Goffstown man and his dog inspire others
He's not a bird, he's not a plane, and no, he's not Underdog. He's Super Teddy Maximus, a 'Yorkie-Pomerian-American,' who serves as a muse to his human sidekick and co-author, Steve Gamlin.
'Bust Out Of Your Crate! Super Teddy's Top Twenty Tips For People To Be As Happy As Dogs!' published in 2012, was not Super Teddy's first book. His photos and inspirations also appeared in 'Oh Yeah! (Another Quote Book) (The Motivational Firewood Chronicles),' published in June 2011, featuring Super Teddy as a co-author. Gamlin previously published two books without Super Teddy, 'Table 7, Your Centerpiece Is On Fire!' in 2004, and 20 to 'Life In a Good Way,' in October 2011.
Gamlin's and Super Teddy's message is elegant in its simplicity. As 'Provider of Motivational Firewood,' Gamlin said, 'I can't change anyone's life, but if someone really wants to, maybe with something I do, something I say, something I wrote, they can add to that little spark in their life and make a fire happen.'
In his 'Oh Yeah!' book, Gamlin featured 'motivational quotes' called 'Teddy Says' in the final chapters. After hearing that so many people were reading the book from back to front - starting first with Teddy's inspirations - Gamlin knew it was time for Teddy to write his own book. He also knew that 3-year-old Teddy had the life experience to succeed, sharing Teddy's own story of being born in New Orleans, the only survivor of his litter.
'He carries the souls of his brothers and sisters with him,' said Gamlin. 'I think all rescued animals know that there's something special about them,' he said.
As for Gamlin, he was himself 'rescued' after a devastating public humiliation in a junior high spelling bee, after which his grades, self-confidence, and self-esteem went into a downward spiral. It wasn't until about two years ago that he dug into his memories and pinpointed that moment in his life.
'I encourage people to go back and find those moments in their lives' that are keeping them down, he said.
Although he made it to Saint Anselm College, he graduated by only sixty-two-one-thousandths of a point, he said.
'I was broke and depressed, living on my grandfather's couch,' said Gamlin. 'My friend Danny kept bugging me,' he said, encouraging him to pursue his interest in radio.
Gamlin had known since he first saw the 'WKRP in Cincinnati' TV show when he was 9 years old that he wanted to be just like Dr. Johnny Fever - the funky, hippie DJ portrayed by Howard Hesseman. At Danny's urging, Gamlin went to a two-month broadcast school program in Massachusetts.
'Four weeks later, I got an internship at a major radio station that I grew up listening to,' said Gamlin. 'It took me a while to get the lesson behind it,' he said, 'but when someone believes in you before you do, you've got to listen to it.'
The lesson he learned? Go after whatever it is you want to do because you're not going to be here forever.
Gamlin stayed in radio for 10 years, but 'crashed and burned,' walking away from his radio career, getting divorced, being badly in debt and had nowhere to live.
He recalls being so depressed that 'nine years ago this month, I was in a golf course in Bedford, barefoot during the rain, daring God to take me.'
Since then, Gamlin has had a series of ups and downs. He's been a wedding DJ for 20 years now, capturing his audience with his unique humor, all the while gathering experiences to share. He recalled a particularly amusing event at a wedding in coastal Maine, depicted in his 'Table 7' book, when he and the waiter had to chase seagulls from the shrimp buffet.
'Not a single shrimp was lost to enemy fliers,' he said.
It is from so many emotionally diverse experiences that Gamlin - with the help of Super Teddy - now tries to lift others, as he lifts himself.
Now, he travels and speaks at various events. He said he's been told that he's a very vulnerable, authentic storyteller.
'I just wanted to be the real speaker that I didn't think was out there enough,' said Gamlin. 'I didn't want it to be, 'rah rah rah, buy my stuff','' he said.
In addition to speaking engagements, Gamlin uses the Internet to spread his word with a 'motivational firewood' blog, email newsletters, a webpage and Facebook posts, where he shares videos and links.
'I just go out and find happy things,' said Gamlin.
In addition to sharing his word, he donates a great deal of his time and money to causes he feels are worthy. He is particularly involved in the Make-A-Wish program, donating his time to help children with their presentation skills as they go out in public, sharing their experiences with others. He is also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Easter Seals and the Salvation Army.
Super Teddy also has his own philanthropic endeavors, donating $2 from every 'Bust Out Of Your Crate!' book to 'help my fellow doggies and other furry friends,' he said in his book, donating the money to nonprofit organizations that Gamlin has researched.
'Your integrity is something you can only sell out once, and then it's gone,' his grandfather once told him.