Love at First Bite

Sep 25, 2023

LAKEVILLE – At 71 years old, Nancy Richmond still loves weddings. “It's a happy event,” she explained. “You're with people you care about, and you're sharing happiness and love and joy and community. They're wonderful.”

But Richmond hadn’t been to many weddings recently, and she felt as if weddings were not as common as they were when she was younger. That all changed when she met Paula Houle at Lakeville’s Council on Aging, or more accurately when her dog, Benji, met Houle’s dog, Freckles.

“We took them for walks on the trails and things like that,” Richmond said. “They learned to socialize by being around each other, so it's been a real positive for both of them, so we started joking about them getting married.”

The knot will be tied on 11:30 a.m on October 1st at 28 Precinct Street in Lakeville.

Before and after the wedding, starting at 10:30 a.m., there will be a series of activities for dogs and people lasting until 1:30 p.m. A dog trainer will provide a dog training demonstration, there will be a craft table for children, and the highlight of the event will be a pet costume competition, with prizes such as “most original” and “best dog-human duo.”

Although Richmond said her dog wouldn’t be participating in the costume contest, Benji would be wearing a tuxedo for the wedding. “Everyone should be looking at the leashes because they're custom made leashes,” Richmond said. “We didn't want the conventional leash; we wanted them to blend in with the wedding gown and the tuxedo.”

Richmond said that the bride, Freckles, insisted on a “pre-pup” to protect her wealth and on a “marriage preparation course” to ensure the union was a lasting one.

“Initially it was thought to be an arranged marriage,” Richmond said. “But then it became evident it was puppy love.”

Richmond said that many of her friends at the Council on Aging were looking forward to the festivities. “You only go to weddings when you're invited. A lot of people aren't getting married nowadays.” 

“It was the thing to do back in your twenties: when you were twenty years old you got married and you had children,” she said. “Now people have their careers, they live together, [and] they don't get married.”

“It's just nice to see a conventional couple get married,” she added. “Back to the good old simple days.”