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Evil Breeding

Evil Breeding

Titel: Evil Breeding
Autoren: Susan Conant
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fictional cat after their legendary Alaskan malamute, the late Tracker, Ch. Kaila’s Paw Print. For help with the background of this book, I want to thank Janice Ritter and her highly accomplished and sweet-tempered German shepherd dogs, especially SG-Jagger vom Mack-Zwinger, SchHl, AD, CGC.
    Many thanks also to Jean Berman, Dorothy Donohue, Alice Gerhart, Roseann Mandell, Emma Parsons, Phyllis Stein, Geoff Stem, Margherita Walker, and Anya Wittenborg.
    I am blessed with the perfect agent, Deborah Schneider, and the perfect editor, Kate Miciak. Huzzah!


Chapter One
    F. SCOTT FITZGERALD was right. The very rich really are different from you and me. They can afford more dogs. Geraldine R. Dodge, for example, had opulent kennel space for a hundred and fifty. Ten or twelve dogs always lived in the house with her. The house had thirty-five rooms.
    Geraldine R. The R was for Rockefeller. She was me with money.
    Or that’s how I’d always thought of her. From her birth in 1882 until her death in 1973, she broke record after record for looniness on the subject of dogs, dogs, and more dogs, exceeding even the most maniacal excesses of yours truly, because she could afford to indulge this joyful madness, and I can’t. Speaking of dogs, as Mrs. Dodge, I am sure, habitually did from woofy sunrise until late into the drooly, furry night, I was raised with, and to a large extent by, golden retrievers. I eventually emerged from a belated psychosocial identity crisis with an independent sense of self, by which I mean that I got a new dog of a new breed. He was and most vibrantly remains a male Alaskan malamute named Rowdy. He, together with my malamute bitch, Kimi, is overwhelmingly who I am. Should you lack fluency in the dialect of purebred dogdom, let me point out that in calling my lovely Kimi a bitch, I am not talking dirty about her. I myself, I might add, am a female dog person and a bitch only when the situation warrants it.
    The daughter of William Rockefeller, John D.’s brother, Ethel Geraldine Rockefeller didn’t exactly start out poor. In 1907, when she married Marcellus Hartley Dodge, the Remington Arms heir, the two were heralded as the richest couple in America. The groom, at the age of twenty-six, was worth about sixty million dollars. His fortune was rumored to be smaller than his bride’s. Miss Rockefeller had no need to marry for money. Love? Or was it perhaps animal magnetism that drew her to a man with a name—M. Hartley Dodge— composed of letters that could be rearranged to spell Tamely herd dog as well as They dream gold ?
    Geraldine R. Dodge: Indeed, larger dog.
    Anagrams aside, Mr. and Mrs. M. Hartley Dodge are still semifamous not only for enjoying stupendous wealth but, weirdly enough, for sleeping apart. Wouldn’t you think all that money could have bought privacy? But as I’ll explain, the arrangement would have been difficult to keep secret, and in fact, it’s public knowledge. I found it on the World Wide Web in an article about the health benefits of sleeping alone. Mr. and Mrs. M. Hartley Dodge were cited as an example, perhaps because they carried the practice to an extreme: They inhabited separate manor houses on adjacent properties in Madison, New Jersey. She lived at Giralda Farms, he at Hartley Farms. The marriage lasted until the death of M. Hartley Dodge at the age of eighty-two. He died on Christmas Day, 1963. His widow outlived him by almost ten years. She died on August 13, 1973. M. Hartley Dodge bequeathed most of his money to charities, including his alma mater, Columbia University, and to various cousins. His widow got personal effects, family portraits, assorted jewelry, an unspecified number of automobiles, and a house and some of his property in Madison, plus small change: a paltry hundred thousand dollars in cash. When she died, her estate was valued at eighty-five million dollars. I know these details, you see. I made it my business to research them.
    My actual business, to which I have already alluded, is the unprofitable enterprise of writing for what my editor at Dog’s Life magazine facetiously refers to as “money.” Maybe you’ve seen my column? Holly Winter? The photo on the masthead is better of Rowdy and Kimi than it is of me. When knowledgeable readers write to me, they often remark on the dogs’ beautiful heads. No one ever mentions my head. My kind of reader is too busy studying the fine points of my dogs to give me more than a glance that
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