The Growling Sky – Conversations with Stella, Snoopey, and Tiger

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I was outside during a rain break, minding my own business when, for no reason at all, the sky growled at me. GROWLED! AT ME! Sweet little Stella who never bothers anybody, well, except for squirrels and cats.

Me:        The sky did not growl at you. That was thunder.

Stella:    Did you hear?

Me:        Yes. The sky doesn’t growl at anybody.

Stella:    It did at me. So, guess what? I growled back. And then it growled at me again. So, guess what?

Me:        What?

Stella:    I ran away. I ran straight to the back door. And you let me in. And I ran straight into my crate, so the sky couldn’t get me. I am so embarrassed. I am a coward.

Tiger:     You are not a coward, Stella. You are just stupid, that’s all.

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Stella:    How rude!

Tiger:     Which would you prefer? To be called a coward or stupid?

Stella:    I don’t really have a preference, thank you!

Snoopey:   Don’t listen to Tiger, the bulldog who’s afraid of the dark.

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Tiger:     Hey!

Snoopey:   It’s true. How many times does Lady Human offer to let you outside and the second that you see it’s night, you balk and run back to your bed.

Tiger:     So says the one who won’t set foot outside if rain is so much as dripping from the roof or the trees. It’s not even rain anymore. It’s merely water. What are you afraid of, Snoopey? Melting?

Snoopey:    Yes, actually.

Stella:    Snoopey is afraid of falling water. Tiger is afraid of nighttime. I am afraid of the growling sky. All told, my fear is the only one that’s real.

Me:        Oh, the fear is real, the threat not so much.

Stella:    When the sky is angry, it is no threat?

Me:        Yeah, it can be. Thunder means lightning has struck nearby.

Stella:    Lightning? The blue light!

Me:        Untamed electricity.

Stella:    The sky does have fingers then. It did try to grab me. Good news! I was right. The sky does growl. I’m a smart coward.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Mud Baths – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges…

Me:        I have a question.

Stella:    Interruptions, interruptions. Constant human disruptions.

Me:        Have you gotten into rhymes?

Stella:    I haven’t gotten into anything today except mud, which, by the way, I would appreciate you cleaning up.

Me:        Wash your feet? Sure, I can…

Stella:    No, I took care of my own feet, thank you very much. I mean I would appreciate you cleaning up the mud outside.

Me:        I think that is a little outside my abilities. We will just wait for the dry air and the sun to do their jobs.

Stella:    I ask for a simple favor and what do I get? Nothing. Typical.

Me:        You want me, little old me, to clean up all the mud outside?

Stella:    Well put. Of course, you are not THAT little, Lady Human.

Me:        The whole ground is made up of dirt. You add water like the rain we had this morning. Result? Mud.

Stella:    Let me see if I understand. Rain, also known as sky water, plus dirt, also known as…dirt, equals mud, also known as yucky dirt.

Me:        That’s about it.

Stella:    And you are a human and can, therefore, do anything, yet you refuse to do a small thing like clean up the muddy mess outside.

Me:        Let’s go back over the whole human thing. Humans cannot…I repeat for the umpteenth time, CANNOT do just anything, period.

Stella:    Nonsense. I see you do the most extraordinary things all the time. What is a little mud?

Me:        How do you expect me to dry up mud instantly?

Stella:    Simple. Use your big human mouth to blow the dirt dry.

Me:        I thought you bulldogs were the ones with the big mouths.

Stella:    Now you are just being insulting. We would never waste our breath on such a dirty job.

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Toe Pops – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Now that breakfast has been concluded successfully, which means without any disasters or weirdness…Sweetie. Sweetie!

Miss Sweetie:    Hmmm?

20170315_170602.jpgStella:    I spoke too soon. What are you doing? What’s wrong with your feet?

Miss Sweetie:    COLD! WET! BRRRR! So, I am licking them warm with my warm, wet tongue. Mmmm. They taste good. But so cold.

Stella:    You were not out that long. My feet are not cold.

Snoopey:   I know why. Look at the puppy pool.

Me:        Oh. I see. Wet footprints leading away from it. It has rain in it.

Miss Sweetie:    I love the puppy pool. It is always so comfortable.

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Me:        It is always comfortable in the summer when the temperature outside is 100 degrees, not in the dead of winter when the temperature outside is…well, less than 100 degrees. We never know for sure what to count on with the weather here. It was 38 this morning, Sweetie. That’s too cold for swimming or wading.

Miss Sweetie:    The water looked so good, but now my feet are cold.

Tiger:     Did you happen to notice that none of the rest of us stepped in it?

Miss Sweetie:    Yes, I thought you were saving it for me.

Snoopey:    We aren’t THAT nice, Sweetie.

Wiggles:   Do you want me to chew on your feet? That will warm them up quick.

