Two Gramercy dogs will say ‘I do’

Shorty (left) and Riley at the store where Shorty has become the official mascot (Photo courtesy of Cauz for Pawz)

Shorty (left) and Riley at the store where Shorty has become the official mascot (Photo courtesy of Cauz for Pawz)

By Sabina Mollot

The concept of a dog wedding is hardly anything new. Passionate pet owners who’ve gotten Fido hitched in fancy ceremonies have even include Grammy-winner John Legend as well as numerous owners who’ve reportedly spent six figures for lavish puptials. And there’s another thing that’s not new. Articles on the subject of canine coupling dripping with shameless — albeit admittedly clever — pooch puns ranging from “puppy love” to “muttrimony.”

So why, you may be asking, is Town & Village writing about it now? Because at Cauz for Pawz, a Gramercy thrift shop, a dog wedding will be taking place in September — and we’re all invited. The bride and groom are both seniors at 14 years old and rescues. The bride, Shorty, was adopted by the nonprofit shop’s director, Cathryn Duhigg, at an adoption event that was held at Cauz for Pawz. Due to Shorty’s being a bit on the barky side, “no one else wanted her,” said Duhigg. But Duhigg said she was able to get past the chihuaha terrier mix’s annoying habit. This was after realizing that as a result of Shorty’s having been given up by her last owner who she lived with for 13 years, and then being fostered for a while, “she was destroyed.” The formerly lonely Shorty has since become the East 23rd store’s mascot, working alongside her owner. She still barks a lot at just about everyone.

That is, until the day that Riley came along. Duhigg said she knew he was the one when Shorty met him and didn’t start yapping.

Cathryn Duhigg (right) holding Trippie (Shorty’s bridesmaid), next to Trippie’s owner Carol Schachter at the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates’ Canine Comedy Parade in 2013 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Cathryn Duhigg (right) holding Trippie (Shorty’s bridesmaid), next to Trippie’s owner Carol Schachter at the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates’ Canine Comedy Parade in 2013 (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Riley, now Shorty’s betrothed, is a terrier mix who lives with his owner Marjorie Klaskin on East 22nd Street. Another dog Shorty has since met who she also didn’t feel the need to bark at has become her bridesmaid. She is also a senior and is named Trippie.

As for why the couple’s owners have decided to make their pets’ love official, the reason is that the event’s going to be a fundraiser for Cauz for Pawz.

The store is run by a nonprofit organization that helps various animal and pet-related causes. The event, which is $100 to attend, will be officiated by a judge and there will be a DJ, a photographer, cake, light snacks and prizes from local pet businesses to be auctioned off. The date has been set for September 20.

The idea was actually thought up by Cauz for Pawz’s board, including Duhigg, though this will hardly the first quirky event to be held there aimed at drumming up a bit of puplicity. (Sorry — we couldn’t resist.) Previous events at the shop have included a canine Elvis Presley lookalike contest on the anniversary of what would have been the singer’s 80th birthday and the occasional visit from a pet psychic.

Duhigg said that from what she’s seen, dog weddings have become the property of the very wealthy. “Rich people do it, but not regular folks,” she said.

“So I said let’s do it.” Her goal along with raising money for the shop, is to get local dog lovers to participate in the event’s planning. So she’s welcoming any suggestions, like what to have the bride wear and what the color scheme should be.

The save the date notice

The save the date notice

At one point, Duhigg said she considered making the canine wedding a gay one, but was waiting for the laws to change. While a landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriages just came down last month, by then, the planning for Shorty’s big day was already well underway. As for a gay pet wedding in the future, Duhigg said she was already looking forward to it. “Next year.”

Anyone looking for more details on the wedding can find it on the store’s blog. The blog, which is maintained by a Las Vegas-based volunteer, also includes posts detailing the engagement and the beginning of the couple’s courtship. According to one post, they used an online dating site called Cupid for Canines.

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