Waggleview® with author Connie Bombaci
A waggleview® reveals the incredible bond between the human and animal connection. These special interviews remind us to mindfully live in the moment, as our pets do every single day. Read our featured waggleview® to find out her dog’s philosophy on life and how her dog inspires her.
The Dog Owner: Connie Bombaci– author of Hogan’s Hope: A Deaf Hero’s Inspirational Quest for Love and Acceptance. Connie, a retired educator and first-time author, is an optimist and compassionate person whose Christian faith guides her to believe in the extreme goodness and immeasurable importance in all God’s creations. Her resolute love for animals began in childhood, rescuing both domestic and wild orphaned or abandoned animals. Her desire for others to believe in the value of themselves led her to become an educator where she worked fervently to increase young peoples’ confidence and belief in themselves no matter what challenges they faced. She offers hope where frustration and failure seem inevitable. While a teacher and assistant principal in the Haddam-Killingworth School District of Connecticut, she enjoyed working with young people, finding it especially fulfilling to help students who needed special encouragement. Her involvement with animals also developed from her desire to be kind. She has enjoyed many pets, all of whom were rescued.
Connie grew up in a suburban neighborhoold outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and now lives in Connecticut with her husband, Jim, and their two rescued pups in the rustic, puppy-friendly home that Jim built on their five-acre “piece of Heaven.” She is also surrounded by the love of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Dog type and Name: Dalmatian (female, deaf) – Judea 7 1/2 year old
Q: Why did you choose this dog? We had two deaf Dalmatians prior to adopting Judea and we wanted to continue our belief and action to rescue these very special and loving pups. A Dalmatian rescue group in Pennsylvania knew about Hogan’s life with us and called asking if we would like to adopt an 8-week old, deaf little girl.
Q: Do you talk to your dog? If so, what do you talk about? Absolutely! We communicate with American Sign Language, lots of touch, and facial expressions. We often talk about things such as whether or not she wants to play, lure course (run), eat, or go for a ride in the car. I also take great pleasure in telling her what a good girl and how beautiful she is as well as how much I love her. Of course, we girls also talk about what I should wear to a particular event or occasion!
Q: If she could talk to you, what would she say? She is constantly telling me that she wants attention, to go outside into the “big” yard, or that she is hungry or wants a cookie. She is confident enough to give me her nudges along with her “talking” until she gets my attention.
Q: If your dog had a job or career, what would she be doing? A receptionist or teacher!! She loves greeting and interacting with people, especially children. She also loves to demonstrate how wonderful deaf dogs can be as smart, gentle, and loving family members.
Q: What lesson in life has your dog taught you? Judea has brought a special perspective into our home – one of understanding and uniqueness in every individual. Each person needs to be loved and accepted but also, importantly, to be understood. She has definitely taught me to look at my own “quirkiness” before looking at others’. In addition, while I have considered myself to be a gentle person by nature, she has encouraged me to become even softer and gentler in my all my approaches.
Q: How does your dog inspire you? Judea inspires me to have fun, to put aside long periods of work and go have some fun with her. We often call her our “little clown” because of how wonderfully she entertains us. Whether she’s chasing a light/reflection cast on the floor or wall, running after the shadows of birds flying overhead on a sunny day, running into the puppy pond with a great big belly flop, or pursuing “the bunny” on the lure course, Judea absolutely loves having pure fun!
Judea also keeps me going. Her message is important and no matter how my day begins or what happens in the events of the day, she inspires me to sit, be still, carefully assess, and then get moving. Nothing defeats her hopes and dreams.
Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you? Judea definitely loves to go for a walk down our long, dirt driveway and road to visit our neighbor’s horse, Mistrel.
Q: Who or what does your dog find the most interesting? Bright lights and reflections, lure coursing, and earning treats are her top three. She also loves running in the snow!
Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do? Not correctly, carefully and completely caring for their dogs who are unquestionably worthy of great attention and love. Additionally, it’s extremely annoying when others do not clean up after their dogs or allow them to get right up into the faces of other dogs without asking and properly introducing them first.
Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you? I could write a book on this one! In addition to the “regular” care of checkups, vaccinations, routine or necessary tests, healthy diet and treats, regular/daily exercise, continual grooming, protective shelter, and unrelenting attention, being a responsible “parent” means that we must protect our loved ones, understand their unique individual differences and needs, often place their necessities before our own desires, and provide unwavering acceptance and unconditional love. Being a real, genuine, and responsible “owner” is a full-time commitment that creates the most bountiful blessings.
Q: Do you ever dress up your dog? If so, as what? Yes, but only when and/or what she likes such as scarves, jackets, and short periods of head bands or hats.
Q: How has your dog changed your life? I am richer, more blessed with affection and love, and gentler in my approach to everyone. I accept more easily because she accepts me. My heart is much more sensitive and I worry a great deal more about the safety and well being of creatures who are in need, abandoned, mistreated, or put to death because no one accepts or wants them.
Q: Does your dog have a philosophy of life? “Play today; forget about tomorrow.” As well as “Make lots of great memories now that are full of real understanding, true faith, unrelenting hope, and unconditional love.”
Q: I love my dog because:
ALL God’s creations are worthy of love – just because “she is.”
I adore that she loves to be:
- in the same room with me,
- on the sofa next to me,
- cuddled up in bed under the blankets against my side,
- running out in the yard while I work,
- watching intently any job my husband is working on as if she’s trying to learn how to do it or comprehend what he’s doing,
- playing with me
- giving kisses
- watching the front-yard critters, especially the squirrels
- . . . . and so much more! The list is endless.
Q: Have you ever made dog treats for your dog? If so, please share your recipe.
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour & 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce or mashed banana
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth (I often use just water)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until everything is well combined. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface. When the dough is about ½ inch thick, cut the dough with your favorite shape and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator.
WAGGLEVIEW®: These interviews are focused on leaders in business, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected people in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about pets and what these people do? This is a platform for people to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their pet!
Thank you Connie for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview®.
What is your dog’s philosophy of life ?
Please comment below.