Skimping – Conversations with Doodlebug and Sweetie

I am Doodlebug,, King of the Olde English Bulldogges.

And I am Sweetie and I have noticed a decided reduction in the volume of our treats lately.

Doodlebug: Yeah, Lady Human, they are barely a bulldog mouthful.

Sweetie: Are you skimping on us? Again?

Me: I have noticed that you are both putting on a little extra weight lately.

Doidlebug: So? I am a healthy growing boy.

Me: Uh, excuse me, but you stopped being a growing boy some years ago.

Doodlebug: So how can I be putting on weight then? Really, Lady Human, you make no sense.

Sweetie: Don’t fret, Doodle. She’s just skimping. We’ll take care of it tomorrow. Psst…I know where she keeps the good stuff stashed.

Copyright 2023 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Delivery – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. And I am waiting.

Me:        Waiting for what?

Stella:    You know!

Me:        Uhhbbb, no, I don’t.

Stella:    Uhhbbb, yes, you do. Is your memory fading, Lady Human?

Me:        I don’t think so. Could you be a little more specific?

Stella:    I would be glad to, but I don’t know what ‘specific’ means.

Me:        Exactly what are you waiting for?

Stella:    Treats.

Me:        I give you treats every day.

Stella:    Not those treats. Those treats are not treaty enough.

Me:        Treaty?

Stella:    Hey, everybody else is making up new words. Treaty is mine.

Me:        You realize that ‘treaty’ is already a word that means something other than…treats.

Stella:    Beside the point. Where are my treaty treats?

Me:        Oh, the chicken jerky treats!

Stella:    Oh, now you remember!

Me:        I haven’t gotten by the store that sells them yet.

Stella:    You said you would bring them. Terms of delivery. Isn’t that what humans say? Isn’t that a promise?

Me:        Well…

Stella:    Terms of delivery, Lady Human. Where are the treats?

Me:        I haven’t had time this week.

Stella:    For shame, Lady Human! You lied to a dog!

Me:        I’ll get them. I promise.

Stella:    Too little, too late!

Me:        So, you don’t want the chicken treats?

Stella:    Did I say that?

Me:        Sort of.

Stella:    If you believe that, I have been totally misrepresented.

Me:        Misrepresented by yourself?

Stella:    Don’t try to confuse me! I am already confused enough as it is. Bring me my treats!

Me:        All right. Double effort tomorrow to get to the feed store to pick up a bag of chicken treats.

Stella:    Don’t let me down, Lady Human. Never lie to a dog!





Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Puddle Jumpin’ – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Tiny lakes are blocking our path back into the house.

Me:        They are just puddles. Let’s get back in. Rain is starting again in…2 minutes. Maybe. Sometimes they’re pinpoint accurate on these predictions. Sometimes, not so much.

Doodlebug:   Me first. One…two…three…jump! Woo-hoo!

Me:        Well done, Doodle!

Tiger:     Me next! Lope…lope…leap! They said I’d never do that again!

Me:        And look at you now. Well done!

Wiggles:   I can do it! Watch me! Run! Run! Run! Run through the brush and around the other side and… Yay!

Me:        That’s one way to do it. Go on in and get your snack. We’re up against a deadline here. Well done.

Miss Sweetie:    I can do it, Lady Human. Watch me! Watch me! Run…skip…jump…and there!

Stella:    You made quite a splash, Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie:    What happened? My feet are all muddy. I am standing in water. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Me:        It’s all right, Sweetie. Not all of us are hurdlers. Go on in and get your treat. Times a’wastin. Who’s next?

Stella:    Snoopey! Snoopey’s next!

Me:        Okay, girl.

Snoopey:   If I hadn’t come out here to pee, this would not have happened.

Me:        Snoopey, I know how much you hate coming out when it’s wet. You can run on in. You don’t have to jump.

Snoopey:   I can do this. I can do this. I can run and jump…

Me:        You see! You did it! Your hind feet barely touched the water! Well done! Go on in and get your treat.

Snoopey:   And dry my feet.

Me:        That too. And now, Stella, let’s go. No time left. The new rain is upon us.

Stella:    Carry me so that my pretty little feet don’t get any wetter.

