Eduardo Del Pozo and Regan Mast both really wanted a puppy.
So when they became engaged, it was at the top of their list as they planned their new life together.
The couple — both Marine sergeants serving as military police officers at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia — stopped by the Fairfax County Animal Shelter on Oct. 26, two days before their wedding. They learned about a 4-month-old German shepherd named Daisy who would soon be up for adoption.
“They showed us a video of her, and we knew that we had to adopt her,” said Del Pozo, 21, who lives in Woodbridge, Va. “We both gave each other a look that was like, ‘This is it. She’s the one.’”
An employee told them to return two days later, Oct. 28, to adopt the puppy at the grand opening of the shelter’s new branch in Lorton, Va.
If they arrived promptly at 11 a.m. when the shelter opened, they were told, they would be first in line to adopt the pup, Del Pozo said. Otherwise, there was no guarantee they could get Daisy.
He and Mast quickly realized they had a problem. They were getting married on that day at the same time.
There was no question what they had to do, he said.
The couple — who met two years ago in the Marine Corps — decided to move up their wedding vows.
“Instead of getting married at 11, we asked everyone if they’d mind if the ceremony was changed to 9 a.m.,” said Mast, 22.
They had planned a civil ceremony in front of a dozen family members, and nobody — including the officiant — had a problem changing the time, she said.
“Everyone was really supportive and told us, ‘It’s your special day — it’s your wedding, and we’ll be there whenever you’d like,’” Mast said. “We couldn’t wait to adopt our new puppy.”
On the morning of Oct. 28, she and Del Pozo got up early to get dressed for the wedding — a simple white dress for her and a black suit with a blue bow tie for him — and drove to a civil marriage celebrant’s home in Fairfax County to exchange their vows.
“We were excited to get married, and we were also excited to adopt Daisy,” Del Pozo said.
As soon as they’d finished saying their “I dos,” they rushed to the animal shelter in Lorton in their wedding attire.
“We got there about 9:45 and were first in line when they opened the doors,” Del Pozo said.
When a shelter worker fetched Daisy and carried her in, “we were both in shock at how cute she was,” he said. “When I grabbed her, she started loving all over us, and we knew it was meant to be.”
Mast said she was immediately smitten by the pup’s velvety black face and frisky nature.
“I also wasn’t expecting her to be as small as she was,” she said. “We both thought she was perfect.”
Daisy arrived at the animal shelter in mid-October after she was found wandering the streets in Fairfax County, said Rebecca Cavedon, communications manager for the Fairfax County Department of Animal Sheltering.
“She spent some time in a foster home while our customer care team worked to see if there was a family out there who was looking for her,” she said. “When no one came forward for Daisy, she was made available for adoption on Oct. 28.”
Cavedon said she was thrilled to learn that a pair of newlyweds had stepped up to adopt the stray puppy.
“It was a special moment to witness this young family grow by one, and to see Daisy immediately shower them with kisses,” she said.
Mast said she and Del Pozo became best friends after they met in the Marine Corps, and their friendship soon evolved into something more serious.
“We were each living on the [Quantico] base at the time, and we eventually realized we were attracted to each other,” she said.
Del Pozo proposed to her Oct. 7 while they were hiking in Great Falls, Va., Mast added.
“It was our first time there, and he found the perfect view overlooking the water on this beautiful autumn day to ask me,” she said. “We decided we’d have a small civil ceremony the same month, then follow it up in the next two years or so with a bigger ceremony.”
She and Del Pozo have always loved dogs, she said, so they decided to look into adopting one before their wedding. They first shared their story of adopting Daisy in People.
After the couple had filled out the paperwork to make the adoption official, they pivoted to the other official proceeding of the day, joining family members for a reception that included hors d’oeuvres and vanilla wedding cake.
They also introduced Daisy to their parents and siblings at the festivities.
“Everyone is really happy that we were able to add her to our family on our special day,” said Mast, who now plans to go by Regan Del Pozo. “They all thought she was really sweet.”
At some point, she and Del Pozo hope to go on a honeymoon, but for now they’re content to take walks with their new pup and teach her to play fetch, she said.
Daisy is learning to be housebroken and has taken over the couple’s apartment, they said. She loves to curl up with them in bed at night, added Del Pozo.
“She’s smart, she’s adorable and she’s super goofy,” he said. “She’s definitely our favorite wedding present.”