Friday, June 17, 2011

Our pets. What is it about those furry things with their little heartbeats and sympathetic eyes that draw us humans to them with such love and devotion un seen by any other creature on earth? We have to admit we love our pets infinitely more than other human beings. Many ignore their relatives but adore their pets. Blood lines mean nothing.
Many live in poverty but spend their earnings on expensive veterinary bills for their pets. Then there are the crazy ones that have been so damaged with their relationships with humans that they live only with hoards of pets in their filthy homes till they are discovered and all are taken away. Is it a unjudgemental safety net with pets?
They can’t call you fat or ugly. They won’t steal from you, well probably food. They don’t discriminate. Even if you are mean to them and lock them in a cage for many hours, they are happy to see you and try to clean you with their tongue. Dogs and cats want to snuggle with you, sleep in your bed, leave with you, follow you. No human will do any of that on a regular basis.
Recently a dog named Trouble died. He is a multi-millionaire Maltese who used to belong to the late Leona Helmsley. The newspapers called her ‘The Queen of Mean” based on stories of how she treated her staff. Leona and her husband Harry made their fortune in real estate. They owned the Empire State Building in New York along with The Helmsley Hotel among other first class Hotels.
In 1989 she was convicted of tax evasion. Leona was not a shy person instead she was very outspoken with everyone; she said, “ Only the Little People Pay Taxes.” Her maid testified that quote in court and helped her get jail time. She spent 18 months in prison. After her husband died, she lived a quiet life with her little friend,. Trouble.
When she died in 2007, she left her little dog a trust fund of 12 Million dollars. The headline on the New York Post Newspaper stated RICH BITCH! No, not Leona-her dog just inherited he left Nothing to 2 grandsons. The grandsons went to court and managed to get the inheritance for the dog reduced to 2 Million dollars. It was more than enough to fund the dog’s $190,000 a year lifestyle.
The balance of the dogs trust fund will revert to The Leona M. and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust which has assets of more than 3 Billion Dollars. Trouble the dog was 12 years old. The grandsons still got nothing.
Our pets! Even if we are lucky enough to be Billionaires we don’t feel the need to share with even our relatives. Those people never visit us or lick our hands like an animal does. No questions asked. Unconditional love. Most people thing Leona was a crazy woman but in a way I understand why she left a chunk of her money for the comfort and care of her beloved pet.

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