On April 15, 2013 two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three innocent people and injuring over 250 others in attendance. Four days later, an unprecedented manhunt ensued in my town. The two bombing suspects engaged in a shoot-out with our local police and threw explosives onto the streets. We received a reverse 911 call that we were to shelter-in-place in our homes. My partner and I witnessed military style armored vehicles going up and down our street and we heard the frightening sounds of the final standoff between law enforcement and one of the bombing suspects from our bedroom window. We spent the entire day inside glued to our televisions and social media, communicating with family and friends. We also talked a lot about how we missed having a family dog for companionship and protection. For comfort, we started to look online at different animal rescue organizations.

Fast forward to three months later, our town survived a traumatic experience, life was getting back to normal, and we found a photo of an adorable puppy that was posted by an animal rescue about an hour away from our home. With much excitement and anticipation, my partner and I reached out to the rescue about arranging a first visit with the pup who had captured our hearts online.  We soon found ourselves in the living room of an animal rescue, waiting to meet the little twelve-pound Australian Cattle Dog mix with the glint in his eye. I knew the second this pup entered the room, he was THE one that would complete our family. He ran a few circles around the room in an effort to herd his toys in one place and then he came right over to me, wagged his tail, and smooshed his little face between the couch and my leg. He had me wrapped around his little paw from day one!

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The rescue asked us a series of questions, to ensure our suitability as “doggie parents” and then we asked our questions about temperament, lifestyle needs, and the pup’s history. We were told that Louie; the name we gave him, needed a lot of exercise and loved to cuddle. Check and check. We were also told that his mom was found under a peach tree in Georgia and brought to a pound to give birth to Louie and his two sisters, three months prior to our meeting. “What day was he born?” I asked. “He was born on April 15, 2013—the day of the Boston Marathon.”  At that moment, my partner and I looked at each other and knew, this dog was definitely meant to be in our lives. He quite literally was coming into being as the tragic events were unfolding at the marathon finish line. He is our symbol of hope and resilience; a beautiful example that shows even as bad things happen in the world, miraculous, sweet moments are occurring too.

Our rescue dog has brought a profound sense of peace, unconditional love, and joy into our daily lives. We now understand the cliché saying of, “Who rescued who?”

By: Meridith Apfelbaum