LAKEVILLE — Freckles and Benji met about two years ago. At first they thought it was just puppy love, but eventually they started thinking about marriage. Now they’re celebrating their “puptials” as part of the Pet Costume Parade and contest on Sunday.
“I’m excited because everybody is excited about it. It brings happiness and joy,” said Nancy Richmond, co-organizer and mother of the doggy groom Benji.
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“It’s also more of a way for people to get out and enjoy their pets and enjoy the outdoors with their pets,” said Mason Almeida, who is helping to publicize the event.
For all of the people who acquired pets during the COVID years, he said it’s one more way “to socialize your pet and to celebrate the bond that you have with your pet.”
How to paw-ticipate in the festivities
Everyone is invited to participate in the free event, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Ted Williams Camp at 28 Precinct St., Lakeville.
There will be a dog training demonstration from a local trainer Erin Cornelius with her German Shepard Col. Potter starting at 11 a.m.
The organizers of the event include Gail Trinque, Linda Ewell, and Joann Bowes.
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Cornelius is a former vet-tech and dog health professional with 30 years of experience. With help from her K-9 partner, she will demonstrate basic exercises and commands and do a training Q&A with the audience. With help from her wife, Tabitha, Erin also runs a CBD business focusing on dogs and cats as well as specializing in at-home nail trimming in the local area.
At 11:30 a.m., Freckles and Benji will be exchanging their vows and saying their “I do’s,” followed by a blessing of the pets at 12 p.m. followed by the costume parade and contest. Prizes categories include “Best in Show,” “Best Human/Pet Duo,” “Most Original Idea,” and “Cutest Costume.”
Various exhibitors and vendors from local businesses will be attending and displaying their wares as the two pups tie the leash.
From wag to wedding
Together Freckles and Benji make the paw-fect pair. Freckles, a Shih Tzu and Benji, Chihuahua/ Maltese mix, met because both their mothers, Richmond and Paula Houle, were involved in Friends of the Council on Aging and would go on walks together.
Getting to the wedding day there were some little hurdles to pounce over — Freckles wanted to protect her assets in case the marriage fails, so she insisted on a “prepup.”
“Being a dog that wants the marriage to last, she also wanted Benji to join her in going to a marriage preparation course, so he eventually agreed to go to Pre-canine,” Richmond said.
Thankfully, they worked everything out and they are registered at Bed, Bark & Beyond. They are writing their own “bow-vows” and plan to honeymoon in “Hound-a-Lulu.” They will live between their current homes while the new dog house is being built.
Richmond, a member of the Friends of the Lakeville Council on Aging and a Lakeville Lion and winner of last year’s Rookie of the Year award, is making them pupcakes as well as surprising them with a duo leash with their names embroidered on them.
“I’m just really excited about this,” Richmond said. “All the news that we have daily being almost all negative. It’s nice to have a bright spot for a change.”
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports.Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.