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

  • brittanydandron99
    2/11/2015 - 01:21 p.m.

    I think the idea of Dog weddings is cute but if they get up to a lot of money i wouldn't do it. I wouldn't go all out on the idea of it either. I don't think that dog weddings should have a lot of things like people do. Its a cute idea because you never know maybe dogs do want to have their own weddings. Then again some of dogs might not really care for weddings. When i get older and have a dog and i find that they like another dog i will consider the idea of a dog wedding.

  • Amare'C1503
    2/11/2015 - 02:52 p.m.

    I think it's adorable for people to spend so much time throwing a little wedding for their dogs because it shows how much they actually care about their pets and their feelings

  • marilyna819
    2/11/2015 - 02:58 p.m.

    I think that having a pet wedding is a funny and cute thing for people to do but spending that much money is ridiculous for pet owners to spend on a PET wedding.

  • borosking99
    2/11/2015 - 03:29 p.m.

    This is so very cute. I love this. I know that humans got married ,but dogs. This is a good and funny way at an outlook of marriage

  • kerijo23
    2/11/2015 - 03:38 p.m.

    I think this is soo cute. I don't think that dogs should be getting married just because the owners thinks its cute. This just makes me laugh.

  • MailanN-4
    2/11/2015 - 08:51 p.m.

    I think that it is very cute how owners of their dogs are using their time and money to make their dogs happy but I think it is also unnecessaryespecially when people are spending $10,000 for a table of 10 at this dog wedding party which is at me too much to spend for dogs that might not even love each other.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    2/11/2015 - 09:34 p.m.

    I think that it is wrong to have the dog owners get their dog a dress and a tuxedo and they don't even care for the dog. Al they want for the dog is to marry and have babies. I think that the dogs don't want to be with that other dog because they might not like it. I think that these owners need to talk to their dogs and make sure that they want the wedding. If you see your dogs having it, then you know that you will have a marriage. I think that these owners need to know how to stop and begin. I hope that these dog owners can know what they are doing and i hope that they can do the right thing.

  • angrykiwi13
    2/12/2015 - 09:56 a.m.

    Oh, how cute. I love and adore puppies, but giving them weddings is a little bizarre. I mean, limos and a $6,000 dress? That's ridiculous. And spending money on a sushi chef, a florist, an orchestra, wedding planner, and Ellen DeGeneres' pet food company administering a dog food buffet? Who in the right mind does that? Again, I love dogs but I think they should keep weddings for people not dogs.

  • UmaP3
    2/12/2015 - 10:20 a.m.

    I think this is cute, but however i am totally against this because the dogs should not get married just because the owner think this is cute. And look at the dogs in that picture they are sad.

  • DamienM3
    2/12/2015 - 10:21 a.m.

    I think this a cool idea but also a bad one at that. I just feel bad for the dogs who just hate wearing dog clothes .

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