66 Dog Couples Get Married (Yes, Really) at the Cougars Ballpark for a Good Cause
A baseball field normally full of Cougars was dominated by dogs on Sunday in an attempt to break the world record for the largest canine wedding.
Sixty-six dog couples, many of whom were reunited after a meteoric courtship, gathered for the nuptials at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva, home of the Kane County Cougars baseball team.
The number, however, was lower than the 2007 Guinness World Record record of 178 married dog couples in Littleton, Colorado.
If the “Diamonds in the Ruff” event at first seems frivolous, the purpose was serious. It was held to raise money and shine a light on K9s for Warriors, a national organization that rescues dogs from high-mortality shelters and trains them to be service animals for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. , head trauma or military sexual trauma.
Mike Marcotte, a Guinness World Records judge, was on hand, as was an English Guinness World Record-holding magician, Martin Rees, who hosted the mass wedding.
The dog pairs were led by Cougars mascots Ozzie and Annie down a red carpet and through a ball canopy to the outfield grass that awaited them.
Rees relayed the words of an ordained canine minister, the Reverend Henry Cleotis Farnsworth III, who bonded the four-legged couples in marriage.
Pronouncing them husband and wife, Rees said, “You are now friends forever.”
“Give yourself a round of paws,” he added.
After the ceremony, there was a goat’s milk toast and the service of the doggy wedding cake.
Event organizer Leslie Allison-Seei, president of Robust Promotions and chair of the Villa Park Community FUN (Focus on Unifying Neighbors) commission, said this was the second year in a row she had tried to beat the record. Last year, she hosted a ceremony at Villa Park that brought together 80 canine couples.
“Today is strictly a day for love, romance and smiles,” she said.
If the record wasn’t quite achieved, it’s not for lack of trying – there was a dog speed dating station designed for speed dating.
The Cougars, who partnered with Robust, sponsored two dogs, placing them with local veterans.
“Our only stipulation is that they were to be called Ozzie and Annie,” Cougars owner and general manager Bob Froehlich said.
Among the couples who got married were Denver, a Golden Doodle owned by Abby Israel of Chicago, and Maddie, a husky and pitbull combination owned by Jennifer Fink of Villa Park.
Aurora’s Elvia Paredones made her dog wear a flower-adorned headband, veil, and petticoat. Roxy Gurl of Paredones, an 8 year old pit bull mix. was paired with Kevin, a 1.5 year old basset hound mix owned by Kelly Keyes of Villa Park.
“He likes older women,” Keyes said.
Rebecca Chacon of Yorkville, owner of a pit bull mix, said she cares less about the record and more about donating to veterans in need.
“I’m not a veteran, but I have PTSD, so I understand how badly you would need a dog,” she said.