Old Yeller is not a dog lover’s movie

It is incredibly cliché to use the phrase “must love dogs” in a dating profile, thanks to the awful John Cusack movie. I like Diane Lane though, so I don’t think it is a bad plan to conjure up her image in a dating profile. Also, movie word association would bring up “Unfaithful” and send a message that I am really hot enough for some French guy to steal from you if you don’t pay attention to me and then you will ruin your life killing him with a snow globe and dumping his body in a Persian rug in a landfill.

Still I try to get the point across that my dogs are very important to me. Following the divorce, I had three dogs, and spent over $15,000 of my divorce settlement on them in one year for cardiologists, oncologists, acupuncturists and a buffet of supplements and imported food.

When I first started talking to Tom, he seemed pretty normal. I realize that “normal” in online dating terms means he had no discernible physical affliction, didn’t live in his mom’s basement collecting human hair for a hobby, and had a 6th grade grasp of the English language.  Tom was a general contractor in a family business and had allegedly built his own house. [I realize that my legal background makes me say “allegedly” a lot. I wonder if non-lawyers notice this.] His pictures appeared to be recent and he looked good in a tux. Not George Clooney good, but maybe Benedict Cumberbatch. Still doable. He also said he shared my love of dogs, having lived on a farm in upstate New York with an assortment of animals. A veritable Dr. Doolittle.

In hindsight, I should have remembered that nothing good ever came out of upstate New York (see my ex), except for Wegmans and Anchor Bar Buffalo wings.

After a few emails and chats on the phone, and before I even met him in person, I was explaining how my oldest dog was battling melanoma and heart disease. Tom told me I was being selfish continuing to run tests and put my dog on all kinds of medication. I asked if he was suggesting I just put my otherwise active dog to sleep.

“No, I think that would be cruel. I would take the dog out in the woods and shoot it. That’s what I did with my dog when he had cancer. I took him out to the barn and put a gun to his head and shot him.”

For some mysterious reason, I continued the conversation. I questioned how this was more humane than having a vet euthanize the dog. His explanation was that the dog wouldn’t know what was happening and would be traumatized by being in the vet’s office with strangers. Somehow being lured into a barn with your trusted parent only to be shot at close range is less stressful than getting a sedative and falling asleep.

Ok, that attempt at logic was enough for me. I hung up, never to be heard from again.  Suddenly I wondered if the family farm was a secret torture chamber for a man who would grow up to idolize Jeffrey Dahmer.  Sociopath.

A few months later, he contacted a friend of mine on the same website. She agreed to meet him for dinner before we put the pieces together and realized it was Tom.  Being very polite, she didn’t want to cancel on him because perhaps I misunderstood what he really said when he TOLD ME HE PUT A GUN TO HIS DOG’S HEAD AND SHOT HIM DEAD.  Even when I asked if he was fucking kidding me and he told me I was the cruel one for, I don’t know, trusting medicine and people who went to veterinary school.  In hindsight, I think she may have just had a Benedict Cumberbatch fetish.  Sherlock Holmes is really good!

She gave him the benefit of the doubt, until he showed up stoned and made about 15 references to marijuana during their dinner, which she paid for. She still was not ready to cross him off the list–until they left the restaurant and she realized he owned the beat-up pickup truck with duct tape holding the bumper on an old water heater standing up in the back. Clearly the tux was rented, or perhaps it was just a photo of a statue of Benedict Cumberbatch from Madame Tussaud’s.  Hey, a guy once sent me a photo of the hot Marcello from “Under the Tuscan Sun”.  Free Dating Tip:  Guys, if you’re going to fake a profile online, sure as hell don’t pick a hot guy from an iconic chick flick and think we won’t notice.

Tom didn’t understand when my friend told him she didn’t want to see him again. Perhaps someone should have taken him out to the barn and put him out of his misery.

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