Dying Dog Lives Just Long Enough to See His Owner Walk Down the Aisle


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Source: Jen Dz Photography

Source: Jen Dz Photography

Just when you think you dried your last tear over a heartwarming dog-related story here comes another one.

Charlie Bear was a black lab mix and the pet of Kelly O’Connell. O’Connell, a veterinarian and true lover of animals, adopted Charlie when he was 12 weeks old from a shelter. 19 years old at the time, O’Connell felt an instant connection to the pup. They moved to Colorado, where O’Connell met James Garvin, the man who would soon become her husband, and the missing piece to the family that contained Charlie, who was now 15 years old.

Unfortunately, not all was well. Charlie had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. His time was running out. O’Connell was getting prepared to make the tough decision to put the dog down so he would not suffer any longer. Coincidently, they were looking to do so before her wedding to Garvin. O’Connell told the Washington Post that, miraculously, “Eventually, it was almost as if he was like ‘no I want to see this.’ He got better.”


Amazingly, Charlie not only attended the wedding, but he walked down the aisle. Exhausted, Charlie could not make it back, and so O’Connell’s maid-of-honor, her sister, picked Charlie up and carried him back down the aisle, moving O’Connell to tears.

“I just kept saying, ‘you made it buddy, you made it,’” O’Connell said. “He just had a giant grin on his face.”

Another shot of the maid of honor carrying sweet Charlie up the aisle. I can't even handle this.

A photo posted by Jen Dziuvenis (@jendzphotography) on

Charlie was put down a few days after the wedding.

O’Connell, a vet herself, said she has dealt with owners coming to her and asking about euthanizing their pets, and even though she has given the advice she thought was right, it still did not prepare her for Charlie’s situation. With that being said, seeing photographs of the ceremony confirmed her decision to bring him.

“I just think to myself, despite that feeling of did I push it too far, or did I force him to stay around for this wedding, looking at those makes me think, he just wanted to see that, us come together, and I guess his mom be taken care of,” said O’Connell.

Jen Dziuvenis, the photographer of the wedding and friend of the bride and maid-of-honor, said on her Facebook page, “There isn’t enough mascara in the world for these moments. Dog people are the best people.”


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