Therapy dogs get elaborate wedding ceremony with gowns
Here comes the bride, all dressed in white, and wearing … a lavender leash?
It’s taken one year to plan the nuptials of Frangelica Meloni and Shaggydog Stark, and for good reason, their parents said Sunday.
For one, their wedding is incredibly elaborate. Not only is there a large, color-coordinated wedding party, but the event doubles as a fundraiser for PAWS for People, a nonprofit that trains and certifies therapy pets.
It will be on Aug. 10 at Rose Tree Park in Media, Pennsylvania.
Shaggydog is an 8.5-year-old Great Pyrenees mix, a gentle-spirited mountain dog with tons of fluffy white fur, from north Wilmington. His name was inspired by the hit TV show and book series, “Game of Thrones.”
Frangelica, according to a doggy DNA test, is part Maltese, Yorkie and Cairn terrier, with a “splash of Pomeranian.” From Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, she was named after a brand of hazelnut liqueur because she was “a little nuts” when she was first adopted.
Both bride and groom are therapy dogs for PAWS for People. The organization has more than 500 volunteers who, with their dogs, cats and rabbits, visit health care facilities, chemical dependency centers, courtrooms, libraries, schools, private homes and more.
That’s how the two dogs met, Frangelica’s owner, Kathryn Meloni, said.
Shaggydog and his owner, Ashley Kennedy, had volunteered for PAWS before but were going back through the orientation process after briefly moving away. Frangelica, who has been in the program for more than five years and is the same age as Shaggydog, was acting as a mentor of sorts.
The two dogs started hanging out at volunteer events. Once, Shaggydog even brought Frangelica flowers at a Barnes & Noble book fair.
They made it “Facebook official” in May 2018, announcing online that they were “in a relationship.”
That’s when Meloni, Frangelica’s owner, starting getting ideas.
As a bit of a joke, she suggested that the two get married.
“What I said was they should get married, and we can make it a fundraiser,” she said. “I was serious, but not 110% serious.”
Kennedy ran with it.
Shaggydog took Frangelica on a date in June 2018 to a Bark in the Park game, which the Wilmington Blue Rocks hold each summer for dogs and their owners, and halfway through, Shaggydog popped the question, presenting Frangelica with a plush dog toy shaped like an engagement ring.