Freak Zone! What is Going On Here? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am in the Freak Zone. That is like the human Picture Box show “Twilight Zone”, but different, because this is real because it is going on right here, right now!

Me:        I’m sitting right here, too, and I don’t see any freak zones.

Stella:    There is a voice coming out of that little box you carry everywhere.

Me:        My phone? Sure. That’s what a phone does among other things.

Stella:    No. You are not talking to Tall Man. I know his voice. There is a woman in your phone box. She is talking. I can see her. She said your name. AAAAAAGGGGHHHH!

Me:        She is not IN my phone. She is on my phone.

Stella:    She is trapped inside the little box! They shrunk her! She is trapped! Help her, Lady Human! Help her get free!

Me:        Stella, it is all right. She is broadcasting live on Facebook.

Stella:    Her face is in a book, talking to you? NOOOO!!!

Me:        She is not in the box. She is in another city and she is filming herself with a camera.

Stella:    What does that even mean? City? Filming? Camera? I can see her tiny little self in your box! What kind of place is this?

Me:        Maybe you should look at something else if this freaks you out.

Stella:    Why does this NOT freak you out?

Me:        Because I understand what is going on. Nothing is wrong. I’m sorry that it bothered you. This is just normal for humans now.

Stella:    As I suspected, humans live in the Freak Zone.

Me:        Yeah, sometimes.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Foot Bath Furor – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

As a human, I am constantly surprised by what sets the bulldogs off. The latest barking/whining frenzy started…

Stella:    When your feet disappeared, Lady Human! WHEN YOUR FEET DISAPPEARED!

Miss Sweetie:    Nooooo! Where did they go, Lady Human? Horrible!

Stella:    Settle down, Sweetie! I will make Lady Human tell us where her feet went!

Me:        This is a foot bath.

Stella:    It eats feet! Keep it far away from us! We have lots of feet!

Me:        Look! See! Here are my feet!

Miss Sweetie:    They are back! Wonderful! You are so talented, Lady Human.

Me:        It is a foot bath. I put my feet down in it like this…

Miss Sweetie:    Noooo! They’re gone again! Why?

Me:        And I take them out like this.

Miss Sweetie:    What a relief! They are back! Lady Human is my hero. She can do anything.

Me:        Not exactly.

Doodlebug:        Why are you letting that monster chew on your feet?

Me:        It is full of warm water and I soak my feet in it.

Tiger:     Ridiculous. Why would anyone volunteer to put their feet in a box of water?

Snoopey:  Tiger is always wrong. I have never agreed with her. Until now.

Me:        Look, y’all. It’s a matter of perspective. From where you are, I can understand that it looks like my feet disappear.

Wiggles:   Yeah, your legs look funny with a big box on the end of them. Your feet disappear, and then they come back, and then they disappear, and then they come back. You are the funniest human ever.

Stella:    Wiggles, it’s not funny! It’s scary. And the box of water is making a growling noise. I don’t trust it.

Me:        Come over here, Stella, and look down into the foot bath. You can see my feet.

Stella:    No way, Lady Human! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again. Why are you trying to fool a poor ole bulldog?

Me:        Wait. When did I fool you once?

Stella:    Not important.

Me:        Perspective. What things look like from where you sit may not be the way they really are.

Stella:    Good, because from where I sit, that box of water on your feet looks weird and scary.



Copyright 2017 H.J Hill All Rights Reserved.

Humans Are So Talented That They Are Scary – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby issue this warning. Humans are scary! SCARY!

Me:        Stella, indoor voice, please!

Stella:    I have no indoor voice. I have only one voice – my voice. My big, bulldoggy voice.

Me:        Why are humans suddenly so scary to you?

Stella:    Not suddenly. For a long time now. Look at all the things you do. Driving rolling boxes at super fantastic speeds. Showing up on the Picture Box. Blowing things up.

Me:        When have I ever blown anything up?

Stella:    That big rubber ball in the yard. I saw you use that pumpy thing to blow it up.

Me:        Oh, that kind of blowing up. Yeah, I have pumped air into quite a few things in my time.

Stella:    You see! No bulldog could do that. We have enough air, but we can’t keep our lips tight for that long and we aren’t good with machinery. And by the way, the big rubber ball is terrifying.

Me:        The others seem to like it.

Stella:    The others are stupid. Never bump something with your nose that is double your height. What if it got mad? What if it started to chase you? What would you do?

Me:        A big rubber ball? I’d probably kick it.

Stella:    You see again? Human talent. Imagine a bulldog trying to do that.

Me:        But why scary? I’m not scary.

Stella:    What was that in your hand a few minutes ago?

Me:        Ummm. A spoon?

Stella:    Before that.

Me:        A bowl?

Stella:    Before that.

Me:        The TV remote?

Stella:    BEFORE THAT?

Me:        An automatic lighter?

Stella:    And what do you use that for?

Me:        I use it to light scented candles.

Stella:    And what does it do?

Me:        It strikes a small flame…

Stella:    FLAME! And what is another word for flame?

Me:        Fire?

Stella:    Bingo! And what is bingo?

Me:        Off topic.

Stella:    Okay. But do you see how scary that it? All a human has to do to start a fire is to pick up a lighter and press a button. SCARY. Do you know what a bulldog has to do to start a fire?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I HAVE NO IDEA!

Me:        If you did know how to start a fire, can you guess what I would say?

Stella:    What?

Me:        SCARY!



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Scary Smart – Conversations with Stella

I am here once again with Queen Stella of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Stella:    I like that! It makes me sound official.

