111. Dog Inherits Millions

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The late Leona Bridges, a New York woman who married into millions, left her mansion and her $12 million fortune to her pet, a little white Chihuahua named Duchess. Although Leona is survived by one son, Wilbur, and three grandchildren, they received nothing in her will.

Wilbur was not surprised. He had already hired a lawyer to fight the will. The lawyer said there would be no problem proving that Leona wasn't "all there" when she signed her will. No one, said the lawyer, in their right mind could be so cruel to their own flesh and blood while being so generous to a dog that had been rescued from an animal shelter. "The dog doesn't even have papers," said the lawyer.

Leona had not spoken to Wilbur in five years. They used to get along very well. Then Wilbur made an unfortunate joke. He was visiting Leona one afternoon. She had just spent $400 at a dog beauty parlor. The employees had washed, shampooed, and blow-dried Duchess, and then tied a big pink ribbon around her neck. Leona mentioned to Wilbur how beautiful Duchess looked. Wilbur said, "Yes, if your idea of beauty is a large rodent with a pink ribbon around its skinny neck." Leona gave him a dirty look.

Wilbur apologized, saying he was just joking, but Leona told him to leave immediately. How dare her son belittle her "baby." She didn't respond to any of his emails or phone messages. Leona told her staff to never use the words "Wilbur" or "rodent" in her presence. Days later, she fired her butler when he said he was going to "polish the silver"—she thought he said he was going to "watch for Wilbur." The butler had worked for Leona for 25 years.


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