round and round...

Friday, August 25, 2006


There is no easy way to say this, so here it is - the man called this morning to tell me Duke had died at the vet overnight. Said that the vet tech came in this morning and he looked like he was sleeping. Said it looked like he didn't suffer, that he had just stopped breathing in his sleep. I was a wreck. I stood outside my office building and was overcome with despair. I've been basically mourning for a week, I've been so distraught that I've made myself physically ill, I've been so upset at work (bad enough that the new proof reader gave me a card for Duke - so sweet), I've cried me eyes out every day and the people in my life who love me have been taking care of me. I've not been in good shape.

Now, here's the part that's really not easy to say - all is not as it seems. I started putting 2 and 2 together after that phone call this morning and I had some questions. Why did the man avoid my question last week about whether Duke could come live with me? Why did he then tell me Duke was very sick and he didn't tell me earlier because he didn't know how? Why didn't he have an answer when I asked what kind of cancer it was? Why did he make a point of telling me that he took Duke's crate to the vet? Why did he tell me that he cleaned the house this morning and got rid of Duke's things so I wouldn't be upset everytime I turned around? It all started to sound like he was covering his bases. Like he was answering in advance the question I'd have about why nothing remained of my dog at his apartment.

I asked him for the vet's phone # so I could call and talk about what would happen to Duke's body. I didn't want my beloved dog to be disposed of in some bio-medical bin. He wouldn't give me the phone #. I called him and said that I didn't know how to say it, but my bullshit detector was going off loud and clear and I needed to know where my dog is. What I got in response was hurt and anger and denial that anything was amiss. I was the bad guy. I insisted that if he were in my shoes that he'd be asking the same questions. He said he never would doubt me like that. He would never accuse me of something this awful. Everything got shoved back at me and I was the asshole. He said he'd email me the vet's #. I apologized and let him know that I had to run the risk of being wrong and making him angry because if I didn't confront him about my doubts it would eat me up inside. I asked if it was still OK that I come down this weekend (I was to leave for the airport in an hour) and he said he needed a couple minutes to process things and he'd let me know.

I then got an email half an hour later saying that he still wanted me to come, but that he didn't think it was a good idea, that he'd send me my things and he'd pay me back for the money I spent on the flight. I asked again for the vet's #. I got nothing. I left work and just started walking. I didn't know where I was going, I just needed to walk and clear my head. I was walking around lower Manhattan crying and talking into my cell phone like a crazy person. I must have looked like a total mess. I was a total mess. I didn't know what to do. I called Kristie. I called MT. I called my mom. I called the man again and left a msg saying that I wanted to make sure I wasn't coming to Miami because that was my last chance to make my flight. He didn't call back.

I called MT again. He was so calm and so smart. He looked up the # of the vet who supposedly did Duke's 1st biopsy a couple weeks ago and said he'd call them and find out what was going on. I walked around in utter confusion waiting for him to call back. I called Kristie and she kept me from freaking out. MT called back and said that the vet hadn't seen Duke since February. The receptionist didn't want to give out any information, but he pleaded with her and said if she knew how upset I was because I thought my dog was dead she'd give him something. She said, "DEAD?? Hold on a moment..." and when she came back she told him they hadn't seen him since February.

I called the man again, no answer. My msg said that I needed him to call me back and explain to me why Dr. Fernandez hasn't seen Duke since Feb. if he's the one who did a biopsy 3 weeks ago. I said that I needed him to make it all make sense for me, that I wanted more than anything to be wrong - to be the asshole for real and be accusing him of something falsely. What I got was a text msg telling me that I was right, that he had given Duke away and that he didn't know why he lied to me, that he couldn't control it, that it had gotten out of hand, that he was so sorry and he was sick about doing this to me.

It was all a lie. It was all an elaborate series of complicated deceptions. I've spoken to him almost every day since last week. I cried to him, he comforted me. I thanked him for doing everything he could for Duke, he said he did it gladly. He heard the devastation in my voice for a week and he kept adding to it every time we spoke. Each phone call was another layer of lies. First it was cancer and a second opinion was needed. Then it was one night in the animal hospital. That became 3 nights. Then it was trouble breathing. Then the respiratory condition might be treatable and separate from the cancer - he actually fed me information to give me hope about a totally fake illness! Then the respiratory condition wasn't separate, it was probably cancer in his lungs. And then the biggest lie of all - Duke died in his sleep. He tortured me. He broke my heart and he knew he was doing it.

I'm lost right now. I'm destroyed. I've never been so betrayed, so lied to, so taken advantage of, so devastated, so underestimated. He even said he'd send me Duke's ashes. What was he going to do - put some dirt in a jar from the dollar store and tell me that it was my dog's body? I told him he should get help because there's obviously something in him that's broken and needs repair. Something in there is rotten. Something in there made him do this to me. I don't understand it. He says he doesn't understand it.

The only solace that remains for me is that my Dukester is safe with a family in Ft. Lauderdale. My mom asked me how I know that's the truth and not just another deception. I told her that I have to believe something, and this needs to be it.

Thank you for the support and the caring, everyone. Even if the whole situation was a tangle of lies, the support was real and I can't tell you how much that means to me.

