The West Highland Terrier in this series was given the name of Poppy because she was bought near to Armistice Day from a County Durham breeder, the last of the litter to be sold. Her new lady owner had just retired from teaching at a primary school and her retirement gifts included sufficient funds to buy the puppy at twelve weeks old.
At night she sleeps in a basket with a duvet in the kitchen; she has a ‘day’ bed too in the lounge next to the radiator, of course. Poppy is a downstairs dog as she will not venture up the open-tread stairs. She does not enter the ground floor bathroom of the lady of the house –she knows this is not allowed.
Poppy is the best friend of Bracken, the Jack Russell earlier in this series. Although she tolerates other dogs she is not that keen on Bertie, a visiting Yorkshire Terrier, - she protects her large bag of soft toys from him. Her favourite toy is a squeaky orange ball which she can just get her mouth around and with which she loves to play. To gain Poppy’s attention for anything like being photographed – you just have to squeak the ball and her ears prick up, so typical of a ‘Westie’. She immediately becomes photogenic, watching to see what will happen next.
She is a fan of Belgian chocolate and likes to finish off a Magnum on a stick. Poppy is a good eater being fed on IAMS Complete; however she will also polish off vegetables and grapes and best of all some lettuce.
Although Poppy, now twelve years old, has a good pedigree she has never been a show dog due to the kink in her tail that she has had from birth. She would not agree with her master who says, “She does nothing useful”. After all she stands on her specially made armchair, looking out of the window at the road outside. How would he know that there is anyone about if she did not growl quietly at them? He has even made her a small platform so that she can clamber up on her chair now that she is older and has stiffness in her joints. For the same reason Poppy appreciates the non-slip mat on the step up to the front door of the house she protects from her chair.
Poppy loathes having a bath but suffers its indignation as she knows that she will be rewarded with her favourite jelly baby treat. She is permitted to have one of these a week with or without the bath. Because of an occasional skin disorder she uses Malaseb special shampoo at ten times the price of that used by her master!
Good with children Poppy shows no sign of aggression in any situation. She tolerates a collar when out on a lead in the lanes around the village but really likes the freedom to run around in the local park and on a North East beach; she will go in the sea as far and as long as she can keep her feet firmly on the ground.