For every couple, their wedding day is a momentous occasion that they will spend celebrating with their closest friends and family. But for one couple, the plans for their big day hit a snag when their beloved dog Brucie was given only a few months to live and wouldn’t be around to see them get married.
Unwilling to accept that he wouldn’t be at the wedding, Brucie’s owners did the impossible and rearranged their wedding to three weeks later, forgoing their venue deposit, catering, and lots of the guests in order to make it happen.
Brucie is a Bullmastiff, and his owner Estelle Harris, 34, has had him since he was a puppy. She calls him her “kid with four legs” and loves him “more than anything”. She has even known him longer than her now husband, Danny Harris, 32.
The Harris couple live in Derbyshire, UK, and had planned to wed in May. But that plan changed in December after Brucie was experiencing the symptoms of oxygen depletion – white gums and a blue tongue – and had to be rushed to the hospital.
There, Brucie was discovered to have a pleural effusion, which means that he had fluid built up around his heart and lungs, and this had to be drained in order for him to survive.
While the vets drained him, they discovered that the five-year-old dog had a cancerous lump in his chest the size of a grapefruit. Vets told Estelle and Danny to prepare and say their farewells before Brucie went into surgery, as he most likely wouldn’t make it.
The arduous surgery lasted several hours and included several ribs being removed in the process. While he survived the operation, it wasn’t good news in the end as Brucie was given a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma – a very aggressive form of cancer. He was estimated to have anywhere from one to four months to live.
Heartbroken, Estelle couldn’t see herself getting married in May without Brucie there, so she and Danny rearranged the ceremony.
The couple settled on marrying at the Burton Registry Office with a notice of only three weeks. Many guests were unable to attend. Estelle’s aunt and cousin both stepped up to help prepare finger food in lieu of catering. For Estelle, it was all worth it to have Brucie there. Guests even commented that he looked more handsom than Danny, as the pair wore matching suits for the occasion.
“Having Brucie there with me on the day was the most important thing, hence why we changed it. I think some people think we are nuts for changing it, as some people see him as just a dog, but to me he’s a lot, lot more. Everything I do in life revolves around him,” Estelle said.
She added, “I love him more than anything and every day my heart is broken because he’s dying and there’s nothing I can do about it, except love him and make memories.”
Regarding the day, Estelle said, “I think Brucie really enjoyed it the day. He came to the evening party for an hour but got too tired, so had to go home to sleep his busy day of fuss off. We tried our best to get Danny and Brucie matching for the day, although most people said Bruce was the most handsome.”
Currently, Brucie is two months into the timeline the vets gave him, but with the help of some changes to his diet, Estelle says he’s “doing really well at the moment.”
We send our deepest love and thoughts to Brucie. And of course a big congratulations to Estelle and Danny.