Yappily Ever After !!


Originally posted in Women’s Voices for Change 

Yappily Ever After


Photo: Morgan Yang

Photo: Morgan Yang

  By     July 16, 2011

How do you feel about dogs being part of a wedding ceremony?  If you’re a dog person,  you’re probably thinking, “Great idea!” If you aren’t, it’s apparently like suggesting that aardvarks or squirrels be included in the wedding party. A likely response is, “Why on earth would anyone want to do that?“ From personal experience, I can tell you why.

 My son and his beloved are crazy about Jack, their Bichon Frise,so when they told me they were engaged, I joked, “I can’t wait to see Jack in a tux!” Little did I know that the kids wouldn’t dream of getting married without including not only Jack, but Jack’s “Uncle” Max, the Bichon belonging to the bride’s parents. Both dogs, wearing tuxes, would be part of the ceremony. Max, the older and better behaved of the two, would be the ring bearer. Jack would be the “flower dog.”

Photo: Morgan Yang

 When my son told me that Jack and Max would be members of the wedding party, I thought it quirky but adorable something that would make the ceremony uniquely theirs. My ex, who was footing the bill for the otherwise traditional shindig (and who is not a dog person), was less enthusiastic at first, but soon came around. He loves the kids enough to want to give them exactly the wedding they wanted. 

Telling folks that your son’s wedding will include four-legged participants is a litmus test for discovering how they feel about companion animals. People who see their own pets as “family” were charmed and delighted. “Wonderful!“ they enthused. “Tell me all about it.“  But people who don’t much care for dogs were repulsed. “That‘s  weird,” was not an unusual response.  I was also told that including Jack and Max was “offensive,” “disrespectful” and “ridiculous.”  

 When I told one friend that the kids were not only planning on a canine-inclusive ceremony but also planned to have a dog-themed wedding cake, she joked, “Better put plenty of nuts on it!“ As far as she was concerned, including the dogs at all, let alone putting them on the cake, was just a nutty an idea. Luckily, we’re not that close so she wasn’t invited. I hoped the nobody who WAS invited would be dismayed or repulsed by the sight of two beloved dogs in formal attire trotting down the aisle.

But what if they were? Tom and Amy love those dogs and it’s their wedding. The ceremony should reflect who they are as a couple (dog lovers!) and what matters to them (Living happily ever after — with Bichons!) and not be about the comfort level of my friends. 

Sure, a canine-inclusive ceremony used to be unheard of, but things are changing. Google “dogs in weddings” and you’ll find dozens of photos. Bulldogs in tuxes. Poodles in veils. Labradoodles wearing garlands of flowers. A beaming bride carrying an impeccably groomed Yorkie down the aisle in a small white basket.

Photo: Morgan Yang

The way I saw it, meeting the challenge of pulling off a wedding that included Jack and Max would bode well for Tom and Amy’s ability to meet the many challenges of married life. A wedding ceremony that ran smoothly despite the presence of two lively dogs would be a small miracle. But so is any loving, enduring marriage. And what mother doesn’t want that for her kids?

 “Are the dogs well-behaved?” one dog-savvy friend asked me.

 “One of them is,” I told her. Max, the older dog, is a perfect gentleman. Jack, the younger dog, is more mischievous. She laughed. “Well, it should be memorable.” 

And so it was.

Unique, memorable and joyful.

As mother of the groom and “grandmother” of the flower dog, I had the time of my life.

Thundershirts – an interesting way to help calm dog anxiety, reactions to loud noises…

Thundershirt: a tool to help calm dog anxiety and phobias

Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM 

By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM
Veterinary Medicine Guide

The Bottom Line

The idea seems almost too simple to work; that a constant gentle pressure “hug” could calm an anxious pet’s nervous system. Based in part by the work of Temple Grandin, the Thundershirt serves this purpose for pets who are afraid of loud noises and other anxiety-based behaviors. It is an easy, relatively low-cost, and drug-free product to try out on pets who suffer from loud noises. My own dog slept through fireworks wearing it, so I will definitely continue to use the Thundershirt as needed for anxious times.


  • Drug-free help for anxious and stressed dogs.
  • The Thundershirt is well constructed – good fit and adjustability for size.
  • 100% money back guarantee.
  • This company “gives back” to help other dogs in need.
  • Great training and before-and-after videos on their site.


  • Velcro closures collect a lot of hair, but are necessary for snug fit.
  • Might be warm on a hot day, but could be soaked in water to keep dog cool.



  • A snug-fitting garment used to calm dogs who are anxious about loud noises, visitors, car rides, and more.
  • An easy, drug-free way to help reduce stress and anxiety in your dog.
  • The Thundershirt web site has many helpful training and before-and-after videos about using this product.



