Personally, I’ve never been drawn to doing those things with my dog. Although we DID always acknowledge her birthday with a long hike and special treats, Buttons never wore outfits except a utilitarian sweater when we were camping overnight in the cold. The one time a groomer put bows in Buttons’ hair, I swear my sweet girl gave me the angriest and most humiliated look until I removed them, and she didn’t seem too happy about my laughing all the way to the car, first.
In addition to being the author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood, I am also a painter, a nondenominational minister and wedding officiant. To date, I have written, personalized and performed over 600 weddings. I’ll admit, there have been some bridezillas along the way, but technically, each and every one of the couples I’ve married have been human.
I probably wouldn’t perform a doggy wedding if asked, but I always encourage pet parents to somehow include their dogs in THEIR ceremonies. Many have been ringbearers- the rings secured in a small satin bag attached to their collar, and a few “best men” with black bow ties.
The one I’ll always remember clearly, was the black lab who insisted on licking my toes throughout the ceremony and I never again wore dress sandals to perform a wedding. In truth the toe-licking itself wasn’t so bad- it was the unexpected shock of it as I stood speaking to the couple’s 300 guests.
At the very least, when the venue doesn’t allow dogs, I suggest the couple have a framed photograph of their furry kids on the altar table. That includes beloved canines who have passed. Weddings, after all, are all about love...and of course, so are dogs.