MENU

Frantic email over girl's lost toy leads to sweet 'reunion' at Asheville Regional Airport

P-GIRL REUNITED W- TOY DOG_frame_7801.jpg
Photo credit: WLOS staff

It's a small world, they say. That is unless you're away from the ones you love.

"Can you believe it, isn't this crazy?" Angela Coffin said, sitting with husband Josh and daughter Natalie.

Monday morning, they anxiously waited for a special friend.

"I think the airplane has passed by us," says Natalie, who's been worried sick about her prized stuffed animal named Jailoh.

"It's been a week, it's been a trying week," her mom explained.

Last week, Angela sent a frantic email after the dog was left behind on an Allegiant Airlines flight.

Jailoh has been like Natalie's security blanket for two years.

While family members hoped for a miracle, they told the little girl the pooch was on vacation all this time.

Airport staff printed a heart-breaking flyer hoping to find the missing toy, to no avail.

Theresa Ellis, of Worldwide Flight Services, refused to write it off as a lost cause.

"There was probably no way we'd find the exact pup, so we searched high and low to find one exactly like it, which we did," Ellis said.

"What's the first thing you're gonna say to Jailoh?" Angela asked her daughter while they waited for a special reunion.

"I'm gonna say no more trips for you Jailoh!" Natalie replied.

The family was escorted to an Allegiant jet. The cockpit is where Natalie found her plush co-pilot.

"Jailoh, your dog, he's gone everywhere with us," the pilot explained.

He documented Jailoh's travels with a photo book that showed the dog having some summer fun, including scuba diving.

"But he wanted so bad to be back with you, he missed you so much!" the pilot said. "Is it so good to see him again?"

"Yeah," Natalie yelled with glee.

"We're so grateful, it's been a very stressful week," Angela said. "Lots of tears, lots of reassuring that Jailoh is fine, that we're gonna get Jailoh back, so we're very happy."

"This is like the first thing that she goes to when she goes to bed," Josh said. "So, it was nice to have all this to kind of bring them back together."

Thankfully, the doggie's extended vacation is over now.

"She kept saying, 'I think it's time for Jailoh to come home now,'" Angela said, describing her daughter's angst.

Sometimes, it takes a village to give a child comfort when she needs it most.

Allegiant also gave the family vouchers so they can take another vacation together. The parents joke that next time, they might bring a leash for the stuffed dog.

The epic adventures of Jailoh the wonderdog will give the Coffins fond memories for years to come.

"That is pretty incredible kiddo!" Angela said, exiting the terminal with Natalie.

"Jailoh told me a secret," she confessed. "He loves me more than anyone."