Mystery writer Dennis Lehane is hoping surveillance video from a nearby McDonald’s may help shed some light on his own personal whodunit — the Christmas Eve disappearance of his beagle, Tessa.
The author, who has offered to name a character in a future novel after the person who finds and returns his dog, says Tessa escaped after a visiting friend left open the gate into his Brookline yard.
Some sightings of the dogs were reported after that — the last one being at a McDonalds in Brighton. Lehane told the Boston Herald that the manager of the restaurant has agreed to review surveillance tape to see if Tessa might have been picked up or lured into a car.
“He’ll have to see a lot of videotape. I’m hopeful he will see a dog in the dark on Christmas Eve,” Lehane said. “I hope for the best, but it’s too easy to get your heart broken.”
“I’ve never had a dog this loving,” Lehane said of Tessa, who his family adopted from Beagle Rescue in Florida two months ago. ”She’s the kindest, sweetest dog.”
The author of Gone Baby Gone” and “Mystic River” said he’s been moved by all the community members who have offered help and support.
“What we’ve seen every step of the way is humbling. I’ve never seen more people help. It’s ridiculous. This is the reason I love this town.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, author, beagle, brighton, brookline, dennis lehane, disappearance, dogs, manager, mcdonald's, missing, mystery, pets, review, sightings, surveillance, tessa, video
“Your dog stinks and everybody is writing letters to me,” John Dignard says he was told by the manager. “I’m tired of it and I want you to leave.”
Dignard, who suffered a brain injury when he was struck by a car at age five, says he relies on the dog, named Eve, to help him with his sense of direction, and to overcome moments of confusion and memory lapse.
He says he showed the manager a government-issued certification for the dog and told him that he could not be denied service.
“I’ll pay the fine … I don’t care. I want you and the dog never to come back here no more,” Dignard says the manager of the restaurant, in Wetaskiwin, replied.
CBC News reported that two McDonald’s employees supported Dignard’s account, but the owner of the McDonald’s, D.J. Sharma, said that Dignard was never asked to leave.
“The customer and his service animal have always been welcome in the restaurant and at no time were they refused service or asked to leave,” Sharma said in a written statement.
“We reached out to the customer after receiving numerous customer complaints regarding the individual’s behaviour and the well-being of his service animal. After approaching the customer, they voluntarily left the restaurant.”
Dignard says he is planning to complain to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and won’t return to the McDonald’s.
“I’m not going to spend my money at McDonald’s if they cannot respect my disability…Change your attitude towards service dogs. “They’re not pets. They’re working dogs.”
(Photo: CBC News)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alberta, animals, assistance, brain, canada, disabilities, discrimination, dogs, ejects, Eve, injured, injury, John Dignard, manager, mcdonald's, pets, refused, restaurant, service, service dog, smells, stink, Wetaskiwin
A collar belonging to Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, was stolen this week from the former president’s historic home in Ohio.
Strangely, it was apparently the only item taken in the Tuesday heist at the Harding Home and Museum in Marion.
“I don’t think there is a single item in this collection that matters more or is more important or special to the thousands of schoolchildren who pass through this home each year,” Sherry Hall, site manager, told the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s a real connection to history for them” added Hall, who has overseen the site for nearly13 years. “They see that collar and learn about Laddie Boy and say, ‘Look. I have a dog, too. I’m just like the president.’”
On Tuesday morning, a groundskeeper found a ladder leaning against the home and a second story window open. A pry bar was found close by.
Hall, when she arrived at work, found a jewelry box belonging to Harding’s wife, Florence Kling Harding, broken and on the floor and other rooms in disarray.
Marion police distributed photos of the collar, hoping that if a thief tried to pawn it or sell it, it would be reported.
“I would say whoever stole it had been in there before, knew what it was and where it was and went in to get that and only that,” Marion Police Lt. Mark Beaschler said.
The dog collar, made from Alaskan gold nuggets, was fashioned especially for Laddie Boy, whose name is written in raised letters on the center.
During Harding’s term as the country’s 29th president, Laddie Boy had his own chair at the White House, which he sat in during cabinet meetings.
(Photos: Ohio Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airedale, alaska, animals, burglary, chair, collar, curator, dogs, gold, harding home and museum, historic, historical, home, investigation, ladder, Laddie Boy, manager, marion, museum, nuggets, ohio, pets, police, president, presidential, presidents, pry bar, sherry hall, site, stolen, terrier, warren g harding, warren harding, white house, window
A story about the dog’s disappearance appeared in Friday’s Burlington County Times, and another story in the paper on Sunday reported that Midnight had been found alive.
Actually, Midnight had been found dead on Thursday evening — before the first story even appeared – apparently struck by a car, according to Delran police. The dog’s body was returned to the pet store Thursday night.
On Thursday afternoon, store manager Josh Salyer said the dog was being walked outside when it slipped out of its collar and crossed a busy six-lane highway. The store offered a $500 reward for Midnight’s return.
On Friday, the Burlington County Times says that when it called to get an update on the dog, it was told by Salyer that Midnight had been safely located and returned.
A story to that effect appeared in the paper Sunday — and, though they knew by then their dog was dead, owner Monifa Wilson and her daughter received text messages all day long congratulating them on the dog being found.
Wilson, of Delanco, called the newspaper Monday to inform it that Midnight was dead, and that the corpse had been in the pet store’s freezer since Thursday.
The Burlington County Times ran an article yesterday about the mix-up.
