Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Peanut butter and loneliness: Leaving the dog in the morning

The dog does not want me to go. This is a given.

This is our weekday morning ritual. I down caffeine and check the paper standing up in the kitchen with a bowl of cereal in my hand and TV news in the background. He digs busily through his toy bin, ignoring the gutted stuffed duck, the tattered anteater and the eyeless wiener dog until he finds his prize: a slobbery tennis ball.

In the shower, I hear this outside the door: the dog dropping the ball on the wood floor, thump thump thump as it bounces, the dog picking it up and dropping it again, thump thump thump. The invitation is clear:

Come on, throw it. You know you want to. Come on.

He is a rescue dog of great optimism, always up for fun, ready to look for squirrels at the park or roll in something enticing or leap into the back of the car even when it turns out to be a trick — a trip to the vet. Monday mornings he takes especially hard.

No matter that he has had his walk and his morning constitutional. No matter that he has visitors during the day, even an outing. No matter that the sound of the lock clicking behind me each morning is what keeps him in kibble (and the humans in the household in cable.)

He lies in the hallway as I dry my hair, the ball close by. He stares at me. He is not above resting his head on his paws with his eyes theatrically rolled up at me, the ball resting between them.

Come on, throw it. You know you want to. Come on.

One handed, I do. He chases with abandon. Rugs are rucked up, tables jostled, lamps threatened with shattering. We do this three, four, five, six times. I have to go.

One more ritual just before I’m out the door: A cookie from the treat jar is slathered with peanut butter. He will accept this offering with great dignity as I leave, but I don’t like to look at his face. Peanut butter must smell like loneliness. I promise myself I will throw the tennis ball for him in the backyard when I get home, knowing he’ll chase it like I never left him.

Comments
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 20

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 15, Central 0
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 10 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 10 hours ago