Kelly O'Connell and Charlie Bear, a black Labrador mix, met in 2002, at an animal shelter when Kelly was living in New York. Charlie was a tiny puppy, found abandoned in a shopping trolley in mid-winter, and Kelly was just a teenager at 19. Over the course of 14 years, together they have been through it all, including a cross-country house move to Colorado.
Earlier this year, Charlie's age began catching up with him and he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was committed to steroid treatment, which caused him to gain weight, and sadly the end was in sight. But would he make it to the biggest day in his owner's life - her upcoming wedding?
Kelly is now a vet, as is her partner, James Gavin, and they both decided Charlie had to be there on the big day - and he made it.
Charlie was in good spirits, but his body was failing him, and he was struggling to walk. Undeterred, Kelly's maid of honour and sister Katie decided to step and carry Charlie down the aisle - all 80 pounds of him!
"Both of us just dropped to our knees and started crying," Kelly told ABC News. "To see him be carried a few feet, it kind of solidified for me that it's not the Charlie he liked to be. He was aging, and it hit me knowing that he lost a lot.
“He was a very sweet dog. He loved everybody, but I was definitely his person."
Charlie passed away one week after the wedding, and Kelly has said she plans to have the photographs displayed around her home.
Featured image via Facebook/Jen DZ Photography