Guide Review – Thundershirt: a tool to help calm dog anxiety and phobias

This product is based in part on the work by Temple Grandin, noted author, Doctor of Animal Science, and professor at Colorado State University. The thought is that gentle pressure provided by this shirt calms the nervous system. Does it work? I tried it on my own dog Sophie, who suffers from loud noise phobias.
We adopted Sophie as a 6 month old dog from the shelter. Sophie is now 8 years old. Noise phobias – fear of thunder, fireworks, gun shots – have been something we have dealt with from the start, intensifying as she has gotten older.
Last year, I was ready for the 4th of July. We tried out the DAP collar, and had amazing results. My previously noise-phobic dog was now sleeping through thunderstorms after wearing one collar for 30 days. It was so effective that I was unable to fully evaluate the Thundershirt, but did create a photo gallery of Sophie wearing the Thundershirt.
In fact, the DAP collar worked so well over the ensuing months that I became complacent. We headed into this year’s fireworks season unprepared. The fireworks seemed even crazier this year. I did not have a DAP collar. Sophie became upset, pacing, panting, whining, wanting to hide in the closet. I forgot I had the Thundershirt and made a makeshift one. I think it helped.
Then, on the next night, I remembered the Thundershirt and put it on Sophie. It fits perfectly in all the right places. It is well-constructed and snug without being too tight to cause discomfort. She laid down right away. That was a great first step. Then it was time for bed, fireworks still going on (ugh). I left the Thundershirt on Sophie. She fell asleep, which meant I could, too. The real test was at 5am. We awoke to a continual bam-bam-bam. More fireworks. I wasn’t sure at first though, because there was Sophie, sound asleep. This is not typical for her. In a situation like this, she would be nudging me awake, whining and pacing. She was slumbering away. Whew.
This is an encouraging test of the Thundershirt that I was unable to do last year, and I would recommend this product to those pets who suffer from loud noise phobias and other anxiety-based problems, either alone (mild cases) or in conjunction with other therapies.
Click for:      Thundershirt web site
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

The Canine Constitutional – While you’re getting married, who’s walking the pooch? (A variation on a theme)

The Canine Constitutional

While you’re at work, who’s walking the pooch?

reprinted from:

Sep 17, 2009 |

Unless you’re extraordinarily abstracted or unobservant, you’ve probably noticed that our Hudson River communities are packed with dogs. Mutts or Westminsters, they’re tagged and leashed and walking with their “handlers.”

That’s right. That attentive human petting and scolding, talking doggie talk and dispensing treats could very well be a pro.

If a dog walker is doing a good job, you probably won’t see anything like the picture on this page. We set it up with All Wagging Tails owners Heather Gaida and Rebecca Alison because we thought it would be a cute shot. But any reputable dog walker will tell you that eight is too many.

Photo by Rebecca Alison

Heather started the Hoboken company in the spring of 2007. While working in corporate America and going to school to study elementary education, someone else was walking Heather’s dog. “I wanted to do her job,” Heather says, “out in the fresh air, working with animals, being able to walk my dog all day.” Heather’s dog is a Kerry blue terrier named Blue.

Rebecca was one of Heather’s first customers—she has a 90-pound lab/shepherd mix named Cooper—and soon became a partner, for many of the same reasons Heather went into the business.

ON A BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY we meet at the ferry slip in North Hoboken for the shoot. Rebecca is the photographer, Heather the dog walker, and they bring a helper. While we’re unloading the dogs from Heather’s SUV, one fairly large one back flips out the door, while a very tiny one makes a break for it. I commit one of the cardinal sins of human behavior—running after it.

Heather says that’s a sure way the dog will keep running. Better to stand your ground. “We know that dog, and he will follow us anywhere.”

Dogs are increasingly seen as family members. “The pet used to be chained outside in the dog house in the freezing cold,” says Heather. “Over time the family realized what a dog has to offer to your life. As this was happening, more services became available. The average person works 15 hours a day in the city and couldn’t have a dog, but now they know someone good is caring for the animal, and they can come home to the pet they love.”

If you own a dog, you know that the most important traits in a dog walker are trust and integrity. You wouldn’t leave your kid with a dodgy individual, and the same goes for the dog. “People trust us to go into their homes,” Heather says. “We feel we provide an honest service.”

“BOTH HEATHER AND I ARE ANIMAL LOVERS,” Rebecca says. “I volunteer for the Liberty Humane Society, and have two cats, and I used to have an iguana, bearded dragon, and birds, and Heather had a bird. Through having animals you instinctively learn what to do and anticipate how they will react. Both of us wanted to be vets. I shadowed a vet during a neutering surgery and volunteered for a groomer, and Heather used to bathe some of our clients. When you see and deal with so many different types of dogs, each one has a different personality.”

“I like them all,” Rebecca says. “Every dog has its own quirks. I have a passion for terriers. They’re very curious. They stick their nose into everything. They’re different from labs, which are eager to please. A terrier will test you. You’ll tell it to do something, and it will go ‘hmm. Do I want to do that?’”

The company has built up quite a caseload of human clients. “We screen their dogs to see how they interact with other dogs,” Rebecca says. “It’s important for dogs to live healthy in society in a city environment. You have to be really careful about a dog’s temperament.”

