Ew! I’m Not Walking Through That! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Someone (possibly Lady Human) has messed up my only walkway to the backyard. My feet are special and I will not risk them by walking through the wetness. Nasty! Lady Human and the others must stop using the backyard as a toilet.

Me:        Excuse me?

Stella:    Sorry, Lady Human. Not this time.

Me:        I’ll have you know that I do not go to the bathroom in the yard! Or anywhere outside! I am a human and our toilets are inside the house.

Stella:    A thing that I have never understood. How unfair! Indoor toilets should be available to all.

Me:        I have a pretty good imagination, but I have a hard time imagining a bulldog using a human toilet. Not saying impossible. Just saying unlikely and slightly dangerous.

Stella:    But the mess! Someone peed on my walkway! I don’t care who did it (though I still doubt your denial). Yuck! I am not walking through that.

Me:        I am hosing it off.

Stella:    All that does is spread it around. Ewww. You expect me to get my tootsies wet with pee water?

Me:        It’s not pee water, Stella. Look, do you want to go out by the driveway – your rainy-day spot?

Stella:    Yes, yes, yes!

Me:        All right. But I’m telling you that I just hosed off all the nasty stuff.

Stella:    My nose tells me different. I’ve told you before. Millions of nasal receptors cannot be wrong.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Your Idea of Fun Vs. My Idea of Fun – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and today has not been a very fun day and I feel the need to complain.

Me:        Is there ever a time you do not feel the need to complain?

Stella:    Certainly, Lady Human. Whenever I get to have as much fun as you humans do.

Me:        Every day is bulldog fun day.

Stella:    Nope. Today wasn’t. You and Tall Man went and came and came and went. You went somewhere…

Me:        Church.

Stella:    Nope. You were gone way too long for church. I timed you.

Me:        How?

Stella:    With my belly. When breakfast is digested, you get home from church.

Me:        Well, there was a church fellowship today so I stayed longer for that.

Stella:    And what did they have at this thing called a ‘fellowship’?

Me:        Brisket…

Stella:    Meat?

Me:        Yes. And they had sausage…

Stella:    More meat?

Me:        Yes. And bread…

Stella:    More meat?

Me:        No. But they had ice cream treats.

Stella:    And then?

Me:        A bounce house…

Stella:    I like those.

Me:        You have never been in one and they were for the kids. No dogs allowed.

Stella:    No fair! I’ll bet you had fun.

Me:        Yes, I’ll admit I did.

Stella:    Where was my fun today? Boo-hoo-hoo. Nowhere. That’s where.

Me:        All right, what’s your idea of fun?

Stella:    You scratching and rubbing my neck, between my ears, my belly, my back…

Me:        In other words, what we do every day.

Stella:    Yep. You’ve had your fun for the day. Now it’s time for mine.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

R.I.P. Stuffed Chicken Toy, Sweetie’s Old Friend – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Me:        It is with great sorrow and not a little trepidation that we must say farewell to Stuffed Chicken Toy who has been a great comfort and friend to Miss Sweetie. After much consideration and debate…

Stella:    And after hiding the chicken toy from Sweetie for a whole week…

Me:        …Tall Man and I have decided that we must look for a more indestructible soft toy for Miss Sweetie’s powerful jaws and overwhelming personality.

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Miss Sweetie:    Where is my chicken?

Me:        Gone to a better, a safer place, girl. Safer for you and for Stuffed Chicken Toy.

Miss Sweetie:    But why?

Tiger:     Because, silly, you insisted on tear off pieces of her.

Miss Sweetie:   But we were playing. I thought she enjoyed that.

Snoopey:   And you insisted on eating the pieces you tore off.

Wiggles:   Like the chicken’s foot, remember?

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Miss Sweetie:    Oh, yeah, the foot that disappeared.

Stella:    It only “disappeared” into you and only temporarily.

Me:        Yes, temporarily, thank the LORD.

Miss Sweetie:   You found my chicken’s foot? Where is it? Can she have it back?

Me:        We found it. Yes, she can have it back.

Miss Sweetie:    Where is it?

Me:        It is in a safe place with Stuffed Chicken Toy.

Snoopey:   A place where you can no longer eat it…again.

Miss Sweetie:   I carried her everywhere.

