Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

Cancer survivor, companion canine finally get day in the sun

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
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and unresolved discrepancies to the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that led to him facing a three-game suspension to start the upcoming season.The Bucs won't commen...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
At St. Pete Pride, attendees find community, acceptance

At St. Pete Pride, attendees find community, acceptance

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Gardner was never ashamed of being gay. He just didn’t broadcast it.He was never one to embrace or hold hands with his significant other in public. But over time — and with the support he’s found at St. Pete Pride e_SEmD that’s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again, 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again, 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG – A strong start by Wilmer Font, a team effort by the bullpen and big hits by rookie infielders Willy Adames and Jake Bauers led the Rays to a second straight win over the Yankees on Saturday, 4-0.In what was supposed to be anoth...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

The Lightning is on the board in the 2018 NHL draft, using their first pick — 59th overall in the second round — on Gabriel Fortier, an undersize left wing from Quebec."I spoke with them a couple of times, so I knew there was an interest,...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Newly discovered, 550 million-year old fossil named after Obama

Newly discovered, 550 million-year old fossil named after Obama

Recent actions by the Trump administration - a wave of unprecedentedly large family separations at the border, aggressive trade-war-fueling tariffs and rebukes of allies - have made some feel as though the Barack Obama presidency was an unrecognizabl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Updated: 6 hours ago