‘Gunther’s Millions’: 5 Wild Twists From Netflix Docuseries About Dog Who Inherited Fortune
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Gunther’s Millions, Episodes 1-4.]
Netflix is no stranger to wild docuseries, but the streamer has just dropped a new title that could give Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic a run for his money as Gunther’s Millions serves up several jaw-dropping twists.
The four-part series unravels the story of Gunther VI, a German Shepherd that’s a multi-millionaire living in the lap of luxury. Traveling on private planes, eating gold-flake steaks for dinner, and surrounding himself with a glitzy entourage of spokesmodels and entertainers, Gunther’s an enigma, until now. While the story for years has been that Gunther’s great-grandfather who was originally owned by a mysterious countess whose son died tragically. Having no heirs to pass her fortune on to, the countess bestowed her remaining funds to her beloved dog and placed him under the care of Italian pharmaceutical heir, Maurizio Mian.
From there, Maurizio maintained Gunther’s line, building an empire on behalf of the canine that is hard to comprehend. Below, we’re breaking down some of the biggest twists and turns uncovered in the series, so beware of major spoilers ahead. And if you tuned in, let us know what shocking reveal you were most entertained by in the comments section.
According to Mian’s account, the countess who owned the original Gunther had named the dog after her son Gunther, who tragically killed himself at the age of 26. Mian claims that he was friends with the human Gunther, and as a means of coping, the Countess adopted the German Shepherd she’d also call Gunther and leave her millions with. The detail is so wildly strange it’s almost difficult to believe.
Living Like a Pop Star
As the executor of the Countess’s will in regard to Gunther, Mian worked to publicize the dog’s presence in the public eye and did so with bizarre stunts. Among the ventures explored was creating a club track that was not well-received. In an attempt to revitalize the dog’s image, Mian worked to build a musical group featuring attractive young models and talent who would live and work alongside the dog, as well as perform.
Working to break through in a big way, Mian had the dog bid on some prime real estate in Miami, purchasing Madonna‘s mansion in 2000 for the group to live in. The stunt stirred up major buzz as reporters tried to catch a glimpse of the German Shepherd at the head of this deal. While some questioned the transaction, the money was appropriately transferred, offering legitimacy to the weird arrangement.
Doing It for Science
Through Mian’s publicity for Gunther, he also worked on conducting experiments to try and identify the answer to happiness by surrounding the dog with beautiful people who were encouraged to live freely and without inhibitions. The social experiment was observed by experts Mian hired. This meant near-constant surveillance in the group’s living quarters which encouraged sexual engagement, and other activities. Needless to say, there was something shady about the endeavor.
In a new ploy to gain publicity, Mian and his girlfriend at the time had a child, which he then branded as Gunther’s. The sentiment stirred up outrage in Italy where the story gained traction. The branding was part of Mian’s desire to explore the community family in his quest to understand the answer to happiness.
By the series’ end, Mian finally unveils the truth behind Gunther, admitting that the story of the Countess leaving a fortune to her dog was a falsehood and that human Gunther never existed, it was just an alternate version of himself he’d conjured in his mind. It was all a ruse, and in a sad turn, much of it stemmed from Mian wanting to uncover the remedy for his own depression.
Gunther’s Millions, Streaming now, Netflix