Best Friends Are Hard to Replace – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Complaint!

Me:        I’ll bet I know what it is, too. From the look on your face and the pffft sound from your mouth.

Stella:    Why, oh why?

Me:        Why is the cat on my lap?

Stella:    No. My question is why is the cat on your lap all the time?


Me:        I think she wants some extra comfort, companionship.

Stella:    She can get that from across the room like normal.

Me:        She’s not feeling normal just now.

Stella:    She didn’t do that before Snoopey…oh.

Me:        For whatever reason, she and Snoopey were best friends.

Stella:    Well, that’s simply weird. Weird of Snoopey and weird of the cat. I never did understand that. Think about it. Cat. Self-explanatory. That says it all. And then bulldog. Everybody knows what that means. And one thing it doesn’t mean is friendship with cats.

Me:        And still, there it was. Who else did Snoopey ever allow into her crate with her?

Stella:    That’s easy. Nobody, because nobody else would fit in there with her. We are all bulldogs, remember?

Me:        I never forget. Okay, who else other than the cat did Snoopey ever have a full-blown conversation with?

Stella:    You.

Me:        Yeah. That’s true. Not that we understood each other well, but we did talk. A lot.

Stella:    So you don’t mind that Moon the Cat is climbing onto your lap all the time. It’s fine with you.

Me:        It’s all right. I understand why.

Stella:    It’s not all right with me! It’s really ticking me off!

Me:        Maybe you could consider becoming her new best friend.

Stella:    Lady Human! I’m surprised at you! What ugly talk!  I just want things to go back to normal, when bulldogs were bulldogs and Moon the Cat was her old arrogant, stand-offish, snooty self.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Down the Short Hall – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Wait while I run down this little hall.

Me:        You’ve been going down there every day. You used to ignore it.

Stella:    I have to check.

Me:        Oh, because Snoopey ran down that hall every morning to avoid having to pass by Tiger?

Stella:    What if she is in the front room, waiting to come through the kitchen, like she did almost every morning? I have to check.

Me:        Stella, baby, she’s not in there.

Stella:    But she could be. You would always open the kitchen door and she would run in and she and Tiger could start the morning in peace.

Me:        She’s not there.

Stella:    No. She’s not here. You think I am silly.

Me:        Not at all. The first two mornings after she passed, I opened the kitchen door myself. It was too hard to believe that she wouldn’t be coming through it.

Stella:    It still smells like her a little. Not as much as before.

Me:        That’s to be expected. Come on, girl.

Stella:    It smells like somebody else, too. Yep.

Me:        Nobody comes in here but me and Tall Man.

Stella:    Wiggles. Definitely.

Me:        Are you sure?

Stella:    Yep. This is Wiggles’ second bathroom.

Me:        Oh, no, you’re kidding. Third, if you count outside. Maybe fourth, if you count the cleaning rag box.

Stella:    Wow, Wiggles gets around.

Me:        Let’s go back in the other room.

Stella:    I won’t visit down here again looking for you, Snoopey, but I won’t forget you. If there’s a kitchen door where you are, wait for us there.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

When Humans Let Cats Rule – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am witnessing the most ridiculous scene of the last one hundred years, at least since yesterday.

Me:        One hundred years? We truly have to work on your sense of time.

Stella:    Hey, I’m not the one who changed all the clocks and then complained about it. My stomach clock is still on Stella time. Doodlebug got up an extra hour early on his own. If you noticed, I didn’t budge.

Me:        I did notice. What is so ridiculous?

Stella:    You. The way you are sitting. The way you are letting the cat rule the roost. And she isn’t even a chicken.

Me:        I’m just allowing her a little bit to wake up from her nap.

Stella:    She is taking up most of your chair, Lady Human. YOUR CHAIR! NOT HER CHAIR! YOUR CHAIR! You are sitting on the edge of YOUR CHAIR, need I repeat it.

Me:        No, you need not. She’ll get up in a minute.


Stella:    This is what results from humans cutting cats too much slack. I’ve never seen so much slack in my life. Just look at her, all slacky and stretched out and slinky and catlike. Yuck.

Me:        She’ll move.

Stella:    Famous first words.

