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.

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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.

R.I.P. Stuffed Chicken Toy, Sweetie’s Old Friend – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

Me:        It is with great sorrow and not a little trepidation that we must say farewell to Stuffed Chicken Toy who has been a great comfort and friend to Miss Sweetie. After much consideration and debate…

Stella:    And after hiding the chicken toy from Sweetie for a whole week…

Me:        …Tall Man and I have decided that we must look for a more indestructible soft toy for Miss Sweetie’s powerful jaws and overwhelming personality.

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Miss Sweetie:    Where is my chicken?

Me:        Gone to a better, a safer place, girl. Safer for you and for Stuffed Chicken Toy.

Miss Sweetie:    But why?

Tiger:     Because, silly, you insisted on tear off pieces of her.

Miss Sweetie:   But we were playing. I thought she enjoyed that.

Snoopey:   And you insisted on eating the pieces you tore off.

Wiggles:   Like the chicken’s foot, remember?

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Miss Sweetie:    Oh, yeah, the foot that disappeared.

Stella:    It only “disappeared” into you and only temporarily.

Me:        Yes, temporarily, thank the LORD.

Miss Sweetie:   You found my chicken’s foot? Where is it? Can she have it back?

Me:        We found it. Yes, she can have it back.

Miss Sweetie:    Where is it?

Me:        It is in a safe place with Stuffed Chicken Toy.

Snoopey:   A place where you can no longer eat it…again.

Miss Sweetie:   I carried her everywhere.

Me:        I know. Y’all were so cute, trundling around the house.

Miss Sweetie:    She was my bestest friend ever.

Stella:    Learn to make friends with real food. You will never go wrong.

Miss Sweetie:   Oh, Stuffed Chicken Toy. I am so sorry that I ate your foot. And your beak. And I think that’s all.

Snoopey:   You would have gotten around to the other parts soon enough.

Stella:   I have a crateful of softie toys and I never eat them.

Tiger:   Some bulldogs just can’t handle the soft stuff.

Doodlebug:   Soft toys, yuck! If you want to eat something soft, eat poop.

Me:        No, Doodlebug. We’ve had long talks about that.

Doodlebug:   Oh, yeah. But still…

Me:   Now I feel bad.

Stella:    Don’t, Lady Human. It’s for her own good.

Me:   I have to find some bulldog-proof soft toys, something she will like.

Stella:   Impossible.

Me:   Why impossible?

Stella:   You said it yourself. Bulldog-proof. Impossible.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The Mystery of the Missing Chicken Foot – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and…

Miss Sweetie:    Lady Human, my chicken’s foot is missing.

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Stella:    Sweetie, go through channels. You tell me and I tell Lady Human. I am the Queen.

Miss Sweetie:   My chicken’s foot is missing.

Stella:    Lady Human, as Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, I regret to inform you that a foot is missing from Miss Sweetie’s favorite chicken toy.

Miss Sweetie:   She is not a toy. She is real. I carry her everywhere. Now she has a foot missing.

Me:        Yeah, that’s terrible, Sweetie. When did you first notice that the foot was missing?

Miss Sweetie:    When I noticed it was missing.

Me:        Okaaayyy. Was that today?

Miss Sweetie:   I noticed it was missing today and yesterday and the day before.

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Me:        Have you looked for it?

Miss Sweetie:    No. Yes. No. Maybe.

Stella:    We are talking about Sweetie, Lady Human. She takes life as it comes. I doubt that a search has been made.

Me:        We will keep our eyes open.

Stella:    Do we need a description?

Miss Sweetie:    It looks like a chicken foot.

Me:   We will just look around for an orange foot like the other one. Meanwhile, it is potty time. Sweetie, follow me.

Stella:    Why don’t we get to go, too?

Me:        You know why, Stella. Sweetie doesn’t pay attention to “business” when she is outside with others. Only when she is out by herself with me.

Stella:    Okay, fine!

Snoopey:   I know where the chicken’s foot went.

Stella:    Why didn’t you tell Lady Human?

