Those of you who follow my alternate ego, Baron Destructo, on Facebook, are aware that between the blog updates and the occasional sarcastic comments, my timeline is mostly made up of dog-related links.  I share lost dog alerts, dog news and, on occasion, warn against the mistreatment of animals.  The latter category covers a wide variety of possibilities, hardships poor dogs must endure.  Just today, for example, I came across THIS:

1Yes, it’s admittedly hard to look at, but we need to get the word out.   Submitting your dog to the humiliation of silly headgear will NOT be tolerated!  Say NO to dogs in funny hats!  I mean, consider this collage of doggy degradation.  What is going through poor Ralphie’s mind?  I’ll tell you what he’s thinking!  “Surely there’s an easier way to keep my ears warm!”.

While on the subject of dogs, I came across this news report about an elderly couple allegedly swindled out of their beloved pooch:

According to the senior couple, Penny (Pennie) Jekot, director of The Humane Alliance of Rutherford County, tricked them into signing over ownership of their dog, buddy.  When a reporter questioned the charity director about the allegations, Mr. Jekot became snippy, leading to this shocking exchange:

Reporter: Are you planning to sell it?  What are you planning to do with the dog?

Penny Jekot: That’s none of your business, woman.

Actually, given the suspect circumstances and the fact that Ms. Jekot runs a charitable organization, I think it’s everyone’s business.  I tried contacting Penny Jekot on her Facebook page (,  but received no response to my polite query.  I’ll think I’ll try The Humane Alliance of Rutherford County tomorrow and get their side of the story – although, even if they claim it was all an honest mistake, I don’t see why they haven’t taken steps to rectify matters.  Anyway, if you’re as curious as I am and would like to ask the charity for clarification, here’s the information on The Humane Alliance of Rutherford County: Address: 975 Bridge Ave, Murfreesboro, TN 37127, Phone:(615) 907-7093

Sad.  Now it’s been suggested that Ms. Jekot has already sold the dog on craigslist: Have You Seen This? – Charity Accused Of Stealing Woman’s Furry …

Well, hopefully some answers tomorrow!

Oh, and if you can, please circulate this story.

20 thoughts on “January 26, 2014: Dog Matters! What’s up with The Humane Alliance of Rutherford County?!

  1. That poor dachshund! Clearly Ralphie should not be forced to wear a light blue hat! With that coloring, the Autumn color palette would be much more appropriate. The hat should be a nice orange or tan or even green.

    p,s. If that Humane Alliance actually answers their phone tomorrow, they’ll hear from me…

  2. i consider any clothing on pets a mistreatment of animals. unless they had to be shaved for medical reasons & it’s cold, but that’s a special case. those coat-type things for sled dogs are a special case too.

  3. Hot Chocolate Festival: Report from the trenches:

    This past weekend I found myself trapped inside the Westin Bayshore hotel in downtown Vancouver, listening to a series of speakers prattle on about “Regional Metallogeny & Controls on the Location of Ore Systems” and trying to look awake and interested. On Saturday, we were afforded a precious 1.25-hour lunch break, so I decided to take advantage of my proximity to several hot chocolate festival venues and go for a liquid lunch.

    The first stop on my walk was Soirette, where I had #51 “Granville Island Grocery List”, described by Joe a couple posts back. Mine looked slightly different from his:

    (I hope the link works. This is the first time I’ve tried linking to Flickr photos.)

    This appeared to be a white chocolate base, flavored (and butter-colored) with saffron. Joe reported that his had beet bits at the bottom of the cup, but mine did not. Instead, there were saffron threads lingering in the dregs of my beverage, and some extra-concentrated yellow syrup that I assume was the bulk of what was flavoring the drink. Consequently, the beet flavor in mine was so subtle as to be imperceptible. However, this flaw was made up for by the powerful punch of saffron flavor, which I found surprisingly pleasing. The chocolate itself was a bit thin, but the innovative and bold flavor combination more than made up for this minor quibble.

    As for the macaron, it was very unusual. In addition to the square of Gjetost cheese (think “aged cream cheese” to imagine the taste) sandwiched between the meringue halves, there was also a sort of ganache with the flavor of a toasted campfire marshmallow, and it was this flavor that hit my taste buds first. Then the umami of the cheese came through and as I chewed, that latter flavor dominated. I thought there should have been more balance between the 2 flavors. All in all, it was a strange combination, and it was very unfortunate that for the rest of my lunchtime tasting session, I was continually burping up first Gjetost and then saffron flavor, despite the ridiculously overwhelming volume of hot chocolate that was to follow.

