Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you want to spend it with those you care about, which for many couples includes their pets.We’ve heard many stories about couples including their pets in their wedding plans, even making them the “best man.”But one story will truly touch your heart: a cancer-stricken dog who hung on just long enough to accompany his owners down the aisle.
Kelly O’Connell, a veterinarian, was 19 years old when she met Charlie, a black Lab mix.In the dead of winter, the dog was discovered abandoned in a shopping cart.Kelly had no intention of adopting a dog at the time, but she knew it was love at first sight.”I’m not sure what it was.’Yeah, this is my dog,’ I just said.”I’m going to take him home,” she told the Denver Channel.
Kelly and Charlie became fast friends, and he transformed her life.The owner was inspired to start running by his very active and playful dog.Her dog was so important to her that when she met her future husband, veterinarian James Garvin, one of her main concerns was whether he and his children would get along with Charlie — thankfully, they did.
“Charlie doesn’t get along with everyone.”But he fell in love with them right away,” Kelly said.”He grew to love him just as much as I did,” she said, according to CNN.”[Charlie] was a symbol of the family coming together.”Charlie, on the other hand, began to slow down after 15 years together.He wasn’t his usual active self, and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a seizure.
The couple was preparing for their wedding day at the same time.”He had five seizures the week before the wedding, and it broke my heart,” Kelly told People.”We considered euthanizing him, but he seemed to improve, so we waited.”
Charlie seemed to be hanging on just long enough to see his owners get married, so that when the big day arrived, Charlie was there.Charlie found the strength to walk Kelly and James down the aisle for their vows despite being weak from cancer and on the verge of death.It could be a picture of nine people.
It was an emotional moment for everyone, and Kelly could only think about how proud she was of her beloved dog on her wedding day.”We basically ignored everyone.We just got down on our knees and kept saying, ‘You did it, buddy.You did it.You’ve arrived.’
“Everyone was in tears.”Charlie died just nine days after the ceremony, so it turned out to be one of their last memories together.While Kelly was heartbroken to lose her best friend, she was grateful Charlie was able to attend and that their wedding photographer Jen Dziuvenis captured the sweet moments.
“Those are the memories.”I was just happy to have him, to have him there, and to have the years I had with him,” she said.”And he’s smiling in the photos.It’s impossible to deny.He’s grinning.””I’ll miss Charlie, he was my best friend,” she said, according to People.”However, he will never be forgotten.And we’ll always have his wedding photos to remind us of him.”