some people think that our stubbornness means that we do not understand what we are being asked to do. Not so. We may obey, but we do not comply.

Today I have seen something that rivals…well, you tell the story, Lady Human.

Me:        You saw it, too.

Stella:    Yes, but I was still in extended bulldog wake up mode, so I missed the first part.

Me:        Okay. This morning, everyone had been fed and I normally take Miss Sweetie outside first by herself after breakfast because she gets to playing and forgets to do…you know, her business.

Stella:    Let’s be clear. Her “business” is pooping and peeing. Why don’t humans just say what they mean?

Me:        When I was growing up, bathroom matters were called “business” and everyone knew what that meant.

Stella:    Pooping and peeing. See, I said it. Please go on.

Me:        I always try to get Miss Sweetie out within a minute or two of her finishing breakfast because she is not good at waiting to do her business.

Stella:    Who is? Please continue.

Me:        I was washing some dishes at the sink and I heard her start to move her metal food dish around, indicating that she had finished her food. She steps in it and sometimes sits in it, even though she doesn’t fit and, anyway, I told her I would be with her in a minute. A minute! And to please wait just a minute! And then, there was this sound of water hitting metal and I knew it wasn’t from the sink because I had turned the faucet off and I’m like, “Is there a weird leak somewhere?”

Stella:    And there was! Tell it! Tell it! Tell it!

Me:        I looked over at Miss Sweetie and there she was, sitting beside her food and water bowls, only the empty food bowl was sitting at a 45 degree angle on top of her water bowl and…I can hardly say it…


Stella:    Go ahead! This is the best part.

Me:        And pee was pooled in the bottom of it. She had set up her food bowl as a toilet and she had peed in it because she did not want to wait another minute to go out. Yuck!

Stella:    And?

Me:        And she had perfect aim and she did not spill a drop.

Stella:    I feel like cheering. Let’s hear it for Miss Sweetie, Bulldog Bathroom Champion! How do the humans say it? Oh, yes, hip-hip-hoo…

Me:        Yuck!

Stella:    No, I don’t think that is how it goes. No human cheer ends with the word, “Yuck”.

Me:        Do you know how much hot water and soap I had to use on those bowls before I could even think of using them for her food and water again?

Stella:    No, but I am sure that Miss Sweetie did not give it a second thought. And I am sure that you won’t be asking her to wait just one more minute before her morning bathroom run again.

Me:        Not even half a minute.

Stella:    You realize that Miss Sweetie can’t tell time. A minute to her could be an hour, a week, a month, a year for all she knows. Miss Sweetie believes in basics. If you need to go the bathroom, go to the bathroom. That’s all. She was doing you a favor by setting up her bowl to catch it. She knew how busy you were.

I hope you got a picture of it. You can put it on that little box that you and all the other humans are always staring at.

Me:        I don’t post pictures of pee. For any reason. I did show Tall Man just so I had a witness and he wouldn’t think that I was making it up.

Stella:    I think Miss Sweetie should consider a change in career from bulldog to whoever those humans are who take care of putting together human toilets.

Me:        Plumbers?

Stella:    No, that’s not it.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s Cooking? More Importantly, Is It for Me? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and food is cooking in the kitchen. It has been flavoring the air for hours and hours. I can see steam coming out of the red pot. I know it holds something wonderful.

So, Lady Human, where is mine?

Me:        Oh, that’s Tall Man’s special stew. He makes it up so that he always has something ready to eat when he gets home from work. He is trying to eat healthier.

Stella:    I am trying to eat healthier so…

Me:        No, that is for Tall Man. You have your healthy food already.

Stella:    It smells so good. What is it?

Me:        Well, he puts some water in the crock pot and then adds about 1 pound of beef, some small sweet potatoes cut up, spinach, a small onion cut up, and two handfuls of kale, and he lets it cook on a low setting, then it’s ready when he gets home.

Stella:    Beef – check. I’ve had that. Sweet potatoes cook into a tasty treat. I’ve had that. Spinach? I don’t know. Onions?

Me:        No. No. No. Not good for dogs.

Stella:    Kale? What is that?

Me:        It’s a green leafy vegetable like spinach is.

Stella:    You mean like a bush in the front yard.

Me:        Sort of, but not quite.

Stella:    Not interested. Okay, I will take the beef and the sweet potatoes. You can keep the rest.

