Two guide dogs helped a couple find love where they once wandered in the dark.
Mark Gaffey and Claire Johnson have lived most of their lives visually impaired. The duo met at a training program with their guide dogs in 2013 where the pups, Rodd and Venice, fell in love at first sniff. Like many stunning love stories before them, the moment of furry friendliness was when it all began.
During the 2 week intensive training, Rodd and Venice would look for each other and snuggle up whenever there was a moment of downtime. While they cuddled, Mark and Claire began growing closer as they talked, laughed, and enjoyed each other’s company.
At the end of the 12 day program, Mark worked up the courage to suggest they schedule a ‘play date’ for their pups. They met for lunch at a local cafe and spent about an hour talking while their pups snuggled. The next lunch lasted a little longer, and the next, and the next.
“The lunches started off at about an hour, and then I think our longest lunch was 3 hours and 40 minutes. In fact, we nearly got chucked out of the bar!” Claire recalled.
After one of these long lunches, the couple finally made plans for a romantic dinner – but this time without their dogs. Before they met at an Indian restaurant, Mark sent Claire a message that said, “If you’d let me, I could make your world a whole lot happier.”
Mark proposed to Claire and she accepted his proposal on one condition… that Mark would never change from the man he was that day. They were married in 2014, and chose to have their dogs as ring bearers.
Mark and Claire’s story should be a huge encouragement to those of us that are single and those that are married. Even in the most unlikely circumstance, love still finds a way to make its home in our hearts.
Sometimes, you just have to take the plunge into the dark and see where it leads you.
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