Special Emergency Pack Meeting – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby call this Special Emergency Pack Meeting to order.

Me:        Wait. What emergency? What pack meeting?

Stella:    Sorry, Lady Human. You were not notified because you are not a member of the pack.

Me:        Really? So, all the food and treats and face washing and puppy pool water does not qualify me for pack membership?

Stella:    It’s a bulldog pack, Lady Human, and you, after all, are not a bulldog.

Me:        Not even an honorary one.

Stella:    I’ll take it under advisement.

Me:        Shouldn’t you go ahead and let me know what’s going on?

Snoopey:   I’ll say it. It’s the ear cleanings.

Tiger:     Yeah, ear cleanings are gross.

Wiggles:   Yes, and the cleaning drops smell like…like…stinky water.

Miss Sweetie:   Like sour water.

Doodlebug:   Like you, Sweetie.

Me:        Enough, Doodle. Sweetie smells a lot better since we got the malacetic wipes for her face folds. The other type worked only hit and miss and so, I admit it, sometimes she smelled sour. I still think I should be included in the pack meeting, human or not.

Stella:   Not when you are the evil ear cleaner.

Me:        Now I am evil for cleaning your ears?

Stella:    Do you know what it is like to have your own ears wiped out?

Me:        Yes. Humans clean their ears.

Stella:    Weird. Your ears do not flop over.

Me:        And we can’t close our ears the way you do.

Stella:    It has taken lots of practice to perfect that move. Still, there is no defense against your nasty ear cleaning drops. So, we are taking a vote. Ear cleaning drops – yay or nay?

Snoopey:   Nay.

Tiger:     Nay.

Wiggles:   Nay,

Doodlebug:   Nay.

Miss Sweetie:    Maybe. Maybe not.

Stella:    That’s a yay. And I vote yay. Unanimous. No more ear cleaning drops.

Me:        I vote nay. My one vote trumps all of yours. I win.

Stella:    Not fair!

Me:        Fair? Have you seen what comes out of your ears? That is what’s not fair.

Stella:    Well, you wanted to be a member of the pack. Welcome.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Don’t Push My Buttons – Stella’s Open Letter to the Pack

To My Pack (and that includes you, Lady Human and Tall Man):

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

Be it Known: Fair Warning: You are pushing my buttons. STOP IT!

Transcriptionist: What are your buttons, Stella?

 Stella:    Well, they are not these little buttons on my belly because when I push them, nothing happens. My real buttons WHICH YOU ALL ARE PUSHING are as follows:

When I am taking a nap in my crate, DON’T VISIT! Don’t come walking by, pushing your smooshy faces up against mine. RUDE!

Another button: Keep your smooshy faces and slobbery mouths off my toys. What part of MINE do you all not understand?

 Transcriptionist: Tall Man and I don’t do those things. Why have we been included in your warning?

 Stella:    Button Number 3: Transcriptionists must be SILENT! Therefore, SILENCE! Consider my button pushed.

 Transcriptionist: You don’t have buttons, Stella. You are just feeling grumpy.

 Stella:    Button Number 4:  Don’t question my buttons.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Bulldog Etiquette – How to Treat Cats – Conversations with the Pack

Me:        I am calling this meeting…

Stella:    Wait! No! I am the Olde English Bulldogge Queen. I call all pack meetings.

Me:        All right.

Stella:    Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm.

Me:        And…

Stella:    What?

Me:        Are you going to call the meeting?

Stella:    What meeting?

Me:        This meeting is to tell you all how you need to behave around the cat. Our cat. Any cat. Anywhere. Anytime.

Wiggles:  Like right now?

Me:        Yes.

Wiggles:  Like when the sun comes up?

Me:        Yes, Wiggles. In the morning, too.

Wiggles:  And the next sun rising?

Me:        Yes, Wiggles.

Wiggles:  And the next…

Stella:    Hush, Wiggles! Do you see where this is going, Lady Human? Nowhere! And the meeting hasn’t been called yet, Wiggles. Why are we even having a meeting?

Me:        Because of an incident the other day between you and Moon the cat.

Stella:    Oh. That. No meeting today. Everybody go about your business.

Me:        Here are the rules:

No sitting on the cat. No staring at the cat. No chasing the cat. No insulting the cat. No drooling on the cat. No jumping on the cat’s bed. No licking on the cat unless she says it’s all right which she won’t.

Stella:    Aw, Lady Human, not fair. The cat has beds all over the place, even places that aren’t cat beds.

Snoopey:  I do none of those things. The cat and I are on excellent terms. And as pack leader, I should be the one to call pack meetings.

Stella:    Queens outrank pack leaders.

Snoopey:  Nonsense.

Tiger:     I am the one who is really in charge of this pack.

Snoopey & Stella:  NO, YOU AREN’T!

Me:        They are right, Tiger. I am the one who is really in charge of this pack.

Stella:    Where is that written down?

Me:        Genesis.

Stella:    Have I read that?

