When Lt. Eric Eslary passed away, his K-9 partner, Blek, refused to leave his side. Eslary was driving with the German Shepherd on May 5, 2015 when an allegedly drunk driver, who was driving on the wrong side of the road, collided with their vehicle.
The crash fatally injured Eslary and badly injured Blek. Despite his injuries, Blek guarded Eslary at the crash scene and refused to leave his side even as paramedics showed up on the scene. He could only be coaxed away from Eslary after Eslary’s wife, Mary Beth, arrived at the scene. Eslary died shortly after in hospital from his injuries.
Lt. Eslary served in Ligonier Township and started the K-9 program. When he wasn’t training officers with their dogs he generously volunteered his time in the community.
Blek spent 2 weeks in hospital and went home to Mary Beth and her 3 children after he had recovered. At the time, Mary Beth told WTAE News, “It’s an honor to now take care of Blek, for Eric. It’s just really good to have him home. I need him,” she added. “The kids need him. We need him as a family,” Mary Beth said. “He protects us. It’s a little more comforting knowing he’s here.”
Blek officially retired on August 11, 2015 and at the ceremony, Lt. Eslary’s badge number (number 4) was also retired, something the department had never done before.
Recently, photographer Christy Boyd, did a special photoshoot with Mary Beth and Blek in loving memory of Lt. Eric Eslary. She shared the photos with Reshareworthy.com and you can see the touching images below.