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January Staff Dog Blog
Castle Howard
By Guest Blogger  //  Tue 22nd January 2019
As the Chinese New Year approaches and Year of the Dog ends, this is the last of our beloved dog blogs. Meet Poppy, a lurcher belonging to the Howard family...

Poppy, they call me. It’s obviously not my real name but they wouldn't be able to pronounce that. I’m starting to get quite well-known. Someone suggested that I should start an Instagram account. “Absolutely not!” I said and, for once, he understood me, probably thought he’d loose the best subject on his account.

We have quite a good arrangement, him and me. Twice a day I take him out on his bicycle, not too far because…well, he’s not young, and I’ve already lost one human. I’m way faster than him, but I jog along, just ahead of him, to make him think he’s keeping up with me. That way, he’s feeling pleased with himself when we get in, and I can go on any sofa I like.

I’m a Lurcher, and Lurchers are long, long dogs. We need proper furniture for comfort. I’ve got too little fat on me to be expected to lie on a hard floor. Also, I look pretty good on sofas - better than humans, that’s for sure!


I like living here. The humans are all really nice to me - I get a lot of stroking and scratching, which I LOVE! And then there's all my playgrounds, what they call the grounds: lurchers like to chase things like squirrels and rabbits and there's lots of them here. I never catch them, or very rarely, anyway. I caught a baby rabbit last year but he said I had to let it go so I did. Best do what he says - eventually. I do like winding him up by coming in very slowly from our run, as if I'm exhausted, when he knows very well that I'm hardly out of breath. That's another lurcher-fact: they have a great sense of humour. 

Meeting so many other dogs here is always stimulating - it’s just a pity that some of them think they have to play King-of-the-castle. There’s only one of those here (well, Queen-of-the-castle, actually) and she’s very happy to define and defend her territory by the normal olfactory means.

The only reason I can type this is that I have long claws, which I keep at a manageable length by manicuring them with runs on the drive. The white-coats tried to cut them, but I wasn’t having it. Sometimes you have to bare your teeth and when I bare my teeth, I get what I want. Simples! (Oh, you should see my meerkat impression!)

He takes me out at night sometimes, especially in the summer. A couple of times, I’ve slipped off and hidden. It makes me chortle, watching him trying to find me. I’m usually just lurking in the shadows a few feet away, where I become completely invisible at night. It’s a good trick!

Got to go now: I’ve got work to do, tricking him into taking me to Ray Wood. There’s more story-smells in there than anywhere else around here. In the spring, the richness of scent in the air becomes almost too much; almost, but not quite!

We would love to see which part of the Estate our visitor's dogs enjoy the most. Take part in the final Dog of the Month competition by sharing photos on social media of your canine friends at Castle Howard, don't forget to tag us! At the end of the month we will announce the winner, who will be the final entry into the end of year draw to win a very special dog themed gift at this years Festival of Dogs. (4th - 6th May 2019).