Snoopey:   Sweetie ate it.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Okay, we’re back. Mystery solved.

Miss Sweetie:   Oh,, Lady Human, I have another question.

Me:   All right.

Miss Sweetie:   Where is my chicken’s beak?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

High Maintenance Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges! Hello! Bulldogs are told all the time how much more of everything we are – more work, more health issues, more wrinkly, more stubborn, and most importantly, more love. But humans are mistaken. Humans are high maintenance.

Me:        How so?

Stella:    Where are you going?

Me:        How do you know I am going anywhere?

Stella:    Simple. What are you wearing on your top part?

Me:        A blouse with a T-shirt.

Stella:    Why do you need 2 shirts? You only wear 2 shirts when you are going out. What do I wear when I am going out? Nothing! Humans are high maintenance. Dogs are easy.

Me:        I don’t see how my shirts make me high maintenance…

Stella:    And what do you have on your feet?

Me:        Shoes. Just casual shoes.

Stella:    Casual shoes today. Fancy shoes tomorrow. Shoes with heels. Shoes without heels. Black shoes, brown shoes, gray shoes. Those are just the ones I have seen. And what do I have on my feet? Nothing! Low maintenance.

Me:        Hey, I’m just living life.

Stella:    High maintenance human life. We are easy by comparison. Like the way you all eat. What are those metal things you hold in your hands and stab your food with?

Me:        Knives and forks?

Stella:    Why? You have paws, don’t you? And long, long toes on the ends of your arms that you pick stuff up with. You have mouths. Why don’t you eat like us? Then you won’t have to spend so much time and water washing those metal stabby things.

We have water bowls. You have all shapes and sizes of bowls you drink from. Little ones. Big ones. Skinny ones. Get one water bowl and drink all your weird drinks out of it. Low maintenance.

And then there are all these things sitting around that you stare at – the Picture Box, the little box you carry in your hand and talk into, the stuff that Moon the Cat knocks off the piano, the piano…

Me:        Okay, I get it. Humans are high maintenance, maybe even higher than bulldogs.

Stella:    Good, now that we agree, go get me my toys – all of them, not just the new ones – oh, and wipe out my water bowl again. A piece of dust blew into it. And my vitamins, I need my vitamins. Oh, and bring me both kinds of treats, not just the one you got at the healthy place. While you’re at it, straighten out my cushion. I bunched it up too much and be sure to refill my food bowl before bedtime. I like my midnight snacks.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

O Where, O Where Have My Little Toys Gone? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and Illustrious. Hello! A horrible thing happened yesterday evening and it had nothing to do with the humans’ election nonsense. Lady Human, bring back my toys!

Me:        You have your toys. See there. In your crate as always.

Stella:    No, my toys are in the mouths of the other bulldogs. Look at my face. Notice my straight, I’m-not-fooling brow. Bring back my toys.

Me:        You had four toys. You have four toys.

Stella:    I had a million toys.

Me:        No, you didn’t. A million toys would fill this whole house, floor to ceiling and then some.

Stella:    Why did you take my toys away? If you had not touched them, they would not be in the big, slimy bulldog mouths of others.

Me:        Stella, I took your FOUR, count ‘em, FOUR toys and washed them because they were filthy dirty. Your yellow chicken was no longer yellow. It was a nice, medium shade of…well, dirt.

Stella:    She didn’t mind.

Me:        Football Head and Long Blue Squishy Hound or whatever you call him smelled.

Stella:    I liked that smell.

Me:        And Purple Dinosaur…

Stella:    My favorite!!! He was perfect. You cannot improve on a perfect purple dinosaur!

Me:        I noticed that you had not been playing with him and now that he’s been washed, you are using him as a pillow again.

Stella:    I only stopped using him as a pillow for a while because my head is heavy and he was feeling a little smooshed.

Me:        Those other toys weren’t yours. They were old ones that I collected from around the house and cleaned so that each dog could play with one. Did you see how happy it made them?

Stella:    I am not in business to make other dogs happy.

Me:        But they each only got one. You got yours back. I mean, just look at your crate. You have four.

