Boston Marathon Bombing Service Dog is The Star Of a New Book

We always say that we don’t rescue dogs; they rescue us.

That rings especially true for a husband and wife who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing five years ago. Three people were killed and over 250 were injured. Two of those injured, Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes were newlyweds who had no idea how their lives would be forever changed, and how a dog named Rescue would play into it.

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Both Downes and Kensky lost tremendously that day; Patrick lost one of his legs and Jessica both. They spent countless hours in surgery after surgery and years of rehabilitation, and a very aptly named service dog has helped them survive and thrive in the days since.

Six months after the bombing, Rescue entered their lives and helped give Jessica, who’d had one leg amputated, a feeling of independence and ability. She struggled for years through pain and anger with her second leg, and finally realized that she couldn’t take the agony anymore. She amputated it as well.

Rescue helped the couple, who spent much of their newly married life in both individual and couples’ therapy and rehab, learn to laugh again with his goofy sense of humor and simple adoration.

They’ve turned those traumatic years into something good, creating a new children’s book based on Rescue and Jessica’s relationship. The book, “Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship,” is based on Rescue as a service dog, and imagines Jessica as a younger girl who was rescued by the love of her dog.A book about a service dog named Rescue is helping kids learn about unconditional love

The couple tour the nation with their book, sharing about how Rescue has made an impact in both of their lives, and emphasizing to children that differences in ability are just those–differences and not overcomeable obstacles. Jessica says she hopes that kids look deeply at the pictures and ask questions about how to include and show compassion and teamwork.

Related: Puppies Behind Bars: How Raising Service Dogs Changes Inmates

She wants them to see the power of unconditional loyalty and love, and says that she wants the children who read their book to know that there’s always someone to help, and someone who can help.

For them, it was the sweetest, most appropriately dog there was, and Jessica says he’s been the best medicine for them both.


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