Me:        No, Wiggles, I don’t recommend that. Sweetie, would you like some warm towels? I will give you some if you promise not to eat them.

Miss Sweetie:    That sounds good, except for the not eating them part. I don’t think I can promise that far.

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Water Bowl Mystery – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Strange things occur in the houses of humans.

Me:        What other kinds of houses are there?

Stella:    Birdhouses.

Me:        Okay. I’ll give you that one.

Stella:    Cow houses.

Me:        Let’s call those ‘barns’.

Stella:    Rabbit condos.

Me:        Okay. We did have one of those.

Stella:    Cat houses.

Me:        Well, that can mean more than one thing. Let’s just say that cats live mostly in human houses. What strange things are you talking about?

Stella:    My water bowl is empty. I go outside. I come back in. My water bowl is clean and full. Mystery.

Me:        Not really. What happens is…

Snoopey:    Are you that silly? What do you think happens? She cleans and fills the water bowl while you are outside sniffing around.

Miss Sweetie:    But it’s happened to me, too. Sure, sometimes Lady Human cleans and refills my water bowl right in front of me, but other times…I go outside. I come back in. It’s all clean and full of new water. Mystery.

Stella:    You see! Sweetie knows. She has seen it!

Tiger:     You all are the goofiest things going. Whether you are outside or in, she cleans your bowls and pours more water in. No mystery. Done and done.

Doodlebug:   Water is water. Who cares how it gets there?

Wiggles:   Yeah, that’s wise.

Snoopey:   Wise, nothin’! You’d better hope Lady Human is around to clean and refill bowls!

Stella:    No, Snoopey! The humans have this story about a man in a red suit who comes around one night a year, bringing presents, toys, food, all kinds of good stuff, and he is never seen, and he disappears into the night and it’s a mystery.

Snoopey:   He had better show up more than once a year if you’re depending on water from him.

Me:        That’s a story. I’ll tell you about the real man that story is based on sometime soon. Meanwhile, the truth is…

Stella:    The truth is our water bowls get cleaned. The truth is our water bowls get refilled. A mystery. One for which I am grateful.

Me:        Amen. Let’s just leave it at that for now.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Water Dogs – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hate water. Except for drinking water. I will take a little of that now and again. But otherwise, I hate water.

Me:        I know.

Stella:    How do you know?

Me:        I watch you. When the hose is running, you run the opposite direction. When the puppy pool is being filled, you run the opposite direction. When I am washing anything off outside, you run…

Stella:    …the opposite direction. You are observant. I admit it. It is true. I hate water.

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Me:        Miss Sweetie loves it.

Stella:    Sweetie is a water dog. It happens among bulldogs every once in a while. Most of us are sane and stay away from water. Bulldogs do not float well.

Me:        So, you are a confirmed non-water dog.

Stella:    Amen. I keep my four feet firmly on dry ground. Have you seen how Sweetie plunges her whole face into the puppy pool and swishes it back and forth? Have you seen how she wallows in the water? She acts as though she really likes it. Yuck! Messy and scary! Very unbulldoggy!

Me:        I have seen it. I think it is hilarious!

Stella:    That is because humans have no sense of decency or dignity. You do not know what is truly funny. And you don’t know what is truly bulldoggy.

Me:        I still love water-loving dogs.

Stella:    Awwww. You don’t love me, just because I don’t like water.

Me:        Nonsense. I don’t care if you like water or not.

Stella:    What! You mean I don’t want me as your swimming buddy.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Wait on Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        If you say so.

Stella:    I do. And I am thirsty. Give me a drink.

Me:        That is a rude way to ask for something, Stella. And your water bowl is full. Drink your water.

Stella:    I want what you are having.

Me:        I am taking a swig of coffee before I have to go.

Stella:    What is a swig? I want a swig.

Me:        A swig is just a quick sip. And you can’t have coffee. Do you want me to leave the television on? I’ll only be out for about an hour. Everybody else is napping.

Stella:    Will there be zombies?

Me:        No. I can leave it on this station. They will just be showing old westerns.

Stella:    That man on the Picture Box. What is he drinking?

Me:        Since that is a saloon, I’m guessing it’s whiskey.

Stella:    I want a swig of whiskey.

Me:        Nope. No way. Not now. Not ever.

Stella:    You are a terrible waitress.

Me:        I beg your pardon.

Stella:    You have it, but I will not be leaving a tip.

Me:        Okay, too many movies. Honey, this is not a restaurant. I am not your waitress.

Stella:    Of course, you are. We call. You come. You bring us food. You bring us water. You clean out our water bowls. You wipe our faces. You clean our ears…

Me:        Hold on a minute. I have never heard of a waitress who cleaned customers’ ears or wiped their faces.

Stella:    You haven’t been to very good restaurants then. All bulldog restaurants offer that service. Like this one.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill

 

Who Turned Off the Water?

Miss Sweetie has struck again.

Recently, she broke Doodlebug’s collar while he was still wearing it.

Yesterday, she did one better times 100. She bent the outdoor faucet in the patio – the very one that we use to fill the puppy pool.

How did she accomplish that? With her big bulldoggy mouth. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, but really thought nothing of it until I went to fill the chickens’ water jug. The faucet handle fought me. The pipe extending from the wall was bent – yes, actually bent. The metal pipe was bent.

I was able to get the water on, but I couldn’t turn it completely off without the leverage help of a screwdriver. Until it is fixed, off is how it will stay to avoid a major leak.

So why did she do it? She never paid no nevermind to the faucet before.

My firm belief is that she wanted to fill the puppy pool which sat right beneath the faucet and, having seen me turn the water on just about every day, she figured she could “handle” it herself.  Sort of like her brother does when he uses his talented paws to pull the backdoor handle down and let himself in.

Smart dogs. Scary smart.

Of course, now Miss Sweetie has temporarily lost access to the object of her desire. She is the bulldog most in love with the puppy pool and we have no other access to water in the fenced area of the yard. I feel like putting up a sad face here.

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So what have I learned from this?

  1. Monitor Miss Sweetie around all plumbing fixtures. She can break ‘em, but she can’t fix ‘em.
  1. Be careful what I let her see me do or I may come around a corner some day to find her on her way out the door with my car keys in her mouth. (Warning: she is not licensed to drive.)
  1. Before I put my hand to something I don’t understand or blow my mouth off about things I don’t really know, stop. Think. Pray. Get understanding. Why let ignorance break the very thing I am trying to use?

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”   (Proverbs 4:7 KJV)

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Conversations with Stella – Puppy Pool Party!

Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, and I are back and, though the calendar does not yet agree, summer has already fully arrived here…

Stella:   A pool! A swimming pool! A pool just for dogs!

Me:        I’m glad you’re excited, Stella.

Stella:   Cannonbaaaall!!!

Me:        Wait, you can’t do a cannonball in that pool. Well, you could, but all the water would splash out.

Stella:   I don’t do cannonballs. I am a bulldog. I am a cannonball! Thank you! Thank you, Lady Human, for the bulldog pool!

Me:        You are welcome!

Stella:   Of course, I won’t be using it.

Me:        What? Why not?

Stella:   The stinky puppies, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie. Dirty.

Me:        The pool will help clean their feet.

Stella:   And everything else. Nasty.

Me:        You are going to skip pool time just because the puppies are going to use it. You need to learn to share.

Stella:   Nope.

Me:        It’s filled with clean water right now. You can jump in. Are you sure you won’t try it?

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Stella:   Let’s see what it looks like when Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie are done with it. Oh, and Wiggles. Did you see how much dirt she carried into the house the other day?

Me:        Yes. She found a good dirt-rolling spot and took advantage of it. I may stick my own feet in the puppy pool once in a while.

Stella:   My point exactly. Nasty.

Me:        I hope you will reconsider, especially on the really hot days.

Stella:   Nope. It will be fine for the others. For my part, I would prefer an indoor spa and my very own bathrobe and towel. Please let me know when they show up.

Me:        Happy Summer, Stella.

Stella:   Happy Summer, Lady Human.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

Hey, Sky! Give Me a Drink!

We have bulldogs that like to play with water, whether from a hose or a squirt bottle, and we have bulldogs that stay away from that sort of frivolity, thank you all the same. A quiet drink lapped from a bowl is just fine for them. They may be willing to tolerate the occasional bath, just don’t make it a habit.

A rain shower came up suddenly while some of the dogs were outside. One wanted to return to the house right away. When I realized it was raining, I found her waiting by the door. She rushed in, glad to have escaped the falling sky water. Still the others didn’t come and I went looking for them.

They were rolling in the gathering water by the chicken run and, when I called, they looked at me with the surprised, disappointed expressions of kids called in for the night after playing on a summer evening. Awwww! Noooo! Not yet!

Well, I wasn’t going to get all wet while they were finishing their fun. It wasn’t cold. There was no lightning. Oh, well. I went back into the house, calculating how many towels would be enough to intercept the dripping from two waterlogged bulldogs.

When I looked out the door again, the stragglers had arrived and, behold, one of them had her head tilted back with her wide open bulldoggy mouth catching a thin stream of rainwater as it cascaded from the valley in the roof.

Of course, before I could swing my camera up and snap a picture, she had stopped. Enough sky water for then.

I would like to drink pure water from a fountain. Not sure about the roof thing. Maybe if it had a strainer. Bulldogs don’t over think joys like drinking rain as it falls from the sky. I need to work on accepting life’s gifts freely as the gifts of God that they are. Not every drink of water needs to be confined to a glass.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.