Our best friends-they give us unconditional love. Whether they've got fur, hair, feathers or scales, we celebrate them every year in the SRQ Pets We Love Competition. Meet the winners of our 5th annual contest. We thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the heartwarming submissions-including purrfect personalities, doggone adorable quirks, naughty habits and impressive tricks. You're in for a treat as we unveil our best of show favorites.

Cholula  The 10-Month-Old Green Cheeked Pineapple Conure 

“Growing up in Switzerland, I was always surrounded by pets and my grandmother’s parrot. I missed having a feathery best friend here in SRQ, so I decided to get the smallest version of a parrot - Cholula.” Owner Alissa Silvers.  If she had a show named after her, it would be  Mean Girls -She can be a bit sassy and sometimes she’s very particular about who can sit with us.  How would your pet describe their perfect day?  Snacking on some cereals is my perfect start into the day & then I’m already tired again. My favorite is taking a nap on someone’s shoulder until I’m getting bored and start chewing the shirt collar or start playing hide and seek inside my owner’s shirt. I love all types of berries so that will be my treat after showing off some tricks. After a nice bath in the sink I’m ready for a nap as long it is on my humans. After a long walk on a harness through my neighborhood I’m ready again to chew on some clothes until I get served some fresh veggies for dinner. Oh and don’t forget to add rice - I’ll go crazy when I see it!

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

Dory  The 2-Year-Old Cream French Bulldog 

“We got our Dory in October of 2020. We had previously lost our first Frenchie in May of 2020. This was such a heartbreaking time for our family with COVID and then losing our puppy at 9 months old to a brain tumor. We waited until October and then I took a drive to West Palm Beach to look at another cream Frenchie. It was LOVE at first sight, and I immediately brought the angel home with me! She joined her big brother, Nemo, who is a Goldador from SouthEastern Guide Dogs. He, too,  is an angel and he soon had another little rascal to take under his wing. He is the best, most gentle, big brother to her. Her playfulness brought us so much joy during the pandemic. She truly lifted my spirits.!” — Owner Leigh Hughes, shown on the rightIf she had a show named after her, it would be Dory’s Diva Days

Rebel Raven vom Schwartze-Hunde “Raven” The 12 and 1/2 -Year-Old Black Lab and Pit Mix

“I purchased her from a working dog kennel in CA in 2010. She was 9 weeks old and flown to Tampa where we picked her up. She was a happy, loving puppy from the minute we opened her crate. Raven has been a certified pet therapy dog for more than ten years, retiring in 2022. She worked with the Child Protection Center and the State Attorney’s Office, helping children who have to testify against their abuser in court. She has provided children the courage and strength to testify in front of a jury.” — Owner Eileen Fitzgerald, shown on the left.  If she had a show named after her, it would be  Pet Advocates Working in the Suncoast in the Court: Helping Convict Pedophiles in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit. 

Photography by Wes Roberts

Goliath   The 7-Year-Old Rottweiler  

“He’s our 7-year-old epileptic Rottie. Three and a half years ago, Goliath began having seizures, and it was one of the scariest moments of our lives. We thought we were going to lose him. After many vet visits and a new daily medication, he is still his goofy, playful, happy self. He absolutely loves chicken, stuffed animals, cuddling and going to the beach. And while Goliath may be the one who requires a little extra care, we feel he has been our emotional support throughout all these years.”  — Owner Rosalyn Yeager.  If he had a show named after him, it would be  Goliath - the Roaming Rottie.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

Ivy Rose  The 3-Year-Old Yorkshire Terrier Mix 

“Ivy Rose was found by Pinellas County Animal Services roaming the streets alone. She had no microchip for the shelter to identify her owner, and although she was advertised, her owner never returned for her. After the required stray hold expired, the County released Ivy Rose to AMI Pup Rescue located on Anna Maria Island. She was initially very scared but warmed up quickly in her foster home. Ivy Rose was vetted, groomed and spayed, and ultimately adopted into her forever home! She’s now living with three other fur siblings and living her best life on Anna Maria Island! She is spunky, smart and super playful!” —Owners Christine Aaron & Debbie Greenspan, shown on the rightIf she had a show named after her, it would be The Ivy Rose Story: from Outhouse to Penthouse.

Loki (aka Loki Doki) The 3-Year-Old Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard

“My daughter adopted her from the Highlands County Humane Society after looking ruthlessly for a Dalmatian to adopt and stumbled upon my gorgeous grand-dog. She came with a cumbersome past, after being given up for adoption twice, but has found her furever home with my daughter, Megan. Her goofy personality quickly blossomed into a four-legged best friend for life. I’m so happy they found each other,” says Brenda, owner Megan Mitchell’s mom, shown on the left. If she had a show named after her, it would be  Pageant Princess.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

Zuzu  The 4-Year-Old Black Lab and Pit Mix

“Zuzu thinks that one of the toys the kids have, a squeaky toy shark, is her baby! This is no joke. Zuzu takes this very seriously and we find her often whining for her baby shark when she can’t find it or if she thinks the shark is in danger. Zuzu takes extra special care of her baby and she will often walk around the house ever so gently, carrying her baby in her jaws. She will pick up the shark from wherever it is and gently place it on her bed and proceed to lay down with it. Sadly, one day the squeaking mechanism in the shark stopped working and Zuzu was very disturbed. It stayed this way for a couple of weeks much to her dismay. Luckily, one of our oldest sons finally had a day off work and school and decided to tinker around with it. He had to perform a minor surgery where he cut open the toy shark and fixed the squeaker. All is right again in Zuzu’s world!”  —Owner Angela Molineaux. What’s your pet’s favorite outfit or costume to wear?  Oh, Zuzu really hates when the kids dress her up and it’s quite possibly the funniest most entertaining thing to watch. We would have to say a modified human pumpkin costume that has been cut to accommodate Zuzu’s large body. There’s no escaping the pumpkin costume.   If he had a show named after him, it would be  My Big Crazy Human Family.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

