A millionaire dies. A dog inherits 12 million dollars and has to be afraid of murderers for the rest of its life. Another Hollywood movie for children? Oh no, it actually happened in the real life – it's a story of Trouble, a dog millionaire.
Trouble was the only thing a millionaire widow Leona Helmsley had a weakness for. The affection Leona had for her pet was so great that before she died she'd willed the dog 12 million dollars. The court reduced the sum by 10 millions, stating that Mrs. Helmsley wasn't sane at the time of making her will. Who was Trouble to deserve such an inheritance?
Trouble arrived in the Helmsley house in 1997. It was bought by Leona's assistant in order to help Mrs. Helmsley get over the death of her husband. The dog became Leona's favorite right away. Therefore, it was spoilt beyond belief – it was fed cream cheese, caviar, or steamed vegetables with chicken, just to mention a few, had the best groomers, and even appeared in the Helmsley Hotels' advertising campaign. Trouble got used to its owner's company so much that it didn't allow other people to touch her. The fact used to amuse Mrs. Helmsley so much, that she took Trouble everywhere she went.
After Leona's death in 2007, the majority of her fortune was transferred to the account of Helmsleys' charity fund. However, 12 million dollars was signed over to a trust fund set up for Trouble. Even after the court's decision to reduce the dog's inheritance to 2 million dollars, the money would be enough to take care of the dog for the next 10 years, according to the estimates by the Helmsleys' spokesman.
However, the highest expenses turned out to be connected with ensuring Trouble's safety, as the dog began to receive threat letters. Luckily, there were no attempts at its life. 12-year-old Trouble died in December 2010, 2 years after the death of its owner, but the lawyers didn't reveal the fact until the 7th of June 2011. Also, nobody knows where the pet's remains were cremated and where the ashes are kept.
Why is it such a closely guarded secret? The dog was never liked much by people who met it. It was aggressive – it bit the Helmsleys' housekeeper so many times that she decided to sue them for damages. It used to bite its beloved owner, as well. Still, as it was found out later, its inheritance was bigger than that of Leona's grandchildren. Can love for a pet really exceed the one you have for your own family?