PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS
Getting hitched means accepting everything about your significant other: Lumps, bumps—and furkids.
ADELINE WANG, 26, BANK INVESTIGATION OFFICER JARROD SCOTT TAN, 26, AUDITOR ALLY ,11, YORKSHIRESCHNAUZER CROSS SNOWY, 4, BICHON FRISE
For this couple, their furkids are more than just pets—they’re fur-mily. When asked if they saw their pets as their children, Adeline Wang chortled instantly: “Totally.” That’s why when they were tasked to plan their wedding in early 2016, they knew without a doubt that they had to include Ally and Snowy.
In fact, Snowy only came about because of Ally, the 11-year-old Yorkshire- Schnauzer cross. “We had only been dating a year when Adeline asked me to take care of Ally when she and her family went to Australia for a holiday,” shares Jarrod Tan. The then 22-year-old student and his family had such a paw-sitive experience with the excitable Ally that at the end of the 10-day stay, they were encouraged to get a pooch of their own. That was how Jarrod’s mum eventually brought Snowy the Bichon Frise puppy home.
Throughout the next four years of their relationship, the pooches played an active role in the couple’s budding romance. As the more experienced paw-rent, Adeline would guide Jarrod and his family on how to take care of the then-puppy. They’d bring the pooches out for play dates and
watch as Ally showed Snowy the ropes, from sniffing the pavement, to walking on leash, and even to pooping and peeing outside for the first time. Being a new paw-rent also showed Adeline a different side of Jarrod. “He has a much gentler side to him when it comes to animals,” says Adeline with a smile.
It was a natural and undisputed decision to include their pups in their wedding, which happened last November. “Both our pets have given us laughter and memories over the years, just like a family member,” says Adeline. From having their two furry faces sketched and stamped on wedding invitation cards, to being the flower girls that walked down the aisle during the first walk-in, it’s safe to say the two furballs received as much attention as the actual couple—almost as if they were the ones getting married. Adeline shares more.
How important was it that your partner liked animals or got along with your furkid? Having a partner who is also an animal lover is like a bonus in a relationship, as I always felt that he would have this unspoken kindness and patience in his character and he would treat me like that too. (laughs)
Was it hard to plan the wedding?
We had already decided we wanted our dogs to be with us during our wedding ceremony’s walk-in, so we had to hunt for a pet-friendly hotel, which is very limited in Singapore. When I casually enquired on the availability of the hotels more than one-and-a-half years before our chosen date—thinking I still had plenty of time—I ended up having only two dog-friendly hotels to choose from. The rest were fully booked! Thank goodness the banquet manager at Regent Hotel Singapore was prompt and was available that very evening.
How did the wedding go?
It was extremely fun to have the two girls there. Our guests were quite surprised to see them; the girls got their pictures taken and received lots of free pets. We made sure to include them in the tea ceremony as well as the first walk-in.
Were there any mishaps?
Ally pooped on the carpet before the tea ceremony. (laughs) Thankfully my brother was quick to clean it up. For Snowy, she didn’t want to do the walk-in when it was her turn! That stubborn girl plopped her butt down and absolutely refused to move. She ended up being carried by my bridesmaid.
What are your post-marriage living arrangements?
As we moved out one year before the wedding banquet, our two girls remain at our family homes. The main reason is that we work 8am-to-6pm jobs and didn’t want them to stay home alone for long periods of time without anybody to keep an eye on them.
Any intention to get a pet together as a married couple?
Yes, but not until we can align our work schedules to properly take care of our pets.
Do you have any tips for couples with pets who are intending to get married soon? Pet-friendly venues in Singapore are limited, so do book early! Also, furkids can be pretty unpredictable during weddings—just look at Ally and Snowy. So whatever happens during a wedding, just laugh it off as this is what makes your special day different and it will be a sweet memory to remember.
To Sacha Tong, it was a no-brainer that her significant other had to like dogs.
“He doesn’t need to be as passionate about dogs as I am, but he needs to at least understand why they’re important to me,” she explains. “It’s essential that he demonstrates the commitment and effort in getting to know my furkids. It’d have been a deal-breaker if it was otherwise.”
Thankfully, her then 23-year-old boyfriend, Scott Chen, loves dogs and was great with her two pups when they first started dating in 2007. To be fair, he had it easy in the impression management department because Sacha’s two Golden Retrievers, Dallas and Pebbles, adore everybody they meet. Case in point: Scott overslept and was a no-show at their first doggy date to Botanic Gardens! “But Dallas was a sweetheart and decided to give Scott another chance to impress him, so we arranged for a make-up outing,” shares Sacha with a laugh.
She shares such a special bond with both furkids that she couldn’t imagine having her wedding without them. Both pooches are incredibly close to her heart—Dallas was her first dog and she’s had him since he was three months old in 1999. Pebbles was adopted later on in their relationship in Oct 2013. While choosing to have both pups present at their wedding limited their venue options, Sacha and Scott chose to look on the bright side—it made the selection process a lot easier. “We even explored hosting our wedding in Perth, which was where we first met, but canned the idea after deciding we wanted Dallas and Pebbles present on our special day,” says Sacha.
The wedding ceremony was held in May 2015, and it was everything the couple wished for. Sadly, 15-yearold Dallas waited patiently to walk his beloved paw-rent down the aisle before passing away two months later. “He passed away on the night we left for vacation,” she shares. Sacha tells us more.
Where did you have your wedding ceremony?
We had a fabulous barbecue and open bar at Rochester. Sadly, the restaurant has since closed its doors.
How were your two pooches involved in the wedding?
They were part of the entire process in every way—they walked me down the aisle and were present throughout the entire wedding ceremony. I had two bridesmaids accompanying them, so Scott had to have two less groomsmen. (laughs) We did not want to have a photo shoot prior, but managed to squeeze in a few shots at the MacRitchie Reservoir area and had them in those photos as well.
Were they well-behaved during the wedding?
Yes, incredibly! We were really fortunate and blessed to have everything run smoothly. Granted, both Goldies were exhausted by the end of the night.
How have the dogs factored into your postmarriage living arrangements?
We were living together prior to getting married, so the dogs were a constant feature in our pre- and post-marriage lifestyle. Now, with only Pebbles around, we still have our hands full as he is an older dog. We are having heaps of fun as a married couple, that’s not to say that there haven’t been any arguments! Any plans for children or another dog?
No plans for kids in the foreseeable future, but we won’t rule out adopting more dogs. I’ve a soft spot for Goldies. (laughs)
What would have happened if Scott didn’t like your two pooches, or vice versa?
Some dogs take time to warm up to new additions and some need to be taught to co-exist with a new party. Couples need to really work hard at integrating their pets in a new environment, such as getting married or moving in together. Choosing to abandon your pets is not a solution.
Do you have any tips for couples with pets who are intending to get married soon?
1. With all things, settling down to a new lifestyle or with someone new needs time for everyone to adjust, even the other half. You can’t expect to have your pet and other half get along like they have been best friends from the get-go. There needs to be a lot of encouragement and a new routine may need to be established.
2. Have a game plan, and most importantly have patience and determination.
3. Since throwing out your other half is not really an option, neither should tossing out your pets.
The happy furmily: Adeline and Jarrod with Snowy and Ally.
SACHA TONG, 34, MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTSCOTT CHEN, 34, FINANCE AND COMMERCIAL MANAGERPEBBLES, 13, GOLDEN RETRIEVER
A bridesmaid walking Dallas down the aisle, while Pebbles is happily watching.