Dan Selzar was taking a drive through Seffner, Fla., Friday when his vehicle was involved in a serious accident. Though the deputies that arrived at the scene of the crash tried to save Dan, sadly, his injuries proved fatal. Dan died before even reaching the hospital; he was 32-years-old.
As the deputies worked tirelessly on Dan, they noticed a German Shepherd shaking in the crumpled backseat. The driver’s dog, Eddie, was injured, a nasty cut on his nose — but he was alive. But when the deputies tried to help Eddie from the vehicle, the terrified dog bolted, disappearing into a park nearby.
Dan’s mother, Shirlee Gorka, flew from her home in Ohio to Florida immediately when she got the news of her son’s tragic passing. But she says her heart broke again when she learned Dan’s dog and constant companion Eddie had fled from the scene of the accident and was now missing somewhere in or near Seffner.
Looking back, Gorka says Dan and Eddie were inseparable from the very moment Dan rescued the sweet-tempered German Shepherd from an animal shelter in Ohio.
“From the beginning, it was like a little match made in heaven,” Gorka remembers.
Remembering the strong bond Eddie had shared with Dan, Gorka knew she could not rest until she brought Eddie back home. It’s not only what her son would have wanted; knowing Eddie was safe and with family was also what Dan’s grieving mother needed in order to cope during this difficult time.
Splitting her time between planning her son’s funeral and posting “Lost Dog” fliers and photos of Eddie all over Seffner, Gorka says she was determined to find the dog that had meant so much to Dan and to her entire family. She even contacted local news outlets, begging for help in finding her son’s best friend.
“Oh, he’s my grand-dog,” Gorka told ABC News shortly after initiating the desperate search for Eddie. “This is for Eddie,” she said, “come home. We’re waiting.”
Gorka got the call she’d been waiting for Monday evening. Two joggers had spotted a dog they believed resembled the photos of Eddie Gorka had spent all weekend circulating around the Seffner area. When the pair called Eddie’s name, the frightened dog responded, limping towards the joggers. As the Shepherd came closer, the couple noticed a cut on the dog’s nose — a cut matching the description given by the deputies. They knew then the dog had to be Eddie.
A tearful Gorka says she was overjoyed to learn her son’s beloved dog was safe and sound.
“I can’t bring my son back so it’s a little part of my son to remind us every day that he’s still with us,” a grateful but still grieving Gorka tells My FOX Tampa Bay.
Eddie will now mourn the loss of Dan alongside his late owner’s close-knit family.
“He is a big part of our heart, big part of our life, now more than ever,” Gorka says of Eddie. “Eddie will make us laugh when we are down, just like he did with Danny, he was always there to pick him up.”