The morning had begun badly, and Zsa Zsa Gabor was still shaken hours later. Schatzi the German shepherd had attacked Genghis Kahn the Shih Tzu, injuring the lap dog's eye in an apparent fit of jealousy.
"Oh, I can't be-LIEVE it!" Gabor declared. "Heart attack time, darling. I thought I would have a heart attack!"
Parental anxiety lingered throughout the day, following Gabor and Prince Frederick von Anhalt of West Germany, her eighth husband, from their hilltop mansion in Bel-Air to their recently purchased horse ranch in Somis.
It was only the third or fourth trip the actress had made to the ranch since buying it. She had invited along a reporter who had asked permission to visit her on the spread.
Like doting parents preoccupied with sibling rivalry, Gabor and the prince mulled over the dog fight during their road trip, in the stables and again at lunch, recounting its horror and analyzing their pets' personalities with gusto.
" Ja, ja, ja, it was so terrible," murmured the prince, who had driven the injured Genghis Khan to the dog's West Los Angeles vet and now steered toward the Ventura County countryside. "He was looking at me and it was so pitiful and he was bleeding and crying and my heart was breaking."
"Schatzi is just another jealous woman," Gabor observed to the prince, hunkered down in the passenger's seat with a Shih Tzu named Macho Man. "If you would make such a fuss about another woman, I'd shoot you!"
And so it went during the jaunt a few days ago to the Silver Fox Farm in Somis. Love and animals, animals and love. She sipped coffee from a plastic mug that read "Married but Not Dead," its slogan affirmed by the giant pear-shaped diamond ring on her finger. His said, "Happiness is Being Single."
Prince Frederick drove not the famous Rolls-Royce in which Gabor was arrested last June but a proletarian Chevy station wagon. Its hood was festooned with a silver polo player bought in London, its maroon interior slathered in dog hair.
Gabor cuddled Macho Man and Zoltan Gabor--"our grandson"--and a second Shih Tzu on the trip, delivering a stream-of-consciousness monologue about her life, her husbands, her real estate, her dogs, her horses. And, inevitably, her treatment at the hands of the Beverly Hills police.
"Well, what can happen? What is the worst thing that can happen?" asked Gabor, whose conviction for slapping a patrolman is on appeal. "I go to jail for two days. Big deal."
Gabor's publicist says she bought the horse ranch on Sand Canyon Road, not far from Moorpark, because she was fed up with Beverly Hills and planned to retire there. But, although Gabor herself stated "I've had it with Beverly Hills!" and acknowledged her Bel-Air home is for sale, she denied any plans to withdraw from city life, much less retire.
"I don't want to retire as long as I live," she said. "What the hell do I want to retire for?"
Instead, as Gabor explained it, the ranch fulfills a lifelong dream of raising horses, especially Tennessee walking horses, which she admires for their elegant gait and smooth ride. All seven horses Gabor owns are Tennessee walkers, although only two--Miss Scarlet Honey and her son Red Baron--have been moved to the Somis ranch. The rest, including her favorite white steed, Silver Fox, remain for now with their trainer in Chino.
So far, she has acquired 21 acres for $1.75 million, roughly half the Rancho de Courtesy owned by Chevrolet dealer Mitchell McClure and his wife, Eva (source of the station wagon). Gabor said she plans to buy more land to create a working ranch as large as 60 acres, possibly from her Los Angeles veterinarian Richard Gebhart, who owns a neighboring ranch and referred her to the McClure property.
("I don't judge people as to their celebrity status," Gebhart said by phone last week. "I judge people by how they take care of their animals. And she takes excellent care of her animals. She definitely cares for them.")
About 50 horses are already boarded at the ranch, and Gabor said she plans to take on more, as well as buy some racehorses.
"The horses are going to be looked after like babies," she said as the station wagon roared along the freeway at autobahn speed. "You'll see our grandson, Red Baron, and his mother is pregnant again."
Talk of pregnancy led to talk of love, and love led to marriage, which led to divorce. Gabor had advice for Ivana Trump.
"If Mrs. Trump is so in love with Mr. Trump, she shouldn't ask for his money, she should just sit back and wait, because eventually he'll come back to his children and his wife," she said.
"Look, darling, a man like that, with three beautiful children, a wife who's a friend, of course he'll come back. This is just sexual attraction with that starlet or whatever she is. She should wait like a lady, a European lady. . . ."