Me:        Honey, I’m sorry. I can’t pick up 50 pounds. I could edge you forward, but you are going to have to do some of the work.

Stella:    Work? You can’t be serious.

Me:        Did you feel that?

Stella:    Sky water?

Me:        Yep. Decision time.

Stella:    Oh. All right. Here I go. Run…run…splash…splash…Aww….

Me:        Good girl! Well done! You got across!

Stella:    Not so well done. My feet are wet and cold. I didn’t make a good landing.

Me:        That’s what a warm house and a soft dry bed and treats are for. Forget this. Let’s go on in.

Stella:    Will it be dry tomorrow?

Me:        According to the weather people, no.

Stella:    What good is it to live in a hot, dry country when it is cold and wet all the time?

Me:        I’ll ask you a similar question during the summer when you complain about being hot and dry.







Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Bulldog Treat Catch Bowl Game – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Welcome to the Bulldog Treat Catching Bowl Game. Today’s contestants are Tiger and Doodlebug.

Me:        Okay, ready, Doodle?

Doodlebug:   Mmm hmmm.

Stella:    Whoops! Miss!

Doodlebug:   Not fair! Do over!

Stella:    Let Tiger have her turn.

Me:   Okay, ready, Tiger?

Tiger:   Yep.

Stella:    Nice catch. One point.

Doodlebug:   How does she do that?

Tiger:   Watch and learn, kid.

Me:   Tiger keeps her eyes on the treat and keeps her mouth slightly open. As it falls, if she has to, she adjusts her head to get right under it. Great technique.

Doodlebug:   What am I doing wrong?

Stella:   Simple. You keep your mouth shut and look up like you expect the treat to fall right into it anyway and, when it doesn’t, you look all surprised. It bounces off your nose and you’re all like, “How did that happen?”

Doodlebug:   Well, how does that happen?

Stella:    Doodle! Closed mouths catch no treats.

Tiger:   Neither does his opened mouth. Pick a new game, bud. Maybe something where you use your big ole paws to bat treats into my mouth.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Catch a Shooting Treat – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges and we are having so much fun!

Me:        You really like this game?

Stella:    I like the way everybody looks so silly trying to catch the treats.

Me:        Okay, to explain a little, I bought a toy that launches treats. So far, nobody has caught any. The treats mainly go sliding across the floor.

Stella:    The bulldogs mainly go sliding across the floor, too.

Me:        Let me try my alternative method of delivery.

Snoopey:   Does this mean real delivery as in we finally get a treat?

Wiggles:   I’ve been getting treats. You got to be fast.


Me:        Let Doodlebug try first.

Tiger:   Yeah, he needs the practice. Don’t start with somebody who catches 9 times out of 10.

Snoopey:   Brag. Brag. Brag.

Tiger:     No brag. Just fact.

Me:        Okay, Doodle. Ready? Uh-oh.

Stella:    Hahaha! It’s on his head.

Miss Sweetie:   Doodle, look on your head!

Stella:    He smells it, but he can’t figure out where it is! This is hilarious!

Miss Sweetie:   Doodle, it just slid down to your back. It’s on your back!

Me:        He can’t see it. He’s a bulldog. His back is invisible to him.

Snoopey:   Poor Doodle. Help him find it, Lady Human!

Me:        No, let him work his nose. He’ll find it.

Wiggles:   What if I just walk over all quiet like and pick it off his back…

Doodlebug:   Found it! Mine!

Me:        Good boy! Good job!

Stella:    Good boy? It landed on his head and it took him how long to find it? Drop a treat on my head. I’ll show you how it’s done!

Me:        What if I just launch the treats in the air…

Stella:    With a treat gun? Like that kid on that Picture Box movie? NOOO! You could put somebody’s eye out!

Me:        I won’t ever aim it at anybody.

Stella:    Famous last words.

Me:        What if I use a sling shot?

Stella:    Do you hear what you are saying?

Me:        No?

Stella:    Shot. Launch. Aim.

Miss Sweetie:    Yeah, Lady Human. Cool food delivery. Can we get our breakfast that way?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.









