What's the true story of Gunther, the dog who inherited millions?

Have you watched "Gunther's Millions," the docuseries on Netflix about the dog who inherited millions when his owner, German Countess named Karlotta Leibenstein, died? It starts kind of silly (a dog who's a millionaire, ha ha, so funny and weird!) and then quickly devolves into… I don't even know what. At each turn the story gets more bizarre, so much so that I had to stop and search the web to see if the whole thing was satire. Turns out, it's not exactly satire, and it's not exactly true.  

Emily Burack at Town and Country recently wrote a terrific piece that recounts the real story. She explains:

The entire story is a tale created by Maurizio Mian, a scion of Istituto Gentili, an Italian pharmaceutical company that was purchased by Merck. "The dog's role appears to be little more than a joke that's carried on for decades," the Associated Press reported in 2021, "and there is no evidence of a German countess." In 1995, Mian told an Italian newspaper that the countess "was just an invention to publicize the philosophy" of his foundation.

And what's this foundation? What's the philosophy? You'll have to watch the show to get the full explanation, but it has something to do with the study of pleasure and happiness. I'll leave it at that.