A dynasty of dogs is selling their dream home (allegedly!)
A video was posted on YouTube on November 17, by realtors Assouline Team - the property in question, a waterfront mansion that used to belong to pop singer Madonna. The property is breathtaking - no doubt worth the $31.75 million price tag to somebody.
Most significant however, could be that the video claims the home is being sold by its owner - a German Shepherd Dog called Gunther VI!
As the dog runs around the property, complete with diamond collar, the narrator describes how the opulent property was left to him by his grandfather, Gunther IV after the family of dogs was left a multi-million dollar fortune by a German countess named Karlotta Liebenstein when she died in 1992. The money was allegedly used to buy the home from its former owner, Madonna.
While it's an amusing backstory, it's almost impossible to tell if it's part of an elaborate myth - one that's surfaced many times in the past as a means of grabbing media attention - or whether it is in fact, true!
A dog's life (of luxury)
Since inheriting their family fortune, Gunther's ancestors have enjoyed an opulent life. According to one of his caretaking staff, Carla Riccitelli who oversees the animal and his trust fund, Gunther also enjoys entertaining visitors at his mansion. Speaking to the Associated Press, she had this to say:
“He’s not aggressive at all. He’s very good with other animals. They’re very protective with their owner, with their people. They like to have the family around so I usually invite friends with other dogs over.”
The realtor's video describes how Gunther VI “ sleeps overlooking the most magnificent view in an Italian custom bed in the former bedroom of the greatest pop star in the world.” Quite the life for a multi-millionaire dog!
Is it a publicity scam?
While it's a compelling story that seems to have attracted attention, a recent report suggests that it's emphatically not true. Instead, it proposes that the actual owner of the mansion is an eccentric 65-year-old Italian entrepreneur from Tuscany named Maurizio Mian.
It appears that Mian rented or borrowed the dog, and used it as part of a publicity stunt - the elaborate backstory may well be how he intends to justify the selling price - he bought the mansion from Madonna for just $7.5 million via his shell corporation 'Gunther Corp.' in 2005!
And so, it would appear that the entire thing is an elaborate ploy designed to bring attention to a real estate listing. It's a fun idea though
Time will tell if the mansion actually sells!