A roundup of this year’s paw-sitively paw-some animal friends. 


Bentley - The 11-Year-Old Tri-Color Domestic Longhair 

“We rescued Bentley from an owner surrender. She was going to euthanize him at age two because of a medical condition. After we adopted him, he had the appropriate surgeries and then went on to become a feline hero! He has raised over 40 kittens in the last nine years so we call him the cat daddy. He also recently retired from being a blood donor and has helped save the lives of more than eight other cats. He was on the cover of Suncoast Pet Magazine in 2020 for being extremely handsome. Although he’s older now and a little more frail, he is the best cat.” — Owner Cheyenne Williams

THE PERFECT DAY  Bentley loves being the first one up. He gently waits by his mom’s face until her alarm goes off then proceeds to paw her face until it’s breakfast time. If he could he would have a second breakfast, but since that never happens he goes and waits at the dining room table for his humans to eat theirs (and tries to steal it). Once he sees that his humans have left for the day he makes his rounds through the house to find the best place to lay down. Finally dinner time rolls around and he is the first one to the bowl, tripping everyone on the way there. IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM, IT WOULD BE  Everybody Loves Bentley or The Real Cat Story

Photography by Wes Roberts

Baxter - The 3-Year-Old American Bully / Siberian Husky

“My wife Karen and I adopted Baxter from the Sarasota Humane Society. He was called Buggle when he was there. Although we have always had dogs in our household, this was our first time adopting from a shelter and we weren’t sure what to expect. It took Baxter about 2-3 months to settle into a routine with us but he’s doing great now. His favorite activity when not playing tug of war with us is visiting all his dog friends at Boo’s Ice House & Dog Bar in the Rosemary district.”— Owner Tom McGee featured on the previous page. 

A QUIRKY STORY Baxter has that Husky trait of  “speaking” to get attention. He typically says “good morning” to us everyday and is very vocal when he wants a treat. IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM, IT WOULD BE  Baxter Bark-a-Fellow–Ole Blue Eyes is Back!

Photography by Wes Roberts

Lila - The 2-Year-Old Pembroke Welsh Corgi

“When Lila was a little puppy, she could barely get down the two steps in my home. She was so afraid of those two steps. One paw by one, I taught her how to go down the steps and now she flies over them! She literally runs and jumps over the two stairs in total happiness. She no longer fears stairs anywhere and she loves to go up Grandma and Grandpa’s stairs when they are not looking.” — Owner Rachel Denton

THE PERFECT DAY  Lila’s ideal day consists of heading to the dog park for our Southwest Florida Corgi Meetup group, running  and playing with other corgis, coming home to a yummy Greenie treat, cuddles, and lots of cold water. As long as she is with her mommy, she’s a very happy girl.  IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER, IT WOULD BE  Lila’s Lavish Life: Join the Adventures of Lila, a Corgi with a Beautiful, Big, Bushy Tail!

Photography by Wes Roberts

Teddy - The 9-Year-Old Norwich Terrier

“Nine years ago our 10 -year-old Westie had recently died of cancer and our entire household was taking it very hard. We had been talking about getting another dog and researching breeds that would be the right fit for our family. The breed we thought would be perfect was the Norwich Terrier, but thought it would take a long time to find one since they are pretty rare. One day we came across an ad in a breeder forum for a Norwich Terrier puppy named Elvis who was only about 300 miles away. Lucky for us it all worked out and only two months after the sudden loss of our beloved Westie, we were able to bring our new puppy home. Now named Teddy, he is everything we hoped for and more. He is a true little love-bug teddy bear!” —Owner Robin Snell

A QUIRKY STORY  Teddy loves food. He would eat everything all day long if we let him! He is also very good at communicating with his eyes. Since we try not to feed him every time he gives us that look, which is every time we eat anything or enter the kitchen, we have found a compromise and give him small treats at specific times during the day. He has developed a very accurate internal clock and will sit and stare at you if you forget or are just late in dispensing the required treat or meal. He starts across the room about 15 minutes before the expected time and moves closer, never taking his eyes off you. If you are really late, he will jump up beside you and stare right in your face. It is very effective and we are now well trained!  FAVORITE DRESS UP  A Teddy Bear costume of course.  IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM, IT WOULD BE  Teddy’s World–It’s Teddy’s World and we love living in it!