The women say there are two types of dog walkers—those who belong to pet sitting associations, and independents. Those who belong to associations are creditable and in it for the long haul, Rebecca says. With independents you may or may not get high-quality service. “There are some individuals who want to make a quick buck when they have three or four months between jobs,” Heather says.

All Wagging Tails strives for consistency and longevity. “Dogs get attached,” Heather says. “We want the pet and the owner to be comfortable.”

Kate Rounds

All Wagging Tails   (201) 446-1559


Your Dog was your Ringbearer, now you’re leaving this morning on your Honeymoon! Without Sparky?? Spoil him by booking him one of the finest Animal Inns anywhere!!

The Morris Animal Inn

Vow-wow-wow is thrilled to present one of the  finest Animal Inns in the country, right here in our backyard in New Jersey. The Morris Animal Inn  in Morristown, New Jersey is the most luxurious pet resort a pet owner could ask for. They will customize day care and overnight packages for you and your special Dog. The Inn has comfortable and secure pet suites for both canines and  felines, and you will rest easy and enjoy  your Honeymoon away more, knowing that both the latest in pet care technology and twenty-four hour security are protecting your pet during his stay. Please click through on any of  the  Morris Animal Inn links you will find below. Call Jackie – book your Ringbearing Dog’s own  honeymoon today – and  please be sure to  tell her that Morris Animal Inn’s fans at Vow-wow-wow sent you!


1. My fiance and I can’t wait to have our wedding and include Sparky and Rocco. How can you help us?

As cat and dog aficionados, we understand the need and want to include your pets in all aspects of your life. If that includes Fifi as your maid of honor, Fido as the ring bearer, and a separate cake made out of milk bones at your wedding, we’re all for it! We also understand that not everyone else is as cat and dog friendly as we are. Don’t let un-pet-friendly hotels cramp your honeymoon style! Morris Animal Inn gives you the peace of mind to travel wherever your newly-wed hearts desire while we pamper and care for your loving pets in our state of the art boarding, grooming, and daycare facility. 

2. Tell us about your business.

Morris Animal Inn is a luxury pet resort and spa that has been leading the way in boarding, grooming, and daycare for over 50 years. Family owned and operated, the Morris family is pleased to have successfully passed the business down through four generations of animal lovers and care-takers. The Morris family connection to the dog world expands to the arena of dog showing and handling with an award-winning legacy that includes a Best in Show award from the Westminster Kennel Club! Walter and Marianne Morris, current owners of Morris Animal Inn, have proudly carried on the legacy and taught their daughters, Joanne and Patricia, the ins and outs of owning a thriving pet care facility. With pet care as a natural part of her upbringing, Vice President Joanne Morris now offers leadership to the more than 50 employees who provide tender loving care to each furry footed friend who steps through our welcoming doors. 

3. How do you accommodate dogs and their owners?

As a state of the art pet care facility, we offer luxurious lodging options, a variety of engaging activities and value packages for owners to select from. Our accommodations vary from cozy spaces for small breeds to large suites that accommodate our giant guests. Each dog has a sleeping area and a private space for eliminations. Any manner of activities can be added to your pets’ stay from extra business walks to daily swim sessions in our tropical themed aqua center. The Inn’s flexible hours make pick-up and drop off convenient for you and your pet. As caring doggie parents, we know you want to stay up-to-date on your pet’s stay while you’re away, so we gladly provide detailed updates for Fido on everything from their mood to their appetite! Our caring and knowledgeable staff recognizes that every pet is different, so customized lodging, care and activities schedules are always accommodated when possible.   

Morris Animal Inn does everything in its power to ensure the safety and protection of your pet. We have smoke and fire detectors, lightning protection, 24 hour camera surveillance, and back-up generators in the event of a power failure. Around the clock sanitation keeps our accommodations spotless and kills germs. Every night after the staff leaves, the owner himself walks the entire building to check on each and every pet. A resident on the premises provides an additional level of protection, helping you sleep easy during your time away.  

The safety, comfort and happiness of your beloved pet are our top priorities.  



5. Tell us about YOUR dogs!

We have too many wonderful dogs to mention here !!!


Morris Animal Inn

Jackie Morales,   Marketing Manager

Jackie joined Morris Animal Inn as Marketing Coordinator in early 2010, and now serves as Marketing Manager. The emphasis of her role is communicating the wonderful services, offerings, news and events of the Inn to our clients and to the public. Jackie received her B.A. in Communication from Rutgers University, her M.S. in Tourism Management and Marketing from New York University, and previously worked in legal marketing. A passionate animal lover and traveler, Jackie is always in search of innovative hospitality offerings to make Morris Animal Inn the most luxurious getaway a pet can experience! Jackie has volunteered with Tri-Boro Animal Welfare and the St. Hubert’s Long Branch animal shelter

Email:    jmorales@morrisanimalinn.com

Phone:   973-539-0377 ext. 46

website : http://www.morrisanimalinn.com/index.asp

P.S. !!!!!!