Joining In Bulldog Games – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am the scorekeeper for the bulldog

games. What are they? I have no idea. When are they? Whenever. At Christmas time, the humans sing a song about reindeer games. If I don’t know what bulldog games are and I am a bulldog, I sure don’t know what reindeer games are. It is all too confusing and tiring. I am going to take a nap. At least I know what that is.

Me:        I just started a treat catch game with Doodlebug and Tiger. Do you want to try it? All I do is hold a treat up above each of their heads and I drop it. They try to catch it in their mouths. Tiger is really good at it. She’s running about 90% accuracy.

Stella:    And Doodlebug? He has the biggest face and biggest mouth of us all. How is he doing?

Me:        Well, he moves his head a lot and the treat bounces off his nose most of the time. So…

Stella:    He’s a loser.

Me:        No, I wouldn’t say that.

Stella:    I would. He can’t catch a treat in his big ole mouth because he won’t stop moving.

Me:        Treat catch is just not his particular game. Every once in a while, he gets one. So…

Stella:    He’s a part-time loser.

Me:        And a part-time winner.

Stella:    Pffffttt!

Me:        Stella! How rude!

Stella:    Let me try that treat catch game.

Me:        All right. Here goes!

Stella:    Awww! It bounced off my nose. Here, let me eat it.

Me:        Want to try again? 1…2…3…

Stella:    Aaagggh! It bounced off my nose. Where did it go?

Me:        Never mind. I’ll find it later.

Stella:    Never mind ‘never mind’. I’ll find it later!

Me:        One more try, okay?

Stella:    I CAUGHT IT! Right in my mouth! Yay, me!!! Aacckk! Aacckk! Aaaaghh!

Me:        Chew it slowly.

Stella:    What kind of a stupid game is this? The Choke a Bulldog by Throwing Food Game?

Me:        No, that’s why the pieces are small. You just have to chew what you catch.

Stella:    Oh, I’m sorry. I thought the treats were small because you were being stingy.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.




It Is Rude To Point – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. As I have said so often, humans are rude.

Me:        So says a bulldog. Where shall my list of rude begin?

Stella:    I’ve heard you say before how rude it is to point. I call all to witness! Has Lady Human or Tall Man ever pointed at you?

Tiger:     Sure.

Wiggles:   All the time.

Doodlebug:   Yep.

Miss Sweetie:  I don’t know. I don’t pay attention.

Snoopey:   Yeah. What’s the big deal?

Stella:    The big deal is respect.

Me:        Exactly. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Stella:    What? How rude!

Me:        For example, I say, “Time to go out.”

Stella:    Yes, and I say, “No, not time to go out yet.”

Me:        Therefore, I point to the back door.

Stella:    Contradicting my decision by your rude hand gesture.

Me:        And then, I point to you or whoever and point to the door again.

Stella:    And I grudgingly stand up and trudge to the door and out while your rude finger is still pointing as though I don’t know what that means. The humans say that when you are pointing at someone with one finger, three fingers are pointing back at you.

Me:        Yeah, some people say that. It means don’t go accusing others, especially if you are guilty of the same thing.

Stella:    Just as I thought. You point at me to go do a thing and you need to be doing that 3 times over.

Me:        It doesn’t work that way.

Snoopey:   I like it when the humans point. They seem to know what they are doing.

Tiger:     Yes. No. Maybe.

Doodlebug:        I go where they point because I get a treat when I do.

Wiggles:   There are treats for that?

Miss Sweetie:    I don’t know. I don’t pay attention.

Stella:    And once again, bulldog dignity is sacrificed for cheap treats.

Me:        Hey, those treats cost a lot and I like to call it ‘training’.

Stella:    I call it what it is. Bribery.

Wiggles:   I’ll have some bribery, please.





Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.







Fair Distribution – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am here to represent all the bulldogs in treat distribution matters, but especially me.

Me:        So, this is about you.

Stella:    Of course. I saw you give Doodlebug a treat.

Me:        Doodlebug and I are in training on some of his behavioral issues. The treats reinforce the lessons when he is successful.

Stella:    I am well-behaved all the time. Where is my treat reinforcement? Me, too! Me, too! Me, too!

