The bi-annual Cutest Pets contest with its corresponding cover feature is always a favorite among readers. While previous year’s iterations only had one nomination requirement — a pet residing in the Coastal Bend — our team decided to switch things up a bit for this year’s rendition.
About seven months ago, as our team developed the cover feature calendar for 2023, art director Jarred Schuetze threw out an incredible idea (he tends to have a lot of those). “What if next year’s pet issue isn’t based on the Coastal Bend’s ‘cutest pets,’ but instead, we find pets who look like their owners?” A vision of styled family portraits came to mind, and we were hooked.
The challenge would, of course, be finding lookalike duos to bring this concept to life. So when the time came to put the call out to our readers, we fully acknowledged that we might be pivoting back to the “Cutest Pets” angle should we lack in doppelganger submissions. Lacking, it turns out, we were not.
After sifting through the nominations and partaking in a deliberation à la the elimination discussions of America’s Next Top Model, our team selected the eight pairs you’ll meet inside this month’s issue. I’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Kim Rios for lending her styling expertise to this feature to ensure each pairing matched head-to-toe-to-paw. And to the entire team at Shoocha Photography, thank you not only for making our family portrait dreams come true, but for letting us transform your studio into a pet daycare of sorts for the day.
From the effortlessly chic pairing of a Shih Tzu named Simon and his stylish owner Jennifer to the gorgeous, almost identical brown curls of a Mini Goldendoodle named Chessie and her beloved human Leslie, the local pet/owner duos you’ll meet on page 46 are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Another thing to smile about is the number of animals, many of which are endangered species, the new Port of Corpus Christi Center for Wildlife Rescue at the Texas State Aquarium has already rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Beginning on page 58, contributor Mark Gregory Lopez thoughtfully takes readers inside the new Center for Wildlife Rescue and details how this state-of-the-art facility will aid in nurturing healthy populations of the species which call the Coastal Bend home.
I hope you enjoy this month’s issue and the stories inside. As spring approaches, our team is excited to continue highlighting what makes this region so spectacular — be it our human or animal residents.
Kylie Cooper, Editor In Chief