The Times says when it contacted the store Friday the manager said: “I was just notified that he was found a few blocks away. He’s OK … We’re ecstatic, and thanks to all the people who helped search.”
Barbara Johnson, general manager with the Pets Plus chain, based in Fairless Hills, Pa., denied that Salyer said the dog was alive, and said he was merely thanking the community for helping in the search.
“That’s all it was,” she said. “The only thing Josh was happy about was that the search was over, and he wanted to thank all those who helped. We weren’t trying to spread any mistruths.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, bichon, burlington county times, car, dead, delran, found, groomer, grooming, josh salyer, killed, lies, lost, manager, midnight, mistruths, misunderstandings, mix, monifa wilson, new jersey, news media, newspaper, pet store, pets plus, ran away, runaway, truth, yorkie
Jennifer Schwenker has spoken publicly for the first time since she, her autistic twin sons and their service dog, Barkley, were bullied out of a Marietta, Ga., McDonald’s last month.
Schwenker said she was just trying to leave the restaurant when she accidentally spilled some of her drink on the off-duty manager who had ordered them out.
“I accidentally dropped the drink just trying to get out the door frantically,” she told 11Alive News in an exclusive interview Monday.
The drink splashed on several people, including the off duty manager, who followed Schwenker outside and, out of the view of cameras, slapped her, police said.
The manager, Tiffany Denise Allen, 25, was fired and faces misdemeanor assault and battery charges.
Schwenker was having lunch with her twin 8-year-old sons, Ben and Sam, and their autism service dog, Barkley, a Labrador and bloodhound mix who was trained at “4 Paws for Ability”, of Xenia, Ohio, when the off-duty manager insisted the dog had to leave the restaurant.
“Most of the time people don’t understand about autism dogs and what they do,” Schwenker said.
She said Barkley joined their family two years ago, and helps calm her sons, as well as keep track of them.
As a result of her McDonald’s experience, Schwenker has created a web site called “Animals in Service for Children” and is using it to tell her family’s stories and those of others that may have had similar problems.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 4 paws for ability, animals, animals for children, animals in service for children, assault, autism, barkley, disabilities, discrimination, dogs, georgia, jennifer schwenker, manager, marietta, mcdonald's, pets, refused service, restaurant, service dog, service dogs, sons, surveillance, tiffany denise allen, twins, video
The manager of a Marietta, Ga., McDonald’s punched a mother of two autistic boys in the face after a dispute that started when the manager ordered the twin boys’ service dog, Barkley, out of the store, police said.
The boys’ mother, Jennifer Schwenker, said the incident took place on July 12 when she took the boys to the McDonald’s on Bells Ferry Road to have lunch, WSBTV reported.
The family was about to leave when Tiffany Denise Allen, an off-duty store manager, told them there were no dogs allowed, police said.
Schwenker explained that Barkley is a service dog, allowed by federal law in all public places including restaurants. Schwenker offered to provide proof of the permit for the dog, Marietta police said.
A surveillance tape from the store shows Allen following the family around the McDonald’s. When Schwenker tried to leave, she lost track of one of the boys. She threw her drink on the floor and it splashed on Allen, police said.
The tape shows Allen running after Schwenker in a rage, police said.
Allen has been charged with battery assault and disorderly conduct.
The store issued a statement saying the manager had been fired.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: autism, autistic, barkely. twins, customer, disabilities, disability, dog, georgia, jennifer schwenker, manager, marietta, mcdonald's, mother, punch, restaurant, service dog, tiffany denise allen
A PetSmart in New Jersey may be dog-friendly, but its recent firing of a staff member who brought his dog to work is making it look something less than employee-friendly.
Eric Favetta was fired from his job at the PetSmart in Secaucus for bringing his dog into the closed store while working a last-minute overnight shift.
Favetta, 31, a PetSmart employee since July 2008, placed his dog Gizmo in the store’s empty day care facility while he spruced up the place for a special showing to potential business partners.
“I have always been the type of employee to go the extra mile,” Favetta told the Newark Star-Ledger’s “Bamboozled” column.
The store, which encourages its customers to bring pets inside, labeled his deed “theft of services,” and fired him.
Favetta served nearly seven years as a dog handler for various military units in Afghanistan and Bahrain. He became operations manager at the PetSmart in Wayne and, based on his good record, was sent to Secaucus.
At 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, Favetta was asked to work a special overnight shift to prepare the store for a viewing by representatives for Martha Stewart’s company, which was considering adding its product lines to PetSmart.
“I brought my dog with me because I knew if I didn’t, he would have been home alone all day and all night until I returned home at 6 a.m. the next day,” Favetta said. Gizmo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent the night in the empty store’s doggie day care facility as Favetta toiled.
Two weeks later, he was called on the carpet and fired.
PetSmart spokeswoman Jessica White explained the situation this way:
“In our eyes, our services business is huge, with our grooming and training and care. Those are viewed as sale items the same way items on the shelf are,” she said. “To use the facilities and not pay for it — it falls under the same lines.”
A few days later, PetSmart reconsidered and offered him another job. But Favetta has since moved on. He’s now working as a dog handler for a company that uses animals to search for hazards.
(Photo: MITSU YASUKAWA/Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bamboozled, belgian malinois, company, day care, dog, dog friendly, dogs, employee, eric favetta, fired, firing, gizmo, manager, new jersey, newark star-ledger, operations, overnight, overtime, pets, petsmart, secaucus, shift, terminated, termination, theft of services