A video of U.S. Army Private Hannah Foraker reuniting with her 13-year-old dog, Buddy, over Christmas in 2015 recently went viral (video below).
The 21-year-old soldier, who hails from Cleveland, began her basic training back in September 2015 in Oklahoma. After she completed the training, Foraker transferred to Houston in November. She was able to make it back to Cleveland for the holidays in December, notes Uproxx.com.
In the video, Buddy is ecstatic and appears to make crying sounds upon Foraker's return.
“When I came home we let her outside and, at first, she didn’t realize I was home,” Foraker told ABC News. “Then, she did a double-take and came back to me. That’s when she started crying and whimpering. She was so excited.”
“I’ve never been away from home before,” Foraker explained to BuzzFeed News. “I’ve lived a very sheltered life. To have to leave to go to another state alone in a stressful environment like basic training was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
“She’s very old and has arthritis and is mostly deaf, but I still remember getting her as a puppy,” Foraker added.
“She was completely overwhelmed and she couldn’t even stand up."
Foraker was home for the holidays for two weeks, which her family believes invigorated the elderly dog.
“My parents were so astonished by how happy she was during my time at home,” Foraker stated. “She normally has trouble going up and down the stairs and takes shorter walks, but now that I was home she was so happy and active. She would get up and do her happy dance.”
“It was amazing. I wish I could do it again.”
Because of the dog's age and physical problems, Foraker worries that every time she sees the pooch it might be for the last time. So she keeps in contact with Buddy via Skype; no word if Buddy launches the app. or has assistance.
“I hope to see her again next time I’m home during Christmas,” Foraker told ABC News. “She will be all right; she’s a fighter.”