On your wedding day, you expect to be surrounded by friends and family who want to celebrate your joyous occasion.
For bride Kelly O’Connell, it wasn’t a question of whether or not she wanted her 15-year-old black lab Charlie Bear at her wedding, but rather if he would survive long enough.
O’Connell and Charlie Bear first met when the dog was brought into the veterinarian office where she had been working. Even though she wasn’t looking for a dog to bring home, O’Connell had a feeling that the two were meant to be together.
From then, the pair survived the ambitious move from New York to Colorado. It seemed like their tiny family was complete — but then she met her would-be husband and his two kids. Just months before O’Connell and her fiancé were set to tie the knot, Charlie’s health took a turn for the worst.
Last April, Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor causing the dog to experience spontaneous seizures. Leading up to the wedding, the poor pup had five seizures in the span of a week.
But just a few days before the wedding, Charlie Bear was almost like a completely different dog — he was seizure free and acting like his normal self.
O’Connell and her fiancé were married on September 1, and much to their disbelief, Charlie Bear was able to help walk his mom down the aisle.
Unfortunately for Charlie Bear, he was too tired to make the walk back up the aisle following the ceremony, so the bride’s maid of honor and sister carried the weak dog in her arms.
Witnessing her precious Charlie Bear struggling and having to be carried away solidified in O’Connell’s mind that her days with her best friend were numbered.
Sadly, just a week after the wedding, Charlie Bear was put to sleep, left to await his reunion with his human companion in heaven.
I’m so glad this family got to celebrate such a big moment together. Charlie Bear clearly knew that he had to be there for his mom’s big day. Then, he could finally rest on the rainbow bridge.
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