Northglenn, Colorado — Kermie, a dog with terminal cancer, hung on long enough to greet her beloved owner who just returned from an overseas deployment with the US Navy.
The heartwarming homecoming (see embed below) has been just uploaded to YouTube.
A month after Eric Ralston deployed to Guam in March 2012 as the chief hospital corpsman aboard the USS Frank Cable, Kermie received a diagnosis of oral melanoma. Sadly, the vet said she had only two or three months to live, but Kermie battled the cancer beyond the vet’s expectations and seemed to be doing okay.
The tumor was discovered when Eric’s wife Jennifer took the dog in for a routine teeth cleaning after the pet developed “stinky breath.”
Jennifer and her sons worked tirelessly make Kermie comfortable and hopefully still be alive by the time of her husband’s scheduled November return home. “The boys and I were doing everything we could to ensure she took her medication and kept her weight up. I was making her home-cooked meals, and at times, hand-feeding her.”
Kermie — a Beagle/Lab/Chow mix — grew weaker from the aggressive disease unfortunately, and to make matters worse the family received the deflating news that Eric’s deployment had been extended.
Eric finally came home around Christmas and was welcomed by an overjoyed pooch who had survived to that point against all odds. The sailor’s return even had an almost miraculous effect on the dog’s health: “His return was some sort of magic pill for her. She began eating and drinking again, without struggle.”
Kermie even held on until beyond her 12th birthday in January when the advancing tumor sent her health downhill, and the Ralstons knew it was time to put an end to her suffering.
Watch the touching Christmas reunion between Kermie and Eric Ralston: