People can be really fucked up.
Yesterday I received a phone call from my friend Dan. He was beside himself. His dog had been stolen.
Okay, that news is BAD. I mean who steals a dog? What kind of an a-hole would do that sort of thing?
I’ll tell you, but it ain’t gonna make you happy.
Dan is a grieving widower. His beloved partner, Patrice died from cancer in February. Yesterday he was at Forest Lawn, putting flowers on her grave, as he has done EVERY week since she left for the great beyond, when he received the phone call his dog, Nanook, was taken. And guess who called him? The woman who stole his dog! I have other names for this person, which I will currently refrain from using since I’ve got a story to tell.
Nanook is on the left…he’s the black and white. His best buddy is my dog Buck, thebrown and white.
So now both his beloved woman and dog are gone. And the woman who stole his dog and had the nerve to apprise him of what she had done…..The administrator for the estate of his partner!!!!
Why would anyone steal a dog, let alone an estate administrator! You might ask? Three words come to my mind. Greed. Deceit. Fear.
You see the administrator is an unknown relative of the departed, and she and her countless “relatives” want to cash in on the spoils of the estate. My friend Dan has found himself standing up for the will Pat left. Unfortunately he hired an attorney who had the scruples of a rat on a sinking ship, who, most probably from colluding with the “relatives”, then made a deal to make sure he got paid before the ship sunk. Combine the esteemed wisdom of an overloaded judge in The LA County Superior probate court system and the avarice of the various lawyers who have glommed onto the case (all who clearly have forgotten their humanity) and they made this Dog Thief the administrator.
It couldn’t get worse, right? Wrong.
Several years ago, while visiting a neighbor across the street, Pat fell and broke her hip. Whilst in the hospital, with Dan managing the dogs and daily bicycle (did I mention Dan does not drive?) visits to Pat, a former “old drinking buddy”‘ Tim, conveniently came onto the scene to “rehab” Pat’s house, dive into her IRA and bleed it dry. The rehab cost way more than it showed. Someone made money. My finger points to Tim…my second husband was a contractor and I know what things cost. Pat had stopped drinking years before so she had forgotten she had signed away her powers of attorney to the deceitful “buddy”. By the time she got out, discovered the depth and breadth of the financial damages, she had neither the strength nor wherewithal to go after the deceitful Tim. Even more than before the broken hip, Dan waited on Pat, hand and foot, cared for their dog and home; he had resources only to deal with day to day life.
It was at around that time Pat told Dan, her friends, Janice and Cecily, and her neighbors, Nikki and me, she wanted to make a will…just to make sure that Nanook and Dan would have a place in case anything happened to her. It was very clear, she was quite adamant she didn’t want Tim or anyone other than her loved ones to profit from her demise. The will was drawn up on Dan’s computer, printed up and signed, Pat then filed it away in a drawer…she did that. Unfortunately those of us who knew about the will did not get a chance to sign as witnesses, nor did Pat hire an attorney to seal the transaction, she thought she had time…she did that too. The one good thing is we all had knowledge of the will and of its content. the not good thing? Pat did not revoke Tim’s powers of attorney.
So there they were, the job on the house was a shoddy one. Her retirement nest egg was gone. Pat had only her social security. Fortunately Dan had his talent for rebuilding and restoring vehicles to support them. They were lucky too because, besides their loving relationship, they had their boy, Nanook, who loved running on the 2 acres of land with the house, left to Pat by her mother. Max and I often brought our Husky, Buck to run with Nanook. They were best buddies.
In 2012, Pat was diagnosed with cancer. Coincidently Max was diagnosed about the same time. We lost touch, without knowing we were dealing with similar issues. Once again Dan made the bicycle trips to hospital and home, back and forth; she was in and out of the hospital. Their income suffered because he was schlepping and caring for her, their sweet dog and home, but still he pushed on until she passed in February.
Then the barracudas surfaced. Her body was barely cold when Tim came in, invading the property with County probate inspectors. He instigated a search for relatives, claiming his friendship as a means to secure exactly what, I am still unsure. Grieving Dan watched in disbelief as the life he and Pat was getting turned over and examined. The “relatives” ?..this is so questionable it will make your head spin. Pat was the alleged bastard child of a philandering doctor. Without DNA testing it is uncertain if these “relatives” really are that. This is where the Dog Thief comes in. She’s purported to be a distant cousin, who is representing the countless cousins who neither knew Pat nor cared for her. They all stand to make big bucks from the sale of the property. Their teeth are bared. They want blood …okay, not exactly blood, they want money, even if it means stealing a dog from a man who has just lost the love of his life.
Dan has stood up to them. He has spent round the clock hours on the Internet, researching his rights. I have called friends and family who are lawyers or know probate and real estate law. Last week Dan appeared in court, stepping forward to claim foul play. The thief’s attorney threatened to throw him off the property. Yesterday further response was the theft of Nanook. Things have gotten dirty. Just who would steal a dog to make money? How low can people go? Did the attorney advise her to do so? Is this grounds for disbarment?
People can be really fucked up.
If you know an attorney who would be willing to champion Dan’s and Nanook’s case…probono… Contact me. At the very least say a prayer for them.