Me:        The expression is ‘Famous last words’.

Stella:    Exactly. First words become last words and the cat is still there. Give a cat an inch and she’ll take over your chair. Another human saying.

Me:        Not exactly.

Stella:    Well, it should be. When humans let cats rule, no chair is safe.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Itchy Spots We Can’t Reach – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Scratch my back!

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    No, over there. No, over here. Now this spot. Don’t stop.

Me:        Move in closer.

Stella:    You move in closer.

Me:        Hey, I’ve got the fingernails that can reach anywhere, but I’m not putting my arm out of joint.

Stella:    Hey, I’ve got the itchies that can reach anywhere, but I’m already sitting over here.

Me:        Hold on.

Stella:    What are you doing?

Me:        All this scratching is making me itchy. I can’t reach down the center of my back either.

Stella:    You’re funny. You look like a bear rubbing against a tree.

Me:        A door frame makes a good back scratcher if nothing else is handy.

Stella:    Not so much if you’re shaped like a bulldog. Now get back to work using your fingers for what they were made for – scratching my unreachable itchies.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Wait? – What Does That Even Mean? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans do not mean what they say, nor do they say what they mean. It is an age-old problem. I should know. I am ages old.

Me:        What? Just how old do you think you are?

Stella:    Humans say that you are as old as you feel. Today I feel 1,456 years old.

Me:        Very interesting. So you weren’t born in this century. I thought you said that humans do not mean what we say or say what we mean. It’s beginning to sound as though you have that problem, too. I guarantee you that you are not over a thousand years old.

Stella:    Strange words coming from you, Lady Human. You have no sense of time.

Me:        I think my sense of time is…

Stella:    Who wakes the household every morning at the same time? Give or take a few of what you all call ‘minutes’.

Me:        Doodlebug.

Stella:    His stomach works like the toy you call a ‘clock’. Humans have entirely too many toys. Maybe Doodlebug swallowed one.

Me:        Nope. His digestive system operates on a schedule.

Stella:    What I need right now is to go outside and potty…

Me:        Hold on. Wait a couple of minutes until I finish this.

Stella:    A couple? What is a couple?

Me:        More like 5 minutes. Wait 5 minutes.

Stella:    Okay. One…two…three…four…five. Five minutes is up.

Me:        That was only a five count, not five minutes.

Stella:    Humans always say ‘wait’. It must be your most important, most favoritest word.

Me:        Favoritest is not a word.

Stella:    It is now. And now is now! And I have to go potty now! Not 5 minutes from now! Now!

Me:        Oh, okay then. Why didn’t you say so?

Stella:    I did. Unlike humans, I say what I mean and mean what I say as you almost found out.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Happy Homecoming – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Why? This is a special day!

Stella:    I see nothing special. I hear nothing special. I smell nothing special. Most of all, I taste nothing special.

Me:        Today is the 3rd anniversary of the day you came home to us.

Stella:    Anniversary?  Is that one of those cake days?

Me:        Well, it can be, but I don’t have a cake today.

Stella:    Why ever not?

Me:        Extra calories. You know.

Stella:    No, I don’t. I have never had extra calories, whatever those are, but they sound delicious.

Me:        Yeah, they usually are. What is special about today is not cake or party hats…

Stella:    You have a party hat for me?

Me:        Well, yes. This one.


Stella:    Now I remember. I don’t like party hats. Without cake or party hats, how can this day be that special?

Me:        Because, on this day three years ago, I received an answer to prayer.

Stella:    The Great Creator answered you and you knew it?

Me:        No, He answered me, and I did not know it. I did not recognize an answered prayer when you were staring me right in the face. All I saw was this big, smoosh-faced bulldog and I had not asked for a bulldog. I had asked for a small, pointy-nosed, brown and white dog that I could help. I thought it was all a mistake.

Stella:    The Great Creator does not make mistakes.

Me:        Did you think that coming here was a mistake?

Stella:    Yes, so I pooped on the floor at your feet just to see.

Me:        Oh, I remember that. That’s the first thing you did after you got here.

