Popular Posts

Steve Hofstetter
Steve Hofstetter is a popular comedian, author, and columnist. You may recognize him from appearances on ESPN's Quite Frankly or the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, or his radio show National Lampoon's Sports Minute (Or So). His stand up comedy is a big draw on college campuses, infusing observational humor and political commentary. Steve is also a sports buff, and his columns can be found in Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and ESPN Magazine (just to name a few.) Despite his affinity for entertainment and comedy, Steve carried around a not-so-funny problem for many years-- he was afraid of dogs. That all changed when he met his wife Sara, who ironically was an animal shelter volunteer. With Sara's help, Steve is overcoming his fear of dogs one day at a time. Amazingly, the pair has recently welcomed a new addition to their family: a 6-year-old rescue Dachsund/Beagle mix. Steve and Sara christened their new dog "Bea Arthur", and Steve has begun to document his experiences as a dog owner and recovering cynophobe on his new blog Adopting Bea Arthur. Steve kindly agreed to do an interview with Mad About Pets to further discuss his fear of dogs, and how he's gotten to the point of owning his very own dog:

-Was there one specific incident which spurred your fear of dogs?

When I was a baby, a neighbor's dog tried to bite me. My parents say that I was sacred ever since then. While I have no memory of it, that sort of thing gets programmed in you.

-Did your fear of dogs have any social implications? In other words, did it negatively affect your social life or your daily interactions?

Sure - there were friends' houses I didn't want to go to, girls I had trouble dating, and the constant worry of looking like a weenie whenever we passed one.

-It is my understanding that your attitude towards dogs began to change after you met your wife, a shelter volunteer. How did she begin to change your perception of dogs?

She educated me. She showed me hours and hours of dog shows, introduced me to some of the more well behaved dogs at the shelter, and just taught me a lot about how owners mold their dogs, not the other way around.

The irresistible Bea Arthur
-Was there something special about Bea that made you and your wife decide to add a dog to the family, or had you made the decision before seeing her that you were in the market for a pet?

We were in the market for a dog, but the right dog. We had turned others down. But Bea was so well behaved and so cute, it was hard to say no. Okay, that's a lie - it was impossible.

-I have to ask…Bea Arthur? Is there a story behind this name, or are you just a huge Golden Girls fan?

We're fans of the show. We used to watch it every night before we went to sleep (til we'd pretty much seen them all). We wanted to name her after something comedy related because of what I do, but all my favorite legends are men. Suddenly, Sara suggested Bea Arthur, and it just fit. She's stoic and doesn't have time for silly bitches.

-How has adding Bea to the family changed your life (for better or worse)?

We're a lot more tired than we used to be (and about $1200 poorer already). But we feel like we're a family now - and I'm in the best shape I've been in in a while.

-Now that you have a dog of your own, is your fear completely under control or are there still some lingering hesitations?

Steve and Bea
I still pause a bit with some bigger dogs, especially with owners that don't look like they know what they're doing. There was a giant dog in the dog park once that I refer to as the junkyard dog. The owner didn't care what the dog was doing, and it had a big old chain on its neck - and was clearly starting with the other dogs. That type of dog, it'll be a while before I'm comfortable.

-For those readers of Mad About Pets who may have a fear of dogs, in your experience, how do you begin to overcome that fear?

Watch a great deal of Animal Planet. And just understand that not all dogs are the same - kind of like people that way, but they sleep more.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow Me

Facebook Twitter G+

Got a tip?

If you know of an upcoming event, a cool product, a new pet supply shop, etc. in the Madison, WI area, please let me know!

Pet Jobs