Don’t forget the charity  fundraiser “Pooches in Pink”, coming up soon  at the  Morris Animal Inn  on May 4th. The Pink-Themed Puppy Prom on May 4 Will Aid Susan G. Komen For The Cure and Cancer Patients. Click HERE to read  our post, and link to the  “Pooches in Pink” website.

POOCHES IN PINK!! Canines to Help Fight Cancer at Morris Animal Inn

We at Vow-wow-wow  always love to promote great causes, especially when they are at great places! Please read the article and pass along to all of your friends who I know will want to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure® through …..

Pooches in Pink!!

April 20th, 2011


Pink-Themed Puppy Prom on May 4 Will Aid Susan G. Komen For The Cure and Cancer Patients

Thank you Deirdre!! check out: http://www.deevabeauty.com

MORRISTOWN, N.J., April 4, 2011—Morris Animal Inn’s Puppy Prom is “Going Pink” to help raise awareness and donations for breast cancer and cancer patients. The luxury resort and spa for pets is hosting its “Pooches in Pink” Puppy Prom on Wednesday, May 4, and dapper dogs—with or without dates–are invited for the full day party.

The Morris Animal Inn (www.morrisanimalinn.com), located at 120 Sand Spring Road in Morristown, will be awash in pink as it celebrates the four-legged version of a traditional prom party. Pink ties, tutus, tiaras and tuxes are optional, but tails are required.

“Pooches in Pink” Puppy Prom will celebrate and pamper pets while giving the community an opportunity to help pamper local cancer patients by sponsoring already-assembled care packages or donating items to fill the care packages.

Fashionable fidos will be dressed to the K-9’s–some dyed pink and sporting pink paw nails. Dogs will enjoy music and dancing, games and activities, prom photos, doggie delicacies and an after-party “trip to the Shore” in the resort’s indoor pool and Aqua Center.

Morris Animal Inn is partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure of North Jersey and there are several ways to participate:

  • · Bring your dog to the puppy prom and a portion of the $59 fee will be donated to Susan G. Komen.
  • · Sponsor a care package for a woman battling breast cancer for $25. Sponsor a package before the British Royal Wedding on April 29 and be entered to win a prize worthy of royalty for your pet.
  • · Make a monetary donation or assist us in gathering items for our care packages:

Biotene mouthwash and gum

Packs of peppermint flavored gum

Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Creme

QuasyPops or QueasyDrops

SalivaSure Lozenges

Healthy snacks like pretzels or granola bars

Gel cold masks (for face)

Fuzzy socks

Ginger Tea

Medical planners/journals

Relaxing Music


Small stuffed animals

Fleece blankets


  • • Flamingo Fling Dancing and Music
  • • Canine Fun Run for a Cure
  • • Prom Photos in the Pretty in Pink Portrait Studio
  • • Fuschia Frisbee Fetch
  • • Pooch Punch and Pastries
  • • “Trip to the Shore” after party in the indoor Aqua Center

Reservations for the Puppy Prom are $59 for the entire day and must be made in advance by calling 973-539-0377 ext. 5. For information, visit www.morrisanimalinn.com.


Morris Animal Inn is a full-service, luxury pet resort and spa for dogs and cats located in Morristown, NJ. Established in 1960, the country inn was recently renovated and expanded into a state-of-the-art facility that offers lodging, spa services, grooming, day care and camp. The award-winning Morris Animal Inn is a charter member of the Pet Care Services Association. For more information call 973-539-0377 or visit www.morrisanimalinn.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/morrisanimalinn


Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

Daylight Savings Time at last! More sunlight and warmth to have your Dog at your Wedding Ceremony, your way !!

Reposted from Wedaholic.com
Pets At Weddings – Tips For Getting Your Dog, Cat or Even Horse Involved!

Date: July 14, 2006   Author: Emily

It’s all very well having butterflies or doves released at your wedding to symbolize the love, fidelity and union of your relationship, but is it really wise to include your own pets in your wedding day? Are you just asking for trouble by choosing to include your pet in such a momentous occasion?

The Popular Trend

Dogs in particular are becoming the new untraditional participants in wedding ceremonies. They are either being entrusted with roles such as ring bearers, bridesmaids, and groomsmen or are simply present during the ceremony to bear witness to their owner’s nuptials. This is probably because dogs are the most socially acceptable pet to be seen out and about with in public and also because they can be trained quite easily to perform at your wedding.

When Jane McBride walks down the aisle in Chicago this September she has handed the role of ring bearer to her Mufasa, an 85-pound Akita-shepherd mix. She has already chosen Mufasa’s wedding attire – a multicolored bow tie that will hold the wedding rings. Jane admitted to the Chicago Tribune that she would never consider leaving Mufasa at home on her wedding day.

One of the family!

According to Palmspringslife.com  Mindy Weiss, a wedding planner based in Los Angeles, who has coordinated the happy occasion for numerous celebrities, says that “I find that about 30 percent of my weddings involve pets.” Many couples consider their pets to be part of their family or their best friends so it is only right that their pet should be given a starring role in their wedding day.

