Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Cancer survivor, companion canine finally get day in the sun

RECOMMENDED READING


RUSKIN

The sunsets will be a little sweeter this weekend for cancer survivor Patricia Picavet, as she shares them with her constant canine companion, Marley, at her Bahia Del Sol condominium for the first time in nearly two months.

Picavet, whose longtime domestic partner, Herb Grigg, bought the condo last spring to bring some peace to her battle against late-stage breast cancer, had been pining for the chocolate Labrador retriever that was banned from the complex because of weight restrictions.

On Wednesday, Picavet was on her way to the condo with all 70 pounds of Marley legally in tow. She said the Bahia Del Sol Condominium Association told her that it would bend the rules in the wake of media attention in the case and the possibility of legal action to enforce federal laws requiring accommodations for emotional support animals.

"I'm feeling so excited right now," Picavet said. "I'm going to get to keep her."

The association's attorney, David Lopez, said Wednesday the board had agreed to allow the dog and declined to discuss the decision.

"That's all I have to say on the matter," he said.

Association board members did not return calls or declined to comment earlier this week.

Picavet, 65, was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer in 2010. She underwent a double mastectomy and radiation treatments, only to be told that the disease had spread to her bones.

"I don't know how much longer I'm going to live," Picavet said. "It could be one year. It could be three years."

She and Grigg had talked of retiring to the Little Harbor area one day, and Grigg scrambled to make Picavet's dream of life by the water a reality by purchasing the Bahia Del Sol unit in May. He said he signed a paper acknowledging the association's weight restrictions for pets, but then found out that federal rules require special accommodations for animals deemed necessary for a disabled person's treatment.

He, Picavet and the couple's daughter, Hollee Grigg, 27, secured statements from treating physicians and a psychologist. They also registered Marley as an emotional support animal through the National Service Animal Registry.

Even so, the board had not wavered until this week.

"Because of her illness, she gets depressed a lot. She gets tired," Herb Grigg said. "She gets a lot of satisfaction and emotional support from the dog."

In early December, a neighbor shouted unpleasant remarks about the dog as Picavet was walking her on a leash. Marley stayed away from the condo after that.

Herb and Hollee Grigg said they were forced to watch Picavet slip deeper into depression, despite an increase in medication. Picavet said she often had to stay at the condo alone while family members were at work, and that made her feel sad and worried about falling or needing other assistance.

Instead of enjoying the bay vista shoreline, she often remained at the couple's Valrico home, where she had the companionship of her dog.

The Griggs hired Brandon attorney Mark Moon to press the condo board to allow Marley under federal fair housing and disability laws that say landlords and other housing providers must make reasonable accommodations for emotional support animals.

Moon said the issue of housing restrictions and emotional support animals prescribed as therapy for depression has become a hot-button issue in Florida and across the nation, particularly as the practice becomes more popular for treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Generally, he said, court decisions have leaned toward requiring housing providers to accommodate the animals.

Picavet said she still receives treatment once a month at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. For the moment, the cancer has stabilized, she said.

Her daughter said she wants it to stay that way, and the specialists have emphasized the importance of avoiding stress.

"She needs to be positive and happy," Hollee Grigg said.

Picavet said Marley lifts her spirits and would alert others in case of danger or a fall.

"I just want her around me," Picavet said. "She makes me feel safe."

Susan Marschalk Green can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

 
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17