True love lives forever. Kelly O'Connell was working at a shelter 15 years ago when a black lab puppy, abandoned in a shopping cart outside a grocery store, was brought in by a volunteer.
Kelly wasn't looking for a dog at the time, but… "He came in, and I was like, 'Yup. I'm taking this puppy home.'"
Kelly and Charlie (as she named the pup) spent many happy years together. Eventually, Kelly met and fell in love with James Garwin. More than anything, Kelly wanted the now 15-year-old Charlie to be a part of her September wedding.
Sadly, Charlie had been diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year, and he was very weak. He had five seizures in the weeks before the wedding.
Then suddenly, the week of the wedding Charlie had no seizures. He "seemed like a whole new dog," O'Connell said.
He was feeling so much better that he DID make it down the aisle. But he couldn't make it back…
That was when Kelly's sister picked him up and carried him.
Kelly said she could "see it in his eyes" that Charlie held on in his final days just for her. "I think he was really happy to be there."
September 9th, Kelly put Charlie to sleep. He crossed the Bridge peacefully, in front of the fireplace at home and surrounded by his loving family. "It was a phenomenal 15 years. That's for sure," Kelly said.