A new home for dog found treading water in Tampa Bay - New York News

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A new home for dog found treading water in Tampa Bay

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Wrapped in loving arms, a dog found near death in the waters of Tampa Bay is getting to know her new family.

Boaters found "Baby" last week, treading water a mile offshore in Tampa Bay, with little more than her nose above the waves.

Now, she is in what will likely become her permanent home.

Her new owners are Kathy and Larry Klein.

Kathy Klein said she saw news coverage of Baby's story, and decided to go find her rescuers and bring them some donations.

"Initially, I wanted to just go meet the people that were so kind to rescue her," she explained. "I went and got a dog bed and a blanket and a dog coat because I knew it was going to get cold."

They eventually found Anthony Basile's boat. "Captain Tony" had been caring for the dog after fishermen found her desperately treading water early Thursday morning.

The Kleins ended up spending time on the boat, and helped to get Baby bathed and cleaned up.

"I bathed her and cut all the mats out of her hair and one thing led to another," she said.

"I felt like Captain Tony was sort of interviewing us," Larry Klein offered.

The Kleins ended up taking Baby home, an ending Captain Tony alluded to last week. He said he would do whatever he could to find Baby a good home, and if nothing materialized, he would send Baby to live with relatives.

In the meantime, though, there isn't a lot of new information about where Baby came from, or how she ended up in the water.

A vet -- whom Captain Tony intially took Baby to -- found three phone numbers on her microchip. The first number yielded information that she had been reported missing two years ago, but otherwise did not lead to anyone the vet could talk to.

Another number was also a dead end.

A third number did yield some clues. It led to a man in Virginia who said "Baby" belonged to his sister in St. Petersburg, who died two months ago. He said the family thought a friend was caring for the dog.

So far, no one seems to know what happened to Baby between her previous owner's death, and when she ended up in the water.

But her former owner's brother has given his blessing to the Kleins to keep her. And with her new life, she'll get a new name: someone suggested calling her "Gracie."

"Purely by the grace of God did she survive all of this, and I said I love that name," Kathy added.

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