Stella:    And you cleaned it up and you didn’t yell at me. And you looked a little tired. And then I thought maybe these people won’t be so bad. I was the dog you could help, only not so small and not pointy-nosed. But brown and white. After all, He doesn’t forget details.






Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Hey! Missing Chew Stick! Come Here! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My favorite chew stick is missing! Who has it? I demand that you bring it back now! If you do, I will forego my royal wrath.

Tiger:     Royal wrath? Is that like you getting all mad? Haha!

Stella:    Where is my chew stick?

Tiger:     Don’t know. Don’t care. Why would I chew on your stick after it has been in your mouth?

Stella:    Where is my chew stick?

Wiggles:   Have you looked…

Stella:    Yes.

Wiggles:   How about over by…

Stella:    YES.

Wiggles:   What about…

Stella:    YES!!!

Wiggles:   Have you asked the chickens? I have been eating their leftovers. Maybe they ate your stick.

Stella:    Doodlebug, did you take it? You have a giant mouth. Are you hiding it in there? I will forgive you if you have it.

Doodlebug:   Would you let me keep it?

Stella:   NO!

Doodlebug:   Then no, I did not take it.

Miss Sweetie:    Aunt Stella, I know where it is.

Stella:    I can’t believe it is missing. I have looked everywhere.

Miss Sweetie:   Aunt Stella, I know where it is. My nose is talking to me.

Stella:    I had it earlier today.

Miss Sweetie:   Aunt Stella…

Me:        I’d listen to her, Stella. I think she’s on to something.

Miss Sweetie:   It’s in your day bed.

Stella:    I looked there! See! I turned around and around and around.

Me:        How many times has she turned around, Sweetie? Let’s count. Five, six, seven, eight…

Miss Sweetie:   I can’t count that high.

Me:        Stella, settle down. You’ve buried it in your blanket.

Stella:    I look, and I turn, and I scratch, and I look, and I turn, and I scratch.

Me:        There!

Stella:    Give it back, blanket! Mine! Finally! Having to wrestle my own blanket for my own chew stick! The world is a crazy place!

Me:        Yeah, I’m exhausted.

Stella:    Now where is my new softie toy?



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Make Me Laugh – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We are shy one voice in the pack. I miss Snoopey.

Me:        As do I. Please. Make me laugh.

Stella:    That’s not my job. I don’t take orders from you. I am a bulldog. What would Snoopey say if she heard you?

Me:        She would sit with a very dignified air and flat ignore me.

Stella:    Exactly. And what do I look like? A human funny person?

Me:        A comedienne?

Stella     Yes. No. Maybe. Have you seen Wiggles?

Me:        Yeah, a while ago.

Stella:    Have you seen Wiggles lately?

Me:        Okay, what’s going on?

Stella:    She stole a bag of trash and she is running around the house, carrying it in her mouth like it’s some kind of prize.

Me:        Uh-oh. Where is she now?

Stella:    Who knows? Who cares?

Me:        Let me get Wiggles outside to run off some energy.

Stella:    Happy hunting!

Me:        She’s out now. What were we talking about?

Stella:    You were ordering me to be funny for your own amusement. How rude!

Me:        I just thought we could use a laugh.

Stella:    Is that all we are good for? Laughs? Oh, and you’d better check on Wiggles again.

Me:        What now?

Stella:    She is digging up chicken feed by the chicken run. And look! The chickens are all lined up in a straight row, watching her. They look angry.

Me:        They look like chickens always do.

Stella:    Yep. Chickens with their angry pointy faces. I know what would make you laugh! Let the chickens out so they can chase Wiggles around. That would be hilarious!

Me:        Not for long. What about when Wiggles realizes that she is being chased by chickens and turns around?

Stella:    Wiggles? Realize? Chickens? Can you imagine that happening?

Me:        Yes. No. Maybe. Chickens chasing a bulldog. I would like to see that one time.

Stella:    Ah, there’s a smile. Not a laugh, but the next best thing. We’ll keep trying.










Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




The Growling Sky – Conversations with Stella, Snoopey, and Tiger

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I was outside during a rain break, minding my own business when, for no reason at all, the sky growled at me. GROWLED! AT ME! Sweet little Stella who never bothers anybody, well, except for squirrels and cats.

