With wedding season upon us, one special – if slightly unusual – Yellowknife couple is almost ready to tie the knot.
Gabby, a standard poodle, and her great friend Bojack, a “northern special” mixed breed, are to be married later this summer at a ceremony in the city.
Yellowknife resident Jessie Wilson found out earlier this year that her dog, Gabby, had been diagnosed with cancer at just five years of age.
Jessie Olson, Wilson’s neighbour and owner of Bojack, had previously joked with Wilson about their dogs getting married – the owners would catch Gabby waiting outside the door of Olson’s houseboat each morning, hoping to see Bojack.
The two would play together constantly throughout each day.
After Gabby’s diagnosis, the owners took the joke a little more seriously.
“Weddings are just fun, joyous events and an excuse for all of the people Gabby really loves to get together and pay attention to her,” Wilson told Cabin Radio.
Wilson said the ceremony is important to her as a way to celebrate Gabby and surround her with people who care the most about her.
“I think it’s really nice having a wedding for her last hurrahs, and it is a really nice way to honour her and kind-of have everyone be with her,” she said.
The wedding will happen later this summer.
Wilson says it will look like a traditional wedding – with some tweaks.
Jessie Wilson and Jessie Olson live in houseboats, where their dogs Gabby and Bojack met. Photo: Jessie Wilson
There will be a caterer, a DJ, a ceremonial stick toss, and several piñatas (featuring dog treats for the pups and other sweets for the guests). There will be speeches, a ceremony, dinner, and cocktails.
“We’re trying to make it as much of a wedding as possible, but also very bizarre and upside-down… because it is for dogs,” said Wilson.
A special cake for the dogs is set to be covered with fish heads and sticks. Wilson promised to find a different flavour for the human guests’ cake.
Wilson says when she tells people about the event, many think she is talking about a wedding for herself or a friend, to which she responds with: “No, my dog is getting married, obviously.”
The two owners are searching for a dress for Bojack to wear for the ceremony, as Gabby’s fur colouring already makes her appear as though she is wearing a tuxedo.
Wilson says she has learned that owners should cherish every moment with their dogs.
“I think of who I am and my relationship with Gabby, and the whole time has always been this fun kind-of bizarre time together,” she said.
“I mean, she’s a poodle who lives in Yellowknife. Just her being here is absurd.”
The happy couple. Photo: Jessie Wilson