Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Dog found treading water in Tampa Bay has new owner, new name

ST. PETERSBURG — The happy reunion for Baby, the dog that was found bobbing in the bay, and her owner isn't in the future.

But she will get a new beginning and a new name, thanks to a good Samaritan who stepped into her life.

Kathy Klein had read about Baby being found 2 miles offshore in Tampa Bay, picked up by a fisherman and returned to land. She read about how the dog must have been treading water all night before being found, and how the dog shivered through the night once she was taken in on another boat. And Klein knew what she needed to do.

On the way home from dinner with her son Saturday night, Klein told her husband she needed to stop by the Home Depot for a moment. She emerged with a dog bed, a dog blanket and a dog jacket and told him she'd like to go donate the items for the dog.

They showed up Sunday at the Demens Landing marina where Baby was being cared for by Tony Basile and Suzy Johnson, who both live on boats there.

After noticing how matted Baby's fur was, Klein offered to help Johnson give the dog a bath. In the marina's shower, she saw that the dog was scared and trembling, but was able to calm her down.

She also offered to give Baby a home if an owner couldn't be found.

"She and the dog totally bonded," Johnson said. "She's an absolute dog whisperer."

Johnson watched as Baby spent time cozying up to Klein on Sunday morning and allowed Klein to take the dog home when Basile said he wanted to go out on his boat. Johnson told her, though, that the pet hospital spokesperson had told her she needed 72 hours to search for the dog's owner before calling Animal Control.

The dog's owner apparently had not updated her phone number or whereabouts, and despite local media stories, had not come forward.

On Monday morning, Klein was running a bit late to work, hesitant to leave the dog, which she called "very, very sweet."

"Dogs know when you're trying to help them," she said. "They are so appreciative."

She had taken Baby to the vet first thing, where the doctor told her the dog was a "rugged little girl."

"He said both back legs were weak, probably from treading water for so long," she said. But she was healthy otherwise. She'll occupy the household with two other dogs the Kleins own.

She has already ordered a new collar for the dog — a pink and blue one with nautical flags and anchors. And Baby has been renamed with a moniker suggested by Johnson. Because "There but for the grace of God, she wouldn't be here," Johnson had told Klein, "I'd name her Grace and call her Gracie."

So Baby became Gracie.

And if Klein has any say it in, she'll live happily ever after.

Times staff writer Claire Wiseman contributed to this report.

Comments
Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

VERO BEACH — It was only natural to think of Admiral Farragut’s state title chances more in terms of the future. After all, the roster consists of zero seniors and just two juniors. The rest are sophomores, freshmen and middle-schoolers. Because of t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

As the Lightning and Capitals prepare for their series finale Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, here's a by-the-numbers look at each team's Game 7 history.5-2The Lightning's record in Game 7s. It has never lost at home (3-0).+5The Lightning's...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

A storm system in the Caribbean Sea could grow into a tropical cyclone within five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.Forecasters give the system a 50 percent chance to develop.The storm’s low-pressure center on Tuesday was nestled betw...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

VERO BEACH —Academy at the Lakes waited two weeks to play in the Class 2A state softball tournament in hopes of winning what has been an elusive title.The Wildcats completed the first task Monday, cruising to a mercy-rule win over Fort Pierce John Ca...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

TAMPA — By now there are no more secrets. After six games over 11 days, the Lightning knows all the Capitals' habits , and the Caps know all the Lightning's.To Lightning coach Jon Cooper the outcome of tonight's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

The young couple whose story traveled around the world after their dream voyage ended early at the bottom of John’s Pass is ready to try again.Three months after the Lagniappe sank, Nikki Walsh, 24, and Tanner Broadwell, 26, said they set sail Tuesda...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

Updated: 4 hours ago
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

TAMPA — After Allison Huffman slammed her car into a tow truck driver who had stopped to help a pair of stranded motorists on the Howard Frankland Bridge, she drove to a hotel and got out to look at the damage.She saw shattered glass, a bare tire rim...
Updated: 5 hours ago