Stella (aka Stella Bella aka Stell Bell) The 3-Year-Old Labrador-Dachshund Mix

“Stella and her four siblings were found in a box by a dumpster at four weeks old. Thanks to Nate’s Honor Rescue and an amazing foster mom, we were able to adopt her at 10 weeks old, the same day we had to put down our family dog. I didn’t know what else to do to explain to my three-year-old daughter that our dog was gone. We found Stella that day and our lives were changed forever. My daughter has a sister that just happens to have four paws! Stella has brought so much happiness to our life during such a difficult time in the world. We love her and are so grateful to have rescued her, for she rescued us in return.” —Owner Meghan Coughlin, shown on the leftIf she had a show named after her, it would be Beachside/Poolside with Stella & Emersyn & Mama.

Brooke  The 8-Year-Old Goldadorable

“Brooke served as a companion to a child at court. The child refused to go and testify, but Brooke accompanied her into the courtroom. All turned out well thanks to the support of Brooke. She is part of an organized donation of 150 pillowcases to All Children’s Hospital monthly.”—Owner Mary Nissen, pictured on the right.  If she had a show named after her, it would be Brooke’s Kases for Kids.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Awesome Blossom  The 5-Year-Old Basset Pitbull Mix

“I wasn’t looking for a new dog. I was still heartbroken from losing a pet, but I attended a Luau Charity fundraiser for Satchel’s Last Pet Resort. Blossom came up to me dressed in a hula skirt and would not leave my side. I offered to foster her. Let’s just say I am a foster failure. Blossom comes to work with me at my boutique located at the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime. Everyone knows and loves her.” —Owner Terra Tominelli, shown on the right. If she had a show named after her, it would be  Walk the Catwalk: Doggy Couture

Tredje  The 11-Year-Old Norwegian Forest Cat

“Tredje is our office cat here at the Animal Health Center. Since 8 weeks old, he has been greeting our patients and clients. He defends our reception lobby from lizards that occasionally slip in the front door.”—Owner Morgan Tiefenthal, cat pictured to the left.   If he had a show named after him, it would be  Napping in Baskets - Living the Life of Leisure.

Photography by Wes Roberts

Stella + Luna  The 1 and 1/2 Year-Old and 7 Month French Bulldogs

“Stella and Luna are our “therapy dogs’’ in our office. When we wanted a dog, we knew we had to have one that we could bring to the office with us. They are our office greeters for the children and anxious or stressed adults! More than the adjustments, people come to visit Stella and Luna!”—Owner Jina Foltz. If they had a show named after them, it would be  Thelma and Louise.


Photography by Wes Roberts

Daisy  The 10-Year-Old English Cream Golden Retriever 

“My husband and I adopted Daisy from the Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Rescue. She had been used by a breeder until she was 2 and then given up for adoption. She was a heavy 92 pounds when we adopted her. After rigorous dieting and exercise, she gradually reached and retained her normal healthy weight of 60 pounds. Daisy is a PAWS therapy dog for the Child Protection Agency, and is dedicated to providing comfort to children in court.” —Owner Nancy Ciaschini  If she had a show named after her, it would be  Meet Miss Daisy: Calm, Cool and Collected.

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan

Luna The 4-Year-Old Mixed Breed

“Luna loves to give kisses and cuddle. She knows the names of her toys, and commando crawls on the carpet to scratch her belly with her monkey tail in the air. She’s a 50-pound lap dog that will without fail climb on your lap at the dinner table in hopes of scraps or fall asleep comfortably in your lap.” —Owners Lucy & Derrick Buchholz, shown on the leftIf she had a show named after her, it would be  The Monkey.

Mocko  The 17-Year-Old American Shorthair Tabby

“Mocko was a ‘throwaway’ who showed up at a house on St. Croix, USVI in the middle of a Sunday brunch. The vet said he was about two months old. He was emaciated, with long skinny legs. Someone at brunch said “He looks like a mock jumbie!” referring to the stilt walkers commonly seen in the Caribbean. We now say that he’s ten pounds of love in a fur coat.”—Owners John Connor & Richard Harris, shown on the right.  If he had a show named after him, it would be  Mocko’s Great Adventure: How a Feral Cat in the Virgin Islands Found His Way to Lakewood Ranch.


Photography by Wes Roberts

Dutchess  The 12-Year-Old Husky Lab Mix

“When I owned my electric service company back in 2011, I took my kids on a ride to an estimate that I had on a hot summer day. My daughter requested that we stop at Publix for some raspberry lemonade. Once we arrived at the shopping plaza, there was a pet store next to Publix with a pop-up dog rescue with puppies ready to be adopted. Per my kids’ requests, we walked over to the fenced area that had three puppies in it. Two dark-coated dogs, and then there was Dutchess. She stood out with those ginormous ears and blonde fur. We locked eyes and it was love at first sight. Once we adopted her, we left with no raspberry lemonade, but a life-long friend instead.”  —Owner Sal Alfonso, pictured below right with daughter Gabriella AlfonsoIf she had a show named after her, it would be Daily Dose of Dutch.