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Dakota's Big Day

I was asked to be Dakota's plus 1 a few weeks prior to the wedding. After speaking with Dakota's parents and learning more about his bubbly personality, we agreed that I would care for Dakota during the duration of their backyard wedding.

A week before the wedding, I went over to Dakota's house to meet him. I took him for a walk in the woods next to his house, which he was one of his regular stomping grounds, and I got an understanding of how he walked on leash. I got an understanding of how food motivated he was and how excited he got when seeing other dogs. Upon returning to his house, one of Dakota's parents and I talked through the wedding ceremony, since it would be occurring in the backyard. She showed me where she would be putting Dakota's food for me to feed him, as well as where he would likely be staying during the ceremony when he was relaxing.

The wedding took place on a Saturday in August, and although it was hot and the air quality wasn't the greatest, the wedding was beautiful! I arrived at 3:00 p.m. to assist Dakota in his photos with his parents. I got him dressed in his tuxedo collar that his parents got him. While the first look was happening, Dakota and I were off to the side, where he was able to do some sniffs and good sits. I took some photos on my phone of him looking dapper for the wedding while we waited. Here's a handsome one of him looking off to the side while his parents were seeing each other in their wedding attire for the first time.

Once it was his time to shine, he joined the photo session where Daniela from No Rules Photography took photos of him alone and with his parents. I was able to hold up treats and get help get his attention to look at the camera.

After his photo session, Dakota and I went for a long walk in the woods to get some of his energy and stress out before the guests arrived and before the ceremony. We wrapped up our walk around 4:30 p.m., which was when guests were beginning to arrive. Dakota was greeted by a few guests who knew him, and we walked into the backyard, so he could see that people were in it and adjust accordingly. I walked him around the backyard, so he could adjust to new smells and people, and we rested in the house until the ceremony began at 5 p.m.

Dog looking up at parents, who are at the altar for their back yard wedding after delivering the wedding rings.
Photo Credit: No Rules Photography

I worked with the Wedding Coordinator and one of the friends of the family to have Dakota deliver the wedding rings. I attached the wedding rings that were in a small bag to his harness using a carabiner. This was done last minute to avoid losing the rings. If there wasn't a wedding going on, I'd say Dakota was the star of the show... even with the wedding going on, I still think this was true. He definitely won the crowd over, and he was so proud of himself.

Once he was done as the Ring Bearer at the ceremony, I brought him back inside the house, and I fed him his dinner, which he scarfed down, no problem. We spent the rest of the evening doing short walks and relaxing. When he had difficulties settling down, I played calm dog music on my phone, which I found on Spotify. This helped him relax and rest. I stayed until around 8 p.m., since the wedding was happening at his house, and his parents wanted to make sure he wasn't stressed when having access to only a limited amount of space.

Burmese mountain dog in tuxedo collar laying down and smiling at the camera with his head tilted.

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