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As if popping the question wasn’t heartwarming enough, these couples got an adorable assist from their canine buddies. Here, in the words of the brides- and grooms-to-be, our favorite dog engagement stories.
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“For one of my birthdays, my then-girlfriend, Elizabeth, gave me a puppy collar. No dog, just the collar. She said it was for when we eventually got our own dog together. Years passed, and the collar sat in my drawer. The conversation kept developing, though, between us about this hypothetical dog. We chose a breed (Wheaten terrier) and even chose a name (Winnie, after Winnie the Pooh). We made all of these little decisions about a dog that didn’t exist. This dog, at least for me, became a symbol for this next step that we would take in our lives together.
“When I decided on how to propose, I had known for years that it would involve our little Winnie the Wheaten. Elizabeth and I took an autumn walk after dinner, ending up in the courtyard of the dorm where we met. We had a mutual friend there, waiting with our little furball. I gave Elizabeth the puppy, dropped down on one knee, and said, ‘I met you here and fell in love with you, so this is where I’m asking you to marry me.’ Winnie’s dog tag was engraved, reading ‘Elizabeth, will you marry me?’ She said yes to both of us.” —Ryan Kenkel, with Elizabeth Breitbach and Winnie, of Iowa City, Iowa
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“On Saturday, September 13, 2014, Rory asked me if I wanted to go on a walk into downtown Bristol to enjoy the last days of summer, as well as our new hometown.
“About 10 minutes into the walk, the bike path opens up to a clearing with a bench overlooking the water. As we approached, I noticed a dog tied to the bench. I, being an avid dog lover, normally would have dragged Rory over to meet it. Of course, on this one instance, Rory’s plan was not so easily executed. I said we should not go up to the dog, because it was tied all alone to the bench in the hot sun and was most likely agitated. Rory finally said that he wanted to go see the dog, so we walked over.
“I noticed a note tied around the dog’s collar, which I pointed out to Rory as one more reason not to pet the dog.
“Rory finally said, ‘Hailey, what if I told you the note is for you?’ Confused, I took the note from Rory and started reading, beginning with the words, ‘Hi, my name is Dolly!’ Dolly is the name I always wanted to call my first dog. After reading that, my eyes filled with tears. I don’t remember what the note said except for the last line: ‘Rory has said yes to me, so will you now say yes to him?’
“When I looked up, Rory was on one knee holding out the most gorgeous engagement ring. I nodded to say ‘yes,’ and was immediately surprised by all the neighbors clapping and a photographer emerging from the bushes to congratulate us and take some pictures.
“I was so overwhelmed on our walk back, but I kept saying how I wished my family could be there to enjoy the news. As we rounded the corner to our street, we heard horns and cheering coming from our front porch. Our families surprised us with a big banner and lunch to celebrate the future.” —Hailey Conn, with Rory Munns and Dolly, of Bristol, Rhode Island
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“It was a nice, sunny day in late October, and we had scheduled to have family pictures taken for his family’s Christmas cards. We had just gotten our new puppy a couple of weeks before that and decided to include both of our dogs in the pictures. I thought the whole time we were just doing family pictures, but what I didn’t know is he had something else planned that included our new puppy.
“As we were taking pictures, the rest of his family watched and tried to get me to look at our puppy’s collar, without letting the cat out of the bag. I was so focused on taking pictures that I didn’t even know what was going on. Taylor, now my husband, had to turn the collar around so I could see what everyone was trying to tell me. He had somehow snuck a little dog tag on the collar of our puppy that said, ‘Will You Marry Me,’ and he got down on one knee. I was so shocked and happy at the same time! It was so sweet and cute; I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal. I’m so glad he incorporated both of our dogs because they are our family and they mean so much to us. I will never forget that day and how I felt.” —Angela and Taylor Johnson, with their puppy Flynn and dog Pete, of Story City, Iowa
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“Breakfast in bed has always been a special thing between Ross and I. Since early on in our relationship, he has surprised me with breakfast in bed for special occasions and often just because.
“One day, Ross woke me up to a delicious breakfast in bed with 1,000 rose petals, our pug Peter in a tux, a song playing in the background that he wrote for me (which ended up being our first dance), and a bottle of Champagne from Napa we had been saving for a special occasion. As soon as I saw the Champagne, I started crying because I knew this was more than just a typical breakfast in bed! There was a plate cover, and Ross told me to lift it up. On the plate was the ring box, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Neither of us remember if I actually ever said yes or not!
“He then told me to pack a bag and we went to San Francisco to celebrate for the weekend. We stayed in a beautiful penthouse and dined at the most delectable restaurants in the city. It was a weekend we’ll never forget!” —Jackie Karwoski, with Ross Golan and Peter, of Los Angeles
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“My fiancé, Matt Kotsianas, proposed to me on New Year’s Eve 2014 with my French bulldog, Ace. We were at his parents’ house, about to go to a party, and he asked me to come outside and see what Ace was doing. He was holding him and down on one knee and told me to come look at his new collar. He had the ring and a dog tag that said ‘Marry Me’ connected to the collar. He had to ask me about three times to look at his collar before I saw the ring and the tag, but of course I said yes!
“Little did I know, everyone inside knew about the proposal except for my mom. (Mom would have given it away if she knew ahead of time.) We all took pictures and had a glass of Champagne before going down to the New Year’s party to celebrate not only New Year’s but our engagement.” —Kike Kontoes, with Matt Kotsianas and Ace, of Knoxville, Tennessee
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