Me:        In Bulldog Land, you are as official as it gets.

Stella:    Why were you wearing your weird face?

Me:        I beg your pardon? I don’t have a weird face to wear.

Stella:    Yes, you do. It shows up whenever one of us has done something that you can’t figure out with your human brain.

Me:        I wasn’t aware…well, I have been surprised by some of Doodlebug’s and Miss Sweetie’s antics lately.

Stella:    Antics are like when they burp or jump up on chairs or stand on tables like they are going to give a speech?

Me:        No, those are normal bulldog activities. I mean the scary smart stuff like, well, here’s a list:

Doodlebug opened the back door again by turning the handle,

Miss Sweetie uses her mouth to try to turn on things like faucets,

Doodlebug does a quick gymnastic neck duck to get out of the lead when it’s loose,

Doodlebug puts any stick he is chewing on down in a special place when he comes                   in because he knows that I am going to take it away from him,

Doodlebug knows how to slide the latch to open his crate

They both know how to reach in and steal eggs from the chickens,

Doodlebug knows when breakfast time is within ten minutes either way…

Stella:    It sounds like Doodlebug is the smart one and Miss Sweetie has just made a couple of lucky guesses. Why is it scary smart?

Me:        Because we don’t expect dogs to figure out how to do some of the complicated stuff that we do.

Stella:    Because you think we are dumb.

Me:        Not dumb. Just dogs.

Stella:    Just dogs! Just dogs! I knew it! Humans think they are all that and a bag of doggy treats, too! Hmmph! Watch as I turn my head away in disgust! You humans think that you control everything!

Me:        Well, not everything, but things like door handles and faucets, yes.

Stella:    You just wait. One day we will send a dog to the moon so he can pee on it and return safely to Earth.

Me:        Oh, great. A dog peeing on the moon, too. And who is going to build this dog spaceship?

Stella:    Well, never mind. You just guard your faucets and door handles. And the washing machine.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Stop the Noise! I Can’t Think! – Conversations with Stella

The noise level in the house has increased ten-fold this week. Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, may be able to shed light on why.

Stella:   Not our fault. Totally falls on the humans’ shoulders. What did you think would happen when you brought a long red pole with a sponge on it into the house? Who can stand such a thing?

Me:        It’s a mop. How are we supposed to mop the floor without a mop?

Stella:   Stick a towel on your feet and skate. I’ve seen you do that before.

Me:        On a small area. Not on the whole floor. And you didn’t just go nuts barking at the mop. Once you got your bucket kicked over, you all were barking at everything.

Stella:   Our barking is a public service. If you don’t want us to bark, don’t bring in strange things that fit on the end of long poles. We hate long, skinny stuff. And don’t bring around strange people either, no matter what shape they are.  We are not partial to strangers. It took us long enough to get used to you and Tall Man.

Me:        Well, with all the barking, I can’t think my way out of a box.

Stella:   Why would you be in a box?

Me:        It means that I can’t think through even simple problems.

Stella:   I am sorry, Lady Human. I am sorry that we are so annoying. We are bulldogs.

Me:        No, don’t be sorry, Stella. If it weren’t for your noise, things would be too quiet around here.

Stella:   As a favor to you, we will stop barking. For today only. Just to make room for your thinking. We don’t want you to be stuck in a box. Tomorrow we will recommence.

Me:        Can’t we make that bark stoppage permanent?

Stella:   Not if you insist on mopping.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




Conversations with Stella – Peace Talks

May I please reintroduce Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge. She and I are conducting an open conversation on the following topic:

What the Freak Can We Do to Bring Peace Back into Our House?

Stella:    I am not familiar with the word “freak” in that question. Is that like the other week when Tall Man dressed up like a giant insect? Because that was freaky. I’m still having nightmares.

Me:        No, this use of the word “freak” is what humans call an expletive. It is used to get people’s attention and to emphasize strong emotion. Expletives are usually empty words to be avoided and there are expletives that I choose not to use. I am using “freak” here because it fits the way I feel – freaked out by all the wild behavior in the house lately. Do you understand?

Stella:    Yes. You are freaked out by giant insects, too.

Me:        No…Yes…No. Look, I would be if I ever saw a giant insect, but there aren’t any. They don’t exist. And giant insects are not the topic for discussion today.

Stella:    They should be.

Me:        Peace in the house, no more fighting or craziness, that is the conversation we are having today.

Stella:    Barking and chasing Moon the Cat will not destroy the world. Giant insects will destroy the world.

Me:        No, they won’t.

Stella:    I saw it on one of those black and white shows on TV. You really shouldn’t leave the TV on when you go out of the room. Scary.

Me:        I’ll try to remember that. Now can you help me? What can we do to bring peace to the house?

Stella:    Get rid of all the other dogs and keep me.

Me:        That wouldn’t be fair.

Stella:    It would be fair to me. I was here first. Honestly, did you have this problem when it was just me?

Me:        Well, no.

Stella:    Moon the Cat and I got along fine, even though she made those hideous hissing noises when I walked by and she has such an ugly face because…you know, CAT! And just think how much more time you would have if the others were gone. More time to do all sorts of stuff like pet me, and play with me, and groom me, and go places with me, and…

Me:        And you would no longer be Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, because there wouldn’t be any other bulldogs here. You would have no subjects.

Stella:    Wouldn’t you be here?

Me:        Okay, we have run out of time for today. We will have to take this matter up tomorrow.  Sorry we couldn’t stay on topic.

Stella:    Please join us tomorrow when our topic will be “The Growing Menace of Giant Insects”.

Me:        Nope.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.