Me:        You just had a treat.

Stella:    That was years ago.

Me:        That was 30 seconds ago.

Stella:    Seems longer. How long is 30 seconds?

Me:        Shall I count from one to thirty to show you?

Stella:    No, please. The less human talking, the better. Now about this fair treat distribution problem…

Me:        I didn’t know that we had a problem.

Stella:    Here I am. Working hard. Sitting around. Only getting a treat every 30 seconds or so while Doodlebug is getting rewarded for messing around and breaking the rules.

Me:        He gets rewarded when he does something right.

Stella:    How often is that?

Me:        Well, honestly…

Stella:    Not every 30 seconds, is it?



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tiger! – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, hereby declare today HAPPY TIGER BIRTHDAY!

Me:        You mean that Tiger is happy?


Stella:    No, Tiger is always serious. Except around Tall Man. And you sometimes, Lady Human.

Me:        So, what you are really declaring is that today is Tiger’s Birthday. Happy Birthday, Tiger!

Tiger:     Thank you!

Me:        Special treat disbursement in honor of Tiger’s birthday!

Stella:    Yea! Happy Birthday, Tiger!

Miss Sweetie:    Yea! Happy Birthday!

Doodlebug:   Yea! Happy Birthday!

Wiggles:   Oh, boy! What is it called? Happy Burpday!

Me:        Snoopey?

Snoopey:   Okay, yeah, whatever.

Me:        Snoopey, wish Tiger a happy birthday.

Snoopey:   Why should I? She yells at me all the time. She prisses around and gives me the stink eye. Maybe I just don’t like her. Maybe I just don’t want to wish her a ‘happy’ birthday.

Stella:    Are we having cake?

Me:        No, just bulldog treats.

Stella:    Wait, what? Are you taking some of our bulldog treats?

Me:        No, you all are having treats. Not me.

Stella:    Not even human cake?

Me:        I’ve cut back on human cake. I don’t even necessarily have cake on my own birthday.

Stella:    That’s sad, Lady Human. Not as sad as taking our treats, but still sad.

Me:        There are lots of ways to celebrate birthdays. It doesn’t have to be with food.

Stella:    Bite your tongue! But only if it tastes good.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Don’t Be An Attention Hound! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, the one and only Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Nobody appointed me. Nobody elected me. I just came this way.

First of all, let me say that I do not get enough attention…

Me:        Haha! As if!

Stella:    As if what, Lady Human?

Me:        It’s just an expression. It means that I doubt what you just said.

Stella:    How rude! Who would know better than I if I am getting enough attention or not? I know when I am being fed, being petted, being talked to – not that “Do this, Stella!” and “Don’t do that, Stella!” human nonsense talk but actual conversation about food, and treats, and what is that scary thing on the Picture Box, and…

Me:        Life’s important issues.

Stella:    Exactly.

Me:        You are an attention hound.

Stella:    I beg your pardon.

Me:        Granted.

Stella:    No, I mean how dare you call me a hound of any kind? I am a bulldog. There is no mistaking us for any other kind of dog. If I am an attention anything, it would be an attention…sponge. Yes. A sponge that soaks up all the attentiony goodness and keeps soaking it in until I am full and the attention starts leaking out all over the ground. Attention sponge. That’s me!

Me:        So right now, you are not full of attention and leaking?

Stella:    Right now, I am as dry as a bone. Bone. Now there’s an idea. I could go for one of those about now.

Me:        Would that fill your attention quota?

Stella:    Quota? You use such strange words. Would I be a leaky sponge if I had a bone? No. But add in a shoulder massage and a tummy rub (not one of those one, two, three, and you’re done sort of tummy rubs either), a few treats and a head rub, and throw in one of those long, boring human stories you like to tell…

Me:        Boring?

Stella:    It’s you and me, Lady Human. Don’t worry. I don’t expect it to be exciting.



Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Watch Your Mouth! – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, salute you, humans! I am here in support of what you call ‘free speech’. Rahrrrh! Grreghhh! Free Speech! Free Speech! Free Speech!

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    Free Speech! Free Speech! Free Speech!

