Valentine’s Day was special this year for a Seattle couple in more ways than one. Debbie Parsons and Brad Slayton tied the knot at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show in New York, with their Tibetan Mastiff by their side. The short ceremony was performed in the benching area, which is always bustling with activity and people preparing to enter the ring. Cherilyn Frei, wife of Westminster commentator David Frei, served as chaplain.
The bride wore a pink Vera Wang gown and the groom wore a gray tuxedo with a pink boutonnière. Both adorned purple accents in honor of the Westminster show, not to mention the purple bowtie their 120-pound Tibetan Mastiff sported. Although their dog named Major didn’t clinch the Group victory, it won over five other competitors to win its breed category.
The couple met online in 2006 and combined the packs of Tibetan Mastiffs each owned. Today they have a total of six Tibetan Mastiffs and have competed previously at Westminster in 2008. “This dog brought us together,” Slayton said. “Today,” he added, choking up, “I bought a Valentine’s Day card for my wife, not my girlfriend.”