This puts a whole new twist on the term “man’s best friend.” Last weekend, in Largo, FL, an Army veteran named Justin Lansford married his longtime sweetheart Carol Balmes, with three young men important to him in his life right behind him. But juuuuust in front of them, in the Best Man spot, was Justin’s dog, Gabe.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Lansford said “Since day one, we’ve been joined to the hip. It meant the world to have him next to me. He’s there for me all day, every day.” Gabe was dressed in a custom made formal US Army service uniform as he stood, well, mostly sat, and performed his best man duties in front of the 100 guests at the wedding.
Lansford, a 26-year-old paratrooper, met Gabe in 2013 after he was injured while serving in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Lansford lost his left leg after his truck hit an IED. Through the Warrior Canine Connection, an organization that his bride worked for, he was paired with Gabe.
Lansford needs Gabe’s help to keep his balance pretty much everywhere he goes, which is why Gabe is always involved in the couple’s vacations, and even their engagement photo shoot!
Balmes had this to say to the Daily News: “Justin and Gabe go everywhere together and our wedding did not seem like it should be any different of an occasion. He is a huge part of our life and deserves to share in the moment with us.”