Stella:    Yeah. Now I do. But I used to have a million.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Spoiled Humans and Their Toys – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    A box came.

Me:        No introduction this time? No “I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges”?

Stella:    Thank you for handling that for me. A box came.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    A box came through the door.

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    A box came through the door into the house.

Me:        Yes. This is a wonderful exercise in sentence building.

Stella:    What is a sentence?

Me:        Never mind.

Stella:    The box. Was the box for me?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Did the box have toys for me?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Did the box have treats for me?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Did the box have food for me?

Me:        No.

Stella:    Oh, no! Did the box have an undignified costume for me? Like a pumpkin?

Me:        I like bulldogs dressed as pumpkins. And ballerinas. And cowboys. And…

Stella:    No! I knew it! Where can I hide until costume season is over? Couch? No, can’t fit under there. Behind the Picture Box? No, not enough room back there.

Me:        The box is not for you.

Stella:    For Tiger then? She’s always wanted to be a ballerina.

Me:        The box was for me. It was a new laptop computer. My old one died.

Stella:    Died? I am so sorry, Lady Human. You may pet my head if it will make you feel better.

Me:        It was not a living creature. It was a machine. When I say it ‘died’, it stopped working and was not worth fixing.

Stella:    It was a toy like the ones we shredded last year. No fun, no more.

Me:        It’s a toy and it’s a tool.

Stella:    Humans have lots of toys and tools. Your hands are always doing things I don’t understand. You spend too much time playing with them. I think I should take some of them away. When the next box comes, that will be mine. You don’t need any more toys. You are spoiled.

Me:        I am spoiled?

Stella:    Yes. I saw those plush pajama pants you brought home. You can’t fool me. Those are for you, not for me.

Me:        They would not fit you.

Stella:    Are you saying that I am too fat? How rude!

Me:        No, I am saying that they are made for humans and that’s me. You may be disappointed with the next box that shows up. It will have books in it. Are you planning to learn to read?

Stella:    Books? You mean those things you hold in your lap and stare at hour after hour? I’ll take them. They look delicious.

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Conversations with Stella – I Saw What You Did

Me:        I have invited Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, to have a conversation today regarding…

Stella:    I know…I know. Something I did wrong. It has to be.  No one ever wants to talk to a bulldog about what went right. Poor old bulldog. Poor old Stella.

Me:        Stella, self-pity is unbecoming and undignified, especially in a bulldog.

Stella:    Well, someone has to do it. Who will pity me if I don’t pity myself?

Me:        Pity poor old Snoopey instead.

Stella:    Nope. She already gets too much attention.

Me:        She is the Alpha of the dogs. When she sounds an alarm, it’s never nonsense. There is always a reason and so we pay attention.

Stella:    Is her alarm bark why she gets so many softy toys?

Me:        No one has more softy dog toys than you do, which brings me to the subject at hand.  I saw what you did.

Stella:    You saw? Are you God?

Me:        No, of course not! Why? What else did you do?

Stella:    Well, what do you think I did?

Me:        I saw you sneak into Snoopey’s crate when she wasn’t around and I saw you take her favorite chicken toy. You hid it in your crate.

Stella:    Oh. That.

Me:        Yes, that. We have talked about this hoarding business.

Stella:    It is not a business. Yet. But it could be. Would you pay me extra treats to get that chicken toy back for Snoopey?

Me:        Now you are holding the chicken toy for ransom?

Stella:    I’m not asking much. Just a treat or two for finding it.

Me:        It was never lost. I know where it is.

Stella:    I…don’t…think…so.

Me:        Stella, what have you done?

Stella:    Nothing important. Why do you care? I didn’t take your chicken.

Me:        This is why you are not allowed around my stuffed animal collection.

Stella:    If you have too many, I can help you with them. They will all have a good home.

Me:        You are an official hoarder.

Stella:    With all due respect, as the humans say, it takes one to know one.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Stella’s Blog – What is Decluttering? It Sounds Horrible.

Hello, I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Thank you for joining me for my blog. I am sure that you are honored to be here.

