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Mom receives dog once owned by Marine son killed in Afghanistan

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Sgt. Joshua Ashley and his military police dog Sirius were best friends.

CBS Los Angeles spoke to Joshua's mom about her late son and his beloved dog.

"He goes, 'mom, he went to sleep in the bed with me and keeps pushing me and pushing me and pushing me so he takes over the whole bed,'" Tammie Ashley recalled her son saying.

The last time Ashley spoke to her son in Afghanistan, he had a request.

"'I'm gonna have you take him until I get to where I'm going or when I get out,'" Ashley said her son told her shortly before he was killed.

Nearly four years later, Ashley made good on that promise to her son.

Sirius retired from the Marines and was given to her, and she picked him up at the Ontario airport.

Military dog Sirius. CBS Los Angeles

"It was the strangest thing," Ashley said. "He was smelling my face like he was going to lick it, and it was almost like 'I recognize you.' Like, 'You were Josh's mom.' "

Josh and Sirius were together when Josh was killed.

"It's like getting a little piece of my brother back home us. So, it's really nice having him around," said Jordan Ashley, Josh's brother.

Tammie Ashley. CBS Los Angeles

There's a Killed In Action flag flying in the family's front yard. Josh's mom doesn't want anyone to forget her son.

With the big dog taking over the house, reminders of 23-year-old Josh are everywhere, and that's how his mom likes it.

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