The Warwick Melrose Somehow Lost a Guest's Chihuahua

Categories: Animal Welfare

Irma Grazdan and her two dogs, Binky the chihuahua and Boomer the Jack Russell terrier, checked into the Warwick Melrose the day before Thanksgiving. She was in town from Houston to visit family and had decided to stay at the Oak Lawn hotel in part because of its pet-friendliness.

Fox 4 recounts what happened next.

"I took my dogs upstairs because I was gonna go have dinner with my son who lives in Denton," [Grazdan] said.

When she got back several hours later she saw one of her dogs with staff members at the front desk. Her heart sank.

"They said, 'They were barking so we took them for a walk.' I said, 'You didn't even ask for permission. Can I have my dogs back?' And they said, 'Ma'am, we lost one of your dogs,'" Grazdan said.

The staff told her Binky ran away.

Grazdan spent the rest of the weekend searching for the dog but to no avail. Binky remains AWOL.

"It's really hard and it's only because of this darn hotel," she told Fox 4. "If they hadn't taken it upon themselves to walk my dog, none of this would have happened to any of us."

Larry Mcafee, Warwick's general manager said hotel staff don't, as a rule, barge into rooms willy nilly to snatch guests' pets. But Grazdan presented a special case.

"This one was a problem from the very start," Mcafee said.

For starters, Grazdan arrived without a credit or debit card, which the hotel requires of its guests. She had just enough cash to pay for the room, so the Warwick decided to overlook the fact that she lacked another method of payment. They also decided to overlook the fact that she didn't have enough to pay the $50 pet deposit and that she had two dogs. The hotel's pet limit, spelled out clearly on its website, is one

By the time Grazdan was done checking in, Mcafee says she was "too emotionally distraught" to sign the required pet waiver that, among other things, stipulates that pets must be crated when left in the room; that a pet causing a disturbance will be housed outside of the hotel; and that the hotel isn't liable for "loss, damages, (and) personal injuries, including death" stemming from the pet's presence.

The Warwick overlooked that, too, and allowed Grazdan to take the dogs to her room. That's where the dogs stayed when she left the hotel a few minutes later. It wasn't long after that -- a couple of hours, maybe -- that the complaints began to come in. The dogs were yapping and generally disturbing the other guests. They continued for the next couple of hours.

Typically, Mcafee says the hotel would call the guest, but Grazdan hadn't filled out the pet waiver and didn't leave her number. So staff members eventually decided to keep the dogs at the front desk, as is occasionally done to shield other guests from disruptive pets. Since the dogs had been cooped up for several hours, it was decided they should be given the opportunity to relieve themselves. It was as they were led outside that their leashes got tangled and Binky escaped.

"The dog took off and never looked back," Mcafee said.

Six staff members canvassed the neighborhood until 4 a.m. before calling it a night. The next day, the hotel printed and distributed a couple hundred fliers and signed up for lost pet notifications. They've since received several tips about found chihuahuas, but none have panned out.

He hopes that media reports will lead whoever found the dog to return it. In the meantime, he's dealing with a former guest who is very distraught. That's understandable, he says, but doesn't mean the hotel deserves all the blame.

"She kept saying to me, 'These dogs are my children,'" Mcafee says. His response? "Ma'am, we would have called CPS if these were your children."

My Voice Nation Help

For a super liberal newspaper, you sure do tolerate a lot of racist comments about Asians.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The cavalier attitude of the manager is outrageous.  My cats are my children, so I fully understand how devastated that poor woman is.


Sucks that the hotel broke so many of its own policies to be nice to someone and will end up paying for it one way or another.


Chinese place across the way slipped the concierge a tenner for it........


Where is Myrna when you need her?

ChrisYu topcommenter

'first the good news no longer exceed our pet limit!'


Me thinks he was running from Irma.

On a positive note, it's a chihuahua friendly part of town.

mcdallas topcommenter

I'd go check the calatrava bridge.  Tourists (and this dog is clearly a tourist, no?) are drawn to these world-class bridges.  Because they have world-class fire hydrants near them.  What visiting dog could resist a world-class fire hydrant close to a world-class bridge?

Montemalone topcommenter

I hope it didn't wander down the block to Pandas. 

Poo Poo Platter anyone?


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz -- Larry McAfee is a very nice guy and good hotel manager.  The Melrose went out of its way to accommodate this guest to the point of waiving all its requirements to its own detriment.  I'm a dog lover and would never leave my dog in such a position.  If these dogs are her children, she would have been dealing with CPS instead of a laid back, rational hotel manager.

ruddski topcommenter


A lost, homeless chihuahua wandering the mean streets of the city of hate and Asian restaurants in today's economy isn't funny, shitheel.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@Bremarks The hotel, or any other hotel, can write up any set of rules it wants to that are not legally binding.  The truth is, once the hotel takes a guest into its establishment, it is responsible for safeguarding the guest and her possessions.


@ruddski @Montemalone Dog isn't Chinese, cat is. Dog is Korean.

Has she tried the new, gentler Dallas Animal Services supposed no-kill shelter? Good luck with that.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @Bremarks 

Just goes ta' show ya'. No good deed goes unpunished.

If she truly thought of these creatures as her children, she should have shown far more personal responsibility for their well-being.


@NewsDog @ruddski @Montemalone oh yeah, why do you think we gas'em in the first place?

ruddski topcommenter

@NewsDog @ruddski @Montemalone 

In today's economy, Chinese are eating dogs, Koreans are eating cats,  and everyone is eating Koreans, who are eating all-you-can-eat Chinese, and it's incredibly aggravating.

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