Passion for Dogs Teaches Valuable Life Lessons
Diana Capaccio, AARP Personal Lines Customer Service Representative
- Years with The Hartford: 2
- Total years of work experience: 25
As a customer service representative for The Hartford’s AARP division, Diana Capaccio is perfectly suited to the job. She cares about the people she meets on the phone every day and does everything she can to help – by listening carefully and responding with patience and kindness, no matter what the customer’s concerns are.
Diana brings these same qualities of care and commitment to her life outside of work as a dog-rescue volunteer. She was inspired to volunteer in 2003 when she rescued her first Brittany, Rory Francis. She’s been dedicated to the cause ever since.
“I support all rescue,” Diana said, “but mostly I work for American Brittany Rescue, National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network, and Brittany Rescue AZ.”
The agencies’ work extends across the U.S. and Canada using a foster home system.
“All local animal hospitals and shelters are aware that if they get a Brittany in, they can call us to pick up the dog and we’ll find a foster home until they’re adopted,” Diana said.
Diana helps the rescues in any way she can. She screens potential adopters in her area, pulls dogs from shelters, and takes them to the vet for medical care and grooming. Sometimes she just sits with the dogs and shows them love and compassion they may have never experienced before.
She tells of a recent memorable experience with an older gentleman whose wife had just passed away. He adopted a Brittany, and Diana drove the dog to him.
“He was holding and talking to the dog in the back seat of the car, saying, ‘You’re my new best friend,’ ” she said.
Diana also participates in volunteer opportunities organized by The Hartford with Phoenix-area rescue agencies. She and other employees walk and play with the dogs, give them baths, feed them, and wash floors.
“I’ve always been a huge dog lover and try to see the world through their eyes – living in the moment, enjoying the small, simple stuff and forgiving quickly,” Diana said.
She applies these principles in her everyday life, especially at The Hartford.
“We don’t always know our customers’ backgrounds,” she said. “We never know what we’re going to get, why a customer is calling or what’s going on in their lives, so we offer assistance and tread lightly. When we rescue dogs, we don’t always know their history. Dogs on a new adventure can be so scared. We give care, patience and empathy to each dog, just as we do to each individual person on the phone.”
When Diana goes home from work each night, she’s welcomed by her family of four-legged friends: Buehrle Francis, the fourth Brittany she’s owned; Hatty Biscuit, a Duck Toller-Brittany mix; Marty Chalupa, her fiancé’s Chihuahua; and Tofie, the household cat.
Care is at the heart of the special bond that’s possible between dog and human – and between people. You get what you give, and that’s a lesson Diana brings to every dog she meets, and to every day on the job.