Craig Odle, 37, was out in his Lenexa yard playing with his Siberian husky, Buddy, when he noticed a woman and a young husky walking by. It was March 2005. Craig waved them over and met Vicky Conrick, 44, and Two, her boyfriend Don’s dog. While Vicky and Craig chatted, the dogs had a great time playing.
Craig: “She was cute, and I was disappointed she had a boyfriend. Talking to her was easy, like meeting an old friend.”
Vicky: “Craig was kind of nice and seemed a little nerdy.”
A few days later, Don came over with Two. Craig and Don began meeting up a couple of times a week, sitting and talking while the dogs played.
Then in July 2006, Don had a heart attack and died suddenly. Both Craig and Vicky were utterly bereft. Don’s dog, now Vicky’s, quit eating, and Craig suggested that keeping to his routine might help. So Vicky and Two started coming over to Craig’s in the evenings.
After some time passed, Craig and Vicky began running errands and going on outings together. “Vicky quickly became my best friend,” Craig says.
“Craig was so nice and thoughtful,” Vicky says.
One summer night in 2007, Craig leaned over and kissed Vicky. That kiss led to a date, and soon Craig and his dog had moved in with Vicky and her dog.
Proposal and marriage:
Five years later, Vicky came home from work one day and was surprised to see a dozen vases each holding a single red rose. Craig told her, “These roses symbolize loved ones who have died. I wish they could be here with us.”
Then he knelt on one knee, held out a beautiful ring and asked Vicky to marry him. They were wed last Sept. 28 in Lenexa.
Favorite shared activities:
They enjoy working on their home together, going to estate sales and spending time with family.
Craig is a librarian at Blue Valley Northwest High School. Vicky had a long career as a nurse in a doctor’s office and is currently not working.
What keeps their relationship strong:
They listen to each other, talk things through and try to experience everything together.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Craig: “Vicky’s caring and deep concern for family and friends is very meaningful to me. I love her sense of humor. She’s a fun person, and she believes in me.”
Vicky: “Craig guided me into loving life again. He’s very supportive, and I love being around him.”