To many of us, they are eccentric oddballs. To others, they are simply taking care of the most important companions in their lives. No matter what camp you’re in, the most pampered pets and their owners are something to behold. Let’s take a look:
Last summer, the pampered pooch of Animal Fair magazine founder Wendy Diamond prematurely passed away from cancer, just before plans for an extravagant wedding. Not for Ms. Diamond, mind you, but Lucky her precious Maltese.
The Maltese was terminally ill for some time and passed away before her pending summer nuptials. The ceremony was estimated to have a $140,000 price tag, presumed to be the most expensive dog wedding of all time. Even though there wasn’t a groom selected, and the bride-to-be was in the Big Dog House in The Sky, Wendy Diamond wouldn’t be a true eccentric pet lover if she didn’t keep the six figure event on schedule anyway. It was billed as a memorial.
In her day, Lucky was a big-time schmoozer, holding the Guinness World Record as the animal photographed with the most celebrities (363). Before her days were complete, everyone from President Bill Clinton to Betty White were graced by Lucky’s presence.
Lucky wasn’t even the most pampered Maltese in the world, let alone most pampered dog of all time. That award has to go to Trouble, who was owned by hotel heiress Leona Helmsley. If nothing else, the coddled canine made the biggest media splash when news broke that Trouble was set to inherit $12 million from Helmsley when she passed away in 2007. While a judge later cut that number down to $2 million, she lived an extravagant lifestyle most of us would envy, including the help of a caretaker who reportedly earned $100,000 a year (presumably the highest paid pet sitter in history).
Two Great Danes, One Great Spread
In 2008, when most of the Western world was mired in a steep recession and sinking housing market, an anonymous British surgeon thumbed her nose at it all and built the most extravagant dog house in history.
Her two Great Danes became the proud owners of their very own lavish spread in Gloucestershire, UK estimated to cost more than $380,000. It included temperature-controlled beds, a spa, and a plasma TV (presumably set on Animal Planet 24 hours a day). There’s something especially gaudy about a $230,000 sound system and a sophisticated retina scanner at the front door to stop nosy neighborhood pets from gaining access. Now that’s a dog house nobody would mind being banished to.
This German Shepherd was heir to a massive fortune, the largest in canine wealth history at $372 million. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, what makes this story even more amazing is that the fortune was inherited from another dog… Gunther’s father, Gunther III.
German Countess Karlotta Libenstein left the elder Gunther $106 million, when trustees skillfully invested the money for returns that brought the total to $372 million by the time Gunther IV was born.
Miss Charlie Brown
The richest pooch in the U.S. is one Miss Charlie Brown, an English Cocker Spaniel that resides in South Dakota, and last reported to have inherit $130 million from her mineral magnate owners Tom and Barb Everest.
So, why are none of these pampered pets of the feline variety (or reptilian, feathered, or otherwise)? I was just about to give up on my research, when I came across…
Tommaso, The Italian Cat
The luckiest alley cat in history? That would be Tommaso, who was scooped off the streets of Rome by wealthy widow Maria Assunta. She passed away in December 2011, leaving Tommaso to inherit her entire estate. The kitty’s $13 million net worth includes property in Rome, Milan and Calabria, Italy.