Uptown Growl: The World’s Richest PetsJanuary 22, 2012
The other day, I heard about a beautiful man named Frank Samways who left his entire fortune of $3million to the Melbourne Lost Dogs Home when he died in July last year. This meant that the centre, which receives no government funding and has over its 100 year history faced imminent closure many times, can continue its great work giving a voice to animals without owners.
Then I started to think about the animals with owners… When the adoring bejewelled hand at the end of the can opener bites the big one, what happens? Well readers, something ridiculous to blog about happens.
Gunther IV, a German Shepard, is considered by the Guiness Book of Records to be the world’s richest dog. In 1992, Austrian Countess Karlotta Lieberstein left Gunther IV’s Daddy, Gunther III a $124 million trust (Yep, G4 never met the old broad). Today, the trust has amassed over $300 million value. Gunther IV, who likes to be called Pimp Daddy successfully bid on Madonna’s Miami’s house (seriously) Apparantly, the whole house has been redecorated with doggy furniture and the kitchen redesigned for the preparation of Gunther IV’s favorite foods. He resides there with his live in caretakers, three women and two men who call themselves the Burgundians (pictured).
Gunther’s personal website (which is now conveniently under construction) previously espoused the following doggy philosophy:
The experts contend that the company of young, joyful and sexually very active people operates to increase the drive, mood, alertness and other cerebral processes of the dog which in turn generates its happiness and, ultimately, better psychological health. Additionally, the company of these youngsters “pleases” the dog and brings him to fulfillment.
So, Gunther IV is basically a really rich old dude with a broken penis, a cocaine addition and an infinity pool who likes it when the neighbourhood kids come over and have sexytimes.
After Gunther, we have Kalu the Congalese chimpanzee.
Continuing the theme of highborn aristocrats who hate their real children and don’t want to leave them a dime, we have Patricia O’Neill, the daughter of the Countess of Kenmore who found Kalu tied to a tree outside the home of the Argentinian Consul-General in war-torn Zaire. Patricia is married to Frank O’Neill, the former Australian Olympic swimmer. When Frank travelled to Sydney to see the Olympics in 2000, his wife changed her will to to endow Kalu her entire £40 million fortune. (Just as a point of comparison, Michael Jackson left his chimp, Bubbles, $1 million…)
Clearly drowning in his own denail, Frank O’Neill says “Every time I swam in the pool, Kalu used to run up and down and hit me on the head, but we had a great relationship. The monkey also stole my cigarettes and drank my beer.” That sounds like some monkey, you guys. I can totally understand why you’d want to leave him all your family’s money.
Trouble Helmsley the Maltese Terrier also sowed some familial dischord when his raging bitch of an owner, Leona Helmsley bypassed her grandchildren to leave her poochie $6 million. The family appealed and reduced the trust to $2 million. Trouble lived in Florida with one of Helmsley’s business associates where he received numerous death threats. I imagine these had something to do with Trouble’s care expenses. His caretaker suggested that $2 million would support the dog for only 10 years—the annual $100,000 for full-time security, $8,000 for grooming, $1,200 for food, $18,000 for medical expenses and a $60,000 guardian fee. Oh okay, sure and I guess the remaining $128,000 would go towards A SHITLOAD OF CHEW TOYS?
Other pets on the rich list include Gigoo the hen who was left $10 million by publishing magnate, Miles Blackwell and a giant 52-year old tortoise called Silverstone who was left $100,000 (slow enough for an easy mugging I say).