Smyrna, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A Georgia woman who lost her Navy SEAL fiancé  two years ago is now searching for the last living connection the couple had – their dog.

Krissy Rankin, a kindergarten teacher, got a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog named Nala from her fiancé Eric Shellenberger in 2009, three months prior to his death.

Shellenberger served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had given Rankin the dog before he tragically died during a training accident.

According to Rankin, Nala was “always by my side. If I went to a different room she would follow me.”

Nala has been missing since Oct. 15 when Rankin wasn’t home and house guests accidently let her out.

Rankin’s desperate search has her up at 4 a.m. until it’s time to go to work. When class is dismissed, she continues to search for Nala until 10 p.m.

Currently, there are no major leads to Nala’s whereabouts, although a volunteer with a male Rhodesian Ridgeback is going to try and track Nala by her scent.

“They already tracked her to a soccer field where I walked her,” Rankin told CBS Atlanta.

Nala can be identified by an unusual kink in her tail.

“Eric picked her out that way and he liked it,” says Rankin. 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a breed from South Africa and were originally used to hunt lions. Much like Shellenberger and the Navy SEALs, Ridgebacks are renowned for their bravery.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to Nala’s return.  Rankin can be reached via telephone at (770) 280-5362.


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