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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — The bond between a woman and her service dog was recently captured during a beautiful wedding ceremony.
The photos of the special day found their way to the front page of Reddit Thursday. Now, the bride is hoping her time in the Internet spotlight can help raise awareness about the help service dogs provide.
"Every time a news station contacts me, all I can think is how amazing this is for our community," Valerie Rose Parrot wrote on her blog. "So many people don't know that service dogs can be used for so many invisible illnesses ... A lot of people look at a service dog team and forget that it is because of that partnership, that both dog and handler can not only survive life, they can thrive at it."
Parrot was paired with Bella, a yellow lab, in October 2013. She keeps a blog about their life together in an effort to help others better understand mental illnesses, chronic headaches and service dog teams. Bella can alert her owner to oncoming panic attacks and migraines while helping her focus.
It was never a question that Bella would participate in the wedding on Jan. 9. The dog, dressed for the occasion in a pink tutu, was assisting Parrot with a moment of anxiety on her wedding day when photographer Maddie Peschong of Mad Photo and Design captured them together.
"Every time I see this photo shared and liked and commented on, all I can think is 'if this helps just one person I will be happy,'" the bride wrote.