Meghan Markle’s Love of Dogs in 2015 Made an Ordinary Shelter Dog a Member of the Royal Family
The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle rescued a shelter dog from Canada and flew him to Britain. She raises the banner of animal welfare, among many others she and Prince Harry support.
The real story from “rag to riches”: an adorable but sad beagle that was on a euthanasia list is rescued by none other than the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
In 2017, Dolores Doherty, who runs an Ontario-based organization saved Guy the beagle, who was found lost in the woods. With the help of a network of volunteers, Guy traveled from the US to more than 500 miles of the Canadian border.
On the left: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex meets a Jack Russell during her visit to an animal welfare charity on January 16, 2019 in London, England. On the right: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex greet the dogs of Ireland's President on arrival at the Presidential mansion on the second day of their visit in Dublin on July 11, 2018.
When Doherty got him, she took him to an adoption event in the surroundings of Toronto. Guy was among 20 more other dogs and Markle -- at this time, she was still living in Canada and filming “Suits” -- and Markle decided to adopt him.
Doherty hadn’t known about Markle’s celebrity status until the news about Meghan and Harry’s engagement news broke. She shared with The Guardian:
“It’s just beyond my wildest imagination. How is that for a rags to riches story from a good old Kentucky beagle?”
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets a dog named "Foxy" during her visit to the animal welfare charity Mayhew in London on January 16, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
In November that year, Guy had officially moved to the UK and changed his status to rag dog to a royal family pup. Guy was evenpresent
at their wedding day, and he Megahn's feet while she was getting her hair and makeup for the ceremony.
Right after the wedding, Guy got a new friend. Harry and Meghan adopted a labrador, named Pula. The dogs are part of the royal family and along with the couple and their two kids, Archie and Lily.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex meets a Jack Russell called "Minnie" during her visit to the Mayhew, an animal welfare charity on January 16, 2019 in London, England. This will be Her Royal Highnesses first official visit to Mayhew in her new role as Patron. | Source: Getty Images
Eventually, Pula and Guy make their appearances in the spotlight. During a profound chat at Meghan and Harry’s backyard about feminism and representation at the polls with Gloria Steinem, in August 2020 Pula and Guy joined their chat.
Among many causes, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex defend and patronage they proudly represent, Markle is the patron of Mayhew, an animal welfare charity.
In a publication done by Mayhew, she talked about the joy of adopting an animal can bring to one’s life and added:
“The role that we, as people, play in rehoming and rescuing these animals is vital, but the role of organizations such as Mayhew is unparalleled."
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets meets Wully Struthers and his Staffordshire Bull Terriers "Azzy" and "Gallis" during her visit to the animal welfare charity Mayhew in London on January 16, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
Markle continued by encouraging others who feel like it’s time to adopt a furry friend but aren’t sure, that “undoubtedly it will change their lives”:
“The choice to adopt a pet is a big decision that comes with much responsibility but the infinite return on the investment."
Meghan Markle’s patronage list doesn’t stop on Mayhew. The royal couple has been involved in at least seven other organizations to represent causes they’re passionate about.
Meghan, Markle at the Woodstock Exchange on September 25, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
Harry and Meghan didn’t stop to give their support to any of these organizations, even after they stepped down from their royal duties, however.
Moreover, one of the first things after announcing they were renouncing their titles from the British royal family was to launch the non-profit Archwell, named after their son, Archie.
Part of the description of their organization is to bring more compassion and love among people and as part of their work, is to “build a better world, one act of compassion at a time."
Meghan prepares food parcels to go in the charity outreach van during a visit to One25, a charity specialising in helping women to break free from street sex work, addiction and other life-controlling issues, on February 1, 2019 in Bristol, England. | Source: Getty Images
Few months after the announcement that Archewell would be working with World Central Kitchen to build four Community Relief Centers in the Caribbean, the first center was completed in February 2021.
The effort was announced three years after the area was hit by two hurricanes, Maria and Irma in 2017 and got devastated.
The kitchen appliances work fully off the electrical grid using a solar panel system. The kitchen also counts with trained chefs capable to cook and feed a large number of people.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex dance as they arrive for a visit to the "Justice desk", an NGO in the township of Nyanga in Cape Town, as they begin their tour of the region on September 23, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
In May 2021, the couple celebrated Archie’s second birthday and asked whoever wanted to make a donation in honor of Archie’s birthday, to support the healthcare system in underserved communities.
In the following month, Megan Markle debut her first book, a children’s book called “The Bench.” In order to support families and kids going through the unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, they are donating 2,000 copies of the book to libraries, schools and community centers at no cost.
Since Prince Harry has struggled himself with mental health issues such as anxiety and unhealed traumas, mainly connected with Princess Diana’s death, the couple is part of other projects connected to this topic.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit Waves for Change, an NGO, at Monwabisi Beach during their royal tour of South Africa on September 24, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. | Source: Getty Images
Earlier this year Prince Harry in partnership with Oprah premiered a mini-series called “The Me You Can’t See,” in which they follow the lives of both ordinary people and celebrities who struggle with mental health issues and opened up an honest discussion about such a delicate subject.
Another resource and support to those with mental health issues is the project listed on the Archewell Foundation’s website, “The Loveland Foundation.” The foundation is a non-profit to support women with mental health issues who cannot afford proper treatment.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex embraces student Aker Okoye during a special school assembly at the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) held on Sunday 8th March, on March 6, 2020 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
In August 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex donated to a non-profit that helps Afghan women and girls in Afghan and New York, the “Women for Afghan Women.” Their donation is focused on helping women fleeing Afghanistan.
Another project that provides support to unprivileged people is through the organization Smart Works, which Meghan has visited a number of times. Their goal is to assist unemployed women with tools and coaching that will help them to get a job.
Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry, and Duchess Meghan at the Commonwealth Day Service on March 9, 2020, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
As the Archwell Foundation’s core is to promote love, compassion and altruism in societies and cultures all over the world, Meghan and Harry’s foundation support two initiatives of this kind:
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research And Education, Stanford Medicine and Center for Humane Technology.
The first one is a department at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Their mission is to find techniques that will help in developing a more compassionate and altruist society. The second works on the online communities realm, promoting safer and more compassionate conditions for those communities.