We've reviewed a lot of books over the years and we've written about a lot of dachshunds. This is the first time we've written about a book before we've read it, and the first time we've written about a dachshund with a career in broadcasting.
Weekday mornings from 6 to 10 on WCLX-FM, 102.9, in Burlington VT – you can stream the show live from farmfreshradio.com – Bruce Zeman and Hobbes give you news, weather, traffic info and music. And, yes, Hobbes is a dachshund.
Not just any dachshund, either. Hobbes was recognized by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and the entire Vermont Legislature, in 2012, with a resolution recognizing him for his work on behalf of animals. Hobbes is the only canine in Vermont history to serve as a police K-9 in three cities (Middlebury, Bristol and Vergennes), and is the only dog ever allowed on the floor of the Vermont Legislature to receive his award! Bruce and Hobbes promote the idea that companion animals are not property. That they are feeling creatures who must be protected from abuse in the same way we protect children. Bruce, in fact, told us that he views himself as Hobbes' guardian, not as his owner.
Now, after a Kickstarter project – and after some problems with the original printer that delayed the book for months – Hobbes is the star of a new book – Hobbes Goes Home – aimed at spreading a message of love of animals and of anti-bullying to the Kindergarten to eighth grade set. The book doesn't aim to scare, it aims to teach. As Bruce sums up the message: "It matters that you're here. You bring something that no one else does."
Hobbes is the exactly the proper spokesdog for this campaign. Rescued in 2009 by Bruce and his wife, Tami, from the Homeward Bound shelter in Middlebury VT (which will share in proceeds from the book), Hobbes had endured years of abuse. Bruce told us about some of it and didn't want to share the rest. We will respect that wish. Bruce and Hobbes, as we said, are out to teach, not to scare. And they plan to tour Vermont's schools to bring their message to as many children as possible.
Bruce took Hobbes to his radio job, found that he fit right in at the studio, and their team has been going strong ever since.
But Bruce wasn't satisfied with just rescuing one dog. He and Hobbes have helped raise over $40,000 for Homeward Bound, which has resulted in 600 animals finding their forever homes. And now they have their book.
And still, Bruce told us, "the most important thing I've done is rescue Hobbes."
As we said, we don't have the book in hand yet, but based on our conversation with Bruce, we feel we are on solid ground recommending it. You can read more, and order the book if you wish, at bruceandhobbes.com.