By Aliki Kraterou
This ultimate dog lover has splashed out £5,000 on HI5 bike equipment, clothes and toys for his pooch this Christmas – after spending nearly £60,000 over the hound’s life.
Personal trainer Anthony Welsh, 57, from Liverpool, has no children and instead lavishes all his money on ‘daughter’ Princess Cleopatra Superchill, nicknamed Cleo for short.
The seven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier was rescued by bachelor Anthony aged one, from an unhappy home where he claims she was locked up in a cage and suffered from depression.
This December 25, Anthony will presenting Cleo with 21 presents – including Hifi bike equipment with bluetooth, a microphone and Christmas lights built into the frame, a racing bike worth £699, designer style outfits and toys, a the doggie garden palace worth £220 and a pink diamanté designer collar – in total worth more than £5,000.
And the inseparable pair’s Christmas day is already planned as Anthony will take Cleo to pooch-friendly Liverpool restaurant Salt Dog Slim’s for a slap-up three course £70 meal for Christmas dinner.
But Anthony doesn’t only pamper Cleo during the holiday season as in total he has spent £57,000 on the dog to date on pricey gifts including three miniature cars , a total a replica BAC Poseidon racing car model, a white sports car and a black SUV worth £5,500 each, a £1,500 pram, six mountain bikes costing £1,000 each and 71 outfits.
Anthony said: “Cleo is so clever.
“She has been given the perfect life and that’s why she is the perfect dog.
“I am very happy to spend this amount of money on Princess Cleo as she is my spirit animal.
“I believe Cleo understands and appreciates Christmas as she is a very intelligent dog.
“So I do not think its excessive to spend so much money and time on my princess as you simply cannot put a price on her love.
“She shows me love every single day that goes by, and is my perfect little companion.
“I am lucky and pleased to be her owner – she really is a way of life.
“She is the ultimate Christmas companion for sure – her favourite part is opening her presents with me followed closely by eating her Christmas dinner with me.
“We are a great team and I can certainly say I got the best dog in the world.”
Anthony rescued Cleo in 2012 but said he believes she had a difficult upbringing as at first she was so depressed she would only stare at the floor.
He refused to give up and spent hours each day training her – and said after about seven months her confidence returned and she was like a completely different dog.
And when Anthony noticed Cleo’s aptitude for tricks – which has seen her master surfing, high jumping, quad biking and driving a children’s electric car – he decided to begin dressing her up in adorable costumes.
In the past he has even lavished boats and even a PA on the lucky pooch, who he describes as a ‘celebrity’ and who has won 49 dog show rosettes.
Now Anthony even claims his mutt – who he pushes around on a £1,500 pram converted into a throne fit for her royal namesake – is cleverer than most adult humans.
Anthony said: “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I have a very healthy lifestyle and so does Cleo.
“We do dog yoga, dog massage, we spend the biggest part of the day together.
“A dog owner needs to spend time with their dog, they need to work on the brain and mind of the dog, to put the effort.
“I am trying to keep her alive till 25. The oldest Staffie that has been reported, was 24 so I am going to break that.
“People say to me ‘oh my god she is amazing’ and can see her intellect.
“People want to take her home and have tried to buy her in the past, but no money would buy my Cleo.”
To follow Cleo’s updates, check: https://www.instagram.com/woof_woofur_cleo/