The historically noble breed fought alongside the Celts during the fierce Gallic Wars. In 1224, years before the foundations of the castle were laid, the King of Connaught, Hugh O'Conor, appointed a steward to take care of his loyal wolfhounds. To pay homage, two newly installed statues of wolfhounds greet guests at the entrance of the castle. Some of Ashford Castle's newest staff recruits are the hotel's two popular pure-bred wolfhounds, Cronan and Garvan, who were born in January 2014 and bred in Ballybofey, County Donegal. Garvan, the larger of the two and wheaten in color, was given an old Irish name inspired by his long and rough coat as a puppy. Cronan stands for "little dark one" which is exactly what he is. Shy as a puppy, Cronan has matured into a friendly and confident wolfhound.
The two furry brothers make an appearance at Ashford Castle daily from 10-11AM. Their presence is the perfect accompaniment to the castle, where walls are adorned throughout the hotel with wolfhound art. Guests get to meet and play with the dogs, take pictures, and find out what it takes to care for an Irish wolfhound. It's also a case of dog therapy for owners who miss their pups back home.
For more information about Ashford Castle, visit: www.ashfordcastle.com.