Hoping this letter is fake.
Melania Trump is definitely bullshitting us.
I hope that the final option is the accurate one, that the dog-friend is bull shitting the letter writer. This is one that I hope we hear how things turn out.

p.s. I agree about the notion of trading places with Melanoma Tramp.
I think we can all agree that the "dog" has it better than Melania. Can someone do a welfare check on her?
Dan, you need to ask for an authority to speak to this.
Private investigator, now. I'm no computer expert, but can't the IP address be traced? Or other tricks from those in the trade?
LW, you're a good friend!
Jesus. LW. I'm assuming you are telling the truth. Get someone to check on him, if you can find out where he lives.
Maybe you and any other friends could go there. Find out who his
" owner " is and go to his place of work and cause a scene.
I vote for do something, now. This guy has been brainwashed. He needs your help.
is this letter for real? with as many red flags as it has, better to err on the side of caution. I'm with #6.
Personally, I believe that people who wish to withdraw from normal human interaction should be granted their wish. They might realize a lot quicker that what they're doing is stupid and dangerous.
"Melania. Can someone do a welfare check on her?" . . . trying . . . so . . . hard . . . restraint!!!
damn... I'm betting my nephew would take this deal in a heartbeat, just so he never had to make a decision for himself. sigh Hope no one ever offers it to him.
Sounds a kinda bullshitty... mostly from the impractical standpoint. Seems like it would start out as kinky fun and get *really* old after a few weeks. In any case, if the LW wanted to wellness check in some way, keep (gently) pushing the IT angle. So as @7 was asking it depends on the email account/provider/server/connection, some you can trace pretty easily, some are tricky. A decent tech friendly PI would be able to steer the LW into having his friend make contact through the "easy" routes and then they could take it from there. If it was fake/punked, whatever, if real then good luck.
Going to give the LW the benefit of the doubt and assume it's not fake. I've been around organized religion long enough to know how easily even intelligent people can be sucked into craziness. The LW should tell his friend that if he ever wants out, use that $100 for a one way bus ticket to his (the LW's) house, where he will be given help getting his life together, including the opportunity to see a doctor. How the friend responds may indicate how badly he wants out or if he is bullshitting.
It the dude's life is even half as cushy as my dog's, he really doesn't need anyone's help.
Melania Trump has really nice clothes, a child to look after, jewels to wear, and excellent food and shelter, and if she wanted to leave Trump, she'd get a munificent divorce settlement. I don't think we need to worry about her.

Whom does your dog have sex with?
Wait, I think maybe this whole thing might be just a metaphor to help me understand why my dear & formerly-freespirited friend suddenly rushed into a marriage in one of those exclusive-by-default relationships that didn't even seem to be going well for her in the first place and of course now can't really talk that much anymore. Some dude who was a friend of some lady on the internet supposedly did something even way more extreme & baffling, it seems. K, got it.
@ #16: You do raise a good point. When it comes down to gold encrusted brass tacks, I don't think that Melanoma or her husband & child....much less her husbands "hair familiar" is willing to move into public housing, much less put assets into a blind trust & to live under the public scrutiny/microscope that all 1st Families do.
The LW should get a friend together, and contact the Dom and arrange for a playdate at his friend's house, then go in undercover as a dog himself, and see how the home life works. A fire is obviously a big concern. Maybe his friend has gone bat-shit and would feel more comfortable communicating with another dog.
Another idea might be a mobile mental health unit - many cities in the US have them. If OP could find out where his friend was staying he could request a welfare check by a mobile mental health unit. They would send professionals out to do an assessment - less the guns blazing bit - and could help him leave if that's what he wanted (and in some cases would take him against his will if they deemed it necessary).
On the fake-versus-bullshit thing: either the whole letter is fake, or something serious happened to this guy. The letter makes it clear that there's ample evidence that he's withdrawn from work, friends, and life in general.

