Ruckus or Rampage – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Well, Your Majesty. I could use your help.

Stella:    Your Majesty? About time I got the respect I deserve. What can I help you with, human peasant?

Me:        I beg your pardon?

Stella:    Granted. I am always happy to be gracious. What is your petition?

Me:        Help me when the others start to rampage.

Stella:    Rampage?

Miss Sweetie:    You know, Aunt Stella. When we suddenly jump up and run around like mad and climb on the furniture, which is for us anyway. I don’t know why everybody wants us to stay off of it.

Doodlebug:        And we dive into the rag box and pull stuff out and chase the cat if the cat is to be found. If not, we pretend to chase the cat full speed.

Wiggles:   I thought that was a ruckus.

Tiger:     No, a ruckus is just a lot of noise. A rampage is the real thing. Out of control. Wild. Bulldoggy. Woo hoo!

Me:        What causes a rampage? Or a ruckus?

Doodlebug:   It just seems the thing to do sometimes.

Miss Sweetie:    I like to rampage after my breakfast digests. More energy.

Tiger:     I prefer to ruckus. Louder but less effort.

Wiggles:   I just need to know. If I charge the cat potty box, is that a rampage or a ruckus?

Me:        That’s a no-no.

Wiggles:   Okay, so it’s a rampage then. Let’s go!





Copyright 2018  H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


Take It Outside! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, as if that makes a difference. No one is listening. Look at them, rampaging everywhere.

Me:        Yeah, sort of like football players on a basketball court. Not enough room to play the game.

Stella:    Whatever that means. I do like football. Humans crashing into each other. Very bulldog-like.

Me:        Sweetie! Doodlebug! Wiggles! Take it outside! Wait! Let me open the door first!

Stella;    Ah. Peace and quiet.

Me:        They are happy now, rampaging outside where there is more room. Why don’t you rampage like the others?

Stella:    I am the Queen. Rampaging is undignified for queens.

Me:        They do have a lot of fun.

Stella:    Until Sweetie decides to chomp down on Doodlebug’s face. I don’t like for my face to be chomped on.

Me:        He doesn’t seem to mind.

Stella:    It’s all part of the bulldog rampage. The biting, the nipping, the wrestling, the rolling, the running, the circling, the climbing…

Me:        Yeah.

Stella:   The rambling, the jumping, the bucking, the…

Me:        Okay. I get the picture. I only ask one thing of them.

Stella:    Take it outside?

Me:        Mmm hmmm.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Walk With Me – Conversations with Stella

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

Me:        That is not news.

Stella:    Why do you repeat yourself so much?

Me:        One guess.

Stella:    Just one?

Me:        That’s all you should need.

Stella:    Hmmm. One guess. Let’s see. You repeat yourself because you never pay attention to what you are saying.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Are you sure? How do you know?

Me:        I just know.

Stella:    Ohhhh. I used up my only guess, didn’t I? Pooh. What’s the answer?

Me:        I repeat myself to be heard. Either the bulldogs ignore me or are so loud that they can’t hear me.

Stella:    Oh, we don’t ignore you, Lady Human. We just don’t care what you have to say. But what is this sentence you keep using over and over with Miss Sweetie and Doodlebug? ‘Walk with me. Walk with me.’ Boring.

Me:        I am trying to train them to walk with me, not against me. I need them to stop rampaging through the house. When it is time to go outside, they need to walk along with me, not stop to chase the cat or sniff at every little thing or go running wildly or jump on the furniture. This is not a circus. This is our house.

Stella:    I thought this was a circus, only without elephants and tigers.

Me:        Even in a circus, there are rules.

Stella:    Repeating yourself will not get their attention.

Me:        You and the other grownup dogs don’t rampage. Well, not much.

Stella:    Sadly, rampaging through the house is for the very young.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Running of the Bulldogs – Conversations with Stella

I am here again with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, aka Queen and Squirrel Fighter.

Stella:    Thank you for the introduction.

Me:        Lest anyone forget.

Stella:    Precisely.

Me:        As the bulldogs’ queen, I hope you can help me.

Stella:    Oh, they don’t listen to me.  Bulldogs aren’t great followers.  They are too bulldoggy.

Me:        Oh, well.

Stella:    I know. Maybe I can yell at them. If I raise my voice and sound screechy enough, they may pay attention. LISTEN TO ME, BULLDOGS! STOP WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU ARE DOING THAT IRRITATES THE HUMANS! THAT COULD BE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING! THE HUMANS ARE VERY TOUCHY!

Me:        Touchy? Really?

Me:        Like what?

Stella:    Like farting, and barking, and…

Me:        Running pell-mell through the house?

Stella:    Oh, is that the problem? Mmmm…can’t help you.

Me:        So I gathered.

Stella:    Gathered what?

Me:        It’s an old human expression.

Stella:    So only old humans use it?

Me:        No.  It’s an old expression …Nevermind. The galloping bulldogs need to slow down.  They are going so fast that when they hit a corner, they roll over sideways and slip. I feel like those people in Spain who are running away from the bulls.

Stella:    People in Spain run away from bulls? Why? Bulldogs run at bulls. Let me go there. I will bulldog those bulls.

Me:        Not likely and not the point. In our house, running is not allowed. There is furniture to run into, floors to slide on, people to run into, people to knock over, people to step on…

Stella:    Sounds like you are focused on people and not bulldog fun.

Me:        I don’t like dodging bulldog bowling balls.

Stella:    That’s easy. When you hear us rumbling, just get out of the way.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








Please Stay in Your Lane

Every driver has been in this situation. You are calmly motoring along and another driver cuts around you or in front of you so closely that you can smell the paint on their vehicle. Most of the time, there is no contact. You utter a quick prayer of thanks and, hopefully, nothing else.

If you do utter something else, it may be a prayer for protection from unannounced, abrupt lane changers.

Stella, our compact-model Olde English Bulldogge, is a lane changer, and I have had to alter my walking habits accordingly.

She may “change lanes” in the yard as I am walking, minding my own business. A two-foot long, four-legged Sherman tank rolls past me, usually on my left, brushes the calf of my leg in the process, and almost takes my leg out from under me. She has been guilty of this behavior in the house as well as she rushes to get into the kitchen ahead of me. I don’t know what she thinks she is going to accomplish by this mad dash just as I don’t know what drivers think they are going to accomplish by risking an accident to get four seconds ahead of me on the freeway.

Imagine getting blindsided by a bowling ball.

So what have I learned? I have had to become more aware of my surroundings. When Stella is near me, I have to understand that she is likely to do her Stella-thing, run up on my left side, brush my leg with enough force to take it out from under me, and hustle past as though nothing has happened.

Track and field runners know that you have to stay in your lane just as motor vehicle drivers know it.

“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)

I have to remember to stay in my lane and run my race, not someone else’s.

Oh, and I have keep a lookout for Stella.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.