Me:        I know. Y’all were so cute, trundling around the house.

Miss Sweetie:    She was my bestest friend ever.

Stella:    Learn to make friends with real food. You will never go wrong.

Miss Sweetie:   Oh, Stuffed Chicken Toy. I am so sorry that I ate your foot. And your beak. And I think that’s all.

Snoopey:   You would have gotten around to the other parts soon enough.

Stella:   I have a crateful of softie toys and I never eat them.

Tiger:   Some bulldogs just can’t handle the soft stuff.

Doodlebug:   Soft toys, yuck! If you want to eat something soft, eat poop.

Me:        No, Doodlebug. We’ve had long talks about that.

Doodlebug:   Oh, yeah. But still…

Me:   Now I feel bad.

Stella:    Don’t, Lady Human. It’s for her own good.

Me:   I have to find some bulldog-proof soft toys, something she will like.

Stella:   Impossible.

Me:   Why impossible?

Stella:   You said it yourself. Bulldog-proof. Impossible.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

I Need To Speak to a Physicist – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella. Of the Olde English Bulldogges, I am Queen.

Me:   Aaaagghhh!

Stella:    What! What happened?

Tiger:   You are the Queen. You tell us.

Snoopey:   Doodlebug. Doodlebug happened to Lady Human.

Doodlebug:   Zoom, zoom.

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Me:   Ow! Zero to sixty in one point five seconds.

Stella:    Doodlebug! You cannot change direction on Lady Human when she is holding your leash.

Doodlebug:   Yes, I can. Watch!

Me:   Ow! Whoa!

Stella:    Doodlebug, stop!

Me:   Let’s see. An 80-pound bulldog pulling a resistant object, namely me, flat out. How much force is he exerting? I need a formula. I need a solution.

Snoopey:   I have a solution. Hey, Doodlebug, stop dragging Lady Human!

Doodlebug:   I go fast! Zoom! Lady Human? Why are you on the floor? Do you want to wrestle?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Don’t Call Yourself ‘Stupid’! – Conversations with Stella


I am Stella. I am an Olde English Bulldogge. I am their Queen.

Me:        Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Stella:    And I am not stupid.

Me:        No! Me! Me! Me!

Stella:    Apparently, Lady Human has done or said something that now displeases her, that she now considers to be a mistake. I only have a bulldog’s brain, but I understand this every time she yells at herself.

Me:        Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

Stella:    Why are you scolding yourself, Lady Human?

Me:        Oh, you wouldn’t understand.

Stella:    So now you are calling me stupid?

Me:        No. Just stupid ole me.

Stella:    Now hear this!

Me:        Ow! That hurt my ears!

Stella:    I have to be loud to get you to hear me! Don’t call yourself ‘stupid’! You listen to your own voice more than to any other. You are not stupid. A stupid person would not love bulldogs. A stupid human would not feed us and water us and play with us and talk to us. When you lie to yourself, calling yourself that word, you start to believe it and that is bad for you. And I love you and I don’t want anything bad for you. So SHUT UP!

Me:        Stella, that was rude! And kind. Thank you.

Stella:    Don’t mention it.

Me:        I appreciate…

Stella:    No, I mean it. Don’t mention it. SHUT UP. STOP TALKING. NAP TIME.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Dangerous Phrases – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans are the silliest creatures I know, sillier even than squirrels and that is saying a lot.

Me:        Why are we silly now?

Stella:    I heard what you said earlier.

Me:        I said a lot of things earlier. Nobody listened.

Stella:    You said one thing that everybody heard.

Me:        Oh, yeah. But that was just gibberish.

Stella:    Don’t call Bulldoggese gibberish!

Me:        I said, “Wah! Wah! Waaahhh!” It was a joke.

Stella:    And did you see what happened when you said it?

Me:        Wiggles, Snoopey, and Miss Sweetie jumped to their feet. Do you mean…

Stella:    They heard, “Get up!” So, they got up.

Me:        But you, Doodlebug, and Tiger didn’t move. You didn’t bat an eye.

Stella:    I batted an eye. I just didn’t get up. I didn’t want to.

Me:        Bulldoggy.

Stella:    Always.

Me:        I didn’t know what I was saying. I was just making a funny noise.

Stella:    Be careful of your funny noises, Lady Human. In Bulldoggese, you may be telling us to take over your human kingdom.

Me:        But you wouldn’t try to do that, would you?

Stella:   Mmmm.

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    Hmmm.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Mystery of the Missing Chicken Foot – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

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

Miss Sweetie:    Lady Human, my chicken’s foot is missing.

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Stella:    Sweetie, go through channels. You tell me and I tell Lady Human. I am the Queen.

Miss Sweetie:   My chicken’s foot is missing.

Stella:    Lady Human, as Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, I regret to inform you that a foot is missing from Miss Sweetie’s favorite chicken toy.

Miss Sweetie:   She is not a toy. She is real. I carry her everywhere. Now she has a foot missing.

Me:        Yeah, that’s terrible, Sweetie. When did you first notice that the foot was missing?

Miss Sweetie:    When I noticed it was missing.

Me:        Okaaayyy. Was that today?

Miss Sweetie:   I noticed it was missing today and yesterday and the day before.

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Me:        Have you looked for it?

Miss Sweetie:    No. Yes. No. Maybe.

Stella:    We are talking about Sweetie, Lady Human. She takes life as it comes. I doubt that a search has been made.

Me:        We will keep our eyes open.

Stella:    Do we need a description?

Miss Sweetie:    It looks like a chicken foot.

Me:   We will just look around for an orange foot like the other one. Meanwhile, it is potty time. Sweetie, follow me.

Stella:    Why don’t we get to go, too?

Me:        You know why, Stella. Sweetie doesn’t pay attention to “business” when she is outside with others. Only when she is out by herself with me.

Stella:    Okay, fine!

Snoopey:   I know where the chicken’s foot went.

Stella:    Why didn’t you tell Lady Human?

Snoopey:   Sweetie ate it.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Okay, we’re back. Mystery solved.

Miss Sweetie:   Oh,, Lady Human, I have another question.

Me:   All right.

Miss Sweetie:   Where is my chicken’s beak?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tiger! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby declare today HAPPY TIGER BIRTHDAY!

Me:        You mean that Tiger is happy?

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Stella:    No, Tiger is always serious. Except around Tall Man. And you sometimes, Lady Human.

Me:        So, what you are really declaring is that today is Tiger’s Birthday. Happy Birthday, Tiger!

Tiger:     Thank you!

Me:        Special treat disbursement in honor of Tiger’s birthday!

Stella:    Yea! Happy Birthday, Tiger!

Miss Sweetie:    Yea! Happy Birthday!

Doodlebug:   Yea! Happy Birthday!

Wiggles:   Oh, boy! What is it called? Happy Burpday!

Me:        Snoopey?

Snoopey:   Okay, yeah, whatever.

Me:        Snoopey, wish Tiger a happy birthday.

Snoopey:   Why should I? She yells at me all the time. She prisses around and gives me the stink eye. Maybe I just don’t like her. Maybe I just don’t want to wish her a ‘happy’ birthday.

Stella:    Are we having cake?

Me:        No, just bulldog treats.

Stella:    Wait, what? Are you taking some of our bulldog treats?

Me:        No, you all are having treats. Not me.

Stella:    Not even human cake?

Me:        I’ve cut back on human cake. I don’t even necessarily have cake on my own birthday.

Stella:    That’s sad, Lady Human. Not as sad as taking our treats, but still sad.

Me:        There are lots of ways to celebrate birthdays. It doesn’t have to be with food.

Stella:    Bite your tongue! But only if it tastes good.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey! Do You Want To Fight? – Conversation with Stella, Snoopey, and Tiger

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

Snoopey:   GET OUT OF MY FACE!

Tiger:     MAKE ME, LOUD MOUTH!

Stella:    I AM STELLA, QUEEN OF THE OLDE ENGLISH BULLDOGGES, BUT THAT DOESN’T SEEM TO MATTER TO SOME! NOW DID ANYBODY HEAR THAT?

Snoopey:   Tiger got in my face. She’s on my ground. If you are the queen, whatever that means, what are you going to do about it?

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Tiger:     Nothing! She’s not in charge! Do you want to fight? Let’s see who’s really In charge!

