Last week ended in misery because our beloved old yellow Labrador Percy died. I had bought him 12 years ago from a dear friend who lives across the fields from us. My sister Lucy decided he was the fattest and boldest in the litter so he would be the one for us. Christened Percy by my husband, this little bundle of fluff arrived and could almost fit in our hands.


I wanted our son Edward to grow up with a dog, to love him and be loved, someone to play with, sleep with and run with.  Percy was always there for us, ready to defend us, someone from whom we learnt how to live and enjoy each day. There is hardly a photo without Percy.

Percy loved swimming and fetching sticks, fond of food he knew where all the bins were and relished the arrival of visitors and scones.  He loved to bark at the Shepherd’s truck and would spot it miles away! He could distinguish the butchers’ van and ask to be let out. In fact he would sidle to the back of the kitchen hoping for sausages or a side of beef. It proved so disastrous for the Chef that we had to build a special box for the early deliveries which was “Percy proof”. Percy loved spending the day with me and would come out in the mornings to feed the horses, he would then follow me around until with a huge sigh would sink down by my desk whilst I was doing my writing.

My husband adored him and sat down by his side early for a long time on his last morning. My step- children and sisters will all miss him, he was intelligent and determined, larger than life and had a wonderful life around the Castle.


I know we are lucky as we have his daughter and two grandsons, his other relatives also come back here too to visit. They are all kind and wonderful dogs, who we love dearly, so our home is not empty but still there is no Percy.


32 Responses to “Percy”
  1. Dee says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss….losing our furry family members is heartbreaking and leaves such a grief-filled hole. My chocolate lab is 11 years old and I am cherishing every moment with him. My sincere condolences on losing this much loved family member….but what an extraordinary and blessed life he lived at Highclere!!

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      Thank you – he did live well. He never went anywhere else, and I am rather of his view, this is where I am getting to know.

  2. Lisa Finnicum says:

    Sorry for the loss of your sweet Percy.
    They certainly become part of our lives and routines.
    May he rest well and may you all find comfort in your good memories of him.

  3. Betty Sleep says:

    The only problem with loving an animal, is that they don’ t live nearly long enough.

  4. Paul McTaggart says:

    I can feel your family lost of Percy, we had a one the same his name was Ollie he was 12 too we had him from a pup & like you we wanted our son grow up with a dog, just like Percy in every way.. Ollie was a yellow lab like most labs full of fun & up to mischief all the time when he saw the chance to be but we loved him. My heart goes out you & your family at this sad time :o(

  5. Robert G says:

    What a beautiful tribute!

    Thank you for sharing your memories with us and best wishes during these solemn times.

    Rob G and Family
    W.C. Lipe Mansion
    Syracuse, NY

  6. corinne31 says:

    I share my life with a black labrador who is part of the family so I can understand how sad you must be at the present time…these dogs are just so present…he will go on living in your memories …I feel sorry for you.

  7. MaryG says:

    I really feel sorry for you, I’ve lost my favorite dog three months ago :

  8. I am sorry for your loss. It was kind of you to share your feelings.

  9. Elaine Beaumont says:

    So sorry for you and your family. I know your heartache and sadness. We have had labs since the early 70’s, we too wanting our sons to grow up with a dog. We are on lab number four now, a chocolate lab, named Lady Emily Berkshire. My husband grew up in Sunningdale, which is in Berkshire. We call her Emily and she is a very special member of our family that is very much loved. Our youngest son is 40 now, my husband and I live alone, but Emily loves, plays and enjoys the children and grandchildren when they come to visit.,.

  10. LINDA CLYMO says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Percy appeared to be a wonderful part of your family and you will have so many happy memories of the time he spent witrh you all.
    Linda Clymo, Luxor , Egypt

  11. Betsy says:

    There is no greater love than the animal’s unconditional presence of being

  12. Sharon Sprigg says:

    So sorry for the loss of Percy. He has brought your family much happiness and I know he will be missed.
    Thank you for sharing!

  13. Jeanne Rife says:

    What a wonderful life Percy must have had, to be so loved. Our first dog, also a yellow lab, set the standard for all the dogs to follow and I still miss him. My heart goes out to your famiy. Jeanne

  14. Jayne A Jordan says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon;

    Losing a beloved four legged family member is the hardest part of sharing our lives with them. A scene I have lived over many times in my life. It is wonderful that you have his daughter and grandsons to carry on. My family had English Cocker Spaniels. I was privileged to be raised with and by them. I have had many animals, all special, over the years but the mother Cocker that loved us unconditionally for my first 18 years holds a special place in my heart. I am sure that your son will cherish Percy’s memory for a lifetime.

    Thank you for sharing your home and family with us.

    Jayne A Jordan

  15. I am very sorry to hear that your precious dog died. I wish you much comfort and joy to you and your family.

  16. Diane M LaRiviere says:

    So sorry for your loss. Take <3 and God bless you all.

  17. Judith Solomon says:

    So sorry to hear about your beloved Percy , your loving tribute brought a lump to my throat …I bet you will miss him but his legacy lives on through his daughter and grandsons ,so that maybe some comfort to you all during these first hard weeks now he is gone.

