Tragedy strikes suddenly, soundly and brutally. On May 5, 2013, Lt Eric Eslary was patrolling along with his K-9 named Blek. This is when two men who were drunk driving crashed their work van into Eslary’s police SUV, head on,
Lt Eslary died in the hospital an hour later. Blek refused to leave his side. The 17-year-veteran of the police department — the man who proudly helped develop its K-9 program — left behind his wife, Mary Beth, and their six kids. It was only when Mary Beth arrived on the scene that the 6-year-old German Shepherd finally left his partner’s body. Blek was seriously injured in the accident and had to undergo surgery. Thankfully, he recovered without paralysis.
That’s where the story takes an incredibly bittersweet turn. Blek is now home with Mary Beth, who has dedicated herself to continuing to raise Blek in her husband’s memory. “It was a big comfort to know he’s here and I had at least a part of Eric back with me,” she says. “And he’s glad to be home, too.” Sometimes, Mary Beth can tell Blek is searching the house for Eric.
The police department is planning a formal retirement ceremony for the loyal, faithful, and honorable Blek, whose only duty now is to love and protect his owner’s wife.
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