Me:        No deal. Tall Man would be very disappointed to come home and find his dinner half eaten.

Stella:    He can make more.

Me:        Nope. Not today. He used up his ingredients in this batch.

Stella:    That was poor planning on his part.

Me:        It’s his food, Stella, not yours, not even mine.

Stella:    How dare he make something smell so good that is healthy! Has he no respect? Doesn’t he know we are bulldogs?


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Dining in Style – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Yay you! I have a question.

Stella:    We bulldogs are fascinating creatures. There is always a question to ask about us.

Me:        Snoopey and Tiger would rather eat food off the floor than food out of their bowls. Why?

Stella:    Why not?


Me:        Why not? Because food on the floor can have dirt or dog hair in it. Food on the floor can be stale, something dropped and missed a day or two ago. Food on the floor can have been stepped on by humans or dogs or, worse, by a cat.

Stella:    Ewww! I hadn’t thought of that! Cat feet!

Me:        Is that all? Cat feet? What about dirt and hair and staleness and…

Stella:    I think you have forgotten the main point, Lady Human.

Me:        Eating off the floor is the main point.

Stella:    Nope. Being a dog, and more specifically, being a bulldog is the main point.

Me:        But even a bulldog should prefer fresh food in a bowl to old nasty food on the floor. AND if they can’t find food on the floor, they deliberately spill their food out of their bowls and proceed to eat the floor food. Why? I just want to understand.

Stella:    I don’t understand the question.

Me:        You never see humans spill their food on purpose and eat it off the floor.

Stella:    So, what’s the problem?

Me:        You don’t do it.

Stella:    No, I don’t, but I am the Queen. It wouldn’t do to have the bulldogs see me eating off the floor.

Me:        So why do Tiger and Snoopey do it?

Stella:    Personal preference. Don’t you humans believe in freedom?

Me:        But why just those two?

Stella:    Maybe eating off the floor feels more like the hunt to them. They don’t really have to find food, but it is more of a challenge than kibble in a bowl, more like the old, old game of survival.

Me:        And you don’t like that game.

Stella:    Lady Human, I am far too civilized to go back to the old ways. Just keep putting my food in a shiny silver bowl, thank you. The only time I hunt is when I don’t have to.



Copyright 2017 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.




Scent-seeing: Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Illustrious Olde English Bulldogges…no, that didn’t come out right. I am Illustrious. The bulldogs are…well, bulldogs which is pretty special but not necessarily Illustrious. Anyway, I am back to answer Lady Human’s latest silly question.

Me:        Silly? I beg your pardon!

Stella:    Oh, Lady Human, you don’t have to beg me. I pardon you anyway. What is your silly question?

Me:        Without agreeing that it is silly, I was wondering why Tiger spent so much time walking around the yard today. She’s been out there thousands of times. She surely knows every square inch of it by now. What else is there to see?

Stella:    There you go again, showing your human ignorance and prejudices. It’s not what there is to see; it’s what there is to smell. We read the world by scent the way you read the annoying little boxes you carry around in your hands. The smells change every moment. All it takes is a fresh breeze to blow a new odor across our path. Then our brains kick into motion and we become bulldog detectives like that Sherlock Bones.

Me:        Holmes.

Stella:    Isn’t that what I said?

Me:        Never mind.

Stella:    Humans don’t appreciate how much time it takes to sort out all the scents that penetrate our intelligent noses. Other dogs, for example, and the things they leave behind. It’s like reading what you humans call ‘the news’.

Squirrels and their nut collections. Selfish little pecan thieves! They make me so mad! Leave some for the rest of us!

Raccoons which, by the way, smell a lot like a human garbage can to me – interesting and appetizing. I sometimes understand why Wiggles is a trash diver. And then there are other times that I think, naw, yuck!

And, of course, there are the rats and mice and slugs and insects. Oh, those roaches you hate so much, guess what? They stink like garbage, too. I suppose you end up smelling like what you hang around with.

Me:        Thanks for letting me know. I do not engage in cockroach sniffing.

Stella:    I know, Lady Human. I am so sorry for you, you and your inadequate human nose. There are so many stinks that you will never enjoy. You’ll just have to take my word for that.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Life is So Unfair – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella. Hello!

Me:        What? No self-introduction as Queen and Illustrious and Noble and all that.

