Are You a Lefty or a Righty? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have four paws while Lady Human only has two because that is all the Great Creator gave her. I think that was a mistake.

Me:        I would hesitate to say that our Creator made a mistake. And to be precise, I have two hands, not two paws.

Stella:    Same difference.

Me:        Not so much.

Stella:    I feel cheated.

Me:        How come?

Stella:    Look at all the stuff you can do with your paws…

Me:        Hands.

Stella:    Whatever. You have those long, long toes…

Me:        Fingers.

Stella:    Whatever. And when you pet me and scratch me, instead of using both paws…I know, hands…you just use one and it’s almost always that one.

Me:        My left hand. I am left-handed.

Stella:    Sounds to me like an excuse for laziness.

Me:        Don’t you prefer to use one paw over another?

Stella:    Well, my front paws I use about the same, but my rear paws I use for convenient scratching, one for one side and the other for the other. I’m not sure about this left thing you talk about.

Me:        Humans tend to favor one side over the other when it comes to hands. To be perfectly honest, I am ambidextrous.

Stella:    I thought you were human.

Me:        I am. Ambidextrous means that I can use both hands equally. I had to choose one over the other when I was a kid. The school I attended wouldn’t allow me to use both.

Stella:    What? The sillies! I knew I was being cheated. Game changer. Go back to being ambidextrous, Lady Human! I need both your hands all the time.



Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Pounding Paws – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        Mmhmm.

Stella:    Lady Human! Pound. Pound. Pound.

Me:        Oh, Stella. Why? I’m trying to take a nap.

Stella:    No! You must pay attention to me! Pound. Pound. Pound.

Me:        Please don’t pound me with your paws.

Stella:    That’s what bulldog paws are for.

Me:        I thought they were for walking and running and digging. And for scratching.

Stella:    Wrong. Your hands are for scratching us.

Me:        I was up half the night.  I just want a little nap.

Stella:    Napping is for bulldogs! Pound. Pound. Pound.

Me:        Stella, please! When I cover my shoulders with the sheet and hide my hands, that means sleep time, not petting or scratching time. See! My hands are all tucked in.

Stella:    I like your face.

Me:        Thank you.

Stella:    Here. Let me pound it.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Hey! Let Go of My Paw! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I like my freedom. Everybody should. Which is why…hey, give it back!

Me:        Just a second.

Stella:    No, it’s already been a second. I know enough about human time to know that.

Me:        Hold on.

Stella:    Hold on to what? My paw? Let it go.

Me:        I will.

Stella:    Promises, promises. Give it back.

Me:        I have to do this.

Stella:    No, you don’t. My paw is MY paw. You keep pulling this trick. You grab one of my poor old paws and you slip out that clipper device like I don’t know what it is, and you start to snip, snip, snip.

Me:        I have to hurry to get your nails clipped. You start to pull away immediately.

Stella:    Well, how would you feel if somebody grabbed one of your paws? Would you just let them pull on it and clip away at your nails?

Me:        I kind of wish somebody would.

Stella:    Okay, hand over that mean-looking thing in your hand and I’ll go to town.

Me:        Go to town? You know that saying?

Stella:    Sure, I do. “Go to town” means “do something stupid as fast as you can”. It’s a human thing.




Copyright 2018 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?


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.

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.




Please Don’t Paw the Driver – Conversations with Stella

Stella and I are out on an errand run. It’s always fun traveling with a dog…Ow! Stella, don’t do that!

Stella:    Don’t do what?

Me:        Don’t hit me with your paw!

Stella:    I had to get your attention.

Me:        I can’t give you my attention. I am driving.

Stella:    You did not introduce me.

Me:        I said your name.

Stella:    Not good enough.

Me:        Ow! Stella, quit it! Don’t touch the driver. Ever.

Stella:    Why not?

Me:        It is distracting and drivers should not be distracted.

Stella:    Not even by those little black boxes that make funny noises?

Me:        Especially not by those.

Stella:    Then put yours away!

Me:        Oh, all right.

Stella:    Introduce me!