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Snoopey:   Whenever you’re ready, b…

Me:        Hold on there! Back off! Tiger, in your crate! Snoopey, in your crate! NOW!

Stella:    Good call, Lady Human. Neutral corners.

Me:        All well and good for the moment, but how do we get past this?

Snoopey:   Hey, Tiger! Do you want to fight? Well, do ya, punk?

Tiger:     Come and get it!

Snoopey:   I so would, but the crate is latched!

Tiger:   Yeah, mine, too! Inconvenient.

Me:        Everybody, calm down!

Snoopey:   I will if she will!

Tiger:   No, I will if she will!

Stella:    I WILL IF THEY BOTH WILL! Why is it so hard to be queen?

Me:   Why are we having this problem again?

Snoopey:   Because Tiger is stupid?

Tiger:     Because Snoopey is selfish?

Stella:    Because low blood sugar! I’m hangry! Treats all around!

Snoopey:   Okay, but me first!

Tiger:     No, me!

Snoopey:   Do you want to fight?

Me:   Now I want to fight. Where are the treats? I need some, too!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

No Double Dipping – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I am ticked off. Is that the correct term, Lady Human? Ticked off?

Me:        If you mean that you are annoyed, angry, riled up, fuming…

Stella:    That’s me!

Me:        Is there a reason or…

Stella:    Of course, there is a reason. There is always a reason. I am a reasonable bulldog.

Me:        Do the words ‘reasonable’ and ‘bulldog’ go together?

Stella:    YES! Why am I ticked off, you ask.

Me:        I didn’t actually ask why? I just wondered if there were a reason or…

Stella:    SILENCE, PEASANT!

Me:        I beg your pardon!

Stella:    Not yet! Why was Snoopey fed twice today? Why? Why? Why?

Me:        Snoopey was not fed twice.

Stella:    Yes, she was. She double dipped. That is not fair. It is not allowed.

Me:        Snoopey was fed once. There was no double dipping, as you call it.

Stella:    You took the huge plastic spoon…

Me:        The scoop…

Stella:    I said that. The huge plastic spoon and the food bucket around and we each got our food and then you went out and came back with more food and put it in Snoopey’s bowl.

Me:        I ran out of food on the first go-round before Snoopey got fed. I had to get more out of the storage can. When I came back in, I put food in Snoopey’s bowl. Snoopey did not double dip. She got fed once.

Stella:    It looked suspicious and unfair to me.

Me:        You were napping during breakfast. I saw you peak a couple of times. You missed the part where I ran out of food.

Stella:    NO DOUBLE DIPPING! NO DOUBLE DIPPING!

Me:        Is this going to turn into another bulldog strike?

Stella:    Not if you double dip me.

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Where Are Your Food Bowls? – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Where are your food bowls?

Stella:    Lady Human, interrupting me while I am addressing my subjects? How RUDE!

Me:        Where are your food bowls?

Stella:    We rearranged a few things.

Me:        Rearranged as in carried off? Have you hidden them?

Stella:    We like them. They make excellent drums.

Me:        I don’t want to have to go in search of them come breakfast time.

Stella:    Sweetie likes to wear hers and sit in it and step in it. Doodlebug is a better drummer though.

Me:        Yes. You are all very versatile. But I need them.

Stella:    No, you don’t. I have seen the sloppy way you humans eat. Round bowls and flat bowls and small bowls and square bowls. You never even have the decency to put your faces down into them. You bring the food up to your mouths with those long metal stabbers and pointy silver pokers.

Me:        I don’t need your bowls for me. I need your bowls for you all. Otherwise, breakfast tomorrow may be delayed.

Stella:    Delayed?

Me:        You don’t want me to pour it on the ground, do you?

Stella:    Food delayed? Everybody, pull in the bowls! Wiggles! Where is your food bowl?

Wiggles:   It was in my way. I moved it.

Stella:    Get it! Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:        Mine was empty so I didn’t need it anymore.

Stella:    No, silly! You need it every day. Tiger?

Tiger:     It’s around here somewhere. Why?

Stella:    Breakfast tomorrow, that’s why. Snoopey?

Snoopey:   I like to eat my food off the floor. It’s neater that way.

Stella:    Aaagggh! Whatever! Sweetie?

