Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today's interview is extra special. Hobbes the dachshund is a Vermont celebrity; he's a domestic violence survivor turned radio show co-host turned author. Since 2009, Hobbes and his dad Bruce have helped over 600 animals find homes, and raised over $40,000 for the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Center in Middlebury, Vermont, the organization that rescued Hobbes. Their new book Hobbes Goes Home tells the little guy's story along with a very important message. A percentage of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to Homeward Bound, so please share his story far and wide!
Welcome, Hobbes! You're a celebrity here in Vermont, but could you introduce yourself to those who aren't familiar with you?
Thanks a lot for interviewing me, Truffles! My dad & I appreciate you getting the word out about our book, "Hobbes Goes Home."
I'm not sure I'm a celebrity, but I guess a lot of people know who I...I mean..my dad and I, am. I am a cute, smooth red doxie my Dad & Mom adopted from the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Center in Middlebury, Vermont, in 2009. The people I was living with were very mean to me, and finally, the woman in the house turned me in, because the "mean man" was going to shoot me. Fortunately, my Dad & Mom found me, and adopted me a few days later.
Shortly after I was adopted, my dad (who is a radio show host) started talking about me on his show. People were so interested in my story, after a few months, the radio station made me part of the show, and we named the program - "The Wake-Up Crew with Bruce & Hobbes." It's the only radio show in the nation, with a canine (that's me!) as a co-host! You can hear my dad & I every weekday morning from 6-10 am on Farm Fresh Radio 102.9 FM in Bridport, Vermont (WCLX-FM). It's a lot of fun, and we help a lot of people and animals..
You have the distinction of being the country's only canine co-host of a morning radio show...how did that come about?
Well Truffles, my dad was very hesitant to talk about me on the radio. He was (and is) EXTREMELY protective of me, since I had such a rough start. That being said, when Daddy did talk about me, we'd get letters, e-mails & visits from people asking to know more about me. It was only after my dad had a heart-to-heart talk with the visionary Gale Parmelee, owner of Otter Creek Media (www.ottercreekmedia.com) my dad felt it was ok. Gale had worked with on-air talent all over the country, but nothing like my Dad wanted to do, but he agreed to help my dad make it work, and it turned out to be an enormous success. Really, "Bruce & Hobbes" came into being because Uncle Gale, and my Dad, believed in the mission. Nothing like this happens without a lot of people working together, and my Dad & I are very thankful we know my Uncle Gale, because he is a genius..
Please describe A Day in the Life of Hobbes
Good question! We're pretty busy Melissa - especially with our book tour, but it looks a lot like this: I usually work Mon, Tues, Wed & Thursday, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday off - unless we have station events!
3:00 am - Wake up, and have breakfast that my Mommy (Tami) gets up & makes for me from scratch!
3:45 am - 11:00 am - Work at the radio station with Daddy.
11:00 am - 4:00 pm - Visits to clients, schools, advertisers & nursing homes with Daddy
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Get home, spend time with my brothers Calvin, and Willie and big sister, Olivia
6:00 pm - 6:15 pm - Dinner with my family
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Play time & snuggle time with my family
8:30 pm Lights out! Mommy tucks me into my comfy bed, and kisses me goodnight!
Your early years were extremely hard. Are you able to talk about them?
Not really Truffles. I was abused very badly, and I do my best to put those bad times behind me. I have a Mommy & Daddy who love me more than I could ever explain, and that's what I focus on. My Mom & Dad wrote "Hobbes Goes Home," to tell my story, and let everyone know ONE person can make a difference! To be honest, my Dad has a much harder time talking about my early life than I do, because it upsets him so much. I can say I wasn't only abused by the "mean man," it was children too - which I why Daddy works so hard to educate kids about being kind to animals!
I was just adopted by my Mommy in August and it was the best day of my life. Do you remember the day you were adopted by your wonderful Mom and Dad?
Oh my goodness, yes! When I first saw my Dad, I was terrified of him. The "mean man" that used to hurt me looked a lot like him. I was so afraid, when he picked me up the first time, I actually had an accident of the floor! I noticed this man saw this, and had tears well up in his big blue eyes. He looked right at me, and told me that no one would ever hurt me again! He took me outside, and I ran around the playground, while he was taking pictures of me. We eventually had to go back inside, but the man had a tough time putting me back. He said he would come back the next day, and he did!!! That's when I met my new Mommy and Nikki, my sister. I was very happy, and wagged my tail a lot!
Do you have any canine or feline brothers & sisters?
Canine brother, Calvin - doxie
Canine sister, Olivia - Black Lab
Feline brother, Willie
You've just released a children's book, Hobbes Goes Home. What inspired you to write it and what do you hope to achieve with it?
My Mom & Dad wrote this book because they wanted to make sure my story gets told. My Mom is an award-winning photographer, and my Dad is an award-winning radio show host. If anyone can get my story out - they can. Mom & Dad want to help kids address some of the issues they are confronted with growing up - empathy, compassion, bullying, self-esteem and of course, the humane treatment of animals. My Mom & Dad are going to read this book in EVERY Vermont school, and share these messages with children. It's FREE to have us come to the school, and people can schedule visits by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling my Mom at 802-377-1602.
My parents other goals are to make Vermont a national model of what is possible, and are hoping to get the book on the desk of President Obama. We are going to ask him to invite us to the White House, and talk about what we can do when we work together! If I know my Dad, he'll make it happen, too!
Where can people get their paws on it?
The easiest way people can get the book is to visit - www.bruceandhobbes.com. The book is 19.95, plus tax and shipping. It's a great story, and makes a meaningful Christmas gift!
Any other fun things about yourself that you'd like people to know about you?
There is actually! My Dad & I have done some things we're really proud of! I'm a K-9 police officer in three Vermont communities - Middlebury, Bristol and Vergennes, it's the only time in Vermont history that this has happened! I'm also the only canine in Vermont history allowed on the floor of the Vermont Legislature, where I received a legislative resolution for my work on behalf of animals.
Guess the only other thing I need to mention is that we have received a ton of support writing the book from Vermont legislators. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has been a huge help to us - probably because we're Facebook friends, and we "hang-out" when Daddy & I visit Montpelier! he he he... Seriously though, Vt. House Majority Leader Willem Jewett, and State Representatives Diane Lanpher, Harvey Smith and David Sharpe have been instrumental in helping us spread our message!
What does the future hold for you, Hobbes?
Well, "Hobbes Goes Home" has been very successful so far, and we're hoping to visit EVERY Vermont school. If people want us to come, they should e-mail us at email@example.com, or they can just call my Mom, Tami - who handles the scheduling at 802-377-1602.
Mom & Dad are also planning four other books that will have messages for kids that involves me, so I'm excited about that, too!