Stella:    And all that? No, not today. Today I am Stella and that includes all the above. Thank you and good night.

Me:        Wait. You haven’t said anything yet.

Stella:    Oh. Very well. I am a bulldog and life is unfair.

Me:        How so?

Stella:    For example, you ran off on an adventure with Tiger today and none of the rest of us was included. Hmph!

Me:        Tiger scratched her eye and got an infection. She went to the vet.

Stella:    Neeehhh! Wrong answer.

Me:        Pardon me?

Stella:    You are pardoned. You were gone too long for a regular vet visit.

Me:        We went to the bulldog specialist who is farther away and there was heavy traffic both ways.

Stella:    Bulldog specialist? Who is she? Is she the vet that I know?

Me:        No. You have never seen him.

Stella:    What? Am I not a bulldog? Do I not deserve a vet who specializes in bulldogs?

Me:        No. It’s not necessary for ordinary things like vaccinations and checkups.

Stella:    And what do you mean ‘him’? Don’t try to fool me, Lady Human. All vets are female.

Me:        No, just the ones you have seen.

Stella:    What? Nooo! More unfairness. Why is the world so wrong? I know what you did. You took Tiger out to a party and did not invite me.

Me:        No, silly! I took Tiger to the vet and it was no party. Ask Tiger for yourself.

Tiger:     Uhhh. It was no party. I never want to go again.

Me:        You see. No party.

Tiger:     There were all these other dogs, but they were not partying. It was a doctor’s office and it smelled funny.  One of the dogs walked up to me and stuck his nose right in my face. No sniffing  introduction. So rude! And I let him know it, too!

Me:        Yes, you did, Tiger, you were very direct in your disapproval.

Tiger:     He deserved it.

Me:        I am glad that you didn’t make actual contact.

Tiger:     I am going to take a long, long nap now. No party, Stella, no party.

Stella:    Still unfair. I didn’t get a car ride.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






My Special Rain Place – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen Illustrious and Noble, Queen of the Old English Bulldogges. QUEEN! As Queen, I should be able to do what I want when I want, but I find that the humans have other plans. Why?

Me:        Why what?

Stella:    Why can’t I pee where I want?

Me:        I think you pretty much do. Though you are good about not peeing inside the house or garage and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

Stella:    I am not talking about the house. I know that is not a bathroom spot – except for humans who are privileged, I suppose. Anyway, I am talking about the yard on rainy days.

Me:        Yes?

Stella:    I have a special rain spot.

Me:        I know and I have never understood why.

Stella:    Why? Why? Wait a second. Why? Oh, yeah. On rainy days, I must pee in the small yard by the driveway. Period. Done deal.

Me:        But why? It is the same property, the same ground. The only difference is that there is a fence separating the back yard from the driveway area and garden. I have never understood why you won’t go out in the yard in the rain, but you will go in the driveway area. It makes no sense.

Stella:    It makes perfect bulldog sense.

Me:        Please explain perfect bulldog sense which makes no sense to me.

Stella:    It’s because all the other bulldogs use the yard on rainy days, that’s why!

Me:        So?

Stella:    Don’t you understand, Lady Human? Rain makes everything run together.

Me:        Okay?

Stella:    Yuck! I don’t want to walk in diluted pee-pee! At least, in my special rain place, all the pee is just me.

Me:        I hate to admit it, Stella, but that makes some sense.

Stella:    Think about it. My footprints in the mud. My puddles. Not shared with anyone else. I am a queen. My special rain place.

Me:        Okay. I get it.

Stella:    And now the next step will be to get my own indoor bathroom.

Me:        Uh-oh.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Puppy Days of Old – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Lady Human!

Me:        I’m here! No need to shout.

Stella:    Where are you?

Me:        Here in the hall, digging through old boxes of family pictures.

Stella:    My family?

Me:        No, sorry. I don’t have any old pictures of your family. Or even of you. You were grown by the time you came to us.

Stella:    Do you remember your puppy days?

Me:        No.

Stella:    That’s too bad.

Me:        Because as we have discussed before, I was never a puppy.

Stella:    But you were little once.

Me:        Yes, I was a human child.

Stella:    Too bad you weren’t a puppy. We could compare memories.

Me:        What puppy memories do you have?

Stella:    Fuzzy ones. My mom. Her warm body. Her milk which was the best thing ever.