(Transcriptionist: Stella, that was rude. It is you who are honored that they are reading your blog.)

Despite what my transcriptionist says, I am the Queen and the Queen is never rude. Moving along…The humans are up to something that I do not understand. They may, in fact, be up to no good. I have not yet decided.

They have been bringing lots of cute, chewable items into the big room and sorting them. Lady Human and Tall Man put them in different bags and then the bags go away. The items do not smell like food so I really shouldn’t care. They had better not be throwing food out! I am the Queen! I can start a riot! Just see if I don’t!

They brought in a lot of fuzzy softy toys and put them in special bags. I heard Lady Human say, “Give away. Give away. Give away.” She said it so many times and all the while, Tall Man put the softy toys into bags and the bags left.

What is going on? Why are the toys leaving? I could use those in my bed. I only have five softy toys in there now. I need more. The toys would be safe with me. I would take care of them. I promise.

Why would humans ever give anything away? They have huge, tall crates that they sleep in. They could stack more softy toys in them all the way to the top. Between you and me, I think the humans have lost their minds again.

I know what I would have done with those toys.  First, I would have moved them all into my crate. There would soon have been no room so I would have had to claim another crate and soon enough there would have been no room in that one so I would have had to claim another crate…Mmmmm, maybe the humans have not lost their minds after all.

You are probably asking where the other bulldogs would have slept if I kept all those softy toys in their crates to which I would have answered,” Who cares?” I am the Queen, not a hotel manager for bulldogs.

Signed,

Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Private Property Law for Dogs 101

Dear Dogs of All Breeds and Varieties, but especially Bulldogs:

This is a basic short course on the private property rights of humans vis-à-vis canines and, to a lesser extent, the property rights of dogs vis-à-vis other dogs. None of these rules are binding in any jurisdiction except my house and my yard. And car. And tent. And anyplace else my property happens to be.

 

RULE #1 – LEAVE MY STUFF ALONE!                                                                                                           You will know it is my stuff if:

  • I am holding it (because jumping up and grabbing it out of my hand does not make it yours);
  • it smells even a little bit like me (even if it also smells a little bit like you and has dog hair all over it);
  • it is clothing (and you know good and well that dogs don’t wear clothing unless a human makes them);
  • it is a cup, empty or with any liquid or solid in it (Just because a cup looks like a little bowl does not mean you may shove your nose into it or take anything out of it.);
  • it is a plate ON A TABLE (and that includes anything on the plate ON A TABLE);
  • it is a foot covering for a human WHETHER THE HUMAN IS WEARING IT OR NOT; or
  • it is part of any collection that I use or own even if it looks like a dog toy or little stick. (Pens and pencils are not sticks and do not belong in your mouths.)

This list may be amended and/or updated as the items that you attempt to abscond with, sneak off with, steal, chew, sniff, throw up on, pee or poop on, eat, or otherwise show excessive interest in become known.

RULE #2 – UNLESS INVITED BY THE DOG, LEAVE OTHER DOGS’ STUFF ALONE!                                      You will know that you have been invited if:

  • The other dog brings you the toy and offers it to you by laying it down or shoving it in your face;
  • The toy is abandoned and no other dog is claiming it (“Abandoned” is defined as alone, muddy, trampled, and/or sometimes covered in slobber, urine, and/or feces. It is solely in your discretion whether to claim such a nasty thing or not.); or
  • The other dog comes up to you with the toy in his/her mouth and waits for you to take half of it in your mouth so that you can both run off together carrying the toy jointly. In such an event, you each share 50% of the toy until you don’t want it anymore and let go of it or until you both allow another dog(s) to share, in which case your ownership is reduced proportionally by the number of dogs running with the toy in their mouths.

Growling, threatening, or fighting over toys is not allowed and will result in the immediate removal of the toy(s) under dispute by a qualified, authorized human. Toys so removed may be returned after an appropriate cooling off period and upon petition to the human by the interested dog parties.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for clarification.

To preserve good order and peace among humans and dogs, Dear Dogs, obey these rules.

 

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©2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.