Who knew that corgis are one of Britain’s best-known rarities? Aurélie Four, caretaker and maman to furry internet sensation Marcel le Corgi, has a fair idea! Marcel is a long-fur, or ‘fluffy’, Pembroke Welsh Corgi who enjoys an international following, from his native Wales all the way to Australia. Marcel lives in London with Aurélie and partner, Pierre, who are the humans behind this little hound’s large adventures. Over the years, they’ve travelled, explored and discovered lots of different exciting sights and sounds (and scents!) together and have developed a real love for adventure.
A quick peek at leCorgi on Instagram will bring a smile to your face. Marcel’s ‘bon vivant’ attitude and playful innocence is incredibly lifting and can genuinely raise the spirit! His photoshoots around London are fun, sweet, funny and very inspiring. We were keen to learn more about life in chez Corgi and were warmed by the special relationship between Marcel le Corgi and Aurélie, which is the magic behind this le fluffy story.
Fluffies, or longer haired corgis, are born from a recessive corgi gene, which renders them a non-show standard pup. “The gene is quite rare,” Aurélie explains in her lovely French accent, “but fluffies have the same background as other corgis; they’re traditionally working dogs with a herding background. Not lap dogs like you see with the Queen!” Aurélie met Marcel when he was four weeks old in 2013 after researching the corgi breed and deciding what kind of dog would best fit her lifestyle. “You know, corgis are like big dogs on short legs,” Aurélie laughs loudly, “they need to be kept physically and mentally busy and are extremely stubborn, as well as receive proper training as the herd instinct is definitely there!”
It’s evident that there was never a plan for Marcel’s popularity. Working from home a lot meant Aurélie could spend quality time with Marcel and she started taking pictures, surfacing a flair for photography, colour and storytelling. Aurélie credits Marcel for inspiring her to change direction, to try new things and ultimately follow her passions: “I really fell into photography by accident and he has helped me find new avenues, new adventures.” Marcel emboldened Aurélie to believe in her photographer’s eye and focus on her interest in fashion and the city. Her passion for London’s diverse flavours is evident, too, and Marcel has been the driving force behind Aurélie using the city as an urban-chic backdrop to tell Marcel’s story.
“Honestly, I was just having fun playing with cameras and capturing Marcel’s unique, fluffy, character when it just suddenly took off”. Marcel le Corgi has racked up close to 60 thousand Instagram followers and 40 thousand Facebook followers. His popularity though isn’t just down to his cuteness and the fact that he’s adorable – which he is! “Marcel really connects with people,” Aurélie says earnestly, “what you see on social media is totally Marcel. He’s bold, goofy, cuddly and loves life.”
Aurélie noted Marcel’s positive influence online, and was inspired to get involved with charities like Mayhew to work with elderly people through Therapaws, their visiting animal home therapy programme. Aurélie tells us how much Marcel loved the experience and the rush of pride she felt as the residents he met were touched by his friendliness and openness to towards everyone. “He truly brings me so much joy, and he brings real change into people’s’ lives – and my life.”
Events have become an exciting part of Aurélie and Marcel’s life together. Marcel was the first dog to ever receive an invite to and attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, something which he took to very well to! Marcel’s popularity and love for adventure has gifted Aurélie and Pierre many travel opportunities, especially round the UK. “Pierre and I thought getting a dog would slow us down,” Aurélie laughs, reflecting on Marcel’s recent travel itinerary “but his bags are bigger than ours!” Le Fluffy has been to 11 different countries and his inquisitiveness has encouraged Aurélie and Pierre to discover new dog-friendly places in the UK by car, bus and train. Marcel has a pet passport but hasn’t travelled by plane just yet, with Aurélie waiting for plane travel to become more dog-friendly and less stressful for pups.
Despite his worldwide success, it’s clear that Marcel le Corgi has always been and will only be about Marcel. As his maman, Aurélie never loses sight of his dogginess. Just like other pooches, Marcel has his everyday quirks. He loves cuddles, likes socialising with other dogs, is very friendly, has a strict walkies routine and likes fish-based food. “Marcel’s wellbeing absolutely and unequivocally comes first” Aurélie emphasises, “he loves the spotlight but we’re only having fun if he’s having fun. We’d also never force him to do anything he doesn’t enjoy, are ready to turn down unreasonable requests and stop when he’s feeling tired.” Aurélie explains how she insists on positive training, including when she takes photos, keeping sessions as short as possible, rewarding any tricks with lots of praise and treats!
Lover of corgis, Aurélie has co-founded the UK Corgi Club, an official homage to Welsh corgis. The club aims to promote the health and wellbeing of corgis as well as offer useful information on Pembroke and Cardigan corgis. For Aurélie, the corgi is a lifelong passion and experience. Her relationship with Marcel is like that of a best friend, and he’s possibly one of the happiest corgis around. Looking at him she sighs: “Despite these experiences and photo shoots, Marcel is happiest when he’s just rolling in the mud. I love that.”
Dogs will be dogs! If you’re keen to find out more about Marcel and Aurélie, head over to Marcel le Corgi where you can discover all of Marcel’s latest adventures. He’s been a busy pup closer to home, too! All Four Paws were recently pleased to announce that our very own Pup-in-Chief Rigby has recruited Marcel to guest paw Rigby’s Reviews. We’re looking forward to globe-trotting Monsieur Marcel imparting his discerning, tres fluffy opinion on the next best dog-friendly places to eat, sleep and play. Thank you, Marcel!
Imagery by Aurélie Four for Marcel @lecorgi