Dog Rescued While Treading Water Finds a New Home

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dog Rescued While Treading Water Finds a New Home

Cats are said to have nine lives, but one dog in the Tampa area of Florida may also have the knack from bouncing back from hard luck.

Gracie, a dog formerly known has Baby, was spotted treading water two miles offshore in Tampa Bay on January 2.

"It wasn't long for this world," Albert Darlington told the Tampa Bay Times of the dog he first thought was an otter. The commercial crabber was setting traps and when he got closer, he realized the animal fighting to swim was a dog.

Darlington rescued her and left her with two marina residents who helped find Gracie a new, loving family.

Details of the rescue were published in the Tampa Bay Times and Deborah Clements, a friend and roommate of Gracie’s former owner came forward to provide the rest of Gracie’s sad story.

For about a decade, Gracie was known as Baby and belonged to Charlene Knotts, who lived in St. Petersburg.  Knotts suddenly passed away in October. "She was quite in touch with Baby," Clements told The Times. "Baby was her little lap dog. She fed Baby off her fork and they had quite the relationship." 

Clements left Baby with another roommate, who eventually rehomed her to someone on Craigslist. That owner said they had Baby for only a few days when she ran away in December.

Baby didn’t resurface, literally, until she was found in the bay.

When Baby was recovered from the water, she was scanned for a microchip, which showed that the dog was reported missing two years ago. The vet clinic then called the phone number listed; however, the number didn't work.

After Baby’s rescue was made public, Kathy Klein and her husband showed up at the marina with a dog bed and volunteered to adopt the dog if the owners didn’t step forward. When no one did, they took her home and named her Gracie.

Clements is happy that the dog her friend loved so is getting a new lease on life, especially since Gracie’s first owner was an organ donor who gave a child a new beginning by donating her liver.

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

We’re happy Baby/Gracie is getting another chance, but so many pets don’t have the same happy ending when their owners pass away.

This story should serve as a reminder to make sure you have a plan in place for your pets if something tragic should happen.

Just last year, the ASPCA partnered with LegalZoom to help pet parents set up Pet Protection Agreements, which start at only $39. For more information, please visit

Editor’s Note: Photo of Gracie from the Tampa Bay Times Facebook page.