Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman continues search for missing dog

WESLEY CHAPEL — Every night, Malene Pashalidis searches for Tasha's face online, scanning a half dozen different sites —,, and on and on. Malene's husband, David, has begun to ease her into the idea that too much time has passed and maybe, she should just let Tasha go. But Pashalidis can't. She wants her home. But if something terrible happened to Tasha, she wants to know.

"I need closure," she said.

Pashalidis got Tasha 11 years ago in Crystal Springs. Her parents had a rental property there and the tenant left a dog and her 10 puppies there when she moved. Pashalidis planned to take only one, but as she walked away with her chosen puppy, she saw another who looked so pathetic — sick, tail between her legs, so tiny and skinny, slinking alone. So she took both home, sisters named Goldie and Tasha.

They were so tiny, Pashalidis could hold both of them in her hand. A few years later, Tasha gave birth to a litter of puppies; all of whom were adopted except one — a black and white girl named Reba — that Pashalidis kept. Tasha, who is gold and white, never did get very big; she always was fine-boned and only about 20 pounds. Pashalidis thinks she is a mix between a Chihuahua and a rat terrier.

Pashalidis' dogs were there with her through everything — divorce, being a single mom, finding love again, battling breast cancer, remarriage — and so it was heartbreaking when her asthma worsened last year and her doctor told her to get rid of her pets. She just couldn't and kept putting it off. But she became very sick, coughing constantly and short of breath.

So Pashalidis found one friend to keep Goldie and another to house Reba and Tasha, until she could find a medicine that worked well enough to bring the dogs back home. Reba and Tasha were staying with a woman who lived near Old Pasco Road and Dayflower Boulevard in Wesley Chapel. And during a terrible thunderstorm in February, both of them dug underneath a fence and escaped.

Pashalidis and her husband swooped into action — driving for hours trying to find them. They made posters and plastered them all over the area and, when those kept getting soggy from rain, they made huge laminated posters. Pashalidis drove around searching before work and after work. David went to the animal shelter every two days. Three weeks after they disappeared, Reba was found in a neighborhood several miles away near Curley Road. But Tasha was still missing.

David kept going to the animal shelter for months and, on weekends, he and Pashalidis would drive and drive looking for Tasha. Pashalidis searched online and posted ads on Craigslist.

Pashalidis can't let Tasha go. She knows it's been five months. But she feels that Tasha is somewhere, she hopes being taken care of by a kind soul who doesn't know her owner is searching for her. She doesn't know what to do that she hasn't done already.

"She's the sweetest little dog and so easy going," Pashalidis said. "She needs to be home."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (813) 909-4609.


She has been missing since mid-February. Tasha is 11 years old and weighs about 22 pounds. She is a golden color with a white face, chest, paws and the tip of her tail. She also has an arrowhead-shaped mark on her forehead and a white marking on the back of her neck. Her eyes are brown. Tasha went missing near Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel. Her 8-year-old daughter, a black-and-white dog named Reba, also escaped with her, but was found three weeks later near Curley Road. By now, Tasha could have traveled far from the Wesley Chapel area. If you know anything about Tasha's whereabouts – whether good or grim – please call her owner, Malene Pashalidis, at (813) 312-6009.

Woman continues search for missing dog 07/22/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 26, 2008 2:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system


    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  2. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.


    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  4. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  5. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times