We’ve all heard of expensive dog houses, but this is getting out of hand.
Courtesy of the South China Morning Post, a video has surfaced showing the amazing bond between a man and his dog.
Sylar, a beautiful Border Collie, had such a profound effect on 31-year-old Zhou Tianxiao, that he decided to build him a house worth AUS$717,622.85 (about US$517,000).
Now that’s a lovely, albeit expensive way to treat your furry best friend. Who would do such a thing? A billionaire with more money than sense? Someone who had watched Air Bud a few too many times?
No. The remarkable thing is that Zhou Tianxiao is just an average Joe. He was raised by his grandmother in a Beijing hutong alley after his parents divorced when he was young.
Like many disenfranchised teens with troubled childhoods, Tianxiao didn’t deal with the transition well. He dropped out of middle school and spent his days drinking, smoking, and playing video games.
His life was caught in a downward spiral – until four years ago when he bought Sylar.
“When Sylar came into my life, he changed all my habits,” Tianxiao says in the video. “He also helped me to find a way to express my feelings. He never detested me for being poor and achieving nothing.”
Owning Sylar helped Tianxiao gain some perspective and purpose in life. He cut out the smoking, drinking, and excessive video games, and dedicated 10-hours a day to training Sylar.
It resulted in some pretty insane moves. Sylar responds to everything from ‘headstand’ to ‘act cute’, and the video even shows him helping Tianxiao wash his hair.
The decision to move from the city to the country and build Skylar a house came after around three years, when Tianxiao noticed that he was getting lonely.
“I felt he was very lonely, so I bought a female border collie to keep him company.”
Seeing that Chinese government regulations only allow one dog per person, and restrict them to a certain size, Tianxiao decided to bring his new dogs to the countryside for a new life.
He borrowed 50,000 yuan from his grandmother (she’s the real MVP) and build a dedicated house for his beloved dogs.
Since then he has opened an online store selling products and training tips, which has earned AU4$512,461 (US$369,000), a massive sum but not enough to cover the cost of the house.
He has also become a successful blogger, with over 800,000 followers on social media. Basically, he owes Sylar big time for making him rich.
To help cover costs of the mansion, he has turned it into a public school to share his expert dog-training skills. Owners and their dogs can visit and use the facilities, which include vast lawns, pools, a spa, lodging, and a spa service.
Tianxiao believes that with the growing popularity of pets in China, the facility will eventually become profitable. But that’s not his main goal.
“I think Sylar brought me all of this. He brought me all these changes. So I should give it all back to him to let him live a better life.
“Since I didn’t have a good childhood, I just want my child to have the best life possible.”