Personally, real or not, I think this letter is a good test case scenario of when 'kink' goes over the line into 'mental illness'.
This feels like one of those stories about people whose lives or characters change drastically after developing some medical condition. If this is completely genuine on both LW's side and the friend's, what a depth of misery there must have been in an autonomous life.
Ariel Castro kidnapped three women in Cleveland and held them captive for 11 years while raping and torturing them, eventually allowing them to go out in public to the store with him. They returned to their captor of their own "free will."
Colleen Stan was kept in a locked box 23 hours a day for seven years and was eventually allowed to visit her family. She returned to her captor of their own "free will."
Jaycee Lee Dugard was held captive in a backyard encampment, repeatedly raped for 18 years and eventually gave birth to two daughters from her abductor. She even worked as a slave in her captor's print shop where she had numerous telephone conversations with clients. She never told them of her plight.

So there are people out there who will do this terrible stuff to other human beings, and the abused victims become so brainwashed that they don't call for help even when they have the chance.

Call the police sex crimes department. Yesterday! And if they don't pick up the ball and run with it, do whatever you can to locate your friend. Apologies to our "furry" friends, but anyone who lives a dog's life in a locked box pissing himself and without contact to the outside world like "The Gimp" in Pulp Fiction is not playing with all 52 cards, no matter how much he says he likes it.
I am almost more concerned about the mindset of a guy who wants to more or less keep another person as "pet" 24/7.

That is truly fucked up. This guy is dangerous to at least some degree.
24-DonnyK-- I could find nothing about Castro's captives going out in public and then returning to their captor of their own free will. Could you cite your sources for me?

Isn't it the famous stockhom syndrome. I agree. Call the police. This is terrifying.
I don't like the idea (or the precedent) of getting the police involved in other people's sex lives. It's enormously likely to end badly for literally every person involved. It's almost always the worst possible response.

But you should still do it. Right now.
This goes in a different direction, but if an actual dog were treated like this, would that be legal?
#6. Now.
@29: Probably, at least until it came to the "being used sexually" part (which I am assuming means being "used" as the bottom). I am pretty sure that is illegal to some degree.
Regardless if this is what he wants or not, this is maladaptive behavior and is both physically and mentally unhealthy. This isn't a kink. This has crossed the line into mental illness. They guy is wearing a shock collar and is now mostly mute? How is this OK or healthy?

I would inform his parents or other relative, the police, and social services. Share the communications with them and let them take it from there. This is just too off the wall that I wouldn't even want to be involved in any way. Anyone who would be willing to be a dom in this kind of situation I would consider dangerous.

I think the sexual part would definitely be illegal in most places. But I think that in many jurisdictions locking up a dog like that could be considered animal cruelty or neglect; I'm pretty sure allowing a dog to soil itself definitely would.
@33: I think you are allowed to keep dogs in cages all day or tied up outside, but it is definitely illegal to force an animal to live in its own waste (although who can tell if the diapers used by this "slave" are there for the sexual aspect, or for just necessity...).

That being said, I used to live down the street from a known crackhouse and dog fighting ring, and my constant calls to the police for animal cruelty after seeing dogs literally hanging from their necks in steel fence cages did not seem to do anything at all, so who knows.
Wait, you're worried about his retirement planning?
Call a domestic violence hotline and talk this through with them.
@24 From what I gather, Colleen Stan returned because the abuse had threatened retribution to her family and herself.
@35 ftw.
In all seriousness, I would approach this by telling the friend that your concerned about their bladder and would strongly encourage them to see a vet. One of my fears though would be about losing contact with them again.
@38 He's going to live on a farm upstate with a nice family and lots of open space to chase rabbits.
@41 FTVL! (For The Victory Lap!)

You're awesome.
@1 I suspect the letter is not fake, but the fantasy life being lived by LSDL's friend probably is.

My guess, he joined the marines or the peace corp or something.
"lost control of his bladder many times by force"? What the hell kind of relationship is that?! When actual dogs are treated like that, that's animal abuse and prosecutable.
This letter, even if it is fake, is interesting because it raises questions about the limits of consent and finds a gray area between kink and mental illness.