Me:        The sky did not growl at you. That was thunder.

Stella:    Did you hear?

Me:        Yes. The sky doesn’t growl at anybody.

Stella:    It did at me. So, guess what? I growled back. And then it growled at me again. So, guess what?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I ran away. I ran straight to the back door. And you let me in. And I ran straight into my crate, so the sky couldn’t get me. I am so embarrassed. I am a coward.

Tiger:     You are not a coward, Stella. You are just stupid, that’s all.


Stella:    How rude!

Tiger:     Which would you prefer? To be called a coward or stupid?

Stella:    I don’t really have a preference, thank you!

Snoopey:   Don’t listen to Tiger, the bulldog who’s afraid of the dark.


Tiger:     Hey!

Snoopey:   It’s true. How many times does Lady Human offer to let you outside and the second that you see it’s night, you balk and run back to your bed.

Tiger:     So says the one who won’t set foot outside if rain is so much as dripping from the roof or the trees. It’s not even rain anymore. It’s merely water. What are you afraid of, Snoopey? Melting?

Snoopey:    Yes, actually.

Stella:    Snoopey is afraid of falling water. Tiger is afraid of nighttime. I am afraid of the growling sky. All told, my fear is the only one that’s real.

Me:        Oh, the fear is real, the threat not so much.

Stella:    When the sky is angry, it is no threat?

Me:        Yeah, it can be. Thunder means lightning has struck nearby.

Stella:    Lightning? The blue light!

Me:        Untamed electricity.

Stella:    The sky does have fingers then. It did try to grab me. Good news! I was right. The sky does growl. I’m a smart coward.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Puddle Jumpin’ – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Tiny lakes are blocking our path back into the house.

Me:        They are just puddles. Let’s get back in. Rain is starting again in…2 minutes. Maybe. Sometimes they’re pinpoint accurate on these predictions. Sometimes, not so much.

Doodlebug:   Me first. One…two…three…jump! Woo-hoo!

Me:        Well done, Doodle!

Tiger:     Me next! Lope…lope…leap! They said I’d never do that again!

Me:        And look at you now. Well done!

Wiggles:   I can do it! Watch me! Run! Run! Run! Run through the brush and around the other side and… Yay!

Me:        That’s one way to do it. Go on in and get your snack. We’re up against a deadline here. Well done.

Miss Sweetie:    I can do it, Lady Human. Watch me! Watch me! Run…skip…jump…and there!

Stella:    You made quite a splash, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    What happened? My feet are all muddy. I am standing in water. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Me:        It’s all right, Sweetie. Not all of us are hurdlers. Go on in and get your treat. Times a’wastin. Who’s next?

Stella:    Snoopey! Snoopey’s next!

Me:        Okay, girl.

Snoopey:   If I hadn’t come out here to pee, this would not have happened.

Me:        Snoopey, I know how much you hate coming out when it’s wet. You can run on in. You don’t have to jump.

Snoopey:   I can do this. I can do this. I can run and jump…

Me:        You see! You did it! Your hind feet barely touched the water! Well done! Go on in and get your treat.

Snoopey:   And dry my feet.

Me:        That too. And now, Stella, let’s go. No time left. The new rain is upon us.

Stella:    Carry me so that my pretty little feet don’t get any wetter.

Me:        Honey, I’m sorry. I can’t pick up 50 pounds. I could edge you forward, but you are going to have to do some of the work.

Stella:    Work? You can’t be serious.

Me:        Did you feel that?

Stella:    Sky water?

Me:        Yep. Decision time.

Stella:    Oh. All right. Here I go. Run…run…splash…splash…Aww….

Me:        Good girl! Well done! You got across!

Stella:    Not so well done. My feet are wet and cold. I didn’t make a good landing.

Me:        That’s what a warm house and a soft dry bed and treats are for. Forget this. Let’s go on in.

Stella:    Will it be dry tomorrow?

Me:        According to the weather people, no.

Stella:    What good is it to live in a hot, dry country when it is cold and wet all the time?

Me:        I’ll ask you a similar question during the summer when you complain about being hot and dry.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Never Let a Friend Stand in the Rain Alone – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. It is raining.  It has been raining a lot lately. Announcement: I do not potty in the rain.

