Commentary

Nagem: First there were pups, and now there’s a shotgun canine wedding

snagem@newsobserver.comJune 24, 2014 

— Annabelle Grace plans to wear a white dress of taffeta and sequins, with a string of pearls, a veil and a garter belt – her “something blue.”

Her groom, Giorgi Feliciano, will wear a black tux, maybe with a sequined bow tie, and a boutonniere.

Instead of traditional rings, they will exchange “I do” charms that clip onto their collars.

Gracie and Giorgi will celebrate their puppy love, quite literally, with a wedding ceremony and reception at a private home in Raleigh on Saturday.

Really, it’s probably the right thing to do.

Giorgi, a 6-pound Bolognese, and Gracie, a 7 ½-pound Russian Bolonka, never meant to fall in love. At least their human, Cindy Beebe, never meant for it to happen.

But an unsecured baby gate, and fate, had other plans. In March, the happy couple welcomed three little pups into the world.

Beebe, 54, who divides her time between Apex and Florida, insists the wedding plans started as a joke. A friend was visiting after the baby gate snafu that brought the dogs together.

“She said, ‘We have to have a shotgun wedding now that they’re going to have puppies.’ 

Beebe loves her dogs. Dog beds are scattered around her chic Apex apartment, where Gracie, Giorgi and their offspring live a life of luxury.

But a dog wedding? Beebe, who has worked as a chef and a caterer, figured why not.

She’s creative, and canine nuptials gave her an excuse to hunt for dog-themed party favors and turn a human baby’s headband into a doggie garter belt.

About 30 people will likely attend the ceremony and Italian-themed reception, Beebe said. Some relatives plan to come from as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin will play. The party will get started with the song “Who Let The Dogs Out?”

Of course.

Guests will eat an Italian feast of baked rigatoni, meatballs, sausage and caprese salad.

The dogs can have some too – it’s a special occasion, after all – along with specially made carrot cake cupcakes prepared with little sugar.

Who knows whether Gracie and Giorgi are excited. If they’re half as excited as they get about treats, the event will surely be a success.

Beebe said she got the dogs after her 17-year-old toy poodle died last year. She saw a Bolognese, an Italian breed, at an art show and fell in love.

She decided to get two dogs to keep each other company – in a brother and sister kind of way – so she also ended up with Gracie.

Beebe said she planned to get Gracie spayed when she was a year old, but accidents happen.

Now there’s a full house, but Beebe hopes to find a good home for the two male puppies, Toby and Tyler. She plans to keep the girl, Katie, so no one can breed her.

As for Gracie and Giorgi, let’s just say their baby-making days are over.

Beebe has had so much fun planning the pooches’ wedding that she’s thinking of turning it into a job. People want to celebrate their pets’ special moments.

“When the wedding’s over, I’m going to be looking for something else to get into,” Beebe said.

But first, Gracie and Giorgi will have their big day. A parson will tell Giorgi to sniff his bride, and they will live happily ever after, free to lounge on leather dog beds and bark at mailmen.

Nagem: 919-460-2605; Twitter: @BySarahNagem

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