The term man’s best friend has taken on a whole new meaning according to a boarding kennel owner who says there has been a huge increase in the number of beloved dog owners, including their pampered pooches in the part of their big day.
The micro-wedding culture that evolved due to covid restrictions encouraged the bride and groom to give their fur babies a lead role in their ceremonies, with some canines even walking the aisle before the wedding party.
People may not have been able to invite aunts and uncles, close friends or cousins, but some delusional dog owners have made sure that their precious pets are not missing anything.
Ken Reilly, owner of A1 Boarding Kennels, Johnstown, Navan, a family business he runs alongside his wife Anneline and with the help of children Emily (15), Conor (17) and Pippa (7), says that he was “inundated” with requests to take over dog care for the bride and groom. He said:
“When people call to book their wedding they ask for someone who is able to take care of the dogs and when they talk to us they realize that we are able to provide the service and bring the dog to the wedding for photos, take them back and then they stay with us for the duration of the honeymoon.
âThe bride and groom provide the little tuxedo jackets, the bow tie, the ribbon for the dogs and on the wedding day we have them washed, waxed and ready to go.
âI would always recommend that couples get the plan their dog is wearing well in advance and put it on the dog so they get used to it before the big day.
âI have often seen maybe on a wet day the dog jump on the bride and the panicked bridesmaid would arrive with tissues, but the bride is not in phase at all.
âThese people absolutely idolize their dogs, so the wedding dress doesn’t matter.
“A woman actually told me after their dog got mud on their dress, it doesn’t matter, that paw print will be there forever!”
Ken and co at A1 boarding kennels have been kept on their guard recently by owners returning to work and in need of dog day care, as the animal lover explains:
âA lot of people are now going back to work and need someone to take care of their dogs. They can drop us the dog off at 7:30 am and can pick it up in the evening and all the dogs are outside mingling.
“We started out as a boarding kennel then realized that all dogs needed to be socialized, we keep the dogs outside all day everyday with plenty of room to play and he is a happier dog to go home.”