In the world of professional pet sitting you’re bound to get some unusual requests, so some months ago when I was invited to attend a wedding not as a guest, but as a dog handler for the bride and groom’s two dogs, I can’t say that I was all that surprised. More and more people are incorporating their pets into their weddings (or at least their wedding photo’s) and I can see why – people’s pets are like family and are often an integral part of their relationships. More specifically, for the wedding I was asked to work, the couple’s dogs are what caused them to meet, since the bride is also a dog walker/sitter (like me!). It was only natural then, that Tucker, an eight-year old German Shepard/Blue Heeler mix, and Chester, a two year old, three-legged Lab mix be a part of the ceremony.
My job, for all intents and purposes, was simply to watch the dogs when they were not needed for pictures and/or the service itself, and, perhaps more importantly, to remove Tucker from the ceremony if he started making too much noise. Tucker is an extremely vocal dog, probably the most vocal dog I’ve ever encountered. He’s not a barker per say, but he does a lot of groaning, whining, and whinging to get attention. Were he a person, he’d be your chatterbox friend that doesn’t really talk that loudly but never shuts up. We all agreed that it was not a matter of if Tucker started squawking during the service, but just a matter of when… and how disruptive it would become. Unfortunately for ole’ Tuck Tuck (as I lovingly refer to him), he did not make it very long before he started whinging loudly and Andrew, the groom, gave me the nod to take him away. Although Tucker missed his mom and dad say “I do”, he did get to enjoy a nice walk in the woods surrounding Moraine Farms instead, which he may have enjoyed more than the service, after all, he is a dog.
After the service, “the boys”, resplendent in their homemade tuxedo collars with matching bow ties, were called upon for pictures. I was left to my own devices and allowed to enjoy a glass of wine on the house as well as a few delectable appetizers that were being offered up by the catering staff as they made their rounds, trays in hand. Although I was invited to stay and attend the ceremony and after party, I had to decline due to the fact that I had another “charge” scheduled for pick up at my house later that evening; that said, I certainly appreciated the sentiment.
All in all I have to admit it was a painless afternoon, especially considering it was technically “work”. I got gussied up to attend a wedding, and I even got to sit in the front row! Most importantly, my fears that Chester, the three legged wonder dog would outshine the bride on her big day were quelled as soon as she stepped into the spotlight. Sam looked beautiful. Even the most athletic three legged dog in existence couldn’t take the limelight from her on that day. And that’s all any bride can ask for on her day – to shine as brightly as possible with the helpful lights of her closest loved ones to guide and reflect upon her. And in that respect, Tucker and Chester served their purpose that day. Mazel!