For their Californian wedding Myra and John Pugh had their 75-pound Akita-German shepherd mix dog Joy accompany a groomsman down the aisle sporting a collar of red roses and greenery. Palmspringslife.com reports that Joy wagged her tail in approval as the couple made their wedding vows. Myra said “She is a huge part of our life. During the wedding, she didn’t bark once. I think she knew that this was serious stuff.” If you are an animal lover then including your pet in your wedding day is no different to inviting your family and friends.

Alice Moon-Fanelli, a certified applied animal behaviorist and assistant professor at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. says “Including pets is a statement of solidarity by the couple who mutually agree that the pet plays a major role in both of their lives.”

An increasing number of modern couples are treating their pets as children. Sheila Spitza, co-owner of Wet Nose Pet Spa in Geneva, Illinois says “Couples don’t have children, but they do have a dog, so it only makes sense that they would stand up in their wedding”.

According to Cleveland.com Laura and Bob Mutsko who tied the knot at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Mentor in 1999, had a traditional wedding ceremony but had their “only child” their 4 year old dog Murphy walk up the aisle with them and present their rings and sat amongst the congregation. “Several of the guests came just to see Murphy” Laura says.

Personally, I wanted to have photos taken with my dog on my wedding day and to spend some time with him on the morning of the wedding. This worked out perfectly and he looked very dapper in his tartan bow! Whilst everyone else rushed aroun d me in a mad panic on the morning of my wedding I chilled out in the sunshine outside with my dog – he totally kept me calm. It was the perfect way to start my wedding day!

You’re in good company!

Although it is not the norm for couples to include their dogs in their weddings, be assured that it is not just wacky dog lovers who are doing it. Celebrities are indulging in this new trend too!

♥ When Premiership footballer Ashley Cole and singer Cheryl Tweedy get married tomorrow at Highclere Castle in Berkshire their pet chihuahua Buster will be playing a part in their wedding. Cheryl’s Girls Aloud bridesmaids have bought Buster a wedding outfit with “Cheryl & Ashley” written on it in diamante.

♥ For her London wedding to Gavin Rossdale, singer Gwen Stefani was escorted down the aisle by her sheepdog Winston, who was decked out in a rose-covered collar and lead.

♥ Tori Spelling wanted her beloved pug Mimi Larue to look her best as she served as flower girl and ring bearer at Tori’s wedding, so she hired a special fashion designer to create her wedding outfit.

♥ Comedian and Hollywood star Adam Sandler had his dogs Matzoball (pulled down the aisle in a wagon) and Meatball at his Malibu wedding. Meatball was his “best dog” and was dressed in a tux with a yarmulke on his head.

Advantages of having your pet participate in your wedding day:

♥ I think it’s a lovely way to personalize your wedding day and to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. You don’t have to dress your pet in a tuxedo to raise a smile from your guests – the novelty of a pet being present at your wedding will be enough to make them smile.

♥  It makes your wedding less of a formal occasion and can lighten up the mood which is always a good thing. Weddings are not supposed to be somber affairs!

♥ If you do not have nieces, nephews or little ones to act as flower girls or page boys then a pet is a perfect alternative! In the same way they love to see a cute flower girl or page boy walking up the aisle, on the whole wedding guests do enjoy seeing a dog walk down the aisle – it brings a fun element to the wedding.

Get permission!

♥ The first thing to do if you plan to include your dog in your wedding party is to check with the officiant. Make it clear to them what your dog’s role in the wedding will be. Ensure that they are comfortable with this idea.

♥ You should also check with your ceremony and/or reception venue whether dogs are allowed. This is really important and you should not leave something like this to chance on the day – refusal to allow your dog entry to the venue because you have not received permission prior to the wedding would cause unnecessary upset on your special day. Ask in advance so that you can either plan to include your dog in the wedding or make alternative arrangements for his care on your wedding day.

Are they up to the job?

You must ask yourself if your dog is well-behaved enough to participate in your wedding. Be honest with yourself. Just as a cute dog will always be remembered on your wedding day, so too will a naughty unruly dog. You don’t want your wedding day to be spoiled by a ‘doggie disaster!’

Here are some points to consider:

♥ First and foremost think of your dog’s comfort. Will he be comfortable attending your wedding? Will he have to travel a long distance to get there? If the answer is he would be more comfortable at home, and if this is an option, then you should do what is best for your dog.

♥ You should assess how your dog reacts to large crowds and to noisy situations. Does it bother your dog? Do you think he would rather not be there? You know your dog so use your own judgment on this one.

♥ Does your dog have unpredictable behavior? Of course, like children, you cannot predict exactly how they are going to behave on the day of the wedding but if you have any doubts that the dog might get over-excited or aggressive it is best not to include them in your wedding ceremony.