Miss Sweetie: Yes?

Stella:    All right, Sweetie, I can see where yours is.

Miss Sweetie:    Where?

Stella:    Really? You are sitting in it.

Miss Sweetie:    No, I’m not.

Stella:    I can see it under you.

Miss Sweetie:    That’s my chair.

Stella:    Bring all bowls forward! Now!

Snoopey:   Where is yours?

Stella:    Never you mind.

Snoopey:   I think it’s under your toys. I think I can get it.

Stella:    Don’t even try. Now who’s stupid for befriending the big purple dinosaur in my crate?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Right Reserved.

 

The Insane Babblings of Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. People are difficult to understand on their best days, but now Lady Human has taken to using gibberish words that don’t fit with any language of dog-kind or humankind.

Me:        Are you saying that you understand all words in all languages?

Stella:    I know enough to recognize nonsense words when I hear them.

Me:        Give me one example of a nonsense word that I have used.

Stella:    One example? Try these on for size: dup, nop, buh, tssst…

Me:        Well, I don’t know. Maybe. I may have made those noises.

Stella:    If you would just get me one of those little boxes that I have been asking for, I could prove it.

Me:        A cell phone? How about ‘no’?

Stella:    So what does the word ‘dup’ mean?

Me:        It’s sort of a cross between ‘nope’ and I don’t know what. I only use it when you all are going outside and then you decide to turn around and go on a bulldog reign of terror.

Stella:    And saying ‘dup’ is supposed to stop us?

Me:        It’s what I say when I don’t know what to say. If I say ‘stop’, nobody listens. If I yell ‘hey’, nobody listens. I would doubt your hearing except that you all hear every food can that opens and every vehicle that passes and you hear people at the door before they even knock.

Stella:    Then what does ‘nop’ mean?

Me:        It’s the double negative form of ‘dup’.

Stella:    And ‘buh’ and ‘tssst’?

Me:        Desperation words. When nothing works on y’all, random stuff just comes out of my mouth.

Stella:    Well, ‘buh’ and ‘tssst’ to that! You make us sound like we’re bulldogs or something. So yay for us! Is ‘yay’ a real word?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Snoopey the Bulldog Stress Eater – Conversations with Stella and Snoopey

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges – calm, collected, cool Queen Stella. Snoopey, however…

Me:        Very tense today.

Stella:    And why not? All those machine noises all day long.

Me:        With all the storms and rain lately, there has been a lot to clean up. Chain saws, mowers, tree mulchers…

Stella:    All day long. And the big rumbly truck in the alley.

Me:        Trash truck. That was today, too.

Stella:    I don’t like the big rumbly truck. It always wakes me up from my 2nd morning nap after my 1st morning nap, the one that comes right before breakfast and my 3rd morning nap.

Me:        I’m glad for the trash truck. Otherwise, we would be hip deep in garbage in no time.

Stella:    That’s because you don’t let us bulldogs eat the garbage. We could take care of it in no time.

Me:        Nope. Remember Miss Sweetie and the Greasy Paper Towel Incident.

Stella:    Oh, yeah. But Sweetie was young. She did not have my discriminating tastes.

Me:        So today, every time there was a loud noise or big truck or machine, Snoopey barked and then dove into her leftover food.

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Snoopey:   Food is good. Food is every day. Food makes me feel normal.

Me:        I have been a stress eater in my time as well.

Snoopey:   Really, Lady Human? That makes me feel better. More normal.

Me:        Stress eating is pretty common among humans. We have what we call ‘comfort foods’.

Snoopey:   Like what?

Me:        For my tastes – mmmm, tacos, pizza, potato chips, ice cream…

Snoopey:   I will take all of those, please.

Me:        I think that you had better stick with your regular food and treats.

Stella:    Mmmm, treats. I’ll have two, please.

Me:        Later, Stella.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Even if you eat when you are stressed, Snoopey, you are still only eating your recommended daily food allowance. You are not overeating. I just wish that you would trust me when I tell you that everything is all right. When you hear loud noises, there is nothing to fear.

Snoopey:   That is hard.

Me:        For humans, too.

Stella:    Uhhh, somebody mentioned treats. I am standing here. Waiting. Patiently. No stress eating here. Just eating. Okay?

