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A besotted blind couple who married yesterday have told how they fell in love - when their guide dogs also became an item.
Claire Johnson, 50, first fell for Mark Gaffey, 51, from Stoke-on-Trent, when her pet Venice got friendly with his pooch Rodd at Guide Dog Training classes in 2012.
The two dogs became inseparable and soon their owners, who are both registered blind, soon realised they were head over heels for each other too.
Just a year after meeting, Mark popped the question on Valentine's Day last year. And the happy couple married yesterday at a hotel in Stoke-on-Trent - with their dogs as ring-bearers.
Claire, who lost her sight due to diabetes when she was 24, beamed: 'I have no doubt that our guide dogs brought us together and helped me find my true love.
'Much like our two guide dogs, we are best friends and soul mates. Everyone used to joke about how Mark's dog Rodd and my dog Venice were meant to be together.'
The pair, met when they both took their dogs to Guide Dog Training course in Shrewsbury, in March last year.
Mark, who was blind from birth said: 'During the training our two dogs, Rodd and Venice, seemed to know something we didn't.
'They were always playing together and nuzzling up together. The trainers said that they were the love and romance of the course, and they brought us together. We could have easily missed one another because it was a residential course and we just happened to be put on the same one.”
'But we were purely in the right place at the right time. I have never believed in fate, but it does seem like it was meant to be. Each time we met the lunches were getting longer and the waitresses were tapping their fingers waiting for us to leave.'
'We chatted about anything and everything. I trusted in the luck I didn't seem to know existed. Now we joke that with every guide dog you get a free wife. I love Claire's personality and her laugh is infectious. We've never had an argument, we just seem to click.'