♥ Is your dog well-trained? What is his obedience level? Does he respond to commands? A dog that has yet to master simple commands such as “sit” and “stay” might not be suitable to be included in your wedding. This is very important if you intend on giving them a role in the wedding where they are expected to follow orders (e.g. walk down aisle and wait patiently whilst you untie the rings from around his neck). Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding ceremony then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

Wedding roles for your pet:

You should choose a role for your pet in your wedding which is appropriate to their temperament and behavior. A dog who is highly energetic will need to be kept on a leash throughout the wedding ceremony whereas a lapdog might be quite happy to be held by one of the wedding attendants/guests during the ceremony.

Here are some ideas for roles in your wedding for your pet:

♥ The popular choice is to have your dog bring the rings down the aisle on a satin pillow or in a small bag tied to his collar. Bridalpeople.com have a really cute ring pillow which attaches to the collar with 2 Velcro fasteners. The pillow shown here is suitable for medium and large breed dogs but there are lots of smaller pillows available on the dog clothing stores listed below or on eBay. You could even make a pillow yourself.

♥ If your dog is really well trained he could carry the rings down the aisle in a pouch using his mouth – this is guaranteed to get gasps of delight from your wedding guests!

♥ How about having your pet accompany you to the altar. This might be a popular choice if the alternative for you or your partner is walking down the aisle alone.

♥ You could have your dog act as flower dog and carry flowers in his mouth or a basket of flowers if at all possible. Do make sure beforehand that they are not toxic to your dog and will not present a choking hazard to him.

♥ It is becoming popular nowadays for dogs to stand as maid-of-honor and best man. Have one of the other wedding attendants walk your dog down the aisle so that they can stand proudly next to you during the ceremony.

♥ Rather than carring a bouquet of flowers you could carry your dog (if he is small enough) down the aisle. Make sure that someone is willing to hold your dog during the ceremony though – you can’t exchange rings holding your pup!

♥ If your venue does not allow your pet to participate in your wedding then why not just have them included in your wedding photos. That is what I did as our wedding venue did not allow dogs. I had the best of both worlds as my dog got to have some fun meeting and greeting all the wedding guests in the gardens of the venue whilst the photos were being taken and then my bridesmaid’s mother kindly collected him and took care of him for the rest of the day, so I was able to relax knowing that he was being well taken care of!

♥ Do you own a pet which is small and quite patient? Would it be willing to sit in the arms of one of your wedding guests? If you think it would be safer and the pet would be more comfortable then keep them secured in their carrier during the ceremony.

♥ As mentioned, dogs are the traditional choice of pets at weddings but if you have a smaller, less social pets such as a hamster, lizard, guinea pig or even snake which you desperately want to bear witness to your nuptials perhaps you could place its cage nearby as you exchange vows or have one of the (willing) wedding guests hold it during the ceremony!

Tips for getting the best out of your pet on your wedding day:

♥ If it is paramount to you that your dog plays a key role in your wedding then, for his comfort, perhaps you could choose a dog-friendly venue for the ceremony and/or reception. The ideal venue would be outdoor such as a park, arboretum, beach or somebody’s garden in their backyard!

♥ A lot of dogs can’t handle the heat so if it is a hot day either reconsider having your dog in your wedding party or ensure that they are able to sit in the shade or (even better) an air-conditioned room during the ceremony or reception until the sun has gone down. Do make sure that your dog has access to fresh water if it is a hot day.♥

♥ Sometimes it is best to draft in professional help to look after your dog. After all which member of your bridal party is going to want to scoop your dog’s mess of the lawn during your wedding reception! Delegating the pet-handling task to a professional will alleviate unnecessary stress on you, your partner and your wedding guests. You should definitely consider hiring a pet coordinator or pet-sitter who will be responsible for dressing your dog on the morning of the wedding, transporting him to and from the reception, ensuring he gets fed, watered and takes toilet breaks and deals with any antisocial doggie behavior. The hire cost depends on how long you need the dog handler for.

♥ If possible make sure your dog is familiar with the ceremony and reception spaces so that they know how to sit comfortably there. It is a good idea to include your dog in the rehearsal so that your dog can get to know strangers he will encounter during the wedding as well as his new surroundings. This is also a great way of checking out, from your dog’s point of view, what possible hazards there could be for your dog on the wedding day, including toxic plants, swimming pools or other animals which might distract him during the wedding ceremony.

♥ If you intend on having your dog sit in the receiving line then practice beforehand so that he gets used this. The earlier you start this sort of training the better.

♥ If you are getting married out of town remember to make sure that you book accommodation for your dog at a pet-welcoming hotel.

♥ It is important that whoever is handling your dog on the day of the wedding (whether it is a professional or one of your bridal party) is aware of the timings of key events in the wedding ceremony and reception. They need to have time to walk your dog and make sure that he is well exercised and has used up some of his energy so that he can walk calmly down the aisle or sit patiently during the ceremony.

♥ Avoid giving your dog too much food or water immediately prior to and during the ceremony. This will help to prevent unwanted toileting accidents!

♥ It is important to ensure that whoever is walking the dog down the aisle is strong enough to control the dog. The last thing you want is your bridesmaid being dragged down the aisle on the end of a dog leash Indiana Jones-style!

♥ Make sure that your dog is not permitted to run around unsupervised, especially if there are children present at your wedding that your dog is unused to. Your dog might behave like an angel usually but if he is provoked by a child wielding a stick up his bottom you don’t know how he might react!

♥ Have a plan in place that if your dog becomes tired or antisocial he can be discreetly taken away from the wedding ceremony or reception and cared for – this is a good reason to employ a professional dog-sitter as your attendance is not going to want to miss out on the wedding because of your dog!

♥ You must be flexible if you are including your dog in your wedding ceremony. Anything can happen and you have to be prepared for that, to have measures put in place to deal with dog emergencies and be able to laugh it off!

♥ Never cause your dog any unnecessary stress. If you feel it is necessary bring their cage with them so that they can be locked up safely and comfortably if your wedding proves to be a bit too much for them.

♥ If you have a totally unpredictable dog but you really want them to participate in your wedding, have a parent or friend lead to the alter to deliver your wedding rings during the ceremony and then they can lead the dog away immediately before he has a chance to do anything mischievous!

Wedding attire for your pet:

To help your dog look the part for your wedding, outfit them for the occasion. Some ideas for doggie wedding attire are:

♥ A simple bow tie, bandana or ribbon around your pet’s neck to match the color theme of your wedding (my dog wore a tartan ribbon for my wedding photos – very simple but incredibly cute!).

♥ A new collar and leash that match your wedding colors.

♥ A dog tuxedo, formal dress or t-shirt with printed words on it. According to the owner of a dog wedding apparel store the bridesmaid’s gowns and ring-bearer tuxes are increasingly the best-selling items.

Personally I think that just the fact that your pet is attending your wedding will be cute enough for your guests so there is really nor a great need to dress them up in formal wedding attire. It is you decision though – do what you think is best for you and your beloved pet!

Unless you are absolutely certain that your pet can be counted on to behave during your wedding then it might be better to have them participate in the wedding photos and leave it at that.

Of course some dogs at weddings probably turn out to be better behaved than the human wedding guests! My opinion is that if your pet is important to you and your fiancé,  and you don’t mind sharing your spotlight with a four legged friend, then embrace the new trend and include them in your wedding – it is your special day and you don’t want to have any regrets!

Woof! How to include your dog in your Wedding Ceremony!

Posted by Kelly from  From Tucson Bride and Groom ….

Originally posted Feb. 3, 2011

Many topics divide people when it comes to weddings…assigned or open seating, buffet or plated dinner, open or cash bar, in a place of worship or outside, you get the idea, but one topic that really seems to get under people’s skin is dogs at weddings.

Some think a wedding is no place for an animal (unless it’s the best man dancing up a storm) and some feel that dogs are family members who shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun.

Now that I have dogs and see how unruly they can be, I personally would not have dogs at my wedding, but only because they are just another piece of the wedding puzzle that needs to be coordinated. (Editor’s Note: Kelly’s objection, while certainly understandable, is exactly why we started Vow-wow-wow – to provide the information and Wedding Pro’s to make inviting Sparky a walk in the park..no pun intended) 

Regardless, many couples are increasingly incorporating their furry babies into their special day, and that’s OK (hear my group therapy style acceptance?).

Dog lover and animal expert Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow and Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow, offers some insight for those of you planning to include your pooches on your wedding day. Camp Bow Wow® is a premier doggy daycare and overnight camp that has grown to include over 100 Camps across North America so I am thinking she knows her stuff!

 Heidi weighs the pros and cons: The image of Fido walking down the aisle as a ring bearer is a memorable occasion for pet lovers. Before proceeding, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of having your pet at your wedding. Unfortunately, very few religious and indoor venues will allow dogs on location other than service animals. If you are open to an outdoor wedding, including your pet is more realistic.

Additionally, it is important to consider your pet’s personality. If you have a free-spirited animal, he may not abide to walk down the aisle on his own. Also, be cautious of guests with pet allergies; warn them in advance that your dog will be attending. However, the benefits are endless. Since proud pet owners consider their dog as part of the family, Fido’s attendance will add a special touch to your day.

How to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony:

1. Training Day: Weeks, then days, before the wedding, take your pup to the location so that he is well acquainted with the area. Have him practice walking down the aisle and reward him with a treat.

 2. A Doggy Makeover: A fresh bath and a trip to the groomer is necessary the day before the wedding.

3. Dress Up Your Pup: Everyone in your wedding party will be dressed up and so should Fido! Consider buying a dog collar and leash that matches your bridesmaid dresses or a cute little bowtie to go with the groomsmen. This will make your wedding party more uniform.

4. Energizer Puppy: To avoid having an overly hyper dog at the wedding, take them to Camp Bow Wow to run, play and gets lots of energy out the days leading up to the wedding, or take your pet for a long walk or run before the ceremony, or hire Home Buddies by Camp BowWow to walk the dog and care for them before and after the wedding so you don’t have to stress about it.

