April 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Puppy Love. | 7 Comments

The thing is – and I want to clarify my last post – I don’t actually blame the photographer who took the picture. In his interview, he said that he cries whenever he sees his picture. The baby was crying, he said in an interview.

And it goes to the news, too. I don’t hate the photographers and cameramen that were there that day. I think they came away from the tragedy just as affected as we all are. I watched too many news people, on Monday night, exercising incredible professionalism when they were clearly emotional about what they saw.

What hurt me most WASN’T the fact that photographers were there. It’s not that they took the pictures of the wounded, the terrified, the shocked, the helpers. It’s not even that the magazine chose a provocative picture like the one they did to sell magazines.

It was the idea that her son was suffering – screaming, terrified and injured – while she stood queued up with the other runners who couldn’t finish the race. Every time I think about it, it terrifies me on the deepest level – the idea of being separated from MY son and husband; the two people who mean most in the world to me, while they live through something as awful as the aftermath of a bomb filled with nails and ball bearings.

It’s personal, you see.

I can easily put myself in her place.

I came away from last week’s with dread, with the crystallization of a realization. It’s been been there, in some form or another, since planes crashed into the Twin Towers on September 11.

But no place is safe, not really.

Schools. Airports. Work.

Now? Running.

And running, you see, is part of my therapy – the way I stay balanced, happy, joyful. Running – even short ones, like the half hour I did today – soothes my jangled nerves and fills in the missing gaps with happiness and endorphins and thankfulness for my breath and strong muscles.

My family doesn’t really UNDERSTAND how much I love running. They benefit from the results – a more happy, balanced me. But Charlie would rather walk a golf course or fish in the sunrise or spend the day hiking.

So it took the picture on that magazine, I think, to help me really grieve.

I’ve lost my naive, rose-colored perception that I have control over keeping my husband and son safe.

So what now?

Well, the capture of the guys who did it was a good first step.

I’ve continued to run this week, and each step I take makes me feel better and stronger. It’s small – really nothing – but every run I do makes me feel like I’m not going to give into the dread and fear.

And the biggest decision we made: we’re getting a puppy. Today, we are visiting a breeder who has 7 available golden retriever puppies. And provided we find the one that’s perfect for our family, we’re going to bring him/her home.

I saw an article this week about the golden retrievers – therapy dogs – who went to Newtown immediately after the shooting. And those same dogs were in Boston this week.

And on Thursday, driving into Boston, I was struck with this thought.


I want my own therapy dog.

Immediately after my D&E last fall, I made the decision to get a puppy. It was an intense desire, a need for a baby. We didn’t act on it, because I wanted more time to think about it. (And really – a puppy in November? In New England? Not the smartest decision.) And the desire flared up inside me again this week, too – the same need.

I have pretty much given up on the idea of having another baby of my own. But a puppy is a baby, too.

And I have a lot of love to give.

And right now? The timing couldn’t be better. It’s spring. Charlie is working from home until mid June and I have most of July off. We have neighbors and friends who actually WANT to pet sit for us. Lucky is starting school in the fall and we’ll then be tied to a school schedule.

I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I feel today. Charlie and I were laughing that we were more excited than Lucky is, mostly because he doesn’t really grasp the concept that HE is getting a puppy.

And I feel like it’s fitting that we end this week with an addition to our family, with adding more life and love to our world.

I’ll keep you all posted – and will definitely post pictures! πŸ™‚


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  1. Yay for puppies! May s/he bring much healing and joy. Can’t wait to learn of his/her arrival/name and see a pic.


  2. I grew up with a golden retriever, and I absolutely believe that dogs (of all breeds, not just goldens) can be therapeutic. Sometimes it’s the sweet, cuddly kind of therapy. And other times, it’s the “I guess it’s just stuff” type of therapy after they chew up half the shoes in your closet. I hope that your new puppy provides exactly what you need.

    And on another note, I totally get what you mean about not being upset with the photographer but still being upset about the situation. And I can’t imagine what it would be like as a mother (or the friend of that mother), to see a picture of your son in his most vulnerable moment plastered all over the internet. Even though the photographer and the magazine are just “doing their jobs,” it would feel like such an invasion.

  3. I saw the picture on FB, and it made sense. Read your post here–made even MORE sense. I actually gave that Therapy Dog organization money last year when they took them to Sandy Hook. It just seems like a wonderful, living thing. This has especially affected me today of all days–my friend has lost one of her family, a German Shephard, suddenly. And it made my day to see your family add to yours today.

    Wishing you best of luck with the new little one! πŸ™‚

  4. Yay for a puppy! I REALLY want to get one but my partner says no way! Maybe when we’re a little more established in a new routine, in a couple of years, maybe. πŸ˜‰

    You know the other day I was working through my daily fears about this pregnancy and I said to myself, if anything happens, you can get that puppy. And he or she will help you through and eventually, it will be okay. Our cat helped us through our ectopic and I absolutely believe a dog would help me heal after another loss. Dogs are incredible creatures that way.

    I hope you find a great new puppy! I wait with bated breath for pictures!

  5. It will be so much fun watching Lucky grow up with a dog! I hope the new puppy brings some added joy to your life. Just be warned he will also be the subject of many frustrations especially as a puppy. BUT, he will bring so much love and fun to your family that all the poop, pee, and chewing will be beyond worth it!

  6. Congrats on your new puppy!

    The Boston marathon bombings obviously hit very close to home for you. I’m wishing you peace going forward.

  7. Congrats on your new puppy. *HUGS* as you continue your journey. You will be in my thoughts as well as Lucky.

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