By Jerry Carnes
SMYRNA, Ga. — Two years after losing her fiance, a Navy SEAL who’d survived five tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, Krissy Rankin is now desperately searching for the dog that was a gift from her lost love.
Nala, a 95-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback with a distinct kink in her tail, slipped out of an open door at Rankin’s Smyrna home on Saturday. She is now desperately searching for the pet that has been her source of comfort.
“She’s beyond a dog,” Rankin said. “She’s my everyday reminder of Eric. I think of him every single day when I see Nala.”
Navy SEAL Eric Shellenberger brought Nala home in 2009, shortly after he and Rankin got engaged. He died three months later in a training accident.
Nala has not only been Rankin’s pet, she has been her therapist.
“A lot of days she’s been my only happiness,” Rankin said. “There’s times I sit there and cry on Nala. It still happens.”
Since Nala’s disappearance, Rankin has gotten up at 4 a.m. to search before starting her teaching job. After school, she’s at it again until 10 p.m. She visits area animal shelters. So far, she has distributed more than 200 posters with Nala’s picture.
“I truly believe he got her to me for a reason, I really do,” Rankin said. “She’s what he called our little family.”
The Smyrna Police Department has been notified of the missing dog.
Anybody who spots the dog is asked to contact Krissy Rankin at (770) 280-5362 . A reward is being offered.
Read more: 11Alive