Most of us can’t stand to be away from our dogs for even a day, and our dogs miss us just as much.
So imagine being away from your beloved pet for many months. That’s the reality for many men and women serving in the military, whose training and deployment take them away from home for long stretches of time.
That was the case for one army recruit, whose emotional, long-awaited reunion with her dog is going viral.
In 2017, army recruit Janna Berger set out for basic army training followed by months of advanced training, which would take her away from home for eight months.
That’s never an easy thing to do, but for Berger the hardest part was leaving her dog Murphy behind.
“I thought about Murphy every day,” Berger told The Dodo. “Being away from him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
She left the dog with her parents, who told her that Murphy missed her just as much.
“In the first letter my mom sent me, she told me about how every day since I’d left, Murphy waited outside the door to my room for me to come back.”
So when Berger finally returned, she was so excited to see her dog again. She arrived at her parents’ house in uniform, and video was rolling as the dog came out to finally see her again.
But Berger had a heartbreaking discover: the dog didn’t seem to recognize her at all.
“When he didn’t recognize me at first, I was so heartbroken,” she told The Daily Mail.
We’ve seen plenty of heartwarming videos of military service people being reunited with their dogs where the pet goes right up and greets them, but that wasn’t the case here—Murphy seemed skeptical that this was really his owner, and would run back after greeting her.
Berger’s father suggests she remove her uniform cap so the dog can see her better, which she does.
After a few moments of hesitation, the dog finally realizes that this is his old friend… and the two have the beautiful reunion they had been waiting for.
Murphy goes into Berger’s arms and licks her face, and the two embrace in an emotional moment.
“I had no idea Murphy would react the way he did when I finally got home,” Berger said. “The happiest moment of my life was when he finally figured out it was me.”
It was a beautiful moment — a reminder that our dogs’ love lasts forever, and they’ll remember us no matter how far we are or how long we’re apart.
But luckily, Berger and Murphy won’t have to go through that again: she’s recently finished training and will move into a home off base… and gets to take her dog with her.
“He’s been the light of my life for over three years now, and I’m hoping to have many more with him by my side,” she said.
We’re so happy for these two! It’s a story that shows how intelligent dogs are and how deep the love we share with them really is.
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