When people look at Nori, a 1-year-old Australian shepherd-poodle mix, they often do a double take. There’s a good chance you will, too.
It has to do with Nori’s big, almond-shaped eyes, intense gaze and pink lips that turn slightly upward into a smile. Not surprisingly, Nori is often said to have a humanlike face.
“I think Nori’s coloring is what makes him look human, especially his eyes,” Tiffany Ngo, Nori’s mom, told The Dodo. “People like to say that his eyes make him seem very wise or soulful. He has a very expressive face — he even makes a disgusted face when I’m painting my nails and he smells the nail polish.”
Ngo and her boyfriend Kevin Hurless got Nori last year after falling in love with his sweet nature and, of course, his unique features.
“He looked a lot more humanlike when he was really little, maybe because his fur was darker so his eyes seemed light in comparison,” Ngo said.
But Ngo and Hurless never imagined how much attention Nori would get for his looks.
“It was funny when people would literally stop us from across the street so they could come over and meet Nori when he was a puppy,” Ngo said. “He was just a walking ball of fluff with a happy little face.”
Now that Nori is older, his appearance has slightly changed — but you can still see his human resemblance when he stands next to his dog brother, Boba, a Shih Tzu mix.
Most people compare Nori’s looks to a person’s — but Ngo and Hurless have heard some other crazy things said about Nori.
“I overheard someone at a dog park say that Nori looks like Fizzgig from ‘The Dark Crystal,’” Ngo said. “I think the funniest thing we’ve heard is Garth from ‘Wayne’s World.’ I’ve also had someone ask if his hair is styled curly and highlighted, which it isn’t.”
Despite Nori’s humanlike features, he’s just a normal dog, Ngo said.
“He loves everyone he meets and is always really playful,” Ngo said. “He likes playing with his BFF Boba, watching sports with Kevin and supervising me in the kitchen.”
“Nori also really likes water and mud,” Ngo added. “He likes taking dips in the pool during the summer and seeking out mud puddles to plop his body in during the fall and winter.”
Ngo runs an Instagram account for Nori and Boba, and the duo are quickly gaining online fame. And Ngo is pleased her dogs bring so much joy to people.
“I love reading comments about how Nori and Boba have brightened a person’s day or lightened their mood,” Ngo said. “It’s nice knowing that their little selves may be making a positive difference in someone else’s life, no matter how small.”