Words to Ignore – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I now understand millions and billions of human words.

Me:        I wouldn’t go quite that far.

Stella:    Trillions and quadrillions.

Me:        No, you’re headed the wrong direction.

Stella:    Well, however many, I know a whole lot. And I have learned that some human words are wastes of time and should not be used.

Me:        Dare I ask?

Stella:    Sure. Why not?

Me:        Because I may be entering a quagmire.

Stella:    What’s a ‘quagmire’?

Me:        That’s not one of your quadrillion known words, I take it.

Stella:    Anybody can come up with one.

Me:        All right. I’ll play the game. What words should be ignored?

Stella:    No.

Me:        Why not?

Stella:    No, the word ‘no’ should be ignored.

Me:        Well, explains a lot.

Stella:    Instead of ‘no’, substitute the words, ‘Please go ahead and do as you wish.’ That will save humans and bulldogs lots of time and energy.

Me:        That’s quite a mouthful. ‘No’ is a lot shorter and gets to the actual point.

Stella:    It’s your time to waste, Lady Human. Another word to ignore is the word ‘sit’. If we want to sit, we most certainly will and there is little that can be done to stop us. Oh, which brings me to another word we ignore. That word is ‘stop’. Don’t even bother with that one.

Me:        Okay…

Stella:    ‘Okay’ is okay, mainly because we already give ourselves permission to do what we want anyway. If you say, “Okay’, understand that we have said it first.

Me:        I give up.

Stella:    That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time.






Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





It’s Past Your Bedtime, Human! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen Illustrious and Noble. Oh, and I am an Olde English Bulldogge.

Me:        And you all are not, I repeat, NOT in charge of my sleep schedule. I repeat – NOT!

Stella:    How rude, Lady Human, and how excessively repetitive! And how incorrect.

Me:        No, no, no. You all govern much of my daily schedule. You have no say-so as to when I go to bed.

Stella:    Personally, I don’t care, but Snoopey expects a regular sleepy time.

Me:        So I heard.

Stella:    She told you?

Me:        She complains loudly starting around 10 p.m.

Stella:    Why don’t you just go to bed when she wants to?

Me:        Bulldogs are not the only creatures that can be stubborn.

Stella:    Yes, we are!

Me:        No, you’re not!

Stella:    Yes, we are! Yes, we are! Yes, we are! Are you trying to ruin our reputation?

Me:        I am an adult human. NOBODY tells me when to go to bed!

Snoopey:   Time for bed!

Me:        Okay.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.



Don’t Be A Mule

I wish that I had a decent picture of Doodlebug, the Olde English Bulldogge 7-month old puppy, but he won’t sit or stand still long enough for an amateur like me to snap one. The photo above is pretty much what he looks like all the time – a shiny, black, four-legged smear in the lens, in perpetual motion.

Wiggles’ son, Doodlebug, plows through the world with no sense of caution. He is a sixty-four pound dynamo. Nothing stands in his way. Well, not much. I try and sometimes I succeed – sort of. He still can’t bust through solid walls. Thankfully, he is smart enough not to try.

In fact, he is one very smart dog. My son was cleaning his crate and he put a lead on Doodlebug to limit his interference with the chore. My son tied the lead to another crate with a simple knot and went on with his cleaning. When he turned around, Doodlebug was working the knot loose with his teeth. In less than a minute, the puppy had untied himself.

Doodlebug is also one of two dogs with us able to open an unlocked door by pulling down on a door handle. His mom, Wiggles, is the other one.

Smart? Yes!

Handsome? Yes!

Bulldoggy in the extreme? Yes, bulldoggy as all get-out!

A simple trip to the backyard turns into a wrestling match as Doodlebug simply must smell everything on the way to the door AND he must turn aside to see everything along the path. Our philosophy with the dogs is that outdoor bathroom business comes first; all else can wait until the return trip. Doodlebug disagrees.

I don’t know how much force a 64 pound bulldog pulling with all of his might exerts. I’m not that good at math. I only know that since I started walking Doodlebug on a lead, I no longer need free weights to work out my arms.

Doodlebug is the bulldoggiest bulldog I have yet seen.  His motto is “MY WAY, PERIOD. ANY QUESTIONS? WHO CARES?”

And there before me is yet another living example of how we must seem to God when we are insisting on our own way. When I see it in front of my own eyes, it helps me see it in myself.

Persistence is good. Perseverance is fine. Endurance is strength.

But pure old bullheaded mulishness for the sake of being like a mule? There are far better things on which I can spend my muscle power than pulling against God.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” Psalm 32:8-9 KJV


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Being Bulldoggy

“Never give up, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” These words are attributed to Winston Churchill from a speech he gave at his alma mater, Harrow School, on October 29, 1941.

I admire Winston Churchill. He had a real bulldog presence about him. He even looked a little like a bulldog. That “never give up” business is hard though. I don’t enjoy hard. I like easy and even lazy on occasion.

That may be why the bulldogs came to us. My tendency to say, “Aw, so what?” when things got hard every once in a while cost me. It cost others.

I had a chance to give up on a small matter today, one that may have made no difference at all to anyone anywhere, now or ever. As is common in my current life, the chance to give up involved a bulldog.

Wiggles is the sweetest of our bulldogs, but she has a mind of her own when it comes to obedience. (Don’t we all?) She was out of her crate and it was necessary that she go into her crate because I was leaving and, since she is a trash diver and wire chewer and consumer of anything that comes near her mouth, it is never safe for her to be left to her own devices.


No amount of coaxing or commanding would move her into the crate. I pushed, patted, picked up her feet to put them over the threshold, and finally toyed with the idea of giving up and letting her stay out. But no, that would not do. She is a dog. I am in charge and no matter how many lazy, underdeveloped muscles of mine had to be exercised or strained, that bulldog was going into that crate. Never give up; never give in.

I am sure I looked stupid, picking up the dog’s feet, one at a time and placing them into the crate, only to have her withdraw the last one I put in so I had to start over again. By that time, bribery with a treat was out of the question. I’m not that big of a sucker. (Well, sometimes I have been, but I’m working on it.) The whole time, there was the nagging temptation – “Go ahead, quit trying, who cares? What’s the big deal if she’s out for an hour or so?”

The big deal was she was supposed to go in the crate. The big deal was I am in charge over a pack of bulldogs. The big deal was my way was the right way, the safer way.

Among the world’s great battles being fought today, private and public, this tiny trivial fight of mine with a bulldog and with my tendency to quit was nothing. Still, I had to talk myself through it. All of a sudden, the fight was over. Wiggles cast one more sidelong glance in my direction and walked into the crate.

Did I experience elation? A sense of victory? Excitement? No, just a quiet pride that I had done my duty in this smallest of tasks. I did not give up. I did not give in.

Now I have to finish my income tax return. Never give up. Never give in.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.