Boston Marathon Bombing Victim and Her Service Dog Reunited

By Bruce Wright

Joanne Leigh and dog Lydia, photo Facebook

Joanne Leigh and dog Lydia, photo Facebook

Reunited, and it feels so good.

That is likely the sentiment felt on Saturday by a Boston woman who was injured from the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 when she and her service dog were reportedly brought back together after being separated for nearly a full day.

Lydia, a 130-pound black Great Dane, wandered around until she found the Jamaica Plain home of her owner, Joanna Leigh, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2013 because of the twin blasts on Boylston Street, reported WCVB.

Lydia, which was donated to Leigh just last week, got loose on Friday in Jamaica Plain before she ran away.

The dog wandered around for hours before ultimately finding Leigh’s home, where she sat next to Leigh’s car in the driveway and waited. “I was so worried. All I could think was she might be out there & could be hurt,” Leigh told WCVB. “It’s like your baby out there.”

Leigh and Lydia were paired by the Service Dog Project, an Ipswich-based nonprofit organization that — according to its website — “provides a better quality of life for the mobility impaired” by donating service dogs.

The 18-month-old Great Dane’s trainers told the New York Daily News that Lydia may have fled after becoming “anxious as she adjusted to her new home.”

Leigh, who told NECN in May that she was hurt as she tried to assist other Boston Marathon bombing victims, said she didn’t lose a limb but was still affected by the blasts.

“I want people to know that just because you can’t see injury, it doesn’t mean it’s not catastrophic,” Leigh said at the time.

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