The 2015 Pet Guide: Finalists

The lucky 7 winners of our 2015 pet contest.




Roberto Gonzalez

More from The 2015 Pet Guide

The 2015 Pet Guide: Finalists
The 2015 Pet Guide: Foster Angels
The 2015 Pet Guide: A Golden Opportunity
The 2015 Pet Guide: The Survivors
The 2015 Pet Guide: Pet Events
The 2015 Pet Guide: Managers of Merriment
The 2015 Pet Guide: Pampered Pets

2015 Pet Contest Cover Winner

Sebastian

That face, that face, that wonderful face It shines, it glows, all over the place.

Those lyrics from the classic song “That Face,’’ covered by singers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Barbra Streisand, fit Sebastian perfectly. Just look at that lovable mug on the cover and below.

So it’s hard to believe that the gentle Grand Pyrenees was found wandering along a Tallahassee dirt road two years ago, thin and dirty, with another “Pyr’’ believed to be his son. Their owner was located but didn’t want the dogs anymore. Enter a rescue group, followed by a series of homes that didn’t pan out, and finally Tracey and Bo Rhodes of Sanford, who after fostering “Bashi’’ for a time gave him a forever home—theirs. (The other dog, Bear, was adopted by another family.)

A bit about the breed: Grand Pyrs originated in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain and were bred to guard livestock against predators.

So what’s 4-year-old Bashi like? Well, he’s really big. But there’s much more.

“He is genuinely the sweetest, most gentle boy,’’ Tracey Rhodes says. “He is very obedient and as with most Pyrs, he is best with children. Pyrs treat kids as their livestock and will guard them with their lives. He thinks he is a 125-pound lap dog and loves to lie on the couch or in bed with his people.”

Bashi works hard on weekends, representing his breed at pet adoption events around Florida. 

“He is personally responsible for hundreds of rescue Pyrs getting adopted,’’ Rhodes says. “He also performs home visits for potential adoptive families. He was lucky enough to get rescued, and it is his duty to give back to 
the rescue.’’

For information about fostering or adopting a Great Pyrenees, go to floridapyrs.org


2015 Pet Contest 1st Runner-Up

Finn

Holland Lop Rabbit
1½ Years Old
Lives with Leah Epstein in Maitland

FAVORITE PASTIMES 
Eating, relaxing, begging for treats (on his hind legs), grooming his mug with his paws, hiding under furniture.
FAVORITE TOY 
Empty cardboard box. Treats it like a fort (but also likes to shred it).
YOU TALKING TO ME? 
Once destroyed a watch with his teeth.
MOST ENDEARING QUALITIES 
Charming personality. Butting your hand seeking a head rub, being your closest companion on the couch. Can leap onto said couch by himself, thank you very much.
INSTAGRAM KING 
3,100 followers @finnthehollandlop
RABBIT RUN 
Stages his own Bunny 500, doing rapid laps around the dining room table. Also entertains with happy jumps and twists into the air.
FAVORITE FOODS 
Timothy hay, kale, romaine lettuce, carrots, bananas, apple and carrot-flavored biscuit treats.


2015 Pet Contest 2nd Runner-Up

Cabo

Labrador Retriever
8 Months Old
Lives with Larry, Shannon and Wyatt Littrell in Casselberry

NAME GAME 
Named after Cabo San Lucas, the resort city on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula that’s one of his owners’ favorite places.
LIFE’S WORK SO FAR 
Playing with neighborhood boys, lounging on the couch, soliciting belly rubs, dismembering stuffed animals.
MUD DOGGIN’ 
Enjoys getting stinky and muddy (owners report “joy in his face”) during frequent lake excursions. Lots of fun, until it’s time for a scrubdown.
NOISE NUANCES 
Unfazed by fireworks and thunder but terrified of the vacuum cleaner.
BEST FRIEND 
Everyone.
BIGGEST OBSTACLE 
A laundry basket left in the middle of the floor can leave him flummoxed.
PICTURE PERFECT 
See more photos of Cabo on Instagram@Daily_Dose_of_Cab


2015 Pet Contest Finalist

Cheeto

​Domestic Shorthair
4 Years Old
Lives at Freedom Ride Inc. in Orlando

HOME ON THE RANGE 
Cheeto lives at Freedom Ride, a therapeutic horseback-riding facility for adults and children with disabilities such as autism, MS, muscular dystrophy and brain injuries (freedomride.com).
ORIGINS 
Two years ago, he showed up at Freedom Ride’s barn—very dirty and very thin. He immediately bonded with the staff and volunteers. 
WACKY WORKOUT 
Runs alongside therapy horses when they’re in the pasture. 
PREFERRED PLAYMATES 
The 13 horses (including two miniatures) and two other barn cats at Freedom Ride. 
OFFICE DUTIES 
Playing with pencils on desks, lying across computer keyboards.
MR. POPULAR
As the children arrive for their riding lessons, they always want to see Cheeto. Which makes him a therapist like no other.


2015 Pet Contest Finalist

Milfred

​Americana Rooster
2 Years Old
Lives with Maureen Jacobson in Oakland

MEANT TO BE 
Was named Mildred soon after hatching, but after the owners woke up one morning to a “Cock-a-doodle-doo!,” Mildred became Milfred.
HE HAS A BOOK 
Is the star of Milfred Made the News, written by Jacobson for young readers. The inspiration came about after Milfred went missing for a day (and, yes, he had to cross a road). The book imagines what Milfred did during his adventure, from making new friends and escaping peril to learning life lessons. 
FAVORITE PASTIMES 
Looking for bugs, kicking a soccer ball, teasing the family’s two boxers through the fence.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 
Gets worked up when someone sneezes. Renders alarm clocks irrelevant.
FAN PAGE 
facebook.com/MilfredTheRooster


2015 Pet Contest Finalist

Lolita

Chihuahua
3 Years Old
Lives with Danielle Wolfe and Joshua Dobbs in Winter Park

CLOSE CALLS 
Rescued from a kill shelter in Georgia by a Florida woman. But that didn’t work because her dogs thought tiny Lolita was a squirrel and tried to kill her. An explanatory posting by the owner on Craigslist brought Wolfe and Dobbs to the rescue.
MOST ENDEARING TRAIT 
Empathy. When her best bud, 11-year-old cocker spaniel Sheena, came home after having an eye removed because of glaucoma, Lolita licked her nose and refused to leave her side. 
FAVORITE TOY 
Large stuffed rooster (sorry, Milfred). 
VA-VA-VOOM 
Has a Yorkie boyfriend named Ozzy, who woos her with “pupsicles’’ and doggie cupcakes. 
ADMITTED WEAKNESS 
Fashion. Pulls dog outfits off the shelves at pet boutiques, eager to try them on.
MORE VIEWS 
Instagram handle is @lolita_thefashionista


2015 Pet Contest Finalist

Hudson

Labrador Retriever
2 Years Old
Lives with Mark Ronhaar in Orlando

ACTION FIGURE 
Named after the Hudson River. Owner hails from Canada near New York State, and Hudson the pup was in constant motion, like the river.
WATER DOG 
Enjoys swimming in the dog park. When the leash comes off he’s in the water within seconds. He’s also proficient at gulping large amounts of water from his dish, then wandering around the house while it dribbles from his mouth.
FAVORITE TOY 
Bright orange ball with little craters that hold treats. No surprise, then, that he’s totally focused while pushing it around the house with his nose. 
JUMP STARTER 
Catching treats in the air. A bit easier than getting them out of that ball.
SPECIALTIES 
Cuddling, unconditional love, a friend to all.

 

 

 

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