Snoopey:   Me either.

Tiger:     Me neither.

Miss Sweetie:    Why is Lady Human standing outside in the rain?

Wiggles:   Maybe she is taking a shower. Use rain. Save water and what the humans keep calling ‘money’.

Stella:    Lady Human is a human lady. She does not take baths outside. I don’t understand why. It seems to be a thing with humans to bathe indoors.

Me:        Come on, y’all.

Doodlebug:   She is calling us to go stand in the rain with her. Is that a good idea? I don’t think so.

Stella:    No! Did you hear that big kaboom? I don’t go out when the kabooms are going off.

Tiger:     Why is she standing out there? I thought humans were smart.

Me:        C’mon. It’s not raining that hard yet.

Stella:    What does she call ‘hard’?

Snoopey:   Should we just stand here like this? Shouldn’t we go outside and stand with her?

Doodlebug:   So we can get wet?

Wiggles:   She just wants us to go to the bathroom, so we can be comfortable.

Miss Sweetie:    I am going to stand with her. She should not be out there by herself.

Snoopey:   I would go, but I am afraid the rain will make me melt.

Tiger:   I will wait for the sky to stop spitting.

Doodlebug:   I am going to take a nap. Dry.

Wiggles:   I am going out with you, Sweetie. Nobody should stand in the rain alone.

Stella:    Oh, very well. I’ll go, too. If someone is willing to stand in the rain for me, I should be willing to stand in the rain for them. Hurry. Let’s run between the raindrops.

Me:   Okay. Well, if you are coming out, I’m going in.

Stella:    No! Traitor! You fooled us! What about camaraderie?

Me:        Camaraderie?  Are you kidding? It’s raining!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Mud Baths – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        I have a question.

Stella:    Interruptions, interruptions. Constant human disruptions.

Me:        Have you gotten into rhymes?

Stella:    I haven’t gotten into anything today except mud, which, by the way, I would appreciate you cleaning up.

Me:        Wash your feet? Sure, I can…

Stella:    No, I took care of my own feet, thank you very much. I mean I would appreciate you cleaning up the mud outside.

Me:        I think that is a little outside my abilities. We will just wait for the dry air and the sun to do their jobs.

Stella:    I ask for a simple favor and what do I get? Nothing. Typical.

Me:        You want me, little old me, to clean up all the mud outside?

Stella:    Well put. Of course, you are not THAT little, Lady Human.

Me:        The whole ground is made up of dirt. You add water like the rain we had this morning. Result? Mud.

Stella:    Let me see if I understand. Rain, also known as sky water, plus dirt, also known as…dirt, equals mud, also known as yucky dirt.

Me:        That’s about it.

Stella:    And you are a human and can, therefore, do anything, yet you refuse to do a small thing like clean up the muddy mess outside.

Me:        Let’s go back over the whole human thing. Humans cannot…I repeat for the umpteenth time, CANNOT do just anything, period.

Stella:    Nonsense. I see you do the most extraordinary things all the time. What is a little mud?

Me:        How do you expect me to dry up mud instantly?

Stella:    Simple. Use your big human mouth to blow the dirt dry.

Me:        I thought you bulldogs were the ones with the big mouths.

Stella:    Now you are just being insulting. We would never waste our breath on such a dirty job.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Why Must Humans Sing? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have complained about this before.

Me:        Enlighten me. There are so many things that fall in that category.

Stella:    Human singing. I asked for ear plugs to protect against chicken squawking, but they will work against human singing, too. By the way, I have not seen those ear plugs yet. Hint. Hint.

Me:        I’m not turning ear plugs over to a bulldog. They would turn into a snack and then a problem.

Stella:    How am I to protect my precious cute little ears from human singing then?

Me:        Are you complaining about the old musical that is playing right now? Because that is the only human singing going on. I am not singing.

Stella:    And for that, Lady Human, we are all grateful. But right now, I mean the humans singing on the Picture Box.

Me:        They sing beautifully. How can you not like…?

Stella:    Do you have dog ears? Can you hear what we hear? All those high notes assaulting us?

