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Helen Mirren attends the 2016 Pirelli Calendar unveiling gala at La Cite Du Cinema on November 29, 2016 in Saint-Denis, France. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
Taylor Hill—WireImage

Self-proclaimed “Nasty Woman” Helen Mirren might be the unabashed object of James Marsden’s affections, but she’s got a soft spot for some other cuties — specifically those of the four-legged and furry variety.

During a cover photo shoot for the AARP The Magazine, The Queen actress was surprised by a passel of adorable puppies who took over the set. Mirren immediately paused shooting to play with the dogs and to wax eloquently about their merits.

In fact, when it comes to dispensing dogmas about the pups, the Dame was a veritable guru, dispensing gems of wisdom like: “A barking dog is very useful, a good bark is a very useful thing,” and quipping that what she loved most about dogs was their “spirituality.”

Watch the full video below.

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