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Of wealthy dogs and Englishmen

Alexander McQueen had it all.

Alexander McQueen had it all.



The English fashion designer rose from the obligatory humble beginnings in London’s East End, the son of a taxi driver and a school drop-out at 16.



By the time he was 40, he was one of the world’s leading fashion designers. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, currently the target of pilgrimages to Buckingham Palace where it’s on display, is the work of an Alexander McQueen designer.



None of this was able to soothe the beast of depression, and last February, just days after his mother died, Alexander McQueen hanged himself in what the English call a wardrobe…a closet.



Now comes the task of dividing his 16 million-pound fortune and eyebrows are heightened on both sides of the pond with the news that 50,000 pounds of it are going to the dogs.



Three dogs, in fact: Juice, Minter and Callum, the world’s luckiest English bull terriers. Fifty thousand pounds will buy a lot of kibble and flea baths, not to mention squeaky toys.



Fifty thousand pounds is the same amount he left his housekeepers, one of whom discovered his body, his godson and each of his nieces and nephews.



To prove that blood is a bit thicker than slobber, he also left 250,000 to each of his three sisters and two brothers.



But he wasn’t done with the dogs—he left 100,000 pounds each to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Blue Cross animal welfare charity. Every dog has his day, but it’s not every day the dogs inherit the treasure.



The CEO of the Blue Cross charity is “thrilled.” Hard to tell what the dogs think, but tails are wagging all around.



We could put this down to Englishmen and their mad dogs, but it’s hardly the dogs which are mad. Juice, Minter and Callum would be perfectly happy with three squares, shelter from the storm and a nice curb, but people like to anthropomorphize their pets, smother them in love and luxury and hope they get a nice greeting at the door in return.



I suspect that whatever Juice, Minter and Callum could give their master it was infinitely less complicated and unconditional than the web of relationships that defined his social circle. So I’m sure they’re full value for their 50K.



Still, if there’s anyone out there who feels compelled to follow Alexander McQueen’s lead, rest assured that for $77,000 Canadian, I’ll take care of your pooches like they were kings. The line forms here.

 
 
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