I found this little gem of a story — about a dog enjoying life in the home of a millionaire — in the Summit Daily.
It was written by Micaela Gilchrist, from notes she took last year while attending a “Parade of Homes.”
The annual event in Summit County, Colorado, like those held elsewhere, gives not so wealthy people a chance to visit inside the homes of highly wealthy people, covet their stuff, and, in some cases, make a few whispered jabs at the homeowners, or at themselves for not having achieved greater financial success.
Gilchrist, an author, describes a couple observing what they thought was a bedroom in one house, only to learn what they’d walked into was a closet, one of 11 in the home. The husband turns to the wife and says, “My life is a pile of crap.”
This is a dog story, though (and a crap-free one, you’ll be pleased to know), and we’ll be getting to the dog. But first here’s Gilchrist explaining why she makes a point of going to the annual tour of ritzy homes:
“I don’t attend the Summit County Parade of Homes every year just to view innovation in design and architecture — although there are marvels to behold. Nope. I go to enjoy the spectacle of people ogling other people’s stuff and to eavesdrop on the things they say to one another on the tour.”
It was inside the crown jewel of last year’s tour — a home that had reportedly undergone $9 million in renovations and which, she says, “glimmered with astonishing opulence” — that she noted how taken everyone touring the home was with the owner’s dog:
“The Labrador retriever waggled through the mobs, greeting each person with a nudge and slobber. What a great mascot for this home! The lab’s nose was coned in soil from digging in the garden and his mud-caked nails clicked on the marble floors. He was exactly the sort of dog we had at home, a good ol’ boy who didn’t mind getting dirty once in a while. Suddenly, we liked the owner of this palatial spread a little bit more. Maybe, the rich weren’t so different, after all.”
She describes a couple in their 90s — among the visitors — who sat down and opened a Tupperware container of cheese sandwiches. The wife gave her husband half, then fed the dog her half, despite her husband’s warnings.
“You shouldn’t feed him cheese,” he said. “Some dogs get the winds when they eat cheese.”
“The dog yawned and dragged his masculine undercarriage over the silk fabric of the designer sofa. Turning a few circles, he snagged the delicate weave with his long nails and then collapsed. He rested his head on a tasseled pillow. Snoring like a buffalo, he then began to drool. And because the old man had been correct about Labs and cheese, the sleeping dog loosed a concerto of extravagant flatulence, while the public held their noses and ran laughing from the room.”
About then a young man in torn jeans and dirty boots came running in through the French doors.
“Murphy! There you are Murphy. What the hell are you doing up here?”
The young man grabbed Murphy by the collar and pulled him off the couch, explaining that Murphy — despite the way he was making himself at home — wasn’t an official resident, after all:
“Nah, I muck out the stables across the way. One minute the dog is there behind me. Next minute, Murphy’s slipping off to hang out with the millionaires … We’re both living out of my Honda Civic right now until we can afford to rent a place. C’mon, Murphy.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, article, author, colorado, custom, designer, dogs, homes, luxury, micaela gilchrist, millionaires, murphy, parade of homes, people, pets, rich, rich dogs, summit county, summit daily, wealth, wealthy dogs
With the death of his owner Maria Assunta, who took him in off the streets, Tommasino inherits, kind of, her $13.3 milliion fortune.
Assunta, the childless widow of a wealthy builder, initially tried to find an animal welfare association that would take care of the cat after her death, the Telegraph reports.
But none, in her view, provided adequate assurances for his future, according to her lawyer.
Instead, Assunta — 94 when she died last month — bequeathed her entire estate to Tomassino, and appointed a fellow cat lover as a trustee. The millionaire cat is now living at an undisclosed location outside Rome with that trustee, who is being identified only as “Stefania.”
Under Italian law, animals cannot inherit directly, but can be named beneficiaries once a trustee is found.
According to news reports, Assunta met Stefania in a park, and sometimes the two got their cats together for play dates. Stefania, a nurse, also went on to help take care of Assunta.
“She was very discreet and quite, I knew very little of her private life,” Stefania said.
“I promised her that I would look after the cat when she was no longer around. She wanted to be sure that (he) would be loved and cuddled.”
The Telegraph reports that only two other animals have inherited more money than Tommasino.
The world’s richest animal is believed to be Gunter, a German shepherd who was left $138 million by heiress Karlotta Liebenstien. Kalu, a chimpanzee, was the beneficiary of $61 million bequeathed by Patricia O’Neill, wife of former Australian swimming champion Frank O’Neill.
(Photo: That’s Tommasino at the bottom; Sky News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bequeathed, cat, estate, inheritance, inherited, inherits, italy, maria assunta, millionaire, pets, richest, rome, stefania, stray, tommasino, trustee, wealth, will
When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock insisted that “Occupy Denver” choose a leader to deal with city and state officials, members of the movement picked a 3-year-old border collie.
“Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion,” Occupy Denver quotes a Shelby supporter saying at the time of her election.
A press release from the group stated they reserved the right to elect a different leader in the future …
” … but for now, Shelby exhibits heart, warmth, and an appreciation for the group over personal ambition that Occupy Denver members feel are sorely lacking in the leaders some of them have voted for on national, state, and local levels.”
Shelby is expected to lead this Saturday’s Occupy Denver march, according to ABC 7. Occupy Denver said other “civic-minded dogs” (and their leash-holders) are invited to join the march.