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Don’t silence my free speech, Lady Human! Now where was I? Free Speech! Free Speech! Free Speech!

Me:        Stella, hello!

Stella:    Lady Human, you are interrupting my freedom of speech. That is what you humans call ‘unmerico’!

Me:        The word you are searching for is ‘un-American’. And freedom of speech is not just walking around shouting ‘free speech’ over and over again. There is a lot more to it than that.

Stella:    What?

Me:        Responsibility. Truth. Courage. Clarity. Wisdom. Honor.

Stella:    Words, words, words. Blah, blah, blah. BORING! Free Speech! Free Speech! Free Speech!

Me:        Stella, you are being so loud!

Stella:    That’s what they all say when you are saying what they do not want to hear.

Me:        What are you saying that I don’t want to hear?

Stella:    I thought I was clear. Free Speech! Free Speech! Free Speech!

Me:        If this is a ploy to do more empty barking, it won’t work.

Stella:    You cannot stop our bulldog mouths. Free Speech! Free…

Me:        Oh, what’s this? A fresh package of your favorite treats. Let me just open this up and…

Stella:    Here! Right in my mouth! Now!

Me:        So, free speech can be silenced.

Stella:    Free what? Oh, whatever. Free treats! Free treats! Free treats!

Me:         Didn’t you have something you wanted to say?

Stella:    Not now, Lady Human! I’m too busy chewing.




Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


The Humans Are Hogging The Food – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella. Yes, I am Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, but I am also their watchdog. I am here to report that humans are food hogs.

Me:        I beg your pardon.

Stella:    As indeed you should.

Me:        What food are we humans hogging?

Stella:    All of it except the little dabs that you put in our bowls.

Me:        Again, I beg your pardon…

Stella:    Be patient. I am still considering it.

Me:        You each receive the same amount, the recommended amount so you are neither too fat nor too lean. So there.

Stella:    Why is it that humans eat all day long and well into the night when we only get fed once a day? You have breakfast AND lunch AND supper AND a whole string of treats AND special drinks in addition to water. Lady Human, I protest. We bulldogs are deprived.

Me:        You don’t look deprived.

Stella:    Are you calling us ‘fat’?

Me:        No, I am calling you healthy and well-fed.

Stella:    And how about you?

Me:        I… maybe should cut back on a few things.

Stella:    Cut back means only 6 meals a day and 3 treats?

Me:        All right. Maybe more than a few. I don’t eat 6 meals a day.

Stella:    You haven’t been keeping count. We can help. You can share your hoarded food with us. We will be happy to gobble it up to help you stay healthy the way you help us to stay healthy – by depriving us of 6 meals a day.

Me:        I still think you’re wrong about the 6 meals a day.

Stella:    I have 4 paws. Each paw has 4 toes. This paw plus these 2 toes makes 6. If you start eating more than 16 meals per day, I must start using my tail, my two ears, and my two bulldog upside down vampire fangs. Please don’t make me count higher than 21. I will run out of parts.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.








The Stupid Awards – Human Edition – Conversations with Stella

Hello, dogs, humans, and…cats…if any are interested in this which I doubt. Anyway, there are no cats on the Stupid Awards list this time. I find that almost inexplicable. Still, it is my list.

Me:        Is this that award where you get a treat whenever someone wins the award so it is just about you getting more treats?

Stella:    Those are the rules.

Me:        Solely to refresh my memory, are the awards stupid or are the recipients stupid?

Stella:    Both. Now for the first Stupie…

Me:        Stupie? Oh, I forgot. That’s the award’s nickname. Please go on.

Stella:    I was about to when I was so rudely interrupted. Ahem. The first Stupie goes to…. drrrrrrrrrruhhhh…

Me:        What?

Stella:    That is a drum roll. I heard it on the Picture Box. We do not have a drummer so I will do that part myself. Ahem, the first Stupie goes to ALL HUMANS LOUDLY TALKING POLITICS ON THE PICTURE BOX ABOUT THE HUMAN ELECTION NONSENSE! Tada!!! All treats go to me. How many will that be, Lady Human?

Me:        I have no idea. Is it limited to candidates or do moderators and commentators count, too?


