Wouldn’t you feel devastated if your best friend couldn’t make it to your wedding? Kelly O’Connell had Charlie Bear, a black lab mix, since he was a puppy but when it was time for her to walk down the aisle, he was 15 years old and living with a brain tumor. She didn’t know if he could make it. O’Connell works as a veterinarian and found love with James Garvin, who also works as a vet. They moved in together and got engaged. She had plans to put Charlie down a week before the wedding because the pain was getting to be too much. The seizures wouldn’t stop. But Charlie fought hard. After all, the two have been through everything together. They moved from New York state to Colorado and trained for marathons. Now, he could barely walk. Charlie got better and was able to walk down the aisle but he was in no condition to walk back. Without hesitation, the maid of honor, O’Connell’s sister, took him into her arms and carried him so they could make their way back. The beloved dog was put down a few days after the ceremony, but his presence was the ultimate wedding gift. Charlie, you made it.This is Charlie. When Kelly O’Connell was 19 years old, she welcomed him into her life. At the time, he was only 12 weeks old. He was discovered in a shopping cart in the dead of winter.
Originally from New York state, Kelly O’Connell moved to Colorado, where she met James Garvin. Both veterinarians, the two make a perfect match and were married this September. At first, they weren’t sure if Charlie could make it because of his brain tumor but he hung on and was there for their special day.
Everyone knew how important Charlie was to O’Connell so when he couldn’t walk, the maid of honor hugged him closely and continued on down.
Jen Dziuvenis, the wedding photographer, was deeply touched by the ceremony. ‘This is what love looks like,’ she. ‘Love for family, love for animals, love for your sister. It was just the most touching display of that that I’ve seen, and it was spur of the moment, it just happened, because that’s how these people are.’ Dziuvenis described Charlie as the bride’s ‘soul dog.’
O’Connell told him over and over again how happy she was that he made it, and even though he was tired, he looked at her with the biggest grin.