In the 2013 revision of the DSM, it was finally recognized that kink isn't mental illness. But I'm not sure the new definition would even identify this as a disorder. To be diagnosed with "paraphilic disorder," the DSM requires that people:

- feel personal distress about their interest, not merely distress resulting from society’s disapproval;
- have a sexual desire or behavior that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury, or death, or a desire for sexual behaviors involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent.

In fact, I'm not even sure that Bernd Brandes, the guy that consented to being killed and eaten in the German cannibal case, would have a disorder by this definition. Armin Meiwes, the cannibal, would... Even though he had the consent of his "victim."

So, I guess the questions are: if your kink poses a danger to your own life or the lives of others, can you be considered mentally fit if you pursue that kink? If you aren't mentally fit, can you consent? And for those that aren't mentally fit, what are the responsibilities of interested parties and the authorities to intervene?

It's this guy's life. If he wants to live as a dog and possibly die in a cage during a house fire, isn't that his choice to make? Or is he too crazy to consent?
(With apologies to Woody Allen in Annie Hall.)

“It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a dog. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but last week his barking scared off a burglar. I guess that's how I feel about relationships. They're totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because the burglars are worse.”
Okay, so what about all the details? I want to know them! Dan!! Get the details for us!!
I'm going to be honest - I can't even understand the folks who do the part-time version of pup play. Bondage I get but being a dog? And screwing a dog? I absolutely understand that anything can be fetishized and that anyone's fantasy seems insane from the outside - I'm not surprised that there are people who want his but when did it become so damn prevalent? Like it seems to be a major category of S&M.
The most disturbing thing about this issue is that 'dog boy' needs to be checked on--a welfare check--but since the police are the ones to do this another danger is introduced. Would rather call a hippie.

Hope you spend some time on this one, Dan.
This letter is clearly not bullshit.

Maybe dog shit....
I'm interested to know who folks think would do a welfare check. It is extraordinarily hard to get mental health intervention for adults who are not asking for it. (or for those who are asking for it for that matter.)
@45 kitschnsync

All kidding aside, this (clearly fake) scenario is well over the line of kink vs. pathology. It's like a person saying that they don't just want to role-play a rape scene with someone who loves them and has their best interest at heart, but that they intend to deliberately go to a place and expose themselves to people who they know will rape and kill them. Open-mindedness has its limits, folks. The existence detailed in the letter are clearly not of the healthy human sort. If this person wants so badly to be caged and cared for, it should be in a mental institution.
@24: A slight correction; Castro never took his victims to the store with him (though he did take Amanda Berry's daughter out regularly, telling people she was his granddaughter). He barely let the three girls out of the house at all, only doing so a handful of times over the 11 years, and even then, it was pretty much into the backyard for an hour or so. You may be conflating that case with the Dugard or Elizabeth Smart cases.

In any case, though, the three Cleveland victims were definitely thoroughly psychologically dominated by Castro, to the point where they didn't try to escape even when they may have had a chance, because they were so afraid of him and could not be sure he wasn't lying in wait somewhere for them to try something. When Amanda Berry finally broke out of the house, she was absolutely terrified in the moments prior that Castro's apparent absence that day was just one more trick that he would use to punish her severely.

I recommend reading the books written by the victims (Finding Me by Michelle Knight and Hope by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus) for really interesting first-hand accounts of how people come to adapt to the circumstances of their captivity, and what keeps them from doing what we all imagine we'd do in a similar situation.
As a dog sitter, I'm inclined to offer my services. Partially out of morbid curiosity, and partly so I can get this dude some help.

