Be honest, we have all considered marrying ours pet. Why wouldn’t you? They are extremely loyal, very low maintenance and ridiculously cuddly. They don’t speak back, are always happy to see you and never stray from your side. It would be the purrfect union.
Obviously there are clear issues with that plan. For one, your pet lives an incredibly short life, secondly, they cannot help you pay the bills, and lastly, they won’t be accepted as your plus one to parties.
Oh, and the fact that it’s totally mad.
But that didn’t stop Wilhelmina Morgan Callaghan from marrying her Yorkshire terrier, Henry in 2009. The 43-year-old from Ireland adopted Henry in 2009 from a friend who had bred him. She became inspired to marry him after reading stories online about people making it official with their pets.
Wilhelmina tied the knot with Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan via a website in 2009, with her friend Rebecca Carter, acting as a witness. The happy couple were granted a certificate to approve their marriage, however, as marrying your pet isn’t legal, the union is simply spiritual.
Explaining her decision to marry Henry, Wilhelmina explained:
“He’s been there for me more than any men have ever been. But, then, dogs are better than men. In fact, the only man who could possibly match up to Henry is Gregory Peck – and I will be waiting a long time to meet him now in the after-life.
Unlike other marriages which fall apart, I know I’m with Henry for life. People may think I’m barking mad, but he’s perfect for me.”
Since they became dog and wife, Henry and Wilhelmina have experienced many hardships in life. But, their love for one another has helped them overcome these issues.
“Things have fallen apart somewhat since we married in 2009. I lost my job in a morgue, so was forced to become a freelance embalmer, there is not much money in that, and then my house flooded. But Henry has been great throughout – he is so loyal.
I call him ‘Ri’ which means ‘King’ in ancient Gaelic, because he is like a king – my king.”
Wilhelmina and her hairy husband are now celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary, raising a paw to eight “wonderful” years together. The pair plan to celebrate with “cuddles, food and television”.
Wilhelmina admitted that her other 10 dogs often become jealous of her relationship with Henry. “There is Merrick-Thor, Mercurius, Medeia, Celia, Madoc, Francesca, Bebe, Victor, Blodwen and Ludwig,” she said. “We all get along – most of the time – but there can be arguments.”
Luckily, Henry knows just how to handle the tension. The eight-year-old Yorkshire terrier is usually the peacemaker when it comes to his canine companions. “It’s one of the many things I love about him,” says Wilhelmina fondly. “If a new dog enters the fold, Henry is the first to go over and say hello. There’s no ego, he is just so friendly.”
The happy couple even have their own song, “When I sing it, he runs over. It’s called ‘Henry’s Song’ and it includes the lyrics, ‘Henry is my love. Henry is the one’.”
Despite the criticism that the couple have received, they remain strong and unashamed. Wilhelmina is not concerned by haters, but instead focuses all her attention to Henry, who she claims is with her “for the long haul”.
We wish the happy couple all the best!