“In March of last year, my husband left for a scheduled 8-month deployment. A month after he left, Kermie, our 11 year old dog, was diagnosed with oral melanoma (cancer). She was given only 2-3 months to live. We were devastated, to say the least. Kermie was our first child, and we did not think Eric would ever get to see her again.
Kermie continued to do okay for several months, surpassing the vet’s estimate for survival. As the end of the deployment drew nearer, hopes for a never-expected reunion began to creep into our minds. However, the tumor in her mouth was making it increasingly more difficult for her to eat and drink.
November, homecoming month, was very stressful. We truly did not know if she would make it until Eric returned. 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.
Twelve days before Eric was due home, we received crushing news– the deployment was being extended indefinitely. I just KNEW Kermie would not make it until Christmas.
She hung on.
A few days before Christmas, after 9 long months, we received the best gift. It is all any of us wanted for Christmas.
We thought we would be putting Kermie down within days of his return. But 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.
Kermie lived to see her 12th birthday in January, but things began to go downhill again in February. It was back to hand-feeding her. She still enjoyed doing her tricks, walks, and rides, but the tumor was making her miserable in between. When good days became good hours, and we knew it was time.
Kermie the Dog: January 28, 2001 – February 22, 2013″