If Lucky was troubled by the prospect of an arranged marriage, or her impending mortality, she didn’t show it. She sat silently on Ms. Diamond’s lap for most of our conversation, seeming to have accepted her fate as both a bride and a cancer victim. Of course, the wedding won’t be a legally binding agreement, nor will it require a trip to City Hall for a certificate. It doesn’t even obligate Lucky to spend more than several hours with her new husband, whomever he (or she) may be.
Ms. Diamond isn’t totally opposed to letting Lucky get hitched to a shelter dog, but she’s not so sure about adopting another animal. “What if Lucky and the new dog don’t get along?” Ms. Diamond wondered. The pooches will most likely live in separate homes, which might be something human couples tying the knot should consider.
So why the marriage? “Lucky has been doing dog benefits for her entire career, and this is her very last event she’ll be hosting,” Ms. Diamond said. “She’s been helping raise awareness and money for animal charities, and once she’s gone, I need to know that someone will be carrying on her legacy of helping others.”
“You mean, like another dog mascot?” we asked.
“No … most of the people entering their pets to marry Lucky are either shelters involved with charity work, or individuals who support animal rights’ causes,” Ms. Diamond explained. Essentially, the winners’ owners would help Ms. Diamond put on more events for charities.
“So it’s not about dogs in love?” we asked, a bit deflated. Ms. Diamond looked at us like we were daft. Let’s not get crazy here. Turns out the event is more a benefit than a wedding. Tables are going for up to $10,000. But don’t worry: all the proceeds will go to the Humane Society.
Meanwhile, Ms. Katz was fretting over coordinating the flower arrangements. “They can’t be white …” she confirmed. “You don’t want a white bride, right? So she won’t be in any light or white colors?” Ms. Diamond told her friend they’d discuss the issue later. Lucky, after all, is a white dog to begin with.
If these doggie weddings become a bona fide trend, Ms. Diamond will deserve much of the credit. Dog christenings, bark mitzvahs, animal weddings … she advocated all of the above in the pages of Animal Fair. She drew the line, however, at a doggie bris, which seemed to us the most intuitive of all these animal ceremonies. If you’re going to neuter your pup anyway …
“No, no, no … You couldn’t find a rabbi to do that,” Ms. Diamond insisted, even as she debated where to put the chuppah in the hotel’s smaller dining room. (In total, Ms. Diamond is expecting around 250 guests, though Mr Walters kept complaining that the number was going up every time she mentioned it.)
Ms. Diamond is probably right about the bris. Even the venerable bark mitzvah has raised theological hackles over the years.
“This is nothing less than a desecration of a cherished Jewish tradition and degrades some of the central principles of Jewish life,” wrote Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff in a 1997 New York Times letter to the editor, adding, “I urge readers to reject such practices.”