Overcoming the challenges of life makes us stronger, this gives us a feeling of being invincible. Not that we are, but at least we feel that we are able to go to the end with our own strength, fighting against adversity and surpassing difficulties day by day.
Charlie Bear is a 15 year old dog, about 105 years old in dog life. He fought a brain tumor and lived long enough to see his owner getting married.
The bride Kelly O’Connell, met the animal when he was about 12 weeks old. After being left in a shopping cart, he was taken to the animal shelter where Kelly worked while studying to be a veterinarian and that was where love happened at first sight.
Kelly was only 19 when she met Charlie. She was not looking for a pet because she still lived with her parents, she was in college and at this stage of her life she did not have time for her much less for a dog.
That’s when she thought, “He showed up, so I’m going to take this puppy home.” They became best friends, grew up together and moved from New York to Colorado.
In 2010, Kelly met another veterinarian, James Garvin, fell in love and moved with him and his two children. “Charlie had everything I wanted, but I could not give him a family. When I met James and the boys, it was the last thing that was missing, we were a big happy family.
Charlie was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April 2016 while walking. His situation was not good!
One week before the wedding, Charlie had 5 seizures and seemed to be suffering a lot. From shattered hearts, Kelly and the fiancé decided to put an end to their suffering.
Unbelievably, Kelly’s old friend had no more convulsions, no trouble walking, and he looked like a completely new dog. It was when everyone realized the effort Charlie made to prove himself, to be present at the marriage of his long-time friend.
Kelly and James were married on September 1 and were joined by Charlie and one of his other 5 dogs at the ceremony. “It was impossible not to cry when Charlie walked towards me,” O’Connell said.
Charlie was too tired to walk back. It was when Katie Lloyd, one of the bridesmaids and sister of the bride, carried the 37 kg living thing in her arms, back to rest a little.
“He held out until the last minute to be able to see me get married. I could see how happy he was, literally smiling,” O’Connell said.
Charlie passed away peacefully at home, in front of the fireplace surrounded by his huge family.
For O’Connell, remembering that Charlie was present at her wedding and having her photos taken of him, means everything to her. “It has been a phenomenal 15 years.”
Not always what matters most is the time but the intensity of the experiences! In that case, Kelly and Charlie were lucky enough to share not only intense experiences, but also to extend them over a long period of time.
Share this unconditional love between Kelly and Charlie and spread a little hope to owners who see their animals suffer at the end of their lives.