When you’re planning your wedding, one of the first things that you think about is who is going to be standing beside you. Your wedding day is a time to be surrounded by close friends, family and all the people in your life that love and support you. So, if you’re the proud handler of a service dog, wouldn’t you want your canine companion standing next to you on your special day?
Valerie Parrott recently walked down the aisle at her wedding with her medical alert service dog walking right along beside her. Earlier this month Parrott and husband Andrew were we in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and they wanted to make sure that Bella, Parrott’s service dog, played a special part in the ceremony.
Little did they know that after sharing the photos on social media, Bella would become an internet sensation. The Parrott’s had a special vest made up for Bella and a tutu to match. Parrott was escorted down the aisle with her father on one side and Bella on the other.
Bella has been helping Parrott cope with migraines, panic attacks and anxiety for the last three years. Parrot says that her anxiety was beginning to rise just before the ceremony, and she decided to take a brief time out with Bella to help lower her anxiety. Maddie Peschong, the couples’ wedding photographer caught the moment on film, and the internet went wild over the photos.
Parrott says it’s been a bit surreal. She thought it was just a beautiful photo that captured the bond between her and her service dog, and apparently internet users around the world agree. Parrott says that she is proud of the photo, and she believes that it is important to show that bond to the world.
That bond is what allows the canine to help her handler. The trust that they share is what allows the working relationship to run smoothly. For many people around the world, the help of a service dog is what allows them to live a happy life. Without their service dog things would be much more difficult, and some handlers would not be able to function without the day to day help of their canine companion.
If you think about it, having a dog walk down the aisle with his owner isn’t such a strange thing. In fact, I never really gave it any thought before, but I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it for my own wedding!
For many dog owners, your dog is one of your closest friends – in many cases, your best friend. They are there for us when don’t feel well, when we feel upset or sad and when we just need a buddy to hang out with. Why shouldn’t they be there with us on one of the most important days of our lives?
So, now I want to hear from you. Did your dog attend your wedding? Was he in the wedding party? I want to hear your dog-friendly wedding stories and would love to see pictures as well. You can share your stories in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages.