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.


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.

Mountains and Molehills

Bulldogginess. Dear Lord, if I could just bottle it and sell it, it would help so many people through so much. (And I could make a small fortune.) On the positive side, persistence, perseverance, but then there is that other facet – stubbornness, pigheadedness.

According to the bulldogs, the sky was falling. It rained for 3 days straight after four bone dry months. When I was a little kid, I thought that rain meant God was crying. Maybe the dogs think that the world’s coming to an end. Or maybe they just don’t want to get their feet wet.

I finally had to put Stella on the leash and encourage her strongly to go out beside the driveway where she might recognize her old pee stomping grounds. And finally she did…pee.

Who knew dogs were so dainty about wet feet? I mean if you watch them for long, they step in, well, ALL kinds of things with not so much as a grimace.

This is what happens when you make a big deal out of a small deal, a mountain out of a molehill, a tornado out of a dust devil. They need us in ways that go way beyond food and water and shelter. They need us to let them know that they will be all right even if they don’t believe us the first 100 times we tell them that. They need us to be their guardians, their little “g” gods, faulty ones at best. Because they don’t understand a whole lot about what is going on even while they understand a whole lot more than we do about the ground under our feet and the rhythms of life, they act as though ordinary events are earth-shattering. Rainfall becomes an insurmountable obstacle to normal life. Sort of like when I let someone’s careless or rude remark block me from pursuing my set course.

When I was a child, I thought of dogs only as playthings, toys for my amusement when I wanted and where I wanted, even while my childish heart knew they were much more – companions, sharers of sorrows, uncomplaining playmates, guides into things unnoticed by man, fellow creatures. And they need us to sort out the important from the inconsequential, and do things like open doors and gates, show them that the sky is not falling, and bring balance to their canine ways.

I mean really, Stella, if you need to pee, does it matter that the ground is already wet?


©H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved