Weddings are celebrations of love and commitment. We share such joyous occasions with our family and loved ones – those who are near and dear to our hearts.
And only the ones who we consider incredibly unique are given front row seats to enjoy the festivities. Both the bride and groom usually chose their best friends to accompany them as they took their first step towards a beautiful future together.
For Justine Lansford and his fiancé Carol Balmes, their wedding entourage was about to have an exciting member since Justin’s best friend and best man was none other than his service dog Gabe.
Back in 2012, Justin barely survived an explosive attack while serving as a paratrooper in eastern Afghanistan. He lost his left leg and was advised to have a service dog to aid him in recovering from PTSD. That was when 2-year-old Gabe entered his life and gradually became his dearest friend.
Gabe helped him with the small stuff, such as providing steady support as Justin slowly got used to his prosthetic leg. This wonderful pup also played an essential part in the war veteran’s road to recovery, teaching him to move past his harrowing experiences and walk towards a promising future.
With a renewed spirit, Justin finally decided to pop the question to Carol, his long-time girlfriend. With everything that this brave man went through, it only fitted to have the ever-loyal Gabe to stand by his side as he and Carol took their vows. So in 2015, the lovely couple tied the knot in Largo, Florida, escorted by their faithful service dog.
Gabe looked quite fetching in his dog uniform. The groom was ecstatic to have his best friend with him as they watched his beautiful bride walk down the aisle. It was a heartfelt ceremony, filled with love and happiness.
Years after the wedding, Gabe has remained by his humans’ side, staying devoted and loyal as a faithful service dog should be.