How Adopting Bea Arthur Changed Steve Hofstetter’s Life

 Bea Arthur (in bag) with her dad Steve Hofstetter
Comedian Steve Hofstetter recently joined the ranks of animal lovers whose hearts have been stolen by a four-legged friend. Afraid of dogs since childhood, Hofstetter had a change of heart after marrying a shelter volunteer who introduced him to the joy of dogs and adoption.  They adopted six year old Bea Arthur, a Beagle-Dachshund mix, the star of Hofstetter’s blog Adopting Bea Arthur.
Steve was kind enough to answer a few questions about Bea Arthur and animal adoption with me:
Lisa: Congratulations on your adoption of Bea Arthur! What were your feelings/ideas about dogs before Bea Arthur came into your life?
Steve Hofstetter: I used to be afraid of all dogs, even little ones. I didn’t understand that most of them just want to find a human to love them. Even the yippie ones mean well (misguided as they are).

What changed your mind and feelings about dogs after meeting your wife?
I was educated. I think general hatred or fear of something often stems from ignorance or misunderstanding. Though I hope no one ever teaches me not to be afraid of lions. That’s a healthy fear. 

What are a few of the ways Bea Arthur has enriched your life?
I try to explain the feeling of completion Bea has given us, but it’s hard to. It was instant – just knowing that this wonderful ball of sweetness loves us and depends on us makes everything mean more. 
Any advice for people who may not know the joys and rewards of rescue and adopting a dog or cat?
You’re saving a life – but if that’s not enough for you, shelter animals are extra appreciative, extra loving. If you want a companion who will think you’re the best thing that ever happened, shelter animals are the way to go. You’ll feel great and so will they. It’s both selfish and altruistic at once. 
Besides your blog, which is a fun read, has Bea Arthur inspired your work?
Not yet – but its a matter of time before I start digesting my experiences enough to translate them on stage. I have been talking about Michael Vick being evil and unforgivable – a position I probably would not have taken without the education I’ve had. 
Is there anything you would like to add or share?
People say that adopting a dog is a gateway to having a child. Yes and no – I see how caring for another living thing can be wonderfully rewarding. But I’m also tired. Very tired. I can’t imagine adding less sleep to this equation. 
Many thanks to Steve for his time!
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