A Dog Wedding Brings Joy to a Burlington Assisted Living Home | 802 Much | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

A Dog Wedding Brings Joy to a Burlington Assisted Living Home 

click to enlarge Boy and Flossie at the wedding - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Boy and Flossie at the wedding

The bride wore a lacy dress and veil but no shoes. The grinning groom sported a bow tie and, well, not much else.

No one in attendance seemed to mind: It was a dog wedding, after all.

The Saturday ceremony at the Ethan Allen Residence on North Avenue in Burlington brought together Flossie, a black standard poodle, and her beau Boy, a tan labradoodle.

"You guys are making out a lot already," cracked officiant Susan Herrick once the pups made it to the makeshift altar inside the assisted living facility's cafeteria. She doubles as the home's music therapist.

The dogs belonged to Maleka Clarke, Ethan Allen's director of nursing. She and others spent months planning the ceremony. Both pups are about a year old, and they act as unofficial therapy dogs for the residents and their families.

The event turned into a shotgun wedding when Clarke found out Flossie was pregnant. Instead of derailing the ceremony, the puppies — just two weeks old — were in attendance; some of the residents held the tiny fur balls as they watched the proceedings.

"This is the best place to have too many dogs!" Clarke said. She plans to give the puppies away, while the parents will stay with her and continue to work as therapy dogs.

In the decked-out "chapel," dog-themed cupcakes, treats and drinks awaited celebrants, some of whom sat in wheelchairs. The wedding featured songs including "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window," readings and hymns led by Herrick, who wore puppy ears and played keyboard.

Before the dogs "said" their vows, two residents read poems. Sig Samuelsen, 90, took the microphone and recited "A Dog Song," by Mary Oliver.

"What would this world be like," it concluded, "without dogs?"

The original print version of this article was headlined "Dog's Day"

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Related Locations

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Sasha Goldstein

Sasha Goldstein

Sasha Goldstein is Seven Days' deputy news editor.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation