Queen Elizabeth II's Corgis Are Aware of Her Death, Trainer Dr. Roger Mugford Says (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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Queen Elizabeth II's corgis are likely missing their owner. Dr. Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist who previously worked with the late monarch's dogs, tells ET that her corgis, Sandy and Muick, were likely aware of her death, as "dogs are very perceptive of changes in their owners."
"I'm sure they knew that Her Majesty was in decline and they will have missed her," Mugford tells ET, before adding that he does "doubt there will be serious changes in the grief, because they were so used to being cared for by other members of the household and, of course, by Prince Andrew, who was present at the death and is taking over their care now."
The late monarch was long known for her love of dogs, and it's something, Mugford believes, that likely brought her joy as her health declined.
"It was so lovely that, in her last couple of years, she had two little corgis and and other dogs around her," he says, "because there's no doubt that any of us, at any stage in our life, but particularly when our life feels like it's declining and stressful... to be able to reach and stroke and be loved by an uncritical admirer, which is a dog, is a great comfort."
The canines were likewise loyal to her, even lining up outside as Queen Elizabeth's coffin made its final procession earlier this month. The image was "a touching" one, Mugford says.
Prior to her death, Queen Elizabeth was deeply involved in her dogs' day-to-day life, and even allowed them on the furniture, according to Mugford.
"There's no doubt there that the queen loved her dogs dearly," he says. "... [She had] a well-rounded affection for her dogs. They were her great leisure pursuit. She talked to them in silly ways we all talk to our dogs. It was the brighter side of her life. When I was with her, she was incredibly animated when talking about her dogs, their individual personalities."
Mugford additionally notes that he "was really impressed with the degree of authority control that she had over" the pups.
"I personally witnessed feeding time, which was managed by Her Majesty. Ten dogs were lined up in a semi-circle and were very dutifully waiting for her to present one bowl at a time and... they waited until all 10 dogs had been given their food [to eat]," he recalls. "... They had their individual rations, and their individual bowls, and the queen knew them all of, course, and what they required... This was a lady who was in control of her dogs, in control of their care, who was a real hands-on and knowledgeable dog owner."
Sandy and Muick were the last pups Queen Elizabeth had during her life. They were a gift from her son, Andrew, who will now take over the dogs' care.
"I think it's really appropriate and to his credit that he's going to take care of them for however many years it is," Mugford says, before speculating on how the dogs "will be pampered" in their new home.
"Most of the time or much of their lives had been spent in Windsor and Prince Andrew's house is located about two miles from the castle, so for them it will be a massive going home if you like," he says. "Dogs form an amazing attachment... they know they are close to home, and close to Windsor Castle, and that's good. They’ll be happy with Prince Andrew in his rather comfortable home."