Me:        Better than food and treats now?

Stella:    Maybe not better. Different but good. And then there were my brothers and sisters. Squirmy little varmints. Always pushing me aside so they could eat first, just because I was smaller.

Me:        Did your sister, Snoopey, push you aside?

Stella:    Well, no.

Me:        Because I heard a story about you and Snoopey from when you were young.

Stella:    Uh-oh.

Me:        Yeah. I heard that you and Tiger’s mom picked on Snoopey. Is that true?

Stella:    I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may prove that you are right.

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    Well, Tiger’s mom made me do it.

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    Oh, all right. When you are smaller than everybody and some big dog befriends you, sometimes you go along with their bulldog bullying and….maybe you do some things that you shouldn’t…and maybe later you regret being a jerk. So there.

Me:        Especially when the dog you picked on ended up being your pack leader?

Stella:    Hey, sisters play tricks on each other.

Me:        I wouldn’t know myself.

Stella:    Because you were an only puppy.

Me:        Child.

Stella:    Whatever.

Me:        Do you ever wonder if how you all treated her is what made Snoopey the pack leader she is now, always looking out for everybody else?

Stella:    Everybody except Tiger.

Me:        Yeah, they still don’t get along, do they?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        I am glad that you two do.

Stella:    WAAAAHHH! Lady Human, I was so mean! Why was I so mean?

Me:        You were a puppy. You’ve grown up since then. Don’t cry. It was a long time ago in dog years.

Stella:    Are you calling me old?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Random Acts of Bulldog Kindness – Conversations with Stella

I am, as I always have been and ever shall be, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Have you always been a queen?

Stella:    Queens are born, not made, Lady Human.

Me:        So, you were automatically a queen from the moment of your birth.

Stella:    Yes. Yes, I believe that I was.

Me:        And birth order had nothing to do with it, because I’m not sure…

Stella:    Silence! Do not question your queen!

Me:        My queen? I am not an Olde English Bulldogge. Or any bulldog. Or any dog, for that matter.

Stella:    Still we love you. Which is why we show you kindness by licking your feet.

Me:        Feet licking is defined as kindness?

Stella:    Of course. Foot washing is one of the old human customs, isn’t it? Didn’t you read me the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet? And didn’t the dogs lick Lazarus’ wounds?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    And didn’t you tell me that when people went on long journeys, one of the first acts of kindness was when their host would wash their feet and even your ancestors practiced that as a courtesy in the deep woods of whatever scary part of the world it was they were from?

Me:        Texas. Yes, it was refreshing and welcome after a long, hot walk or ride.

Stella:    And your great – great – great – great – great – great – great – great – great…

Me:        Okay, how ever many times great…

Stella:    …grand sire would pay his grandchildren a nickel a piece if they would wash his feet on a hot day?

Me:        A nickel was a small fortune to a young child way back then. They could buy candy and pencils and all kinds of things for that.

Stella:    Which reminds me, Lady Human, wouldn’t a nickel buy a lot of treats?

Me:        Well, not much at today’s prices. Besides, are you performing random acts of bulldog kindness for reward?

Stella:    No, you are giving us treats as random acts of human kindness. I mean, just because an act is kind doesn’t mean it has to be uneven, right?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Special Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs – not the Olde French Bulldogs (even though I love their little bodies and cute smooshy faces), not the Olde Russian Bulldogs (I think that they do not exist, so how could I be their queen?), or even the Olde American Bulldogs (as there are no “old” style American anythings. Americans are all “new style”, so there!)

Hello, humans and dogs. And cats, if any are reading this (which I doubt).

Allow me to introduce my subject of the day. ME! Me, me, me, wonderful me! Me all the time, all day and all night! Me, me, me, special bulldog me!

Why am I so special? Permit me to explain.

Me:        I know you will whether you are permitted to or not.

Stella:    Never mind Lady Human, dear readers. She is envious of my specialness.

Me:        As if that’s a real thing.

Stella:    I am special because, unlike the humans (and some dogs), I do not pay attention to the human news. What do I do instead? NAP! Try it out. It is wonderful. If I don’t feel like napping through the human news, I snack. That is why I always save a little bit of my food for later, unlike the other bulldogs who seem to think that woofing it all down in a few minutes is the way to go. If I don’t like what I am hearing on the human news, I can drown it out with crunching. I recommend it, humans. Crunching good food drowns out a lot of other noise.