Photography by Wes Roberts

Maya - The 11-Year-Old Super Mutt

“I saw her photo online with a Coonhound Rescue group. As a very young puppy, she had been left on the side of the road with a broken back leg. She was rescued, operated on to correct the broken leg and was available for adoption. My son had been asking for a puppy (our Coonhound at the time was 12) and this puppy looked so sweet. We drove to North Carolina to pick her up. She and our older dog became fast friends and we believe Maya was responsible for our older dog living to be almost 16-years old.” —Georgia Salaverri

A QUIRKY STORY  She loves to carry her food bowl around the house all day long. If someone she does not know comes into the house, she will take her bowl to them and look up with big, sad puppy eyes in hopes of them feeding her. FAVORITE DRESS UP  She will begrudgingly wear a bandana, that’s about it. IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD BE  Maya and Her Pink Bowl.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Remy  - The 1-Year-Old Siamese

“Remy was found in the woods of North Port by the parents of a friend; he was four weeks old and less than one pound. My (now) fiancée was initially extremely apprehensive to get a cat because he grew up exclusively around dogs, but he was supportive of me wanting to have a friend to keep me company while working from home. It only took a couple of hours for Remy to win over his heart, and Remy has become the most important part of our lives! He is a very typical Siamese. Very vocal, very affectionate, and very eager to get into trouble!” —Owners Keely Karalis and Robinson Valverde

THE PERFECT DAY  Remy’s perfect day starts with him being fed a heaping serving of his favorite canned cat food, then playing with a variety of straps from paper bags and receipts, spending some time looking out the open window watching his squirrel friends (enemies?), and taking a long nap in his basket, and being awoken to more food! Ending the day cuddling his parents (mostly dad). A QUIRKY STORY  Remy’s bravery is nothing short of amazing as he valiantly protects his parents and his home from the very scary washing machine every laundry day by yelling as loudly as he can.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Skylar - The 2-Year-Old Purebred Mutt

“She was brought by Love4Paws to participate in the Dog Days of Summer event at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. I fell in love with her and asked if I could foster her for the week when my husband was out of town. When he came back he asked why the dog was still here and I started making up all sorts of stories of why she had to stay a few more days. Over the next couple days he also fell in love and we officially became proud #FosterFails.” —Owner Kim Livengood

FAVORITE DRESS UP  She loves to dress up either in something frilly or her hot dog costume for Halloween. IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD BE  Skylar’s the Limit.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Poppy Lee  (Pops, Poptart, Pop-pop & will also answer to “cheese”) - The 3 and 1/2-Year-Old Black Labrador Retriever

“As a marine biologist, I wanted a water dog, and I got one—Poppy is obsessed with water. Once she finds water that she can swim in, she never forgets it’s there—from dog park water bowls and rain-filled ditches to every bay or beach access we’ve ever passed, she remembers them all. My parents live on the James River in VA. As soon as she gets out of the car after our 14-hour drive up, she’ll run straight into the river, it doesn’t matter if it’s dark or even if there’s ice floating by, she has to go swimming. She’ll often take her soccer ball to the top of the dock stairs, drop it, watch it bounce into the water, and look up to see who saw it with an expression that says ‘Ohhhh no, guess I’ll have to go get it now . . . and then chase it into the river.’ At least she dries quickly.”—Owner Sara Williams

PERFECT DAY  First, she’d wake me up for morning snugs and breakfast by stealing my pillow. We would definitely start the day with a walk through the Sarasota Farmers Market to see all of her friends who give her all of the treats. After round two of catching treats thrown to her by Lynn (favorite farmers market vendor with the best treats), we’d head to the dog beach for swimming and fetch. Then, home for a nap on the couch before playing soccer in the backyard. DRESS UP  After going to her first TuTu Tuesday down in the Florida Keys, definitely a tutu. IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD BE  Wiggle butt—the happiest dog who could kill a man with that tail.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Russel, Toby + Zara  - BUFF & PARTI-COLORED COCKER SPANIELS, 10,11 and 5 YEARS OLD 

“Russel, our first dog, is the major reason my husband, Karim and I are together. Karim had adopted Russel as a puppy in winter 2014, while we were students at Ringling College. At the time I was not ready to date Karim, but I really wanted to play with his puppy. Therefore, I would message him on Facebook daily for a month just saying the word “Puppy.” Not a “How are you?” or “Hello,” just the word “Puppy.” In Karim’s mind there were two outcomes, he was either going to “block” me or date me, and here we are 2024, 10 years together and 7.5 years married. Zara we adopted from Egypt from family members that could no longer care for her. We learned very quickly it was easier to get a passport for a pet than it was for a person. She was neglected and used to be very aggressive. Now after six years of constant love, she is the biggest “cuddle-bug” there is. Toby is a product of them, and is the biggest cocker spaniel you would ever see. He’s also the biggest lover and never had a bad day in his life. These dogs are our lives.” —Owners Christine and Karim Maksoud  

QUIRKY STORYRussel used to be the pet “mascot” for Ringling College Campus. For a while, everyone knew who Russel was and loved visits from him. 

