Rescue is an attentive service dog.
The 6-year-old, black Labrador devotedly walks beside his partner, Jessica, helping her fetch the telephone, open the refrigerator door, and steady her balance.
When Jessica, a double-leg amputee, does not need Rescue’s assistance, he likes to eat hot dogs at Fenway Park and sleep in his fire station dog house.
‘Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship’ is a heartwarming children’s picture book based on the real-life friendship of Jessica and her happy dog, Rescue. Brilliantly illustrated by Scott Magoon, and written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, ‘Rescue & Jessica’ is an inspiring journey of teamwork and recovery inspired by those who recovered from the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
On April 14, Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Rescue visited the Venetian Room of the Fairmont Copley Hotel to read ‘Rescue & Jessica’ to children and families. Kensky and Downes were married in 2012 and were both injured during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, releasing their book at the Back Bay hotel – steps from the scene of their injuries – on the fifth anniversary of the life-changing event.
“This is a special spot in our city for our family and friends,” said Downes, who also lost a leg during the bombing. “In this story we talk about kindness, loyalty, and love.”
Cambridge residents, Kensky and Downes hope to educate youth and families about the work and importance of service dogs by sharing their story of healing.
“Kids ask tough questions in public because they’re trying to figure out the world and why people may look different,” said Kensky. “Patrick and I decided to write something that they could take home and learn about people who get around differently.”
Proceeds from the Marathon Weekend book signing event, “Milk and Bookies with Rescue,” benefit NEADS/ World Class Service Dogs, a non-profit organization established in 1976. Visit www.NEADS.org to learn more about assistance dog services.