After a month of being stationed by her owner, Kermie's foul breath forced her to visit the veterinarian. Kermie had cancer, which was not good news. Only two or three months were predicted for Kermie's life, but she had other ideas. Until her owner's nine-month deployment was over, she resisted going to sleep.
US Navy principal sanitarium corpsman Eric Ralston was stationed there in March of last year. When his wife discovered that their 11-year-old Lab-Beagle-Chow Chow mix Kermie's breath had become distinctly nasty, she took Kermie in for a checkup a month after he was stationed.
Kermie was found to have oral carcinoma after being evaluated, and the prognosticators estimated that he had just two to three months to live. According to Jennifer Ralston, "We were distraught to put it mildly. Kermie was our first kid, and we assumed Eric would never see her again. Without seeing Eric, Kermie wasn't quite prepared to bid adieu.
The family started to feel hopeful that maybe Kermie would get to see Eric again after three months had passed and Kermie was still around while Eric's employment was drawing to a close. They made a decision to assist her in seeing Eric for the final time.
Eric's deployment was also extended, giving him an extra 12 days before he was due to return home. The Ralstons were concerned that Kermie would not survive until Christmas when Eric would eventually return home because of the impending leaves. Despite the odds, Kermie persisted in overcoming them. Kermie was present when Eric arrived home several days before Christmas. She was seen running out the house into Eric's arms while sporting a red arc on camera.
Kermie had previously felt as though she was nearing the end of her days, but with Eric's return, she had new life. For her, his homecoming served as a sort of magical lozenge, Jennifer remarked. Without a fight, she resumed her previous eating and drinking habits. By January, Kermie would be turning 12 years old, but by February, everything started to go south for Kermie. "We knew it was time when good days and good hours came," stated Jennifer. Kermie succumbed to cancer on February 22. Her family members were by her side, including Eric.