Shirlee Gorka thought time had run out.
"We searched and searched and searched," she said.
Her son Dan Salzar died in a car crash off Lakewood Drive and Windhorst Road near Seffner last Friday. His dog Eddie was in the car and ran away. The mom from Ohio could not bear the thought of returning home without her son's dog.
"I have no words to describe the feeling that it is, how grateful we are for everybody's help," Gorka said.
Shirlee and her family were determined to find Eddie. It was night and they were searching near Limona Park.
It was the place he ran to after the accident, but her search was cut short by a phone call from a jogger with good news.
"I just hit my knees, I mean I just we wanted him home so badly," Gorka said.
The Jogger was Megan Tarr. She saw the fliers with Eddie's name and picture. Then she saw Eddie wandering near the site of Danny's accident.
"I was worried for him. I saw a dog run across the street. That's no good," Tarr said.
As soon as she called out Eddie's name, he laid down. She brought him home and immediately called the number on the flier.
"I have never seen somebody so happy, and the dog also was having a big celebration. It was really special," Tarr said.
The family said Eddie appears to be okay, other than a cut on his nose and a little limp.
Gorka said there are thousands to thank. People from all over the country reached out to her during a time of major heartache.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and Eddie's little doggie heart," she said.
As she returns home to Ohio facing the pain of burying her only child, she will never be able to forget the kindness of others.
"We both lost something real big. We miss our Danny," she said. "Eddie lost Danny and I lost Danny, so finding each other again is a huge comfort for me."
Shirlee left for Ohio where she will bury her son. Eddie is being driven home, and will be with the family in the next few days.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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