Me:        If you doubt me, ask the Great Creator.

Stella:    Oh. Okay. Never mind. I’ll do that later.

Me:        Does everyone understand the rules?

Stella:    Pretty negative rules, if you ask me.

Miss Sweetie:    Can we do nice things for the cat?

Stella:    Like what, Sweetie?

Miss Sweetie:  If we find a dead rat, can we bring it to her? That would be a nice thing.

Stella:    No, I’d leave that alone.

Doodlebug:  What about sticks? Sticks make great gifts.

Stella:    Save your sticks for yourself, boy. They will be wasted on Moon. The ways of cats are beyond mysterious. That’s why I like to chase them – for research. Meeting adjourned.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

‘Scuse Me – Bulldog Manners 101 – Conversation with the Pack

I, Illustrious Stella, Olde English Bulldogge Queen, hereby call bulldog class to order. Bulldogs, please listen to my illustrious instructions. Let us begin.

Wiggles:  Mwaaah. Nap time.

Stella:    No, Wiggles. Not nap time. Class time. Wiggles? Wiggles!

Wiggles: (snore)

Stella:    Wiggles! Wake up! You need this class as much as anybody! Oh, never mind!

Snoopey: Why do we need a class on manners? I use perfect manners with the humans.

Stella:    Oh, really, Sis? Like when you slap Lady Human on the leg with your oh-so-heavy paw after she has told you umpteen gillion times not to.

Snoopey: Umpteen gillion. You made that number up.

Tiger:     I agree with Wiggles. Nap time. Good evening.

Stella:    Tiger! No!

Tiger:     (snore)

Stella:    The most stubborn, uncooperative, pig-headed…

Doodlebug:  Don’t call yourself ugly names, Aunt Stella.

Stella:    Ggguurrrhhh! That’s Queen Stella to you, youngster! The younger generation has no respect. Sit down and listen!

Miss Sweetie:    Ggguurrrhhh! How was that, Aunt Stella? Is that how you do it? Did I show good manners? Do I sound like you? I look like you. I will listen to your class. Teach me. Ggguurrrhhh!

Stella:    Maybe tomorrow, Sweetie. And yes, you do a good imitation of me.

Snoopey:  As though anyone wants to hear that. Pack nap time! (snore)

Stella:    To be continued. (sigh)



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Leaders We Did Not Elect

Leadership – people discuss it all the time, ponder it, lust after it, fight over it. That’s because it is significant. Leadership is imperative at every level of life. Chaos reigns without good leadership and chaos reigns under bad leadership. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch. (Matthew 15:14)

First, what is not leadership?

  1. A leader is not one because of a title. There are too many wearing a title as a badge or a reward who are not leaders.
  1. Position does not a leader make. Even without the title, someone in a leadership position actually has to lead.
  1. Leadership is not aggression.
  1. Leadership is not simply issuing orders.
  1. Throwing a fit is not leadership.
  1. Manipulation is not leadership.
  1. Doing nothing is not leadership. Watch a ship that has no one at the helm and see what happens.

Our bulldog pack, so far as I know, did not hold a caucus and elect a pack leader. As the dogs came along, they argued a little among themselves from time to time, but the consensus came about naturally. Which dog “cared” more for the others? Which one watched over the safety of the whole pack, including the sometimes clueless humans whose senses of hearing and smell were not quite as developed? The answer was obvious, even to humans who were observant.


She stepped into the position without hesitation. The others defer to her. Whenever she comes back from having been separated from the pack, she makes a quick inspection tour. Is everyone there? Is everyone in place? Is everyone all right? Only then does she settle down.

And as for those silly humans in her life, she really has to watch out for them. If a stranger is outside, she hears it and barks appropriately. She has an alarm bark for oddities and emergencies, and she has a regular notification bark for things like, “Wake up, sleepyhead humans, it’s time for breakfast and bathroom.”

As with all leaders, Snoopey is not perfect.

She is suspicious. She keeps a keen eye out for everything. That may be the result of experiences in her young life before she came to us or it may be an inborn trait.

She is stubborn, but that is bulldoggy of her and not much different from the humans with whom she associates.

She jealously guards her prerogatives which include her food and her bedding. Oh, and don’t come sniffing around her face when she is napping. She’ll set a dog straight on that in quick order. On the other hand, if you’re a human, that’s fine. Feel free to stop by anytime.

When Tiger started to challenge Snoopey a few months ago, Snoopey put her feet down, all four of them, and took her stand. I am the pack leader. Tiger, you are young and full of energy, but that is not all that a leader needs to be. I am in charge. It took a while and some human guidance along the way, but Tiger seems to be growing up and has backed off the challenge for now, though we always remain vigilant. Ambition is a terrible mistress.

Nobody elected Snoopey. She didn’t run to convince anyone of her worthiness to lead. She just led.

May God grant us, not the leaders we deserve (that would be too horrible), but His leaders.

“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 KJV


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.