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As I think about planning my wedding (after I have inevitably nagged my boyfriend enough to propose to me), I start to imagine sharing my big day with all of the friends and family who have impacted my life and the life I’ve created with my significant other. Of course, my parents and my siblings will be there, as well as my college roommates and the handful of friends I’ve kept since high school and who have somehow stuck with me through first boyfriends and braces. While I don’t have any children, I do have a dog (duh.) who means more to me than most of my friends and family put together. He’s not a human guest, but I simply can’t imagine getting married without my fur baby by my side.
Bride Kelly O’Connell also had a four-legged best friend – her dog Charlie Bear who she rescued as a 12-week-old pup. After 15 years together, every dog mom’s worst nightmare came true when Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it seemed that O’Connell would have to put down her baby just one week before her wedding. However, as the week before her wedding arrived, Charlie Bear stopped having the seizures caused by his tumor and O’Connell started to hope that maybe – just maybe – her longtime best friend would be there to see her tie the knot.
On September 1st, O’Connell got married, and Charlie Bear used everything he had to walk down the aisle to his human and Jen Dziuvenis caught it all on camera.
He couldn’t make it back, but that was ok – the maid of honor dutifully scooped up the 80-pound lab in her arms and carried him back down the aisle.
O’Connell, of course, was completely in tears, but ruining her makeup was worth it to spend the biggest day of her life with her furry companion.
Charlie Bear made it through the wedding and lived until September 9th, when he went to puppy heaven surrounded by his now-married humans. If you’re not bawling by now, I’m pretty sure you’re not human, because this is simultaneously the sweetest and saddest story I’ve ever heard in my entire life.
Rest in peace Charlie Bear. You deserve it. .
Image via Jen Dziuvenis