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Maya, Nori And Jethro (Spitz Trio)

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Jethro, Maya and Nori.

“‘I have three wonderful dogs: Maya, a three-year-old Red Siberian Husky who is VERY SASSY, very smart and everyone’s best friend; Nori, a five-year-old Shiba Inu puppy mill mom survivor and the sweetest little girl; and Jethro, a two-year-old Siberian Husky who is absolutely obsessed with and in love with all people!’ she says.”

Rochelle Theriault is a huge animal advocate. Living in Columbus, Ohio, she is actively involved in animal rescue and volunteering, and has been involved for the past 11 years. Rochelle also has a popular Instagram account, Maya the Woof, which features Maya and two other dogs. She tries to use her social platforms to educate as much as possible. 

“I have three wonderful dogs: Maya, a three-year-old Red Siberian Husky who is VERY SASSY, very smart and everyone’s best friend; Nori, a five-year-old Shiba Inu puppy mill mom survivor and the sweetest little girl; and Jethro, a two-year-old Siberian Husky who is absolutely obsessed with and in love with all people!” she says.

Find out more about this dynamic trio in our interview with Rochelle!

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Rochelle and Maya.

Dog Whisperer HQ: Where did you first meet the pups and bring them home from?

Rochelle: My boyfriend and I had started discussing getting a dog a few years ago. At this time, I was still new to the area and wasn’t involved in rescue work yet. I was browsing the internet when I came across an ad for this beautiful husky being rehomed because she was “too much.” For us, she was the perfect amount of “much” for our lives. We met Nori and Jethro through the wonderful organization I became involved in shortly after we got Maya, called Stop the Suffering Animal Rescue of Central Ohio.

DW: How long have you had the pups?

R: We got Maya in October of 2016. She was bought and re-homed two weeks later. Fast forward four years, and she has become my best, best friend. We got Jethro in February of 2019. He had been dumped at a pound at seven months. He bounced from foster to foster, and was adopted and returned twice. Little did we know, he would never be leaving our home! We got Nori in May of 2019. Jethro had gone away to a month-long training, so we committed to fostering this little tiny Shiba Inu who was rescued from a puppy mill situation. She had been used and abused but once we got our hands on her, fortunately never ended up leaving our home. 😊

DW: What are the pups’ favorite activities?

R: Maya could play tug-of-war all day long and never get tired. Tug-of-war is her game. If she isn’t playing it, she is probably mastering some dog puzzle game. She is the smartest creature alive. Nori, when she isn’t cleaning her paws, is the guard dog of our house. She always has her eyes and ear peeled. When the humans aren’t looking, she is probably instigating some sort of play with her best friend, Maya. Jethro is probably sleeping somewhere on his back or asking for head scratches in someone’s lap.

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Maya, Rochelle and Nori.

DW: What are their favorite foods and snacks?

R: Maya has a grain allergy so we have to watch what she eats. Anything that BarkBox sends her monthly she loves. She knows when her box comes each month that it’s her “mail day!” She gets so excited. Jethro will literally eat anything you put in front of his face. Nori is super easygoing, but she is the only one who has a special treat she likes: CHEETOS!

DW: Do they have any best friends?

R: Maya is Nori’s best friend. Nori wouldn’t have made half of the progress she has today if not for Maya’s ability to see the beauty in everything. Jethro loves me, his mom. He and Maya get along so well, but at the end of the day, he would much rather just lay with me. Before we got our other two dogs, we took Maya to doggy daycare religiously. Her best friend there was a deaf dog, and whenever we’d pick her up on the days they were both there, the stories about the sounds and playfulness they’d make were highly comical… As of now, our home is basically the doggy daycare. And between her brother and sister, she has no favorites — she likes everything and everyone. When we get visitors, though, they are probably her best friends. She LOVES new people. 

DW: What’s it like taking care of three dogs?

R: It’s constantly wondering if you will ever go a day without dog hair in your mouth or eyes, but not wanting life to be any different. We are capped at three… So no more dogs. But it brings us so much joy. Three dogs that fall in the same breed category (spitz) that come from such different backgrounds, all failed by society but given a chance to live… It’s beautiful.

DW: How do they all get along with each other?

R: Incredibly well. Maya has never had issues with dogs, so she has always been inviting to us fostering and rescuing dogs. Jethro can be a tricky one. He was abused and abandoned so had some initial issues. While he was away at training, we fostered Nori, who we ended up keeping. Maya is Nori’s all-star — there is no one in her life she idolizes more than Maya, so she only plays with Maya, but doesn’t mind Jethro. It’s a relief because Jethro is so goofy and floppy, being a victim of bad breeding. He is not proportionate, and just flails all over the place. Maya, elegant Maya, stands out of his way. Her agility allows her to avoid getting smacked by him at times, and Nori, still trying to figure life out, just rolls with the punches. She is entirely unfazed by him and we are so grateful for her patience.

DW: What’s an important message to share to dog owners and prospective dog owners:

R: These dogs are incredibly beautiful, funny and beyond a pleasure to have. But please, do the research before getting the breed. I am cleaning up the mess of three dogs failed by those who couldn’t commit to them. They aren’t easy dogs — they are working dogs. They need a job and, unless you know what that means, I highly suggest exploring other breeds. Your entire lifestyle needs to change when you commit to a breed such as a Shiba Inu or a Siberian Husky. They thrive on a structured lifestyle. But if it is something you are willing to take on, by all means, I highly encourage you do it. Having these two breeds in my life is the most incredible experience. 

Follow Maya the Woof on Instagram @mayathewoof.

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