5. Stage Fright: If your pet is nervous around strangers, limit his role and have him leave after the ceremony. If you have a friendly dog, then let him stay for the reception.

 6. Doggy Chaperone: Don’t leave your pet unattended. Designate someone as the dog’s sitter to make sure that he is taken out for bathroom breaks, or hire Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow to take the responsibility on.

from Elle's Barkery

7. Doggy Buffet: Make sure your pet doesn’t sample human food and have dog food handy at the reception to ensure that he is well fed. Don’t forgot to have a bowl with fresh water!

8. Let Them Eat Cake: Since the wedding cake is strictly off limits, consider investing in a special cake from a dog bakery.

Brides, if you are going to include your dog in your wedding, just follow Heidi’s advice… for everyone’s sake!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

The Wedding Central captures the story your Wedding Day tells, and your Dog’s special role on that day, with brilliant Photography and Videography!


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From Gaby and Danny at The Wedding Central:

“I love dogs, and we are super excited any time a couple tells us about their dream of having their dog carrying the rings down the aisle in a little pillow tied to their collar. Oh, maybe that was me who wanted that. Planning is key if you want your dog included in your wedding pictures. Pictures with dogs take a while because they need special attention and patience. We recommend allowing extra time just for pictures with them. 

We are a husband and wife team of wedding photographer and wedding videographer dedicated to capturing spontaneous and vibrant images to tell your wedding story. We want our images to reflect love, romance and joy, so we approach every wedding with a photojournalistic and documentarian eye to capture every moment as it happens, unscripted. 

I love how brides and grooms want their dogs to look at the camera when posing next to them. So everyone will be posed and looking at the camera except the dog. Bride or groom will make anything possible to get it to look at the camera. Dog will look at the camera and bride and groom will be making all kinds of funny things and faces. For me, these are the funniest, and personally my favorite pictures.   

I’ve had a few dogs over time. I had my first dog when I was thirteen. It was a papillon with lots of fluffy hair, and I swear it was cutest thing ever. But poor dog, I treated him like a baby. I would bathe him every day – yes every day, put baby cologne and powder, and put a pink ribbon even though it was a male. I just wanted him to look like in the movies. I used to take so many pictures of him that there were a couple of albums dedicated just to him.”
The Wedding Central is a wedding photography and cinema wedding video boutique that strives to bring contemporary wedding photography, and cinematic wedding videos. Their studio is located in Hoboken Weehawken area and covers weddings in Northern New Jersey, Jersey Shore, Central NJ,  and Manhattan and New York metro area.
There are several ways to connect with Gaby and Danny:  Email, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, but they are firm believers that person to person still delivers the best communication.

(201) 867-3634

The Wedding Central
West New York, NJ

email: info@theweddingcentral.com


Happy New Year from Vow-wow-wow!

2011 looks to be an exciting year for all of us ‘rescue dogs’ at Vow-wow-wow. We thought we would take this opportunity to wish you, and all of your loved ones, a very happy New Year.

If this is the year that you are going to get married, Congratulations! (English..lol)  Mazel Tov! (Hebrew)  ¡Enhorabuena! (Spanish)  Onnittelut! (Finnish)  Congratulazioni! (Italian)  Félicitations! (French) and Pongezi! (Swahili).

Pink Poodle courtesy of Deeva Beauty

We invite you come spend some time with us and learn how to include your best friend (canine variety) in your Wedding Ceremony, in your Wedding Celebration, or both. We plan on having all sorts of extremely valuable information about Dogs & Weddings!

Along the way, we hope to introduce you to some of the finest vendors in the Wedding Business – Dog Friendly Wedding Venues, Dog Friendly Destination Venues, and Photographers, Florists, Make Up Artists, Dog Groomers, Dog Trainers, Dog Handlers, and Veterinarians – All Dog Friendly! Of course!


We have some very exciting plans for this next year, and when the time is right, we promise you that you will be the first to know about them!


Featured image

Michael is on the right, with Sophie!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of our overall blog health ..we’re alive and kicking! !!

Healthy blog!


The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on FIRE!

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.

Is this the cutest puppy yet? I so want one!

In 2010, there were 11 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 318 pictures uploaded, taking up a total

of 59mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 2nd with 206 views. The most popular post that day was About Us.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, weddingwire.com, mail.yahoo.com, wedding.ebonito.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for vowwowwow.wordpress.com, vow wow wow, vowwowwow, vowwowwow@wordpress.com, and vowwowwow wordpress.

Attractions in 2010


These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


About Us September 2010
1 comment


A ‘Tail’ of Romance: Your Dog, Your Wedding, Your Way! December 2010



September 2010



Our Vendors September 2010


Slideshow November 2010


Thank you for helping to launch Vow-wow-wow in 2010, just wait to see what we have in store for you in our dog house for 2011!

Please come join us in making Vow-wow-wow the premier online destination for all things Dogs & Weddings! Arf!






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"The Straight Poop about including your Dog in your Wedding!"

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