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Charlie Bear was determined to see Kelly O’Connell, his 15-year companion, tie the knot.

O’Connell and Charlie met when she found him as a puppy in a shopping cart. Years later, Charlie suffered from an advanced brain tumor, but was still there to see O’Connell get married to fellow veterinarian James Garvin in Colorado.

Charlie walked down the aisle just for O’Connell, but did not have the energy to walk back during the recessional. O’Connell’s 5’3″ maid of honor decided to help the 80-pound black lab by carrying him. “I’m not leaving you behind,” she said.


Photographer Jen Dziuvenis captured the perfect moments, which she shared in a touching post on Facebook and with several posts on her Instagram.

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Charlie unfortunately passed away nine days after the wedding, but these pictures show the love he shared with a group of amazing people:

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Charlie is one of five dogs owned by the beautiful couple whose wedding I shot last week. He was his mom's buddy well before she met her future husband and before she went off to Europe for vet school. Charlie has a brain tumor and is on his last few days of life. He walked around a bunch with one of the kids before the wedding and used up all his energy. He didn't have any trouble walking down the aisle but when it was time to walk back up it he just couldn't do it. That was when the bride's sister said "I am NOT leaving you behind!", scooped him up, and carried him. He's 80 lbs. She's 5'2". It was one of the most powerful showings of love for family (both her sister and the Charlie dog!) I have seen. Tears. SO MANY tears.

A photo posted by Jen Dziuvenis (@jendzphotography) on

Another shot of the maid of honor carrying sweet Charlie up the aisle. I can't even handle this.

A photo posted by Jen Dziuvenis (@jendzphotography) on

Rest in peace, Charlie.

(H/T: King 5)

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