  18. Bonnie Mosser says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Percy. I hope all of your happy memories will bring you comfort.

  19. MARY CRANMER says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. It is so hard to say goodbye to a cherished friend, animal or human. For me there is no distinction. Thank you for giving him a good life.

  20. Patti Quinlan says:

    So sorry about Percy. As another person commented our beloved dogs just don’t live long enough. I had a
    Shih Tzu Sable who lived to be 17 1/2 yrs. She has been gone ten years yet I think of her almost every day. We now have a Border Terrier who is a very different breed and personality than Sable was but we love him dearly.
    I have enjoyed watching the PBS special of you and your husband showing your home and decided to visit your web site. History, England and old homes ie castles have always been of great interest to me. Thank you for sharing all three. God bless!

  21. Kay Pike says:

    So very sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Percy. I am from the Island of Newfoundland and Labrador, which I am certain the Labrador breed came from. We also have the beautiful Newfoundland dog. Many thanks for sharing your story.

  22. Kathleen McLendon says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My husband & I have a Westhighland White Terrier (Westie), named Shelby, who we got as a puppy almost 11 years ago. I simply cannot imagine life without her, whenever that day comes for her to cross over into those fields of gold. May God bless you and your family as you grieve Percy’s spirited life.

  23. Doug Jennings says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon:

    While you were losing Percy, I was going through exactly the same thing with my beloved Yellow Lab, Amy’s Hobe Sound a/k/a Hobie. He was one week shy of his 14th birthday when his spinal problems became to horrible to bear. While not “to the manor born”, he was my pal and he ate just as well and often as Percy. Your beautiful eulogy for Percy, Hobie’s twin, has helped me in my own grieving process. All I can say is that we were very lucky indeed to know such stout-hearted and loving companions. I have loved your books, and living in Maine I feel somewhat connected to the story. You seem like a very nice family. Thank you again, and we share a secret that only devoted lab owners know. They are the best.

    Doug Jennngs

  24. Doug Jennings says:

    Dear Lady C:

    My Yellow Lab Aril 21, 2000-April 10, 2014

    For Hobie

    Merciful God, today you are a fortunate God,
    At your feet is my beautiful boy. Proof to me of your existence.
    Only you could have made such a light of love,
    Now he is yours, but in my heart he is at my side, for all the days I live.
    Goodbye my gentle friend. You who answered my call on legs too stiff to move.
    My sorrow is only exceeded by my love for you.
    My world has been so much better for your company.
    You knew my every feeling expressed or hidden.
    Every dog lover knows that their pet is the best, but you and I Know better.
    You were the best
    I was a very lucky man indeed.

  25. Patricia Buck says:

    Thanks for your blog! I so want to visit Highclere Castle. I can’t wait for a tour to leave from here, Yorktown, VA, USA, someday?! I am so sorry to hear of Percy’s passing. I just lost my 14.5 yr. old golden retriever, Jake, this past Feb. and it has been the hardest thing ever to accept. I miss him so badly. But, I know that Percy and Jake are playing in the meadows of heaven and we WILL be with them again, when it’s our time to cross over. Love and best wishes to you and your family.

  26. Pauline Kelly says:

    I was so sorry to hear about Percy, having lost our beautiful West Highland Terrier last June who we had rescued 9 years earlier, I can relate to your sadness. Even now I come home and expect him to be waiting and running to get his toys so we can play. Following me everywhere and lying on the kitchen floor hoping to catch some fallen food. They are such a part of the family. When my Mother was ill we took him into the nursing home and everyone perked up, god help us if we ever went without him. They give us so much and I feel blessed that Baz came into our lives and chose us to be his guardian. Not everyone understands.

  27. Mikis & Tatiana Melas says:

    We are sorry to hear of your loss.
    Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
    Mikis and Tatiana Melas,
    Athens, Greece

  28. jacquelinespencer says:

    After reading your article this week in the Daily Mail it was a comfort to me reading about it I lost my beloved
    cream retriever Rupert who was handsome, adorable,mischievous and my very best friend on 5th April 2014 and miss him so much so I know exactly what you are going through. I am so sorry for your loss and share with
    you all the wonderful memories he has left with you and the happiness he has given you and now both dogs
    are free from pain and now free spirits. Rupert was 15. God bless you and your family.

  29. Jane Dewhirst says:

    I am so sorry that you had to say Goodbye to Percy. He must have had a wonderful life with You. Enjoyed our Visit to your wonderful home yesterday. But a request I really wanted to buy a polo shirt but even the small size was enormous I did mention this to the ladie,s in the shop. Please would you get your supplier to make an X small size so I can buy one.
    Jane .

  30. I am sorry for your loss. I must admit, my little girls are nearly as precious to me as my darling (human) daughter. The very thought of anything happening to them is positively dreadful.

    My prayers for God’s blessings and mercy for you and your family.

Leave A Comment

Copyright 2017 Lady Carnarvon · RSS Feed · Website Design by MAXX Design