Me:        I do like musicals. You can retreat to the other room if the sounds are bothering you.

Stella:    Why can’t we just turn it off? Why must humans sing at all?

Me:        Music is a gift from the LORD. We should enjoy it. It is part of our lives.

Stella:    Life is good. The Great Creator is good. His gifts are good. If you would just tone it down a little bit, especially during nap time.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Squawky Day – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and I want earplugs.

Me:        Why? Because the pack barks so loudly?

Stella:    No. Barking is a lovely sound. I need earplugs to block out squawking. Chicken squawking.

Me:        Yeah, I noticed that today. I think they were mad because their breakfast was running late.

Stella:    And whose fault is that?

Me:        Mine. I took a little time to move the new 50-pound bag of chicken feed into place.

Stella:    50 pounds! That’s as heavy as I am. Cool.

Me:        I think you are easier to carry. You are more compact.

Stella:    Was that the big bag that you were dancing with?

Me:        Did it look like dancing? It felt like wrestling.

Stella:    Well, next time, do it sooner.

Me:        Oh, of course, Your Majesty. Pardon me. So sorry that your sensitive ears were inconvenienced.

Stella:    I pardon you.

Me:        You know, the next time they start squawking, you can go out and tell them to quiet down. They might listen to you.

Stella:    Chickens listen to a bulldog? Of course, they should. But would they? I doubt it. Have you seen how tiny their heads are? Their brains are just as small.

Me:        Small heads or not, chickens are very intelligent.

Stella:    Why?

Me:        They can play tiny pianos.

Stella:    With their scrawny feet or with their sharp, hard mouths?

Me:        With their beaks.

Stella:    Showoffs. That’ s easy if you have a pointy face.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Booties Are For Babies – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs. Lady Human, the sky spit ice on my chair.


Me:        That’s my chair, and yes, a little ice was on it for a very short time.

Stella:    You know the saying: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

Me:        No.

Stella:    Well, it goes like this: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. It’s an old bulldog saying.

Me:        No doubt it is. I’m going with an older human saying. What’s mine is mine.

Stella:    Oh, all right. In that case, the sky spit ice on YOUR chair. Worse. The sky made my feet cold.

Me:        The sleet…

Stella:    The what?

Me:        The icy sky spittle did not last long at all on the ground. About the only thing I can do to help on cold days is to put your booties on you. They will protect your feet for the short time you are out.

Stella:    Are booties those weird little softie shoes that you kept trying to sneak on my feet the other week when the snow that was promised to us never showed up?

Me:        Yeah. As I recall, you weren’t too fond of them.

Stella:    What is to be fond of? They are weird little shoes. They look like blue and black fish that have swallowed my feet.


Me:        They aren’t supposed to be stylish. They are supposed to cover your feet in bad weather.

Stella:    If you like them so much, you wear them.

Me:        They don’t come near to fitting me and I already have winter boots.

Stella:    And I’ll bet that yours don’t look like blue and black fish that are eating your feet.

Me:        It’s either booties or cold feet. Your choice.

Stella:    Booties are for babies, not bulldogs! Wait! The human baby that visits us, does she have booties? Does she need them? Do her feet get cold? Oh, no! I don’t want that! She can take mine.

Me:        She has lots of socks and even some shoes now. But thank you, it was a very kind offer.

Stella:    Not so much. I thought it might be a way to get rid of those ugly booties.





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Cat Dance – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Today I have witnessed something horrible that I never thought I would see.

Me:        What horrible thing was that? I can’t imagine. Was it the large pile of poo by the back door that I had to step over?

Stella:    Of course not. Events like that are what give your life meaning. No, I am referring to the disgusting display that Snoopey and Moon the Cat put on.


20160121_174603.jpgMe:        They have been getting along famously of late.

Stella:    Fame does not excuse their bizarre behavior. Today…dare I say it…they were dancing…together.

Me:        I thought that was kind of cute. And, to be honest, it wasn’t much of a dance.

Stella:    Nose to nose. Cheek to cheek, or in a bulldog’s case, cheek to jowl. Step to the right. Step to the left. And naturally, before it ended, Moon the Cat hissed at Snoopey. Typical.