Me:        Ow! Don’t paw me!

Stella:    But I love you.

Me:        And that’s why you hit me?

Stella:    I didn’t hit you. I loved you with my rough, heavy paw.

Me:        If you keep it up, I will have to pull over and put you in the backseat.

Stella:    I will just paw at you from there. Introduce me.

Me:        Stella. Queen. Old English Bulldogge.

Stella:    What else?

Me:        Illustrious. Noble.

Stella:    Thank you. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Me:        You don’t know the challenges of driving.

Stella:    Well, at least I am having a good time.

Me:        That’s what it’s all about, Stella.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Dogs Don’t Have Hands – Thank God!

I truly am grateful that the LORD did not give dogs long fingers and opposable thumbs. Can you imagine the chaos and the competition? If He had done so, those old velvet paintings of dogs playing poker and smoking cigars might have been based on real life.

What brings up this outburst of thanksgiving that dogs have stubby little toes and no manual dexterity to speak of? One or more of our dogs OPENED THE BACK DOOR!

To be clear, the door was shut but not locked. There was no wind, not so much as a breeze. I was the only human awake in the house. There was no banging or sound of pushing against the door, not even horseplay (similar to bulldog play). I was finishing my breakfast in the kitchen when…a clatter, a bump, and the sound of objects falling…

I ran into the den. The door was wide open and there were dogs, dancing. The sounds I had heard were from the door knocking into my shelf by my chair and my pencil case falling over and spilling. Somebody of the canine classification had opened the door.

Now someone may argue, “Oh, you just didn’t close the door well,” which is exactly what my son suggested when he came in to check out the ruckus. But I am careful to close the door fully, complete with the click of the latch, when I let the dogs out into the yard because I don’t want them to wander back into the den alone while I am in another part of the house. They have a habit of strolling around the room, selecting choice human items or furnishings to taste or move or run around with in their big bulldoggy mouths. Closing the door completely is a habit of mine.

So how did they open it? Our patio door has an extended handle instead of a doorknob. I suspect that one of the little boogers stood up on her hind legs and pulled down on the handle with one or two paws. They have seen me do it every day. I watched Tiger almost accomplish the feat a few months ago. But Tiger wasn’t outside this time. That means someone else got a clue and actually did it.


So now I will lock the patio door when the dogs go out. And we will be fine until one of them figures out that piece of the puzzle which is unlikely because God wisely saw fit not to give them hands. Thank You, Lord!

“…marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 KJV


©2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine

Bulldogs claim things. Bulldogs claim people. They do this in various ways, but most often by placing their front paws, either one or both, on the person they are claiming. They make a demand, insisting on continued attention, more attention. Don’t get up. Don’t walk away. Those dishes can wait. Everything else can wait. I am here. You are mine.

 It sounds a little like a sweet Valentine’s Day card. It’s encouraging. They love me so much that they pound me heavily with their straight, stout legs. When they keep hitting me, they bruise my legs and arms.

These dogs were not trained as puppies to keep their paws off people. That was a human failure. Since they are bulldogs, their legs are spring-loaded, perpetual motion machines.

Here is our typical conversation:

(Insane barking for no reason at all.)

“Calm down!”

(All barking ceases while they stare at the nutty woman standing in the middle of the room.)

Snoopey walks up and paws at my feet, leaving a highlighted mark on my bare foot.

I give her a touch. “No!”

Paw springs up.


Paw springs up.


Other paw springs up.


First paw springs up again.

And so on and so on and so forth. “No” has become the most ubiquitous word in our household.

I can’t let them think that I am doing anything just because they are demanding it. Then all they will have to do is throw a fit to get their way, sort of like young children.  I am in charge (whether or not I really want to be).

I start on one of my guilt trips – if I were a better guardian, a better steward of these animals, I wouldn’t be having these bad behaviors. But God reminds me that His humans have not consistently obeyed Him either, AND HE IS GOD. And He reminds me of something else.

If it hurts another, it’s not love. If it’s selfish, it’s not love.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”  Roman 13:10 KJV


Copyright H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved