They say dogs are man’s best friend, but when you welcome a four-legged wonder into your home, he or she quickly becomes the household’s star. In fact, for many couples, making the collective decision to add a pup to the family not only brings even more love to their union, but highlights what they’re capable of doing—together. That’s why including Fido as part of a proposal is one of the sweetest ideas, ever. From a "Will you marry me?" charm on their dog’s collar to surprise additions to the family, here are five pop-the-question stories featuring furry pals that will melt your heart—just in time for National Dog Day.
Jill, David, and Packer
While Jill Lake and David Waters have been dating for eight years, the majority of their relationship hasn’t been about their twosome, but their threesome. After a long search through many local shelters and Web sites, they finally found Packer two years into their courtship. This golden retriever mix quickly became a central piece of their home, filling it with joy, laughter, and belly rubs. So when David was—finally!—ready to propose, he knew their beloved pup had to be involved. His solution to joining together their lives was actually to put an end to a debate. Ever since they adopted Packer, they had discussed his last name: Was he a Lake or a Waters? Jill was adamant he was a Lake, especially because she was usually the one who took him to appointments and filled out his paperwork (she worked at a dog physical therapy office that was next to a vet). David disagreed. So, for his proposal, he had a dog tag made that read: "Can We All Be Waters Now?” While he had intended to ask her to make it forever-official on their anniversary, once the tag and the custom-made green diamond ring arrived, he just couldn’t keep the secret anymore. So, on a random afternoon, they headed up to the bluffs near their home in Santa Barbara, California with Packer in tow. Casually, David said, “Oh, I got Packer a new dog tag. You should look at it.” The answer was easy—and the great last name debacle is over: They’ll all be Waters this March.
Lindsey, Eric, Brady, and Neely
While plenty of shared interests and passions bring Lindsey Huntsinger and Eric Bercume together, it’s what Lindsey calls their "obsession" with dogs that really sealed their connection. After dating for a while, Lindsey proposed the idea of adopting pups to add to their family, but Eric actually put in the four-legged work with their first dog. “He even slept on the floor beside the crate because the little man hated being alone,” Lindsey said of Brady, their three-year-old golden. After they fell in love with Brady, Eric wanted to also adopt a Great Dane since he grew up with them as a kid. That’s when Lindsey stepped in as caretaker: “I ended up doing all the work with her, like sitting for hours waiting for her scared little self to stop hiding under the deck,” she shares.
Their life quickly became centered around their "children"—so when Eric came home with takeout spaghetti and started talking to the dogs, it felt like just another night. He even brought up the conversation of adopting more animals—specifically fish, which Lindsey quickly laughed at and shot down. Eric’s response was simple, sweet, and sincere, just how Lindsey hopes their life together will be: "Well then, the dogs and I were wondering if you'd do us another favor? Would you make us all so happy and marry us?" The tail-wagging pair are looking forward to a long, happy life together with their fur babies—and hopefully, some human kiddos one day, too.
Abe, Anne, and Jemma
Technically speaking, Abe and Anne Geary aren’t dog owners, but they’re big canine lovers and Abe is the founder of Pet Paint, a toxic-free way to add some color to pet fur. When Abe knew he wanted to propose to his long-time girlfriend, he enlisted the help of his brother’s dog, Jemma. Anne was arriving at Los Angeles International Airport after a trip to England, and he wanted to pop the question as soon as she got out of her gate. He wrote "Marry me?" in pink and purple letters across Jemma’s side; as Anne was approaching him in the terminal, he turned Jemma around to reveal the once-in-a-lifetime gesture that came with an easy bark in response: “Yes!”
Melanie, Erik, and Bernard
When long-term twosome Melanie Wadden and Erik Van Dusen were offered new jobs in Los Angeles, they decided to ship up their belongings and make the drive together from New York with their pup, Bernard, riding shotgun. Along the way, they planned pit stops in Marfa, Texas; Santa Fe; and the Grand Canyon. While the cross-country adventure was a feat they were both looking forward to, the Grand Canyon was the spot they were most excited about, especially since Erik is a geologist. Since they arrived a bit late and were only able to see it for 15 minutes at sunset, they decided to stay the night and come back in the morning with Bernard. “We parked at the south rim and started walking around," says Melanie. "Once we got to one of the scenic overlooks, Erik wanted me to pose for a few photos with Bernard. I then picked him up and we looked over the edge—when I turned around, Erik was down on one knee with a big smile on his face and holding the most beautiful ring.” It was the easiest question she had ever been asked, and was made even more special since their dog was part of the big reveal—even if, technically, Erik used him as a distracting photo prop.
Rachel, Eric, and Milo
Rachel Leist had always wanted a maltipoo puppy, but with super long waiting lists, she never thought she’d actually bring one home. But her boyfriend Eric decided he would make magic happen by putting up an ad on Craigslist. His effort was successful and he finally found a sweet pup to join their family. However, he wanted the reveal of Milo to be a surprise that was paired with the most important question. He even led Rachel on, saying they weren’t ready to get a dog anytime soon, so she wasn’t thinking a furry four-legged love bug would be joining their lives. One night, she was on her way to dinner with a friend when she arrived to see Eric with four-month-old Milo in his arms. As if she wasn’t already stunned enough, he then proposed, making that day one she’ll never, ever stop drooling over.