Get your tissue box ready, because this story is extremely touching, and illustrates the loving bond between humans and their companion animals.

The reunion between Navy Hospital Corpsman Eric Ralston and his loyal dog, Kermie, was caught on tape last December.

Ralston returned home to Colorado after an eight-month tour in Guam to find Kermie had been waiting for him, despite the fact that a month after Ralston was deployed in March of last year, his wife learned Kermie, an 11-year-old beagle/lab/chow mix, had oral cancer and was only expected to live another month.

Amazingly, Kermie hung on for another eight months and was there when Ralston came home shortly before Christmas.

According to Ralston's wife:

“His return was some sort of magic pill for her. She began eating and drinking again, without struggle! Watching the homecoming video, you cannot even see the struggles of the previous months.”

Sadly, Kermie did finally succumb to her disease and she had to be put down in February.

But at least she had one final, if brief, stretch of time with her beloved human. :-)