‘In Charlotte’s letters we hear of several dogs. One, a pug, was given to her by Lady Albemarle. “Pray,” wrote Charlotte before its arrival, “have the goodness to tell me how old the pug is. Pray give it a name, and tell me whether it is a female or not.” We do not know what name was given to the pug, but some years later Charlotte wrote to tell Lady de Clifford, “I have lost my Puff.” “We have advertised him,” she goes on, “at 2 guineas reward. I hope I shall find him.” But her grief over the loss was softened. “Papa has made me a present of a beautiful white Italian greyhound, with cropt ears, etc.” This creature was a prisoner of war, taken aboard a French ship, and had belonged to Napoleon’s Empress. Captain Lake,* who made the capture, brought the dog, said Charlotte, as an offering to the Prince. “But he said, I don’t care for dogs, I will send it to Charlotte who loves them.”
In December 1812, she announced proudly that Toby, who must have been female in spite of her name, “has at length presented me with 4 beautiful puppies, two black & two white and red: they are all alive and well…”‘
* Captain, afterwards Admiral Sir Willoughby Lake, R. N., Bart., at this time serving on the coast of Spain in command of the ‘Magnificent’.
[an extract from ‘Prinny’s Daughter: A Biography of Princess Charlotte of Wales’ by Thea Home]