Guy and Pula are helping Meghan through a difficult year

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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle's two dogs have been a source of "support" during a challenging year.

Caroline Yates, CEO of the Duchess of Sussex's animal welfare patronage Mayhew, told Hello! magazine that Meghan's beagle, Guy, and black Labrador retriever, Pula, have helped her through 2020: a year that involved stepping down from her royal role, a family move to California, the coronavirus pandemic and a heartbreaking pregnancy loss.

"Whenever we talk to the Duchess about the charity, she always references how important her dogs are and what a support they are, particularly during everything that's happened this year, with COVID, and with the personal trials and tribulations she went through this year," Yates said.

"It was really nice to share our experiences with her about how important animals are when things are tough and what a comfort they can be," the organization's CEO added.

Given their important role within the family, it's no surprise that Guy and Pula made an appearance in Meghan and Prince Harry's 2020 Christmas card. Starring front and center is the couple's 1-year-old son Archie (who has clearly inherited dad Harry's red hair!) as the family gathers in Archie's playhouse.

The photo, shot by Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, was released by Mayhew.

"The original photo of the family was taken at their home earlier this month by The Duchess's mother," a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said. "The small Christmas tree, including the homemade ornaments and other decorations, were selected by Archie, and the tree will be replanted after the holidays."

Guy and Pula also made an unexpected cameo in the video Meghan shot with Gloria Steinem about the importance of women voting in August.

"Wants to be on camera," Steinem said with a laugh as the dogs laid at Meghan's feet.

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Archie "is best friends with his dogs," a source previously told PEOPLE. "They make him laugh and are gentle with him."