dog at wedding

Robert E. Blackmon is the best-selling Canadian author behind The Gay Groom’s Guide which is the first ever book for gay grooms looking for some sort of guide/tips in helping them plan their perfect wedding!

Now while the book focuses on subjects of decorations, guest lists and making sure the cake is extra tasty, Robert reveals that his dog Quinn — the ring bearer at his own wedding — helped to make the whole wedding more enjoyable. To find out what other grooms could do to get their pets involved in their weddings, so we spoke exclusively with Robert at his Ottawa home.

AW: First, tell us why you love animals!

RB: I love animals for many reasons. They communicate with humans in a way that teaches us things about ourselves. They are incredibly nurturing and protective of their own.

AW: Did you always have pets growing up?

RB: I have been fortunate in my life to be surrounded by pets. My grandparents had a farm so there were always chickens, goats and horses to enjoy. I have had several dogs in my life. I’ve always considered myself more canine then feline, that is until I got a cat. I really bask in the unconditional love you get from a dog, but I equally appreciate the self-sufficiency of a cat.  Our dog Quinn passed a few years ago. He was a twelve year old Irish Setter. Quinn served as ring bearer at our wedding. He had been a show dog before we got him, so he was used to the attention. He was human like. I miss him dearly. With our busy schedules as much as we would love to have another dog, it’s not in the cards at the moment. Animals need love and attention and I am simply not in one spot long enough. But maybe one day. They are also a wonderful source of companionship.

AW: Your brand is all about love. Why do you feel its important for us to show animals our full love too? Equality for all right?!

RB: They are more than pets; to most people they are members of the family. We treasure them as we would our own children. They are our children. If they are sick, we heal them. When they are hungry we feed them. It is important to show them the same kind of love that they show us in return. 

AW: You are big into fashion and have even designed your own fancy clothes. Ever think of designing fabulous outfits for pets?

RB: I do and already have done outfits for several of my clients who like their dogs to dress like them on special occasions.

AW: You wrote a best-selling book on planning your Gay Marriage. What should couples do with their family pet(s) on their wedding day? Any fun or strategic ideas you can share on this topic?

RB: As I stated prior, my Irish Setter was my ring bearer. Since he was a part of the ceremony he got the full treatment like me and my husband. His groomer came to the house and gave him a spa day to get him relaxed and picture ready. Including your pets is a natural part of the experience for many people so buy them a new outfit or special treat. Include them in your photographs. You will be creating lasting memories with them for years to come. And in my case I get to reflect and be grateful that Quinn was there to be a part of my very special day.

AW: And finally, if you could come back in your next life as one animal, what would it be and why?

RB: I would want it to be many lifetimes as I would love to be many types of owl. Owls and Eagles are wise and great warriors. Peacocks are majestic and full of brilliant color. Turkeys are proud and boastful. Hawks are revered and sit on the throne with kings. So it would take my many lifetimes to experience them all.

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