I've been cheated. I've been cheated out of my dog and I've been cheated out of my trust. I'm a skeptic now.

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13 What people are saying:

Blogger James Burnett rambles...

Wow! Melissa, I am so sorry. That is just sadistic. No further explanation? That is nuts.

Any chance of reaching out to the Ft. Lauderdale fam and explaining your dog wasn't The Man's to give away in the first place?

8/26/2006 12:36:00 AM

Blogger The Rover rambles...

Oh. My. God. That is one of the worst things you can do to a person. I'm so sorry that you had to put up with that. How did he justify what he did? That's despicable. I want to send him to Ft. Lauderdale and make him live with some strange family.

I don't normally approve of this should sue him.

8/26/2006 01:31:00 AM

Blogger L. Britt rambles...

"I'm a skeptic now." Out of all the Horrible Things this man has done to you, that one is the worst. I know that feeling, that Moment, when Someone Else's Evil changes you forever. I know that moment all too well. More than any other event, I wish I could wish that Change away.

I am so incredibly Proud Of You and in awe of you at how you handled this whole thing. His karma is So F*cked Up now, he will be reborn a cockroach for at least seven lifetimes. I'm a Buddhist...I know! :)

8/26/2006 09:28:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous rambles...

You go down there, find the man, kick the living shit out of him, & threaten him with testicle loss in order to find your dog & get him back.

8/26/2006 03:20:00 PM

Blogger Jenn rambles...

Oh my GOD. This is astounding. WTF!?

I think it's my turn to offer to kick some ass for you! What is WRONG with some people?

Just crap. That's all I can think to say.

But - remember it's ok to be skeptical...but there are still good people to be found. I know it's really hard to believe but don't let his evil eat you up inside. You're better and stronger than that.

'course...I'd never trust him again. Duh.


8/26/2006 09:05:00 PM

Blogger Retro Girl rambles...

OMG I am completely flabbergasted!! WTF?!!

I cannot believe that someone is so evil that they would fabricate such lies that put you through such horrible pain and emotional agony and think that this was acceptable...and that it would be better to tell you that your dog was terminally ill and died, than to tell you "hey I just can't keep him anymore and am looking for a new home". Was he doing all of this to act out some revenge upon you for some perceived wrong? What a psycho!

Can you take Duke? If so, can you have friends help you locate him? Put ads in the paper down there to help locate him?

I'd never speak to that guy again..He is not one to be trusted or respected ever again...

I am so sorry. I know this has been a horrible ordeal for you and the residual pain and shock of being deceived is equally bad. Thank god your dog is alive, somewhere. I hope you can be reunited.

8/27/2006 10:16:00 AM

Blogger Jess rambles...

Whoa whoa whoa. I cannot believe what I just friggin' read. You have got to be kidding me. I know the man and if you asked me if he was capable of something like this I would have said "hell no". Mel, I cannot believe that he did that!!! Holy moly, if my husband got rid of Roxy (which he has a threatened a many of times), and then said that she had died, I don't know what I would do. I really don't. There is something seriously wrong with him to outright lie and deceive you like that. It's just not right and I am in shock that he would do that.

I love you honey, I know you are skeptical, but continue to see the good in people. Don't change who you are cause some dick weed has his morals in a knot.

8/27/2006 11:28:00 AM

Blogger tuckergurl rambles...

Whoa! That is literally what I said out loud about this entry. What he did is pretty messed up but you know that. It is clear that this is something he did to keep you in his life in some strange way. You handled yourself so well and now you can move on fully.

As for trust, well, people need to earn it so you should be skeptical about giving it away. The people in your life you deserve your trust show themselves. You know who they are.

I wish I knew what to say about Duke. I know he is with a good family but trying to find him is an option open to you. Think about it if it is something you are interested in doing.

Excuse my going on. I had a bit of wine!

8/27/2006 07:00:00 PM

Blogger Sandra rambles...

Oh dear god. This is one of the shittiest things I can imagine someone doing. I want to give him a royal kicking right now.

8/28/2006 11:30:00 AM

Blogger patti_cake rambles...

I can't even IMAGINE the pain and betrayal you must feel. I am happy Duke is alive and hope he is with someone who cares for him. What a lowdown dirty thing to do. Hugs, Melissa. Hugs.

8/28/2006 01:46:00 PM

Blogger SaraDeLaBrook rambles...

i cant deal with this. i keep replaying it in my mind. why didnt chad call me? i could have taken duke to live with me until you were able to take him. HE KNOWS THIS!!!! wtf is his deal? this is by far the most malicious lie ive ever heard. he didnt want you to know that he heartlessly gave away your dog so he told you that he died of cancer??? he needs to be institutionalized. i am so sorry that you are dealing with this situation. i feel helpless. but i am here to listen if you want to talk. keep your head up girl and just try to find comfort in knowing that duke is with a loving family. and chad better pray to god he never bumps into me on the street. we are here thinking of you.

love, sara, gable & kira

8/29/2006 10:45:00 AM

Blogger a fish on a bycicle rambles...

hellfire sweetheart, just...hellfire


8/30/2006 12:00:00 PM

Blogger Pat rambles...

Such a cruel bastard.

That's all I can say, without launching into a tirade!

9/20/2006 12:53:00 PM


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