The worst part of being a dog parent is the knowledge that they're going to die before you. So you do your best to make the most of the years that you have with your furry new family member. When their time comes, all you can do is prepare to send them off with peace and dignity. That's what Kelly O'Connell had to experience recently. She met Charlie Bear, a black Labrador mix, back in 2002 at a New York animal shelter. At the time Charlie was just a tiny puppy who'd been abandoned in a shopping trolley in mid-winter. Jen was pretty young herself, just being a 19-year-old teenager. They've had a great 14 years together, experiencing everything, including a cross-country house move to Colorado. Earlier in the year poor Charlie's age got the better of him and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.