Leaders of the Pack…
They capture our souls and wrap us around their furry little paws. Space Coast residents love their pets. Canine or feline and everything in between, we are passionate about our fuzzy (and sometimes not so fuzzy) companions. Join us in getting to know some of the area’s outstanding pets and their humans.
Owners: David, Leslie and Linley Bardo
Pet’s Name: Kathryn “Tazmin”
Age: 4 ½ years
Tazmin, the Bardos’ first “baby” is admittedly spoiled. Friends joke that she has a sophisticated palate, feeding on treats such as grilled salmon skin or poached chicken and even dinner at Goombay’s, “she loves their chicken sticks and mac and cheese,” Leslie says. “What can we say – she’s spoiled! But we wouldn’t have it any other way.” Now that Leslie and David’s daughter, Linley, is a few months old, Tazmin enjoys playing with her and making her giggle. “She is very protective when we are all out at the park together or when people come over. If someone new is holding Linley, Tazmin will bark at me as if to say ‘hey, Mom, someone’s got our girl!’”
Owners: Pat and Laurie Bautz
Pet’s Name: Louie
Age of Pet: 7 1/2 years old
Louie’s personality in one word? “Amiable,” says Pat Bautz. “He does whatever you want him to do.” He loves the outdoors including floating in his own raft in the pool, taking a bike ride with his mom or enjoying a boat ride. Some of it is typical of the breed, says Pat. But the other is his travels with the couple from a young age. One of his first experiences after he became a part of the Bautz family was a weeklong boat trip to the Keys. He loves staying active indoors too. After Laurie gets done exercising on the treadmill, Louie jumps on for his turn. Then when she shuts the machine off, he lays down to take a nap on it.
Owner: Brian Delos Santos
Pet’s Name: Timber
Age: 4 1/2
How long have you had him? 3 1/2 years
Brian Delos Santos has a unique bond with his family dog, Timber. Brian is an officer with the Cocoa Police Department and Timber, his K-9 partner. “Timber is a tough guy who is in touch with his sensitive side,” Brian says. “At work, he’s very intense and hard-working. At home, all he wants to do is play.”
Brian’s wife Karen and his children, Logan, 6; Jadyn, 2.5; and Ayva (9 weeks) adore him as well. “I love Timber because I know he always has my husband’s back,” Karen says. “It’s comforting to know Brian has a partner by his side that would lay down his life for him, without a second’s hesitation.”
Owners: Christine and Jessica Lance
Pets’ Names and Ages: Callie, 10 and JJ, 3
The Lances have two family dogs. A Golden Retriever, Callie, who Christine describes as a typical golden, friendly and always looking like she is smiling. A few years ago when the Lances found out their daughter Stephanie was allergic to dogs, they got a Cockapoo because the breed is hypoallergenic. JJ who turns 3 on the 4th of July is a fun dog, with a great personality and intelligence. He is Christine’s shadow when she is home, following her from room to room. “He is keeping Callie young by playing with her. They still act like puppies when they play together. They are both great family dogs.”
Owners: Christina, Michael and Alexander LaFortune
Pets’ Names: Henry and Kate
Ages: less than a year
Siblings Henry and Kate were adopted by the LaFortunes after the loss of Merlin the family’s cat that was their pet for 11 years. Though it took some time, when the family decided they were ready again, they decided to adopt two cats so they could keep each other company and loved the idea of adopting siblings. “They are great companions,” Christina says. “Henry is a lover and likes to play LEGOS and Kate is the hunter and eater, she can be a little bossy.” But they don’t mind a bit, they love having kittens. “They make us laugh and remind us to play!”
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