Me:        Eh, Moon hisses at me on a regular basis, too. I’m used to it.

Stella:    Which is one of the problems with our world today, Lady Human. I will never get used to a cat hissing at me. How vulgar! Whatever happened to good manners?

Me:        Between bulldogs and cats, I’m not sure good manners ever existed so…why not just accept that Snoopey and Moon are friends. When that happened, I don’t know, but it’s kind of nice to have one bulldog that truly keeps the peace in the house.

Stella:    Snoopey? Peace? Really? Wait. Maybe I’m confused. Is there another Snoopey around here that I don’t know about?





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Thingamajigs and Whirligigs – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. The ridiculous cat, Moon, is sitting on the kitchen windowsill, taking a sunbath when there is no sun. Which proves my point.

Me:        And that is…

Stella:    What?

Me:        The point you say you proved.

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        Stella, something about the cat, wasn’t it?

Stella;    Oh, yeah! Cats are dumb. Look at her. Sitting there, all stupid and catlike, staring at that human gadget whirligig which, like all human gadgets, is doing some inexplicable thing.


Me:        Your vocabulary has improved.

Stella:    Thank you. I’ve been watching a lot of the Picture Box. You can get really smart by watching lots of shows.

Me:        Well, I’ll reserve judgment on that. And the cat is not stupid unless I am stupid, too. That is a radiometer and when the light hits it just right, it spins inside its glass globe.

Stella:    The light spins the little fan?

Me:        There is a little bit of sun coming in. You can’t see it from where you are standing down there.

Stella:    How does it spin?

Me:        There are these things called electrons. They are invisible to the naked eye.

Stella:    Our eyes are naked?

Me:        To be honest, not just your eyes are naked.

Stella:    How embarrassing. If these elections…

Me:        Electrons.

Stella:    If these electrons are invisible to naked people’s eyes, then you did not make them. Are they another one of those secrets the Great Creator tucks into things to surprise us?

Me:        Yes, I do believe so.

Stella:    But there aren’t any more invisible things in here like those electron thingamajigs.

Me:        Actually…

Stella:    NO! I don’t want to hear it!

Me:        What are you afraid of?

Stella:    What if there are…you know…Shhh! Invisible cats.

Me:        There are no such things as invisible cats.

Stella:    How do you know? They are invisible and your eyes are naked.

Me:         Why are you whispering?

Stella:    Moon is listening.

Moon the Cat:   Meow!

Stella:    You see! She was eavesdripping.

Me:        Eavesdropping.

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toe Pops – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now that breakfast has been concluded successfully, which means without any disasters or weirdness…Sweetie. Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    Hmmm?

20170315_170602.jpgStella:    I spoke too soon. What are you doing? What’s wrong with your feet?

Miss Sweetie:    COLD! WET! BRRRR! So, I am licking them warm with my warm, wet tongue. Mmmm. They taste good. But so cold.

Stella:    You were not out that long. My feet are not cold.

Snoopey:   I know why. Look at the puppy pool.

Me:        Oh. I see. Wet footprints leading away from it. It has rain in it.

Miss Sweetie:    I love the puppy pool. It is always so comfortable.


Me:        It is always comfortable in the summer when the temperature outside is 100 degrees, not in the dead of winter when the temperature outside is…well, less than 100 degrees. We never know for sure what to count on with the weather here. It was 38 this morning, Sweetie. That’s too cold for swimming or wading.

Miss Sweetie:    The water looked so good, but now my feet are cold.

Tiger:     Did you happen to notice that none of the rest of us stepped in it?

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, I thought you were saving it for me.

Snoopey:    We aren’t THAT nice, Sweetie.

Wiggles:   Do you want me to chew on your feet? That will warm them up quick.

Me:        No, Wiggles, I don’t recommend that. Sweetie, would you like some warm towels? I will give you some if you promise not to eat them.

Miss Sweetie:    That sounds good, except for the not eating them part. I don’t think I can promise that far.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Gifts of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and…

Me:        I have an announcement and some questions.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        For the cat.

Stella:    You are asking a cat questions? Total waste of time. If I were you, Lady Human, I would start with the announcement.

