A Cancer-Affected Dog Lives Just Long Enough To See Her Dad Again

Kermie’s owner was away for a month and took her to the vet when she complained of bad breath. Kermie’s prognosis was grim: she was dying of cancer. Kermie had only two or three months to live, but she had other plans. She was adamant about not dying until her owner returned from his nine-month deployment.

Eric Ralston, a chief hospital corpsman in the United States Navy, was deployed in March. His wife took their 11-year-old Lab-Beagle-Chow Chow mix, Kermie, for a checkup a month after he deployed and noticed Kermie’s breath had become very foul.

Kermie was diagnosed with oral melanoma after an examination, and the vets believe he only has two or three months to live. “We were devastated, to say the least,” said Jennifer Ralston. “Kermie was our first child, and we did not think Eric would ever get to see her again.” Kermie, on the other hand, was not ready to say goodbye without first seeing Eric.

It had been three months since Kermie left Eric’s apartment and the family was still hoping that he could see Kermie again and welcome him home. As Eric’s employment came to an end, the family was beginning to hope that he would be able to visit Kermie again. When eating became difficult, Jennifer prepared special meals and hand-fed her. They became determined to help her see Eric one last time.

Eric’s deployment was then extended 12 days before he was supposed to return home. The holidays were approaching, and the Ralstons were concerned that Kermie wouldn’t make it to Christmas when Eric would finally return. Kermie, on the other hand, continued to defy the odds. Eric returned home a few days before Christmas, and Kermie was there to greet him. She wore a red bow and was seen sprinting from the house into Eric’s arms on video.


Eric’s return brought new life into Kermie before she had seemed to be on her last leg but with him home she had new life. “His return was some sort of magic pill for her,” said Jennifer. “She began eating and drinking again, without struggle. Kermie soon was celebrating her 12th birthday in January, but by February she made a turn for the worse. When good days became good hours we knew it was time,” said Jennifer. The rest of Kermie’s family was by her side when she lost her battle with cancer on February 22nd.

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