’Til death do us bark
We had a bow-wow of a wedding for my precious pups Flossie and Boy!
Maleka Clarke, 38
Hiding behind my 13-year-old son, our labradoodle Boy, 7 months, peered at the newest member of our family. It was February 2018, and I’d just brought home Flossie, 4 months old. A gorgeous, black pure-bred poodle.
But our straggly farm dog was not impressed. Turning his back, he sulked on the sofa.
‘You’ve ruined his bachelor pad,’ my partner, Adam, 50, joked with me.
‘He’ll be mutts about her in no time,’ I predicted. And I was right. Just three days later, Boy and Flossie were inseparable.
They’d spend hours together on doggy dates, chasing each other round the garden.
Boy even taught Flossie to walk up the stairs. He rushed to her side if ever she cried. Adorable!
Most days, they’d come to work with me at the assistedliving home, where I was Director of Nursing, here in, Vermont, USA.
The residents and their families loved playing with the pups.
In June, I was on a coffee break when my colleagues and I got chatting.
Susan, 40, was the Music and Engagement Supervisor at the home, and Cameron, 22, Head of Volunteer Outreach – they loved hearing all about my dogs’ latest adventures.
‘I think it might be time Boy made an honest woman out of Flossie,’ I grinned.
‘You’re barking mad!’ Susan laughed.
But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. My pups were head-overheels for each other.
We just needed to help them seal the deal.
‘We could have the wedding here, and invite the therapy dog charity,’ Cameron said.
‘I could work with the residents on the music,’ Susan offered.
Soon, all the home’s residents and staff had launched themselves into planning the pup-tials.
But one obstacle lay in the way... It seems Flossie was in heat.
Not keen on the idea of looking after a litter of pups as well as their loved-up parents, I did everything I could think of to keep Boy and Flossie apart.
Even popping a pair of
Residents and staff helped plan the pup-tials
knickers on young Flossie, as a makeshift chastity belt!
Just two months to go until the big day, I dropped by the office to pick up something.
I left my son in the car to supervise keeping the dogs apart.
I suppose I was gone for less than five minutes.
When I climbed back in, Flossie was snuggled up with Boy in the back seat. Hmm...
Within weeks, Flossie’s middle grew thicker. Then, in August, the vet confirmed our suspicions.
Our poodle pooch was going to be a mummy.
Now the wedding plans seemed more important than ever.
‘Our Boy’s going to make an honest woman of Flossie!’ I laughed to Adam when I got back home. ‘Looks like it’s going to be a shotgun wedding,’ Adam chuckled, amused. Two weeks later, a nurse came tearing down the corridor to find me at work. ‘Check your phone!’ she squealed. Confused, I pulled it from my pocket. The screen was full of missed calls from Adam. And a photo of a tiny, squirming puppy. Flossie had gone into labour! I bundled Boy and Tristan into the car and arrived just in time to see her give birth to the last three of seven puppies. ‘At least we don’t have to worry about her fitting into the wedding dress now!’ I laughed. The night before the big day, I stayed up till 11pm, sewing a white tulle wedding skirt. ‘The things I do for your parents,’ I murmured to the tiny puppies, snoozing soundly by my feet. And, on the afternoon of 29 September 2018, Boy stood next to me in the home’s living room, wearing his bowtie and waiting for his bride.
The room was filled with flowers, dog toys and cupcakes.
And, milling around among the 80 guests, human and canine, were the happy couple’s seven puppies.
When the wedding march sounded, Tristan happily walked Flossie down the aisle.
She was a vision in white, in her homemade skirt and a veil borrowed from a teddy bear.
After a short ceremony, Boy and Flossie sealed their union with a lick, then munched
through special doggy treats.
Guests then serenaded the happy couple with a song. He’s got the whole world in his paws...
The newlyweds joined in the reception festivities, and shared their first ball chase as hitched hounds.
Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that my gorgeous critters are pampered pooches. They’re worth it, though! Their doggy wedding was the highlight of my year.
I loved it so much, I’m already planning the first anniversary!
Flossie was a vision in white, wearing her skirt and veil