This 15-Year-Old Dog Lived Just Long Enough To See His Human Get Married

September 27, 2016 | 2 Comments » | Topics: Animals, Life

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 groccery 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.'”

Charlie became Kelly’s best friend.

The two of them grew up together and moved from New York to Colorado.

In 2010, O’connell met fellow veteriarian James Garvin, and fell in love. They were getting married this September 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.

Sadly Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor last April.

He had 5 seizures the week before the wedding. O’Connel and Garvin made arrangements for him to be put to sleep.

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.

 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.

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.

O’Connell said she could “see it in his eyes” that Charlie held on in his final days for her.

“He wasn’t suffering – he was having the time of his life,” she said. “His body was failing him, but he was happy.”

Charlie Bear was put to sleep a little over a week later on Sept.9.

He died peacefully at home, on front of the fireplace and surrounded by his family.

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  • Odot

    Fucking damn you…I don’t need this right now at work! Stupid awesome dog

  • Kim Olivarez

    Soo glad that Charlie Bear held out for the ceremony! Such a testimony of love and friendship! My daughter got a mixed breed pup who was 3 months old (in 2007) from a no-kill shelter when she was 7 years old. My daughter is now 26 (11-2016) and Midnight is STILL here! She has cataracts, can’t hear very well, has some fatty tumors, (split one open jumping on the bed this year and had to have surgery to have it removed and her vet said her heart was still Very strong) had a few seizures, had a couple of accidents going to the door to get outside but she is STILL here! At 19 years, I am Truly Amazed!
    I dread the day something happens (either naturally or medically) because she IS a REAL family member! We still love her like the first day and I think she realizes that. But we are truly blessed by her sharing HER life with US! RIP Charlie Bear, for receiving SO MUCH love and showing YOUR love in return! And I’m proud that we have a girl that shares that strange, unknowable, wonderful gene that Charlie had!