Golden retriever at center of custody fight
MEMPHIS, Tenn. A man who didnt have a will left a $2 million estate, but the most hotly contested item in court has been his golden retriever, Alex.The four-way dispute over the 13-year-old pet was so intense, an attorney was appointed to represent the dogs interest. A judge decided the mans divorced parents should split custody, The Commercial Appeal newspaper reported.At first glance, the petition seems almost frivolous, but after speaking with all parties, it is evident that this is a highly emotional issue for all involved, said Alexs attorney, Paul Royal, in his report to the probate court.Ron Callan Jr., 35, committed suicide on New Years Day. He had been a partner with his father in Callan Salvage & Appraisal Co., and the father was named the estates administrator.In the consent order the judge approved, the elder Callan and his ex-wife, Esther Snow Gnall, will trade custody of Alex every two weeks. Both parents also agreed to take the dog to the veterinarian for arthritis treatments and any other needed procedures.Before the agreement was reached, the elder Callan had custody and took Alex to work during the day. The father has cats at home, though, so at night, the dog stayed with Callan Jr.s former girlfriend, who had known Alex since he was a puppy.The sons fiancee also was interested in Alex, and Gnall had said if she won custody, she would allow the fiancee to spend time with the dog.Royal, the dogs attorney, said he believes all four people love Alex and would take good care of him, but they were using the fight for the dog to punish each other for past transgressions.
A 72-year-old man feared for his life after his dog overturned his small boat but the springer spaniel made up for it by swimming 400 yards to shore to fetch help.Al Lotrecchiano was fishing on Lake Gilead near Carmel, N.Y., and had just caught what he said was the largest bass in his life. As he was throwing the fish back in the water, the dog put its paw on the side of the boat, flipping it over.My life flashed before me, Lotrecchiano said.Lotrecchiano started swimming to shore but, figuring hed never make it, quickly returned to his boat and clung to the side. Bucky swam to shore and ran home barking, Carmel Fire Chief Darryl Johnson said.Lotrecchianos wife, Dimmy, heard the barking and stepped outside their lake shore home to see what was happening. She then heard her husbands screams for help.At about the same time, a neighbor called 911 to report a man calling for help from the lake, said Carmel police Lt. Brian Karst.Lotrecchiano was rescued after about 45 minutes in the water. He was treated for hypothermia at a hospital.