Dying Dog Survives Illness to See Deployed Owner One Last Time

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Veterinarians diagnosed Kermie with cancer very shortly after her owner, Eric Ralston, was deployed overseas for eight months serving the U.S. Navy, according to the Daily Mail U.K. Though the 11-year-old Lab/Beagle/Chow Chow mix was not given much time to live, she beat the odds and survived to welcome Ralston home.

Only a month after Ralston was deployed to Guam, his wife, Jennifer, noticed that Kermie had developed unusually foul breath. An examination led to a devastating diagnosis: Kermie had mouth cancer, and the vet estimated that she had only two or three months left to live.

The news of Kermie's cancer broke her family's hearts, not only because their beloved dog was going to die, but because it seemed Eric Ralston, on duty far away from home, would not have the chance to say goodbye to her.

Months came and went, but Kermie endured. As fall approached and the end of Ralston's deployment neared, his family began to hope that he would see Kermie again after all.

Dog Battling Cancer Lives To See Deployed Owner Again

More bad news came when, mere weeks before Ralston was scheduled to go home, the Navy extended his deployment indefinitely, and once again it looked like Kermie wouldn't have the chance to see him before she died. By that point, she had mostly stopped eating or drinking, and the end seemed near.

Ralston was given leave to visit home for the holidays, but still, Kermie was ailing so badly that the family had little hope that she would make it even that long.

Once again, however, Kermie defied the odds and held on. When Ralston finally returned home a few days before Christmas - eight months after Kermie's diagnosis - the dog was there to greet him. Jennifer Ralston filmed the reunion as Kermie ran to her owner, jumping on him and licking him in excitement.

Although Kermie had seemed so close to death, she actually improved briefly following Ralston's visit. Her spirits lifted, she began eating and drinking again. The tough mutt fought her illness for two more months, but by February, the cancer inevitably overwhelmed her, and the Ralstons had no choice but to euthanize her. She died surrounded by the family that loved her.


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A long time ago, my grand father told me that God had created a dog as a companion angel and teacher to Cain - yes, of the Cain and Abel Bible story. God wanted man to have the best example of unconditional love to teach us, to love us, and to be that link with God when we erroneously think that he is not there.
About 5 years ago, I had my "Near Death" experience and one of the guides to my next stage of life was my baby, Daisy Mae. She was a small, 5 lb., white poodle that became a 150 lb.+ pit bull if I were threatened. She was my best friend and held my secrets, shared my pain, and healed my heart. I had a heartless neighbor who cut her life short and I was there, holding her as the vet helped her out of the pain. I still miss her 10+ years later, but I am amazed that I have or am able to love Hagar the Horrible, Annie, Trigger, Blossom, Scrappy Do, Missy, Norman, Gomez, Morticia, and Tootsie Roll.

January 23 2014 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Could someone please pass the Kleenex.

January 15 2014 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To all animal lovers of all animals: Think about the time your animal friends have lived with you. You gave them love, food, water, and a home. Whether it was for a day or years, it meant everything to the animals. My brother had a gray kitty that no one else could endure. He was Tiger's only friend. When she died, I told him that he had been her only friend. Without him, Tiger would not have had the quality of life she had. When a friend's dog died, I sent them a nice version of "The Rainbow Bridge." It had music and animals depicted that were sweet and happy. If anyone has faced this, after a period of time, copy the poem on some nice paper and put a picture of your baby with it in a frame. There are many versions of the poem, so look at several. Some are animated. Some are set to music, but all are great. Remember people need animals as much as animals need people. Be kind to animals. Also, sometimes GOD is testing us when an innocent animal in need of your help appears in your life.

October 22 2013 at 10:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to muffin's comment

That is so true. I had just lost my baby, Precious. I was feeling down and did not want another pet. I was in front of my house with a friend when a puppy came running to her whining. She put him in my arms. I took him around the neighborhood for 10 days to find his owner. For weeks, I tried not to get tied in case someone shows up. It has been 3 years, and he is still with me.

November 14 2013 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had to put my 11 y/o Golden Retriever down because he had a very aggressive cancer and was beginning to suffer. I am devastated because he was truly my best friend. I was with him when he died, petting his little head and telling him he is a good dog and that I loved him very much. He died peacefully. There is no doubt in my mind that dogs are a creation of God and they have souls. I\'m in the process of writing a book explaining all the moods my little buddy showed, everything humans have. I\'m looking forward to reuniting with him when I pass on.

October 08 2013 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had to put my 11 y/o Golden Retriever down because he had a very aggressive cancer and was beginning to suffer. I was with him when he died, talking to him telling him he was a good dog and I loved him very much. I was petting his little head as I was talking to him. He died peacefully. There is no doubt in my mind that dogs are a creation of God and they do have souls. He\'s in Heaven and I\'m looking forward to reuniting with him when I pass away.
I\'m in the process of writing a book detailing the different moods he had - just like humans.

October 08 2013 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My best friend "Scout" died a year ago next month after some eleven years of caring and sharing in the lives of our family members including our eight grandchildren. He was also a great pal to their dogs who often came to visit and frolic in our wooded acre-plus fenced yard.
His final days provided a great opportunity to devote special time to him...hours that might have otherwise lost to workaday events. He knew how much we cared. His style and grace brought wonder to us as he gave his all, continuing to the end to hold up and keep us as his primary purpose for being. His love and attention remained paramount until his last happy look at us...and his last breathe. Scout is buried in that wooded back yard, high on a hill visible from our house. Our grandchildren created the cross on his grave which bears his name. They and all their dogs who come regularly to our home seem to remember him well and honor the gift that his presence meant to our family(s). Scout is still there for me, along side as I walk to the rural mailbox,check our gardens etc. He is there participating in a peaceful silent mode but still as alive as our memories are capable of keeping him with us. Two new dogs, Marci and Hercules now are with us, loving us, happy in their mission of filling the void and dutifully aware that somehow Scout is in someways still there with them.

October 04 2013 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This made me happy and sad at the same time!

September 25 2013 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know how this family feels about there dog ,I my self had a mix breed dog for nineteen years be for he passed away . he had been having so problems with his health at that time an I had known that I was going to have to think of putting him down an not wanting to ,but I had gone to work that day an around noon that day I felt something bump my hand an when I looked to see what it was there was nothing there an at that time I thought that was odd an went back to working. About twenty minutes later I got a phone call at work from my mother an was told to come home as soon as I could do so , because my dog had passed away twenty minutes ago . That's when I knew that he could not wait for me to make it home that day an came to me to say good by , I knew it was him because every day when I came home from work , his way to say hi to me was to bump my hand with his nose . so yes they can do some amazing things our pets .I thought I would just share an let you know I really know how this family does feel.!!!!!!

September 24 2013 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Everyone who has lost a beloved pet should visit the Rainbow Bridge. Just search it...it helped me a lot..

September 20 2013 at 1:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Of all the miserable, terrible things this poor dear thing could develop it had to be something like this. The short life span is the ONLY negative about a pet. Why oh why can't they live as long as people? I know many religions out there don't believe dogs have a soul and can't "go to heaven" as we humans are suppose to do. I will NEVER believe that. Anyone who has been close to a dog and loved them as these owners have here KNOW this is all a bunch of bull. Any creature who feels every emotion as people do must have a soul. Any good dog loves, feels jealousy, loyalty, happiness, sadness, fear, joy, and every other. Did you know there have actually been ghost that have been identified as dogs and cats? If they can be a ghost then they can go to heaven! I hope one day in heaven all of us will be reunited with our beloved pets. Won't that be wonderful!

September 13 2013 at 9:29 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
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