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May 29, 2009

Here Comes the Dog.........

Apparently, more couples are including pets in their weddings than ever before, according to Petfinder.com, which bills itself as "the largest online database of adoptable pets and the No. 1 pet-related site.''

Examples: Jessica Sempek did not need an adorable niece to steal the attention as flower girl. Her two adopted dogs, Emmie and Lady Bug took center stage as they walked down the aisle showered in rose petals.

Kaycee English and her new husband love their pooch so much they took him on their honeymoon! Not very many ring bearers get to enjoy the first few days of marital bliss, but Bowser is obviously an exception.

Stephanie Baker and her then fiancé fell in love with a blind dog on Petfinder.com when they first got engaged. Carrying on tradition, Stephanie and her dog, Tucker, posed together on her wedding day in the same position her mother did with her dog 35 years ago.

Petfinder offers the following tips if you're considering it:

  • Make sure your ceremony and reception locations allow pets before finalizing your plans.
  • Take photos with your dog before the wedding or on a different day. Animals can sometimes be like children in photo sessions – they don’t always have the best attention spans.
  • Do you have an “easily-excitable” pooch? Does your dog love table scraps? Many pets may not handle large crowds and intense situations well. Know your pet before making the decision to include him or her in your special day … OR of course, you can consider tailoring your wedding plans to fit your pet's needs!

Now here's my personal story about a Dog of Honor. Her name was Miss Ruby Magnolia, and she appeared to be a golden/cocker spaniel mix...but who knows. her mom, Elaine, and her new dad, David, got married in their Sacramento back yard. It was a perfect day for an outdoor wedding. The lawn was lush and the plantings colorful. David built an oriental-style gazebo for the the wedding party and the rabbi, and about 100 guests sat in folding chairs on the grass.

It was a noonish wedding, as I recall, and Ruby had been peacefully snoozing on Elaine's bed. She was freshly groomed and we affixed a white satin bow to her collar. She was to follow the bridesmaids out of the house and down the aisle.

All the ladies were getting dressed in Elaine's room, whooping it up with certain bubbly libations. Still, we managed to pull ourselves together and in reasonably dignified fashion, proceed toward the gazebo. Ruby dutifully trooped along behind, preceding the bride.

The rabbi began his invocation. He faced the congregation and Elaine and David faced him. Moments into his remarks, Ruby stood up and strolled to the open space between the gazebo and the banks of chairs. Then, in the manner of a dog that has only one thing in mind, she began to walk in a tight circle. Titters began, which caused the rabbi to look up. He spotted Ruby, as did everyone in attendance except the bridal couple, who were facing the opposite way. Ruby squatted. Ruby pooped. People began to fall off their chairs in hysterics. The rabbi, bridesmaids and groomsmen fell against each other for support. The rabbi lost it. Elaine and David had NO IDEA what was happening behind them, so they wheeled around just in time for Ruby to accomplish her mission and languidly wander off.

This was 20 years ago, and I swear, I still laugh til I cry every time I think about it. It's on video somewhere. If I ever find it, it's going straight to America's Funniest Home Videos. And it will win.

Ruby, now of blessed memory, is still missed by all. She'll never know what a star she was.

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