15-Year-Old Dying Dog Lived To See Owner Get Married
This story is the most touching display of what love looks like - love for family, love for animals and love for your sister. The 15-year-old Charlie Bear, who is battling against a brain tumor, lived just long enough to see his owner get married earlier. Click through to read the whole story.
1. The bride, Kelly O'connell, met Charlie Bear when he was just 12 weeks old.
When O'connell first met Charlie - a black lab abandoned in a shopping cart outside a grocery store, in an animal shelter where she worked, she decided to take him home. "He came in, and I was like, 'Yup. I'm taking this puppy home.'"
2. Charlie became Kelly's best friend.
The two of them grew up together and moved from New York to Colorado.
3. In 2010, O'connell met fellow veterinarian James Garvin, and fell in love. They were getting married and wanted 15-year-old Charlie to be there more than anything.
"Charlie got whatever he wanted, but I couldn't offer him a family. As soon as I met James and the boys, it was the last thing that I could give him," O'connell said.
4. Sadly Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April.
He had 5 seizures the week before the wedding. O'Connell and Garvin made arrangements for him to be put to sleep.
5. Then suddenly, the week of the wedding Charlie had no seizures, no trouble walking.
He "seemed like a whole new dog," O'connell said. she thought he might actually make it to the wedding.
6. Guess what? He did make it down the aisle. But he couldn't make it back.
James and I just grabbed onto him, and we just kept saying, "You made it, buddy, you made it," O'Connell said.
7. Charlie was too tired to walk back, so Katie Lloyd, Kelly's sister, scooped up the 80-pound dog and carried him back in her arms.
“He wasn't suffering - he was having the time of his life," she said. "His body was failing him, but he was happy."
8. O'Connell said she could "see it in his eyes" that Charlie held on in his final days for her.
She tenderly touched his face and smiled at him with tears in her eyes. They both knew that they were deeply in love with each other.
9. Charlie Bear was put to sleep a little over a week later on Sept. 9.
O'Connell believed that Charlie just moved to another place and would watch her all the time. Charlie was a part of her family forever, and she would never forget him.