COLGATE -- A U.S. Airman returned home this Father's Day weekend -- anxious to be reunited with his dog, Lola. Lola had been missing since Thursday, June 11th. She was found safe five days later, on June 16th. Her dad, a mechanic with the United States Air Force is now saying thank you for the outpouring of support from a community he's just getting to know.
Coming home to a new house in a new town takes some getting used to. Senior Airman Rob McKnight worried he'd come home, and Lola wouldn't be there to greet him. McKnight was stationed in Japan.
Lola and her sister Lexi arrived in Wisconsin from Okinawa last on June 9th. Two days later, Lola was gone.
Lola and Lexi
"I was racing through options in my head," McKnight said. "My family is new to this town. I mean, this is the first time I've been in this house, coming home, and I haven't been back home in about four years."
McKnight and his wife, Alissa adopted Lola and Lexi while stationed in Okinawa. Lola and Lexi traveled ahead of their owners to McKnight's parent's home in Colgate.
After Lola went missing, McKnight's mother Janet organized the search party to find her. It included sheriff's deputies and complete strangers, and involved sharing the story on social media.
Search for Lola
"I want to say she was gone for six days and five nights," Rob McKnight said.
We're told in the end, it was a hot dog that got Lola's attention. That hot dog helped to bring Lola home.
"That's all it took. It was a hot dog and a loop leash," McKnight said.
Collectively, volunteers covered hundreds of miles, searching for a rescue dog that needed to be rescued a second time.
"You know, you don't come across animal lovers like that very often -- that are just willing willing to drop everything and go out and help a single family and we are very blessed to have that," McKnight's wife, Alissa said.
Now that this family has been made whole again, they're saying a collective "thank you."
"That that many people were helping out was really incredible," McKnight said.
The report from the vet on Lola was positive. Other than some scuffed up paws and a few pounds lost, Lola is in good health.