Ask a Terrier: Budleigh Addresses a Royal Pain

Dear Budleigh,

I was gobsmacked – isn’t that what the British say, gobsmacked? – when Prince Harry and wife Meghan announced they were stepping down from their royal duties. I thought that only happened when angry peasants carrying torches stormed your castle. Harry’s way was so more civilized. And hardly anyone was hanged!

But I’m concerned. Not for me but for my own personal royal family, which is Queenie, our King Charles Spaniel. As her breed implies, Queenie views herself as integral to the British Monarchy, and as such is 1,487th in line to the throne of England. Will Harry’s decision move Queenie closer to ascending to head of state? If so, will that interfere with her butterfly-chasing responsibilities. Also, does the high office come with a lap? She’s demanding this be sorted out quickly!

By the way, Budleigh, you have a certain aristocratic profile. Is it possible you’re descended from royalty?

To the Queen!

Andrea, Personal Advisor and Dresser to the Queen, Queenie

Monday, January 27, 2020


Dear Andrea and QQ,

During my early days in the shelter, canine lifers who mocked my Hapsburg jaw were quickly introduced to its weaponized teeth. Admittedly, I’m sensitive about my profile. Learning to be comfortable in my own fur took the patience of two devoted Giants, my secured ownership of their home, and access to cornbread. A lot of cornbread.

So, I’m sympathetic to the awesome game of tug-tug between duty and lifestyle faced by Queenie, and to a lesser extent, Harry.

Yet Queenie’s dilemma is not unique. A surprising number of canines were bred to the manner born. Or at least to lounge on the bed. These breeds include:

• Canadian Crown Royal
• Russian Oligarch
• Great Mimzie Pimzie
• Border Terrier Without Borders
• Downton Abbeydale
• Miniature Mimzie Pimzie
• Curly Coated Royal Doulton with Matching Silver Tea Service
• Mimzie Pimzie Whimsy Bimzie
• Duke

For royal dogs, the public scrutiny of palace life is outweighed by really soft bed linens and stylish bling.

Despite their royal lineage, confusion abounds among dogs about the role of canines in the British Monarchy, the strength of their claims to the throne, and the correct interpretation of the term “walkies!” For clarity, I consulted the hive mind that is the dog pack at the local park.

GREAT PYRENESS: “…so you’re saying that if Queen Elizabeth is, you know, put down, her corgis assume the throne?”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: “No, no, no! Well, yes. They’re out of the direct line of succession, but they still get to nap on the throne. That’s in the Magna Carta.

GREAT PYRENESS: “Are Pyreness still in the running? We really are great!”

BURNESE MOUNTAIN DOG: “Whoa! Hold the phone there, Lady! My Giant says the Pyreness are a mountain range. And I’m a mountain range. So, just do the math…if we could math.”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: “All this quarreling is pointless. The royal line of succession? It’s all in the Magna Carta!”

PUG: “You keep saying that. What is this ‘Magna Carta’?”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: (Long pause) “Math?”

BUDLEIGH: “OK, let’s all try to stay on task without being herded. (To Sheepdog) No offence.”


BUDLEIGH: “Queenie wonders about her position now in the royal hierarchy. Does she take up residence in the palace or just move into Prince Harry’s old crate?”

BRISBY THE SCHNOODLE: “Who’s Prince Harry?”

BORDER COLLIE: “I know! I know! He was a working royal. That would have put him in my dog show group. Like the Duke of Gloucester!”

BRISBY THE SCHNOODLE: “That a cheese, right? Gloucester? I’m so hungry!”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: “A lot of royals are cheese related: the Duke of Lancashire; the Duchess of Leicestershire; the Low-fat Earl of Pepper Jack—”

PUG: “There’s a Duchess of Corn Dog!”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: “Pretty sure that’s Corn-WALL.”

PUG: “No, no, it’s a hot dog dipped in batter and fried. Once I found one in the Garbage Can of Hope and Dreams.”

BRISBY: “Really? Why would the royal family just throw one away?”

ENGLISH SHEEPDOG: “Well, he and Meghan were so unhappy in the media spotlight.”

So, here is the takeaway, Andrea: If the Fates decree that Queenie ascend to the royal throne, remind her always that with Great Power comes Great Snacks!


Had enough of Budleigh and his Giants? No? Then check out our new book, Sleeping between Giants, Book I: Budleigh, the Early Year.

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