    After Soirette, I walked over to Bella Gelateria, which has several of the hot chocolate fest flavors. I chose two of them, #6 “Monkey’s Uncle”

    and #7 “Black Magic”.

    Both had a base of Belgian milk chocolate. Monkey’s Uncle came with a gelato popsicle flavored with banana liqueur and swirls of To Die For banana bread, while Black Magic’s gelato popsicle was black sesame and matcha. The idea is that you swirl the popsicle into your drink, using the popsicle stick as a stir rod. Each beverage was accompanied by a slice of To Die For banana bread.

    It’s a good thing I got these two flavors at the same time, because each one was so subtle that after the first few sips, my taste buds became inured to it and could no longer discern its nuances in the presence of the dominant flavor of the milk chocolate base. I had to switch back and forth between the two drinks to refresh my taste buds enough to notice which flavor I was drinking. The problem derived from the fact that the flavors are only in the gelato popsicles you stir into the hot chocolate. Before you mix your own beverage, the hot chocolate is just a regular milk chocolate — albeit a rich, creamy, delicious one. I tasted each popsicle before I stirred it in, and the flavor of each was out of this world. Intense and delicious. But once it went into the chocolate, the ratio of chocolate to gelato was all wrong. The chocolate overwhelmed. The matcha, in particular, was completely lost within the chocolate; only the sesame flavor remained, and even that was too weak — that is, until I got down to the bottom of the cup. That’s where all the sesame seed fragments were hiding. The kick of sesame at the end was great, but too little, too late.

    The banana bread (with macadamia nuts on top!) went well with the banana flavored Monkey’s Uncle, but was an odd choice to accompany the Asian flavors of Black Magic. I only managed a few bites of one slice of the bread, because by this time, my stomach was beginning to protest against the injustice of cramming into it 3 large hot chocolates and an ultra-rich macaron. Not to mention, by now the Gjetost-and-saffron burbs were coming fast and furious, and those are NOT two flavors you want repeating on you, especially when trying to taste other hot chocolates. But Leonidas was a scant block away, and I still had 30 minutes of lunch break to spare! So I martyred myself and hoofed it over to Leonidas for #35 “Jamaican Kiss”.

    Again, a Belgian milk chocolate base, this one flavored with coconut milk, rum ganache, and pineapple purée. I could’ve coughed up 2 more dollars and gotten the accompanying Liège waffle (or mini-cheesecake or chocolate truffle), but my tummy was already stretched like a balloon, and besides, I’m cheap.

    So the lonely, unaccompanied drink was not much to look at, but wow, did this ever pack a flavorful punch! With the first sip I immediately felt the back of my throat tingle with the acidity from the pineapple. This drink ain’t messin’ around. Imagine a flavor-concentrated, chocolate-covered piña colada. Doesn’t that sound yummy? That’s what this was like. Actually, I couldn’t really even taste the coconut, the pineapple was so dominant. But I didn’t miss it. Sadly, I only managed to drink 1/2 of this splendid beverage, because I was by now so very, very full, and I had exactly 13 minutes to hoof it back to the conference. So I got the remainder to go and began the long, stomach-sloshing, burp-inducing march back to the Westin.

    While walking, I reflected on the lesson I had learned about myself this day: that 4 hot chocolates is one hot chocolate too many. The to-go hot chocolate cup sat untouched on the conference table in front of me for the next 2 1/2 hours, while my distended stomach groaned uncomfortably and made me promise never to abuse it in such a way again.

    Finally, at the afternoon break, I was ready to taste Jamaican Kiss one last time, even though it was cold chocolate by this point. To my amazement, it tasted even better cold! Now the rum ganache came through much more, and the pineapple/rum interplay was perfectly balanced.

    Verdict: Granville Island Grocery List wins major style points for having the most interesting flavor combinations, not to mention beautiful presentation. But the winner for taste has to be… Jamaican Kiss, from Leonidas.

  4. If you think that Headgear is bad, you should see the one my Sister found on Pinterest a while back! – I have it on my computer somewhere… If I find it again, I’ll send it – Anyway, same breed of dog or close to, with REINDEER [?] cowls that made them look like Giraffes in turtlenecks!

  5. @archersangel: I had these hats handmade for Ralphie to help keep him warm during our cold winter months. Most hats you can buy in doggie boutiques unfortunately leave the ears exposed. Ralphie needs his ears covered as they are very thin and susceptible to cracking. He is also mostly bald on his underside, from his belly to his chin, and the rest of his fur is very thin. He gets cold easily and is quite prone to sunburn too. Ralphie is therefore the best dressed dog around, from hand-knit items to Tommy Hilfiger polos.