Me:        Is “Picture Box” limited to television? Or does that include the internet and social media?

Stella:    I have no idea what you are talking about.

Me:        Because that could be in the millions. Quite frankly, I cannot foot that kind of bill for dog treats.

Stella:    Well, we can work out a deal on that later.

Me:        Are there any other Stupies to be given out now?

Stella:    Quite a few. There is never a shortage of human stupidity.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Unfair Disbursement – Conversations with Stella

I, Queen Stella the Illustrious Olde English Bulldogge, hereby issue a decree: the humans shall guarantee that each bulldog shall receive the same quantity of treats, no exceptions. Well, one exception and that’s me.

Me:        Everybody gets a treat at the same time so it’s all fair.

Stella:    No, it’s not. Not all is fair in love and treats. I heard a human say that.

Me:        I doubt any human ever said that. They probably said something like ‘all is fair in love and war’.

Stella:    Precisely. That’s what I said.

Me:        I don’t think so…

Stella:    Love. Treats. Fair. War. Yep. I love my treats and if you are not fair, I will go to war for my treats.

Me:        What has brought this on?

Stella:    The chicken jerky treats are not being evenly distributed.

Me:        I break the strips up and make sure that each of you gets a piece.

Stella:    How do you break them up?

Me:        I snap them with my fingers.

Stella:    And your fingers have measuring marks on them?

Me:        Uh, no.

Stella:    So how do you know how much Snoopey is getting compared to me?

Me:        They look about the same length…

Stella:    You are guessing!

Me:        I’m pretty close each time.

Stella:    Pretty close is not close.

Me:        They are approximately the same size.

Stella:    Wrong! What does ‘approximately’ mean? If Snoopey gets one millimeter more per day for 10 days, that means I was cheated 10 millimeters. In 100 days, you owe me 10 centimeters of chicken jerky. That is almost 4 inches of chicken jerky! It adds up fast.

Me:        Stella, what have you been doing with yout free time? Where did you learn about millimeters and centimeters?

Stella:    Sometimes at night, Tall Man works on his projects by my crate. He has a long yellow ribbon with markings on it and he calls out numbers as he measures. It’s really fun to watch and pretty soon he has built another something that he takes away and we never see again.

Me:        He is very handy.

Stella:    No, he only has two of them.

Me:        What I mean is…never mind. I understand that you want everything to be evenly divided. When I was a kid, a cousin of mine always wanted to divide any candy bar we got and he always made sure that his piece was a little bigger than mine. I thought it was very unfair, but when I complained, he gobbled up his piece, destroying the evidence.

Stella:    He sounds like a true treat lover. My kind of human. But you see my point about fairness.

Me:        I see your point. Here is mine. If I have to measure jerky treats to the nearest millimeter, it is going to slow treat distribution to a crawl. And then there’s the question of how thick each treat is. You wouldn’t want to get a big thick piece while poor Snoopey got a thin slice, would you?

Stella:    Mmmm, I wouldn’t mind that so much.

Me:        Fair?

Stella:    I could be appointed the Royal Treat Taster and pick my own.

Me:        I have a feeling that all the treats would end up in your mouth and I wouldn’t be fast enough to stop you. Maybe you should focus on gratitude for what you do get.

Stella:    Is that what you did toward your puppy cousin?

Me:        No, young humans often are unwise. Gratitude came much later.

Stella:    What did you do?

Me:         I learned to buy my own candy bars and hide them.



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.


When in Doubt, Spit It Out! – Conversations with Stella

Me:        Stella…Stella…Stella!

Stella:    Me…Me…Me…Yay, me! Wait? What?

Me:        Not everything that is in my hand belongs in your mouth.

Stella:    Why not?

Me:        Because not everything I hold in my hand is edible. You just tried to eat your metal rabies vaccination tag.

Stella:    I’m sorry. It was shiny and it looked delicious. Everything looks delicious to me.

Me:        You need to exercise a little self control. When you see that I am holding something, wait for me to let you know if it is for you. Don’t jump. Don’t grab.

Stella:    Aaaggghhh! But it takes so much time. Sometimes you walk around and around and do stuff and I patiently follow you to make sure you don’t lose a treat or drop it on the floor where some other bulldog may accidentally find it when it really belongs to me.