Do you know why else I am special?

Me:        I await with bated breath.

Stella:    Bated breath? Is that like bulldog breath after Doodlebug has eaten something that he shouldn’t have? Because if it is that, ewww! Not interested!

Me:        No, it means I can’t wait to hear what else you have to say about your specialness.

Stella:    Well, in that case, let me tell you. I am special because Lady Human lets me come into her room and she helps me get up on her bed and she doesn’t mind if I start flipping around and get really excited and grin a lot and even drool (a little – I am not a big time drooler) and I breathe heavily and lick her and step on her. She doesn’t mind if I think her room stinks of weird smells and I want to leave suddenly. She does not take it personally. And so, there it is. I am special.

Me:        Yes, you are.

Stella:    You think so, too!

Me:        Yes, and some day, if you are ready for a good cry, I will tell you all the reasons why, I believe, God Most High brought you to me. Special me.

Stella:    I would like to hear that, Lady Human. But meanwhile, it’s not special you. It’s Special Me.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





It’s Past Your Bedtime, Human! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen Illustrious and Noble. Oh, and I am an Olde English Bulldogge.

Me:        And you all are not, I repeat, NOT in charge of my sleep schedule. I repeat – NOT!

Stella:    How rude, Lady Human, and how excessively repetitive! And how incorrect.

Me:        No, no, no. You all govern much of my daily schedule. You have no say-so as to when I go to bed.

Stella:    Personally, I don’t care, but Snoopey expects a regular sleepy time.

Me:        So I heard.

Stella:    She told you?

Me:        She complains loudly starting around 10 p.m.

Stella:    Why don’t you just go to bed when she wants to?

Me:        Bulldogs are not the only creatures that can be stubborn.

Stella:    Yes, we are!

Me:        No, you’re not!

Stella:    Yes, we are! Yes, we are! Yes, we are! Are you trying to ruin our reputation?

Me:        I am an adult human. NOBODY tells me when to go to bed!

Snoopey:   Time for bed!

Me:        Okay.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Bulldog Poetry in the Dark – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        I am a little fuzzy on the whole queen thing. Can you give the bulldogs commands? Will they mind you?

Stella:    Can I? I can. Do I? All the time. Will they mind? Quien sabe? Did you notice that? I answered in Spanish. I am a bilingual dog! Yay me!

Me:        If you say so.

Stella:    I know you, Lady Human. You would not be bringing this question up if there were not something you want me to order the bulldogs to do.

Me:        Yes. PLEASE, no more extended barking during the dark.

Stella:    Who was doing that?

Me:        You know who.

Stella:    Was it me?

Me:        No. Wait. Wouldn’t you know if you were barking?

Stella:    Not if I were in the middle of one of my wonderful Flying Stella squirrel chasing dreams. Wonderful. Flying. Me.

Me:        No, it was not you. It was Miss Sweetie. It was 5 a.m., really 4 a.m. if you don’t go by Daylight Savings Time, also known as Fake Time. Not a sunray in sight and she was popping off and nothing was wrong. It was pitch dark and I was trying to sleep.


Stella:    Of course, nothing was wrong. And that was not barking.

Me:        You could’ve fooled me.

Stella:    We often do, Lady Human. You notice that no one else joined in.

Me:        So, she was not barking even though it sounded just like barking.

Stella:    It was Bulldog Poetry. Sweetie is a Bulldog Poet like me.

Me:        What was she saying?

Stella:    Oh, I don’t know. It was pitch dark and I was trying to sleep.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Eat, Eat, And Eat Again! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, Illustrious, Noble, and slightly ticked off. I eat once a day (not counting treats), sometimes twice a day if I don’t feel like finishing my breakfast all at one time. But Lady Human is another matter. She eats umpteen gillion times a day (yes, that is a number – a bulldog number) and she never offers me any.

Me:        You eat exactly as much as is recommended for you. If I start giving you my food, there will be no end.

Stella:    Of course not, because you never stop eating.

Me:        Nonsense.

Stella:    How many times a day do you eat?

Me:        I refuse to be judged by a bulldog. Especially not by a bulldog with your fascination over food.

Stella:    How many? How many? How many?

Me:        Oh, all right. Stop hopping up and down. Well, there is breakfast.

Stella:    And then?

Me:        Second breakfast?

