We publish courtesy of Israeli Diamond Industry Blog
Author: Roe Kalb
The old expression “A pet is for life, not just for Christmas” can soak the hearer in a mixture of gratitude and sentimentality for their beloved furry friend. But some bonkers animal lovers have taken the special bond between animal and human to the extreme, crossing the line from being loving pet owners to just plain spoiling their pets rotten.
From trips to incredibly expensive salons, private chefs, first-class flights, designer outfits, private mansion style homes and vast inheritances that would make top-earning celebs turn green with envy, you might say these animals are living it up more than most humans.
Many may argue about the ridiculousness of the extravagant lifestyles these animals live, but perhaps the unconditional loyalty these pets have for their owners make them the ideal candidates to inherit considerable amounts of money and be treated like royalty, especially as many of the wealthy feel they live in a world where demands on them are immense, and loyalties towards them may be false.
Have a glance through this gallery of furry and fabulously rich pawed and clawed individuals who know a thing or two about living in the lap of luxury:
Move over all you wannabes – we know who Paris Hilton’s real BFF is. We’ve all seen images of this tiny Chihuahua prancing alongside the bejeweled Paris Hilton, looking just as dazzling in her diamond studded collar. But how spoiled is the little Tinkerbell? Reports are this darn lucky pooch gets to roam around wearing five figure Louis Vuitton collars, is carried around in Prada doggie handbags and is transported around the world in Paris’ private jet. But the fun doesn’t stop there. She has her own $320,000 pooch mansion to live in, complete with air conditioning and adorned with chandeliers and miniature sofas to curl up on.
The cute little teacup Chihuahua surely deserves all this extravagant treatment; she has put her paws to good use and written an actual book called The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris Hilton, which offers a dog’s eye view of Paris Hilton’s fabulous life. Such an achievement surely deserves a designer collar or two?
2. Kalu the Chimp
When former Australian swimming champion Frank O’Neil decided to make a vacation out of the Sydney Olympics, Kalu the chimp must have really thought he’d gotten lucky. Not only was this orphaned chimpanzee quickly promoted to the role of man (or creature) of the house, but his devoted owner Patricia O’Neil decided to make her pet monkey the key inheritor of her fortune, leaving Kalu the proud owner of $80 million. Apparently, she couldn’t bear the thought of her chimp being left homeless after she died, her husband not being a great fan of Kalu. He said he had begun to hate Kalu when the chimp took to stealing his liquor and smoking his cigarettes. Still, what’s a monkey to do with $80 million? That’s a hell of a lot of bananas!
Drew Barrymore’s loving yellow Labrador Flossie has won the actress’ heart for life by her bravery and devotion to the star. Stories say the dog woke Drew Barrymore and her then-boyfriend Tom Green when a fire broke out in their multimillion dollar Hollywood home, alerting them to the danger and consequently saving their lives. The dog is said to have barked and “literally banged on their bedroom door.” The pooch has now been added to the star’s will, and is set to inherit Barrymore’s $3 million home should the star predecease her. Some say the heroic act was payback for Drew’s kindness when she rescued Flossie from a flea market in Pasadena years ago. Flossie has certainly learnt one good deed returns another!
4. Tobey Rimes, the Dog
A dog is a man’s best friend. Well, he’d better be to get his paws on this ridiculous amount of money. The reportedly reclusive poodle Tobey descends from a poodle who inherited $30 million from his New York owner, Ella Wendel, back in 1931. Now the beloved Tobey has a fortune worth $92 million, and graces posters for benefits and trust funds. He is currently ranked #3 on the list of the world’s richest pets.
5. Oprah Winfrey’s Dogs
Oprah Winfrey is the US queen of chat, and boy, does she know how to spend her money like a queen. Her ex-boyfriend of 21 years is set to inherit $250 million from the star, and her five beloved dogs, a mixture of spaniels and retrievers, are set to inherit $30 million when she dies, providing them with round-the-clock care. An avid dog lover, she wants to make sure her animals are well cared for after she’s gone. A touch extravagant, but still – it’s little more than you would expect from the richest woman in the world.
6. Gunther IV
Another lucky pooch is the incredibly wealthy German Shepherd heir Gunther IV, who owns a mansion, a BMW Roadster, has a chef to prepare his meals and a multitude of willing servants. The dog inherited his millions from his father, Gunther III, who inherited $106 million from his owner – the German Countess Karlotta Liebenstein – when she died in 1992. Careful investment has meant the fortune has reportedly grown to $ 372 million, and Gunther’s property portfolio includes properties in Bahamas, Italy and Germany. He is known to be the richest dog in the world.
The pampered pooch even has a website devoted to him where he is shown enjoying a playboy-style existence surrounded by beautiful girls in shimmering gold dresses tending to his every need. The hungry Alsatian Gunther is rumoured to tuck into meals of caviar, steak and truffles served by his butler and army of servants. Well, they do say it’s a dog’s life.
7. Tinker the Cat
Cats are known to always find the most comfortable spot to sit in, and what can be more comfortable than sitting on a $9 million nest egg? Blackie is officially the richest cat in the world, having been left the immense sum of $9 million by the reclusive socialite Ben Rea. But the cat who will really warm your heart is Tinker, who has a classic rags-to-riches story to tell. Tinker was a stray cat that regularly visited the widow Margaret Layne.
When she died, she left her $226,000 trust fund to the moggie, who was also granted run of her $800,000 home. Trustees were instructed to provide the cat with food and milk whenever he visited. The most astonishing part of the will is that Layne’s home is to be left faithfully open to the feline for 21 years or until the cat dies, whichever comes first. Tinker, the stray and down-on-his-luck cat made more of an impact than he ever thought, and now has a home for life.
8. Trouble the Maltese Millionaire
When New York socialite and billionaire Leona Helmsley died, friends and family were shocked when they discovered she had left $12 million for the upkeep of her Maltese dog, Trouble. Especially since she left nothing to her four grandchildren, and there was no mention of any funds for her great-grandchildren either. It seems the “Queen of Mean” Helmsley had trouble getting along with anything with two legs.
Nonetheless, a US court reasoned that Helmsley might have been mentally unstable and has counteracted the will, slicing into the dog’s fortune, despite the dog’s lawyers arguing hotly that the ruling infringed on the dog’s rights. The pooch seems happy enough; he is served his dinners by hand, has round-the-clock servants who cater to his every need and will be buried next to his mistress in the family mausoleum when he passes.
9. Gigoo the Hen
Is there a luckier hen than Gigoo? Judging by the prize she stands to receive, you would think she laid golden eggs. The British publishing mogul Miles Blackwell changed his will following his wife Briony’s death back in 2000 so that Gigoo would inherit $10 million. It seems true that birds of a feather flock together – Miles’ beloved hen will be well looked after for life, and be able to afford the finest chicken feed and the most splendid of chicken coops. One thing’s for sure, Gigoo will definitely be at the top of the pecking order!