Photographer captures dying dog being carried down aisle

Poignant moments were captured earlier this month at a beautiful wedding in Buena Vista, Colorado. Photographer Jen Dziuvenis, a friend of the bride’s family, was behind her camera on September 1, and her images tell a beautiful story of love…


Love between a bride and groom, as well as the love of a beloved, senior dog who was present for the nuptials. Charlie Bear, a 15-year-old black Labrador retriever, was at the wedding; his person, Kelly O’Connell, was the beautiful bride. Charlie had been with O’Connell since the day that she adopted him back in 2002, when she was just 19-years-old, reported ABC News.


It only made sense that Charlie would be included in one of the most important days in O’Connell’s life. Sadly, in April, Charlie was diagnosed a brain tumor and on the day of the wedding, he was too weak to make his way all the way up the aisle.

Despite the dog’s considerable size, the maid of honor, O’Connell’s sister Katie Lloyd, managed to scoop Charlie up into her arms, carrying him.

The photographer later recounted to Facebook followers the touching way that Charlie was brought to his appointed place, “When your beloved dog who is at the end of his life can’t make it back up the aisle and your sister scoops him up and carries him …. THAT is love.”


On Facebook, the wedding photographer stated, “She’s 5’3″. He’s 80 pounds. There isn’t enough mascara in the world for these moments. Dog people are the best people.” Dziuvenis told ABC News, “I have to keep shooting even though I’m in a puddle of tears behind the camera.”


Charlie was where he needed to be on that special day…just over a week later, on September 9, he passed away.

(Photos via jendz photography)

Find Jendz Photography on Facebook here. Jendz Photography website here.





Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. rachel grove says:

    How wonderful this dog made the wedding brought tears to my eyes very sad to read he passed a week later this is true animal lover’s at there best

  2. Diana Roby says:

    That was beautiful. Di I wish that all dogs, and other pet companions, were loved like Charlie Bear was and still is. The love in Charlie Bear face was priceless.

  3. rosalinda says:

    I’ve also lost my golden retriever 2 months ago, it really hurt to let this happen but I have to…

  4. Joyce McCarty says:

    I’m so glad Charlie Bear was able to attend his Mom’s wedding. She will have the memories as she and her husband continue their Journey.

  5. Mike palau says:

    Not enough words to say what happened there but they were laced with love from all sides.Your loved made him happier than he will ever be till he see’s you again.Bless you

  6. Joyce Rowland says:

    Thank you for loving Charlie to the end. You will see him again, just across the Rainbow Bridge.

  7. Michelle Wise says:

    I have tears in my eyes reading this…beloved dog…

  8. Deborah Dirk-Halley says:

    I just cried over this post because I lost a dog to Brain Cancer back in June 2016 and it is hard for me to know my dog is NO longer with me. He was my Service Dog for Nine years. Momma’s Tater Tots. Real name Teddy.

  9. mary stinson says:

    i wish all animals were loved like this.

    1. Heather Simpell says:

      My wish to Mary

  10. Gail says:

    This has to be one of the most Happiest/ saddest Day,I too would have done the same for my baby boy.I am very Sorry for your loss,but at least you were blessed to have one another for 15 years,and one day you will be together again! Congratulations on your Wedding! Again my Heart goes out to you!???

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