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Astor Heir in the Hot Dog House

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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WEINER FLAP Astor, dachshund (Astor Photo: Getty Images)

It's hard out there, dog. Leona Helmsley's Maltese, Trouble, gets a nod and all the steak tartare he can stomach, and Oprah's pooches are set to inherit a cool $30 million. But Boysie and Girlsie, the tubular dachsunds of the late do-gooder Brooke Astor, have been sent off to a dog breeder after rumors that her son Anthony Marshall, put a hit out on their tiny lives.

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Well, not exactly. Marshall, a dachshund owner himself, claims that he worried for Astor's health after one of the cylindrical canines bit off a part of her finger, but sources are divided over whether he ever mentioned putting the pups down. In the end, Annette de la Renta, who alleges that Marshall mishandled his mother's finances and mistreated Astor, decided the dogs would be better off with a well-respected dog breeder, where they will live out their hot dog days in peace, though not as multi-millionaires.

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Still unclear: Why this leads the nationally read Rush and Molloy gossip column today.

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