Biltmore Estate embraces dogs of the past and present
I recently grabbed my dog Buck to find out the truth when it comes to friendship with the dogs of the Biltmore Estate. We knew that dogs were welcome on the grounds. So we assumed we would be walking some trails, going through some gardens, and heading home. ON THE CONTRARY … We were allowed to tour the whole place and we all had a great time.
I always park at the Arboretum and then go up the stairs to the farm. I love this garden area that leads to my favorite lookout where I see our beloved blue hills. It is right above the wisteria that leads to the house. Dogs are not allowed inside the house much to the chagrin of my dog. It reminded me that since the Biltmore had been the home of St. Bernard, Russian Wolfdogs, and Sheepdogs, I was sure pets of the past wouldn’t mind. Eventually he understood that we must all do our part to preserve such a relic. And it would be risky to allow pets inside the walls of the famous house.
As we frolicked on the front lawn, we came across some traveling dogs, a charming cocker spaniel, and two mini dachshunds. With a bit of fuss and entanglement of leashes the introductions were made and the consensus of the dogs was that they were having a wonderful day. So we keep jogging. After a wonderful walk through the gardens and a stop at Bass Pond, we jumped in the car and headed to Cedric’s, the pub in Antler Village named after the infamous Vanderbilt dog. We were looking forward to lunch at the Biltmore Dog Restaurant and so it was, of course, outdoors. The staff were charming and treated Buck with genuine Biltmore hospitality.
We were eager to find out everything we could about Cedric. It seems that George Vanderbilt’s trusted Saint Bernard was the first mascot at the Biltmore. No one is sure how George came to own Cedric, but they do know that he brought him to the Biltmore from Pointe d’Acadie, his summer home in Bar Harbor, Maine, sometime around the opening of the Biltmore House in 1895. stating the obvious and that life was good for a Vanderbilt mascot. Cedric not only had the free reign of at least the first floor of the Biltmore House, often spending lounging in the library or billiard room or sunbathing in the Loggia, but he also frequently accompanied his teacher and other members. of the family on excursions throughout its vast estate.
On a full stomach we made our way to Biltmore Farm, which was just a hop, hop, and hop. The assistant staff couldn’t have been nicer in encouraging us to take fun photos of our beloved Buckaroo wearing an old cart and straw hats as props. We ended our day with a ride (trying to ditch our delicious fish and chips) down the bike path overlooking the Swannanoa River.
If you choose to bring the house the same day you visit the grounds, be aware that there are some kennels. You should ask the gatekeepers upon entering and you will be directed to them. You are the owner of the lock and key if you are lucky enough to get an empty kennel. Pets must be leashed at all times for the safety and comfort of all guests. Dogs are not allowed in the main house, but we were welcomed in several of the other buildings. Of course we ask permission and we behave in the best way.
The Biltmore is a must see and it is really more fun with your dog in tow.