See tiny tuxes but no puppy love at doggy weddings
See tiny tuxes but no puppy love at doggy weddings Blue Joie is held by his owner Ingrid Robinson of New York, as they and others wait for the start of the most expensive wedding for pets in New York. At left, Dee Dee and Clifford are held by their owner Valerie Diker (AP photos)
See tiny tuxes but no puppy love at doggy weddings
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When pet owners dress up their dogs in miniature white dresses and tiny tuxes, some believe the barks that signal "I do" reveal true puppy love.

These animal lovers say their pooches can feel real longing for other pets. But experts aren't so sure. Most people agree a wedding is just for fun or charity. After all, the groom is drooling and the bride's gown needs tailoring for her tail.

And, "you may now lick the bride" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

The doggy nuptials are gaining attention as Valentine's Day approaches. People are looking for new and unique ways to pamper their pets.

"Pet marriage or weddings are for people," said Dr. Bonnie Beaver. She is executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. She also is a professor at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Owners host weddings because it makes them feel good, she said. Most of the weddings get planned for dogs instead of cats. Although people can't know what dogs are thinking, studies have shown they do experience emotion, Beaver said.

"Fear is a classic example," she said. "But we don't know if they experience it as you or I would."

Others say it's all about the animals. Even if that means the first dance is a walk around a patch of grass instead a waltz.

"The weddings are for the dogs," said Adina Slotsky, the owner and CEO of Hollywood Pet Parties. Though birthday parties, dubbed "barkdays," are much more popular, she said.

When owners plan doggy nuptials, they can go all out. Some call them "puptials." There are groomsmen and bridesmaids of every breed. Some people even get down on all fours. The animal weddings come with flowers, music and a reception with food that both people and pooches can enjoy. The food ranges from apple slices to baby back ribs with spinach.

All pet weddings move quickly because of animals short attention spans. With all the distractions, dogs spend lots of time on leashes.

A simple wedding costs about $300, Slotsky said. But it can easily grow to thousands of dollars if guests are plentiful, the venue is top-notch, the food is extravagant, a band plays and a florist creates centerpieces, she said.

The most lavish pet wedding took place in New York in 2012. Baby Hope Diamond, a fluffy white Coton de Tulear, married a poodle named Chilly Pasternak. It was for a charity fundraiser.

It was a lavish ceremony. It came complete with limos and a $6,000 designer dress. But that's not all. There was a sushi chef, mixologist to create "puptails," florist, orchestra, wedding planner and parking valets. Ellen DeGeneres' pet food company furnished a dog food buffet.

The event raised $158,187.26 for the Humane Society of New York. It earned a place in Guinness World Records for the most expensive pet wedding. Everything was donated. Guests spent up to $10,000 for a table of 10.

One thing pet owners don't have to worry about is divorce. But because animals have unique personalities just like people, there is no guarantee two animals will get along, Beaver said.

No studies show pets like or love one another. But "it is very common for two or more individual animals to spend a great amount of time together and show signs of stress if separated," she said.

But some stick by the belief that dogs love. Carol Bryant, co-founder of Wigglebutt Warriors, is a believer. Wigglebutt Warriors is the fundraising division of dog health website Fidose of Reality.

"I do believe that dogs can love and be in love with each other," said Bryant. Her cocker spaniel married another dog for a company fundraiser.

Critical thinking challenge: "Pet marriage or weddings are for people. What does Dr. Bonnie Beaver mean by this statement?

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Assigned 122 times

    2/11/2015 - 08:41 a.m.

    I think that animals can feel emotions, but not to the point that they would voluntarily marry another dog. Pet weddings do seem to be more for the owners, not the dog. Also, it seems a bit extreme to pay $158,187.26 for a dogs wedding!!!

  • s.s2001sing
    2/11/2015 - 08:51 a.m.

    I think having weddings for pets is very creative and cute! This shows me that their owners care about them. I don't know if this is how their pet wants to live or if their pets likes this idea but it seems to me like the owner is very thoughtful of them...I also think that the fundraising part of the wedding is very thoughtful as well. The other thing that I liked was that you wouldn't have to worry about your pets getting divorced. If people can have weddings I think pets can have a wedding too even if it is very expensive.:-)

  • grace.40
    2/11/2015 - 09:44 a.m.

    I think this is cute, and if i had more than one dog I would make them get married, because i have a bunch of dog clothes for them.

  • lyndas705
    2/11/2015 - 10:54 a.m.

    I think it's really cute having a wedding for a dog. But there's no reason to be extravagant because they're just dogs . Plus you don't even know if they really love each other. I totally understand treating them like family but a $10,000 wedding is too much

  • Alysseh171
    2/11/2015 - 10:56 a.m.

    I think that is interesting that someone would spend money on a dog wedding than to spend money on something they need. I don't think I would do that.

  • barbarat302
    2/11/2015 - 10:58 a.m.

    I think that is cool that they have a wedding for their dogs, but it is also cool how they do for their pets but also for charity so it's kinda like a win win for them because they get to help people by doing something fun and cute

  • HallieJ790
    2/11/2015 - 11:13 a.m.

    I think having weddings for your dog is just silly! Dogs (along with any other pet) shouldn't be getting married just because their owner thinks it cute. It waste a bunch of money anyway! I love dogs, but I would never make my dog get married.

  • GigiSylvester-Ste
    2/11/2015 - 12:58 p.m.

    I think this is soo cute. However, I don't think that dogs should be getting married just because the owners thinks its cute. I know my dog hates when we put dog clothes on him, so tuxedos are probably torture for dogs. This is just the owners being selfish.

  • j.l2000
    2/11/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

    I feel as if you have a pet and you want to let your pet have a wedding then you can. Even though some people disagree with pet marriages, if it isn't your pet you can do anything about it. In my personal opinon I think its adorable.

  • nightowl
    2/11/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    I hate this this is totally against PETA not to humiliate the animals . in the picture you can see the dog is obviously ashamed of the out fit . if only they could talk so they could tell how stupid and cruel we are sometimes

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