A service dog was best man at a veteran's wedding last year, and the photos are the best.

When veteran Justin Lansford was planning his wedding in October 2015, he selected a highly unusual best man — his service dog Gabe.

Carol, Justin, and Gabe Lansford. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.


Justin and Gabe met in 2013 through the Warrior Canine Connection, a group that hires veterans to train service dogs for their fellow veterans with disabilities. Justin, who had his left leg amputated after an IED attack in Afghanistan, was paired with Gabe largely for mobility assistance.

But according to Gabe's wife, Carol Lansford, it's been nothing but love between all three of them ever since.

Once Carol and Justin decided to get married, there was very little doubt that Gabe would be a big part of the wedding.

Carol, Justin, and Gabe Lansford walking down the aisle. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"We were figuring out wedding details and one of us just mentioned, 'We have to figure out what Gabe is going to wear,'" Carol told Upworthy.

In addition to helping Justin move steadily and fetching objects that are out of his reach, Gabe also provides invaluable emotional support for his dog dad.

Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"It's hard to be mad or nervous when you have this great smiling face that just wants to lick you," Carol said.

Although research is ongoing to determine whether support animals clinically benefit those still recovering from the mental stress of combat, dogs can still be a vital part of the healing process. And Gabe is no exception.

"If anything [starts to feel] uncomfortable, he's there to make sure it's going to be OK."

Carol was behind a door when Justin and Gabe made their entrance, but she later found out just how completely adorable it was.

Carol and Gabe. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"I heard that everybody just instantly went, 'Awwww,' and then every cell phone in the place came out to try to get pictures of them," Carol said.

And Gabe may have been enjoying it most of all.

"He loves attention, and he will do anything for attention…" Carol said. "I know he was just in his glory."

Congratulations, Justin, Carol, and Gabe!


Carol, Justin, and Gabe, before the wedding. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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