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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.

Albert Einstein

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