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The Maltese: Richest Dog in the World
The wealthiest dog in the entire world is a Maltese named Trouble. The dog’s owner was the late Leona Helmsley, the real estate and hotel tycoon. Reportedly worth billions, Ms. Helmsley left two of her grandchildren out of her will but remembered her pooch – to the tune of a cool $12 million. Helmsley’s brother, Alvin Rosenthal, was appointed as Trouble’s guardian.
Maltese are used to being in the lap of luxury. They were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, praised by Aristotle, and prized by the Romans, who referred to the breed as the “Roman ladies’ dog.” The Roman emperors especially liked the all white Maltese, so other colors were purposely bred out.
Maltese are the oldest of the toy breeds and are one of the oldest of all dog breeds. They developed on the island of Malta from an earlier breed brought there by the Phoenicians. Likenesses of the dog have been discovered on objects from as early as 500 B.C. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1888.
Today’s Maltese stands about nine or ten inches tall and weighs between four and thirteen pounds. They have dark round eyes and a black button nose. The skull is round, and the dog has drop ears. Instead of fur, the Maltese has silky hair with no undercoat. On show dogs, the white hair should be long and straight, just brushing the floor. Because of this lack of fur, the breed doesn’t shed as much as many breeds and generally cause fewer allergic reactions to people with dog allergies.
This long hair mats easily and requires a lot of grooming. Many Maltese owners who don’t show their dogs often keep the coat clipped short, in a “puppy cut.” This keeps the coat from matting and makes it easy to manage.
As puppies, Maltese are like most breeds – playful, curious, and rambunctious. As they get older, however, they settle down and require only moderate daily exercise, although they still enjoy play time. Maltese adapt easily to apartment and city life and are a favorite with urban dog lovers.
Maltese make wonderful companions for adults and children. Some breeders are producing a "teacup" version that weighs only three pounds, and these are not usually recommended for very young children because of the dog’s small size. Rough housing could injure the diminutive Maltese. The breed is intelligent and easy to train, and they actually make excellent inside alarm dogs. Unlike some toy breeds, however, most Maltese are not overly “yappy,” although some bloodlines tend to have this problem.
The Maltese is a happy, healthy dog that's one of the friendliest and best tempered of the toy breeds, and generally suffer few health-related problems. The most often seen are dental diseases. Because of this, it’s a good idea to brush the dog’s teeth daily.
The Maltese loves attention and thrives on interaction with their humans, so it’s easy to spoil them. Maltese who are overly pampered sometimes develop separation anxiety, however, when left alone.
Maltese generally enjoy a long life. My Maltese, Pumpkin, lived to the ripe old age of seventeen and never had a single health problem until just before his death.
The Maltese is a popular breed, especially with celebrities and royalty. Liz Taylor, HalleBerry, Anna Nicole Smith, Heather Locklear, Torrie Wilson, Eva Longoria, Lindsay Lohan, and Marie Antoinette own or owned Maltese.
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