Hobbes Ethan Allen Zeman 2006 – 2020
The VAB is sad to learn of the passing of WVTK Morning Show Co-host, Hobbes Zeman.
The tiny, lovable brown dachshund made radio history, becoming the nation’s first canine morning radio show host, when he hit the airwaves in 2009.
Hobbes rose from terrible circumstances to become a fixture on Vermont Radio. Abused, and severely beaten by his first “humans,” Hobbes was rescued by WVTK Morning Show host Bruce Zeman, and his wife, Tami. As Bruce continued to talk about his new pup, the dog became more and more popular, and eventually, a dog star was born. In 2009, he made his debut on WVTK, as the co-host of “The Wake Up Crew with Bruce & Hobbes,” a role he would relish for his entire life.
In addition to 92.1 WVTK, during their time together, Bruce and Hobbes spent time on Farm Fresh Radio 102.9, Eagle County 97.5, WOKO 98.9, Froggy 100.9 FM, and Frank 107.5 FM. While the duo enjoyed their time at all of the stations, they always considered WVTK their home, and when they returned in 2017, Bruce & Hobbes knew it was for good.
During his distinguished career, along with his dad, Hobbes visited hundreds of schools across the country, promoting anti-bullying efforts, while teaching empathy & kindness to young and old alike. His book, “Hobbes Goes Home” was recognized by former President Barack Obama, after the 44th president sent a letter to the Zeman’s, acknowledging how important their work was. Hobbes received significant accolades in Vermont as well, being recognized by the Vermont Legislature twice (2010 & 2014), for his work on behalf of kids and animals, becoming the ONLY canine in state history allowed on the floor to receive those awards. As he continued his radio career, Hobbes continued to make firsts, becoming the ONLY dog in Vermont history to become a Police K9 in three cities, and four departments – (Middlebury, Bristol, Vergennes and a deputy Sheriff, with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department.) He was also the official “Fire Dog” of the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department.
Hobbes was a fixture at many VAB events, and out of all his accomplishments, his proudest was probably being awarded the prestigious Alan B. Noyes Service Award, by the VAB, in 2012.
Prior to his passing, Hobbes was given a full police escort, around Addison County, to various police departments, and businesses, so people could say goodbye. Hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects. When he passed on Tuesday, Hobbes was 13 years old.
WVTK Owner Ken Barlow says, “It’s hard to believe that a little dog could have such an impact on a radio station and a region…but Hobbes did. From bullying to animal rights to caring for others…he was a symbol of good. People would love to come to remote events and see him. He was rescued by Bruce after several years of abuse and he came to be a symbol that adversity in one’s life can be turned around.”