Since starting the blog, we’ve interviewed many members of the hospitality industry, and one constant among the interviewees has been a profound love for their pets. We thought it would be great to share this love with our readers. That’s why we launched an ongoing feature called “Wag Wednesday” to showcase industry peeps and their pets. Know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at email@example.com.
This week, we’re featuring Maria Orantes, Executive Pastry Chef for the Pubbelly restaurants, and her dogs Cherry, Ronny, Giorgio, Gretta, Kikko and Mochi.
Your Name: Maria Orantes
Your Pets’ Names: Cherry, Ronny, Giorgio, Gretta, Kikko and Mochi
Sexes: Cherry (Female), Ronny (Male), Giorgio (Male), Gretta (female), Kikko (Male), Mochi (female)
Ages: Cherry – 15 yrs. / Ronny – 5 yrs. / Giorgio – 8 yrs. / Gretta – 8 yrs. / Kikko – 9 months / Mochi – 8 months
Breeds: Cherry – Chihuahua / Ronny – French bulldog / Giorgio – Yorkie / Gretta- Yorkie / Kikko – Pomeranian / Mochi- Pomeranian
How did you come to own your dogs? What drew you to them?
Cherry is my boyfriend’s dog. He got her from his best friend as a present when he moved to Miami from Spain.
Ronny came to us from Spain as well because of Marco (the chef at Pubbelly), who brought him to us when he moved here with Ronny’s mom. Ronny was the runt of the litter, and he was completely different from his mother and sister; we fell in love with him when we saw him.
Giorgio, Gretta, Kikko and Mochi all came from local breeders. Giorgio was the most playful of his litter, and Gretta was the most calm. When we saw them, we knew we had to get them together. Kikko and Mochi are something else. They are both little rascals who are always playing and barking at everything and everyone. We got them together because they are best friends and we couldn’t separate them. When we saw them together, we knew they would be the perfect additions to our family.
Growing up, I always loved dogs. My mom says she always thought I would be a veterinarian because my first word was “dog” in Spanish. I always noticed how loyal dogs are to their owners and how they are compassionate and loving. I always knew I would own at least one when I was little, but 25 years later, I own 6 and I couldn’t be happier.
What’s the story behind your dogs’ names?
Cherry – After a Spanish song about cherries.
Ronaldo aka Ronny – After Cristiano Ronaldo because he is so sporty and handsome.
Giorgio and Gretta – Because we wanted matching names with the letter G.
Kikko and Mochi – Both are named after Japanese food items. Kikko because of “Kikkoman Soy Sauce” and Mochi after the Japanese dessert.
How would you describe your dogs’ personalities?
Cherry is definitely the leader of the house. She is extremely smart, and all the dogs see her as their mom because she is super loving and patient.
Ronny is a young soul at heart. He still thinks he is a puppy although he is five years old. He takes all of our puppies’ toys and hides them just for him to find. He is also obsessed with Frisbees; he loves to chase them and catch them in the air.
Giorgio is a diva. He likes to be the center of attention all the time. He is super playful and loving, and he poses for pictures and loves to get groomed although he does have his nemesis: the blow dryer.
Gretta is my shadow. She follows me around everywhere, and she knows exactly when I will be home and waits up for me until I get home. She is extremely calm and loves to be with us on the couch.
Kikko is the life of the party. He is never tired at all. He loves to play with everyone and everything, and he is always looking for ways to get treats. He is currently obsessed with chewing my shoelaces. -.-
Mochi is the quiet one that acts like she doesn’t break a thing but is definitely the most feisty one of all. She is the smallest, but she has the most attitude and personality.
How has owning a pet made your life richer?
Owning all of my dogs has definitely made my life better. I love to get home from a long day at work and know that no matter how my day goes, I have all these amazing rascals waiting for me to give me lots of love and kisses. They cheer me up if I am down and take care of me when I am sick.
When they get in trouble, they do the cutest things to make me forget what they did. They all get excited for me when I accomplish something new and even bring me presents like leaves and twigs they find in our back yard only for me. I love them all and couldn’t imagine what my life was without them.
It’s said that dogs reflect their owners and vice versa. How does this apply to you and yours?
All my dogs have such different personality traits, but they all mirror a little something of mine. Cherry is very clever and observant. Ronnie is very curious. Giorgio knows how to stand his ground. Gretta is very loving and tender. Kikko is very energetic, and Mochi is very funny. I have the best squad!
Tell us a funny story about you and your dogs.
Having six in my squad makes for way too many funny stories, but I have to say one of the funniest has been trying to get all of them to pose with me for the picture for this interview lol. #squadgoals
Are you involved in any pet organizations or philanthropies?
Currently, I am not. However, I do use my social media to voice my love for dogs and to encourage adoptions not only for dogs, but for animals around the world that need our help.
We follow a lot of dog social media accounts like Doug the Pug, Rocco’s Contemporary Life, and Menswear Dog. Do you? Which are your favorites?
See past editions of Wag Wednesdays here.