Me:        This morning at breakfast…

Stella:    Yes, breakfast was incredibly slow this morning.

Me:        Thank you for noticing, Stella. The reason for the delay is that someone had cut a slit into the new bag of dog food and I had to deal with the literal fallout.

Stella:    TALL MAN! Blame him! He’s not here!

Me:        No, this bag weighs 50 pounds. Tall Man would not have cut the bag in the center. He would have opened it from the top and, if he needed to cut it, he would have used a knife which would have made a neat, clean cut. This cut was only a few inches long and slightly jagged.

Stella:    Don’t look at me.

Me:        I’m not. There were a number of pokes on the bag, from something small and sharp. Like something kept hitting it. I suspect you, Moon the Cat.


Stella:    J’accuse!

Me:        Wait! What?

Stella:    I heard it on the Picture Box. It’s a human word for when you want to yell at somebody.

Me:        I see. Well, Moon, did you cut the dogfood bag open with your claws?

Moon:  Meow.

Stella:    You see. I told you. Typical. Cats won’t answer a straight question with a straight answer.

Me:        She could be saying, ‘Yes’. My understanding of cat is not that good.

Stella:    Why in the world would she open the bag? She doesn’t eat that food. And a good thing for her, too!

Me:        You saw where the bag was.

Stella:    On the floor by Snoopey’s crate.

Me:        And I had noticed a great interest by the bulldogs, except for you, right by Snoopey’s crate the past few days.

Stella:    Sneaky little cat! She opened it for her secret friend, Snoopey! That means…that makes…Aaaaghh! Snoopey is a traitor to bulldogs everywhere!

Me:        She may not have chosen this friend. This friend may have chosen her.

Stella:    A cat? I refuse to believe it. That cat wants something. Why else the bribe? Admit it, Moon! You are trying to get bulldog favor, buying it with the best of all bulldog bribes – food! What have you to say for yourself?

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical!




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Secrets of Secret Friends – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human! Lady Human! Shhhh!

Me: Why are you whispering? What’s wrong?

Stella: Shhh! Wrong? Something is very, very wrong.

Me: Wait a minute. I have to let Tiger out to potty.

Stella: No! Wait!

Tiger: Charge!

Snoopey: Get away! Get away!

Me: What is going on here? Tiger, get back!

Moon the Cat: Meow.

Me: Wait! Moon, where are you?

Moon the Cat: Meow.


Stella: Ask a rational question and get a cat answer.

Me: What? What are you doing in Snoopey’s crate? With Snoopey?

Snoopey: Nothing. We were just sitting in here. UNTIL TIGER SHOWED UP AND TRIED TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!

Me: Tiger! Come back!

Tiger: That cat is MY friend! Why does Snoopey have her trapped?

Me: She’s not trapped…apparently. Neutral corners!

Tiger: Oh! All right!

Me: Snoopey! Come out!

Snoopey: Okey dokey.

Me: Moon! What are you doing in there?

Moon the Cat: Just sitting here. What about it?

Me: Come out.

Moon the Cat: Come out what?

Me: Uggghh! Come out…PLEASE!

Moon the Cat: Oh, very well.

Stella: Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: Moon, how did you get inside Snoopey’s crate?

Moon the Cat: Snoopey wasn’t using it. I am Snoopey’s friend. I figured she wouldn’t mind if I went in and waited around for her.

Me: That is terribly risky. What if she did not want you in her crate? What if she came back to it in a bad mood?

Moon the Cat: We are not like humans. Snoopey is my friend. I am hers. You didn’t even notice any difference when she went into the crate. All was well.

Me: I didn’t see you in there. And all was well until Tiger came over to check it out.

Stella: I tried to warn you, Lady Human. Something is terribly wrong here.

Me: I can’t even believe what I just saw.

Snoopey: What’s not to believe?

Me: You and Moon, together! In your crate! And totally at peace!

Snoopey: Yep.

Me: I’ve never seen that before!

Snoopey: Well, I had never invited her before. She must have accepted my invitation while I was outside.

Stella: Snoopey, you and I are going to have a LONG, LONG TALK about what it means to be a bulldog.

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.