The terminally ill Palm Harbor man looking for a new owner for his dog, Trouble, has found one _ a woman who saw the dog's picture in the newspaper and said to herself, "That's my baby."
Bill Drifmeyer, a retired bus driver who is dying of cancer, sent Trouble home with the new owner Wednesday.
She planned to get to know him for a couple of days, then return him. She will become Trouble's owner when Drifmeyer dies.
"If you get lonely these few days, you just call me, and I'll be right here," the woman told Drifmeyer. She identified herself to reporters only as Mary.
Drifmeyer, 78, is a resident of Hospice House Woodside, a home for terminally ill people. Trouble, a 30-pound mixed breed, has lived with him on and off since he moved into Woodside in January.
In a story published in the Times on Friday, Drifmeyer said he wanted to find an adoptive home for Trouble. His children live in Ohio, and his wife, Edna, is frail and can care for herself but not the dog.
Mary was among the 50 people who called the nonprofit Hospice of the Florida Suncoast after the story appeared. Drifmeyer met her Tuesday and decided she could take the dog.
Mary, 57, said she has lived in the Tampa Bay area for 44 years. She has been looking for a new pet since her 15-year-old Pomeranian, Suzy, died last September. Mary said she would let Trouble go swimming in her pool.
"I don't think he's ever been swimming," Drifmeyer said.