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MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Kentucky (WPSD) -- Joe Tharp was enjoying his dinner at Parkview Nursing and Rehab and a visit from his son Tuesday night when someone else stopped by his room.

"I looked up at the cop and said, 'What the hell did I do now?" Tharp laughed. Deputy Sheriff Jason Walters told him, he was there because of something Emma did.

Emma is a black lab puppy with a passion for digging in her backyard. Her best finds end up where Gerri McNeil, her owner, can find them. Monday, Emma brought her a pair of dog tags and she knew she couldn't throw them away.

"You just get that feeling," she said. "It just kind of gives you goose bumps and you think there's more to it." With family members in the military, she also knew how important they can be to the veteran.

"It's part of who they are."

She made an attempt to contact the name on the tags, Joseph Tharp, but couldn't make much progress. That's when she called the McCracken County Sheriff's Department and Walters came to get them. He, too, felt like he needed to find Tharp or his family.