The Occupy Denver group is occupying Civic Center Park, in front of the Capitol building on Broadway between Colfax and 14th avenues.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, border collie, corporations, denver, dog, dogs, elected, elects, leader, march, mayor, michael hancock, movement, occupy, occupy denver, pets, shelby, video, wealth
Trouble, who Helmsley left $12 million — but who only got $2 million – passed away in Florida. She was 12.
Either her death was a well guarded secret, or the news media doesn’t sniff out stories as quickly as it used to: Trouble died almost six months ago, in December. (The media seems equally callous about Trouble’s gender, with a good half of all reports calling her a him.)
While Helmlsey, who died in 2007, wanted Trouble buried next to her, that won’t be happening.
Even though Helmsley is interred in a 12,000 square-foot family mausoleum, a board member at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, north of New York City said, sniffily: Dogs are not permitted.
Instead, Trouble has been cremated, and her remains are being “privately retained,” according to the New York Daily News.
As for the remainder of the $2 million earmarked for the dog’s care — probably a good $1.5 million – it will revert to the Helmsley Trust and, if the past is any indication, be spent as the the trustees see fit, as opposed to following Helmsley’s wishes.
While Helmsley left the dog $12 million, a judge later knocked it down to $2 million. Helmsley also requested that much of her fortune, estimated at upwards of $5 billion, go to dog-related causes, but she was snubbed in that regard as well. Only a small percentage of the millions the foundation has given away has gone to animal welfare organizations. Several sued to get a bigger piece, but a judge said no.
Since 2007, Trouble has been cared for by Carl Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Sarasota.
Lekic estimated about $100,000 a year was spent on taking care of Trouble – $8,000 for grooming, $1,200 for food and the rest for his fee and a full-time security guard.
Trouble died in December after “a series of health setbacks that left her blind and infirm,” the Daily News said.
Trouble was purchased at a Manhattan pet shop to console Helmsley after the death of her husband, Harry, and spent most of her life in luxury, traveling with Helmsley in private jets and stretch limousines.
Despite her inherited millions, Trouble was not the richest dog in the world, MSNBC reports.
That distinction belongs to Gunther IV, a German dog left $372 million by his owner. In America, Miss Charlie Brown, an English cocker spaniel in South Dakota, stands to inherit $130 million from her mineral magnate owners. And Oprah Winfrey, MSNBC said, is rumored to have earmarked $30 million for the care of her pups.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, billionaire, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, estate, foundation, gunther IV, helmsley, last wishes, leona helmsley, maltese, media, millionaire, miss charlie brown, news, oprah winfrey, pets, rich, trouble, trust, trustees, wealth, wealthiest dogs, will
Alright, Minnesota Twins. You don’t allow dogs in your new baseball park — named after the Target Corp. So who was that in the box seats behind home plate at your home opener?
Oh, it was Bullseye? The dog Target uses to advertise its chain of discount stores? The one with two red circles painted around her left eye?
That makes it all ok.
If dogs are banned, dogs are banned — and it shouldn’t matter how much money her corporate owners have, or even if the stadium is named after the corporation she represents.
If you’re going to allow Target corporate honchos to bring a dog in, you need to allow everyone else as well — and not just those who can afford to buy a $275 box seat behind home plate for their dog. Those in the right field bleachers should be allowed, too.
Bullseye “was there after the [military jet] flyover [and] through the bottom of the first inning,” Chris Iles, a Twins spokesman, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Iles took the opportunity to caution fans against bringing their pets to a game.
“Any type of service animal is allowed, but no other animals,” he said. “That said, given the commitment Target has made to the organization, we made a one-time decision to allow Bullseye, a highly trained and constantly supervised dog, to sit in a seat for a half-inning.”
Lena Michaud, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, said Tuesday that Bullseye was in one of Target’s corporate seats merely as “a fun element to commemorate the day. … That was the vein in which it was intended.”
More baloney. (I’d spell it correctly — bologna — but that is not the vein in which it is intended.)
The Twins/Target front offices can spin the situation until the cows come home, but the message has already been received: Rules don’t apply to the very rich, especially those who help pay for your stadium.
On top of rising ticket and concession prices, baseball continues to give blue collar fans, us average mutts, the brush off – becoming ever closer to becoming a game played by the rich for the rich.
How do you think a fan who can no longer to afford to go to a game might have felt sitting at home and seeing a dog in the $275 box seats behind home plate? Sorry, the Twins seem to be saying, we welcome rich people, and their dogs, but you, Joe Sixpack, are just not in our league … And don’t even think of bringing your non-painted dog, that doesn’t have a corporate logo stamped on his eye, in here.
(Actually, Bullseye’s bullseye is applied by a trainer and makeup artist – Rose Ordile of Animals of a Different Color — using nontoxic red paint.)
Michaud said there was no commercial shot or marketing strategy surrounding Bullseye’s attendance. The dog sat in a custom-made Twins jersey with her name on the back as well as the number 10 to commemorate the Target Field opening in 2010.
The six-year-old miniature bull terrier’s presence at Monday night’s game was captured via television frame grab off ESPN.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, baseball, box seats, bull terrier, bullseye, catering to the rich, chris iles, dog, dogs, fairness, fans, game, influence, lena michaud, logo, major league baseball, marketing, minnesota twins, news, no dogs allowed, ohmidog!, opening, pets, rules, target, target field, wealth