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Go, Rolling Box, Go! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As all people and bulldogs know, a queen must have a fine coach in which to ride so she can survey her realm and wave to the crowds.

Me:        Crowds?

Stella:    My subjects.

Me:        Look around. Your crowd is right here.

Stella:    Lady Human, if the Rolling Box won’t roll, how can I find the rest of my crowd. What is wrong with it? Why won’t it mind you?

Me:        Cars don’t always mind. A battery cable snapped and it won’t start. Tall Man is working on it.

Stella:    Tell him to work faster.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Tell him my subjects are waiting and, if I don’t come by soon, the crowds will drift off.

Me:        Stella, there are no crowds waiting.

Stella:    Yes, there are. I see them every time we roll around in the Box. They are everywhere. The Rolling Box must be fixed.

Me:        It will be, but Tall Man takes his time and does these jobs the right way.

Stella:    I can’t be a good queen without a royal coach.

Me:        Well then, you’ll just have to be a mediocre queen until tomorrow because the car is probably not going to be fixed until after your bedtime.

Stella:    Take me to one of those places we pass all the time, where all the pretty Rolling Boxes are waiting to be adopted into new forever homes. I wish to select a new royal carriage that will always start. You will buy me one.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    It will be for me alone. None of the other bulldogs will be allowed to ride in it. It will have a big backseat, bulldog-sized, and… wait. What do you mean ‘Nope’? You say that as though you will not buy me a Rolling Box.

Me:        The purchase of a new Rolling Box as you call it is a big decision for humans to make.

Stella:    That’s all right, Lady Human. I will take the burden of the decision off your human shoulders and place it on my wide bulldog shoulders. There! Done! New Rolling Box, here we come!

Me:        We’ll see. To be continued…

Stella:    Nope. The Queen hath spoken.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Curfew Violator – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and once again, Lady Human has broken her curfew.

Me:        I am a grown human. I have no curfew. Besides, I went to the grocery store at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Stella:    And you said when you left that you would not be gone long. But you were gone long. And do you know what happened while you were gone? Big booms and light flashes in the sky. And rain hit the glass squares in the wall like buckets of water being thrown by a giant.

Me:        That’s an interesting image, Stella.

Stella:    A giant insect.

Me:        Ohhh-kay. Well, the same storm hit the store where I was. That is why I was delayed. The wind blew the heavy rain sideways, so thick and fast that we couldn’t see the parking lot. It was wrapped in gray. It looked like a hurricane.

Stella:    What would have happened if you had never come back?

Me:        Don’t worry, girl. Tall Man would have been here after his work ends.

Stella:    There was no storm where Tall Man is?

Me:        Yes, there was.

Stella:    It was not as bad as our storm?

Me:        A little worse. They had wind and rain and hail the size of ping pong balls.

Stella:    No!!! The Great Creator must tell the sky to stop throwing ping pong balls!

Me:        I am adding that to my prayer list. Really.

Stella:    Why does the sky throw ping pong balls?

Me:        They are actually chunks of ice. You see, water starts to come down through the atmosphere. Way up there, it is very cold and the water freezes; then another wind pushes the ice back up where it gets coated with another layer of water which also freezes, and that keeps on happening until the ice chunk is heavier than the upper wind can support and it falls to the ground…

Stella:    Boring! I mean why can’t the sky throw flowers or real ping pong balls that we could chase or…treats! That would be useful and it wouldn’t hurt if someone got hit by them!

Me:        Things aren’t set up that way. Flowers don’t fall from the sky. They grow from the ground.

Stella:    I think that should be different. I think ping pong ice should not fall from the sky. Flowers should.

Me:        Is that your bulldog plan?

Stella:    Yes.

Me:        Have you figured out how this will take place?

Stella:    No. I am letting you and the Great Creator work that out.

Me:        That is wise. I think that I will turn that over to Him. He is much better at planning how the earth works than I am.

Stella:    Probably a good idea, Lady Human. I have seen how you plan things.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Beep! Beep! Out of My Way! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Woah! Watch out, Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    Comin’ through!

Me:        Slow down, Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    Comin’ through!

Me:        Why don’t you go around me? My legs have a right to be where they are.

Miss Sweetie:    Beep! Beep! Comin’ through!

