BUENA VISTA, Colo. (CBS4) – Charlie Bear lived just long enough to see his human married.
Fifteen years ago, Kelly O’Connell adopted Charlie. The 12-week-old black lab was found abandoned in a shopping cart outside a grocery store and brought into the shelter where O’Connell volunteered while studying to be a veterinarian.
While not always perfect, the two had each other and a pretty good life.
It got better when, in 2010, after moving from New York to Colorado, O’Connell fell in love with fellow veterinarian James Garvin.
They moved in together, got engaged, and life was good.
But then, last April, Charlie Bear suffered a seizure while out for a walk.
Charlie was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor, and it looked as though he might not make the wedding day; the week leading up to the ceremony Charlie suffered five seizures.
Without a doubt he was suffering, but he hung on just long enough to see his best friend married.
He couldn’t do it without help, though. When the day came, Charlie couldn’t walk down the aisle. The bride’s sister Katie, her 5’3″ maid of honor, scooped up the lab and carried him.
“There isn’t enough mascara in the world for these moments,” Jen Dziuvenis with JenDz Photography posted on her Facebook page.
“Everyone was crying, myself included,” she told CBS News. “I think everyone was a little bit shocked. Katie is a tiny woman and Charlie is an 80-pound dog, but there was no way she was going to leave him there.”
A little more than a week later, after witnessing his human’s marriage, Charlie passed away.
“Her sweet Charlie Bear passed over the rainbow bridge on Friday 9/9,” Katie said on Facebook. “9 days after these pics. [Kelly] is a mess, but so happy he got to be there. Charlie was her ‘soul dog.'”
Good boy, Charlie.