Photography by Wes Roberts

Gabo - The 1-Year-Old Red Golden Retriever

“We originally had a trip planned to NC from FL during Christmas and there was a puppy available in SC on the way home. It worked out perfectly for our family and made it the best Christmas yet. Gabo’s perfect day is riding through the trails with the horses, swimming in the cool water troughs after a long day and resting with his snuggle puppy.” —Owner Carly Strickland   quirky story  While working at an equine hospital the feed room became infested with rats that only came out at night. I worked nights so naturally I brought Gabo to take care of things and we haven’t had rats since.

DRESS UP  Black hotties to protect his paws from the hit pavement.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Stella + Chilly  - The 4-Year-Old Dachshund/Labrador Mix and 1-Year-Old Dutch/ Lionhead Bunny

“I rescued Stella at 10 weeks from Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue and now we have a new addition. A bunny named Chilly with a blue mohawk!(Of course vegan, cruelty free, super safe color.) Stella Bella and Chilly the Blue Mohawk bun are the best of friends. Who would have guessed a dog and bunny could be besties?! Not to mention their amazing big sis Emmy who just turned 7-years old. We could learn a lot from animals if we paid more attention. What I wouldn’t do to be able to start our own animal rescue. Follow Chilly on Instagram for more of his adventures @chillythebluemohawkbun” —Owner Meghan Vish and Emmy (pictured above). 

FAVORITE DRESS UP  Hoodies or snuggly blankets.  IF THEY HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER THEM,  IT WOULD BE  Emmy, Stella & Chilly take on the World!!!

Photography by Wes Roberts

Marjane  - The 12-Year-Old Maine Coon

“In college, our Argentinian neighbors were stellar folks and often fed us home-cooked meals in exchange for baked goods for their granddaughter. One afternoon the grandfather who knew we wanted a cat appeared at our door explaining to us in Spanish that he found a lot of cats. We were slightly confused but followed him through our neighbor’s house to the backyard where there were a lot of kittens. Almost 15 kittens were running around in the dirt behind a neighbor’s backyard. My two roommates and I all picked up individual cats and we eventually settled on Marjane. She is super intelligent and very obedient and has become the house party cat, the adventurer and the all-nighter companion we all needed. Fast forward many years, Marjane has ridden in a canoe in Myakka State Park, pulled me on many longboards and fought a black racer snake. She’s not your average feline by a long shot. She’ll tell you exactly what she wants without confusion. She loves all types of lunch meat and the occasional ice pop.” —Owner Sarah Bailotti  

IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD  BE Sweet Meats with Moo. Gabamoo is the tagline. She would review her favorite Italian meats such as bresaola and salami.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Luna - The 2-Year-Old Nigerian Dwarf Goat

“We saw Luna online and she was the cutest little thing. I already had two other goats but fell in love with sweet Luna. She is gentle, loves cuddles and likes going for walks. Luna likes to go for a walk and chill on my porch. Other than that, she looks funny in her winter coat.” —Owner Nichola Nagy

FAVORITE DRESS UP  A Blue Door Spa T shirt.  IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD BE Luna the Goat:  Lounging and Laughter.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Ridley - The 5 1/2-MONTH-Old Tri-Color Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

“Our previous dog had died (old age) and we weren’t quite ready for a new puppy. It was almost Christmas and Santa was coming to the kid’s classrooms. The #1 rule was that the kids were not allowed to ask for a pet. When it was my daughter Alex’s turn, she told Santa that her dog had died and she only wanted a dog bowl, so she could eat her cereal out of it in the morning and remember all the fun times she had with her dog. Boy did that tug on all of our hearts. Yes, Santa did  bring a dog.”—Owner Katharine Adams-Love

IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD BE  Trained By My Dog: Come and Sit, Stay and Play!

