JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a reunion 18 months in the making between a First Coast sailor and his dog.

Jose Benavides was supposed to be deployed to Afghanistan for a short tour, only six weeks. So he adopted his dog, Homie, before he left.

But Benavides' deployment was extended to a year and a half!

That entire time, the Happy Dog Inn boarded his pup and even sent regular updates: pictures of Homie and letters with his paw print.

Tuesday, the Happy Dog Inn had a surprise "Welcome Home" party for the sailor and he and his dog were finally reunited.

First on the "To Do" list? A trip to Pets Mart for some doggie treats and a trip to the dog park.