    @Marsha_R: Ralphie is a pure-bred miniature pinscher. The autumn color palette is a great choice and will be used for his next hat. Ideally, it will be striped like the sweater he wore in a pictures from one of Joe’s posts from the holidays.

  6. I agree with Marsha_R, Ralphie is an autumn. That being said, how is the weather in Montreal? If it’s like here in Northern Mississippi, then Ralphie would need a hat! We have 30 mile winds and a temp in the Mid 20’s (F)/-6ishC. Those long dachshund ears would be blowing in the wind!

    I finished Snowblind. I liked it but it’s been a while since I’ve read any horror fiction. I might try the Forever Wars next.

    Loved the pictures from yesterday! I’m glad y’all had a great time. Lulu went all “guard dog” on him? She’s such a cutie!

    A animal rescue worker did that?! There are so many pups (mutts and purebreds) out there without homes. It’s hard to fathom why a person would steal one. I tried the link you provided and got a big warning about malicious viruses. So careful on that. I’ll look it up in the news, Murfreesboro is not far from here. It’s only an hour or so outside of Nashville, TN.

  7. I hope they can get the dog back. Their accents seem Appalachian and the Appalachians I’ve known at least had to learn to not always be suspicious of “helpful” non-kin, and then learn all over again when to be. If they aren’t near kin, as it seems, this kind of set-back could harm their twilight years if it keeps them from letting people know when they need help. A big win for them from non-kin would go a long way.

  8. I think Ralphie is just fine! I watched a miniature pinscher and he was an absolute shivering mess when his owner chose to leave the heat on 50 degrees when she left. I turned it up to 68 to get the chill out of the house and informed the owner. I wrote in the text, “When I came over for the morning visit, XYZ was shivering and could not stop. Initially I could not even locate him until he decided to come out from under the blanket laying on the floor in the living room. I noticed it was 45 degrees in the house and I went ahead and put the heat up to 68 degrees to get the chill off. Just wanted you to know.” She angrily texted me back and told me to go back to the house, turn it back to where it was and not to touch it again–I had absolutely no permission to change the temperature in her house.” I pointed out that in her contract she signed it says I am allowed to use my judgment if there was a situation with the pet that I felt was unsafe. A warmer house WAS in this dog’s best interest. What she did when I was no longer caring for him was her business. But I did go over and put the thermostat back to where she insisted. She is now a former client.

    Kathode: What a trooper! Interesting how an item can change a little bit day to day.

  9. Ralphie look says it all: ok mam i a’m warm and protected. But you need to take all these pictures and shared them?. By god my tough guy reputation in tatters! 😆

    @Kathode i like your report from the trenches. About the too many chocolate, its impossible emulate Joey you know hi is from melmak and have three stomachs.

  10. PLEASE CALL THE SHELTER GUYS. We need to get these folks their dog back 🙁

  11. In the late hours of January 19th, my 14 and ½ year old little furry love died in my arms after having a fatal seizure. He’s probably still be alive if the vet I had to take him to because his normal vet was out of town hadn’t misdiagnosed him.

    His little heart was filled with love and loyalty and his eyes shined with adoration, to him I was the greatest person in the world. No one could have asked for a better 40th birthday present.

  12. I think Ralphie’s hat is perfect! Just the thing to keep his delicate ears warm.

    And the woman who stole the dog from that poor lady needs to have her so-called charity shut down yesterday. That phone “interview” was beyond belief. A blank piece of paper? Really? How can she get away with that?

  13. to Sis:
    ah, ok. well, like i said if it’s to keep the animal warm it’s one thing, but if it’s just decoration that another issue.

  14. @Ralphie – Sorry for calling you a dachsie but they have a special place in my heart since my first doggie ever was one. Glad your ears are warm!

    @MReed – hugs for you from me and the cats

  15. @PB No. The vet said he had arthritis and that was what was making him suddenly lose total muscle control. I was sceptical of that diagnosis and after the episodes started getting worse by saturday, I made an appointment with his regular vet on monday. I realized my dog was having seizures that were coming in rapid succession. The emergency vet was closed due to the weather so I just kept hoping he would make it to Monday morning. The last one was too much for him. I’m reporting the vet who diagnosed it as arthritis to the medical board.

    @Marsha_R my little fellow was part long haired dashie and part Shitzu. His mom was 13 when she had him. Thanks for the hugs

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