Where there’s a will, there’s usually a pet in it

  • Business
  • Saturday, 03 Jun 2017

LEONA Helmsley was a businesswoman whose business model seemed to be so tyrannical that the press bestowed unto her the affectionate sobriquet “Queen of Mean”.

Yet when she passed away in 2008, the same press were astonished to discover that said Meanie had left Trouble, her pet dog, US$12mil. Clearly, the press had not known the Trouble that she’d seen.

Trouble was an untroubled sort, half pit bull and half-poodle which didn’t make her much of a guard dog, more a vicious gossip.

But that was how the Dowager of Diatribe liked them so that was how Trouble, once a vicious gossip, was resurrected anew as Rich Bitch.

She was last spotted hanging on Brad Pitt’s arm so one can safely assume that she was on her way to what Rich People Do Best.

Psychoanalysts think they know the reason for such seemingly bizarre behaviour, according to the New York Times.

“Humans tend to be very disappointing – notice our divorce rate,” explains Joel Gavriele-Gold, an analyst who once wrote a best-selling autobiography of a famous magician knowingly titled: He came, he sawed, he conquered. “Dogs are not hurtful and humans are. People are inconsistent and dogs are fairly consistent.”

The trouble is, Trouble isn’t alone.

When Countess Karlotta Libenstein of Germany died in 1991, she left her entire US$80mil fortune to her pet, a massive mastiff named Gunther III.

Gunther 111 was half-wolf and half Labrador which made him both fierce and obliging at the same time: he would viciously bite off the legs of burglars but obligingly retrieve it for now-sadly crippled burglar.

Thanks to a nose for investment, the wealthy wolf is now worth US$375miln which now belongs to his hair-apparent and next in line, Gunther IV.

And he is living it up. The pampered, jet-setting dog owns villas in Italy and the Bahamas, and in 2000 purchased Madonna’s Miami Beach mansion for US$7.5mil. With Gunther 1V‘s grudging assent, the prosperous pooch has also the run of a well-stocked harem of comely canines.

The Internet’s favourite kitty – circa 2014 anyway – was Grumpy Cat, the pet whose seemingly ever-depressed frown helped it net a personal coffee brand, a Christmas movie, and nearly 1 million followers on Instagram.

Grumpy may have been worth US$3mil but she looked as melancholy as anyone might, witnessing an axe murder.

Toby was owned by the eccentric Ella Wendel. The aged socialite had wanted a dog but got a cat instead so she taught Toby how to bark.

The affluent animal slept in a miniature four-poster bed in his home on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and dined nightly at a brass table with a velvet tablecloth and napkins. Curiousity eventually killed the cat-turned–dog but for a while the butler had been suspected.

A Chihuahua always looks like a dog that’s still far away but the one called Conchita was described as the “most pampered dog in the world” even before her owner, Miami socialite Gail Posner, passed away in 2010 and left her a fortune that included a US$3mil trust fund and a US$8.3mil mansion on Miami Beach.

Conchita, also known simply as “The Boss” to intimates, wore pearls, designer bikinis, Cartier necklaces, and Louis Vuitton bags. She also was a regular at Miami nightclubs and slept in a custom-made pink racing car.

But that was not to say she wasn’t bright, She once licked off the crumbs of her master’s computer keyboard and earned herself an online degree.

And if all these anecdotes haven’t made you sick to your stomach, there are is at least one monkey, one chicken and a solitary bull that have been left vast fortunes.

It gives a whole new meaning to the immortal line: “When there’s a will, I want to be in it.”

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