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“Her mommy and I do.”
Oh… you’re having a dog wedding. Of course. Silly me. How remiss of me not to get it. I mean, there’s an adorable little dachshund, and the cutest little pug you’ve ever seen in your life, and he has his little tux, and she’s wearing a pretty dress, and they’re all lined up with their brides dogs and their grooms dogs in the dog park getting married by their veterinarian.
I actually saw a dog wedding taking place down at the park the other day, and I guess I must have been living in a cave or under a rock all these years, because when I wandered over out of curiosity – not to disrupt the ceremony, you understand, but afterward, when the photos were being taken – I was assured that this is really nothing out of the ordinary. I started wondering, why do people do this, and when I got home I did some vigorous Googling.
I was surprised to find out just how common dog weddings are. People actually dress their dogs up in white dresses, and little tuxes, and some of them even think that when they bark they’re really saying “I do.”
Are they nuts? I don’t know. I do know that a lot of animal behavior specialists believe that dogs feel every emotion that we feel, and feel it even more intensely. So when your dog looks at you with what appears to be complete, unreserved love, that’s probably exactly what he’s feeling. Does he feel it for other dogs, though?
There’s no doubt that dogs can form strong friendships, but I very much doubt that any dog ever looks at another and says to himself, “You are the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with, forsaking all others.” My take on it is that people have weddings for their dogs because it’s fun, and it makes them feel good. But when does it get out of hand?
There are actually companies that specialize in arranging weddings for dogs, in much the same way as a wedding planner coordinates the event for human couples. And people often go all out for their “puptials,” arranging flowers, music, and even receptions. These “weddings” usually cost at least $300, and I guess you could argue that you’d spend at least that on a Saturday night get-together for your human friends. From my perspective, though, when it tips over into crazy is when people are spending thousands of dollars, or even tens of thousands on doggie weddings. That’s when it tips over from harmless fun into serious delusion.
Sometimes, dog weddings are fun activities that can raise money for charity. This was the rationale between the wedding of a Coton de Tulear, Baby Hope Diamond, and Chilly Pasternak, a poodle. The wedding was lavish, complete with a $6,000 designer dress for the bride, limousines, an orchestra, valets, and a bartender. Ellen DeGeneres provided an “all you can eat” dog food buffet. The proceeds went to charity, so it’s all good.
The wedding between Faulkner, a Great Pyrenees, and RuffPepper, a Shih Tzu mix, holds the world record for the most expensive dog wedding. Guests actually spent $1,000 per person for a table. The New York Humane Society benefited to the tune of over $158,187. Since it was for a good cause, I can’t really see anything wrong with this kind of publicity stunt. Can’t see this marriage working out, though – I don’t think they have enough in common. I mean, he’s a Great Pyrenees, and she’s a tiny little mix. I don’t even want to think about the in-laws!
Let’s get a little bit real here. Dogs can indisputably become very close to other dogs. But can they be in love, like humans? I don’t think so. They might be very close until the next little hottie in heat comes along, but then it’s back to being friends Of course, we see that sometimes in human relationships as well.
And yet, there are actually people who will say “These dogs are in love and should be married.” They’re totally serious. Deluded, but serious.
Are people who plan and execute dog weddings crazy? I don’t know. Honestly, my personal jury is out on this one. On the one hand, I think “This is insane,” but on the other hand, I’m thinking that if the people involved are having fun, and the dogs don’t seem to mind, then where’s the harm in it?
I do have to point out one very important thing, though – if you think that dog weddings are in any way legally binding, then you ARE nuts. You are completely, certifiably, irredeemably NUTS. So go for it and have fun if that’s your thing, but please don’t take it too seriously. If you take it seriously, I’m going to worry about you.