A Wearside couple are to renew their wedding vows - with their beloved dogs by their side.
Claire and Mel Dixon will walk up the aisle a second time this summer along with rescue dogs Oscar and Nettie who the pair say are very much part of the family.
Claire, 53, and Mel, 51, from Donwell, Washington,first tied the knot in 2006 with their then pet dog Zoe as ring bearer.
Ten years later, the couple want to renew their commitment to each other with new family members - tri colour collie cross Swiss mountain dog Oscar and Lurcher Cross Nettie.
Claire, a bookkeeper at HR Fabrications, said: “We have been together 26 years and got married 10 years ago on June 24, 2006.
“Our rescue dog Zoe was ring-bearer. She passed away in 2010. Now we are renewing our vows this year we want our two new dogs there.”
The couple who met on the Tyne and Wear Metro in their 20s, decided to have the ceremony to celebrate their happiness and want their friends and special pets to be a part of it.
Claire said their dogs mean a lot to them - and others - as five year-old Oscar is a dog blood donor who gives blood every six months.
Oscar has, so far, saved up to 20 dogs with his donations.
Nettie, at two years old, is the newest addition to the family. She got her name after she was found dumped in nettles in Darlington by the Darlington Dogs Trust.
“The dogs are very much part of the family,” Claire added. “They are very precious to us and we love them so much.
“They give us so much in life and ask for nothing in return “We are going to renew our vows at Springwell Methodist Church, Gateshead, which is where we had the wedding ten years ago, with the same minister, Kathy Reader.”
She added: “I am a great believer that dogs feel emotions and because Zoe was part of my family, I felt there was a bond there and I wanted her to feel that happy atmosphere on our wedding day.
“The rings were attached to her collar when she walked up the aisle and now Oscar and Nettie will be going up the aisle too.
“We decided to do it as we are very happy and we’re not getting any younger. Mel is my soulmate and best friend.”