Stella:    Like those cute Hobbits in that long, long movie with all the ugly orcs and that Ring that everybody just had to have. I understand. Sometimes one breakfast is simply not enough.

Me:        Then lunch. And then a light snack, usually fruit. And after that, a high protein snack. And finally, supper.

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame!

Me:        I break my food consumption up into 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger ones. It works well for me.

Stella:    And what do you call your meal of cookies, brownies, cake, and candy?

Me:        I don’t make a meal of that.

Stella:    Uh-huh.

Me:        I mean I may have some of that stuff once in a while, but it’s not a meal.

Stella:    Uh-huh.

Me:        It’s not!

Stella:    Share with me when you decide to eat it next time.

Me:        I can’t. It’s not healthy…

Stella:    Ummm! Caught!

Me:        Hey, there’s a lot of stuff that is healthy for me, that I can eat but you can’t – avocados, grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, chocolate…

Stella:    Cookies, brownies, cake, candy.

Me:        Why is it important to you what I eat?

Stella:    I care.

Me:        Stella, I’m touched. That is so sweet. You care.

Stella:    Of course, I care. I will always care. Food. It’s what’s for supper.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Foot Bath Furor – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

As a human, I am constantly surprised by what sets the bulldogs off. The latest barking/whining frenzy started…

Stella:    When your feet disappeared, Lady Human! WHEN YOUR FEET DISAPPEARED!

Miss Sweetie:    Nooooo! Where did they go, Lady Human? Horrible!

Stella:    Settle down, Sweetie! I will make Lady Human tell us where her feet went!

Me:        This is a foot bath.

Stella:    It eats feet! Keep it far away from us! We have lots of feet!

Me:        Look! See! Here are my feet!

Miss Sweetie:    They are back! Wonderful! You are so talented, Lady Human.

Me:        It is a foot bath. I put my feet down in it like this…

Miss Sweetie:    Noooo! They’re gone again! Why?

Me:        And I take them out like this.

Miss Sweetie:    What a relief! They are back! Lady Human is my hero. She can do anything.

Me:        Not exactly.

Doodlebug:        Why are you letting that monster chew on your feet?

Me:        It is full of warm water and I soak my feet in it.

Tiger:     Ridiculous. Why would anyone volunteer to put their feet in a box of water?

Snoopey:  Tiger is always wrong. I have never agreed with her. Until now.

Me:        Look, y’all. It’s a matter of perspective. From where you are, I can understand that it looks like my feet disappear.

Wiggles:   Yeah, your legs look funny with a big box on the end of them. Your feet disappear, and then they come back, and then they disappear, and then they come back. You are the funniest human ever.

Stella:    Wiggles, it’s not funny! It’s scary. And the box of water is making a growling noise. I don’t trust it.

Me:        Come over here, Stella, and look down into the foot bath. You can see my feet.

Stella:    No way, Lady Human! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again. Why are you trying to fool a poor ole bulldog?

Me:        Wait. When did I fool you once?

Stella:    Not important.

Me:        Perspective. What things look like from where you sit may not be the way they really are.

Stella:    Good, because from where I sit, that box of water on your feet looks weird and scary.



Copyright 2017 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved.

Queen Stella Holds Court – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, am entertaining a question from Lady Human. Human queens call this an audience, but that is strange because only the two of us are here. Anyway, go on and ask thy question.

Me:        Very gracious of you.

Stella:    Indeed, it is. Pray, what is thy question?

Me:        Why are you talking like that?

Stella:    Thou hast been playing the Picture Box a lot with many people on it talking this way. I think that they speak prettily.

Me:        I suppose they do. Now for my question…

Stella:    I have already answered thy question.

Me:        No, I haven’t asked it yet.

Stella:    Yes, thou didst. Thou asked about my pretty talk.

Me:        That was just because it sounded so weird coming from your mouth. I had another question.

Stella:    Thou hast my permission to proceed. Ask thy annoying question.

Me:        How do you know it is annoying?

Stella:    All human questions are annoying. I would rather be napping.

Me:        Okay, what I want to understand is…

Stella:    No, thou hast already asked thy second question.

Me:        Hey, not fair!

Stella:    I am Queen. I decide what is fair.

Me:        That alone is grossly unfair.

Stella:    Silence, churl!

Me:        Okay, off goes the television.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.