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Me:        Beep? Where did you learn that?

Miss Sweetie:    In the Rolling Box, when we went to see the white coat people. Beep is what the Rolling Box said when other Rolling Boxes got in the way.

Stella:    Lady Human, did you beep at the other Rolling Boxes?

Me:        I don’t remember honking at anybody.

Miss Sweetie:    Beep! Beep! Out of my way! Comin’ through!

Stella:    Wow! Sweetie has the broadest bulldog shoulders. She’s a tank, like in those human war Picture Box shows you watch. She just doesn’t wear watch bands on her feet like they do.

Me:        She’s a veritable linebacker.

Stella:    Linebacker? She backs a line? I don’t understand.

Me:        No, a linebacker is a football player, big, tough…

Stella:    Football? Those humans who wear hard, round hats and smash into each other? COOL! I LOVE FOOTBALL!

Miss Sweetie:    Out of my way! Comin’ through!

Me:        Okay, Sweetie, where are you going in such a big hurry that you can’t avoid hitting my legs and pushing past me?

Miss Sweetie:    I’m taking my chicken for a walk. Comin’ through!

Me:        Sorry, but your stuffed chicken doesn’t need to walk.

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, she does. Watch out! Comin’ through!

Me:        Sweetie, look at the bruises on my legs!

Miss Sweetie:    Sorry, Lady Human.

Stella:    Yeah, Lady Human, but that’s what you get for standing in the middle of a bulldog highway. Beep! Beep!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Don’t Pat My Head! What Do You Think I am – A Dog?

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I must go over one of the main rules of bulldog etiquette (that means polite behavior). Apparently, the humans around here have forgotten that patting the top of my head is rude and will not be tolerated.

Me:        Since when?

Stella:    Since always. Haven’t you been paying attention?

Me:        I thought I had been, but you know me.

Stella:    I certainly do. You have forgotten and have started patting the top of my head again as though I am a dog or something that likes that sort of thing.

Me:        You are a dog.

Stella:    I… well…okay, I’ll give you that point. But I thought I had made it clear that I am a dog that does not like the top of my head to be petted. I don’t see how I could have made it clearer. I pull my head back and aside when you hand appears above me. I cuddle and lean into your hand when you rub my cheeks and under my neck. I even like it when you scratch that little space between my eyes.

Me:        All right. I’ll try to remember.

Stella:    No! There is no trying! Do or do not! Like that little green frog man said on the Picture Box.

Me:        Yoda?

Stella:    What is a yoda?

Me:        Never mind. Why is this top of head petting thing such a big deal to you? I’ve been petting you on the top of the head and you didn’t object.

Stella:    It’s a domination issue. When something is coming down on the top of my head, I can’t always see what it is and that makes me tense.

Me:        I understand.

Stella:    Now if you rub my cheek and end up rubbing my ears and the top of my head, that’s different. You humans are so tall. It feels like everything you do falls out of the sky. And while we are on the subject, sit down on my level. I am tired of craning my neck to look up at you. And don’t have that smelly stuff all over your hands when you pet me. I don’t want to smell sweet. It’s not dignified. I’m a bulldog, not a flower.

Me:        Anything else?

Stella:    Yes. Keep petting me.

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Where Have You Been? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Nobody pulls the dog blanket over my eyes. Something went on today and I will have the truth!

Me:        Okay.

Stella:    I scent lots of dogs on you, Lady Human. Lots and lots of different dogs! Millions of nasal receptors cannot be wrong. Where have you been?

Me:        Uhhhmmm.

Stella:    Where have you been, Lady Human? Where have you been?

Me:        I went to a dog show. Specifically, a bulldog show.

Stella:    A bulldog show? Why?

Me:        Tall Man and I were invited by some friends who were showing dogs and we went. And it was very boring and nothing happened at all.

Stella:    Why are you saying that? There were bulldogs. It could not have been boring.

Me:        It was no big deal. There were some nice people and there were some beautiful dogs…

Stella:    Oh, I see.

Me:        Not that you all aren’t beautiful dogs. You are.

Stella:    I have seen those dogs at shows on the Picture Box. They are perfect. They run and prance. Their hair is lovely. I bet they smell good, too. I don’t look anything like they do.

