Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Dog found adrift in Tampa Bay had loving owner who died

Before the little brown dog became Gracie, before she was rescued while treading water in Tampa Bay and before she ran away, Gracie was Baby, and she was loved.

About 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 2, commercial crabber Albert Darlington was setting traps when he saw what he thought was an otter in the bay about 2 miles out. When Darlington moved closer, he saw a dog struggling to keep its head above the surf.

"It wasn't long for this world," Darlington said in an interview Wednesday.

He rescued the dog, then left her with two St. Petersburg Marina residents, who later found the animal a new and loving home with a local family.

But the details of her back story unfolded slowly.

Until mid October she was the beloved companion of St. Petersburg resident Charlene Knotts.

"She was quite in touch with Baby," said Knotts' former housemate, Deborah Clements. "Baby was her little lap dog. She fed Baby off her fork and they had quite the relationship."

For 10 years, Baby lived with Knotts and was a great source of comfort during years of kidney dialysis and after Knotts had a transplant in February.

Knotts, 40, died suddenly in October and Baby was passed to a third roommate, who ultimately decided to give her to a new caretaker she found through Craigslist.

The dog was with that owner for a few days before running away in early December, Clements said.

She was pulled from the water Jan. 2 and taken to a local pet hospital. The dog's microchip returned a phone number, but nobody answered it.

Three days later, Kathy Klein and her husband, who learned of the dog's plight in the Tampa Bay Times, arrived with a dog bed and an offer: They would adopt the dog if her owner didn't come forward.

By Monday night, Baby was with the Kleins.

They gave her a name that all her caretakers liked: Gracie.

Knowing the dog was loved for a decade gives Klein some peace, she said, but she wonders about the animal's past.

"We can't change it," she says "We can just make it better from here."

For Clements, it's a happy ending.

When Knotts died, her liver helped keep alive a young boy in need of a transplant.

Likewise, the dog is getting a new chance.

"Now she's with her right owners and she's going to have another life,'' Clements said.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at [email protected] or (727)-893-8804. Follow @clairelwiseman on Twitter.

Comments
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch had won nine straight heading into Friday’s game against Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental lea...
Published: 12/16/17

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 9 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 12 hours ago