It was the longest the two friends had ever been apart.
For three whole months, Army private Hannah Foraker had been at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, undergoing basic training. So when she returned home to Cleveland for a visit over Christmas, her canine BFF, Buddy, could hardly contain her excitement.
“When I came home we let her outside and, at first, she didn’t realize I was home,” the 21-year-old soldier 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.”
Buddy was so “overwhelmed,” Foraker told BuzzFeed, that she “couldn't even stand up.”
It was an emotional reunion for both Foraker and Buddy, a 13-year-old golden retriever. Leaving Buddy, who she’d grown up with, had been particularly heart-wrenching, Foraker said.
“It pulled at my heartstrings, to say goodbye, though having never actually left home before I didn't realize the importance of giving proper goodbyes,” Foraker, now a biomedical equipment specialist at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, told Today.com.
Buddy is mostly deaf and suffers from arthritis, and Foraker worries the elderly pooch’s condition may worsen before her next visit home in November. To keep in touch, Foraker uses Skype to connect with the dog and the rest of her family.
“Even though she doesn't realize what's going on, she feeds off the energetic excitement of the room and my voice through the speaker,” Foraker told Today.com. “It's always so sweet when she starts licking the laptop!”
Foraker recently uploaded the video of her reunion with Buddy on YouTube. It’s since been viewed more than 2.6 million times. Watch it above.