Photography by Wes Roberts

Cobalt (Bahloo“Bubba” or “Handsome”) - The 4-Year-Old Mini Australian Shepherd

“Knowing that the COVID-19 shut-down was imminent is when I decided my life needed a loving companion and change of direction. Working too many hours and not appreciating the South Florida lifestyle as much as we should, I searched for months then finally came across Cobalt’s puppy picture and that was it. I knew the breed from a good friend and knew it would require plenty of stimulation, exercises and a strong training program. Spending the first six months of his handsome amazing life with him is something I will always cherish. We have an unbreakable bond and Cobalt is my entire world! He makes me laugh every day and he is my therapist. We all have those dark days where the storm gets the best of us. Cobalt is my shining light and gives me many reasons to help him and myself live a happy beautiful life.”—Owner Amy Mazner

IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD BE  Tigger in the Tall Grass: Goofy Boy Searching for the Next Adventure.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Chloe + Chip - The 6-Year-Old Red Nose Pitbull AND 3-Year-Old Jack Russel Pitbull

“Chloe was rescued from the streets of Orlando. She had 12 puppies trailing her who all were rescued. They think she had approximately three litters and she was under two years old. She is the kindest, sweetest mama dog you’ve ever met. Chip is a rescue from Sarasota. I got him when he was 6 weeks old so Chloe quickly mommy-ed him. They are best friends and you rarely see them apart from one another.” —Owner Georgette Young at Euphemia Haye Restaurant

IF THEY HAD A SHOW NAMED  AFTER THEM,  IT WOULD BE  Happy Tails: When the Tails ‘A Wagging, the Dogs a Smiling.

 Photography by Wes Roberts

Riley  - The 3-Year-Old Domestic Short Hair 

“My spouse met Riley (previously Amy) when he worked at Cat Depot. She was not in good shape and had to have her leg amputated due to a wound. We were not sure she would make it, but Riley pulled through. As she recovered, James fell in love with her because she would “mewp” for him whenever she heard or saw him. Naturally, she came home with us. She shows no signs of trauma and nothing stops her from climbing all over the house. She also helped our other cat, Dottie, become calmer and sweeter. The pair are now best friends who love to play, wrestle, cuddle and enjoy the lanai. Riley is an angel in feline form.” —Owner Cat Lafuente

QUIRKY STORY  When we adopted Riley, our home was already adaptable (ramps) from previous cats we had who were seniors. We thought she would need them due to being a tripod. Imagine our surprise when we found her all the way up in the kitchen sink one morning! She had climbed our tall kitchen chairs and made her way in there. It was quite the shock!  FAVORITE DRESS UP  Just her fur. We named her Riley because she looks like a slice of marbled rye bread!  IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD BE  Adventures with Riley, the sweetest tripod out there, and her best friend, Dottie Waddles.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Cooper  - The 11-Month-Old Merle Mini  Goldendoodle

“Cooper brings so much joy to everyone he meets. He’s been such a wonderful addition to our family.
He loves to shred books–not shoes or other items–he just loves destroying books. —Owner Heather Kasten 

PERFECT DAY  Multiple walks through downtown Sarasota, The Bay Park and Bayfront Park DRESS UP His Florida State bandana.  IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED  AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD BE  Cooper the Chick Magnet

Photography by Wes Roberts

Wayne  - The 2-Year-Old Chihuahua

“I met Wayne through an ad on Craigslist. I drove two hours to meet him, and my heart knew he belonged with me the second I held him. Honestly, as soon as I saw his picture his name popped into my head and he was “Little Wayne.” I was recently single and living alone for the first time, and to say my heart needed Wayne would be an understatement. Wayne has become such an integral part of not only my life, but my family’s as well. Since the first day I brought Wayne home  at eight weeks old, he was playing fetch and was such a goofy little guy. Wayne was just under 2 lbs when I got him but has never acted his size. Wayne has watched my niece and nephew grow and shown them so much love over the last two years. If I show up to visit and do not have my dog, the first thing they say is “where’s Wayne?” Wayne is the most loving, silly, curious and clingy little dog, but he is so brilliant and has learned so many tricks over these past 2 years. Wayne has climbed on my back while I workout, sleeps directly on top of my head most nights, and knows his toys by name. He has licked my tears during some very difficult losses of my grandparents, has had me laugh so hard I cry from his goofy personality and has protected me from strangers during late night walks. He has significantly become an integral part of my life and I am so thankful the universe brought us together. ”—Owner Emma Chludzinski 

IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD  BE  What’s Happening with Wayne–Discussing all Topics from Why Won’t My Mom Let Me Eat at the Table? to Where Can I get a Squeaky Toy that I Can’t Destroy the Squeaker?”

Photography by Wes Roberts

Chloe - The 1-Year Old Apricot Cavapoo

“Chloe’s perfect day consists of a morning walk, an afternoon trip to Starbucks for a pup cup, 3:30 playtime at the dog park with her friends, and cuddles with her mommy in front of the television at night. Chloe loves her big doggie friends. She stands on her hind legs and lightly swats at their face with her paws until they play with her.”—Owner Saundra Juliano, pictured right.

