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January 2, 2008 > 3 dogs live the sweet life on $800,000 inheritance

3 dogs live the sweet life on $800,000 inheritance

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP), Dec 29 _ They're not as loaded as Leona Helmsley's pooch, but three dogs in western Maryland still have more money than they know what to do with.

The dogs _ a beagle named Buckshot and Labrador mixes named Katie and Obu-Jet _ inherited $400,000 and a house in Hagerstown when their owner, Ken Kemper, died last year. The trio is worth about $800,000 altogether.

The dogs, who were strays when Kemper adopted them, live at their house with caretaker Roy Grady.

``They don't know they have more money than most people,'' Grady told The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

But they do enjoy the perks of their inheritance. On Friday nights, Grady treats them to a spaghetti dinner, complete with meatballs and garlic bread.

``They love it,'' he said. ``They know when it's coming on Friday, too. They have that time clock.''

They also get top-notch veterinary care. When Katie sneaked out of a gate last summer and was hit by a car, she made 40 visits to the veterinarian's office to mend her broken legs and hip. The bill was close to $6,000.

And unlike Helmsley's dog, a pampered Maltese named Trouble who inherited $12 million from the late hotelier, they don't court controversy. They seem content romping around their front yard.

``They're the most loving dogs,'' Grady said.

A fourth dog was included in Kemper's will. Skye, a Jack Russell terrier, died of cancer earlier this month and is buried under a cross in the front yard.

Kemper worked for Voice of America, an international broadcasting service funded by the federal government. It was common for him to return to the United States with stray dogs from the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Each of the remaining dogs is about 10 years old. Karin Anderson, a longtime friend of Kemper and the executor of his estate, said when they die, she'll probably donate their inheritance to an animal charity because that's what Kemper would have wanted.

``He really loved animals,'' Anderson said. ``The man's heart was so big, it needed its own ZIP code.''

___

Information from: The (Hagerstown, Md.) Herald-Mail, http://www.herald-mail.com

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