Me:        Think of it as just another human privilege. And you know that I would never let the other bulldogs deprive you of your treats. That would not be fair and I want to be fair to you all.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human. I think it would be fair if you let me taste test all treats from now on. I believe the others will benefit from my expert taste buds. I am a connoisseur of treats.

Me:        Oh, really?

Stella:    Yes, and I promise to exercise A LITTLE self control and not to try to eat my vaccination tags from now on.

Me:        That is very reasonable of you.

Stella:    Bulldogs are very reasonable creatures.

Me:        Well…trying to eat a metal disc…Reasonable? I’m not so sure.

Stella:    Once I would have tasted it, I would have realized that it was metal and I would have spit it out.

Me:        Now that is reasonable.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What’s In The Bag? – Conversations with Stella

I am here with Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge and, lest I forget, their Queen.

Stella:    Thank you, Lady Human, for giving me my due.

Me:        No prob, Bob.

Stella:    Who is Bob? Is he another bulldog?

Me:        Nevermind.

Stella:    What was in that bag you brought in awhile ago?

Me:        Just some special food for tonight.

Stella:    I smelled it. It is wonderful.

Me:        I noticed you working your nose.

Stella:    Did you really think that you could sneak it past me? What is it?

Me:        Barbeque beef brisket, barbeque ribs, potato salad, fried okra. That’s all.

Stella:    That’s enough. I’ll take mine right over here.

Me:        Mmmm.  I don’t think the barbeque sauce will be good for you. It might upset your stomach.

Stella:    A risk worth taking.

Me:        Nope. I’ll see if I can pull some pieces out that have no sauce on them.

Stella:    And po-ta-to salad? And fried okra?

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Not worth a griping belly. Not worth itchy skin patches.

Stella:    I beg to differ.

Me:        Differ away. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, those treats that you call chicken bacon jerky, truth be told, there is no bacon in them.

Stella:    Yes, there is.

Me:        No, there isn’t.

Stella:    What? Not fair! Where is the bacon?

Me:        Not in those treats. Just chicken.

Stella:    It cannot be.

Me:        It is. But if knowing that fact means that you don’t like them anymore, I can always give them to the others…

Stella:    NO! That won’t be necessary. I will make the sacrifice and eat them, even without the bacon.

Me:        You don’t have to.

Stella:    It is all right. I will force myself to choke them down. By the way, do you have any of those handy?


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME and my sister, Snoopey – Stella’s Blog

Yay! It is my birthday. Lady Human told me so. She thought it was months ago, but Tall Man showed her a paper that says it is today! I am so excited, but I don’t know why. I didn’t even know what a birthday was until she told me. I just figured that I had always been.

Oh, and since Snoopey is my sister, it is her birthday, too. Apparently, puppy sisters are born at the same time. But that is not the important point. The important point is that it’s MY BIRTHDAY!

The humans count off a certain number of days and declare that to be a year and every year on the same day, they have a birthday. And so do bulldogs. I do not understand what time is or what they call calendars. I don’t believe bulldogs need such things. Every day is special. Every day is a new beginning. When the sun comes into the morning sky, all things start over.  Things happened before, but they are not as important as what is happening right now.

And right now, it’s MY BIRTHDAY!

Lady Human says that I am three years old. That does not sound like much. I think I have been around for at least 100 years,whatever a year is. (I still don’t understand that part.)  She says that I have been here with her for a little over one year.  That can’t be right. I don’t remember much about the days before I came here.It seems so long ago. Maybe those days were not as significant. Maybe I was too young to understand them.

But none of that matters because it’s MY BIRTHDAY!

So what else does a birthday mean?

Lady Human says that some humans put special shiny hats and collars and clothes on their dogs, but she is not going to do that to us. Good! It is too hot for extra clothes right now. She says that some humans give their dogs special cakes, but our tummies are too bulldog delicate for that.

She is giving all of us extra treats, good ones like sweet potato chips and chicken bacon jerky which are our favorites.

