I haven't yet shared the story of the day I got Dino on this blog, and I think our Five Year Pony'versary is the perfect time to do it!
A few weeks prior, I had gotten "the call" from my college that Dino was up for retirement. He had been bucking students off right and left, had figured out that the "rear and spin" was also a very effective technique, and was generally so petulant that hadn't been able to be used in lessons for over a year. He was being retired from the program, and since I had put my name on his "list" during my senior year, I was one of the first to know about it. I hastily filled out the adoption application, submitted it, and spent the next several days agonizing over whether or not my four-legged soulmate would becoming home with me.
You all know how this story ends: my application was selected, and I became Dino's new owner. I cried, I laughed, I smiled so hard my face felt like it was going to break. MY pony was coming home to live with me for good! It was every dream I'd ever had coming true, and I couldn't WAIT to pick him up from the college!
Little did I know that my then-boyfriend, Michael, was making big plans of his own.
In the time leading up to November 13, I was in a giddy haze. I went on a shopping spree at Dover to purchase all the necessary basics I needed as a new horse owner. So many things I already owned were horse-sized, and thus began my collection of diminutive equestrian gear. All I could think about was my PONY! I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve!
The night before the Best Day of My Life, I slept over Michael's apartment, since he lived only 15 minutes from the school. He had agreed to come with me to pick up Dino, who would be trailered home for us by another college friend. I was thrilled - both loves of my life in the same place at the same time on the most momentous day ever! It couldn't possibly get better.
The morning of the Big Day, my boyfriend's alarm rang, about an hour early. He checked his phone and grumpily mumbled something about having to go into the office for an emergency, and then he left. To go to work. On The Most Important Day of My Life.
My excitement quickly turned to irritation, which turned to white-hot fury when I got a text from The Worst Boyfriend Ever asking me to stop and get him a breakfast sandwich, which he would eat when he, maybe, if he could get away, met me at the college barn later.
A SANDWICH. YOU JUST RUINED THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY EVER, AND YOU WANT ME TO GET YOU A G$&@%&*$ SANDWICH.
I got him the stupid sandwich, absolutely fuming in my car on the way to the college. But I tried to suppress my annoyance. Even if my boyfriend was a total shlump, I was still getting a pony!
My friend who had agreed to trailer Dino home met me in the parking lot, all smiles. At least SHE was there to support me! She said that she had parked around the side of the barn already, and that the barn manager just needed me to sign off on some paperwork and give me Dino's records, and then we could load up and go.
She and I rounded the corner of the barn, walking towards the back shedrow where Dino was waiting in a stall. As we approached the small auxiliary barn, Michael stepped out of a stall, leading Dino, who had a pink ribbon tied around his neck.
All of my previous irritation melted away. I was floored at how thoughtful my boyfriend was to surprise me like this! What better way to a horse girl's heart than to present her with the equine love of her life!
Grinning ear-to-ear, I speed walked up to him so that I could accept my pony. It was then that I noticed Michael fumbling to untie the pink ribbon. And then I noticed a very small, very shiny something dangling from the ribbon. A very beautiful, very real, diamond ring.
Michael dropped to one knee as I held onto the lead rope and tried to keep from crying. He proposed, I nodded a frenzied and silent "YES!" and we celebrated with friends and my college coach, who had all been in on the secret and were there to see the proposal.
And that, friends, is the story of how both of my college sweethearts became mine forever.