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Taken For Granted: Cutting Kody into the will

June 24, 2011|By Pat Grant

It’s time to change the will. No, we’re not dropping any family members caught tweeting photos of themselves in their skivvies, nor are we deleting deserving charities which have proven to be not so deserving; we’re just adding our only dependent — Kody, our Golden Retriever.

Slightly pigeon-toed in the front and bow-legged in the back, he’s 95 pounds of hair, drool and affection who still believes he is a lap dog.

The need to make the change was prompted by the news that Leona Helmsley’s canine heir, Trouble, had died. This 5-pound, multi-millionaire Maltese had lived the regal life for four years after the “Queen of Mean” died.

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Trouble was the ideal match for the late billionairess, whose eccentric behavior regularly incurred the wrath of the New York media. Leaving 12 million smackers to a critter whose teeth marks had adorned the hands and legs of many family and business associates made Trouble the target of scorn and loathing.

With two dozen death and kidnapping threats directed at Trouble, she was forced to fly the friendly skies incognito under the alias “Bubbles.” I can see it now: the collar up on her custom-tailored Burberry trench coat, her little fedora pulled down over her stylish Ray-Bans and hairy little black nose, Trouble sneaks into first class, a doggy bowl of bubbly awaiting her. One of Leona’s disinherited grandsons speculated that flight crew payoffs took place, given that Trouble was undoubtedly on the doggie no-fly list.

Ms. Helmsley hand fed this pampered pooch a gourmet diet of crab cakes and cream cheese. For reasons of health, her new caretaker switched to canned dog food. Trouble had gone from caviar to Alpo. The change of diet was more likely the result of a court judgment, which whittled the dog’s inheritance to a mere $2 million. The pup’s extravagant lifestyle on Florida’s Gold Coast was costing $190,000 a year.

While Kody doesn’t exactly live a luxurious life, he does represent a major investment on our part. He is pedigreed and six months after we adopted him, he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Ka Ching — there went $10,000 to reconstruct his hips. He did splendidly with the surgery and now romps with the best of his canine peers.

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