Why the non-birthday bulldogs are getting extra treats alongside us birthday girls, I don’t understand. Lady Human says it is a celebration and besides, she doesn’t know when Wiggles’ birthday is and she doesn’t want Wiggles to miss out. I guess that’s all right as long as I get my fair share. By fair share, I mean double what everyone else gets.

(And even Moon the Cat is getting her cat treats. Why? It’s not her birthday. This is a bulldog party. No cats! Oh, nevermind. I can be generous one day a year, whatever that is.)

So to everyone out there in the world, HAPPY MY BIRTHDAY! You can have your own treats, even cake if you like and it won’t hurt your stomachs. And you can sing happy songs, too. It doesn’t matter to me. I won’t hear you.

I will be thinking about my treats and how Lady Human sang to us because we are unique and I will be dreaming of my birthday next year, whatever year means. I hope it comes tomorrow.


Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges (and Sister Snoopey who is not the Queen)


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.


No Treats for the Wicked – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, will begin this conversation. I just witnessed something truly disturbing.

Me:        A giant insect? A giant lizard?

Stella:    No, worse. Why was the cat getting treats?

Me:        I give her cat treats every now and then.

Stella:    Why was the cat getting treats?

Me:        Because I wanted her to have something special.

Stella:    Why was the cat getting treats?

Me:        Sounds like your record is broken.

Stella:    No treats for cats!

Me:        I don’t give her your treats.

Stella:    What did she do to earn them?

Me:        She was just being herself.



Stella:    That is simply wrong! She is a cat! You know how they are!

Me:        Well, what do you do to earn most of your treats?

Stella:    Not important!

Me:        Why can’t I give the cat treats just because I want to?

Stella:    Because CAT! Cats don’t deserve treats!

Me:        We get good things we don’t deserve and we don’t get some hard things that we do deserve.  We call that grace, both ways. Grace can’t be earned.

Stella:    Would you give me some grace?

Me:        When you say the word ‘grace’, you are really thinking about treats, aren’t you?

Stella:    When I say any word, I am always thinking about treats.

Me:        All you had to do was ask, Stella.

Stella:    Wait! Grace doesn’t mean a cat treat, does it?

Me:        No, I wouldn’t fool you like that. That wouldn’t be gracious.

“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?…how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”  Matthew 7:9-11 KJV


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

My Heavy Crown – Stella’s Blog

As Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, I, Stella McStarFace the First, have many responsibilities.

  1. I have to guard all of my toys to make sure they aren’t misappropriated. Misappropriated is a long word that Lady Human taught me. It means stolen by bulldogs.
  1. I have to complain – loudly, using my outdoor voice in an inappropriate manner so I get maximum attention. Inappropriate is another of Lady Human’s long words. She uses those words when she stands in front of the bulldogs and talks and talks and talks, usually after someone has caused a riot or a ruckus. The speeches are pretty boring, but they increase my vocabulary so I don’t complain about them. Much. Usually I just drift off into a nap.

So what, you may ask, do I have to complain about? That list is lengthy and the                         subject for another blog post. In fact, I should include that list in a conversation with             Lady Human. That will save time. How do the humans put it? Kill two cats with one               stone.

           (Transcriptionist: No, not cats. The old expression is…oh, nevermind.)

Please ignore any interruptions by my staff. To continue –

           3. I have the primary responsibility for chasing Moon the Cat. Oh, the others pretend                 that they will, but when they come face to face with her, what do they do? They                       stare and walk on by, leaving all the real chasing for me. It is quite lazy of them and               selfish to boot. As much as I enjoy cat-chasing, the whole weight of it should not                   fall on me and my heavy head.

4. I am the bulldog representative to the humans, not just for complaining even                          though that is the most fun. The humans are pretty clueless and I let them know                    what needs to be done, such as when we need treats, and more treats, and                                  different types of treats, and more of those treats, too. I am also the taste-tester                    for all new treats. Unless it has my royal approval, it doesn’t get shared with the                      others. Of course, I don’t mind finishing off the rejects.

I am sure that I have other queenly responsibilities, but I don’t know what they are so I don’t care. Right now, I am going to exercise my prerogative to take a long nap. Being queen is a tiring business.


Stella the First, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.