In her three decades living in Russia, whether on the Baltic, the Pacific, or the banks of the Volga, Maya was always struck and saddened by the number of stray dogs there. Once when she was a child, her and her friends and found a small pack of dogs without homes, and knowing the temperature would drop to –40° in a few hours, she begged her parents to let them stay the night in their home. They agreed! And it STILL makes Maya happy to remember bringing those five fluffy creatures into their tiny, warm apartment, giving them a little food and water, and tucking in beside them for a safe night’s sleep.

Maya has 6 rescue dogs living with her in her Maine home. 5 of those dogs are from Russia, and one is from a local shelter. Maya is a full-time nurse and a devoted daughter, mother, and wife.