Back in 2007 Leona Helmsley, billionaire hotelier, left $12 million to her dog, Trouble. She had become a recluse in her later years, and her dog was her best friend. She also left instructions for her dog to be buried next to her at the 12,000-square-foot Helmsley family mausoleum in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York. But dogs aren’t allowed to be buried with people at the same cemetery so her Maltese had to make other plans. In more recent years, a Tennessee man left $5 million to his dog to be transferred to a trust for his beloved border collie.
Dogs provide love and companionship and are also huge emotional support for people with health issues. Can we go too far with our dogs and replace our relationships with people? Who knows? Many people find the world to be harsh and dogs love us unconditionally.
When Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe as an actor, he thanked his dogs.
If it had not been for the therapeutic effects of his relationship with his dogs, Mickey Rourke might not have been alive to accept his award. Mickey Rourke says that his dog, Beau Jack, saved his life. He felt suicidal but his dog meant too much to him to leave the world. When his dog died, Mickey Rourke recalls, “I gave him mouth-to-mouth for 45 minutes before they peeled me off. Depressed? He died at my home, and I didn’t go back for two weeks.”
The American Kennel Club has published the science-based benefits of owning a dog. Among them are cardiovascular benefits, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, reduced depression, and increased exercise (dogs keep you moving)!