Posted by Blogger on Monday June 4th, 2012
For those of you moving to London with a dog, I’ve blogged before about how pet-friendly London is, and that sentiment is surely fostered in the UK all the more by Queen Elizabeth II’s open affection for her dogs and horses. With all the press coverage leading up to and now following this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it’s clear reporters know they would be remiss not to feature the Queen’s corgis alongside Her Majesty. If you’re moving to London with a dog, you are entering a kingdom ruled by the ultimate dog-lover.
That’s right, it’s not only the Queen ruling from Buckingham Palace; her dogs are masters of her royal domain. They have free reign to run about the palace apartments, sup on food prepared by Her Majesty’s chefs, and even get their own Christmas stockings stuffed with toys and chocolate. They also tend to snap at courtiers; Elizabeth’s first corgi, Dookie, bit more than one political figure, and nine royal corgis of Princess Diana’s time had allegedly knocked her butler unconscious after yanking him down the stairs! To recap from my last post on the Diamond Jubilee for pets, the Queen’s present collection of dogs includes three corgis (Monty, Willow, and Holly), and three corgi-dachshund crossbreed “dorgis” (Cider, Candy, and Vulcan). No question the Queen’s palatial apartments provide plenty of room for her six pets, but if you’re moving to London with a dog or two (or three, or four…), be prepared for less than optimal space! Alas, that’s just the way it goes for the peasantry in this crowded, historically-proportioned city.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PET CONSORT
You’ve surely established daily rituals with your pet, and moving to London with a dog will likely inspire (if not require) new routines as both you and your pet adapt to a new environment. A typical day for one of the Queen’s dogs is to go for a walk first thing in the morning with a footman, then run into the Queen’s bedroom to greet her once she’s awake. The corgis and dorgis then join the Queen at breakfast, getting to zip around the table as they’re fed toast and marmalade. In the afternoon, they go for another walk in the extensive palace gardens. By evening, the royal chefs will have prepared the dogs’ dinner, their menu pinned to the wall of the kitchens and comprised of steak, chicken, rabbit, and liver with gravy and cabbage, all to be served in the dogs’ shiny silver bowls. And this food must be prepared fresh—the Queen won’t stand for frozen meat and will sometimes herself fork the dogs’ food into their bowls. Though they’re sometimes allowed to sleep in the Queen’s bedroom, bedtime for the corgis and dorgis typically takes place in a special room of their own, where their wicker basket beds are elevated off the floor to buffer them from any drafts.
Hm, give you any ideas on how to pamper your pooch after moving to London with a dog? I’m actually surprised to hear about the wicker baskets considering all the pimped-out doggy beds I’ve seen at Harrods, including a four poster one decked out with a cushion and canopy of red velvet with gold trim—the royal treatment indeed!
DOGS ONLY A QUEEN COULD LOVE?
If you’re moving to London with a dog, the fact that you might ever even question whether London is dog-friendly is an indication that you know not everyone is a pet person. And even among pet people, preferences for animal types (e.g., dog vs. cat) and breeds can cause great divide. So it’s only to be expected that perhaps the palace’s other residents and employees are time to time less than enamored with the corgis. I’m sure the footman who got dragged down the stairs wasn’t overall thrilled with the Queen’s pets, nor was the one who got demoted for adding whiskey and gin to the dog food, undoubtedly to sedate the feisty little pups. Prince Philip has been known to whinge about the “bloody dogs,” Prince Charles has expressed a preference for labradors, and Prince William admits he doesn’t know how his grandmother puts up with the constant yapping en masse.
When it comes down to it, though, no one would begrudge the Queen the pleasure she derives from these dogs. It must get awful lonely at the top, and man’s best friend is apparently also woman’s closest confidante. The stoic Queen, stern with family and staff, is a pushover for her pooches and has owned more than 30 corgis in her lifetime. That’s a love and devotion surely any pet owner moving to London with a dog can understand!
- Pets in the UK: Join the Jubilee! (londonpetrelocation.com)
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