Stoke & Staffordshire

'Puppy love' as couple marry after guide dogs 'fell in love'

Claire Johnson and Mark Gaffey marry accompanied by guide dogs Venice and Rodd
Image caption Labrador-Retrievers Venice and Rodd were "inseparable" when they met

A couple who got together after their guide dogs "fell in love" at a training camp have tied the knot.

Claire Johnson, 50, and Mark Gaffey, 51, met in 2012 after Labrador-Retrievers Venice and Rodd took a shine to each other.

The pair guided their owners through the service in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, on Saturday and even acted as ring-bearers.

Ms Johnson said she had "no doubt" the dogs had brought the couple together.

'Meant to be'

Their romance began on a two-week guide dog training course.

Ms Johnson said Venice and Rodd had been the "class love story" throughout their training and were constantly "playing and nuzzling together".

"Everyone used to joke about how Mark's dog Rodd and my dog Venice were meant to be together," she said.

After they were paired with the dogs, Ms Johnson and Mr Gaffey continued to meet for play dates because they "couldn't bear" to split them up.

Image caption Claire Johnson said the four were "best friends"

Their relationship developed and Mr Gaffey proposed on Valentine's Day last year.

Ms Johnson said all four were "best friends and soul mates."

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