Adult protective services may be a good option here.
You are right @26 and @53, I think I picked that up from other cases, although Castro did test the girls by leaving the door unlocked from time to time. Thanks for keeping me honest.
The dog stuff doesn't bother me, but cutting off social contact is a huge problem.
Ask your friend if his "owner" would allow you to Skype him; be clear that you want to see him 'in person' because you are concerned about his happiness, but do not accuse the Dom of anything. Asking this way both respects the power dynamic between your friend and his Dom, and is a one-question way to determine the nature of how dangerous the situation is. Any responsible Dom would have their Sub's best interests in mind, and would agree to such a request. If the answer you get back is a "no", something is wrong. That type of restrictive behavior goes beyond Domination into the realm of controlling manipulation. My advice would then be to either hire a private detective or contact Social Services and ask for a welfare check (if you know the address your friend is living at).
@45 "So, I guess the questions are: if your kink poses a danger to your own life or the lives of others, can you be considered mentally fit if you pursue that kink? If you aren't mentally fit, can you consent? And for those that aren't mentally fit, what are the responsibilities of interested parties and the authorities to intervene?"

That first question is actually quite difficult. In this particular case, if everyone's being honest, I would say yes, but... where do you draw the line? How much of a danger must it pose? Some kinks could be considered "extreme sports" - inherently risky, but still something a number of people of sound mind practice, well aware of the risk. From such a perspective, risk of injury or death in and of itself can't really be used as the measure of whether a practice is sane or not (though, obviously, it can be used as a measure of whether it's *safe*). The question rather becomes whether they have a realistic idea of the risks they run, and whether you could consider their sexual actions some sort of obsessive-compulsive actions. Sexual arousal can make people do a lot of weird things they would *not* do if it wasn't for a sort of obsessive arousal pattern (i.e. it's something they wouldn't have done if it was merely something that aroused them in a "regular way").

As for the follow-up questions; if the question of consent was meant as a legal one, then I have no idea. If I knew someone was exploiting someone else and their obsessive level of kink, I would consider that akin to a sort of domestic abuse. And that, I suppose, partially answers the third question as well.

This reminded me of an article I read a couple years ago about a man who "rescues" people from cults...maybe give him a call?
Y'know, if the "dog" was spending the day sleeping on the couch with frequent bathroom breaks, regular treats, and a lot of affection, this deal wouldn't sound so bad. But last time I checked, I don't keep my dogs in a locked box all day and I definitely don't have sex with them. This dude's a fuckin' animal abuser.
Why are police the default setting for involving the authorities? Adult Protective Services would go in, talk to the dog outside of the house and away from the master, and determine if this is a truly consensual situation and if the dog has the mental capacity to give consent. People actually do involve them in situations loosely like this (not necessarily BDSM, but where people are afraid that one person has been brainwashed and controlled by someone in an abusive relationship) and their tactics are to talk to the controlled person outside of the presences and environment of the potential abuser, but ultimately recognize the automity of a person to make their own choices. As long as they are convinced that the person is of sound mind and can leave whenever they want, they'll leave the situation alone.
@45 I think to me it would be does the person realize and accept that this kink isn't doable? Do they understand that fulfilling this kink would cause harm to someone else?

I mean there's a difference between someone who fulfills a cannibalism kink by watching gory zombie movies, and someone who fulfills it by seeking out vulnerable people.

I mean not every kink has to be acted on
Dan, you want to implant this concern that police on a welfare check are going to go in, "guns blazing"?? Dial back on the paranoia.

I actually know someone who is a dogslave. He's been under 24/7 ownership many times, and he loves it more than life. But it never goes on for very long — he has a business to run. There are contracts involved, and he willingly foregoes his "rights" to contact people, including myself, when he's collared. He's had all sorts of things done to him, by all sorts of people, and "made" to behave in all sorts of ways, and he's happy as a pig in shit (literally) during those times.

But again, these terms are temporary (up to a few weeks), and he returns to his day life after a set period of time. Owning a dogslave is EXHAUSTING, as Dan said, and only the experienced need apply. It's hard to tell whether this letter is genuine or not, but if it is, it's exceedingly rare to the point that I'd wonder what the Master's plan is, or if he's just a nutcase who happened upon a willing victim.

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