Kelly O’Connell married James Garvin on September 1, surrounded by family and friends, and their pack of pups, which included 15-year-old Charlie Bear.  O’Connell and Charlie first came together when she was 19 and working at an animal shelter.  For all but the first twelve weeks of his life, Charlie Bear and Kelly were together.

Unfortunately, Charlie was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early 2016, and his health has gradually suffered since.  In the week leading up to the wedding, Charlie suffered five seizures.  O’Connell was determined to have Charlie Bear be a part of their ceremony, and it feels like Charlie fought to hold on to make her wish true.

Photos captured at the wedding show the Maid of Honor carrying the 80 pound lab as he could not make the walk himself.

Charlie made it through the ceremony, all the while O’Connell was doubting if she was doing the right thing by not putting him down sooner, and if he was in pain the whole time.  After looking at the pictures, however, she feels that Charlie was happy, and he wanted to make sure his humans were ok before he left.

O’Connell recounted, “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.”

On September 9, a few days after the ceremony, Charlie was put to sleep at home, lying in front of the fireplace.

Via Indy 100


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