Cameras captured an emotional reunion between a Marine veteran and his service dog who'd escaped from a Utah hotel room as they were heading home this week.

"He can tell when I get anxious and when I get irritable so he comes up and nuzzles me to remind me that everything is going to be okay," the retired sergeant, Chris Galliher, told Fox 13.

He said he was playing with his dog, Raider, at a Discovery Inn in Midvale when he opened the door -- and Raider bolted.

The veteran searched for hours. At first, there was no sign of Raider anywhere.

"I got Raider when I felt like I felt like I was in a dark cave and there was no chance of seeing the light again and getting him was like having a little glint of hope," he said.

But the next day, a nearby veterinary center reached out to Fox 13. Workers there found the dog and were keeping it safe for its owner.

Raider ran into the veteran's arms, and the two shared a big hug.

Galliher had served in the Marines for more than seven years, including several tours to Afghanistan. He was on his way home to Washington state after his retirement ceremony at Camp Pendleton in California.

He said that having Raider by his side "makes me more confident and strong, and more like the sergeant in the Marines that I once was."

Midvale is a 15-minute drive south of Salt Lake City.

Click for more from Fox 13.