Friday, November 21, 2008

Dog Wedding Has Long Media Legs

When it comes to dogs getting hitched, there is an insatiable media appetite:

Check out this national coverage on Fox News, along with some other quirky record attempts, such as the largest rubber-band ball (9,000-plus pounds). A Guinness World Record spokesman referred to the 87 weddings as "a worthy effort."

Here is a written and video report ("Till Death Do We Bark") from Medill News Service's Sigrid Lupieri.

Serena Brahney of weighed in with a fun report. Head to the site and look for "Pups Marry For Shot At Guinness Record."

For more footage from the event, visit a previous post here on
I Do, Doggone It!

To contact the event publicist, e-mail

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Than $6,000 for Animal Care League

Here's another notable statistic from I Do, Doggone It!: the event hitching 87 dog couples (at least for a few, tongue-in-cheek moments) raised more than $6,000 for The Animal Care League of Oak Park.

Now that's no joke!

Accompanying the post today is this shot of Helen Karakoudas, managing editor of Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest, and Mr. Big. He was one-half of the poster pups for the event, the other being Hudson.

Monday, November 10, 2008

See The Video Clips From I Do, Doggone It!

The honeymoon period may have ended for some of the dog couples who came together for a few fun moments on Saturday.

But for organizers of I Do, Doggone It!, our gratitude continues for the many who pitched in to make the event a success, from sponsors to volunteers to the many dog owners and citizens alike who squeezed into the downtown for the festive occasion.

If you've not yet seen it, the Chicago Tribune published two photos that veteran photographer Milbert Brown shot during the event. The shots are on Page 3 of Sunday's Metro section.

In addition, we encourage you to check out the interview with Guinness World Records' Danny Girton Jr. (below, in photo, counting the dog couples) on the post from Saturday.

In addition, you will find in this post links to seven other video clips from the big day:

Introduction from Downtown Oak Park's Pat Zubak-Part 1

Introduction from Downtown Oak Park's Pat Zubak-Part 2

Oak Park Village President David Pope's officiating of the Bow Vows

Danny Girton's announcement that the Guinness World Record had not been broken

An interview with Danny Girton before the ceremony

Sights and sounds of the event, about 20 minutes before the ceremony began with the Wedding March

Meet Mia, a 12-year-old teacup poodle who stole the show, and her owner Lucretia Meo of Berwyn

As soon as we have an official tally of same-sex couples out of the 87 couples overall, as well as the amount raised for the Animal Care League of Oak Park, we will post that information on this site.

As always, if you have any questions, contact Matt Baron at or 708-860-1380.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Preliminary Report: 87 Couples Tie Knot

It is now 2:40 p.m., and the I Do, Doggone It! ceremony ended barely more than an hour ago, so this is a preliminary report. A more detailed report--with video and photos--will be added by Monday morning.

Hundreds of people and their canine companions braved bone-chilling cold weather today to make I Do, Doggone It! a major success.

While the 87 dog couples fell short of the Guinness World Record (178) in the unusual category, it was undoubtedly one of the largest doggie conjugal gatherings in history.

Danny Girton Jr., the Guinness World Record adjudicator who oversaw the event, said that he would review GWR files to see where the event's 87-couple status ranks. In addition, with numerous same-sex couples among those who were "married" on Saturday, there's a chance that the event established a new standard in that regard.

Though Guinness World Records does not yet have a category for same-sex dog weddings, Downtown Oak Park officials may petition the organization for consideration in that category, Girton confirmed. (See the video below)

As part of the registration process, owners indicated the gender of dogs. A DTOP tally breaking down the number of same-sex couplings will be conducted as soon as possible.

The event supported the Animal Care League of Oak Park, a shelter for cats and dogs. A final fundraising total will be provided as soon as possible.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama Invitations Featured in Media

Some nice mentions of our invitatations to the Obama girls have appeared online.

Geoff Williams, a freelance writer for Wallet Pop, contributed this cleverly written account.

Stories also appeared in the cyber-editions of the two Oak Park-based newspapers this afternoon, including one with a headline that asked, "Could The First Dog Be An Oak Parker?"

Thanks for the coverage, Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest and Pioneer Press!

Meanwhile, the invitation remains, as does the mystery as to whether the Obama brood will join in the fun that's now less than 24 hours away.

Obama Daughters Receive Invitation

Here at I Do, Doggone It! Central, we were struck by the impeccable timing of President-elect Barack Obama's victory speech on Tuesday night at Grant Park.

Among other pledges, he assured his daughters, Malia and Sasha, that as a reward for putting up with Dad being on the campaign trail for a signficant chunk of their young lives, they will soon be getting a puppy.

Our public service mission extends now beyond raising funds for the Animal Care League of Oak Park. We can help the Obama girls identify the nation's First Dog, too!

Here are excerpts from a Guinness World Record-attempt news release we issued today:

"The organizers of I Do, Doggone It! would like to extend an invitation to Malia and Sasha Obama: find your puppy at the Animal Care League of Oak Park!

Better yet, so you can make an informed choice, come to the mass dog wedding on Saturday, Nov. 8, and get a close-up view of numerous canine varieties...

“Because the Obama family is staying in Chicago this weekend, it seems only fitting that we extend this invitation,” said Pat Zubak, executive director of Downtown Oak Park. “This would also help the new president display his integrity—following through on his public declarations.”

Zubak stressed that though there are many same-sex couples who have pre-registered for the dog wedding, Downtown Oak Park and the Animal Care League are taking no broader stance on the human being controversy over that issue."

Pre-Wedding Jilts & Jitters

The wedding day hasn't yet arrived, and already relationships have ended and new ones begun.

The First Couple of I Do, Doggone It!--Hudson and Mr. Big--have reportedly split after Hudson found another mate. Mr. Big was cast adrift for only a short while. Within a day of learning his fate, on Thursday we received word that Boswell, featured in this space on Monday along with Yogi, has re-injured his leg and had to back out of the wedding.

We have tentatively arranged for Mr. Big, all four pounds of him, to pair up with Yogi, tipping the scales at 130. In our book, they are the Second First Couple of I Do, Doggone It!

As if this development were not controversial enough, there's this piece by Pioneer Press scribe John Huston, tying in the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage for human beings.

Stay tuned as the soap opera continues, including our invitation to the Obama girls to adopt a puppy from the Animal Care League, the event's beneficiary.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yogi & Boswell: Friendship Leads to Vows

Behind every dog participating in the upcoming wedding, there is a story.

Today, meet Yogi.

This 130-pounder resides in Oak Park, with his master, Mari Mortenson, and on Saturday they are taking part in I Do, Doggone It!

Yogi is "sort of related" to his betrothed, 120-pound Boswell, since both came from the same breeder, said Libby Ashcraft of Forest Park, who, along with husband Mike, is Boswell's master.

Yogi and Boswell have hung out together a lot the past three years and the dog wedding seemed to be the next logical step in the relationship, explains Libby.

Both are male--meaning this will be a same-gender union--and Yogi will play the bride's role.

"They'll be really related once they get married,” said Libby.

As for Boswell, he hasn't spent as much time with Yogi of late as he has been recovering from leg surgery this summer. Boswell is named after a town in Oklahoma (where Mike is from).

NOTE: If your dog does not have a friend to hook up with for I Do, Doggone It!, don't let that stop you from joining in the fun! There is a speed-dating service for the day of the event, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We anticipate numerous last-minute connections, so your dog will be in good company.

To beat the rush and pre-register for the event, the form is right here.