This is the tear-jerking moment a grieving dog owner saw her beloved pooch photoshopped into her wedding photo – as the loving labrador died two months before the big day.
Abigail Ancell, 27, had hoped that her adored dog Millie would be able to join her and husband Luke Ancell’s wedding celebrations
But sadly Millie had to be put down in April 2021 – just two months shy of the couple’s special day.
When Christmas came around, Abigail finally got her wish to have Millie beside her, when close friends Chris and Becky Vinter-Foster sent her a photoshopped wedding photo with the labrador included.
The student support worker was left in floods of tears at the sight of the photo, as she described it as being ‘lifelike’ and one of her ‘favourite pictures’ from the wedding.
After sharing video footage of the moment she opened the present on TikTok, the clip quickly went viral and Abigail was flooded with hundreds of comments from users praising Becky and Chris’ thoughtful gift.
Abigail, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: “Our friends Becky and Chris made the photo for us, they were our witnesses at the wedding.
“They’re our really close friends, we’d go on dog walks with them as they’ve got two dogs themselves. I’d like to think the dogs were best friends with Millie.
“So they got the photo for me as a Christmas gift. They’d asked for my reaction to be filmed and sent to them, so I had a feeling it’d be emotional but I didn’t expect it to be that.
“I filmed the video myself [propped my phone up]Luke was sitting opposite me.
“The photo was like seeing what could have been, the picture looked how I imagined it would have looked had she been there.
“It is one of my favorite pictures from the wedding and it just looks so lifelike. It’s so thoughtful too.”
Dog lover Abigail had owned Millie since her 16th birthday and had bought her from the family home to live with 29-year-old Luke.
Abigail said: “For my 16th birthday, I wanted to rehome a dog, so that’s what my parents let me do back in 2010. I had Millie in my family house until I moved out in 2017.
“Millie passed away two months before the wedding. She was getting old, she didn’t necessarily die of an illness.
“Her back end collapsed and she could no longer walk, so we had to take that decision to have her put down.
“We knew her time was coming. I know you’ll see a lot of dogs on wheels and in prams, but it’s not what she would have wanted.
“When she was outside she was always running about, so we knew it was the best thing to do.
“We were so distressed when she got put down. Because of COVID, only one of us could be in the room with her so my husband had to wait outside in the car.”
Millie was intended to be an integral part of the wedding, which had already been delayed due to COVID restrictions.
Abigail said: “Had she been around for the wedding, we were going to get her a collar that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses, and maybe put something on the collar to match my flowers.
“One of my bridesmaids’ family lives really close to the venue, so Millie was going to stay with them, and be bought over for some pictures after the ceremony.
“We were going to get some photos of her with the bridesmaids, because she’d started off as a family dog before she moved out with me.
“I’d wanted some family pictures with her. If the wedding had gone ahead in 2020, we would have been able to do that, but we missed out on that.”
Abigail and Luke wed on June 27th 2021 at Hellaby Hall Hotel in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, and had a ‘really good time’ despite Millie’s absence.
But Abigail kept her beloved labrador close to hand, wearing a specially commissioned ring containing some of her ashes as her ‘something blue’.
Months later, Abigail was gifted with what she had longed for – a wedding photo with Millie sat by her side.
Abigail said: “Becky and Chris had quite a lot of involvement speaking about the wedding so they knew how excited I’d been to have Millie there.
“They knew how special it was for me, I really appreciated that they made it for me.
“I’m sure it took a lot of thought in terms of finding the right pictures to use, you could tell they put a lot of thought into it.
“I shared it on TikTok because I know a lot of people have a special bond with their dog, and in the lead up to the wedding I’d seen a lot of photos of dogs being included in the ceremony.
“I thought it’d resonate with a lot of people as a lot of us are dog lovers. I also wanted people to see how special it was.
“There were quite a lot of comments saying that they’d hoped to have their dogs in their wedding photos but the same thing had happened to them. The video also puts the idea out there that things can be done. I know there are artists who do paintings of pets.”
Becky, 34, and her wife, Chris Vinter-Foster, 59, knew the photo would mean a lot to the newlyweds and had been pondering how to create it for a while.
Becky said: “It was an idea that both me and Chris came up with. We knew how they’d had plans for Millie to be in the wedding pictures. Since the wedding day, we’d been thinking about doing them a picture but never really found anywhere that we’d trust to do it justice.
“We thought it’d be the perfect picture because it was their dream to have Millie there and it would be amazing to create that.
“I know the dream will never fully come true but it was nice to have her in at least one of the pictures. We got the picture done at The Photo Wizards in Crystal Peaks Market Place. When we saw the video of Abigail reacting to the video, we were both crying.
“We didn’t want her to be upset, but we’re just so happy that they loved it. I’ve known Luke for eleven years, Abigail a little bit less. We’ve grown really close over the last few years, take the dogs out.”
Abigail’s video, which has received more than one million views, received numerous comments from people commending Becky and Chris for their thoughtful gift.
One commenter wrote: “Them friends are keepers.”
Another wrote: “You have beautiful hearted friends to understand this bond!! This has me crying.”
Another user commented: “I cried. This is a beautiful gift and looks so perfectly realistic.”