Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed have been plagued by rumors that they're on the verge of divorce and allegations that Ian just can't get over his ex-girlfriend, The Vampire Diaries costar Nina Dobrev. However, Ian and Nikki looked as smitten as ever on Valentine's Day—the animal lovers couldn't stop smiling while they shared their devotion to dogs with the Mardi Paws crowd.
On February 14, Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed attended the 21st annual Krewe of Mardi Paws parade in Mandeville, Louisiana. The Times-Picayune reports that this year's parade theme was "Love is in the 'HAIR,'" and pups and their humans were encouraged to dress up like famous romantic pairs. There were definitely plenty of pups looking "fur" love at the parade—photos from the event show multiple dogs stopping during the parade to get their heads patted and ears scratched by attendees. Costume themes included The Princess and the Frog, The Lion King, Titanic, Tarzan and Jane, plus Han Solo and Princess Leia. However, Ian and Nikki didn't dress up for the event; The Vampire Diaries star and the Twilight actress decided to celebrate their own famous romance by attending the parade as themselves.
The celebrity Monarchs of Mardi Paws marched during the parade, handing out souvenir cups and Mardi Gras beads. Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed also posed for photos with excited onlookers, and Ian even stopped to smooch one lucky pooch. The actor told the Times-Picayune that he and Nikki really enjoyed spending Valentine's Day with their new furry friends.
"It's wonderful," Somerhalder said. "The dog thing is really what (Reed) specializes in, so it's really special to be able to be here with all those little furry kids."
Nikki Reed also shared her thoughts on Mardi Paws by pointing out that February 14 was the perfect day to hold the event—Valentine's Day is all about love, and everyone at the parade was celebrating their love of dogs.
"I think it's just a great day to celebrate love all around, whatever that means to everybody. It's not about couples, it's about whatever love means to you."Fans of Nikki and Ian were likely relieved to learn that the pair had fun during their first Valentine's Day as a married couple—Ian and Nikki didn't share their usual mushy messages about how much they love each other on social media, so some fans were probably worried that there might be some truth to those persistent rumors that the couple is experiencing marital woes. According to People, Nikki Reed recently helped Ian Somerhalder celebrate his 37th birthday with a lengthy Instagram post praising her husband for being "a gift to this world, a teacher of light and a student of love." She didn't share a similar proclamation of love on Valentine's Day, and neither did Ian.
As the Inquisitr recently reported, there's also been speculation that Ian Somerhalder still has feelings for Nina Dobrev and that he's putting off having kids with Nikki Reed because he's holding out hope that Nina will decide that she wants him back. However, Ian and Nikki looked very much in love at Mardi Paws, and their presence at the event is evidence of why they're so perfect for one another—they both love animals and are very passionate about doing whatever they can to help their furry friends. In other words, Nian shippers shouldn't expect to see a Nina-Ian reunion anytime in the near future.
The main beneficiary of this year's Mardi Paws parade was the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, Somerhalder's charity organization that "aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures." According to the Times-Picayune, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation is in talks completely take over the Mardi Paws event next year, and the charity has plans on bringing the event to cities around the globe.
What do you think of the way Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed spent Valentine's Day? Is it "paw"-some that the couple used the holiday "howl"-iday to help raise money for a good cause?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]