FAVORITE DRESS UP  Jammies (pajamas) IF SHE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HER,  IT WOULD  BE  Chloe the ‘Queen’Cavalier.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Gatsby + Cooper - The 6-Year-Old + 4-Year-Old Domestic Short-Haired Cats

“We adopted Gatsby and Cooper from Cat Depot. First Cooper and then Gatsby a week later. I visited Cat Depot because my business was collaborating on an event with them. I received a tour of the facility and spotted Cooper. He was being held like a baby by an employee in one of their enclosures and I immediately fell head over heels for him. After bringing him home, we decided it would be nice for him to have a ‘sibling’ so we went back and Gatsby chose us. Because Cooper and Gatsby were both “shelter” kids, we hope that they feel nothing but the love we have for them, that they know that they are in their forever home and will never want for anything ever again. They are sweet and love to cuddle and our favorite times with them are when we get to “be cats” as well. Cooper is very outgoing and will make instant friends with anyone who enters our home. It takes Gatsby a little longer to warm up, but when he does, he’s always down to hang out.” —Owner Barbara Gerdeman, pictured left.   

PERFECT DAY  A day of running around the house like wild cats, enjoying an endless supply of food and love and watching whatever we’re watching on the TV  IF THEY HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER THEM,  IT WOULD  BE  They love to come in our room in the morning, full of energy, so we always joke that they have a “Morning Show” Rise and Shine: It’s Cooper and Gatsby in the Morning!

 Photography by Wes Roberts


Jax  - The 6-Year-Old Flame Point Himalayan Cat

“Kim found Jax as a kitty in San Diego. He was flown with a handler to BWI airport where we picked him up and took him to our home then in York, PA, introducing him to his new brother, Ted, a Sheltie. Occasionally when we have friends visit and we are sitting around talking, Jax will come out to say hello and then at lightning speed race from room to room and leap onto or over furniture showing off for our friends.” —Owners Bill and Kim Kerlin 

FAVORITE DRESS UP  Christmas ribbons  IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD BE  Jax Attack: Not-So Ordinary, Yet Humble.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Bowie - The 5 and 1/2-Year-Old St. Bernard

“Bowie, along with his litter, was a rescue up in the Buffalo, NY area. We had, a few months prior, lost our Great Pyrenees to cancer. We like to think that Bowie found us! Bowie sometimes spends time with his friends at one of his favorite places, Fox Creek Pet Ranch, while his parents take a much-needed vacation. At Fox Creek, there are miniature horses that offer children the experience of taking care of a horse for a week during the summer. One young boy fell in love with Bowie and decided that he would be ‘his miniature horse’ for the week! He read books to him, bathed him and even made a wooden sign with Bowie’s name on it to hang on his kennel door. After a few weeks of this wonderful attention, it was plain to see that Bowie was going to be bored when he came back home!”—Owner Leslie Ohl  

PERFECT DAY  Bowies’ perfect day, which he has EVERY day, allows him to spend the day romping in the backyard chasing squirrels and running the zoomies around the rear fence line. His best buddy Waffles would come to play before they both retreat inside for a nap. Bowie is very social and loves his neighborhood walks.  IF HE HAD A SHOW NAMED AFTER HIM,  IT WOULD  BE  Big Boy Bowie–The Great Adventures of Bowie the Bernard.

Photography by Wes Roberts

V  - The 6-Year-Old Domestic Shorthair Tuxedo Cat

“V was abandoned by her mother as a kitten and was brought to Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue. I went into the shelter with my parents looking for a dog to be my new buddy, but we decided to take a peek at the cat room even though I was not interested in getting a cat. However, once I stepped foot in that room there was this little tiny kitten with big green eyes that would not leave me alone while all the other kittens entertained themselves. She meowed at me constantly and would not stop climbing into my lap. I knew I wasn’t leaving without her because I felt an instant bond. V decided to choose me that day and bringing her home was the best choice I’ve ever made.” —Owner Sara Meadow 

QUIRKY STORY  V wants what she wants when she wants it. Especially snacks. She can get very sassy when she does not get her way. She will try by being so sweet and lovey first and then right when she knows she has you, the sassy comes out. It makes you laugh anytime you walk in the direction of the room where her food is and  she comes flying down the hall expecting something.  FAVORITE DRESS UP  Her Sombrero.