The Great Stuffie Experiment UPDATE ALERT – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. THIS IS AN URGENT UPDATE ALERT. Lady Human’s efforts to make an indestructible bulldog toy have FAILED! What a terrible disaster!

Me:        Not terrible, not a disaster, and not failed. I haven’t given up yet. Here is our current progress toward the indestructible bulldog stuffie toy.



Stella:    That looks horrible! Why did you put holes in it when you made it?

Me:        I didn’t. She tore those after only 15 minutes of constant bulldog attention.

Stella:    Please put the poor stuffed toy out of its misery.

Me:        Actually, I am going to cut a shell a little larger but in the same shape to add an extra layer. That will make 3 layers of fabric with the same amount of stuffing. She has not yet busted a seam, just torn the material. Of course, she only had it for a few minutes.

Stella:    Putting an extra layer on will make it bigger?

Me:        Yes, a little.

Stella:    And if she tears a hole in that?

Me:        I may try a fourth layer.

Stella:    And then another. And another. And so, it keeps growing larger and larger and larger. And suddenly, there will be no room in the house. The stuffie toy will take over and we will have to move into the yard!

Me:        Stella.

Stella:    And Sweetie won’t be able to fit it into her mouth, so she will start chewing up other things. Like the fence, and then all the animals of the creek will come running in and squirrels…SQUIRRELS OVERRUNNING US!

Me:        Stella! Stop! Your overactive imagination is what’s overrunning us. We have talked about this before. Calm down.

Stella:    Calm? How can I be calm when you are creating stuffed animals that will take over the world?

Me:        I can tell that it’s going to be a long week.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Great Stuffie Experiment – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and a collector of stuffed animals just like Lady Human. Today, Lady Human presented Miss Sweetie with a replacement for her late stuffed chicken toy, may it rest in peace.

Me:        I would have had it to her yesterday, but I messed it up and had to turn it inside out and restuff it.

Stella:    Why did you mess it up?

Me:        I didn’t try to. I was watching a TV show…

Stella:    Wait. Were you watching a nighttime movie without us?

Me:        Not then. That came later.

Stella:    I knew it. So you messed up Miss Sweetie new stuffie because you were paying attention to the silly Picture Box. I told you that the Picture Box was a menace.

Me:        You look at it all the time. Sometimes you seem to like it.

Stella:    What do I know? I am a dog.

Me:        Well, here goes. Hey, Sweetie!


Stella:    She loves it. Look at her go.

Me:        The main thing is that she not be able to eat it.

Miss Sweetie:    Is this my chickee? It doesn’t look like my chickee. It doesn’t smell like my chickee.

Me:        No, this is a new toy. Do you like it?

Miss Sweetie:    Gumm…yumm…nyawgh. It is not my chickee, but it is soft. I think it likes me.

Me:        We will watch to make sure the seams don’t come undone. The stuffing is the same material as the shell. No more fiber stuffing for Sweetie.

Stella:    Oh, look. Sweetie just found more stuffing in the couch.

Me:        Sweetie! No! Where is your new stuffie? Don’t you like it?

Miss Sweetie:    I like him fine. He is taking a nap while I chew on the couch.


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

How Do You Replace a Beloved Stuffie? – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Whatcha doin’?

Me:        Hello, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Stella:    Don’t change the subject. Whatcha doin’?

Me:        Nothin’.

Stella:    All right. I asked politely. I am a dog, but I am not stupid. It is obvious that you are doing something. You have cloth on your lap and it is not clothing, or a blanket, or a napkin. So now I am demanding an answer as your queen…

Me:        MY Queen?

Stella:    What are you doing?


Me:        I am attempting the impossible. I bought material today to put together an indestructible bulldog toy to replace Miss Sweetie’s stuffed chicken…Stella? Stella?

Stella:    Hahahahahaha! Wait…I am catching my breath…Hahahahahahahahaha!

Me:        Don’t you see that it would be better for her to have a soft toy she will like but will not be able to pull apart and swallow?

Stella:    Yes. Hahahahahahahaha! Indestructible and bulldog never fit in the same sentence. How many years do you plan on devoting to this impossible task?

Me:        Not years. A few days, off and on when I have time.

Stella:    Days? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Me:        Well, thank you for your support.

Stella:    You are welcome. I have all kinds of plans for how you should spend your time. First, buy me treats.

Me:        You have treats.

Stella:    I need more. Second, feed me my treats.

Me:        Takes a couple of seconds, that’s it.

Stella:    Third, scratch me and massage my shoulders until I say ‘stop’.

Me:        Which is one word that you will never say, so pretty much the rest of our lives.

Stella:    What’s the problem? It’s more fun than sewing some toy for Sweetie that she is going to destroy in a few minutes, isn’t it?

Me:        Mmmm. I’m going to have to think about that. Still, I bought all this fabric…

Stella:    I’ve been wanting a hoodie for cold weather camping.

Me:        Mmmm. 5 months or so. That might just about give me enough time. But Sweetie is without her toy. I feel sorry for her.

Stella:    Never feel sorry for a spoiled bulldog. They will control you forever. Now, scratch my belly!


Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.





Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Stuffed Animals

There is being in love with the idea and then there is being in love with the reality. Before Stella came, I was only in love with the plush toy fantasy of having another dog. The soft, sweet-smelling, no fleas, no ticks, no shedding, no chewing, no whining, no barking, housebroken, quiet when I wanted, active and playful in the way I liked, easy, cheap, wind-up toy idea of another dog. I did not think that I had enough energy for anything more. Surprise, surprise. I did. (God knows what He is doing.)

I like soft things, plush things, colorful things. I confess it – I have a stuffed animal collection. Not every plush animal qualifies; only the ones that jump out at me from the store shelf or the ones people give me. I have been collecting them for 25 years. I have around 100. That only averages to four new ones per year. Not an overwhelming collection (except according to one or two non-collectors in my family).

Of course, the bulldogs love their soft toys, too, and for that reason, they are not allowed in my room unaccompanied. They might just like mine right into their giant bulldoggy mouths. (You can see the results of their love in the picture above.)

So what happened when Snoopey was invited into my room on a quick pass while I retrieved some items? She has been in there before and, I suppose, was feeling quite comfortable. One bound and she was on my bed.  A few quick head tosses and the part of my stuffed animal collection that she could reach went flying. She didn’t grab any. That was going to come next. Maybe she was clearing out the competition. I put a quick end to what could have been a stuffed animal massacre.

Stella has been sneakier. I keep a plush dog-shaped pad on my easy chair that is specifically made for microwaving as a neck warmer. Always the hoarder and silent stalker, Stella sticks her head in from behind, even when I am sitting right there, and pulls at the neck warmer. The ploy does not work. I feel the move and stop her. She has five soft toys in her bed, but there is always room for one more, especially one that doesn’t belong to her.

Coveting comes so easily to us, dogs and humans, and most times it is not based on need. It is based on the fear that we are not going to get what we want or the envy that someone else already has it.

Covetousness pulls us into its trap and we don’t even realize that we are trapped. You can see it in a dog that is guarding a full bowl of food but reaches over to snatch the portion in his neighbor’s. Or in King David with his multiple wives who reaches into another man’s home and takes the only wife his servant had. (2 Samuel 11:2-4: Read the whole story. It did not end well.) The difference is that the dog is not under the commandment not to covet and we, being humans, are – for our neighbor’s good and for our own.

“Thou shalt not covet…any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”  Exodus 20:17 KJV


©2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.