R.O.A.R. Squad: Elsa, Emmy and Zakk, and their dog, Azrael

A huge welcome to our latest R.O.A.R. Squad members, Emmy, Zakk and little Elsa from Maine! Zakk’s sister, Jessie, saw my call for Maine R.O.A.R. Squad submissions and shared a link to her blog post about Azrael’s new amazing life. Thank you for putting me in touch with them, Jessie! I look forward to sharing your rescue story here soon as well!

I have loved learning more about Emmy and Zakk and their farm and coaching soccer and their natural food store and… these guys are fascinating! Read all about this great family after the jump.

If you would like to be profiled in the R.O.A.R. Squad all the info you need to do so is HERE. A special shout out to fabulous folks in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and the Yukon– we need you!

Rockin’ Rescue Owners: Zakk Maher, Emmy Andersson and their daughter Elsa

Gorgeous Pup: Azrael- as in Gargamel’s Cat in the Smurfs (her old name was Bear); Azreal is a Catahoola Leopard dog rescued at 2 years (we think)

Power Couple: Zakk and Em are crazy go-getters!  She is from Gothenburg, Sweden and he is from Maine. They met in college where she was a soccer player, environmentalist and an artist and he was doing a self-study on sustainable living and photography. They moved back to Maine where they finished their homestead, got married and started raising sheep and managing greenhouses.  As of right now, Zakk is still working on the farm (though they have a smaller herd) and is coaching soccer and basketball at the local school.  Emmy just finished her MBA and they both own a Local/Natural Food Store called Square Root Natural Foods.  

Meant To Be: Zakk’s brother-in-law volunteers for his local Fire and Rescue company in Ashburn, VA.  One day, a post went out on the Fire and Rescue list serve seeking a home for a Catahoola Leopard Dog mix. Zakk’s sister (Jessie) was looking for a dog herself but, after googling the breed, realized she was a herding dog and better suited for life on a sheep farm in Maine (with her brother) who was looking for a dog as well. Fortuitous timing, Jessie was headed up to Maine for the annual family canoe trip just 2 days later!  Jessie arranged to pick up the dog and transport her up to her brother.

Interior Design: Az won over Emmy by chewing up Zakk’s favorite couch on her first night.  Emmy had been trying to get rid of that couch for MONTHS!  

Love Bug: Az loves to “give hugs” by running up and wrapping her paws around you.

Partners in Crime: Az loves running and jumping.  She can often be found getting into trouble with her best friend Kiah (the American Eskimo).

Ready for her Close-Up: Photographers love her and her one half, blue eye.  She even ended up in the professional wedding photos for Zakk’s sister.

Giddy Up: Az has natural herding insticts and amazing energy but, she can also be quiet and wonderful with the family 2.5 year old, Elsa.  She lets her climb all over her and sometimes even sit on her like a horse!

Where: Maine

Want to meet another fabulous MBA student? Check out Penny and her dogs!

Join the R.O.A.R. Squad

Do you want to join the R.O.A.R. Squad? Our goal is to make having a rescue animal THE coolest thing around. Ya game? Perfect! We’d love to have you! 

Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Recruiting Members

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of finding at least one rescue owner from every state in the US and at least one rescue owner from every province and territory in Canada by April 2011. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re looking for rescue dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots… donkeys… snakes… we’re not biased around here. We just want rescues who have found fabulous homes! Check out all the R.O.A.R. Squad members HERE.

Recruiting for:


  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • North West Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan- need asap!
  • Yukon- need asap!


  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota- need asap!
  • Wisconsin- need asap!
  • Wyoming- need asap!

Everywhere Else:

  • From somewhere else? Lemme know!

If your state/province/territory isn’t on this list, THAT’S OKAY! We still need you to join! Just keep your eyes and ears out for rescue owners from these places for me, k? Thanks!

I look forward to hearing from you!

13 Responses to “R.O.A.R. Squad: Elsa, Emmy and Zakk, and their dog, Azrael”

  1. Jodi T. says:

    Gorgeous family (inside and out)!

  2. JessieDae says:

    Thanks for posting … they are amazing! Az actually went in for knee surgery yesterday (all of that jumping and running caught up with her) … ouch! Good timing though … keeping all the vibes good!

    Thanks again!!!

  3. Kristine says:

    Yay for Catahoula leopard dogs! Now I am even more convinced that is what Shiva is, couch-chewing and all. 🙂

    Congratulations to Azrael and her awesome adopters. It sounds like they are all perfectly suited.

  4. What a great-looking dog! I love how she loves to give hugs.

  5. @Jessie- Thank *you*! I can’t wait to feature your family & I hope Az does great in her surgery. I’m sure she will!

  6. @Kristine- Az is incredibly beautiful, isn’t she?

  7. @Two- I love the hugging thing too! Adorable 🙂

  8. JessieDae says:

    Az pulled through just great! She is on bedrest at the moment … or ‘having Zakk send her back to bed every 30 seconds when she gets up’ rest. Good pup!

  9. Kim says:

    I saw a dog with eyes like that once and always wondered what kind it was – now I know! So beautiful and love the photo of Zakk and Az hugging. More wonderful angels added to the R.O.A.R. Squad!

  10. @Kim- Me too, these are *such* great photos!

  11. Kari says:

    Love the pic of the pup standing in his lap 🙂