Dog With Cancer Hangs On for Military Homecoming


Kermie, an 11-year-old beloved Beagle mix developed bad breath so owner Jennifer Ralston scheduled a dental cleaning. While Kermie was under anesthesia, the vet found the source of the odor - an infection imbedded into a melanoma skin cancer. The veterinarian predicted that Kermie would only have a month or two to live. This was devastating news for the Ralston family who had assumed this was just a routine dental appointment.

Complicating matters was the fact that Navy Corporal Eric Ralston had been deployed for eight months and wouldn't likely have the benefit of seeing their treasured member of the family again. Jennifer states Kermie was basically their first child. She and her sons diligently cared for Kermie over the next several months hoping by some miracle she could survive for her husband's return.

Kermie surpassed the initial prognosis by several months, though it became difficult for her to eat and drink. Her family fed her home-cooked meals by hand and medicine but were losing hope. Still, Kermie held on.

November, the scheduled homecoming, became particularly stressful when they received terrible news that Eric's deployment would be extended indefinitely. The Ralston's did not see how Kermie could possibly survive through Christmas.

A Christmas Miracle

Days before Christmas, they received the best unexpected gift of all...

The Miracle, Extended

The Ralstons fully expected they might have to have Kermie put to sleep within days of the reunion to end her suffering, but Eric's return seemed to be a magic elixir boosting Kermie's health. The joy Kermie wriggled with in the video sustained her, allowing her to reach her 12th birthday in January. She began eating normally again and the previous months troubles all but faded into the background.

In February, Kermie began struggling again. Jennifer recalls, "She still enjoyed doing her tricks, walks, and rides, but the tumor was making her miserable in between. When good days became good hours... we knew it was time."

Kermie the Dog - January 28, 2001 - February 22, 2013

Their touching 25-second video clip has gone viral in the days since Jennifer Ralston uploaded the touching reunion. thanks the Ralston family for sharing their story and for their service to our country!


This entry was posted by Mary.
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