Walk With Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and I have a complaint.

Me:        That is not news.

Stella:    Why do you repeat yourself so much?

Me:        One guess.

Stella:    Just one?

Me:        That’s all you should need.

Stella:    Hmmm. One guess. Let’s see. You repeat yourself because you never pay attention to what you are saying.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    Are you sure? How do you know?

Me:        I just know.

Stella:    Ohhhh. I used up my only guess, didn’t I? Pooh. What’s the answer?

Me:        I repeat myself to be heard. Either the bulldogs ignore me or are so loud that they can’t hear me.

Stella:    Oh, we don’t ignore you, Lady Human. We just don’t care what you have to say. But what is this sentence you keep using over and over with Miss Sweetie and Doodlebug? ‘Walk with me. Walk with me.’ Boring.

Me:        I am trying to train them to walk with me, not against me. I need them to stop rampaging through the house. When it is time to go outside, they need to walk along with me, not stop to chase the cat or sniff at every little thing or go running wildly or jump on the furniture. This is not a circus. This is our house.

Stella:    I thought this was a circus, only without elephants and tigers.

Me:        Even in a circus, there are rules.

Stella:    Repeating yourself will not get their attention.

Me:        You and the other grownup dogs don’t rampage. Well, not much.

Stella:    Sadly, rampaging through the house is for the very young.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

How Do You Balance? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have four legs. I always have had. I know of animals with fewer. I know that each human is given a maximum of two. What I want to know is how do humans balance on only one or two. It is a puzzlement to me.

Me:        There is no mystery really. It is how we are made.

Stella:    But I saw a puppy human walking on knees and hands. That is the same as four paws on the ground.

Me:        Stella, with all due respect, there are no such things as “puppy humans”. There are babies who grow into toddlers who grow into children who grow into teenagers who grow into adults.

Stella:    Blah, blah, blah. Puppies are puppies. Still, how do you do it? One day, puppy humans are on all fours and then the next, poof! They are balancing on no more than two feet, though not well. Then they are walking fast and are harder to keep up with and then they are running and the real fun begins. I admire you all greatly. I wish I could walk like that.

Me:        It’s not exactly poof! It takes a lot of practice. Balance is a tricky skill. And it’s not just physical. There is emotional balance and there is mental balance. Balanced diet. Balanced hobbies. Balanced tires.

Stella:    Balanced diet?

Me:        I knew you would hear the one about food.

Stella:    My diet is not balanced. There are far too few treats compared to food.

Me:        That is balance for you. Dogs do not live by treats alone. Even good treats don’t give your body what it needs.

Stella:    Then it needs better treats.

Me:        I thought we were talking about how humans can balance on fewer than four legs.

Stella:    You are the one who brought up treats.

Me:        No, I think that was…

Stella:    Treats! Please don’t change the subject. And see what you can do about balancing my diet.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Please Walk With Me, Not Against Me – Conversations with Stella

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

Stella:   Thank you for remembering to mention my proper title.

Me:        How could I forget? Training bulldogs to walk on a lead or leash has been a greater challenge than I had expected.

Stella:   Wait! When you bring out the leash, I get all excited and it has been training? As in…yuck…obedience training?

Me:        Uh, yeah. Not that obedience has had much to do with it. I do enjoy taking you places and walking with you, but, thus far, I consider my leash training efforts to have been a failure.

Stella:   Let’s see. How would you put it? YEAH, DUH, WE’RE BULLDOGS!

Me:        If I could do it safely, I would let all of you out with no leashes. But someplaces, like those state parks where we camped, won’t allow that at all, and some places, like public sidewalks, aren’t safe for you.

Cars rush by. Strange dogs are running around.

Stella:   Strange dogs? What is strange about them? Just how strange are they? Do they have eight legs? Do they fly?

Me:        (sigh) Strange as in unfamiliar to you.  Regular dogs you have not met and that haven’t met you.

Stella:   Well, all right. If you say so. You would tell me if there were such unusual dogs, wouldn’t you?

Me:        If I learn of dogs that fly or dogs that run on eight legs…

Stella:   Spider Dogs.

Me:        Spider Dogs. Yes, I will warn you in advance. In fact, I might just stay home all the time with you.

Stella:   You could still brave it to go buy more treats when we run low.

Me:        Thanks, Stella, I would risk encountering monster dogs to go pick up your treats.

Stella:   I know. And that is one of the reasons why I love you, Lady Human.

Me:        Back to leash training. When you bulldogs “walk” on a leash, you don’t walk with me. You pull me or you veer off in a perpendicular direction, left or right.

Stella:   I don’t know where this “perpendicular” is, but you are right. We pretty much go whichever way we want. As for pulling, doesn’t that help you speed up your walking?

Me:        I have to speed up to walk with you. Any of you. But that’s not my goal as much as keeping myself upright and not kissing the pavement.

Stella:   Pavement kissing is not your favorite thing?

Me:        I don’t do it voluntarily.

Stella:   I do pavement sniffing all the time and I rather like it.

Me:        Two totally different activities by two totally different creatures. Can we please work on walking in the same direction with you walking beside me and not pulling me from the front or from the side?

Stella:   We can work on it. Not making any promises. I can’t deny my nature.

Me:        But you can curb it.

Stella:   Curbs. Yes. I totally understand curbs.

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  (Amos 3:3 KJV)

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.