I was fascinated by my recent finds of things bequeathed to pets, so I thought I'd keep looking...
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Goldfish and Flowers
A certain lady left seventy pounds a year for the maintenance of three goldfish, which were to be identified as follows: "one is bigger than the other two, and these latter are to be easily recognized, as one is fat and the other lean." She also made provision for flowers to be placed upon the graves of the gold fish.
Polly wants a Contest
In July last, at Washington, D.C., a will contest was commenced, which involves the life or death of a parrot. It appears Mrs. Ottilie Stock left a will, by the terms of which her parrot was doomed to Oslerization* by the process of chloroform.
Her daughter, Elizabeth Stock, questioned the validity of the will. It seems that Elizabeth was left one dollar in money, two kitchen chairs, two pails and one broom; hence, the will contest. Mrs. Stock, the testatrix, was the mother of one of the men who went to his death on the ill-fated battleship Maine, in the harbor
What behavior induced the death sentence on Polly, is not known.
A Lover of the Canine Race
In the Gazetta del Popolo of Turin, of September 2,1874, is found the following:
"Last week was opened by Zanini, the notary public, the will of a certain L. C, who, after having made a considerable fortune by means of the journal, the Caroccio, disposed of it in the following manner:
" 'I leave to the municipality of Casale an annuity of 1500 lire from the public debt, to be employed in rescuing all the dogs that shall fall into the hands of the civic dog-seizer (accalappiatore).
" 'I leave to my dog Schmid a rent from the public funds of 500 lire annually, to revert after his death to the foundlings of the city.' "
Many valuable bequests have been made to dogs, and other domestic pets. Dr. Christiano, of Venice, left sixty thousand florins for the maintenance of his three dogs, with a condition that, at their death, the sum should be added to the funds of the University of Vienna.
*Oslerization - euthanasia, after Sir William Osler. Selections from Harris, V. M. 1862-1923 or 4. (1911). Ancient, curious and famous wills. Boston: Little, Brown. 91-99 passim.