Me:        Oh, Stella, pretty is as pretty does. Those dogs on TV look perfect because their handlers spend tons of time on their looks. I don’t care how you look.

Stella:    You never thought of taking me to one of those shows.

Me:        No, I didn’t. I just want to enjoy our life here. You can be clean and have your ears and face washed.

Stella:    Yuck!

Me:        You see! If you entered a show, there would be constant grooming and toenail trimming and…

Stella:    Yuck!

Me:        Exactly.

Stella:    You think I am ugly. Not pretty enough to show.

Me:        I admire those people and their animals, the ones that go to shows. I really do. There is an awful lot of work and diligence involved. And I’m not saying that I would never ever do it. But I am satisfied with us the way we are here. I don’t need a judge telling me that you are beautiful. I know that already. It doesn’t take a ribbon to tell me that you are a champion.

Stella:    They win ribbons? Are there treats?

Me:        No, I don’t think so.

Stella:    Never mind then. Waste of my time.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Make Up Your Mind – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I have decided.

Me:        Are you sure?

Stella:    Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Me:        Just let me know when you know.

Stella:    All right. Okay. Now I am ready.

Me:        Good.

Stella:    No, wait! Yes. No. No. I don’t know.

Me:        You are not usually indecisive.

Stella:    What is ‘indecisive’?

Me:        Hesitancy or inability to decide.

Stella:    You decide for me.

Me:        Very well. Go on outside and pee.

Stella:    No! You can’t tell me what to do! Especially when it comes to peeing!

Me:        Then have you decided to stay in for now?

Stella:    Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Me:        Go or not, it is not really that big a deal.

Stella:    But what if I go out and one of the bulldogs gets my toys or licks my food bowl? You know how they are.

Me:        I will get the toy back and what’s the big deal if someone does lick your food bowl. It will still be your bowl and all the food in it will be yours.

Stella:    What if I go out and I don’t need to pee.

Me:        No big deal. You can pee later.

Stella:    But what if I don’t go out and you leave on one of your mysterious human trips and I do need to pee.

Me:        I have decided not to go out today at all, so I will be here if you need to go out later.

Stella:    How did you decide to stay in?

Me:        I looked at what I have to do. I realized that there was no real reason for me to go out. We have all the food, supplies, and, yes, treats that we need. Going out today will accomplish nothing necessary or enjoyable. I decided to stay here and work on things I should do here.

Stella:    So, I should look at what I need to do. I need to pee.

Me:        Very well. Decision made.

Stella:    No. Wait. Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Me:        Stella, go outside.

Stella:    Whew! What a relief! Thank you for deciding for me.

Me:        I think your bladder would have decided for you at some point anyway.

Stella:    What is a ‘bladder’?

Me:        Never mind.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

In Search of: Paper Towels – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is searching for something, looking in every cabinet, high and low, up and down, over and under. What is missing?

Me:        Paper towels.

Stella:    Paper?

Me:        Paper.

Stella:    Towels?

Me:        Towels.

Stella:    Oh, the towels that you throw away. The towels that don’t go into the loud, obnoxious, rocking and rolling, jumping, walking, out of control washing machine. By all means, find the paper towels and spare us the ugly noise!

Me:        I prefer to use rags, but this needs to be a quick clean up.

Stella:    Don’t tell me. I already know. Miss Sweetie. Right?

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Me:        Right.

Stella:    Because you left the room just as she was ready to, you know, ‘go’.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Lady Human, don’t leave the room when she is ready to, you know, ‘go’. When you walk out, she gives up hope. She thinks that you will never come back. I have tried to tell her otherwise, but she doesn’t listen.

Me:        How well I know. I can’t find the paper towels. I guess we ran out. I’m just going to use rag towels. There.

Stella:    Lady Human.

Me:        I know, Stella. I have to mop it up.

Stella:    Uh, no, you don’t. Look.

Me:        I can’t believe it.

Stella:    I told you. Miss Sweetie is a bulldog genius.

Me:        She’s mopping up the mess herself. She really is.

Stella:    Those bulldog feet are good for something more than stomping around and pawing humans for attention.

Me:        She doesn’t like the mess any more than the rest of us do.

Stella:    Always remember, Lady Human. Don’t leave the room!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.